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.

Philip Hine Prince

In this #52Ancestors essay I am going to explore the life of a person I only remember dimly: Philip Hine Prince, the brother of my grandmother Kathryn Marie Prince Jones Preston.  He died when I was about 9, but I have a very vague memory of being with my family at my grandparent’s house at 22 Euclid Ave. in Merchantville, New Jersey and being told that this slight, spare man was my great uncle.  Not being well versed in genealogical terms, my young mind struggled to comprehend how someone so slight could be “great.”

Philip Hine Prince was born on December 3, 1896, to George Cornell and Minnie Arabella Hine Prince. While his older brother George Raymond Prince was born in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, Philip was the first child born in New Jersey after the family moved to New Jersey.  My grandmother came along several years later in 1904.

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1918 Philip and his mother Minnie Hine Prince

Both Raymond and Philip have Census entries marked for World War I service but I have only been able to document Philip’s service.  He joined up on 2 June 1918 at Fort Slocum, NY and was assigned as a private to Company B, 548th Engineers.  Before shipping out to France, Philip was promoted to sergeant.  The 548th was classed as an Engineer Service Battalion, and was  attached to the 20th Engineers. The 548th arrived in Cherbourg just as the Armistice was consummated, and were utilized in the great drive to keep the A. E. F. warm during the ensuing winter. Most of their service was in the northern districts and the upper Loire basin.

With his brother Raymond, Philip joined the family business, Prince Concrete Co.  On 3 February 1923, Philip married Gertrude Helen Williams (1893-1969), daughter of David C. and Martha Jane Reynolds Williams.  They had two children:

  • Phyllis Martha Prince (1926-1985) married John Howard Walter Perkins
  • Janet Rae Prince (1928-) married George W. Johnson
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Rosedale Baptist Church (image from Camden Courier Post

Philip and Gertrude were active in the Baptist church, attending and serving in many capacities at Rosedale Baptist Church.  I have quite a few memories of this church from summers spent with my grandparents Kathryn and Leonard Preston (Kay’s second husband.)  This was the first church in my memory that had a full immersion baptismal pool and I remember staring at it in wonder.  My grandfather carefully explained that it was not a swimming pool.  I had not, at the age of ten, ever seen anyone baptized, either infant or adult, so I am sure I pestered him with questions.

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Image from Rivertonhistory.com

Philip eventually rose to become vice president under his father at Prince Concrete.  He also served on the Pennsauken school board for two terms between 1954 and 1956, and then as president in 1957.

Philip Prince died 31 October 1974 at West Jersey Hospital in Camden and is buried at Bethel Memorial Park.

 

George Mortimer Prince and his two wives

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George Mortimer Prince

This week in #52ancestors I bring you quite the character: George Mortimer Prince.  He was born on 27 September 1837, the third of six children of George Washington (1808-1888) and Emmaline Terrell (1810-1884) Prince.

George M. served in the US Civil War in the 5th Regiment, New York Cavalry as a corporal in Co. G.  His dates of service are October 1861- November 1862. He is not mentioned in regimental histories and his military service was interrupted by a bad case of chronic diarrhea for which he was discharged.  But more on that later.

George M. Prince married Elizabeth Alma Buttles (1842-1906) on 5 March 1864. They had three children:

  • George Cornell Prince (1869-1959)
  • unnamed daughter (22 June 1875-23 June 1875)
  • Edna Mabel “Ted” Prince (1878-1947)
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George and Alma Prince

They lived in Bradford county, Pennsylvania until the late 1890’s when they relocated to Federalsburg, Maryland, bringing their daughter Edna Prince (Ted) with them.

Shortly after the death of his wife Alma (15 May 1906), George placed an advertisement in the York Gazette.  I find the summary of his story here somewhat confusing: he appears to have written to the postmaster stating that he had recently lost his wife by death and would “be pleased to correspond with a Hanover widow of forty-five or fifty years of age, with a view to matrimony.”  I don’t know if the rest of his letter explained his relationship with the people of Hanover, or if the postmaster simply assumed that a Civil War veteran writing fondly of Hanover must have fought in the battle at Hanover.  However, George Prince had already been discharged due to disability in November 1862, which to my mind would make it very tricky to take part in a battle that happened on June 30, 1863.  The 5th Cavalry was definitely there, engaged in hand to hand combat with Stuart’s cavalry, but George should have been at home by then.

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Hattie Duff Prince

He did, however, find a wife.  And this is where the story gets complicated.  My first inkling of this was in looking through a box of family photographs that came from my dad’s side of the family.  The photos all seemed to be identified by my grandmother, which made me wonder if my father had sat her down and made her look through them.  Among the Prince family images was a photo of a woman identified as “Hattie Duff, George M. Prince’s second wife?”  The question mark was part of her name.  When the dickens did he remarry?  Elizabeth Alma died in 1906 and George M. died in 1909 so this must have been a whirlwind romance, or something.

According to George’s Civil War pension record, George M. married Hattie E. Duff (ne Jessop, widow, aged 55 years (more likely 62 years)) on 10 November 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland.  Hattie Duff had apparently lived in Baltimore for some time with her first husband and children, but had been a widow since 1904.  George M. Prince died on 28 February 1909, leaving everything to his new wife.  She inherited everything, including his veteran’s pension.

This leaves me wondering just how his two surviving children felt about this.  Perhaps it is summarized in that question mark on the back of her photograph.

Here are two images of George Mortimer and Alma Buttles Prince at the end of their lives.

