DNA Testing My Paternal Uncle Uncovered a Number of New Jones Family Ancestors— And I Don’t Know Who They Are.
Oh, the can of worms that a DNA test can open….
Recently, I had a paternal uncle who has the surname of Jones Y-67 marker DNA tested with FamilyTreeDNA.
Looking at his results, I saw that he had two “cousins” who shared the surname Jones and at the 67 marker level had a genetic distance of 0 to him (Genetic Distance is defined at the end of this article). These two persons listed the following two ancestors as Most Distant Ancestors (MDA) for themselves: James William Jones b 12/09/1850 GA and James Jones, d 1823, Franklin Co, NC.
Well, there’s a problem with that: In my family tree of almost 5,000 persons, I didn’t have either of these two Most Distant Ancestors. And this is a paper trail tree that I thought to be fairly well researched and fairly accurate. Even at the Genetic Distance of 3 there were persons listed I wasn’t fully sure of. Like a “cousin” with an MDA of Adam Jones, b 1759 and d 1826, VA and GA. I didn’t recognize this Adam Jones.
Oh dear- DNA doesn’t lie.
Somewhere, somehow we are related to some Joneses that I wasn’t aware of. Even Joneses from Franklin, North Carolina. I didn’t have anyone in my tree closely related to the Jones family listed from Franklin.
Let the games begin.
First, I added the James William Jones b 1850, Georgia and the James Jones who died in 1823 in Franklin Co, North Carolina into my tree as unrelated persons. Doing so allows me to trace their line and, hopefully, eventually connect them to the rest of my tree.
My work on James William Jones ended fairly quickly with a father found of a Thomas Jones but no known parents for said Thomas. Thomas was, as well, from Georgia but could have been from any county, making it virtually difficult to trace his lineage.
On to our “Franklin Co, NC James Jones.” I worked hard and, at first, thought that I had better success with him. I traced him back to John Jones of Isle of Wight, Virginia and even forward in time to the known cousin match. All of MY known Joneses (and I trace from two Jones lines), including a few John Joneses, began their presence in America in Isle of Wight, Virginia. So there’s a start. Just maybe our John Joneses connect (of course, I have almost 20 men named John Jones in my tree, most having lived around Isle of Wight County in the early years of our country). But, then, I realized that my John Joneses DIDN’T connect to the James Jones of Franklin Co, NC. Ugh.
Then, I switched to THIS issue—
On my uncle’s DNA match list, at a Genetic Distance of 3, there is a “cousin” named Rick Jones with an MDA of Adam Jones b 1759 in Amelia, Virginia and d 13 Nov 1826 in Columbia, Co, Georgia. Prior to working on this puzzle, the only Adam Jones that I knowingly directly descended from is an Adam Jones born 1805 in Bulloch Co, Georgia and died 1879, and who married Mary Ann “Polly” Jones (yes, a Jones married a Jones).
The administrator of the account told me in a string of emails that her “Adam Jones is the other Adam Jones who lived in Georgia. He lived in Columbia County, Georgia and was married to Nancy Harrison” and “I haven’t been able to find the parents of my Adam Jones.” Her Adam Jones isn’t the same person as my Adam Jones, though their birth and death dates are similar. She noted, “The two Adam Joneses are different people. Everybody gets them confused since they lived relatively close to each other in Georgia. One was a minister of a Baptist church and the other was a farmer and Justice of Peace.” Her Adam was the farmer and Justice of Peace; my Adam was the Baptist minister. She added, “I have no doubt that the two Adam Joneses are related, but I haven’t researched too much in Virginia, yet, to find their common ancestor.”
Okay, start searching.
I began with adding this new “Adam Jones from Columbia Co, GA m Nancy Harrison” to my tree as an unattached, unrelated person. No luck– I couldn’t find his parents either.
I then started studying the other Adam Joneses in my tree. While doing so, I found that I likely direct descend from a SECOND Adam Jones. I thought the Adam Jones of b1805-d1879 was my only direct ancestor.
It began with researching a Thomas Jones in my tree. I had found that many researchers believe the parents of Thomas Jones, my 4th great grandfather, to be William Jones and Elizabeth Cosby. Definitive proof doesn’t seem to exist that these could be his correct parents. Scouring and studying available records allowed me to feel reasonably confident that this supposed parentage is wrong—that the parents of Thomas Jones are actually the Rev. Adam Jones and, likely, his second of three wives, Susannah Denmark.
So why is the fact that I descend from Rev. Adam Jones important? Because the father of Rev. Adam Jones is believed to be a Benjamin Jones, from Bute County, which is part of the current Franklin County, North Carolina. And Benjamin’s father is very likely, but not proven, to be a John Jones, thought to have died in Surry County, Virginia, the neighboring county to Isle of Wight County, Virginia. All these Joneses are actually beginning to connect. (Note: I must give tremendous credit to John Norvill Jones for his many years of dedication to the study of this family.)
I’m making progress.
That was yesterday’s writings. Here’s today’s update:
Benjamin Jones I believe is the father of my Rev. Adam Jones. Benjamin also had a son named James J. Jones born before 1755 in Granville, North Carolina and died after 1822 (or in 1823) in Franklin, North Carolina. It is THIS James that I am fairly certain is the James Jones of Franklin Co, NC that my uncle has cousin matches with. If this research is correct, then I am definitely making progress in figuring out how my uncle has cousin matches in Franklin County, North Carolina.
Note: A “Genetic Distance” is the number of mutation “steps” between two individuals. A distance of “0” is considered a perfect match; a distance of “1” would be a one-step mutation, etc. So a match between two men who have taken a 67-marker test and who share a common surname means they share a common male ancestor within a very close genealogical time frame. The more mutations, the longer the probable time period since the most recent common ancestor.