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Mary Rebecca Jones

(1823-1878)

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Story

Mary Rebecca Jones of Hillsborough, NC was the sixth child of Col. Cadwallader Jones, [Jr.] and Rebecca Edward Long. Col. Cadwallader Jones, [Jr.] was a sucessful planter on the Roanoke River before removing to Hillsborough, NC in 1824 and building a new home, West Hill, NC, just outside the town's western boundary. Rebecca Jones was born on November 10, 1823, at Weldon Place on the Roanoke, but her childhood and girlhood were spent at West Hill, NC.

Rebecca's parents were known as the epitome of hospitality and elegant social graces. Rebecca Edward Long was described as  "regal"  and  "queenly"  and in person extremly beautiful. Little Rebecca grew up in a home noted for its emphasis on culture and manners.

Rebecca is not listed in the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51 [1], which lists relatively few early students. It is likely that she attended the school briefly in 1839 or 1840 when she was sixteen or seventeen years old. Rebecca's Award of Merit, presented to her by, Sarah Jane Kollock  for saying her multiplication table correctly was presented to the Historic Hillsborough Commission by Mr. persons(641):James Webb. It is probable that Rebecca studied music and drawing.

On November 14, 1843, when she was twenty, Rebecca married businessman [Peter Browne Ruffin, son of Judge [persons(405):Thomas Ruffin]. The young Ruffins lived in a pleasant white frame house on W. King Street, where Maj. Allen Jones Davie had lived and Col. Cadwallader Jones, [Jr.] had Capt. John Berry renovate and enlarge for them. It was made into an 8-acre estate with a circular entrance drive, a three-story brick kitchen, garden, stone piers on King Street, and servant's quarters on the other side of the street.

The young Ruffins had eleven children including three sets of twins: Rebecca Edwards Ruffin, Mary Browne Ruffin, Thomas Ruffin, Susan Brown Ruffin, Cadwallader Jones Ruffin, Sarah Jones Ruffin, Sterling Ruffin, [Jr.], Allen Jones Ruffin, Sarah Daisy Jones Ruffin, Anna Kirkland Ruffin, Joseph Roulhac Ruffin.

Mary Rebecca Jones died on December 20, 1878, aged fifty-six years old. Her husband, Peter Browne Ruffin, lived twenty-two years longer, dying on August 5, 1900. The couple is buried at St. Matthew's Churchyard in Hillsborough, NC [2].

Biographical Data

Mary Rebecca Jones always went by her middle name, Rebecca.

Important Dates

Mary Rebecca Jones was born on November 10, 1823. She died on December 20, 1878, and was buried in St. Matthew's Churchyard in Hillsborough, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended

  • Burwell School, between 1839 and 1840. Rebecca is not listed in the Burwell School Catalogue 1848-51 [1], which lists relatively few early students. It is likely that she attended the school briefly in 1839 or 1840 when she was sixteen or seventeen years old. Rebecca's Award of Merit, presented to her by Sarah Jane Kollock for saying her multiplication table correctly was presented to the Historic Hillsborough Commission by Mr. James Webb Cheshire [2].

Relatives

References

  1. Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-51.
  2. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).