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The following incomplete information was obtained while researching the life of Robert L Jones , a brother of John W Jones. The information is included for the benefit of other researchers; currently I do not have the time to pursue this peripheral research but in due course I shall be making available further information about John's ancestors. Perhaps the most important fact regarding John W Jones is that there were 2 men with that name who had much in common; both were born in Wales but settled in Pennsylvania - one was born in 1836 and lived in West Bangor and the other who was about 12 years younger lived in nearby Delta (See maps). Both worked in the slate industry, both had a wife called Ellen and both mixed in the same social circles and attended the same church. For this reason, it is difficult to know to which of them newspaper reports refer and it may explain why in America the subject of these notes was given the sobriquet "Siân Penmachno"; I believe both were born in Caernarvonshire. I shall address this confusion before looking at the life of the John who was the brother of Robert l Jones.
Apart from such things as their age difference, precisely which community they lived in and the names of their children it is easy to confuse the two men called John W Jones. In reality, the only information that can clearly distinguish them must be based on official records such as censuses, combined with birth, marriage and death records; they can be identified in newspaper reports only if a fact such as the name of a child or their place of residence has been included. Fortunately, with one minor exception the official records for each man are remarkably consistent. However, anyone unaware that there were actually two such men could easily make assumptions that an inconsistent record they found was due to inaccuracies in the making of that record.
Here is information I believe to be reasonably accurate about this other John W Jones: He was born on 13 October 1847 and was almost 83 old when he died on 26 September 1930 (Robert's brother was born on 14 Sept 1836 and died in 1913): His Welsh parents were William and Ann Jones: He arrived in America with his parents and siblings (John and Robert's parents never left Wales): He became a manager/owner of a slate quarry (Robert's brother's association with slate quarrying was only ever specified as "slate dresser"): His wife was Ellen J Jones: Ellen was born on 7 Sep 1847 in Racine, Racine County, Wisconsin, and died on 30 Oct 1926 (aged 79) in Delta, York County, Pa. (Robert's brother's wife was born in Wales): this other couple appear to have had a daughter called Mollie and she may well have been the Mollie who married Arthur Lee Jones, one of the sons of Robert L Jones. At least one researcher wrongly included John (b 1847) in the family of Robert L Jones, etc. and had thus deduced that Arthur had married his cousin
Although the censuses do not indicate that any of Robert's brothers in Pennsylvania owned slate quarries, the following report in the Delta Herald, 15 Oct 1886 shows that his brothers William and John did make a foray into ownership: "Quarry Notes: Wm and John W. Jones, brothers of R. L. Jones, have leased the quarry formerly operated by Frey, Motter & Co., but which has now been idle since March 1886." This business venture may have been short-lived but it adds to the confusion between the two Johns. In the 1900 US census Robert's brother John was a "slate dresser" whereas the occupation of John (b 1847) was "Supentender Slate Quarry". This and other information in the following 1900 newspaper report quoted on this page of my history of Robert's life, suggest that the report is about John W Jones (b 1847):
They have built a very successful company Jones & Williams, these boys from Llanberis. John W. Jones is the grandson of Bwich Uchaf: and John and William J. Williams are sons of John Williams, Cariwr, previously Ebenezer. The three have been partners for 35 years. They have a large store associated with the business. [Y Drych 22 Nov 1900]If this statement is correct - the original quote begins: "Cwmni llwyddianus iawn ydynt Jones & Williams, bechgyn o Lanberis. John W. Jones sydd un o wyrion y Bwich Uchaf" - then the other John comes from the Llanberis area of Caernarvonshire and not from Penmachno. I believe Bwich Uchaf is a hamlet about 2 km NNW of Llanberis.
Other newspaper reports clearly show that the two families met socially and it would seem that both attended the Calvinistic Methodist Church at West Bangor. A report in Y Drych, 9 April 1891, described a concert by the pupils of Miss Sina Davies in which "Arthur Jones and his sister, Miss Bella, the children of Robert L [the report wrongly has the initial 'S'] Jones and his spouse" performed, as did "Miss Mollie Jones, daughter of John W. Jones and his spouse, Delta". Y Drych, 4 January 1894 carries a report of a charity concert at West Bangor church in which adults and children from the families of both John W Jones were performing. From the occasional presence of one or two of his brothers, it would appear that the John W Jones who regularly performed in musical and singing roles locally was the one born in 1836 i.e. the brother of Robert L Jones.
