Tag Archives: wills

The Slaves of Hill Jones

List of slaves bequeathed in the 1846 will of Hill Jones

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, a will that listed my great great-grandmother, Temple Burton as part of Hill Jones’s property also listed many other slaves as well.  His will was notarized on September 8, 1846 in Madison County, Mississippi. Jones didn’t have hundreds of slaves, but he did have at least two dozen and I’ll list them and their owners below in hopes of helping one of my fellow researchers trace their family tree:

To his wife, Judith Jones:  Tiller, Vincent, William, Tempy, Marian, Phil, Reuben and Susan.

To son, Willis B. Jones:  Edmund, Philip, Martha (sp.), Austen or Auster and Rose, his wife, Alford, Rene or Remy (sp.?), Richard & Chaney (sp.?) his wife and their three youngest children Cornelius, Catherine & Eliza, also George and “my two blind boys Isaac and Britten.”

To daughter, Mary M. Whitehead:  Mose, David and Solomon.

To daughter, Martha McCauley:  John, Louisa, Grace or Green? and Jack

To daughter, Elizabeth Howcott: Essex and Huldy

To daughter Rebecca, Charles, Handy and Collier (sp.?)

Thanks, Liz for helping me decipher this challenging text!


Filed under family history, geneology, Mississippi, slavery

One Will, Many Lives

Part of the will where Hill Jones bequeathed my great great-grandmother, Temple Burton to his wife, Judith Jones.

After horses, cattle, hogs, sheep and “stock of every description…wagons and tools of every kind,” Hill Jones bequeathed to his wife, Judith Jones the following negroes:  Tiller, Vincent, William, Tempy, Marian, Phil, Reuben and Susan “which personal property it is my wish for her to make any disposition of she may think proper.”

It’s maddening to see my great, great-grandmother, Temple “Tempy” Burton listed as personal property after the cattle and farm equipment no less. It took me a few weeks after receiving this will from a genealogy buddy to even get into the right frame of mind to  read it closely. But it had to be done and doing so revealed that some of the other slaves Jones bequethed were treated as humanely as the inhumane institution would allow. Some were married with children and were given away as a family unit.   If Jones was considerate in this way with his other slaves, maybe Tempy was on her own when  Jones bought her, separated from her parents by another slave owner, or  by their death.  Maybe the person who owned Tempy before Jones did had some compassion too and bought her with her family as well.

Whatever the case may be, this will documents how Tempy found herself enslaved by and having babies with my second great-grandfather, Col. W. R. Stuart.  In 1846, Jones bequeathed  Tempy to his wife, Judith Jones who left Tempy to her daughter, Martha McCauley in 1857. Martha allegedly gave Tempy to her daughter, Elizabeth as a wedding present in 1858 when the young woman married my second great-grandfather, Col. W.R. Stuart making Temple his property.

It puts a knot in my stomach how fragile Temple’s life was and that she was passed on like cattle among the family that owned her, but at least they wrote the information down. I know it’s a long shot that I will ever find Tempy’s parents and reunite them in our family history,  but I’m still crossing my fingers that this will brings me a little closer to filling out our family tree.


Filed under family history, geneology, slavery, Uncategorized