I have struggled for the past year to make progress on my ancestor, John H. Jones, who was born somewhere in Virginia in 1806 (1850, 1860 and 1870 Census records). He died in Pittsburgh in 1878 and is consistently listed in records as a cooper (barrel maker). His sons and grandsons also worked as coopers. As such, I am always on the lookout for Joneses who worked as coopers, particularly any guys who were born in Virginia in the late-1700s/early-1800s.
John H. Jones married Elizabeth Ballou (daughter of Amariah and Jane Ballou of Massachusetts and further generations back in Rhode Island) in Pennsylvania in 1828. They lived in several places before settling in Pittsburgh in the 1860s, including Zanesville, Ohio in 1832, Salem, Ohio in 1836, Lafayette, Indiana in 1839 and Meigs, Ohio in the mid-to-late 1850s. They had eight children - and I know the names of five of them (Rebecca, Elmira, Amariah, William and Elizabeth).
Without much to go on, I often focus on the names of John’s children in hopes that it will give me some clues on possible names for his parents. I know for sure that one of John’s sons was named for his wife’s father (Amariah) and one of his daughters was named for his wife’s sister (Elmira). I also know that the names of two of his children, William and Rebecca, do not appear in the previous generations of his wife’s family. As such, I pay close attention to couples named William and Rebecca Jones whose ages make them viable to be John’s parents.
I have found one couple (in the Virginia Marriage Records on Familysearch and in the extensive probate records of Southampton) that was married in Southampton, Virginia – William Salter Jones and Rebecca Wright – who were married on 28 December 1789 (and thus could have easily had John in Virginia in 1806). I haven’t found much on them yet, although I have tracked down a few of their relatives.
The man who posted surety for their marriage was Anselm Jones, who appears extensively in the Southampton County records, including a 1787 will from James Jones listing his children as: James Jones, Jordan Jones, Anselm Jones, Lucy West, Molly Kitchen and Rebecca Sebrell. Anselm then appears on several records connected to Jordan and Rebecca. I haven't found any other references though to William Salter Jones and Rebecca Wright as a married couple. There is a Willam Salter in the Southampton records, and Rebecca Wright was the daughter of an Edward Wright from nearby Surry County (who died in 1769 and left a will with several children).
Sorry for writing a tome here, but I just wanted to run through the facts. Let me know if anyone has studied this family or any of the families associated with Anselm Jones.
Thanks! Note - I have posted this on the Jones board and on other forums as well...