Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Jones DNA findings

Current DNA connections for the supposed children of Stephen Jones prove one connection between a descendant of Moses Jones (1799-1879) and a descendant of Benjamin V, Jones (1806-1886). A second connection has been proven between a descendant of Rachel Jones, the mother of Stephan VanSickle (no dates, no parents listed), and a descendant of Harriet Jones (1804-????).

At this point in time, 4 individuals with DNA connections have been identified by DNA testing. Two connections have been identified, but no cross connections, Ancestry does note that as the degree of separation becomes greater, the accuracy of DNA to predict relationships diminishes:

"For relationships this distant from you, there is greater statistical variation in our prediction. It’s most likely to be a fourth cousin type of relationship (which are separated by ten degrees or ten people), but the relationship could range from six to twelve degrees of separation.

It’s interesting to note that (at this degree of separation) we are accurately able to predict only about 71% of the possible relatives that are out there—in other words there is a 29% chance that our DNA analysis can NOT recognize an actual relative of yours. One way to be more certain that the DNA testing captures as many relatives as possible is to have multiple members of your immediate family tested."

In other words, the more descendants are tested, the more certain the connections are.

Anyone who believes they are descended from one of the children of Stephen Jones and his wife, Keziah Strawn can add to the DNA research pool at Hopefully additional DNA results will continue to prove the research which has been done on this family, and will help prove or disprove the conjectured relationships with unproven children.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stephen Jones, an Introduction

This blog chronicles the life of Stephen Jones of Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, who served in the New Jersey Militia during the Revolutionary War. He married Keziah Strawn of Washington County, Pennsylvania, daughter of John and Keziah (nee Dennis) Strawn; they had at least a dozen children. Stephen is later found in Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois.

Because of Stephen Jones' extraordinary connections to history through the Revolutionary War, and later the early growth of the LDS church, it has been possible to find historical records which refer to him. In addition, 2 precious letters written by him to his children have been carefully preserved by his descendants. I have attempted here to provide details of his life with proof, as much as possible. Additional proof is needed for some of his children. I would be happy to hear from anyone who has additional research. Please email me.

I present this blog to preserve the history of this American Patriot, and to benefit any with an ancestral connection to this man. The best way to read this blog would be in reverse order, beginning with the oldest post; details of his life would then read in chronological order.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Children of Stephen Jones

UPDATED July 2016
UPDATED April 2011
UPDATED March 2011

Ancestral File v.4 19 at credits Stephen and Keziah (nee Strawn) Jones with twelve children; no sources are cited in the Ancestral File. I believe that there may have been thirteen children. Below is a listing of these children, *proven* and *unproven*; note child #13, not included in the ancestral file.

1. John Jones *proven* b. ca 1795 Washington Co. PA

d. prob. bef. 1800, when Stephen Jones is enumerated with two sons (Hiram and Moses, both proven), and two daughters.

July 2016 UPDATE: while details on John Jones are unknown, it is clear from documented church records that Stephen Jones did have a son named John, who clearly died before 8 Apr 1844. Research on John will continue.

2. Hiram Jones *proven* b. ca 1796 Washington Co. PA

Hiram is mentioned by name in Stephen Jones' letter of 2 Dec 1831. On 8 Apr 1844 Moses Jones was baptized for his deceased brother, Hiram Jones. Hiram is listed in the Cincinnati Directory as working in a type foundry. His name appears 3 times in the 1830 Census in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH: 1830 Census OH Hamilton No. Liberties of Cincinnati Hiram Jones 1m 5-9, 1m 30-39, 2f u5, 1f 20-29 1830 Census OH Hamilton Cincinnati 2WD P 3 Hiram Jones 1m 30-39, 1m 50-59, 1f u5, 1f 20-29 George Carr 2m u5, 1m 30-39, 1f 20-29 1830 Census OH Hamilton Cincinnati 5WD p.51 744 Hiram Jones 1m 20-29, 1m 60-69, 1f u5, 1f 30-39 Nehemiah Blake 1m 5-u10, 2m 10-14, 1m 30-39, 1f u5, 1f 5-9, 1f 30-39 Hiram's age in this last record, enumerated just before Nehemiah Blake, is not correct, but the family make-up is the same as that of the Hiram who was enumerated just before George Carr. Are these the same Hiram Jones? Who is the first Hiram? According to the book Index of Death Notices and Marriage Notices Appearing in the Cincinnati Daily Gazette, 1827-1881, Part 1 (Jeffrey G. Herbert; Heritabe Books; 2007;Google Books), a Hiram Jones died 24 Oct 1832 in Cincinnati; more research is needed to verify this is Stephen Jones' son, Hiram.

