Thursday, March 17, 2016

Stephen Jones 1787 - 1818


Stephen Jones Log Cabin in Turkey Cove near Big Stone Gap, Virginia
Article written by Eula Clarkston which appeared in the Powell Valley News in July of 1989.

By:  Eula Clarkston

             The log houses or cabins built in the years of early 1800's are here no longer.  But the log house pictured at right still has many memories.  It was located in Turkey Cove, now called Seminary, about seven miles south from Big Stone Gap in Lee County.
This log cabin was located near Big Stone Gap.
             The name Riddle seems to have the modern origin in Scotland dating back to about the tenth century.  Many came to America while others went to Holland and soon came to America and then to North Carolina.
            Our great grandfather, John Riddle, was born April 22, 1813 in Stokes County, N.C., later came to Turkey Cove in Lee County and lived on a farm.
            Steven Jones, born February 2, 1787 in Grayson County, Va., married about 1807-08 Mary (Polly) Parsons in Grayson County.  She was born in Rowan County, N.C. in 1793.
            They came to Lee County sometime prior to 1813, and settled in Turkey Cove where on April 27, 1813, Steven purchased 200 acres of land.
            Steven Jones built the log house on his land.  The first Post Office in Lee County was in a smaller house near the cabin.  Jonathan Wyatt was one of the mail carriers.  He married Dorthula Reasor.
            There were eight children in the Steven Jones family and their daughter, Arrena Jones, married John Riddle about 1839.  They had seven children and their youngest son, James William Belt Riddle, was born in 1855, on the Jones farm.  He was my grandfather.
            James married Sina Catherine Asbury, daughter of Joseph Asbury and Julia Brooks Asbury.  They resided at the log house and had 14 children.
            The log house was a nice place to live.  It was built in two  sections with upstairs and two large fireplaces to give heat in the winter time.
            Their oldest son, Hollis, born February 13, 1874, left the Cove when he was about 18 years old and went to Cincinnati & Dayton, Ohio and Springfield, Massachusetts.  He married Edith Cummings.  Hollis stayed in New England the rest of his life.
            I remember seeing uncle Hollis when he returned to attend the funeral of his mother, Sina Riddle, in 1940.  At that time he was living in Boston.  It was his request to be brought back at his death and have his funeral at the Seminary Church and be buried in an oak casket in the Jones Cemetery.
            Dorthula Emma Riddle was born at the log house.  She married John Jackson Clarkston.  They made their home at Keokee.  She was our mother.
            Mack Riddle thinks his father, James Sebastian Riddle, was also born in the log house.  He married Floy Carmack who died while they lived in Appalachia.  The Riddle family moved to Kingsport where J. S. Riddle married a second wife, Nannie Taylor.
            Mary Lee Riddle married Walter Felts and they lived in Big Stone Gap.
            Sallie Riddle married Lee Barker of Keokee and they remembered living in the log house.  I can't find out how many years the family lived there or who was born there.  But the Riddle family did live in Olinger for awhile.  A baby Son, Prichard, died while still an infant.
            Their son, John Riddle, Married Martha Herron.  They lived at Inman, and later moved near Olinger.
            Travis Critton (Tray) married Mary Marcum.  They lived at the Cove, also Keokee, Roda, and Kingsport.
            Melissa Bernice (Nackey) Riddle married Will Yeary and they settled in Coeburn.  Minnie Riddle married Charles Artrip and they lived at Big Stone Gap.
            Frankie Riddle married Steve Henley.  They lived at Imboden, and Keokee, later moving to Kingsport.  Blanche Riddle, the youngest daughter, married Palmer Cooper and lived in Keokee.
            While James and Sina Riddle were still living in Turkey Cove, they decided to move to Greenville, Texas.  Their daughter, Aerena Valeria (Sis) Riddle was the best girlfriend of Charlie Cox.  They thought it was a long ways to Texas.  They saddled up the old gray mare and trotted down the rocky road looking for a preacher.  Soon they came to Preacher James Parsons' old house and asked to be married.  It'll cost you one dollar the old Baptist preacher replied.  So they gave him the dollar and were married.  That was in November 1897.  After leaving Keokee, they made their home in Bristol.
            The Riddle family soon packed their belongings and headed for Texas on the train.  Hollie, Sis, John, and "Nackey" did not go.  It was a great experience for them.  They faced many hardships.  Their youngest son, Charles Carr Riddle, was born in Texas.  They returned to Virginia after three years.  They resided in Olinger for awhile and later moved to Mohawk, to Keokee in 1915.  Grandfather, James Riddle, helped to build the first houses in Keokee about 1905.
            Through the years, various families have lived in the log house at Turkey Cove.  Jonathan Wyatt and family lived there.  He was the grandfather of Mabel Barker Halstead who presently loved on the Wyatt farm at Turkey Cove.  Her mother was Josie Wyatt who married Crit Barker.  Jonathan M. Wyatt married Dorthula Reasor about the year 1875.
            Steven Jones, who built the log house, continued to purchase acres of land in Turkey Cove.  At the time of his death, he was one of the largest land owners there.  His estate was divided among his several heirs.
            My sister, the late Iva Clarkston, made a picture of the log house where our mother, Darthulia Riddle Clarkston, was born.  She always talked about her days spent there when we passed the log building.  Iva made the picture about 1968.
            Roxie and Ross Wyatt lived on the farm many years.  Roxie died before Ross who passed away May 28, 1978.  He is the uncle of Mabel Barker Halstead
            Their niece said that Ross told her that a man from North Carolina kept wanting to buy the log house on several occasions.  Finally, he sold him the log house and it was dismantled and torn down and taken to North Carolina and rebuilt for a tourist cabin.
            It is now gone from Turkey Cove, but not forgotten, and memories linger on.


