A Jones Family History
the first three hundred years (1700-2000)

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Francis III and Sarah Jane Jones - the 3rd Generation

The Quaker Migration Out of Pennsylvania and South
 to North Carolina and Then Into Georgia

The First Cousins

The Society of Friends did not accept marriage between first cousins, but Francis Jones III (son of Francis Jones II) and Sarah Jane Jones (daughter of Henry Jones) did marry “out of the unity of Friends” and were disowned from their Quaker Monthly Meeting for it.  Their families supported them, however, in appealing to be reinstated and they were accepted back in 1751 after submitting a letter of repentance (see right column).  "Repentance" in this context was not a repudiation of their union, but an apology for marrying outside of the Meeting without approval. As long as they could show that they continued to live a devout Quaker life in all other aspects they could be reinstated.

An early Death and a Lost Inheritance in Pennsylvani
By 1745, Francis and Rachel Jones had both passed away, and their eldest son Samuel, with Hannah and their growing family, had prospered and were well established at Sadsbury MM, Lancaster County.  Their third son, Henry, had eventually prospered and remarried, moving to the Londongrove MM where his new wife held extensive land and social position. 


Unfortunately, the middle brother, Francis II, had died young, leaving eight children and a wife who soon remarried and moved to the Jerseys.  His third son and namesake, Francis III, was 14 at the time of his father’s death.  His two older brothers received the bulk of the land and property, so Francis III inherited only 50 acres at Gapp Creek[4]

We know from published histories of the region known as The Gap PA, the inn built by Francis and Samuel Jones (which later became Gapp Plantation and is now called White Chimneys[2]), and the history of Old Chester County PA[3], that available land was becoming scarce and expensive, and that the Jones family lost the inn and most of their other land in Chester County some time after Francis II's death.  Lease disputes were common so the land may have been lost that way, or the property listed in his will had to be sold in order to support his eight orphan children.


If I were going to speculate here, I would imagine that Francis III came under the guidance of his Uncle Henry. In fact, ten years later he married Sarah Jane Jones, Henry’s daughter by his second wife.  Henry may have settled some money on the newlyweds, but both his land and his wife’s land where spoken for by the many half- and step-siblings.  The couple lived for a time in Baltimore County, Maryland, but did not settle. 


They were prime candidates to emulate their grandparents and become pioneers.


 Why go to North Carolina?

 The Quaker immigration had undoubtedly achieved wealth and prosperity in Pennsylvania which, paradoxically, created problems within their faith. Many of the wealthier Quakers were falling away from their faith to enjoy their rising prosperity and join in civil affairs and more worldly pursuits.  There is little doubt that the conflict between a wealthy and cosmopolitan lifestyle and the traditional simple style of living of the Quakers contributed to the pressure to migrate away from Pennsylvania, especially among devout young couples with little or no land and growing families

Another contributing factor was the rapid increase in non-Quaker immigrants (mostly German) to Pennsylvania which was diluting Quaker influence and the plain way of life.

The last factor was purely economic; a fifty- acre farm in Lancaster County PA would have cost 7 pounds 10 shillings in 1750. In the Granville District of North Carolina, which comprised the upper half of the state, five shillings would buy 100 acres.


By 1755, Francis III and Sarah Jane were married with two children (they had lost a third) and were associated with Nottingham MM, PA, of which Deer Creek MM (MD) was a part. Those records show that Francis Jones and wife received a certificate to Cane Creek, North Carolina MM 28 Sept 1755.

The Quaker Settlement at Cane Creek, Orange County NC

 Cane Creek MM had been established in 1751 in the Piedmont District of North Carolina (today Almance County near the VA state line). Cane Creek was located fourteen miles south of today's town of Graham, Almance Co., NC. 


The founder of this Quaker settlement, Joseph Maddock (1720-1794), was born at Brandywine Creek, New Castle Co DEL (then part of the Pennsylvania Territory) of parents Nathan and Hester Maddox from Chester Shire, England.  He married Rachel Dennis in 1742 in Camden Co NJ (also part of the Pennsylvania Territory) and settled for a time in Chester Co. PA, near Philadelphia, where Joseph was a magistrate.


