"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 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 correction, please supply those updates to me. I will be so grateful! AND PLEASE SHARE YOUR PHOTOS - OLD & NEW!!! Send them to me and I will add them to our family site. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
A Little Background...
I became curious about ancestor research thirty 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 1950 Census was released in April 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 happen!