The following are just some of the articles in the newspaper Y Drych, translated from the original Welsh, that mention one or other of the two men called John W Jones:
[Y Drych, 20 May 1875] WEST BANGOR, PA. - The Gwynedd Lodge, from this place, held its first festival, the 1st of this month. The fraternity met about half past three o'clock, when the procession formed in the following order. Firstly, the Band (Band), then U. L. and I. L., carrying the Charter; after that the other officers, and follow them the ordinary members in twos. The brotherhood was about 60. Approximately four miles were marched, through the communities of Dafydd, Chicken Town, Delta and Bangor. The parade was extremely organized and regular, and the Band played the tunes excellently. We felt proud that we had such a Welsh Band in our area; and apart from five, they are all Ivorites. Our Lodge secretary, namely J. W. Jones, is our leader. In the evening, a public meeting was held under the presidency of our senior Presiding Officer, Thomas J. Williams. The oration was by the brothers Richard R Rees and J. W. Jones; ... and "Thair Pluen Cymru," was performed] by R L Jones . ... Although the Ivorites have not been established long, they are thriving and show great promise. It would be good to have such a group permanently."Note: The Ivorites were a philanthropic society, founded in Wales with the aim of preserving the Welsh language and its members also vowed to help one another in time of need.
Y Drych, 17 Nov. 1881: An article about the slate industry included: "Pe buasai genyf ddawn John W. Jones, gallaswn wneyd traethawd ardderchog ar y "Peach Bottom Slate," gwerth i ymddangos ar wyneb Y DRYCH." I believe this suggests that one of the Johns had written an article about "Peach Bottom Slate" worthy of inclusion in the pages of Y Drych.
J. W. Jones was on the committee concerned with replacing the church in West Bangor with a new one in Delta; it had been planned for at least 12 years but there had been legal obstacles in the way. [Y Drych, 21 June 1894]
The death certificate of John W Jones, the brother of Robert L. Jones, states that he was born on 14 September 1835 (all census evidence indicates the year was 1836) and suffered a fatal heart attack on 26 May 1913: His occupation was given as 'Quarryman': His parents were William and Ellen Jones, her maiden name also being Jones: The informant was John's son, William A Jones of Delta. His widow was living with their eldest son, William and his family in Chestnut Street, Delta, in 1920 and she died on 28 Sep 1927. Both are buried in Slateville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Delta.
The eldest child of William and Ellen Jones of Penmachno, John Jones, was listed as "John Jones" in the UK censuses but was known in America as John W Jones or, as stated, "Siân Penmachno". I have only ever seen a middle initial, not a full name but presumably, as the eldest son, it represented his father's name, 'William'. He was born on 14 Sept 1836. In the 1841 Welsh census John was aged 4 and was with his parents, his older sister and younger brother, Robert, in Penmachno. In 1851, he was aged 14, still with his family in Penmachno and he was a "slate maker". Rev Joseph Roberts wrote about his visit to West Bangor in the summer of 1896 [YD 13 Aug 1896]:
After arriving at West Bangor, I saw there many more Penmachno people than I was expecting. I saw Ellin and Ann, and William, and John, the sons and daughters of William Jones, Tanrhiw. Richard Roberts, husband of Ann, has done well, and owns his own foundry; and William Jones was a supervisor of the quarrymen of his brother Robert L. Jones. One of his daughters, by Ellin Jones, the Benar, is married and lives in Philadelphia.
John sailed to America in 1857 and settled in West Bangor, Pennsylvania. In the 1870 US Census the following were listed in the household at West Bangor: John W Jones (34), worker in a slate quarry, born in Wales: his wife Ellen* (27), born in Wales (Ellen was elsewhere also named Eleanor with various spellings): Their children, William A (8), Ellen A (4) and Esther W (1), all born in Pennsylvania: Listed with them was John's brother, Robert L Jones, though it is likely that he was in Pennsylvania, meeting his future wife, on the official day of the census. The value of John's real estate was $600 and of his personal estate was $260, both low compared with his neighbours.
The History of York County, Vol II, p 651 states: "In 1863 Humphrey R. Lloyd was united in marriage to Jane Williams, daughter of Hugh and Winifred (Jones) Williams, who were among the first Welsh settlers in Delta, where they arrived in 1843. They had two other daughters : Winifred, who married Elias Roland, and resides in the State of Washington, and Ellen, Mrs. John W. Jones, of West Bangor, Pa. Mr. Williams' death occurred in 1865, and that of his wife in 1884." The death certificate of William Arthur Jones, one of the sons of John and Ellen, gives his mother's maiden name as "Eleanor Williams". However, in the US censuses Ellen consistently stated she was born in Wales; the 1900 US census states that she immigrated to the States in 1845 and had been there 55 years and the 1910 census states her immigration to the States was in 1850. It may well be that Ellen was brought to America as a baby. The US censuses all confirm that John arrived in America in 1857 and he was probably the source of the census information.