 

Carrie Morton Mather

Mather_CarrieM_PassportApplication_1919_2_cropI discovered Carrie M. Mather on one of my subject forays into my family tree.  I was trying to find all the World War I service men and women, and so I was taking a hard look at anyone who was born between 1880 and 1900.  As I plugged names into Fold3 and Ancestry, I was careful to just look at military service.  I was able to document quite a few male veterans but I was shocked at the number of female veterans I had.  Carrie is descended from a Mount family line firmly entrenched in New Jersey.  And yet her story compels me.

Carrie Morton Mather was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on 26 October 1886 to Frank N. (1855-1921) and Sarah Elizabeth Applegate (1855-1944) Mather.  Frank and Lizzie Mather had two daughters, Caroline and Ida (1882-1949).  Carrie attended the New Jersey State Normal school, graduating in 1907. In the 1910 Census she living with her parents and is employed as a teacher.

Mather_CarrieM_PassportApplication_1917_2_CropIn December of 1917, she boarded the Espagne at the port of New York to sail to France to assist with YMCA Canteen work.

In 1919 I find her listed as a sophomore (non matriculate due to lack of course credit) at Pomoma College in California. Later she is listed in a University of California register as graduating early on 17 Dec 1920 from University of  California, Berkeley with a BA.

The California Alumni Monthly for 1922 reports that she is with the Girls’ Baptist Mission Dormitory in Iloilo, Philippines.  And the Annual of the Northern Baptist Convention for that same year reports that she received her appointment.

She appears to have left the Philippines on 9 January 1924, stopping in Houghon China and Japan before returning to the US.  That same year she marries Lawrence E. Blackman, a Canadian music teacher.  The actual record escapes me but a newspaper article in October mentions her recent marriage.  Lawrence and Carrie are living in Peoria, Illinois in the 1930 Census, where he is employed as a music teacher.  In 1944 the couple moved to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. where they become directors of the Dupont Community house.

After that I loose track of her, except that she appears to have been living in Silver Creek, NY when she died in January 1969.  It is possible that she settled there as I believe Ida Mather and her husband Harry Burton Skidmore lived in the area.

I would love to know more about her experiences abroad.  What made her give up a comfortable teaching position and strike out for a war zone?  And then return, shake off the dust and head in the opposite direction to the Philippines?  If it weren’t for her passport applications, I might never have found this clue.

Burns Wilson Mount

This week of #52Ancestors brings me back to the Mount family, but focuses on the branch of the family that migrated out to Ohio.  How helpful it would have been to have known about this group when I actually lived in Ohio.  I chose Burns Wilson Mount because his birthday falls in this week and because the prompt this week is “favorite name.”

It can be especially challenging for research when your subject has a really unusual name that is made up of very common words.  Initial searches lead me to many people who died of burns near Mount Healthy.

Burns Wilson Mount was born on 7 February 1897 in Warren County, Ohio to Addison and Clara Moses Mount.  Addison Mount migrated from Hightstown, New Jersey when he was 17 years old and his children are the first generation to be born in Ohio.  Burns was the youngest of six sons raised on a farm in Butler County.  When he was 17 two major life events happened for him: he married Kathleen Frazee and he enlisted in the Ohio National Guard, eventually serving as a private in the 166th Infantry in World War I.

Burns and Kathleen Mount had two children, Arthur B. and Ralph E., both of whom also served in the military during World War II.  After serving in WWI, Burns returned to Ohio and got a job in a steel mill, where he worked for the next twenty years at least.  Unfortunately, creative searching strategies have not lead me to any images of Burns although I did find entries for his two boys in the Young Patriots of World War II publication.Mount_ArthurandRalph_WWIIYoungPatriots_crop

Burns Mount died 29 October 1959 and is buried with military honors at Woodhill Cemetery in Franklin, Ohio.  His wife Kathleen (1897-1968) is buried next to him.  As recently as 2012 someone had decorated the grave with an American flag, which is fitting for a 20 year old who went off to France so many years before.  Happy Birthday, Burns Wilson Mount!

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Elizabeth Brightly Jones

Jones_ElizabethBrightly_signatureI chose Elizabeth for my second #52Ancestors because I had life dates for her but little else and she had what for the Jones family is an unusual name.  I thought I would learn all there was to know just by stringing her census records together, since she apparently never married.  Little did I know.

Elizabeth Brightly Jones was born in Brooklyn, NY on 9 January 1887, to Richard Woodmansie and Elizabeth Walsh Brightly Jones.  Sadly, her mother appears to have died later in January of complications from childbirth.  Although Richard Jones remarries in 1904, Elizabeth kept variations of her mother’s name as she grew to adulthood, which helped me to find her; one of the hardest names to research is Elizabeth Jones.

122_hopsital_1893bElizabeth trained as a nurse at Bryn Mawr Hospital, graduating in 1912 and working in New York, Missouri and Pennsylvania.  She served during World War I at the American Red Cross Military Hospital in Paris, France.  There is great information about this in both her passport application, which contains letters from her employers vouching for her credentials, but also in her Veterans Compensation application, which details her training and work history.  Of note is also the article that appeared in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle welcoming her home after the war.

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Interestingly enough, it is through these and other records that I found evidence that she used a hyphenated version of her name, Brightly-Jones as well as spelling out her middle name. Perhaps this was a way of honoring her mother.

I feel a sense of connection with Elizabeth because in 1990 when I broke my ankle in a riding accident (the horse bucked on purpose but I fell off by accident), I was taken to the Bryn Mawr hospital emergency room and later had surgery at that hospital to pin the ankle back together.  This Veteran’s Day I will make it a point to honor her service during World War I.   Happy Birthday Elizabeth Brightly-Jones!