3. Lydia Jones *unproven* b. ca 1797 Washington, PA d. bef. 1876; m. Samuel Clark

July 2016 UPDATE: Church records suggest that Stephen Jones had a daughter named Lydia, born in PA, and died before 26 Apr 1876. I feel it unlikely that she married a Samuel Clark, based on the fact that Keziah (nee Strawn) Jones had a sister, Lydia, who appears to have married a Samuel Clark. Research continues, to try to identify Lydia as an adult.

4. Rachel Jones *unproven* b. 1 Jul 1798 Washington PA m. Henry Blake

Jul 2016 UPDATE: Church records suggest that Stephen had a daughter named Rachel, b. 1 Jul 1798 in PA and died before 26 Apr 1876; married a BLAKE. Research continues to positively identify the wife of Nehemiah Blake as the same Rachel as the daughter of Stephen Jones.

It is possible that this is the Rachel Jones who m. 1) William Van Sickle in Cincinnati on 29 Jan 1818 (their son, Stephen Van Sickle b. ca 1820 Cincinnati OH) and m. 2) Nehemiah Blake in Hamilton Co. OH ca 1830 (their daughter, Permelia Ann Blake b. 31 Mar 1831 Cincinnati OH). Note that Rachel named a son Stephen; I believe the daughter's name, Permelia, is also a family name. A Rachel Vansickle is found in the 1820 census, living in Madison, Butler County, OH (U.S. Census OH Butler Madison p.5) Rachel, between ages 26 and 45, is listed as head of household; in the same household are 2 boys under age 10, 3 girls under age 10, and 1 girl between ages 10 and 16. [see Jeannie M.'s post below regarding this census and the 1825 Cincinnati Directory]

A Stephen Vansickle is found in Wapello, Louisa County, IA in 1850 and following. Iowa state census record indicate he moved to Iowa about 1848. A Nehemiah Blake is found in Louisa County, IA as early as the 1847 Iowa State Census; in that census the household includes 1 male over 21, 2 females under 21, and 1 female over 21 (on the same page appears his son, Henry Clay Blake, with presumably a wife, and a son under age 21). Thanks to Jeannie M. for Stephen Van Sickle's obit:
"Columbus Gazette, May 18, 1893: Stephen Vansickle died at his home in Wapello, May 15...He was a step-son of the eccentric Nehemiah Blake, who died a number of years since at Morning Sun," 
and Permelia (nee Blake) Wilson's obit:
"Mrs. Permelia (Blake) Wilson was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in March 1831. With her parents, she removed in 1832 to the vicinity of Oxford, Butler Co., Ohio. In 1847, the family removed to near Morning Sun, Iowa." 
Nehemiah Blake, Stephen Van Sickle, and Permelia (nee Blake) Wilson are all buried in Brown/Rice Cemetery in Morning Sun, Louisa county, IA. No record of Rachel's death or burial has been found; no wife is found in Nehemiah's household in the 1850 census.

5. Moses Jones *proven* b. 4 Jul 1799 Washington, Washington PA d. 10 Mar 1879 Provo, Utah, UT bur. 12 Mar 1879 Provo, Utah, UT m. 1) Eliza Case 2) Ann Cliff

Moses is mentioned in Stephen Jones' letters dated 2 Dec 1831 and 1 May 1838. Stephen Jones writes of his son, Moses, purchasing a lot and house in Quincy. In 1840/41 Stephen is identified living with Moses Jones in Quincy, IL. Moses became a member of the LDS Church, and was baptized for his deceased mother, Kisiah Jones. Moses he and his wife, Eliza are named in the Quincy church records. They named a son Stephen S. Jones.

6. Hannah Jones *unproven* b. 1 Jun 1800 Washington, PA

July 2016 UPDATE: Church records suggest that Stephen had a daughter named Hannah; no indication of a marriage. Research continues, to try to identify Hannah as an adult. 

7. Elizabeth Jones *needs stronger proof* b. ca 1801 Washington, PA m. George Carr

George Carr, is mentioned by name in Stephen Jones' letter of 2 Dec 1831, although a relationship is not stated. In 1830 George Carr and Hiram Jones are enumerated sequentially in the census in Cincinnati, Hamilton Co. OH (see #2 Hiram Jones). George and Elizabeth Carr appear in the censuses from 1850 to 1870 in Campbell Co. KY. Their sons include Stephen and Benjamin Carr.

