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Thomas B. Wood and Cherry (Jones) Wood - Virginia and Ohio?

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Thomas B. Wood and Cherry (Jones) Wood - Virginia and Ohio?

Posted: 1363019521000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Wood, Jones
This is a long message, my apologies. It is worth reading though if you have Thomas B. Wood in your family tree.

There are 75+ profiles of Thomas B. Wood (1783-1850) and Cherry Jones (1783-1855) on Ancestry. They married in Southampton, Virginia on 2 February 1803. They were part of a group of 50 people who migrated from Southampton in 1807 to Salem (Columbiana County), Ohio and they settled in Lexington Township in Stark County, Ohio - where they had a large family with numerous descendants (thus the 75+ profiles on Ancestry).

I have found that every one of the profiles of Cherry (Jones) Wood seems to be based on family histories of the Wood family - which were based on the testimony of a descendant named David Wood Ault. This short passage from a 1987 family history of the Hamlin family (written by Mary Poor Hoffer)contains the basic details:

"CHERRY JONES. Cherry was born the 19th of February, 1783, in England. She emigrated to America, landing in New York, the 15th of April, 1796, at the age of thirteen. Cherry's parents became wealthy landowners and had many slaves. Cherry's mother died while Cherry was a teenager and Cherry's father remarried. The stepmother and Cherry did not get along well; so Cherry was disinherited. Then Thomas and Cherry decided to move to Ohio."

Based on several of the documents I examined, this account of the origins of Cherry Jones is actually almost pure fiction.

First - looking at the 1850 Census record of Cherry Wood (spelled Chery Wood in the record), she is listed as having been born in Virginia (i.e., not England):

Second - her father is listed as "Jordan Jones" in several of the profiles, and his birth and death dates are often listed as 1732-1784 (or as is described above, her father disinherited Cherry). But - if you look at the 1803 marriage record for Thomas B. Wood and Cherry Jones, Jordan Jones put up the surety for their marriage bond:

You can clearly see Jordan Jones as the surety on the original record, which was transcribed in the Southampton, Virginia records that are available at this site:

Third, in every account of the 1807 emigration from Southampton to Ohio, we see that the family of Thomas B. Wood was joined by several other families, including the Hamlins, Jesse Felts, Joseph Sebrell and Jordan Jones.

Curiously, I have not seen the fact that a Jordan Jones and family were of the 50 person party highlighted in any of the 75 profiles of Cherry Jones.

Furthermore, if you check the wills in the Southampton records linked above, you find a 13 August 1787 will of James Jones, which contains the following passage:

"I give the use of all the remainder of my estate to my wife Lucy during her widowheed & afterward to be equally divided amongst my following children, namely: James Jones, Jordan Jones, Anselm Jones, Lucy West, Molly Kitchen and Rebekah Sebrell by being set to the highest bidder amongst themselves."

There is a marriage record showing that Rebecca Jones married Joseph Sebrell in nearby Surry County, Virginia in 1786. This at least suggests that Rebecca Sebrell is the sister of the Jordan Jones who was part of the 50 who emigrated in 1807 (and - there is a marriage record for Jordan Jones and Sally Johnston in Southampton on 26 September 1781 in which Anselm Jones put up the surety).

Lastly, the will of Jordan Jones (who died in Salem Township, Columbiana County with a will dated 3 November 1823) lists his daughter as "Cherry Woods" and appoints his son-in-law, "Thomas Woods" as the executor of his will. I have attached an image of the will to this message.

So - if we put these documents together, there seems to be fairly convincing evidence here that Cherry (Jones) Wood was the daughter of the Jordan Jones who emigrated from Southampton to Ohio in 1807 and the niece of the Rebecca (Jones) Sebrell who was also part of the 1807 group.

And, conversely, there is no evidence in these documents to support David Wood Ault's account of Cherry Jones being born in England, emigrating to New York City and then on to Southampton County, Virginia. Honestly, when you consider these details in comparison with what is in the actual records, this seems to be yet another case of a family member who invented details in a family history.

My final point is that I am not making this assertion to show up David Wood Ault's family history (which is invaluable in many other ways). Instead, I am really interested in the family of James Jones of Southampton, Virginia (James Jones, Jordan Jones, Anselm Jones, Lucy West, Molly Kitchen and Rebecca Sebrell) and would welcome any further discussion of how/why Jordan and family and Rebecca and family left the families of their siblings in Southampton.

I have not proven that my ancestor (John H. Jones, 1806-1878) is related to the family of James Jones, but there are a number of details that have led me to look at them as possible ancestors of mine.

Thanks! I am going to post this to several boards on Ancestry and Genforum.

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