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SUBMITTED BY:  Joseph Beasley (edited by Cheri Todd Molter)

Henry W. Jones was my four-times-great-grandfather, and he worked as a farmer, a magistrate, and a distiller at Oxford, Granville County, North Carolina. A record of his correspondence and other official records from his work are included in this collection of papers that date from 1813 to 1877 and were recently made available digitally at Duke University at (click on link): https://archives.lib.duke.edu/catalog/joneshenry. Several of the records provide accounts of life in the Confederate Army and the struggles that families experienced throughout the years leading up to, during, and after the Civil War.

The following is the description of the collection that is provided on the Duke Universities Archives & Manuscripts Collection Guides Web site:

“SCOPE AND CONTENT: Correspondence and Assorted Family Material is primarily personal correspondence sorted by year. One folder contains handwritten genealogical information about Jones and his lineage. Almost all of the correspondence is addressed to Henry W. Jones, though most of the correspondence came after his death in late 1871 or early 1872, and is addressed to a son, Edward H. Jones of Oxford, N.C. Nearly all of the correspondents, both before and after 1871/1872, were children and children-in-law of Henry W. Jones, most of whom resided in Hopkins Co., Ky. The notable exceptions to this are John and Alice Beasley, a son-in-law and daughter who lived in Tex., and P. H. Gooch, a nephew who lived in Farmington, Mo.

Agriculture and family matters are the dominant subjects covered by the correspondence. One family matter of particular interest was an effort by some of Henry W. Jones’s children, particularly Soloman W. Jones, a local Methodist preacher, to convert their father to Christianity. These same letters also document the revivals that swept Kentucky in the 1850s. There are also several letters that comment on life in the C.S.A. Army, including ones by E. H. Jones (55th Regiment, N.C. Troops) and B. F. Jones (17th Regiment, N.C. Troops).

The first portion of Legal and Financial Papers contains individual folders with records relating to Jones’s career as a magistrate (tax records, election rolls, and warrants) as well personal financial information (distillery taxes and personal tax receipts). The remainder of the series is general financial and legal correspondence sorted by year. This series also contains several account books for business partnerships between Jones and his father-in-law, David Parker.

The final series–Printed materials, clippings, and printed work–contains newspaper clippings, political pamphlets, and other printed material related to farming, legal issues, as well as North Carolina and national politics.

BIOGRAPHICAL / HISTORICAL: Henry William Jones was born about 1792 in Granville County, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Army in 1812 but did not see battle. Following the war, he married Sarah Parker and they had several children together. During the course of his life, Jones served as a magistrate, a farmer, and a distiller in Granville County.” Click on link:  https://archives.lib.duke.edu/catalog/joneshenry

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