Bethana Jones’ community.

As shown here, in December 1852 administrator Benjamin Simpson conducted a sale of the property of Bethana Jones, a recently deceased free woman of color. At the time of her death, Jones’ land was in Nash County. Three years later, it was in Old Fields township, western Wilson County.

In the 1850 census of Nash County, Thany Jones, 78, is listed at household #537 with extended family Mary, 26, William, 10, John, 2, and Willie Jones, 17. A closer examination of the men (and one woman) who purchased items from Bethana Jones’ estate reveals the mix of close neighbors and kin, black and white, who made up her community.

  • Dempsey Harrison — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #579, Dempsey Harrison, 66, and sons Dempsey Jr., 21, Christian, 19, and Gethro, 21 [see Jethro Harrison, below].
  • Willis Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #536, Willis Jones, 50, farmer; wife Sarah, 42; and children Henry, 13, Alex, 10, Noel, 8, Kingsberry, 3, and Peyton, 9 months.
  • Mabry Hinnant — in the 1850 census of District 9, Johnston County: at #34, Mabra Hinnant, 34, farmer, and family.
  • Lazarus Cook — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #526, Lazarath Cook, 67, farmer.
  • Jethro Harrison — in the 1860 census of Old Fields township, Wilson County: Jethro Harrison, 31, farmer and family, plus Willis Jones, 35, making turpentine, and wife Mary, 37, domestic, both free people of color. Harrison reported $400 in real property and $1400 in personal property.
  • Jacob Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #521, turpentine laborer Jacob Jones, 25; wife Milly, 28; Shade, 18; and Susan Jones, 2; plus Levi Worrel, 60, farmer.
  • Amos Ellis — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #539, cooper Amos Ellis, 30, and family. (At #542, slave dealer Bartley Deans.)
  • William Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #249, cooper William Jones, 35, and wife Mary, 35.
  • Isaac Williamson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #535, farmer Isaac Williamson, 42, and family.
  • Robert Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #534, farmer Robert Simpson, 36, plus cooper Eligah Powell, 50; wife Selah, 48; and children Denis T., 22, and Henry, 21, turpentine laborers; Eligah, 19; Mary, 18; Stephen, 10; Jane, 6; Jabe, 2; and Sally, 18.
  • Asberry Blackwell — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #584, Asberry Blackwell, 25.
  • Dempsey Powell 
  • John Simpson — John Simpson was a son of Benjamin and Clara Simpson, see below.
  • Shadrach Jones — see Shade Jones, above, in the household of Jacob Jones.
  • Joseph Jones — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #538, Joe Jones, 36, turpentine laborer, and children Milly, 10, Milbry, 6, Edie, 5, Sarah, 4, Jesse, 3, Nathan, 1, James, 3 months, and Delphi, 2.
  • Andrew Cook — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #527, farmer Andrew Cook, 38.
  • Frederick Taylor — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #561, farmer Frederick Taylor, 21, and family.
  • Calvin Davis — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #531, Calvin Davis, 22, turpentine laborer, and family.
  • Jesse Simpson Sr. — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #533, farmer Jesse Simpson, 74, and family.
  • Clara Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #532, Clary Simpson, wife of Benja Simpson.
  • Benjamin Simpson — in the 1850 census of Nash County: at #532, farmer Benja Simpson, 46, and family, plus Mahalah Jones, 5, a free girl of color who was likely an apprentice.

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