8. Stephen Jones Jr. *proven* b. ca 1802 Middletown, Butler, OH

July 2016 UPDATE: Church records indicate that Stephen's son, also named Stephen, died before 26 Apr 1876. Research continues, to try to identify Stephen as an adult. 

Stephen Jr. is mentioned by name in Stephen Jones' letter of 2 Dec 1831, and other documents refer to Stephen Jones, Senior, inferring there was a Stephen Jones Junior. No other information known.

9. Phoebe Jones *unproven* b. ca 1803 Middletown, Butler, OH

July 2016 UPDATE: Church records suggest that Stephen had a daughter named Phoebe; no indication of a marriage. Research continues, to try to identify Phoebe as an adult. 

10. Harriet Jones *unproven* b. ca 1804 Middletown, Butler, OH

Jul 2016 UPDATE: Church records suggest that Stephen had a daughter named Harriet; no indication of a marriage. Research continues, to try to positively identify Harriet as an adult. 

The Harriet Jones listed among Stephen Jones' children in the LDS Ancestral File matches closely to Harriet (nee Jones) Ward Franconi, widow of Zebediah Ward and Lewis Franconi, b. bet. 1802 and 1804 in Ohio. Confirming evidence are the affidavit of the witness Jno Lewis, dated 1855 in Cincinnati, OH, which states that Harriet Franconi's father was Stephen Jones, and the fact that she was residing at Aaron Hutton, the same person that a son of Benjamin Jones resided with in 1870, stating in a letter that he was living with his aunt. Harriet named a son Stephen Benjamin Ward.

11. Mary Ann Jones *proven* b. ca 1805 Middletown, Butler, OH

Mary Ann is mentioned by name in Stephen Jones' letter of 2 Dec 1831. A marriage of a Mary Ann Jones to a George Trace is recorded on in Butler Co. OH. Stephen Jones mentions George Trace in his letter dated 1 May 1838. George and Mary Trace are found in Hanover, Butler Co. OH in the 1850 census; this Mary Ann was born ca. 1818, conflicting with the Ancestral File. They named a son Stephen Trace.

April 2011 UPDATE--Some progress has been made on proving Mary Ann Trace to be the same Mary Ann of Stephen Jones' letter. A descendant of Mary Ann contacted a Stephen Jones researcher, and provided the list of Stephen's children handed down through her family. An experienced researcher, newly researching Mary Ann Jones Trace, this person had no prior knowledge of the work done on Stephen Jones, yet her list of children, with some small differences, matches that of other researchers. It looks probable Mary Ann, wife of George Trace, is Stephen Jones daughter.

12. Benjamin V. Jones *proven* b. 1 Apr 1806 Greene, PA. d. 1 Apr 1886 Covington, Kenton, KY. bur. 3 Apr 1886 Spring Grove Cemetery, Hamilton, OH m. 1) Jane Owens and 2) 18 Jan 1852 in Cincinnati, Hamilton, OH to Mary Ann "Molly" Falkinburg

Benjamin is mentioned by name in Stephen Jones' letter of 2 Dec 1831. He confirmed his birth date and place by information he provided to the Cincinnati Pioneer publication in 1856. An affidavit is found in Stephen Jones' pension file, recorded in Hamilton Co., OH on 11 Sep 1836 is a statement by Benjamin V. Jones stating "for the last Twenty Years, [he] frequently heard Stephen Jones Senior, say that he served as a regular soldier in the War of the American Revolution." Benjamin and Jane named a daughter Harriet Jones. Before 1870 Benjamin sent his son, William Eugene Jones to live with his "Aunt Millie," who the census shows to be the wife of Aaron Hutton (see #10 Harriet Jones); William is found in the household of Aaron and Parmelia Hutton in Columbia, Hamilton Co. OH in the 1870 census). Letters written by Stephen Jones were preserved by descendants of Benjamin V. Jones.

July 2016 UPDATE: DAR has now accepted lineage through Benjamin V. Jones to RWP Stephen Jones. 