The 1900 census states John and Ellen had 10 children of whom 7 were living in 1900 but only 6 were alive in 1910. The 4 who died before 1910 were:
Further census information for John and Ellen and their children that I have come across is as follows:
1880 US census, West Bangor, Pa.
John Jones (43), quarry man
Eleanor Jones (37), wife, keeping house
William A Jones (17), works in quarry
Ellen A Jones (13)
Jane H Jones (8)
Hugh G Jones (5)
Edith W Jones (3)
Hannah Jones (6/12)
1900 US census, West Bangor, Pa. - owned their own house, free of mortgage.
John Jones (63), b Sept 1836 in North Wales, married 39 years, quarry man, immigration 1857, 43 years in USA, Slate dresser
Elenor Jones (57), b March 1843 in North Wales, married 39 years, 10 children born, 7 of whom living, immigration 1845, 55 years in USA,
William A Jones (37), b Oct 1862 in Pa., Slate dressing
Frederic S Jones (15), b July 1884 in Pa., Slate dressing
Arthur J Jones (11), b Jan 1889 in Pa., at School for 9 months
All had both parents b North Wales & all could, read, write & speak English. (The crossing out was as in the census.)
1910 US census - West Bangor,Pa.
John Jones (73), b in Wales, Welsh speaking, married 48 years, immigration 1857, Quarryman, Slate maker
Elinor Jones (67), b in Wales, Wesh speaking, married 48 years, 10 children born, 6 of whom living, immigration 1850
Hugh G Jones (35), b in Pa., Quarryman, Slate dresser
Arthur J Jones (21), b in Pa., Quarryman, Slate dresser
All were able to speak English & all had both parents b Wales & Welsh speaking.
Thus the six children living at the time of the 1910 census were:
Sadly Arthur J Jones died that same year, aged 21, and is buried in Slateville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Delta.
The eldest child was William A Jones. He was born on 8 October 1862. A family tree on Ancestry shows that he continued to live in Peach Bottom, moving to Delta just before the turn of the century and that on 4 January 1904 he married Margaret Anne Hughes (1880, Pa, USA - 15 Dec 1974, Delta, PA). In 1920 the family was living in Chestnut Street, Delta. Interestingly the other John W Jones (b 1847) was living in Chestnut Street at that time.
William and Margaret's son, Wilber A Jones, was born in 1905 and married Mildred L Sidaway. They settled in Snow Hill, Worcester, Maryland where Wilber worked as a high school teacher. He states that he had not attended school or college himself, though in the 1940 census he states that his highest grade completed was 4th year, college. They had a son Richard L Jones.
William and Margaret's second son Hugh John Jones (2 Oct 1906, Delta, Pa. - 21 May 1984, Warminster, Bucks, Pa.) married twice. He married his second wife, Mary G Griffiths, on 11 Nov 1931 at the Welsh Church, Philadelphia.
Hugh was the informant at the death of his father, William A Jones, who suffered a fatal haemorrhage as the result of pulmonary TB, the same disease that killed his uncle, Robert L Jones and many others who worked in the slate quarries. William was a quarryman all his working life and exposure to the silica dust in slate is a cause of silicosis or silica dust-associated tuberculosis. William died on 14 March 1931 and at that time Hugh was living in Delta. The other facts on William's death certificate include his date of birth and that his parents were William Jones and Mary (née Williams), both born in Wales. Like many other members of this family, William was buried in Slateville Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Delta.
Another son of John W Jones and Eleanor (née Williams) was Hugh G Jones. He was born on 16 July 1875 and in the 1910 census was still living with his parents and, like his father and brother Arthur, he was a slate dresser. The slate industry in Peach Bottom was on the decline in the early 20th century and by 1920 Hugh was working as a boiler maker in a shipyard and living in Gilpin Avenue, New Castle, Delaware, with his wife, Elizabeth (née Jones), and children, Elizabeth E, John F and Goldie M. By 1930 Hugh was back in Pennsylvania, living in Wind Gap, Northampton, with his family which included two more children Hugh G (Jr) and Winifred Jones. He was then a butcher in a meat market and was still living in Wind Gap and working as a butcher ten years later. Goldie May Jones. I hope I have omitted anyone still living from the following reports, though they are taken from the Internet & are therefore in the public domain:
The Pocono Record of Stroudsburg, Pa - Monday, 25 May 1964, p5:
Mrs. Hughes of Bangor BANGOR - Mrs. Elizabeth W. Hughes, 72, of 435 S. Second St., Bangor, died Saturday at 5:15 p.m. in the Eastwood Convalescent Home in Wilson Borough. She had been in ill health the past year. She was the wife of the late Hugh G. Jones Sr. and Thomas W. Williams. Born in Ebenezer, N. Wales, she was a daughter of the late Robert and Catherine Pritchard Jones. Mrs. Hughes came to this country at the age of 16 and lived in Wind Gap for 27 years and in Bangor since 1957. She was a member of the First Methodist Church in Bangor and the auxiliary of the Bangor Welsh Day. She is survived by three daughters, ...; two sons, J. Fred Jones of Huntsville, Ala. and Hugh G. Jones Jr. of Bangor..... Also two sisters, Katherine Davis of Slatington and Mrs. Ann Jane Griffith of Wales; 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Funeral service will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Schmidt Funeral Home in Wind Gap with the Rev. Guy H. Everly officiating. Burial will be in Wind Gap Cemetery in Plainfield Township. Friends may call at the funeral home Wednesday after 7 p.m.
