Elizabeth Watts Jones and Barclay White Gibbs

“It’s a family name.” That is what I always thought my brother/father/grandfather’s name was. And it is, just not the way I thought. So this week #52ancestors is dedicated to the man who brought “Barclay Gibbs” into the family.

Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Carrel Jones had eleven children and Elizabeth Watts Jones was number six. She was born in October of 1873, most likely in Pemberton, NJ and within the family was called Lizzie.

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Barclay White Gibbs and his second wife Jennie Greenwood Gibbs

On 23 December 1890 she married Barclay White Gibbs, son of Benjamin and Anna B. Gibbs, of Burlington County. Barclay was born on the family farm on 26 April 1868. Over the next ten years they had three children:

Around this time, the family is living in Neptune, NJ a lovely little seaside town in Monmouth County. However, at the turn of the century, Lizzie and the children are living with her mother and sisters in Pemberton.  Barclay may have gone off to find work elsewhere. Lizzie died on 28 August 1900 in Pemberton.

Barclay moved with the children to Philadelphia, where in 1902 he married Jennie Greenwood (1870-1947). Barclay worked in refineries in York, PA and in Camden, NJ, eventually becoming a respected auto mechanic in the Camden area.  He died in 1957, ten years after Jennie.

I don’t know how close they were in later life but at one point they were close enough that Arthur Jones named his only son Barclay Gibbs Jones.

 

Alice Jones Monier-Williams

I have always been intrigued by Alice Jones but she became especially interesting when I discovered that she died on the Isle of Wight.  A childhood fascination with all things Victoria still lingers and I always wondered if Alice was ever in her company (as if everyone in England met her!). This week’s #52ancestors #52familyphotographs is dedicated to Alice Jones Monier-Williams.

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Left to right back to front: Cyril Monier-Williams, Mary Howell Jones, Richard Jones, Alice W, Davis Jones, Richard W. Jones, Susan Emlen Jones, Alice W. Jones

Alice Jones was the oldest daughter of Richard Jones (1812-1890) and Alice Woodmansie Davis Jones (1823-1899). Richard’s second wife Alice appears to have been quite a force and their five children appear to have lead very different lives from those of his first wife (Benjamin and Joseph).

Photograph of St Philip and St James' Church in Oxford [c 1930s-1980s] by John Piper 1903-1992
St. Philip and St. James’s Church, Oxford Copyright:(c) The Piper Estate / Photo (c) Tate
I know that for all of her youth and until 1870 Alice lived in her father’s household. In 1878 she married Cyril Faithfull Williams, son of Monier Williams. Sir Monier Monier-Williams, KCIE was the second Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, England. However, at the time of their marriage, Williams was not yet knighted and the family name was Williams. I do not know how Alice got to England.  I believe that Cyril came to the United States in 1873 “for travel.” Possibly they met here or there.  Oddly, the marriage banns note that Alice is a resident of Oxford.

When Cyril is admitted to the Lincoln’s Inn in 1888, the admissions register notes his Oxford address.  By 1891, Alice and Cyril live in London where he is listed as a retired civil servant.  And in 1894 he is elected Registrar of the Courts at Port of Spain, Trinidad. This appointment does not work out well for him as three years later, in a fit of depression, he commits suicide.

I am not sure where Alice is during all of this.  She may be right there with Cyril but I have no proof.  I do know that by 1901 she is back in England, living with a clergyman and his family in South Luffenham.

The Monier-Williams clan owned a house on the Isle of Wight and I do not know if this is what lured her there because her sister Mary Howell Jones also lived there.  They are living at Salopia (a named house) in Ventnor in 1911.  Alice remains at Salopia, Ventnor, Isle of Wight until her death in 1933 and Mary H. dies a short time later in 1935.

I would love to know more about Alice and her life.  And where does Mary Howell Jones fit into the story? Another blog for another day.

 

Amanda Van Syckel Hoffman

This week in #52Ancestors and #52familyphotographs I start on the process of fleshing out the branches of the Van Syckel family tree.  I wrote about Chester Van Syckel last year and at the time did a bit of research on his siblings but not enough, never enough! So this blog is about Amanda Van Syckel (28 June 1834 to 28 September 1917).

