Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -

Morris County's Daily Record (Morristown, NJ)
March 12, 1959
From the Personal Collection of Mavis Jones

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's Saturday Night

which means it's time for the latest round of Randy Seaver's, Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

The challenge for this week is as follows:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it (where's my Mission Impossible music...drat, lost it), is:

1) Who is your MRUA - your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don't you scan it again just to see if there's something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or a comment on Facebook or some other social networking site.

My Earliest Unknown Ancester (MRUA) comes to me fairly quickly, my paternal granddad's, Harry Claudius Jones, biological father. This is position 8 on the Ahnentafel List (granddad is position 4)

I know nothing about this man that contributed to my genetic makeup. Something tells me that granddad didn't even know who he was. If granddad did have that knowledge he never passed it along.

The 1900, 1920, and 1930 censuses indicate that granddaddy Jones' father was born in North Carolina (silly 1910 enumerator put born in US). I have no clue if this is what he was told or just deductive reasoning on his part. I imagine that if my granddad knew who his father was that he would have given that name to one of his son's in much the same manner that he gave his biological mother's name to his daughter, Martha.

Granddaddy was born in Hamilton, Martin, NC in 1892. Granddad's biological mother was Martha Jones. She is also a mystery but at least I know her name.  From what I've been able to gather, my great-grandmother Martha was about 15 when she gave birth to granddad. Through my 21st century eyes, I've imagined every bad scenerio with regard to my granddad's conception. Did my great-grandfather even know about granddaddy?

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, granddaddy was reared by Mary and General Williams, who, as best as I can determine, never had any children of their own. I was always told and there does seem to be a possibility that Mary may have been granddad's maternal aunt. Now I'm not sure about that theory as both the 1900 and 1910 censuses classified granddad as a boarder or lodger. Surely if there were a biological connection it would be indicated.

So far, I've only found one document, granddad and grandmom's marriage license, that list granddaddy's biological mother's name and none that list his biological father. Therefore, I don't think a search of documents will benefit me in locating Mr. Sperm Donor.

Perhaps collateral relatives of General Williams might know what the story is but I'm not counting on that. From my one conversation with the one Williams descendant I came across via Ancestry, she truly believes that Mary and General Williams are granddaddy's parents. In the true sense, yes they were but biologically, no. Also, I've not heard back from her, since pointing out that granddad's biological mother was Martha Jones not Mary Williams.

I think the only way that I will be able to uncover granddad's paternal lineage is through DNA and luck. Since I refuse to believe that granddad was this man's only male child, earlier this year, I decided to have daddy's DNA tested to try to determine if there was a possible match and also to determine Haplogroup, etc. Unfortunately, I went through's ancestral DNA service / program. For as great as most things are with, their ancestral DNA program, as far as I'm concerned, is not up to snuff, starting with interpretation of the results. So, after doing additional research on ancestral DNA companies, and ancestral DNA in general, I decided to retest through (FTDNA), which I hope to do next month (ordered the kit today).

Praying that results show a close match to someone in their database. Then I can go from there. In the mean time, I'll continue to think of other approaches.

Of course, if anyone has any ideas, please pass them along.

Until Next Time!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Kreativ Blogger Award #2 - Thank you Renate!

What an enjoyable week. Not one but two genea-friends presented me with The Kreativ Blogger Award. Earlier in the week, genea-friend Gini at Ginisology presented me with the award. My response to to Gini's presentation can be found on my other blog Georgia Black Crackers.

My second Kreativ Blogger Award was presented to me by Genea-friend and fellow North Carolina researcher Renate of Into the Light. Thank you so much for the award and the recognition. It means a lot! I am honored that you chose me for the award!

The winner of The Kreativ Blogger Award has to list seven things about themselves and then pass the award on to seven other bloggers.

Since this was my second presentation, I wasn't sure if I needed to post seven more things about myself but decided to give it a go anyway.

