Sunday, June 23, 2013

Long Letter from John Hill Jacocks

This 8-page letter from John Hill Jacocks includes his thoughts on such topics as his pride in his heritage,  early history of Haywood County, Tenn., memories of visits during his childhood by distant relatives from Bertie County, N.C. and more.

It can be found in the Jonathan Jacocks Papers in The Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C.

Although Jonathan Hill Jacocks is not in my direct ancestry line, he was close to many of those who were. lists him as "the father-in-law of my great grand aunt."

Last week, I blogged about a letter that was written in 1854 by John's mother.

John's letter, which was written 26 Aug 1891, is packed with references to friends and family who were currently in his life as well as many of his known ancestors. This may be of interest to anyone researching Jacocks genealogy. Included were:
Thomas Jacocks of Bertie County, N.C.
Rev. James Jacocks of Hartford or New Haven, Connecticut
Grace, sister of Rev. Jacocks
Tom Jacocks, his cousin
Uncle Louis T. Bond, relative
Frank P. Bond, relative
Thomas E. Fanning
Colonel Richard Nixon, his great uncle and early leader in Haywood County
Nancy Jacocks, his great aunt
John and Jonathan Jacocks, his great uncles
Charles Jacocks his grandfather
Charles Worth Blount Jacocks, his brother
Jonathan Wyatt of Raleigh, N.C., gentleman to whom his father was apprenticed
Janet Young, paternal grandmother
Margaret Stevenson Clayton, his mother
Asher Clayton, his maternal grandfather
Mary Whidbee, his maternal grandmother
Janet Young, his paternal grandmother
James Leigh, second husband of his maternal grandmother, Mary
Rev. Hezikiah Leigh, son of James Leigh
Richard Leigh, son of James Leigh
Jonathan Jacocks, his brother
Augustus Jacocks, his brother
Hardy Jacocks, relative
Jas. T. Jacocks, nephew
Thomas Carter, his father-in-law
Sarah Catherine Carter, his wife
Jimmie Jacocks, his son
Ella Mae Jacocks, his granddaughter
According to "Descendants of Thomas Jacocks" by William Piccard Jacocks, John Hill Jacocks' grandfather, Charles Worth Jacocks III was born 16 Dec 1767. He married Janet Young on 13 Sept 1791. He had inherited "considerable property" and died 10 Dec 1803 at just 36 years old. His two children were placed under the guardianship of their uncle, Jonathan Jacocks III.

One of those children was John Hill Jacock's father, Jonathan Thomas Jacocks. He was born 10 Feb 1799 and married Margaret Stevenson Clayton. Jonathan followed his uncle, Colonel Richard Nixon, to Haywood County, Tenn. in 1823.

John Hill Jacocks was born 25 Nov 1831 in Haywood County. He married Sarah Catherine Carter on 14 April 1858. He was primarily a farmer. From 1882 - 1894 he was Justice of the Peace. He died 21 Dec 1902. He and his wife had five children: William Thomas (1 Feb 1860 - 1938), Richard Alfonso (27 Aug 1861 - 11 Mar 1908), James Alonzo (22 Mar 1864 - 11 Aug 1941), Joseph Theodore (11 Oct 1867 - 23 Mar 1928) and Catherine who died very young.

John Hill Jacocks is buried in the Jacocks Family Cemetery along with his wife and other relatives.

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John Hill Jacock's son and daughter-in-law, James Alonzo Jacocks
and Mary Jennie Castellaw with children around 1894.

Mary Jennie was the sister of my great-grandfather, Bob Castellaw.

Source: cwjacocks on

The 1890 US Census was destroyed in a fire but we can jump ahead a decade and see what the John Hill Jacocks family was up to in the 1900 census.

John was 68, Sarah was 66. Living with them was their son, Joseph Theodore. (age 32), Myra Lou Moody (age 31) and their sons: Arthur Wayland (age 9), Robert T. (age 3), and Floyd Wilkes. (8 months). Also living with the family was John's widowed sister, Mary Janet Jacocks Shaw who was 73.

Arthur Wayland Jacocks, who was nine in 1900, was the father of my great uncle, J.T. Jacocks. Uncle J.T. and Aunt Cordelia lived next door to Arthur and Myra when I was very young and I have a very fuzzy memory of being in their kitchen with my cousin, Jesse Jacocks.

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John Hill and Sarah Jacocks inclusion in the 1890 US Census

In the 1900 census, the John Hill Jacocks family was living just two farms away from the homestead of Charles Buchanan and Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace, my second great-grandparents. My great-grandfather, James Luther Lovelace was 14 and living in the house with eight siblings.

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Charles B. and Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace

Below is John Hill Jacock's letter and then a transcription. I corrected some of the spelling and grammar while transcribing to allow for better comprehension of his meaning.

