Monday, September 19, 2011

In the Beginning . . .

The Jones Family and the Ohio River

Mural Painted on Flood Wall in Maysville, KY as it was in 1850

As far as I know, my first Jones ancestor in Cincinnati was my gg-grandfather, Alexander Jones.  The first documented evidence I have of him in the Cincinnati area was his marriage to Elizabeth Kinley on July 6, 1840.  They were married in Aberdeen, Ohio, across the river from Maysville, Kentucky.   According to a letter written by Lillian Mears,* Alexander was born in Chillicothe, Ohio and Elizabeth was "Pennsylvania Dutch."  She believes that Alexander's father emigrated from Wales -- something that requires further research.
View of the Maysville Riverfront in 2009

I do not know where Alexander and Elizabeth lived at the time of their marriage.  A later Census document says that their first-born son, William, was born in Kentucky.  The earliest I can prove that they were in Cincinnati is 1843 when Alexander was listed in the Cincinnati City Directory.

So what brought them to Cincinnati"  Alexander's occupation is listed as "carpenter" in every Census.  The steamboat-building business in Cincinnati in the 1840s was booming.  Cincinnati, the "Queen City of the West," was rapidly gaining population.  It had to seem like the place to be.

We will follow the Jones Family journey and its relationship to the Ohio River for six generations and counting. 
* Lillian Mears was the first cousin of my grandfather, Charles Fred Jones.  She wrote the letter summarizing our family history to my aunt, Edith Jones Breving in February of 1978. You can read more about Lillian and the letter here.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kathleen,
    I know this was posted long ago, but in checking out this blog too, I was fascinated by this piece of history documented in that cool photo and the article from 1897! I love primary documents! They really take us back to the date they were written and into the minds of people at the time. It's a one-way conversation, but one we can add to with our imaginations. Thinking about all those "illegal" marriages, I'm struck again by the difficulty of legislating love and bonds. In their minds, all those folks were "married," whether officially sanctioned or not. We have similar situations today, but the costs of not recognizing the marriage of those who love each other is greater. The state eventually caught up with the reality! Great post. And I love your diligence in tracking down details and facts.