Lillie Jones

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Lillie Jones

I like to find ancestors with my birth date. It doesn’t happen very often but this week in #52Ancestors I get to come pretty close with Lillie Jones Weest.  I also got to follow leads presented when the person I was searching for disappeared from one census family and appeared in another.

Lillie Jones was born on 6 August 1867 to Benjamin and Mary Elizabeth Carrell Jones in Pemberton, New Jersey. She was baptized in 1868 at Grace Episcopal Church in Pemberton.

In 1870, she is living with the Jones family in Pemberton but in 1880 she is living with someone who gives me a clue about her mother’s family!!!!

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She is listed with a Joseph and Anna P. “Scraggy” and she her relationship to them is niece.  I don’t know how I missed this the first time around but thank you #52Ancestors!  This time I followed the lead as the Jones family is not linked to the Scraggy family.  It turns out it is the Scroggy family.  And Joseph is a Civil War veteran married to Anna P. Carrel.  Could this be Mary Elizabeth’s sister?   Joseph Scroggy is also enumerated in the 1885 New Jersey census with Annie P. and Lillie Jones.

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I am not sure why Lillie is not living with her birth family but I can’t argue with the records.  She is also with them in 1895.  Thank goodness for state census records!  They really fill the gap caused by the absence of the 1890 Federal Census. And this one presents another clue to the Carrel family: Eliza Carrel (aged over 60) is living with the Scroggy family as well as Lillie!  Mary Carrell Jones’ mother’s name was Eliza.

Now a little sleuthing work because Lillie Jones disappears.  A few newspaper leads on other family members lead me to the discovery that she married a man named George B. Weest.  This name really confounds many database searches which seem to have been programmed to ignore double vowels: I got a lot of unrelated West returns.  Lillie Weest appears in the 1910 Census in Pemberton living with husband George B. and daughter Mary.  They are living with George’s mother and sister.  Mary is noted as born in New York but I view this with suspicion as the record also shows her father is born in New York when two lines up he is clearly born in New Jersey.

Weest_George_advertisement_The_Fair_Haven_Era_Thu__Jun_7__1900_I did find George in the 1900 Census, living alone in the town of Hampton, NY.  This is right across the Vermont border from Poultney where a newspaper search shows that George has acquired a business.  A little more sleuthing unearths the news that 1910 marked the return of the family to New Jersey from Vermont.  In focusing on that I found that Mary was born in 1901 in Vermont according to her death certificate (dated 1957 in Pennsylvania from a brain tumor).

The family settled in Pemberton where George opens a machine shop.  George died in 1937 about a month after their 37th wedding anniversary.  I have yet to find a marriage record but a newspaper story confirms this date.  Jones_Lillie_marriage_The_Fair_Haven_Era_Thu__Feb_8__1900_And the newspaper is one of the best sources of information on Lillie, other than the Census.  Mary was apparently active in the Burlington County community, attending her friends weddings and holding parties.  Lillie is often noted as attending as well.  In the 1940 Census their household consists of Lillie, Mary and a boarder named William Sullivan and in 1941 he married Mary.

Lillie Jones Weest died 2 January 1946 and is buried in Mount Holly Cemetery in Pemberton.

I was able to fill in many blanks as I worked on this entry for #52Ancestors but I still have questions, which is probably why this exercise is so important.  I will continue to search for Lillie but one of my New Jersey relatives probably has several clues that will help fill in the blanks and now with this blog, they know what I want to know:

  • why did Lillie go to live with her aunt and uncle?  Too many Jones mouths to feed? Or was Anna frail and in need of help?
  • did the marriage of George and Lillie occur in NY or Vermont?
  • is there a better death notice than the tiny one that appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer?
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George B. Weest, Lillie Jones Weest and their daughter Mary Weest

Ellsworth Lewis

My challenge this for this weeks’ #52Ancestors is Ellsworth Lewis, my great, great grandmother’s brother.  The Lewis family is for me, one of those family lines that comes to you rife with stories and suppositions but very little fact.  I have, in an earlier blog, written about Moses K. Wells who married Florence Lewis.  Florence was one of six children and her younger siblings all have great names that should make it so easy to find them in records.

I had a birth date for Ellsworth but nothing else.  According to the Census, he spent his entire life in Pemberton, Burlington County, New Jersey.  Sadly, I discovered that his story abruptly ends in 1890.  On 15 May 1890, he married Keziah Platt in the First Methodist Church at Mount Holly.  And by 14 August 1890, he is dead.  Someday on a trip to the New Jersey State Archives, I will look up his death certificate and find out what happened and where he is buried.  That is for another day.Lewis_Ellsworth_marriage_1890_crop

Interestingly enough, the part that really caught my attention was the difficulty most of my search engines and databases had with variant spellings of Ellsworth (Ellesworth, Elsworth).  It is important to remember that not all databases work the way Ancestry does.  If at first you don’t get any hits, try again.  Many locally produced systems operate on a “what you type is what you get” system which can be frustrating for those used to Ancestry’s algorithms.

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The prompt for this week’s #52ancestors was invite to dinner.  Hmmm, I think I would invite Ellsworth and his new bride Keziah and gently grill them on all the local gossip!

Happy Birthday, Ellsworth!

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Anna Mary “Annie” Wells

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Annie W. Jones with Barclay

Annie Wells was born on 2 December 1878 at Pemberton in Burlington County, New Jersey to Moses K. and Florence Wells.  She married Arthur Wells Jones (1875-1936) on 3 July 1900 at Pemberton.  The couple had one child, Barclay Gibbs Jones, born 30 May 1902.  Annie died in 1962 and is buried in the Odd Fellows cemetery in Burlington County.

In the 1880 census, Annie is listed with her parents in Pemberton.  In 1900, Annie was living in Camden, N.J. as a boarder in the Stacy Gibbs household.  She and her sister, Mattie Horner, are working as “sewing operators.” Arthur is also living in the household and is listed as a cousin to Stacy Gibbs.  By 1920, Annie and Arthur had settled into their home on north 40th St. in Camden.  After Arthur’s death, Annie moved back to Pemberton and appears in the 1940 Census at 20 Hough St., the home of Florence Wells.

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I don’t know much more about Annie.  Where was she employed as a sewing operator?

 

Moses K. Wells

I recently had a wonderful visit with a cousin on my dad’s side.  She shared some fun stories about her memories of my father and then asked some questions.  This blog is my attempt to put what I know about Moses K. Wells and his descendants into perspective.  Please comment if you have additional information, and help me find the sources that would illustrate his story.

Moses K. Wells was born on 4 June 1854, probably in Pemberton, New Jersey to Samuel and Abigail D. Wells.  He married Florence Virginia Lewis (b. 13 October 1859, d. 1947) on 8 January 1877 at Birmingham, in Burlington County.  According to the census, he was a tinsmith.  He died on 12 August 1925 in Pemberton and is buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery.   The gravestone marks both his and Florence’s resting place.

Moses and Florence had four children: Anna Mary “Annie” Wells, Harvey S. Wells, Willard K. Wells and Mattie Wells.  I am descended from his daughter Annie.

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I don’t know a lot about Moses, partly because the records are no online.  What was his position in the community of Burlington County?  Did he own property?  Run a business? Where did he live and is the house still standing?  Are there pictures, if not?