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Page 1 & 2
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Page 3 & 4
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Page 5 & 6
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Page 7 & 8

Brownsville, Tennessee 8-26-91

Mr. J.J. Jacocks,

Dear Sir,

Before me lies a postal on which I see your name. A name as near and dear to me as to you. Yes as dear to me as life – I love it – and must entertain the kindest and best of feelings toward any and all of lineal descent who bear it.

I reverence it because my ancestors bore it. Because my father loved it, my brothers and lastly, my children bear it. And I am proud to say if any of them ones did anything to blot or tarnish it, I have never heard of it.

I have reverence to my father’s family, which is the only one in this state.

My father was visited once by one cousin Thomas Jacocks of your county. He was a noble-looking gentleman; one that I admired. I was small but I remember him well. He said his weight was 207 lbs.

Another cousin paid my father a visit whose name was James Jacocks. He was an Episcopal minister. I remember he had a sister whose name was Grace.

They lived in Hartford or Newhaven Connecticut. I disremember which.

One thing that occurred however while he was here - at least in Jackson, Tennessee. The evening after he left Father’s, Father sent him by my house goes brother to that point – Soon after supper said my brother some 15 or 20 people congregated at the private house of the family with whom cousin Jimmie stopped and, after a while, they had family prayers and whilst engaged in prayer after a short ceremony, all present responded, Amen. At that moment, brother got up, looking around, seeing all still kneeling, he bowed again – presently said he, they cried out, Amen. Again he arose but took position as before and thought, I would watch while they prayed.

 "Daddy, what kind of folks are these Episcopalians?"

On his return home he related the circumstances to father and family. Said he, Daddy, what kind of folks are these Episcopalians? All the denominations around here, when they say amen rise – but cousin Jimmi’s folks didn’t do that. They said amen and continued until they had said had amen 3 or 4 times.

I have never heard from him since he left Jackson. Neither have heard from cousin Tom. Only through Mr. Lewis T. Bond and Thomas E. Fanning who moved out here before the war from your county. Uncle Lewis use to tell me that I ought to write to my relatives in N.C. That they were much more clever than these Jacocks here.

I would always tell him he did not know how clever we were – that if you all were more clever than we were, I was glad of it.

I have heard our distinguished Frank P. Bond speak of the Jacocks family there and he too, I am proud to say, speaks in praise of the family. And having said I love the name, I love it the more because all who have borne it, as far as my knowledge extends, were people of respectability. Some of them of note and occupied responsible and honored positions with credit to themselves and honor to their country.

And if that be true, why not be proud of the name?

My father came to this county in the year 1823, boarded at Colonel Richard Nixon’s who married his Aunt Nancy Jacocks who as well as I remember father said was the only sister his father had. My recollection is that there were three brothers: John, Jonathan and Charles. The latter being my grandfather. John I think was the father of Rev. James Jacocks of Connecticut. As to Jonathan, I think perhaps he remained there and doubtless you are his son as you being the father of eight children, I think too old to be his grandson.

Well as above stated, my father moved to this county in 1823. Col. Nixon who married to his aunt had a big tract of land out here of 3,840 acres and was in debt to father and prevailed on him to move out west, where he could live on game and raise children. He came, stayed at Uncle Nixon’s a few months and whilst there, my second brother (whose name was Charles Worth Blount after grandfather) was born.

Father took a lease on Uncle’s land, built a double rail pen and moved us in it. Made beadstead of forks and poles. The year 1821, he bought 500 acres of land from his uncle, built a log cabin and moved there and lived until his death which sad event occurred on the 9th of June 1863.

My father was a coachmaker by trade. Served as an apprentice 7 years under one Jonathan Wyatt in Raleigh, N.C. He married my mother, whose maiden name was Clayton – Margaret Stevenson Clayton. Her father’s name was Asher Clayton and her mother’s maiden name was Whidbee – Mary.

My parents were both orphan children at the age of seven years. My grandmother on Father’s side whose maiden name was (Janet) Young, never married after the death of Grandfather. My Grandmother Clayton married a gentleman named James Leigh. Said James Leigh had one son that was a noted minister Hezekiah G. Leigh (Methodist) and another whose name was Richard who moved to Georgia – died during the war.

My mother died 14th Aug 1874. Youngest brother Jonathan died after passing through the war 15th Jan 1879. My eldest brother who was born there passed through the war and died 10 July 1887.

Brother Augustus said he either met with or saw one Hardy Jacocks in Memphis, Tennessee during the war or he heard of him there. I have heard Jeface (?) – was told he went to Florida and proposed getting rich by raising oranges – have heard nothing since save that in your postal to my nephew, Jas. T. (?)

