Rev. Rowland Jones of Williamsburg, VA

52ancestors-2015Amy Johnson Crow at No Story Too Small gave us a new 52 Ancestors challenge for 2015. Each week, we have a different theme about which to write. It’s quite the challenge, but I love meeting it and reading how everyone interprets each week. Week six is “so far away”. 

“So far away” conjures many things … the first thing I recalled was a favorite movie with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise. Remembering how they arrived in America made me wonder about my own ancestors’ arrivals. I decided to dig back and figure out which of my ancestors arrived first. Many of my ancestors arrived in the early-mid 1600s, within about 20 years of each other.

Reverend Rowland Jones

My 9th great grandfather, Reverend Rowland Jones, arrived from England in 16671)U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. He is the earliest ancestor to arrive in America thus far … 348 years ago!

I’ve said it before, but I love knowing my family … several branches … helped build this nation.

Rowland was born in Swinbrook, England in 1644 to Reverend Rowland Bartholomew Jones and Alice Collier.  He attended Merton College, Oxford2)Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886 beginning in 1663 and is listed among their Alumni as is his father.

After serving as a pastor in Little Kimble, England, Roland emigrated to Virginia where he took charge of Bruton Parish. He served as its rector from 1674 until his death on April 23, 16883)Descendants of Rev. Rowland Jones, First Rector of Bruton Parish, Va. The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 5, No. 3..

This photo of Bruton Parish Episcopal Church is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Life in America

Rowland married Elizabeth Buckner (Bicknor) around 1674 in Virginia. Together, they had two children – Robert (1676-1694) and William (1677-1719). Elizabeth died on October 29, 1678 and is buried in the Bruton Parish churchyard.

Anne Lane entered the picture after Elizabeth’s death. She and Rowland married around 1679 (there are disputing dates) and brought two more children into the world – Orlando (1681-1719) and Anna Maria (1685-1760).

While Rowland earned a wage from his ministerial services, he did not depend solely on this money to provide for his family. In his will, he left a 400-acre plantation to his eldest son, 200 acres to William, 6,000 pounds of tobacco and some silver to young Anna Maria, and his plantation and home to his widow which would go to son Orlando upon her death.   

I found Rowland several months ago, but hadn’t done much research beyond the basics … which I’ve given you here. I’ve uncovered a plethora of information on him and his family in the time since. There is so much more to his story! You’ll certainly be seeing him and his family in upcoming posts 🙂

References   [ + ]

1. U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s
2. Oxford University Alumni, 1500-1886
3. Descendants of Rev. Rowland Jones, First Rector of Bruton Parish, Va. The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 5, No. 3.

5 Replies to "Rev. Rowland Jones of Williamsburg, VA"

  • Martha Washington | Rooted in Foods February 16, 2015 (10:31 am)

    […] week, I posted about Rev. Rowland Jones, my 9th great grandfather on my dad’s side. We descend from Rowland’s first son, Robert, who […]

    • comment-avatar
      Rachel Jones June 15, 2015 (3:22 pm)

      Hello fellow Jones!! Rev. Jones is my 10th great grandfather and I am so happy I stumbled upon your blog. I’m on but only pay US records and I wasn’t able to get much info on him (nor his mother or father) because of that. Would you be willing to share more research? I’d also been told that when the Joneses arrived in America they changed their name to Jones and it was previously something else- well this does prove otherwise.



      • comment-avatar
        Niki Davis June 16, 2015 (10:18 am)

        Hi cousin! I’ll be in touch via email or Ancestry soon. Thanks for stopping by!

  • comment-avatar
    John Elder Robison December 5, 2015 (8:47 am)

    I too am descended from Rowland Jones, through his son Orlando. I actually teach at William & Mary, a few thousand feet from Bruton Parish in Williamsburg. I’d be interested in changing information if you care to write

    • comment-avatar
      Niki Davis December 5, 2015 (3:49 pm)

      Thanks for the offer, John. I’ll be in touch soon!

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