  1. I'm not sure how many of my Genea-friends know that I have two blogs. This one, Conversations with my Ancestors, details the research of my paternal ancestors which hail from eastern NC (Martin, Bertie, and Pitt couties). The second blog, Georgia Black Crackers is about my maternal lineage, which to date is mostly in Georgia (Green, Jackson, Gwinnett, Oconee, and Walton counties). Conversations was started about a month or more after Georgia Black Crackers and between the two is the one I struggle with the most keeping updated because I just don't have the stores, etc that I do on my maternal side.
  2. Another thing some may or may not know is that I'm an only child. I remember when I was a child, I desperately wanted a brother or sister and asked dad to get me one. I think this shocked my parents, they didn't know how to respond because dad told me to ask mom. Mom asked what did dad say, then told me when she got her car paid off I could have a brother or sister. Yes, I'm still waiting. LOL I must say that as an adult I don't miss some of the issues that come with having siblings and thoroughly enjoy and relish my only child status.
  3. I never knew my paternal grandfather as he had already crossed over by the time my parents met each other and married. For the longest time, I was always happy I never met him because of how he treated grandmom. While I'm not sure if I would have had the same type of relationship with Granddady Jones as I had with my maternal grandfather, lately, I've been wishing that he was here to tell me about my great-grandmother. He obivously wasn't ashamed of her. I've always imagined that as the youngest grandchild I would have had him wrapped tightly around my finger and he would have told me everything.
  4. In elementary school, one of my favorite after school shows was Mid-Atlantic Wrestling. I'm not talking about the crap that's out now but the days of Rufus R. "Freight Train" Jones, Black Jack Mulligan, Andre the Giant, the "Nature Boy" - Rick Flair, Wahoo McDaniels, et. al. Those were the days, when cousin Daryl (yes the one that I was joined at the hip with) and I would try to do all those crazy moves. It's a wonder we didn't kill ourselves.
  5. My 30 year HS reunion is in a couple of weeks and I have no clue what I'm going to wear. Had hope to be down about 10 more pounds but at this point, I don't think it is going to happen. Heck I'm know even sure I'm going to be down 5 more pounds but overall, I am down 16 pounds compared to where I was this time last year and ever little bit helps. I will be at my goal weight this time next year!
  6. This year, I've been on a mini reading binge. Surprisingly I'm even finding myself  reading a little sci fi thanks to my cousin LaZealtrice who self-published her first book this year.
  7. As far as I know, I was the first and have been the only black majorette at my HS. Shortly after I graduated and our old band instructor retired, the marching band went with a more military style which totally eliminated the majorettes.
Even though the second presentation gives me the opportunity to pass the award on to an additional seven genea-friends / fellow geneabloggers, it's no easier than it was the first time that I did it. There are so many blogs that I admire and enjoy reading that I don't want to leave anyone out.

Lessons From my Ancestors Sara Beth

But Now I'm Found Jennifer

Family Stories Caroline

I Never Knew My Father Sandra Taliaferro

Find Your Folks Drusilla Pair

Even though he's on an extended hiatus right now I would still like to also recognize Remember Our Names Terrence Garnet

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday

Graves of
Toussaint L'Ouverture Jones, my uncle, and his wife, Aunt Lil

I think I can count on one hand the visits Uncle Toot made back to NC during my lifetime. You see, when he and Aunt Lil got married, there was some type of falling out between he and granddad and granddad told Uncle Toot never to bring that woman in his house, again. While I don't know if this is the reason Uncle Toot and Aunt Lil moved to TN, I think this probably played a big part in their decision to get away from the family. On occasion Uncle Toot would come for a visit but I don't ever remember seeing Aunt Lil until I was l in my mid 20s.

Through the years, I've often tried to find out exactly what happened between Uncle Toot, Aunt Lil and granddad, but those darn aunts, uncles, and even dad were and are a tight lipped bunch on this one. I suspect we nieces and nephews will never know since all the major players in this family secret are gone. I did hear that when granddad was on his death bed, he told grandmom to tell Aunt Lil to forgive him.

Whatever the battle was, it's over now. So, may you both rest in peace.

Until Next Time!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Surname Saturday + Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver's, Genea-Musings, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge, offered a perfect opportunity to combine Surname Saturday and SGNF.

Surname Saturday

The Jones name comes from my paternal grandfather. While it seems to be a very common name, for me it represents my line I know the least about.

According to Wikipeida, it's region of origin is England and Wales. The english usuage of the name comes from term Son of John, similar in usage / meaning to the surname Johnson. And in Wales, it derives from the corruption of loan, Sion or leuan, which is the Welsh version of John. (1)

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge

The instructions for this week were as follows:

  1. Find out the geographical distribution of your surname - in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file - you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.
  2. Tell us about your surname distribution in a blog post of your own (with a screen shot if possible), in comments to this post, or in comments on a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.
I went to the Public Profiler Website and entered "Jones" in the surname box and here is the result for Jones.

The Top Five Countries for the Jones surname are UNITED KINGDOM (9298.36 FPM), AUSTRALIA (6132.79 FPM), UNITED STATES (4954.1 FPM), NEW-ZEALAND (4002.11 FPM), and CANADA (1668.05 FPM).
Wales is the overall top region where the Jones surname is found and the top US region is Mississippi.
No cities in the US are among the top ten cities where the Jones surname is found.
Until next time!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Here's to our Future

The next Generation
Original held by L. H. A.