William Jones and Mary Virginia "Polly" Jennings

Flora Austin, who married Isaac Guilford "I.G." Van Leer on October 25, 1876 in Fannin County, TX, was the daughter of David Brice Austin and Mandana Jones.

Mandana Jones was the daughter of William Jones and Mary Virginia Jennings.   [Go to Jennings Family History.]

There is a brief reference regarding William Jones in John O. Austin's 1907 letter [View letter] in which he states:

Lean Jimmie Jones, as he was called, was once governor of Tennessee. He was their Fatherís cousin. So, I find no dark spot in my wifeís kin.

James Chamberlain "Lean Jimmie" Jones (1809-1859) was the Governor of Tennessee and lived in Wilson County, TN during the time William Jones was there.   Governor Jones was the son of  Peter Jones and Catherine Chappell, formerly of Amelia County, VA.   Augusta B. Fothergill compiled an extensive genealogy of this Virginia Jones family "Peter Jones and Richard Jones Genealogies" in 1924.  This researcher, to date,  has not been able to connect the William Jones who married Mary Virginia Jennings to this family.  

Known Facts

The following facts are documented for William Jones, mother of Mandana Jones:

Greenton, Lafayette County, Missouri, 1990.  The William Jones family met the Austins while living in this community in the "Little Dixie" section of Missouri near Independence in the 1840's.

William Jones was a moderately successful farmer.  The 1850 Fannin County census indicated that his household included two slaves.  When he died in 1859, he left a 320-acre farm.  His many heirs immediately sold 10 acres for $1 to Robert S. Jones; apparently he had built a homestead on his father's property.

The rest of the estate was not settled until 1877 due to the interruption of the Civil War.  The property was sold by the sheriff at a public auction "at the door of the courthouse on the first Tuesday in June 1877."  The property was sold for $595 to David Brice Austin and Richard Semple.  David, in turn, sold his share of the property to Richard Semple "on behalf of his wife and other heirs of William Jones."  The money received from Richard Semple was, then, distributed among the many heirs.


Name Birth Comments
1 Louisa J. 1819, TN Never married.  Died 1882, Fannin County, Texas.
2 John G. 1821, TN Married Margaret C. Brown in Lafayette County, MO in 1841. First family member to move to Texas--about 1847. he was living in Grayson County in 1882 when he inherited Louisa's property.  
3 Alfred McClain 1823, MO Moved to California before 1859.  He may have never returned from the Gold Rush in 1849.  He died in 1906 in Alameda County, CA.
4 Hillard Miles 1825, MO Married Mary Emily Austin in 1848 in Missouri.  They followed William Jones to Texas about 1855.  Moved to California about 1860.  He died in 1912 in Alameda County, CA..
5 Milbury R. 1829, MO Married Elijah Peters in 1848 in Missouri.  Died in 1860 in Fannin County, Texas.
6 Missouri 1830, MO Married John Overton Austin, 1848 in Missouri.  Came to Texas with father while husband was at Gold Rush.  Died in 1860 in Fannin County, TX.
7 Mandane R. 1833, TN Married David Brice Austin, 1850 in Fannin County, TX.  Inherited Louisa's bedding in 1882.  Died in Coleman County, TX in 1884.  This is line followed by website.
8 Robert S. 1835, MO Married Mary Portman, 1855 in Fannin County, Texas.  Marriage certificate signed by David Brice Austin. Died in 1860 in Texas.
9 Mary Jane 1836, MO Married John Lauderdale in Missouri.  After his death, she married Spencer Bomar in Fannin. Her child, Anna Eliza inherited land and two slaves from the Lauderdale grandfather.  Guardianship transferred several times through legal documents in Fannin.


This Jennings Family has been well researched and documented in:

"Mr. Henry: A Twig on the Jennings Family Tree"
by Mildred Jennings Deering
Available through inter-library loan at Lebanon, Wilson County, Library

The family has been traced to 1650 Warwickshire, England.  The oldest identified ancestors are Humphrey Jennings and Mary Milford.  Our line, then, follows 4 John Jennings.

  1. John Jennings I.  Born 9/5/1667 in Warwickshire.  Married Mary Green.

  2. John Jennings II.  He was born 12/8/1706 in Warwickshire. He and his wife, Ann Barton, embarked from Whitehaven, Cumberland County, England in December 1754 for Fredericksburg, Virginia, landing on the Rappahannock River.  His gravestone is located in the Jennings Cemetery about 13 miles north of Wilkesboro, NC on Highway 18.  He died in 1811 and is buried in NC.

  3. John Jennings III.  Born about 1730 in England.  He (or his father) were granted 90 acres of land in Dinwiddie County, VA as recorded in the County Book 2 in 1755.  His brother, Luke, is listed as a Revolutionary War Patriot (performed public service - not a soldier) by the DAR.  

  4. John Jennings IV.  He was born about 1762 in Virginia.   By 1788 the Jennings family was living in North Carolina.  In the 1790 census, the family is living in Fairfield County, Camden District, SC. (just 100 miles south of Wilkesboro, Wilkes County, NC.)  Mary Virginia "Polly" was born in South Carolina in 1799.  By 1820 the Jennings Family was living in Wilson County, TN.

    John Jennings IV married Mary Grubbs about 1787.  Both John Jennings and his wife are believed to have died in Wilson County, TN between 1820-1830.


John Jennings IV and Mary Grubbs had 5 children - 4 sons and Mary Virginia "Polly" who married Williams Jones (the line followed by this website).  

The Jennings brothers were very aggressive frontiersmen - among the FIRST settlers in Tennessee, Missouri, and West Texas.   Williams Jones and Polly sometimes moved with the brothers or followed a few years behind.   The history of each of the four brothers is briefly described below.  

1.  JAMES JENNINGS.  Born in 1788, probably in South Carolina.  He was an early settler in Lafayette County, MO in 1825.  He moved his family again in 1846 - arriving in Texas two days after Texas joined the Union.  They came by wagon train with the Peters Colony to Sherman, Grayson County, TX.   James Jennings died in Sherman, Grayson Co., TX in 1866.  

James married Martha "Patsey" Rutland in 1813 in Wilson County, TN.  She was the daughter of Blake and Martha Rutland.  Patsey was born in NC 10/28/1794 and died 2/8/1891 in Sherman, TX.

Mrs. Mildred Deering, family researcher, is descended from James and Patsey's oldest son John (born 1814 in Wilson County, Tennessee.)   Most of the Jennings information came through this line.  John's daughter Mary Ellen Jennings documented the family's history in private letters during the period of 1932-1934, including identifying their sister, Virginia "Polly," as being the wife of William Jones of Fannin County, Texas.

2.  WILLIAM JENNINGS.  Born about 1793 in the Fairfield District, SC.  He died at Berry Creek, Georgetown, TX.  He married Elizabeth Hopper 3/9/1828 in Lafayette County.  She was born in Indiana and was the daughter of Thomas and Becky Gray Hopper.  They moved to Texas about 1850.

3.  ALLEN JENNINGS.   Born  about 1800 probably in South Carolina.  He died in Lafayette County, MO in 1857. He married Lucinda Whitsett 1/20/1828 in Lafayette County.

4.  JOHN JENNINGS.  Born 1802 in South Carolina and died 11/4/1867 in Burnet County, TX.  He married Sarah C. Harris 8/29/1821 in Wilson County, TN.  William Jones was the bondsman.  They soon left for Missouri.