Jones brothers were among earliest settlers in county

Published 2:06 am Saturday, September 30, 2017

An interesting discussion with Wyley D. Ward, noted local historian and genealogist, helped this writer become more familiar with some of the earliest settlers of Covington County, namely the Jones and Carter families. It is also significant that members of these families intermarried, which resulted in a very large kinship among them.

The above information along with a family story written by S. Jones, a Carter and Jones descendant, led to today’s narrative. S. Jones’s article was compiled and published in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama, which was printed in 2003. A copy of this book is available in the major library of each county in the State of Alabama. It contains considerable local history of said county including the topics of county history, communities and towns, churches and cemeteries, education and schools, business and industry, military services, clubs and organizations, lifestyles and memories, recreation and leisure sites, heritage homes and historic buildings, about 450 family stories, and tributes and memorials.

Two Jones brothers, James and Thomas, are the primary subjects of this writing. According to they were sons of Benjamin O. Jones (1765-1812) and Tabitha Fowler (1773-1815). Benjamin was born in Granville County, N.C., and died in Jackson County, Ga. He was the son of Thomas Jones (1744-1803) and Mary Meacham (1744-1811). Thomas was born in Amelia County, Va., and died in Jackson County, Ga.

The brothers, James and Thomas Jones, migrated with their own and other Jones and Carter families from Hancock County, Ga. Around 1821, the year in which Covington County, Ala., was formed, James was among the prominent pioneers who were settling along the west side of the Sepulga River near the developing village of Brooklyn, which was in the edge of Conecuh County. However, he soon moved into Covington County and settled near the Heath community. In December1823 he acquired 80.65 acres of land which was assigned to the Gantt Township. He was undoubtedly a successful farmer and owned two slaves in 1830. He died later that year and left his wife a young widow with several children.

James Jones who was born circa 1794 was married in 1818 in Hancock County, Ga., to Sarah R. Carter (1799-1860), daughter of Jesse Carter. They became the parents of the following children: John Wright, b. 1818, d. 1903, m. Eliza Caroline Dauphin (1823-1905); Martha, b. 1821, m. Thomas Robbins; Sarah, b. 1823, m. S.L.B. Jeffers; Elizabeth, b. 1825; William C., b. 1826, d. 1862, m. Nancy Elizabeth Dauphin; Samuel T., b. 1829, d. 1864, m. Narcissa Garrett; and Mary, b. 1829, m. Jonathan Carter.

Following James’s death in 1830, his widow, Sarah (Carter) was married to his brother, Thomas Jones, circa 1831. Thomas was born circa 1795 in Hancock County, Ga., same as his brother. There is a record of Thomas being in Covington County, Ala., in 1831 when he signed the letter to Governor Samuel B. Moore, requesting that Vining Howard be appointed as sheriff of the county. In 1836, he purchased 76.86 acres of land assigned to the Rawls Township. In 1851, he added another 38.43 acres to his property. Then in 1854, he acquired two additional tracts of 40.25 acres each in the Gantt Township.

Thomas would have helped rear his deceased brother’s children. He and Sarah were the parents of at least six others: Sarah Ann, b. 1832, d. 1900, m. 1857 Enos Harrelson; Martha Ann, b. ca 1835, m. John Jackson Dauphin; Nancy, b. ca 1836; Luanna A., b. ca 1837, m. ca 1857 William C. Bradley; Thomas M., b. 1842; and Wright B., b. 1846, d. 1909, m. 1866 Easter Adeline Bradley. The burial site of James is not known, but it is believed that Thomas and Sarah were buried in the historic Carter Cemetery, which is located in the Coldwater community.

James and Sarah’s oldest son, John Wright Jones, was married to Eliza Caroline Dauphin, daughter of James Dauphin and Matilda Mashburn. They were the parents of the following children: James Madison, b. 1842, d. 1933; Matilda Ann, b. 1845, d. 1869; H.W., b. 1862, m. Jinicia ?; and Eliza Caroline, b. 1866, d. 1954.