Was he not a brother of big Cousin Tom or were there 2 Jefesers? You said you had eight children.

I see that I have filled this sheet. Now if tired, you can rest. Rub your eyes and look at over what follows. If old like myself, you can read when plainly written better or easier than you can write.

You well know I can’t stop yet. If so, what would the fond loving mother of all those eight children think? She would say, “Strange Jacocks that write four pages of fool scrap paper to my husband and saying nothing of me.”

Well just tell her for me, I love her and all her children whether old or young, girls or boys – that I love them because of their name; and because they are descended out of good and honorable sires. Tell her I love because I think as your name was Jacocks, you were a man of sense and taste and such, you would never have loved her and sought her as a life companion unless she had been worthy – For all I know, she may be your superior in point of intellect. If so we will have no quarrel about that – how about affoter smiles? That makes a big difference.

Yes, tell her I love her because she is the mother of children who bear my name – yes, tell her I regard her as a good woman and will say to you if she has the qualities such as sought by me in mine you may set it down as a fact, you have a good wife. She may have others – but to my mind there is none more commendable – as I used to say – than industry, economy and good sense combined. Was the style of a wife I wished to find.

As regards, my wife will say I have no cause to or right to complain.

Had I the pick and choice of the fair ones of earth, I could never have found one more congenial – better fitted in every sense of the word than she for a life companion.

She is somewhat like her father. She has never approved of kissing though fashionable with many ladies – is one she abhors. Her father, whose name was Thomas Carter, was born and raised in Wake County, N.C. (He) moved to this county in 1831, the year I was born. (He) was never known to kiss but one of his children and that was when it was a corpse.

She says there is more deception in a kiss than anything – says our savior was betrayed by a kiss.

"...not as pretty to be sure, but other
qualities characteristic of beauty is still there." 

Well you and yours can believe it or let it alone – she is lovely and as loving now as when we first married – not as pretty to be sure, but other qualities characteristic of beauty is still there.

Well next to the name of Jacocks, Carter stands second with me. Why? Because it was the name of the one I loved in my palony (?) days the name of one who loved and still loves me. If she had left me – just so we had a few words Monday morning last and parted. Were I better acquainted, I would write you as I did this morning to my sister-in-law. 
I wrote as though Mama, as I call my wife, and myself had separated – the children was the cause of it, etc. Explained by telling that Mama was at my son Jimmie’s nursing Jimmie, his wife, Ella May his little 20-month old girl and another unknown to her. By me called Sallie. Just so, the children separate us sometimes – that hours is agreeable as should be.

The fond mother loves the children she bears and it is a rare thing for her to forsake them. In times of trouble, she is ever ready and willing to lend the helping hand and encourage them by words of kindness, gentleness, love and her presence.

Mother’s blessed name – more precious than gold. Like that of Jesus in heaven. The best to mortals given.

Fathers as well as mother dear we should ever love as well as fear. This it was with me. I loved my parents, they loved me. They were members of the Methodist church. My father held family prayer morning and night to his God first, then blessings. I have often heard my mother pray around the hearthstone of my old home – peace to the ashes of our beloved dead – and let us hope yea fondly hope their immortal spirits have winged their flight to that God who gave them. 

"I live in hope of meeting our loved
ones beyond the starry sky where
we shall live and never die."

When I retrospect the days of my youth the moments of childhood, mirth and glee, the pleasures of my life so made by fond loving parents, kind brothers as fond and loving sisters. I thought long this time from childhood to manhood just so with all children we know this apparently a long step from infancy to man and womanhood thence the grave Oh: how short Time flies and with it we away to that town from whence we ever returns. I live in hope of meeting our loved ones beyond the starry sky where we shall live and never die.

I hope my dear cousin if such I may call you, you will pardon me for having written such a lengthy communication which may or may not interest you. Otherwise, I shall expect nothing.

I don’t write often and even then tis short. But elated at the idea of hearing of you and seeing your postal and name so familiar and feeling interested in those who bore it. I have taken the ? of writing more than I would have ? to write to any one bearing any other name.

I see the space below is growing less and there are questions about the family I wish to ask – the name of your father, mother, your wife and children by way in short biographical sketch of the whole family of Jacocks.

Would like to know who they are, where they are and what they are doing. If there be any of them where they should not be for God’s sake keep it to yourself.

"We are poor but came by our poverty honest..."

I will say, as to those of my Father’s family here who are sure from the old block, we are a chip from the same. We are poor but came by our poverty honest and we don’t think honest poverty a disgrace and though poor we bear up under it.

Look and hope we may never beg bread will say we have never done it and God help us we won’t.

Answer and you will, if I am living, you will hear more from one John Hill Jacocks.
For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.

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