13. Permelia Jones (not listed in the Ancestral File) *unproven* b. ca 1805 PA

A marriage for Permelia Jones and Aaron Hutton was recorded on 12 Apr 1832 in Butler Co. OH. Aaron and Permelia Hutton are found in Hamilton Co. OH in the 1850 through 1870 censuses. It was Aaron and Permelia "Millie" Hutton that Harriet (nee Jones) Ward Franconi and William Eugene Jones resided with. Their daughters include Harriet, Elizabeth and Mary A. Hutton.

March 2011: UPDATE--Permelia Hutton's burial record has been found at the website for Mt. Washington Cemetery in Hamilton County, Ohio . It spells her name Pamellia Hutton, and states she was born 1810 in Kentucky. She died 26 Feb 1893. Most important to this search, her father's name is given as Stephen Jones.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

1839-1842 Quincy, Illinois

Stephen Jones was among 6,000 Latter Day Saints who found refuge in Quincy, Illinois after their expulsion from Missouri. The Saints arrived homeless and without means of support. Quincy residents expressed indignation at the treatment of the Mormons, welcoming them and offering protection. At one point refugees outnumbered residents 3 to 1; still, many Quincy residents took refugees into their homes, while other refugees camped in makeshift tents in Quincy's Washington Park. [Quincy: City of Refuge; Susan Easton Black, Mormon Historical Studies]

Below is an ad that appeared in a February 1839 edition of the Quincy Daily Whig.

Stephen Jones was fortunate in that his son, Moses, was already living in Quincy. It is likely that Stephen went into his son's household on his arrival. The timeline for Moses joining the Latter-Day Saints church is probably within the year after his father's arrival in Quincy.

From jail Joseph Smith instructed the Saints to compile affidavits concerning their losses, which were assembled into petitions seeking to recover damages incurred during the Missouri Mormon War. On 8 May 1839 at Quincy Stephen Jones filed an affidavit claiming his losses, which was included in the first petition. It reads as follows:

"Jones, Stephen
Quincy, Ill. May 8th 1839
A Charge of damages sustained by Stephen Jones in Consequence of being driven at different times by mobs in the state of Missouri the whole amount sumed [sic] together two hundred and fifteen Dollars $215.00
I certify the above account to Be Just and true according to the Best of my Knole(dge)
Quincy, Ill May 8th 1839 Stephen Jones
{sworn to before C.M. Woods, C.C.C., Adams Co., IL, 15 May 1839}"
[FHL US/CAN 6003720 Mormon Redress Petitions]

The petition seems to corroborate that Stephen Jones was driven from his residences in Missouri on more than one occasion.


In October 1840 Stephen Jones was appointed to the Presidency of the newly organized Quincy stake. "Sunday, 25.--The committee organized a Stake at Quincy. The presidency were Daniel Stanton, Stephen Jones and Ezra T. Benson." [History of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, Part 1, Volume 4 pg. 233; Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, Brigham Henry Roberts; Deseret News, 1908]

I feel obligated here to report two conflicting reports regarding the identity of the individual who was appointed to the presidency with Daniel Stanton and Ezra Benson:

In his autobiography Ezra Benson wrote "The next day Bro. Hyrum [Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph]...organized the stake by appointing Daniel Stanton, president, and Father Moses Jones, who was about seventy years old, his first counsellor; he also ordained me a High Priest and appointed me his second counselor, and remarked to the Saints, 'You may think a little strange of my appointment, but Bro. Jones is an old man and experienced in the Church, and Bro. Benson, is young and wants to learn.'" [Autobiography of Ezra T. Benson (1811-1869); Book of Abraham Project, Early Saints]

Jeffrey O'Driscoll, author of Hyrum Smith: A Life of Integrity, in his devotional address at Brigham Young University--Hawaii on 26 January 2010 entitled "Hyrum Smith: An Example of Faithfulness" states "When [Hyrum] reorganized a stake presidency in 1840, he called Daniel Stanton as stake president, with an elderly Moses Jones as first counselor and twenty-nine-year-old Ezra T. Benson as second counselor. 'You may think a little strange of my appointment,' he explained, 'but Bro. Jones is an old man and experienced in the Church, and Bro. Benson, is young and wants to learn.'" ["Hyrum Smith: An Example of Faithfulness"; Jeffrey O'Driscoll, 2010]

Moses Jones, whose name is recorded along with that of his spouse, Eliza, in the Quincy Stake records, would have been about 40 years old, and so the age and description of "Bro. Jones" does not match the son, but does match the father, Stephen, whose name also appears in those records. It is my opinion that Mr. Benson and Mr. O'Driscoll have confused Moses Jones (who would also have been known to church leaders) with his father, Stephen Jones.

