|About Jones Family of Sussex County, VA
"The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are." ~Maya Angelou
This site is lovingly dedicated to all of the descendants and family connections of MAJOR JONES and his wife, VIOLET
CHAMBLISS, of Sussex County, Virginia. Putting together this information accurately is challenging and it this will always be a
work in progress.
Visit here often to look for changes and updates. And if you know of information not yet included or in need of corrections,
please supply those updates to me. I will be so grateful! AND SHARE YOUR OLD & NEW PHOTOS!!! Send them to me and I
will add them to our family site. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Little Background...
I became curious about ancestor research over twenty-five years ago when I read a newspaper announcement that the 1920
Federal Census was to be released to the public in April 1992. Census records remain private by law for 72 years, and one is
released every ten years. The next release will be the 1950 Census in 2022.
Over the years I traveled to courthouses, traipsed through (sometimes hard to access) cemeteries, talked with family members
- several who are no longer living, perused records at libraries, archives, and historical societies. Getting beyond the "wall" of
the 1870 Census - the first census that included formerly enslaved people in records with surnames - has been the most
exciting part of this research. It has resulted in identifying three generations of the Jones family that were slaves, starting in
the late 1700s.
My 2x great-grandfather, Berry Jones, Sr, (everyone on this site descends from him) was born enslaved yet purchased 100
acres of land from his former owner's estate (William Oliver Chambliss) in December 1874 - less than a decade
after slavery officially ended. I believe this was Berry's effort to provide a legacy for his family. The 1880 U.S. Federal Census
documents Berry, his wife Priscilla, all of their surviving sons with their wives and children, and the widow of his deceased
son, Charles, and their children living on that property. All of the adults had been born in slavery. Our children need to know
about this part of their heritage.
Not knowing about our history and the ongoing births, deaths, marriages, etc. happens when family is spread out over the
world. Connections can become weak. My hope to keep our family strongly connected - and maybe an occasional reunion will