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."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Residence 1820

My conclusion based on the following information might be seen as controversial, and likely can't be positively proven, but I encourage you to keep an open mind and reserve judgement until you have read the entire entry.


Wildcard and Soundex searches for Stephen Jones in 1820 do not produce any individuals in Butler or Hamilton County, Ohio, nor Greene County, Pennsylvania. No possible individuals are located in Delaware County, Indiana (where Stephen is later proven to have resided), either.

There are, however, two censuses for individuals named Stephen Jones in Charlestown, Clark County, Indiana which I would like to look at. In the first column is the record from page 3 [U.S. Census 1820 IN Clark Charlestown p.3;]. In the second column is the record for page 39 [U.S. Census IN Clark Charlestown p.39;]. I have shown individuals attributed to this family who would appear roughly in the age range in the right-hand column. 1 male and two females under 10 are unidentified.

1..........1................fwm u10...........unknown
1..........1...............fwm 10-u16.......Benjamin

0..........0..............fwm 16-18.........Stephen Jr.
0..........2..............fwm 16-26.........Jno (d. bef. 1800), Hiram, Moses
0..........0..............fwm 26-45........none
1..........1...............fwm 45+...........Stephen
2..........2..............fwf u10..............unknown
2..........2..............fwf 10-u16.........Harriet, [Permelia], Mary Ann
2..........3...............fwf 16-26..........Lydia, Rachel (m.1818?), Hannah, Eliz., Phoebe
1..........1...............fwf 26-45..........Stephen's wife
0..........0..............fwf 45+.............none
0..........0.............foreign..............none, Hiram, Moses, Steph. Jr.

Lining the data up in this manner shows a corresponding individuals in both censuses that closely align with individuals in Stephen Jones' household. Page 39 shows additional individuals which closely match the older male children in Stephen's household. These census pages are undated and specific localities are not identified; it is not clear if this Stephen Jones was enumerated twice (on one or two properties), or if these were two different individuals. Others on these pages do not seem to be enumerated twice.

Following are the three reasons I believe that these are two enumerations of Stephen Jones of Essex, New Jersey, reason 3 being the most compelling in my mind:

  1. In both cases, enumerated individuals closely match those in Stephen Jones' family. It is unclear why he would have been enumerated twice, but the older male children are clearly old enough to have been on their own, and so not shown on page 3; Stephen Jr. is missing from both, unless it is Benjamin shown as under 10, and Stephen Jr. 10-u16.
  2. The individual I believe to be Stephen and Keziah's daughter, Harriet, lived with her first husband in Clark County, Indiana. She was married in 1828 in Harrison County, two counties west of Clark. (Other possible marriages for Stephen's children in southern Indiana are: Hiram D. Jones m. Sarah Green 18 Mar 1828 Washington Co IN and Rachel Jones m. William Watson 10 Jul 1817 Harrison Co IN.) [Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850;]
  3. Also enumerated on page 3 of the Clark County Indiana census for 1820 is an individual named Minus Johnston. In May of 1838 Stephen Jones wrote that on his return trip from 'the Wabash' to Far West, Missouri, he "called on Minas Johnson found him and family wel [sic]" (Stephen had been in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana for the deposition of Walter Dickerson in reference to his pension hearing) [Stephen Jones; Caldwell Co. MO; 1 May 1838]. Results for a wildcard search for Min* Johns*on in the 1830 and 1840 censuses results in only one individual: "Minas Johnston" is found in Clark County in 1830 [U.S. Census 1830 IN Clark Jeffersonville p.9;], and in 1840 "Minus Johnson" lives in Boone County, Indiana [U.S. Census 1840 IN Boone Warrick p.12;]. It has occurred to me to wonder if there might be some familial relationship between Stephen Jones and Minas Johnston, as there appears to have been with George Trace.

A search for deeds in Clark County, Indiana [FHL 1428599; Deed records (Clark County, Indiana), 1801-1901] produced an indenture for a Stephen Jones dated 10 Sep 1827. The deed between Stephen Jones and Ichabod Crane involved parcel 222 of the Illinois Grant, more recently known as Clark's Grant.

    "This Indenture made this tenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty seven, between Stephen Jones of the County of clark and State of Indiana of the one part and Ichabod Clark of the County of Washington and state aforesaid of the other part witnesseth that the said Stephen Jones for and in condi-deration of the sum of two hundred dollars lawful money...Hath granted, bargained and sold...unto the said Ichabod Clark his heirs and assigns forever, a certain piece or parcel of land, situate lying and being in the County of Clark and State of Indiana aforesaid known and designate on the map or plan of the Illinois Grant in sd County by being the hundered and sixty acres of land from the south west side of tract num-ber two hundred and twenty two (222) and bounded as follows..." [designates boundaries using land owned by James King, Richard Clegg, the 'widow Ross' and George Reed]

    A check for the individuals named in the deed does not produce much results for 1820, but most are found in 1830:

    1820 Census IN Clark Charlestown p.3 Stephen Jones p.6 George Read; no female Ross, nor James King, Richard Clegg in Clark County, or Ichabod Clark in Washington County.

    1830 Census IN Clark Charlestown p.9 Ichabod Crane, Richard Clegg, George Reed; p.11 James King

    (See for further information on Gen. George Rogers Clark and the Illinois Grant).

    Due to the association with Minas Johnston and the location of Harriet's marriage and subsequent residence, I believe that Stephen Jones of Essex County, New Jersey had purchased a portion of Lot 222 of the Illinois (Clark's) Grant, which he sold in 1827 to Ichabod Crane. I believe he was living on this land in 1820.

    I would be interested in hearing analysis of this data resulting in different opinions.