The following spring of 1840 all Stakes outside Hancock County, Illinois and Lee County, Iowa were discontinued; Moses and his family would likely have had to travel to Nauvoo for church functions. According to L.S. Eliason, on 8 Apr 1841 Stephen Jones was ordained High Priest at Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois. [notes to L.S. Eliason gedcom]

"The first public affirmation of the ordinance of baptism for the dead in the Church was in a funeral sermon given by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo in August 1840. The first baptisms for the dead were performed in the Mississippi River near Nauvoo." [Light Planet: Baptisms for the Dead;; 2010]

Included among the earliest records for Baptisms for the Dead are Stephen Jones for Jefferson, Thos & P.U.S. [President, United States], friend; Lafayette, Genl Marquis De, friend, and Washington, Geo & P.U.S., friend. In the same volume, Moses Jones was baptized for Kissiah Jones, mother. [FHL US/CAN 183376 Baptisms for the Dead 1840-1845 Vol. A, pgs 81, 82, 100, 176] In April of 1844 Moses performed baptisms for additional deceased family members Hiram Jones (brother), Lydia Clark (aunt), Haldah Grant (aunt), and Hannah Harris (aunt).


The 1841 Census of Pensioners (Second Ward of Quincy City, Adams County, Illinois) records a pensioner named Stephen Jones, age 77, residing with Moses Jones, the head of the household as of 1 Jun 1840. [1841 Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services; Washington, USA; Blair and Rives, 1841]

Moses' household was enumerated on 1 Jun 1840 in the 2nd Ward of Quincy. His household included 1 male under 5, 1 male between 40 and 50, 1 male between 70 and 80, 2 females under 5, 1 female between 5 and 10, 1 female between 10 and 15, 1 female between 30 and 40, and 1 female between 70 and 80. [1840 U.S. Federal Census, Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, pg. 7] The male between 70 and 80 is clearly Moses' father, Stephen Jones. It is unclear whether the female between 70 and 80 was related to Moses or Eliza.


On 26(27) Jan 1842 Stephen Jones died in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. His death was acknowledged by the Quincy Stake, and he was buried in the "Potters Field" in Woodlawn Cemetery in Quincy. (Second Quincy Cemetery, now Madison Park, Pottersfield section, corner Maine and 24th Streets, Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, USA). The cemetery records show that there were three distinct sections in the burial ground. The first is identified simply by lot number and north or south. The second area is called "Pottersfield," probably used for indigent burials. The third section is called "Strangers Ground." [Mormon Historical Studies, Volume 2: The Early Quincy Cemetery and Mormon Burials; Ward, Maurine, 2001; p. 149, 150, 152, 159;]

A digital image and my transcription of Stephen Jones' obituary from the Quincy Whig are shown below:

Died in this city, on the 27th of Jan. 1842, Stephen JONES, aged 79 years. The deceased was a soldier of the Revolution, and served his country with credit and honor in those dark days of trouble. He was buried with military honors by the volunteer companies of the city-the 'Grays' and 'Guards'. Thus has another of those tried patriots faded from earth - death is fast thinning their ranks - but a little time, and there will not be one left of that patriot band. Their glorious deeds, however, will live forever in the minds of their countrymen."
[Quincy Whig; 5 Feb 1842 p.3 c.2]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Missouri 1833-1839

Stephen Jones left Indiana and joined the Mormon community in Missouri. The facts presented here relating to the Mormon enterprise in Missouri between 1831 and 1839 provide historical context to Stephen Jones' experiences while he lived in the area of Jackson, Clay and Caldwell counties, Missouri.

In October of 1830 Mormon missionaries left Ohio and undertook a mission to western Missouri to preach the Book of Mormon to the descendants of the Lamanites (Native Americans); in January 1831 three missionaries crossed the state boundary into Indian Territory; on their return, the missionaries stayed and preached to white settlers in Jackson County, Missouri. This mission ultimately brought Joseph Smith to Jackson County. In June of 1833 Joseph Smith sent a plan for the building up of "Zion" in Jackson County. (Sometime later Smith is reported to have told Brigham Young that Jackson County, Missouri had been the location of the Garden of Eden, and he named Adam-ondi-Ahman, an area in Daviess County, as the area where Adam and Eve lived after being expelled from Eden.) Mormons then began settling in Jackson, Clay, and Daviess counties, claiming land through preemption rights.

