Georgia Pioneers

Noble Jones of Savannah


Directions: Take I-16 East from Atlanta. Follow the signs to Savannah, but exit I-95 South. Exit Pembroke/Savannah (this is Abercorn Street which goes to downtown Savannah). After you pass the Oglethorpe Mall look for sign on right to skidaway Island and Wormsloe. Follow the signs. 7601 Skidaway Road. 912-353-3023
The handsome Noble Jones was born 1702 in London, the son of Edward and Januarye Jones. He was a petite man with delicate features and dark black hair. In 1723 he married Sarah Hook, and together they sailed with General Oglethorpe on November 6, 1732, arriving in Savannah on February 1, 1733. Jones paid his own passage, thus being one of the freeholders and/or citizen soldiers. Those who did not come as indentured servants were given civic offices and land grants. Jones was the first colonial surveyor in the colony, a physician and carpenter. He fought with General Oglethorpe in the Siege of Augustine against the Spanish and in August of 1740 was sent to watch the Narrows of skidaway Island. He was commissioned to the rank of lieutenant, later captain, by General Oglethorpe. He was also very active in the Crown's politics, and in 1740 established a very large plantation Wormsloe on Isle of Hope, near the mouth of the Vernon River. The plantation had large cypress and live-oak trees. All that is left today is the archway leading into the plantation area and ruins.

His son, Noble Wimberly Jones owned 1,800 acres of land fifteen miles from Rocky Comfort, in St. George's Parish (Burke County). As astute visitor to Wormsloe in 1743 alluded...

"Wormsloe is one of the most agreeable spots I ever saw, and the improvements of that ingenious man are very extraordinary; He commands a company of Machines who are quartered in huts near his house, which is also a tolerable defensible place with small arms. From the house there is a vista of near three miles cut through the woods to Mr. Whitefield's Orphan House, which has a very fine effect on the sight." (London Magazine, 1745, page 552)."
The tabby ruins of the above fortress still exist, set among live-oaks, palmettos, magnolis and cedars. In 1750, he petitioned for 500 acres on the Little Ogeechee River, combining to make 800 acres located on the northside of the river, where he used sixteen Negro slaves. In October of 1771 he petitioned the trustees for 500 additional acres, stating that he had some time ago purchased a plantation from Inego Jones on the Island of skidaway and that he had reason to believe that there might be considerable quantity of surplus land within the line of said survey. In 1768 he was a Member of the Georgia Council as well as a Conservator of the Peace. He died November of 1775 and was buried in the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

For More Information about Georgia's First Settlers
Savannah's People
The Gibbons Families Extensive Holdings in Savannah and Liberty County
Wormsloe, the plantation of Noble Jones
Bonaventure Plantation, the home of Josiah Tattnall
Laurel Grove Cemetery, Savannah
19th century Wormsloe homeThis home was built after the original plantation house was burned. The entire landscape is still thickly seated with sprawling live-oak trees.

Noble Wimberly JonesNoble Wimberly Jones, son of Noble Jones, came to Savannah in 1733 with his parents. He took over the plantation after the death of his father. In 1755 he married Sarah Davis and by her had fourteen children. They had a son, George Jones and it was his branch of the family which adopted the name of De Renee. Noble W. Jones was quite active in politics, having been elected to the Commons House of Assembly, the lower house of Georgia's provincial legislature, where he served until 1775. He became involved in the sensitive opinions of British taxation using the Stamp Act. He was instrumental in the appointment of Benjamin Franklin to act as a colonial agent for Georgia in London to convey protests to Parliament. The Colonial Governor, Sir James Wright dissolved the Commons House whenever it elected Jones as Speaker. The mile-and-a-half promenade entrance to the house is lined with 400 oak live trees which were planted by Wymberly Jones DeRenne to commemorate the birth of his son, Wymberly Wormsloe DeRenne. The grandeur of Wormsloe was enlarged after Georgia was free of Spanish threats and particulary when the charter was surrendered to King George by the trustees (1752) and the colony was opened for slaves and huge land grants. This enabled the colony to develop into a prosperous agriculture of Sea Island Cotton and rice.