This week in #52ancestors I dedicate this photograph of Benjamin Jones, Civil War veteran and beloved father.
Benjamin was born 12 December 1833, at Hanover Furnace (Burlington County, NJ) to Richard and Susan Ellis Gibbs Jones. He was educated by a Mr. Gibbs who ran a school in nearby Plattsburgh, a small village that appears to have ceased to exist. He worked for his father and uncle Samuel Howell Jones and also appears to have taught school. In 1861, like many of the young men in his generation, he joined the Union Army and went off to war. Sadly, his experience as a soldier appears to have destroyed his physical health and he returned from the war in 1862 a broken man.
He married Mary Elizabeth Carrell Taylor on 20 October 1862 and they eked out an existence in Pemberton, New Jersey. Benjamin’s post-Civil War pension and other military documentation is voluminous, giving repeated evidence that he could no longer support himself and family doing hard physical labor such as farming or iron work. He appears to have gotten employment as a lamp lighter, and done other odd jobs in the community.
Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Jones had eleven children together, two of whom died before reaching adulthood.
This week in #52ancestors will celebrate one of my few Kentucky connections: Samuel Howell Jones. Like his brother Richard Jones, Samuel was into a bit of everything but unlike Richard, he appears to have traveled extensively.
Samuel Howell Jones was born on 30 June 1818 to Benjamin (1767-1849) and Mary Howell (1778-1836) Jones. He was the seventh of their eight children and although I have not been able to prove it, I believe he was born in Philadelphia because his birth is recorded in the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting minutes, along with the information that he was disowned in December 1850, likely due to marrying outside the faith. He spent a year at Haverford College from 1833 to 1834.
Samuel married twice. He married Lydia H. Bishop (1828-1860) on 7 March 1849 but they had no children. They are enumerated in Philadelphia in the 1850 Census along with several of Samuel’s siblings: Mary B Jones Tobey and husband Samuel, Harriet Jones. Samuel is listed with the occupation of merchant. By 1860, the family has relocated to Burlington County, where Samuel and Lydia maintain a household that contains most of her family: Nathanial Bishop (cultivator of cranberries) and Harriet Bishop. Samuel’s occupation is “manufacturing” and his personal worth is $50,000.
Then he married Eliza Catherine Jacob (1835-1864) on 1 May 1862. They had one child, a son named Samuel Howell Jones (1862-1894). Sadly, “Kate” died in 1864. I do not know what took him to Kentucky but I strongly suspect that it might have something to do with all the Louisville & Nashville Railroad stock in his estate accounts. Either Samuel was an investor or he was diversifying the family assets out of iron pipes to iron rails. A review of the family archive at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania will be necessary to complete this chapter.
The next time I find Samuel is in 1870 where he and his son are living at the southern tip of Lake George in the town of Caldwell. Their next door neighbor is a Mary Bishop, who may be a sister-in-law. By 1880, the pair have returned to Philadelphia but are living in a hotel or boarding house. They both appear in the 1882 Philadelphia city directory as living at 1010 Spruce St. When Samuel Sr. dies in 1883, the pair have retired to St. Lucie, Florida due to Samuel’s poor health.
According to his obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Samuel held property in Louisville, KY as well as over 25,000 acres in New Jersey. The final statement says it all: “He was a man noted for his quiet and unostentatious liberality in many public and private channels, and although excessively retiring in his disposition, was much beloved by the limited circle of friends who both knew and esteemed him.”
A review of Samuel H. Jones’s Will and estate provides further enlightenment on the myriad things that Samuel was involved in and also gives some pause as to the family dynamics. The will establishes right off an annuity to be paid to brothers Richard and Benjamin W. Jones. The rest of the estate, including the lovely description “remainder of my estate real, personal and mixed whatsoever and wheresoever in possession, reversion, or remainder” was put in a trust to benefit the children of his son Samuel H. Jones Jr. The person responsible for maintaining this trust was Anthony Jones Morris, Samuel’s nephew. There is a considerable amount of money and assets at stake here and I would imagine that Anthony J. Morris was busy juggling the demands of family for some time. However, in 1887 he appears to have petitioned the courts to request that the trust be administered by the Camden Trust Company.
Samuel appears to have felt that his brothers, especially, needed looking after. I imagine that the demands of family life were a trial for this quiet man. I especially like this description of him from an agriculture writer:
THE PINES OF NEW JERSEY. The New England Farmer; a Monthly Journal (1848-1871); May 1859; 11, 5; American Periodicals pg. 235
This essay was originally published on 1 May 2018. It contained erroneous information and so I have updated and corrected it as of 2 June 2018.
I recently received the pension packet from the National Archives for Benjamin Jones and his widow, Mary E. Jones. It added a great deal of information to what I now know about this couple. It also presented the problem of how to update this essay. Rather than start from scratch I am going to try to incorporate the new information into the original.
This week in #52ancestors I am going to write about a woman who fascinates me. She is not someone famous, or who had a public talent that everyone talked about. She was a wife, mother, daughter, neighbor. Just an ordinary woman, and yet she intrigues me. Possibly it is because of a family story about her, which I cannot prove or disprove. Possibly it is because her children loved her so.