Stephen Jones reported to the court during his pension hearing that on 7 Jun 1832 he had resided in a remote area of Indiana. Joseph Smith, writing in Times and Seasons, indicated that Stephen Jones had settled near Independence, Jackson County, Missouri sometime before 24 Dec 1833.

Earlier settlers looked on the Mormons as 'clannish' and 'fanatics.' In April of 1833 three thousand original settlers of Jackson County met to plan the removal of the Mormons. On 26 October 1833 a mob attacked a number of Mormon families recently arrived from Indiana; on 31 October mobs destroyed homes and drove women and children into the wilderness. Attacks continued around Independence on 1 November, culminating on 4 November, with a confrontation between Mormons and a mob that ended in several deaths. Between November 6th and 13th, groups of Mormons fled from the mobs in Jackson into Clay County, Missouri. The mobs then warned away any Mormons remaining in Jackson County.

Joseph Smith wrote in Times and Seasons (pages 960, 961): "On the night of the 24th of December, four aged families living near the village of Independence, whose penury and infirmities incident to old age forbade a speedy removal, were driven from their houses by a party of the mob, who tore down their chimneys, broke down their doors and windows, and hurled large rocks into their houses, by which the life of old Mr. Miller, in particular, was greatly endangered. Mr. Miller is aged sixty-five years, being the youngest man in the four families. Some of these men have toiled and bled in the defense of their country; and old Mr. Jones, one of the sufferers, served as lifeguard to General George Washington, in the Revolution. Well may the sol-dier of Seventy-Six contemplate with horror the scenes which surround him at this day in Jackson County, where liberty, law, and equal rights are trodden under foot.” [History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1805-1835; written and compiled by President Joseph Smith and Apostle Herman C. Smith of the Reorganized Church; Vol. 1, 9th Edition; Lamoni, Iowa 1917; pg. 393; Google Books] (Newel Knight reports this event as having taken place in 'midwinter' 1838/39, and the families having fled to Clay County, Missouri.)["Newel Knight's Journal," Classic Experiences and Adventures (Salt Lake City. Bookcraft, 1969), pp. 46-104; Book of Abraham Project; Hugh W. Nibley]

(One will recall that the anecdotal story of Stephen Jones serving as lifeguard to George Washington has been previously noted by both Levi W. Hancock in his journal, and also by Stephen Jones, himself, in his testimony given at his pension hearing. This clearly places Stephen Jones living near Independence, Jackson County, Missouri before 24 Dec 1833, Joseph Smith's recounting being more contemporary than Newel Knight's.)

It soon became clear that Mormons and non-Mormons would not be able to co-exist peacefully in Missouri. In response to a separate-but-equal proposal, the Missouri legislature established Caldwell County in 1836 as a "Mormon Reservation," however, mass emigration soon resulted in the Mormon population continuing to spill over into neighboring counties.

On 30 Sep 1837 in a deposition at Terre Haute, Indiana, Walter Dickerson identified "Stephen Jones Sr. of Clinton County, Mo., aged about 75 years." [Revolutionary War Pension File S15,903]
It is a matter of record that on 4 Dec 1837 Stephen Jones appeared in the court convened in Caldwell County, Missouri, and made a statement of his Revolutionary War service. On the same date Levi W. Hancock and Alfred Lee appeared in court as witnesses for Stephen Jones. [Revolutionary War Pension Files Roll: 1445 Image: M804 File S15,903]
On 1 May 1838 Stephen Jones wrote a letter from "State of Missouri, Caldwell County, Far West." describing his trip to the Wabash on a borrowed mare, to obtain the deposition of Walter Dickerson in the matter of his pension petition. Later in the letter, Stephen Jones stated he had sold his 'improvement' for fifty dollars, and was settling about 5 miles north of Far West. Stephen also stated he had applied for a pension the previous December, but had not yet had an answer from Washington. [Stephen Jones letter; 1 May 1838]

By 1838 some six thousand Saints had settled in western Missouri. The troubles which began for the Mormons in 1833 in Jackson County did not relent, and what became known in Missouri as the "Mormon War" broke out in the summer of 1838. Then, in response when a Mormon group attacked a duly sworn militia, on 27 Oct 1838 Governor Lilburn W. Boggs of Missouri issued an Extermination Order, which read in part "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace." [Missouri Digital Heritage: The Missouri Mormon War; Missouri Office of the Secretary of State; c.2010]

Click to see a scan of Governor Boggs' Extermination Order.

