Jones Family Genealogy, part I
This is my family line: my name, my brother’s name, my father’s name, and so forth, straight back to our Revolutionary War Patriot. Whose name also was Jones.
I think it’s pretty cool to be able to have an unbroken line straight back through eight generations to someone through a single name.
But when you consider that the particular family name in question is as common as Jones…well, it makes you think.
There was a time not so long ago that I thought I would never find a hole to see through my genealogical brick wall. But if I’ve learned anything through years of research, it is this: never say never. With the super speed accessible through the Internet, we can now connect with each other and other researchers faster than ever! Incredible amounts of information are loaded onto the World Wide Web all the time. Now, when I can’t find something or prove something, rather than deciding I never will, I am more likely to say, I can’t find that or prove that YET.
My stumbling block for years was with my great-great grandfather, Lewis H. Jones. He was born in Old Town, Maine, in 1854. He married Eliza Jane Gilliland in Illinois. After they moved to Iowa, she died, and he remarried. The family decided to move to Curtis, Nebraska, where Lewis worked as a veterinarian, and where Lewis died in 1921. I knew all of this, but could not find my Jones family among the dozens of other Jones families. A fellow researcher located the family in Illinois in 1860, which consisted of Lewis, his brother Henry, and his mother, Sarah. While I was pleased to learn Lewis’s mother’s name, and that he had a brother, I still stayed stuck for years to come. One particular handicap was that I did not have regular access to the census information. Another was that I did not know his mother had remarried, nor that his father had actually come with the family on the move from Maine, but died a few months before the 1860 census would be taken.
This summer I plan to visit several of the counties in Illinois connected with this family (either through birth, marriage, or death) and one in Iowa, as well.
I finally located Lewis’s parents’ marriage record through a site online that I did not write down, and so have since been unable to find again. It was a site through the state of Maine that allowed research of marriage records, specifically. Through this site, I was able to find and identify Lewis’s parents based on location and time frame: Cyrus Jones and Sarah McLaughlin. I was even able to locate the Cyrus Jones family on the Old Town census for 1850, which listed Cyrus, Sarah, and…George, the older brother of Lewis that I did not know existed! No wonder I couldn’t find them: the family unit changed from Cyrus, Sarah, and George to Sarah, Lewis, and Henry within the span of ten years. What a difference a decade makes. After sharing this information with a cousin of my dad’s, but not being able to supply the website where I had found the information, the cousin found the same information on the second marriage record when Lewis remarried after his first wife’s death.
Continued in Jones Family Genealogy, part II