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William Jones, 1st Owner of Ellwood

William Jones, 1st Owner of Ellwood

3rd Great Grandfather of Ruth M


My third great- grandfather, William Jones, established a plantation in the Wilderness area of Spotsylvania and Orange Counties, Virginia, in the last quarter of the 18th Century. He built his home, Ellwood, there. A fire insurance policy dated 1799 indicates that Ellwood Manor was standing and occupied at the time.


When William became a widower upon the death of his first wife, Betty Churchill Jones, he married Lucinda Gordon, his late wife’s grand-niece, in 1828. In 1829 their daughter, also named Betty Churchill Jones, was born.


Upon William’s death in 1845, at the age of 95 years, Lucinda inherited Ellwood, in turn; Betty inherited that property when her mother remarried in 1847. A year later Betty was married to James Horace Lacy and Ellwood became their home.


In 1857, Betty and Horace made Chatham Manor, a much grander edifice located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, their home. They lived at Chatham most of the year, but spent their summers at Ellwood. Their eldest daughter, my great-grandmother Agnes Alexander Lacy, and several of her seven siblings, were born at Ellwood.


After the Civil War ended, Betty and Horace sold Chatham and lived at Ellwood full-time. They spoke of Ellwood in affectionate terms, calling it “dear old Ellwood,” the place where so many family both happy and sad, had occurred.


My Father, John R. Woods, used to speak of Ellwood to us when I was a child, emphasizing the May-December marriage of William and Lucinda, ages 77 and 16, respectively, at the time of their marriage. He referred to Betty Churchill Jones Lacy as “Grandma Lacy.”


He also recalled the burial of Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson’s amputated left arm in the family cemetery at Ellwood. The severed arm was gently carried from the field hospital at Wilderness Tavern, some three-quarters of a mile from Ellwood Manor, by Jackson’s chaplain, Beverley Tucker Lacy the brother of Horace Lacy, and my great, great, great uncle.

I wish I knew whether or not my father ever actually visited Ellwood as a boy. That seems unlikely, however, because Betty and Horace sold Ellwood had moved to Washington Avenue in Fredericksburg in the mid-1890s. Horace passed away in 1906, followed by Betty’s death in 1907. Both are buried in the Confederate cemetery in Fredericksburg.

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