The phrase 'extermination order' was understood at that time to be policy of expulsion, and had been in use by the Federal Government against groups of Native Americans, and even in several Missouri counties against the Mormons; Boggs’ order was simply reiterating a policy already being enforced by Missouri counties. On the issue of the order, the Missouri troops surrounded Far West. Militia leaders used the order to impose four terms upon the conquered Mormons: take their leaders into custody for trial and punishment; give over their personal property to repay costs incurred in the 'war;' surrender all arms; and leave the state immediately under militia escort. The Mormons now recognized the need to seek safety outside Missouri. Due to their willingness to comply with the order, and due to early snows, the order was modified to allow the Mormons remain until spring, but they were warned not to plant any crops. [Richard L. Anderson, "Clarification of Boggs' 'Order' and Joseph Smith's Constitutionalism," Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint History: Missouri, Arnold K. Garr and Clark V. Johnson, eds. (Provo, Utah: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 19894), 27-83]

Discussion turned to where and how the Saints should resettle, and after some debate Quincy, Illinois became the immediate, if not permanent, destination. Many Mormons who had remained in Missouri did not have adequate shelter, and with their property surrendered, and no crops, had little or no food. Many decided not wait for spring, but set out during a short-lived mild turn in the winter weather.

"While most Latter-day Saints evacuated individually, using their own resources, many lacked wagons, teams, resources, and needed assistance." [William G. Hartley: Missouri's" 1838 Extermination Order and the Mormon's Forced Removal to Illinois; Mormon Historic Studies; 2001]. By January, the first wave of Mormons had crossed Missouri, and were camped at the Mississippi River in bitter weather, while the wagons returned to Caldwell County to remove more of the brethren.

As a final note to Stephen Jones' time in Missouri, on 29 Jan 1839 he signed a resolution, which had been introduced by Brigham Young, to help remove the poor from the state. The agreement read in part "We, whose names are here-under written, do each for ourselves individually hereby covenant to stand by and assist each other, to the utmost of our abilities, in removing from the State in compliance with the authority of the State...for providing means for the removing of the poor and destitute...Far West, Missouri, Jan. 29th, 1839," and was signed by both Alfred Lee and Stephen Jones, among others. [Latter Day Saints Millennial Star No. 46 Vol XVI Saturday, November 18, 1854, pp. 730-732; Google Books].
As the resolution was signed in Far West, it appears that Stephen Jones probably left Caldwell County mid-winter of 1839, traveling eastward across, and crossing the Mississippi River to Quincy, Illinois with the main body of the Saints.
Coincidentally, Quincy, Illinois was the city where Stephen's son, Moses, had purchased a lot and house; Moses and his family had been living in Quincy since before 1835. It is a probable assumption that Stephen would have been taken in by his son upon arriving in Quincy.

By February most of the emigrants crossed the Mississippi and arrived at Quincy, where they were offered aid and refuge.

In an undated petition to the Commissioner of Pensions, Stephen Jones requests a change of address to pick up his pension payment from St. Louis, Missouri to Quincy, Illinois, due the fact that he is "one of those People who have been lately compelled to leave the State of Missouri in conformity to an Order made by Governor Boggs, and is now a resident, in the City of Quincy, State of Illinois and has been at considerable trouble, loss of time, and much expense, by being obliged to go from Quincy to St. Louis to receive his last payment, in the Month of September last."

Pension payment records indicate Stephen Jones’ pension was paid in Missouri through September 1839.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delaware County, Indiana --1831

The news Stephen Jones had written from Delaware County on 2 Dec 1831 was that he had obtained a copy of the Book of Mormon, which he stated was "now in the family." Stephen speaks of his understanding and belief in the "revelation," and encourages his children to obtain a copy, and to ask God to manifest the truth to them.

