Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County Van Zandt County Genealogical Society
This page will be devoted to the Old Pioneers of Van Zandt County. These stories have come from a variety of sources, some from old newspapers, some from descendants and some have been previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's quarterly publication, "Our Heritage." Our thanks to Sue Wilkinson, quarterly editor, for permission to reprint these stories. All biographies are welcomed and if you have one that you would like to submit, just write it in your own words and send it to Sibyl and we will be very happy to post it on this website.
Moses Jones was born in Lauderdale Co. AL on July 10, 1823. His parents were John and Elizabeth Jones and his grandfather was also named John Jones. The Joneses originally came from South Carolina. His grandfather was listed on the first Federal Census in 1790 in the Pendleton District of South Carolina.
When land in the west became available and conditions were safe enough to travel, the Joneses started their westward trek. First they settled in Tennessee, before finally settling in Lauderdale Co., AL. Moses and most of his siblings were born there and also married in Lauderdale County. Moses married Martha Beavers in 1840 and after his father died his mother married James Gray. These marriages are recorded in Lauderdale County.
By the 1840's, Moses and some of his brothers started looking to the new Republic of Texas. In about 1846, they sold their land and finalized their plan for the trip to Texas. Their journey took them to Wright Co., MO because two of Moses' brothers wanted to stop there. Moses had convinced the Robertson and Gray families to travel with him to Texas. Two of Moses' siblings had married into the Robertson family, and his mother had married James Gray.
After winter was over and the birth of another child for Moses and Martha, the extended families started their journey to Texas. After arriving in Texas, they started looking for suitable land and they settled in the Nacogdoches District which later became Van Zandt County.
Shortly after arriving in Texas, Moses' brother Aaron died. Only Moses and Aaron's widow, Elizabeth, were listed on the 1850 Van Zandt County census. Brother Samuel and the Gray family were listed on the newly formed Kaufman County census. However, their land was in Van Zandt County.
By 1855, all of Moses' brothers were listed on the Van Zandt County census. They went to the Civil War together along with Moses' son-in-law, James Robinett. Moses was the only one to return. This put a terrible hardship on Moses because during the Reconstruction years, he was the only male for all of the families including his daughter who had two small girls.
Moses served on many juries during his life in Van Zandt, and he was a charter member of the Holly Springs Methodist Church. His and Martha's children were: Mary Angiline, James Alexander, Lucienda Jane, Samuel, Martha, William Allen, Moses, Jessie Calhoun, and David.
Submitted by Lois Thompson
Previously published in the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society's Our Heritage
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