In 1754, Joseph and his wife and their two daughters moved to NC and were received into the Cane Creek MM.  He settled his family ten or fifteen miles northeast of Cane Creek on the Eno River near today's Hillsboro in Orange County. He built a grist mill on the Eno River.


Joseph Maddock (also spelled Maddox), who had become an influential Quaker leader, was five years older than Francis III, and they most likely would have been known to one another since their fathers and uncles had been closely associated in Chester County PA. 


No doubt influenced by Maddock, in 1754 Francis Jones III and his wife Sarah Jane and their two young children moved from Chester Co PA to South Carolina and were also received into the Cane Creek MM.  


There is good reason to believe that John Jones, the eldest brother of Francis III  was also was part of the community led by Joseph Maddock. Both Jones families were part of a group of Quaker families led by Maddock that shared the common goal of creating a new settlement in North Carolina where they could live a Quaker life undisturbed.


They would have traveled in a group by horse and cart, on foot and on horseback along the Great Pennsylvania Wagon Road, or “The Old Wagon Road”, as it was called, the road from Pennsylvania, down through the Shenandoah Valley of future Virginia, to the eastern side of North Carolina.[1]


Over the ensuing years the Maddock/Maddox and Jones families apparently found much in common. Quaker families usually formed alliances through marriage to consolidate their beliefs as well as their land rights and property. Twenty years later, in 1774, Francis’ eldest daughter Rachel was married to Maddock’s son Samuel.

Why leave Cane Creek NC to settle in Georgia?

To better understand the migration of this branch of the Quaker Jones Family from Cane Creek, North Carolina, further south to Wrightsboro, GA, after less than fifteen years, we need to consult historical records documenting the activities of two famous Quaker leaders - Joseph Maddock (Maddox) and Herman Husband - and a famous Quaker religious dispute which took place at Cane Creek: the “Rachel Wright Affair”.  Francis Jones III was closely associated with all three.


The “Rachel Wright Affair” at Cane Creek MM 1762-67

Rachel Wright (1719-1771) was a widow and respected mother and a devout Quaker minister and prominent member of the Cane Creek MM.  In 1762 she was deemed “guilty of some disorders” but offered a letter of condemnation (repentance) which was accepted.  Her later request for a certificate of removal (COR) to Bush River MM SC was denied, and the resulting debates and appeals to the Quarterly and Yearly Meetings became a cause celebre.

The significance of the Rachel Wright affair was not really about her personally but championing her was the flash point which divided the members of Cane Creek MM over the real issue of how the Quaker community should react towards the unfair taxation being demanded from the Quaker and non-Quaker communities by the English governor of North Carolina and the increasing anti-English activities of the non-Quaker settlers who had become a majority in the area.

There were clear signs of the coming revolution and inevitable war, and Quaker religious principles and beliefs placed them in opposition to both sides of the conflict.

The best example of the tragic results of this conflict of religious beliefs and politics was Herman Husbands, a wealthy Quaker landowner known to be honest and just. Husbands became one of the natural leaders in the rebellious movement known as the Regulation, a citizens’ protest against unjust taxation by the local British-appointed Colonial government. Although strong in his Quaker anti-war beliefs he was outraged by the unjust burden of taxes and levies which were being used for luxuries and the creation of a “royal court” at Newburn by the ambitious governor. 

Husbands had supported Rachel Wright, and his faction included Joseph Maddock (and by association,  Francis Jones and his brother John), Isaac Vernon, Thomas Brandon, John and William Marshill, and William Sell, who were condemned by the Cane Creek MM and expelled for “maintaining views contrary to the wholesome rules of discipline established in the wisdom of Truth among us”.

Over the next four years Husbands became a prominent agitator against unfair taxation levied by the English Governor Tyron.   The ultimate test of his Quaker faith came on the eve of the Battle of Almance in 1771 when Husbands declined to take up arms and left North Carolina for Pennsylvania, abandoning his farms and extensive property which were burned or confiscated by the British.  Both the Royal Governor and the conservative Quaker community found Herman Husbands to be a convenient scapegoat. He was considered a Rebel by one and a war monger by the other, although neither was the truth.