Mary Elizabeth Carroll (records also use the spelling Carrol, Currel, Curl, Carrel) was born on 1 May 1840 or 1841 in Juliustown, Burlington County, New Jersey. Her parents were William Carrel and Eliza F. Cox. William Carroll of Juliustown is proving to be elusive but I have now discovered that although the family does not seem to hit the Census very often, Mary E. appears to have been the middle daughter of three: Anna P. (1839-1902), Mary E. and Martha (1843-1905).
Mary Elizabeth Carroll married Clayton Taylor (son of Samuel G. and Mary Ann Taylor), on 14 March 1861 at Columbus in Springfield township, NJ. Clayton appears to have been born around 1833 in Recklestown, NJ. Sadly, Clayton died later that year on 13 October when his dog bumped his hunting rifle.
Mary E. Taylor then marries Benjamin Jones, recently returned Civil War veteran, on 20 October 1863. They were married by a Justice of the Peace. This is the crux of a family mystery. The story is that Benjamin Jones compromised a young lady in the employ of the family, a maid or laundress. Having gotten her pregnant, he was forced to marry her and his father, Richard Jones, disowned him. It’s a great story but the supporting factual details elude me. Having now found a marriage date, it does highlight that their first child was born 7 months later. Benjamin returned from the war a broken man. His pension application is filled with details of his inability to work at any manual labor for any length of time. Mary E. seems to have helped support the family by “working out” which means she did cleaning and housework for pay. It is possible that this is how she met Benjamin.
And yet, apparently regardless of his ability to do prolonged manual labor, Benjamin and Mary proceed to have 11 children:
Susan Gibbs Jones (1864-1895)
William Carroll Jones (1865-1937)
Lillie Jones (1867-1946)
Elwood Andrew Jones (1869-1940)
Alice W. Jones (1871-1937)
Elizabeth Watts Jones (1873-1900)
Arthur Wells Jones (1875-1936)
Horace Jones (1878-1884)
Mary “Stella May” Jones (1881-1946)
Rebecca Clevenger Jones (1883-1963)
Martha Evans “Mattie” Jones (1885-1891)
The couple lived in Pemberton apparently in a house held in trust for Benjamin and Mary (I need to find more information on this as it is outlined in the pension documents) to be used during their lives. After Benjamin died in 1896, Mary lived at Egbert Street through the 1910 Census. In 1915, Mary is living with her daughter Alice and son-in-law Charles Wills. After that, according to the 1920 Census, Mary moved in with daughter Lillie (married to George Weest). For most of this time she is surviving on her widow’s pension and what “work out” she can get.
Mary Jones died on 29 May 1922 in Vincentown and is buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Pemberton. Her passing received far more attention than Benjamin’s and several months after her death her children post a memorial to her in the newspaper:
Mount Holly Herald, 7 October 1922
In Memoriam: In loving memory of our dear mother, Mary Elizabeth Jones. Four months have passed since that sad day, when one we loved was called away, God took her home, it was his will, but in our hearts she is living still. Sadly missed by sons and daughters.
I am still in search of many pieces of this story but the goal of #52ancestors is to get what you know down in print, so here it is. I would love to find out more about Frank Earl, who is the trustee of the house where Benjamin and Mary live. How did this come about? And now that I know a bit more about Mary Carroll’s parents I can try to put together that part of the story.
If there were a household I could go back in time to visit, it would probably be the one headed by Richard Jones. This week in #52Ancestors I would like to explore the life of a person who oddly intimidates me from the grave and for whom my brother and I have many heirlooms passed down through the generations.
Richard Jones was born 21 February 1812, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Benjamin (1767-1849) and Mary Howell (1778-1836) Jones. His birth is recorded in Quaker meeting records as one of the first five of what would ultimately be seven children. Benjamin was in the iron business and rose from iron monger to gentleman, if city directories have any real say in the matter. The family appears to have divided their time between Philadelphia and Hanover, New Jersey. Burlington county is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia but my mind boggles at the idea of transporting a crowd of children back and forth using whatever transportation was available.
Richard married his first wife, Susan Ellis Gibbs (1814-1837) on 13 June 1833 and they had two boys, Benjamin Jones (1833-1896) and Joseph Gibbs Jones (1834-1895). Sadly, Susan died in 1837. Richard then married Alice Woodmansie Davis in 1841 and they had five children.
Although Richard appears to have gone to work early in the family foundry business at Hanover, NJ, he also seems to have been interested in diversifying the family holdings. He and his brother Samuel Howell Jones established and dissolved several businesses in Hanover, Florence and Trenton between 1845 and 1870. The pipes used in the Boston Water Works in 1847 came from Hanover Furnace. In 1850 Richard was a principle in the New Jersey Exploring and Mining Company. He established the New Jersey Zinc Paint Company, most likely as a result of his experiments with and eventual patents on zinc oxide extraction (1854 and 1869). Richard was definitely something of a chemical genius but I am not sure about his business expertise. The iron industry in the 19th century was a risky business. with many smaller operations failing due to pressures of the economy and production expenses.
By the mid 1870’s, Richard and Alice Jones are back in Philadelphia, residing at 1818 Delancy Street. Richard died here on 29 October 1890, and is buried in the churchyard cemetery at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Mount Holly, New Jersey. Many items have come down through the family, including three lovely chairs, part of what was probably a much larger set. I think of the dinner parties and other conversations that those chairs have witnessed over the years and wonder…