Confirming Stephen's statement are the writings of Levi W. Hancock from his journal describing his mission to Jackson County, Missouri Hancock writes that in the summer of 1831 he and his fellow missionary, Zebedee Coltrin

"then went to Winchester in Randolph County, Indiana and stopped at the county seat, on the head waters of the White River. We saw there a school master and introduced the Gospel to him. He was so well pleased with the message that he spread the news as fast as possible and called a meeting...This was in the fore part of July. We continued to preach here in the region and around about, until we had raised a large branch of the Church. We were sent forth from the Ward township. We went there and in a short time we had in both places about one hundred members. Among them, was a man by the name of Jones and his wife. He told me that he went through the Revolutionary War, that he was a life guard once for General Washington. He told me many things about the war, which was very interesting. I told him my message and we discussed the Gospel for some time. Then he asked for baptism and I baptized him. Afterwards, he said he had something for me. He had saved a watermelon on purpose for me, so he now went and picked it.

He was so grateful to me, it appeared to do him good to see me enjoying the watermelon, as if he were feeding an angel. He was so thankful to be baptized and felt the spirit of the Lord with him. I had no Elder with me at this time.

Soon after this, we thought we should leave here, as we had done all we could in Winchester...It is now the month of August that I made this last account. Mr. Jones showed me his cornfield and cut down one stalk that measured one rod (17 ft). It was the tallest corn I had ever seen. I think there was none in the field any longer. This was on a branch, he says, of the head waters of the Wabash."

Levi Hancock's journal confirms that a man named Jones, who served during the Revolutionary War, lived in the area near Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana in 1831. This man named Jones was baptized into the "Church of the Latter Day Saints" in the summer of that year.

On a side note, if we accept the 1820 Clark County, Indiana census as being Stephen Jones of Essex, NJ, then we know that he earned his living through agriculture. A statement in his letter, however, indicates that he may have raised animals as well. In his letter Stephen writes "perhaps you may be desirous to know hom I make a living - I can with two--- say that I have a plenty - having been blessed and prospered much in everything I have und---en but horses of them I have lost three since I have been here - but not any discouraged at that." What was an acceptable loss of horses for a farmer on the western frontier in 1830? Did Stephen Jones raise or trade in horses that a loss of 3 was acceptable?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Residence 1830-1831

A Stephen Jones is found in 1830 in Liberty Township, Delaware County, Indiana. In the household are one male age 50-60, 1 male age 60-70, and one female age 40-50. Stephen fits the age 60-70 category, and the female is presumably his wife. The identity of the male age 50-60 is unknown. None of the individuals believed to be Stephen Jones' children are found in Delaware County.

Stephen Jones' residence in Delaware County is substantiated by a subpoena issued on 11 Sep 1830 for Stephen Jones, Mary Jones, John Biles, and James Taylor in Delaware County, Indiana, as witnesses for the defendant in the case of State vs. Robbins.
Two subsequent subpoenas were issued on 26 Jun 1833 and 20 Dec 1833 for Alfred Lee, David Jones, Andrew Boggs & docket, Stephen Jones & wife, Isaac Martin and John Bathel in Delaware County, Indiana, as witnesses in the case of State vs. Shappell.

Additional verification is provided by a letter written by Stephen Jones on 28 Dec 1831 in Delaware County, Indiana.

The letter, carefully preserved underneath tissue paper by Hannah (nee Uhl) Jones (wife of William Eugene Jones, who was the son of Benjamin V. Jones), was discovered by Hannah's daughters, Fanny Myrtle (nee Jones) Leasure and Mary Susan "Mamie" (nee Jones) Shafer about 1958. The letter had been kept in the bottom of Hannah's trunk, which she brought with her when she moved to the home of her daughter, Mamie, in Rochester, Fulton County, Indiana. The trunk remained in Mamie's possession after Hannah's death in 1955.

Addressed to Moses Jones in Grass Creek, (now Fulton County), Indiana, Stephen begins with the salutation "Dear children." He later lists individuals presumed to be his sons, daughter, and son-in-law: "Moses, Hiram, Benjamin & Stephen Jones Jr., George Carr, and all my daughters." Benjamin is instructed in the letter, to "see to Mary Ann," and Stephen writes he has sent word by Job Strawn [presumed his brother-in-law], to have her [Mary Ann] "chose [sic] you [Benjamin] her she had no parents in the state."

The Mississinewa River is located in the top center of the map. It loops down and back up again in a "U" shape. Muncie is located at the bottom left, and Winchester to the bottom right, in the area off the map.

Stephen describes where he is living as 'on the Misisin---a [Mississinewa] river, 20 miles from Winchester, and 11 from Muncy [Muncie] town.' He asks his children to direct letters sent to him to the Winchester Post Office. In the body of the letter Stephen refers to his children's step-mother, and signs the letter "Stephen Jones" and "Mary."