The Cane Creek MM community opposed the war-like rebellious activities of the Regulation Movement, condemning members for even associating with activists, but at the same time they also protested unfair taxation and the efforts of the English government to recruit their support for the Royalist actions against the Rebels which ran against their anti-war beliefs. [2]


The Cane Creek affair was an early demonstration of the dilemma faced by devote Quakers. Protesting unfair taxation and prejudicial treatment under the civil rule of local colonial governors appointed by the British Crown while still adamantly maintaining their loyalty to the Crown was the tragic conflict that would repeat itself again and again as the American colonies chaffed under the tyranny of distant rule and moved towards revolution.  The Quakers remained loyal to the Crown but protested the corruption of British laws in the colonies as being against their rights as British citizens.  This standing would earn them enemies among both the British and the emerging Rebels. 

Add to this the Quaker’s non-violent beliefs and their adamant refusal to engage in any kind of armed struggle to back up their protests further alienated them from both Loyalist movements and from Rebel movements.

The reaction of the Quaker community was generally to close ranks and seek new opportunities in more remote territories where they could start over and isolate themselves from outside influences. They found it in Georgia.

The Quaker Settlement at Wrightsboro, Georgia

When in late 1767 and early 1768, Quaker leader Joseph Maddock/Maddox led about 70 Quaker families away from the revolutionary politics of North Carolina to a new land grant in Wrightsboro, Georgia, the extended Jones Family (now with 8 children plus Francis’ brother John and his family) was among the group.

A good friend of Maddox, Joseph Stubbs (also connected to our Jones family; a younger daughter of Francis Jones III, Mary, was later, in 1791, married to Samuel Stubbs, a grandson of Joseph Stubbs), had presented to Georgia Governor, James Wright, a petition of "Sundry families at present residents in Orange County in the Provence of North Carolina but lately from Pennsylvania," requesting a reserve of land for the Quakers. As a result, 12,000 acres were reserved for them, and five months later another 12,000 acres. The head of a family could be granted 200 acres, plus 50 acres for his wife and 50 acres for each child.  Joseph Maddox and his family settled at Sweetwater on the north fork of Briar Creek, Wrightsborough Twp. and Joseph built another grist mill in 1768. Joseph also bought Lot #66 in the town of Wrightsorough on July 3, 1770. The Francis Jones and John Jones families settled nearby.

The Wrightsboro land grant (the township and town included all of today's McDuffie County and portions of Warren Co and Columbia Co GA) was for a few short years a vital and thriving Quaker community. 

Tragically for the Quakers, Wrightsboro was doomed almost from the start by the very principles that had driven the Friends out of PA and later out of NC:  accepting freedom of religion for all, refusal to bear arms or pledge allegiance to any authority, a conciliatory attitude towards the Indians, and being actively against slavery. 

The Quakers strong commitment to freedom of religion meant that they welcomed settlers of every background and belief to join them in Wrightsboro, until the Quakers became a minority community.  The Quakers strong commitment to pacifism and probation against even swearing oaths of allegiance to any government or group meant that when the American Revolution came to Georgia, as it inevitably did, they were caught squarely between the English and the Rebels.

To add to their woes, the Quaker’s non-violent and pacifist approach to the local Indian tribes (whose land had been appropriated by the British in so-called treaties and re-distributed under land grants to new settlers) meant that they were fair game for roving bands of Indians who regularly raided their farms and stole horses and stores, occasionally killing settlers and scalping them and kidnapping their children. 

Wrightsboro and nearby Augusta GA were battlegrounds during the American Revolution and Quaker farmers were taxed, burnt out, driven out and murdered by military and non-military armed groups fighting on both sides of the conflict.

The American Revolution was fought on many fronts both before and following the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 1780 all of Georgia and most of South Carolina was restored to the British. But in 1781, it was returned to American rule. That same year, another band of guerrillas killed and plundered anyone not fighting for the American side. In March 1781, Joseph Maddock's plantation and mill were burned by the raiders. By late spring of 1781, the raiders had killed thirty-five settlers, including eleven in their sleep.