The oldest child of Thomas and Sarah was Sarah Ann or Catherine Jones who was married in 1856 to Enos Harrelson, son of Jonathan J. Harrelson Sr. and Mourning Bryan. They were the parents of the following children: Thomas H., b. 1857, d. 1925; Enos, b. 1858, d. 1944; Mary Joyce, b. 1860, e. 1945; and Charles Wright, b. 1862, d. 1946.

Enos Harrelson had been married earlier to Mary Grimes Bradley (1826-1856). In 1855, the year before Mary’s death, Enos purchased two tracts of land, 153.02 and 38.26 acres each, in the Gantt Township. Mary’s death in 1856 left him with five young children, so he was soon married to Sarah Catherine Jones as stated in the previous paragraph. After they had four children of their own, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served as a private in Company E, 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment. Tragically, he was injured during the Battle of Vicksburg and died about a month later. He and Sarah Ann were buried in the Feagin cemetery, which is located near Rose Hill and west of Hwy 43 in Covington County.

The next child, Martha Ann Jones, was married to John Jackson Dauphine (1828-1864), son of James D. Dauphin and Matilda Mashburn. They had at least the following two children: George W., b. 1859, d. 1901; and Andrew Jackson, b. 1863, d. 1938. Both of these sons moved to Texas circa 1890. James D. served in the Confederate Army in the same unit, Company E, 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment, that his brother-in-law, Enos Harrelson, did. He died in 1964 while in service and was buried in the Lauderdale Springs Confederate Cemetery in Lauderdale, Miss.

The fourth child, Luanna A. Jones, was married circa 1857 to William Carroll Bradley, son of William Carroll Bradley Sr. (1793-1870) and Martha Dauphin (1804-1890). They were the parents of the following children: William J., b.&d. 1859; Mary, b.&d. 1864; Sarah Ann, b. 1859; Martha Elizabeth, b. 1865, d. 1933, m. William Riley Young (1855-1913); Reubin W., b. 1869, d. 1921, m. Francis ?; Allen Francis, b. 1870, d. 1944, m. Deborah Gertrude Elliot; and Christopher Columbus, b. 1873, d. 1892. Some family trees on show variations on Luanna’s children.

The youngest child, Wright S. Jones, was married in 1866 to Easter Adeline Bradley (1851-1932). They were the parents of the following children: Sarah Pamela, b. 1868, d. 1919, m. Robert M. Stricklin; Ivy Lavina, b. 1869, d. 1930, m. William Elbert Davis; Adeline Martha Malonie “Lonie,” b. 1871, d. 1949, m. William A. Taylor; Emma Delilah, b. 1877, d. 1951, m. Malachi Dozier Wells; Francis Marion, b. 1878, d. 1957, m. (1) Reuben Bradley (2) Wesley Smith; Hillary Washington, b. 1879, d. 1955, m. Barbara Aletha Connell; Luanna Lee, b. 1881, d. 1960, m. J. Canty Bryan Sr.; John Thomas, b. 1883, d. 1903, single; Daniel Dozier, b. 1886, d. 1961, m. Rosa Wilkerson; Mary Melissa, b. 1888, d. 1966, m. Henry Hollis Bailey; Lyla Kate, b. 1891, d. 1918, m. J. Seth Stewart; Alma Wright, b. 1894, d. 1923, m. Mattie Lucy Coleman; and Lovie Irene, b. 1897, d. 1986, m. John Henry Worley.

There are still quite a few descendants of these families who reside in Covington County. As mentioned earlier, the Jones and Carter relationships are very numerous.

Sources for this story include, the family story by S. Jones published in The Heritage History of Covington County, Alabama, and Wyley D. Ward’s Original Land Sales and Grants in Covington County, Alabama.

Anyone who might find an error in the above is requested to contact this writer, Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-804-1442; or Email:



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 5, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library. Hank Roberts will present an informative program. Guests and prospective members are encouraged to attend.