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Chatham County North Carolina Cemeteries

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133    JONES GROVE [E62.1]

      Location - Williams Township. Williams Township. 1,200 feet east of US 15-501, 1,000 feet northeast of SR 1700, Mt. Gilead Church Road, accessible from south side of Galloway Ridge buildings.

      Coordinates: 35d 47m 32.0s N; 79d 05m 51.0s W Click here for Google maps

      Panoramic view after cleanup in November 2005 by Bill Barber and his family.
      Francis Jones, grandfather of Mary Ruffin Smith, owned the large Jones Grove Plantation surrounding the cemetery. Dr. James Strudwick Smith, University of North Carolina professor and U.S. Congressman, owned a large plantation on Smith Level Road, Orange County. He married Delia Jones, daughter of Francis and Mary Jones. Their daughter Mary Ruffin Smith was the last survivor of the two families to own the two plantations. By her Will, dated 20 April 1877, filed in Chatham County Will Book F, Page 309, she established the Mary Ruffin Smith Fund in the Protestant Episcopal Church and the Francis Jones Smith Fund at the University of North Carolina, with proceeds from the latter to be used to provide scholarships for needy youth. This was in memory of her brother, member of the University Class of 1837. To establish this memorial she bequeathed to the University a 1,500 acre plantation in Chatham County. This was sold for about $15,000. In the late 1890's the University borrowed from this fund to start the first electric plant in Chapel Hill; it was repaid with interest.

      References:
      1. James Vickers, Chapel Hill, An Illustrated History, Barclay Publishers, Chapel Hill, NC, 1985, p. 120.
      2. Wade Hampton Hadley, Doris Goerch Horton, Nell Craig Strowd, Chatham County, 1771- 1971, Second Edition, 1976, Chatham County Historical Society, Pittsboro, NC, p. 422.
      3. Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes, Harper and Row, New York, 1987.

      Nine (9) Markers were recorded by Will and Audrey Heiser, 6 Oct 1993. Cemetery visited in 2008 by Jim and Bev Wiggins and Mike Cox. Cemetery checked and photographed 19 March 2012 by Glenn Lazarus and Bev Wiggins.

      View #2 -- View #3 -- View #4 -- View #5 -- View #6.

      Owner: State of NC on behalf of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
      Legal Description: Devised to UNC by Will of Mary Ruffin Smith, 20 Apr 1877, Will Book F, p. 309. Deed Book 442, pp. 309, 312 and 315 show Quit Claim Deeds for 0.1 acre cemetery and 0.225 acre access from abandoned Pittsboro--Chapel Hill Road. See also: Plat Book 30-36..
      Topo Quadrant: Farrington.
      Family owned: Yes.
      Abandoned: Yes.
      Number of graves: 9.
      Cemetery size: 30' x 33'.
      White: Yes.
      Unrestricted access: Yes. Easily accessible from south side of Galloway Ridge property.
      Overgrown and easy to identify: Yes.
      Enclosed: Yes.
      Enclosed explanation: Mortared rock wall 3 feet high.
      Enclosed conditions: Good. Gateway area is broken stone as if there may have been an iron gate at one time..
      Markers: Yes.
      Markers with inscriptions: Yes.
      Number of readable markers: 9.
      Last burial: 1885.
      First burial: 1811.
      Unusual situation: Yes. Marble pedestal 4 feet high with inscription re Mary Ruffin Smith 1814-1885, last family survivor and benefactor to UNC Chapel Hill and Episcopal Diocese of NC.
      Markers damaged: Yes. Source of damage is unclear, but several stones are broken.

      Significant events: Francis Jones, grandfather of Mary Ruffin Smith, owned large Jones Grove Plantation surrounding the cemetery. James Strudwick Smith, father of Mary Ruffin Smith, owned a large plantation on Smith Level Road, Orange County.

      Last canvassed by: Nine (9) Markers were recorded by Will and Audrey Heiser, 6 Oct 1993. Bill Barber family cleaned up the cemetery in 2005 and provided some photos. Cemetery visited in 2008 by Jim and Bev Wiggins and Mike Cox. Jane and Alan Mann photographed the cemetery in December 2011. The cemetery was checked and photographed 19 March 2012 by Glenn Lazarus and Bev Wiggins. The 2012 visit showed that the cemetery had recently been cleaned up as no growth was inside the walls. A large area of periwinkle covers the ground in all directions outside the cemetery wall. Stumps from two very large cedar trees are evident inside the cemetery wall.


  1. Jones, Francis   (b. 1760 - d. 22 Feb 1844)
      • Row-1. No-1. Husband of Mary Jones. "Aged 84 years". Marble. Tablet. Son of Tignall Jones (?). Lt. Sharpe's Company in Revolutionary War. Vertical slab. Footstone FJ [broken]. Revolutionary soldier: James Vickers "Chapel Hill, an Illustrated History," p. 120. Lt. Sharpe's Co. Closeup.
  2. Jones, Mary   (b. 1761 - d. 20 Mar 1811)
      • Row- 1. No- 4. Wife of Francis Jones. "Aged 50 years". Marble. Tablet. Footstone MJ. Closeup.
  3. Jones, Ruffin   (b. 1794 - d. 1836)
      • Row- 1. No- 5. Son of Francis and Mary Jones (?). "Aged 42 years". Marble. Tablet. Footstone RJ. Closeup.
  4. Smith, Delia (Jones)   (b. 3 May 1787 - d. 8 Nov 1854)
      • Row- 1. No- 2. Wife of Dr. James Strudwick Smith. Daughter of Francis and Mary Jones. Marble. Tablet. Vertical slab. Closeup.
  5. Smith, Francis 'Frank' Jones, Dr   (b. 17 Aug 1816 - d. 17 Apr 1877)
      • Row- 2. No- 3. Son of Dr. James Strudwick and Delia (Jones) Smith. Marble. Tablet. Vertical slab. Broken. Footstone FJS. Closeup.
  6. Smith, James Sidney   (b. 20 Mar 1819 - d. 25 Apr 1867)
      • Row- 2. No- 4. Son of Dr. James Strudwick and Delia (Jones) Smith. Marble. Tablet. Vertical slab. Footstone JSS. Closeup.
  7. Smith, James Strudwick, Dr.   (b. 8 Sep 1787 - d. 7 Dec 1852)
      • Row- 1. No- 1. Husband of Delia (Jones) Smith. Marble. Tablet. Vertical slab. Mason's Insignia. Footstone: JSS. U.S. Congressman: James Vickers, "Chapel Hill, an Illistrated History," p. 20. UNC Professor. Closeup.
  8. Smith, Mary Ruffin   (b. 1814 - d. 13 Nov 1885)
      • Row- 2. No- 2. Daughter of Dr. James Strudwick and Delia (Jones) Smith. "She Hast Done What She Could". Marble. 4' pedestal. R.I.Rogers, Durham NC - stone maker (?). Founder of the Mary Ruffin Smith Fund in the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of NC and of the Francis Jones Smith Fund of the Univ. of NC. Closeup of inscription. Closeup.
  9. Spear, Maria Louisa   (b. 12 Apr 1804 - d. 6 Jan 1881)
      • Row- 2. No- 1. Governess to Mary Ruffin Smith. Marble. Tablet. Vertical slab. Footstone. Closeup.


Web page updated 13 May 2017


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