The Morning Call, 18 November 1987:
Mrs. Goldie May Trexler, 68, of 435 S. 2nd St., Bangor, died Monday in St. Luke's Hospital. She was the wife of Frank M. Trexler Sr. They observed their 46th wedding anniversary last month. Born in Wilmington, Del., she was a daughter of the late Hugh G. and Elizabeth (Jones) Jones. She was a member of First United Methodist Church, Bangor. Surviving with her husband are three sons, ...; three daughters, ....; two brothers, John F. of Huntsville, Ala., and Hugh G. of Bangor; two sisters, Mrs. Elizabeth Frantz of Bangor and Mrs. Esther Smith of Wind Gap; six grandchildren and five step-grandchildren. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in the church.
Elizabeth E. Frantz, 96, of Aston and formerly of Bangor, died Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at Wallingford Nursing Home. Born in Claymont, Delaware, she had resided in Bangor, until moving to Aston in 1999.
Personal: Mrs. Frantz worked for a clothing mill as a seamstress in Bangor, retiring in 1979
Past Member of the First United Methodist Church, Bangor, PA
A woman devoted to her family. She was a member of Aston Senior Citizens, served as a Girl Scout Leader and was an avid reader.
Wife of the late Floyd F. Frantz.
Mother of the late Elizabeth A. Arnold who died in 2006
Survived by a Sister: Esther Winifred Smith of Wind Gap, PA; Also survived by Five Grandchildren, Fourteen Great-Grandchildren and One Great-Great-Granddaughter.
Graveside Service and Interment Monday 12:00 Noon in St John's Cemetery, Bangor, PA.
Contributions in memory of Elizabeth Frantz may be given to First United Methodist Church, 55 North 3rd Street, Bangor, PA 18013.
Researchers for this family may find the following 3 sites useful:
e.g. First United Methodist Church - Bangor - Funerals - Book 8 1990-2002
Hugh G. Jones (not a member of the congregation)
d. Oct. 25, 1998 Eastwood Nursing Rehab Center
Bd. Oct. 29, 1998 Plainfield Cemetery, Plainfield Twp.
1840 US Census:
Household in Hagerstown, MD/ Fairfield, PA:
Hugh G Jones
Esther W Jones
Elizabeth E Woolley
Elizabeth A Woolley
(Requires further research!)
The following items in the US Welsh language paper Y Drych may give a clue as to what became of the girls:
Marriage announcement in Y Drych 8 October 1885
WILLIAMS-JONES - Medi 23,1885, yn ardal West Bangor, York Co., Pa., gan y Parch. J. D. Smith, Mr. James Williams a Miss Ellen A. Jones, y ddau o'r lle uched.
September 23,1885, in the West Bangor area, York Co., Pa., By the Rev. J. D. Smith, Mr. James Williams and Miss Ellen A. Jones, both of the above place (i.e. West Bangor).
Marriage announcement in Y Drych 2 August 1894
WILLIAMS-JONES - Gorph. 25, 1894, yn ei dy ei hun y Parch. H.F. Williams, Mr. W.M. Williams, South Delta, Md., a Miss Jane Harriet Jones, West Bangor, Pa.
WILLIAMS-JONES - July 25, 1894, in her own home, by the Rev. H.F. Williams, Mr. W.M. Williams, South Delta, Md., to Miss Jane Harriet Jones, West Bangor, Pa.
Mentioned in a July 28 report of several marriages in West Bangor in Y Drych 3 August 1899:
Requires further research!
Hefyd, nos Sadwrn, Gorphenaf 22 gan y Parch. H. F. Williams, priodwyd Mr. John R. Price o Wilkesbarre, Pa., a Miss Edith Winifred Jones, merch ieuengaf Mr. A Mrs. J.W. Jones, West Bangor, a gwasanaethod Mr. W.A. Jones a Miss Annie Williams fel gwas a morwyn priodas. Gwelir fod Cupid ynm rhoddi cryn sylw i'r gymydogaeth hon y dyddiau hyn.
Also, Saturday, July 22 by the Rev. H. F. Williams, Mr. John R. Price from Wilkesbarre, Pa., and Miss Edith Winifred Jones, youngest daughter. Mrs. J.W. Jones, West Bangor, and Mr. W.A. Jones and Miss Annie Williams as a servant and a bridal maid. It is seen that Cupid is giving a great deal of attention to us in this neighborhood today.
Click here to access the Jones family history page which provides links to the pages about each of John's siblings.