Hey Kent,

I know it's been forever, you may not even remember me.  You sent me an amazing binder filled with information a couple of years ago that was so helpful.  Anyway,

I believe I have found the family evidence beyond Jones Jones 1813 and Abby Livesay!!!

Attached are two DNA tests that I believe, in and of themselves are pretty conclusive, but here's what my research has shown me beyond that....

I believe my greatx3 grandfather John Jones was the eighth child born in 1813 to Stephen Jones and Mary Polly Parsons, in the Census reports it is evident that he was was born in a county that cradled the border of Virginia and North Carolina due to the fact he lists VA and NC interchangeably on various census reports. The boundaries of Lee County Virginia are such a location.

There is a Stephen Jones that was married to Mary Polly Parsons and they lived in Lee County and had eight children, only seven of which are known.  (see attached document)

In the 1850 and 1860 censuses he has a Mary or Polly listed as his mother living with him who is also listed as being from Virginia.  Her age matches perfectly with Mary Polly Parsons who was married to Stephen Jones.

John Jones 1813 named one of his sons William Alfred, and then one of his grandsons were named him William Alfred.  His sister Sarah (Stephen Jones daughter) who was born one year before him in 1812, married a William Alfred and they named their son William Alfred, Jr.  The name William Alfred is actually not a common name in the Jones Family line, these are the only two sets that I have found.

Our family verbal history from Delbert Jones stated that John's dad died young, which lines up with Stephen Jones dying young in 1818 at the age of 31 and only five years after John Jones was born, which explains why he probably didn't know much about his dad and may have left home early to make his fortune in TN. 

And being the oldest son, it makes sense that his mother Mary would have gone to live with him after her husband Stephen died.  John was a farmer and all his sons were orchard growers.  Document (attached) states that Stephen was a very successful orchard grower. 

I have not found actual evidence (paper) documentation connecting John Jones to Stephen Jones.  I am in the process of finding it.  But in all my research I continue to find similarities and correlations, including plausible timeline associations, geographical proximities, etc.  I am more certain that ever before that Stephen Jones is John's father.

But receiving two DNA tests that conclusively connect me to Stephen's family line is huge!

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you.  I also wanted to find out who would be the best connection with the Jones' in Overton County who used to have these reunions together years ago?  Do you have any way that I could contact them?

Blessings R. Jones