 By 1779, Francis III and his wife, Sarah Jane, had 13 children (two had died in infancy); the youngest, Newton, only a year old and the eldest, Rachel 23, now married to Joseph Maddock’s son, Samuel. Francis Jones III was 54, and his brother John Jones was a few years older.  They had both come to Wrightsboro GA in 1767/68 with their families from Cane Creek MM, Almance Co (Piedmont District) NC - and prior to that from Chester Co PA - with Joseph Maddock/Maddox, and were kinsmen along with other prominent Quaker families:  Stubbs, Coates, Mote et al.

The murder of thirty five settlers in this relatively small community must have come as a shattering realization that if they were to survive as Quakers the entire community must abandon Wrightsboro and migrate further west to a wilderness remote enough to ensure their isolation.

Maddox had been ruined and he and about a quarter of the Quakers from Wrightsboro were moved to Savannah GA under the protection of the British Crown and Governor Wright. They suffered food shortages, severe weather and disease during this time, and appealed to and received financial assistance from the London Society of Friends (the source of the detailed historical record of the migration of this group of Quakers from PA to NC to GA).

When Savannah GA was abandoned by the British in 1782, the Quakers were allowed to return to Wrightsboro to gather whatever possessions had survived the war and try to carry on. 

Post-war Wrightsboro experienced an influx of non-Quaker settlers and a move towards plantation-style farming of cotton which meant a huge increase in slavery.  Another basic principle of Quakerism was to be actively against owning or trading in human beings.

So a general exodus of Quakers began once again, this one led by the sons and daughters of Maddox, Jones, Stubbs , Coates, Mote and the other families that had come from PA to NC to GA. This time they headed for Tennessee and Ohio. Joseph Maddox remained behind and died in poverty on April 9, 1794. The exodus was complete by 1805 and no Quakers were left in Wrightsboro (by then the name was changed to Wrightsborough). The town remained in existence until the 1920s when it was ruined by the Civil War and later bypassed by the railroads.

In 1805, Samuel Jones, the third child and by now eldest son of Francis Jones III and Sarah Jane (their eldest son Francis IV had died in 1783 at age 30 leaving a widow Rachel Mote Jones and several children), led 40 Quaker families in wagons, on horseback and on foot to Ohio. 

Sarah Jane had died in 1801 at Wrightsborough, but Francis Jones III, now 80, was carried in a Conestoga wagon through Creek Indian territory and the wilderness trails to the newly declared anti-slavery state of Ohio.

Thus began in Ohio the fourth “new beginning” of the Quaker Jones Family.

[1] http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/MigrStories.html

[[3] http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mygermanfamilies/MigrStories.html

The offspring of Francis III and Sarah Jane Jones Jones:


Sarah                                                   1751 -

Rachel Jones Maddocks         25 Mar 1752 – 18 Aug 1806 (m. Samuel Maddocks)

Francis IV                                20 Oct 1753 – 17 Mar 1783 (m. Rachel Mote)

*Samuel                                   08 Mar 1755 – 24 Dec 1836 (m. Mary Mote)

Henry                                       22 Oct 1756 – 18 Feb 1838

John                                         24 Dec 1858 – 10 July 1781

Hannah Jones Guest               09 Oct 1760 – 31 Mar 1832 (m. James Baker Guest)

Thomas                                   16 Mar 1762 – 27 Sept 1785

Jane Jones Stubbs                  22 June 1764 - 1842 (m. John Stubbs)

Eleanor Jones Stubbs             19 Dec 1766 - 1787 (m. Nathan Stubbs)

Sarah                                       23 Jun 1767 –

Joseph                                     25 Apr 1769 - 1792 (m. Mary Taylor)

Mary Jones Stubbs                  05 Feb 1771 – 02 Mar 1842 (m. Samuel Stubbs)

Deborah                                   07 May 1773 – 14 Sept 1848

Newton                                    10 Feb 1778 – 16 Mar 1814 (m. Ann Mote)

                                                                                                                (*direct ancestor)

The next page profiles Francis III & Sarah Jane's son, Samuel (our direct Jones ancestor)