I can find very little about Amanda prior to her marriage to Theodore J. Hoffman on 22 February 1855. There’s not that much available on her after that fact either.  She and Theodore had eleven children, seven surviving to adulthood. She does not even merit an obituary, although Theodore got special accolades for being the oldest alumnus of Rutgers when he died in 1922. He was a lawyer in Somerville, New Jersey and I suppose she occupied herself with eleven pregnancies and raising seven children:

  • Alletta Hoffman (1855-1941)
  • Joseph V. Hoffman (1857-1894)
  • Kate V. Hoffman (1859-1862)
  • Mary E. Hoffman (1861-1943)
  • Alexander B. Hoffman (1863-1864)
  • Louisa C. Hoffman (1865-1866)
  • Ann E. Hoffman (1868-1868)
  • Alice V. Hoffman (1869-?)
  • Clara Hoffman (1871-1949)
  • Frank C. Hoffman (1873-1943)
  • Ogden Hoffman (1876-1948)

Amanda Van Syckel died 28 September 1917 and is buried in the New Somerville cemetery in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Wife of Theodore J. Hoffman

George R. Prince holding his son

If there is anything to be grateful about the change in family dynamics in the 20th century, it is that father’s could hold their babies and play with their children.  This is George Raymond Prince (1895-1939) holding either George Raymond Jr. (1921-2004) or Paul Everett Prince (1924-1991).  I live the casual informality here but my heart breaks a little as this photo is included in an album my grandmother Kathryn Preston put together for my father about his family.  Sadly, Barclay Gibbs Jones Sr. never got to hold Barclay Jr. this way.

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George Raymond Prince holding George Raymond Prince ca. 1921

George R. Prince, Philip H. Prince and Kathryn M. Prince were the children of George Cornell Prince.  They make up the New Jersey branch of this early Bradford County, Pennsylvania family.

George R. Prince, Sr. lived in Camden and worked the family business at Prince Concrete.  He married Clara about 1920 (would love more detail on this!) and they had five children: George R. Jr. (1921-2004), Alice Rae (1922-1922), Paul Everett (1924-1991), Joyce Eleanor (1926-2003) and David Roger (1924-2004).

Jean Van Syckel with Louise Tompkins

Apparently my grandfather was a genius at photographing children.  In both of these photographs you see the joy in each person for the other. #52ancestors #52familyphotographs

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins

Jean Van Syckel was born on 28 July 1875, probably in Flemington, New Jersey, to Chester and Mary Jane Mount Van Syckel.  She was the youngest of their four children and the Flemington, She never married but the Flemington, Jersey City and Detroit, Michigan newspapers tracked her visits with her brother and sister.  Louise Tompkins tells stories about the house and garden at 182 S. Main St. where she “vacationed” as a child.  Mary and Jean kept a large garden and small orchard in the back yard of that house.  Mary succumbed to dementia on Christmas day in 1952.

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Jean Van Syckel and Louise Tompkins

Benjamin Jones

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Benjamin Jones (1833-1896)

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.

  • 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)

Benjamin Jones died on 7 October 1896 and is buried in the United Methodist Church Cemetery in Pemberton.

Arthur Wells Jones

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Arthur Wells Jones

Arthur Wells Jones is the subject of this week’s #52ancestors essay and one who benefited from the recent online publication of the Camden Courier-Post.  With all sorts of news to work through I was able to find an obituary; unfortunately the obituary was filled with information which conflicted with what I had documented.

Arthur W. Jones was born on 10 Dec 1875 at Pemberton, New Jersey to Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Carroll Jones.  He married Anna Mary “Annie” Wells on 3 July 1900.  She was the daughter of Moses K. and Florence Lewis Wells.  They lived at this time in Pemberton, but I am not sure when they moved to Camden. Arthur and Annie had one child, Barclay Gibbs Jones, born on 30 May 1901.

MikeMulliganandsteamshovelAlthough the obituary made it sound like a recent move, evidence in the 1910-1930 censuses show that the Jones family was in Camden as early as 1910. At that time he was a steam car engineer, possibly for the Pennsylvania/NJ Railroad.  Their home is listed as 136 Dudley St., Camden.  By 1915, the family has moved to 309 N. 40th St., and in this census Arthur is listed as a “portable engineer,” a job title which intrigued me.  According to the International Steam Engineer of 1914, this is “one who operates a boiler or machine which directly furnishes or transmits power for any machine, appliance or apparatus used on or in connection with building operations, excavations or construction work, but does not include an operator of a drill.”  A union newsletter gave a much more understandable description: “The steam or power shovel was first invented by William T. Otis in 1839, but it did not see extensive use until after the American Civil War, when it was developed as a railway workhorse. The men who operated the shovels were known as portable engineers, to distinguish them from the stationary engineers.”  Pretty cool to think of Arthur Jones as playing the role of Mike Mulligan in my favorite children’s book Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel.

In 1920, Arthur appears to have been employed as an engineer in a shipyard and it is not clear whether this is still railroad work or not.  By 1930, Arthur was retired from the steam shovel business and listed his employment as “salesman, tea and coffee.”  Family stories line up with this as operating a milk delivery route with a side line in groceries.

Arthur died at Cooper Hospital on 26 February 1936 and is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Pemberton, NJ.

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