Slave Names Mentioned in Jones County Wills

Thanks to the work of a volunteer contributor, we now have on the site a list of slave names mentioned in Jones County wills from 1778-1868.   The wills were abstracted by Zae Hargett Gwynn and published in 1998 in what is now a very important reference work for Jones County researchers.

The list has been added to our African-American Resources page and you can view it directly here.

New Cemetery Link: Banks Cemetery

Thanks to fellow researcher Richard Phillips for sharing cemetery photos he took on a recent trip through Jones County.  Near 10 Mile Fork Rd and Ben Banks Rd he saw tombstones in the distance and decided to take a look.   I’ve added a link to his blog post from the Cemeteries page.   You can read more here.

Graveyard of Capt. Michael Koonce

Yours truly researchers the Koonce families of Jones and surrounding counties.  Many Koonce researchers are either descended from or are interested in, Capt. Michael Koonce and his family.

Researcher & Koonce descendant, Claude Thomas Hardison Jr. recently visited the area for the 300th Celebration in Craven County and sought out the gravesite of the family.

cluster of trees hiding the tombstones

Forging through thick overgrowth, Claude did indeed get to take photos of some of the tombstones that were there. Though he didn’t find one for Capt. Koonce or his son, he did capture photos of four tombstones: those of  brother & sister, Susan Hargett & James Reynolds Hargett and their spouses — Amos Simmons Koonce and Susan Koonce respectively.   Amos was a grandson of the Captain via son Michael Jr. and I’m not quite sure yet who Susan’s parents were.

The tombstones have been added as a cemetery on the site and can be seen from here.

John Martin Franck Cemetery Added

Thanks to researcher and blogger Judith E. Bush, we now have online cemetery photos and transcriptions for some of the tombstones on the John Martin Franck homestead.   Judith recently traveled to Jones County and took these photos while there.

The listing can be located by going to Cemeteries –> Franck Homestead Cemetery.

There are some beautiful headstones there – here is the headstone for John Martin Franck’s wife, Elizabeth  – a Koonce descendant, daughter of Richard & Elizabeth Koonce.  (and yes, I’m partial to Koonces :-))

Elizabeth (Koonce) Franck 1803-1857. Photo by Judith E. Bush

Slaves of James Harrison

Today the UNC Library announced the launch of a new digital collection from the UNC Southern Historical Collection.  The SHC has digitized 35+ of their collections w/ emphasis on African-American interests.   You can read the announcement online here.

I’ve not had a chance to fully explore everything on the site (I’m sure that will take awhile!), but a collection I quickly located of interest was that of plantation owner James Harrison, of Craven & Jones counties.  According to the collection abstract he died circa 1846.  His 48-page ledger has been digitized and been made available online.   Know what’s on page 5 of that ledger? A list of 24 states belonging to his estate and their value.  I’m not the best at reading handwriting from that era, but it appears as if the list is as follows:

  • Silas – $500
  • Mary – $450
  • Harriett – $175
  • Isaac – $400
  • Sarah – $350
  • Venus – $175
  • Saunders – $400
  • Eliza & child – $500
  • Peny Sr. – $35
  • Hagar & child – $450
  • Eliza Jr. – $425
  • Betty – $275
  • Lewis – $400
  • Grace & child – $350
  • Rachel – $375
  • Leah – $425
  • Ellis – $275
  • Jamina – $275
  • Tim – $160
  • Tener – $450
  • Peny Jr. – $225
  • Nathan – $140
  • Serina – $200
  • Sutton – $100

The ledger page also indicates to whom each slave went to.   The ledger also includes pages describing plantation life and even details on the amount of cotton picked by several named workers.  This is such a valuable resource for anyone working on their African-American history from this area.  I can’t even imagine what it would be like to find one of your ancestors listed here.

I have added a link to this collection from the Families page.

Added Freedman Bank Records

I’ve added a new section for African-American resources.   While there is currently only 1 link on the page, I do hope to be able to add more over time.

The  link that I have added is to a list of blacks who made deposits with the Freedman’s bank between 1865-1874, along with their parents’ names if present.  The entire database of records is available online and hopefully this list will help you know at a glance who has records.

Access the new page here.

Koonce Genealogy

Okay – this is a self-serving post, but it is because of my Koonce roots that I took on Jones County anyway! 😀

New on the Families page is a link to my site dedicated to Koonce genealogy.  I launched the site a couple of weeks ago and intend it as a place to focus the research that I do on my own Koonce family, the Koonce families of North Carolina and throughout the country.  On the site I have links to the various Koonce lineages I’ve been collecting over the past couple of  years and which I look forward to growing through collaborations with other Koonce researchers.

Visit the Families page or click on the image below to visit.


Site added to Families Page

New on the Families page is a link to the website of James Griffin.  James has ties to the Eubanks, Griffin, Jarman & Koonce families of Jones County.  His site is built using TribalPages which enables you to interact with many generations on his family tree.  James has been researching his family for more than 20 years.


Visit the site to learn more.