This week in #52Ancestors I am tracking Benjamin Walter Jones. He’s the youngest brother of Richard Jones and frequently pops up on other people’s trees in the mistaken belief that he is Richard’s son Benjamin (1833-1896). That would have made Richard a very precocious 9 year old but people don’t always do the math.
Benjamin Walter Jones was the youngest son of Benjamin (1767-1849) and his second wife Mary Howell (1778-1836) Jones. He was born 29 May 1821 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but appears to have spent the majority of his life in New Jersey. He attended Haverford College for one year in 1833.
On 1 June 1847 he married Harriet Woodmansie Davis (1827-1897) at Hanover, New Jersey. They had four children: Walter Moore Jones (1848-1849), Samuel Howell Jones (1849-1916), Ellen Emlen Jones (1854-1939), and Francis Woodmansie Jones (1852-1854).
I do not know much about Benjamin W. Jones’ business enterprises. In the 1850 Census, he is listed in Philadelphia as a merchant with $15,000 in real estate. He then appears in business with Richard Jones at Florence but that business dissolved in 1858. In the 1860 Census, the family is living near Richard Jones in Mansfield, Burlington County, New Jersey and his occupation is listed as founder. By 1870, Benjamin, Harriet and Ellen are living in Trenton, where his occupation is listed as none, with no real estate or personal property valued. However, Harriet does possess $10,000 in real estate and persona”l property valued at $25,000. In the 1880 Census, Benjamin is listed with Harriet and both children, and while his occupation is listed as travelling salesman, there is a check mark in the box marked “is the person sick or temporarily disabled so as to be unable to attend to ordinary business or duties.”
Benjamin W. Jones served in the Civil War as a Captain and commander of Company I, 1st New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, mustering in on 29 August 1861. He was discharged due to disability on 20 September 1862. It is possible that this was a lingering condition and effected his ability to work.
Benjamin W. Jones appears in Trenton city directories from 1870 to 1880, but these never list an occupation. The house eventually gets and address of 365 W. State St. Benjamin also attended church at Trinity Episcopal Church, where he serves as a Convention delegate in 1874.
Benjamin Walter Jones died 15 December 1883 in Philadelphia and is buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia. His death notice in the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that his brother hosted the funeral at his home at 1818 Delancey Place. He left no will, which is not a surprise as his wife Harriet appears to have owned everything.