Friday, December 12, 2014

TOP STORY >> A will from 1871 is discovered

Researchers at the Lonoke County Museum have discovered a will belonging to James A. Jackson of Stockton, Calif., that is dated Jan. 5, 1871.

Found among old court documents in its care, museum director Sherryl Miller said it was written before Lonoke County existed.

She is seeking the public’s help in providing additional information about the will.

Here are some highlights of its contents:

 The listed executors are Henry H. Means of Stockton and Junnie Means of Limestone County, Texas.

 The will names his children, a son, Junnie Means Jackson, and a daughter, Florence Else Jackson. (The will does not name a wife.)

Miller said she cannot find a connection to Lonoke or Prairie counties other than it was found in the museum’s archives.

“Of course, if the daughter married, I have no way of knowing the married name. (There’s) nothing in our marriage books,” she said.

Miller has learned though that Jackson did go west during the gold rush in 1849.

“The History of San Joaquin County” indicates that James Alanson Jackson left his native state of Georgia in 1849 and went to California, arriving in July.

He lived in Tuolumne County in California for many years, where he worked as a merchant, miner or trader.

He moved with his family to Stockton, where he worked as a commission merchant. He died in January 1871.

The 1860 census in Stockton lists J.A. Jackson, 38, a commission merchant, born in Georgia as well as the following names of his relatives:

 Henry H. Means, 53, a clerk, who was born in South Carolina;

 Sarah Jackson, 21, born in Mississippi;

 Mary E. Jackson, 1-year-old, born in California, who might have married and changed her name to Mary Florence Else.

“So from the census it looks like old James married the daughter of his friend and executor, Henry H. Means, and he is the grandfather of Junnie and Florence. Henry is in Memphis on the 1850 census,” Miller said.

To provide information about these people, call Miller at 501-676- 6750.