In the fall, when Dr. Jim Jordan and I were filmed for an online magazine Holliday Lake State Park. That article was seen by Mrs. Katherine LaRosa in Florida. She is a direct descendant of William and Caroline Jones who lived here is the mid-1800s. After several emails back and forth, Mrs. LaRosa and her father, Judge Samuel Hairston, came to visit the cemetery last week.
The Jones family lived here in Central Virginia in the mid-1800s. They were a prosperous family and raised eight children. They are listed on the 1850 and 1860 census records. It seemed to us that they disappeared after that because no family members are listed on the 1870 census. Three family members are buried in a small cemetery behind our modern-day Concession Stand. Indications are that some other graves are unmarked nearby.
In her first email to the park, Mrs. LaRosa provided much more information on the family. Mrs. Jones moved sometime between 1860 and 1870 to another area of Buckingham (now Appomattox) County to live with a relative. Mr. Hairston is the great grandson of Henrietta Jones Hairston. Here is a photo of Henrietta provided by Mrs. LaRosa.
During her visit to the park, Mrs. LaRosa provided even more information about the Jones children as they grew into adulthood. Mrs. LaRosa has done much research and provided copies of census records, newspaper articles, and many other documents. Since we now know so much more about this family, we will be changing our living history programs somewhat.
Since I portray Mrs. Caroline Jones in many of these programs, I was particularly interested in this information. Seeing photos of Henrietta and a few other family members was especially touching to me. It was like they came to life for me. Of course, I knew they were real in the 1800s, but to see what Henrietta looked like…it was surreal.
If you get a chance to visit Holliday Lake State Park, make sure you go by the cemetery and pay your respects to this family who lived here many years ago. Some of the headstones are hard to read, but if you look closely you can make out enough information to pique your interest. Ask Dr. Jim Jordan about the Jones family. He'll be glad to fill in the details.