Elizabeth Thomas (me!)
William Thomas (my dad)
Wendell Thomas (my grandfather)
Walter Thomas (my great grandfather)
Turesa Jones (my gg grandmother)
Theodore Jones (my ggg grandfather)What I know about Theodore has been gleaned from the records of other individuals and from the googlebooks copy of The History of Livingston County, Illinois, 1878 edition. Through many readings of the History I discovered that Theodore and a brother named Thomas were the son of one of the first pioneers in the county, a Charles Jones who came to Illinois from Bordentown, New Jersey. I discovered that another son of Charles Jones, named St. Clair, was one of the first marriages in the county, but I haven't found any other records pertaining to St. Clair Jones. The History also told me that Theodore's mother was one of the first deaths in Forrest Township, and it even said she was buried in "Judge Burton's deer park" but it fails to reveal the name of Mrs. Jones.
In searching for the family on ancestry.com I discovered that a few others had trees which included not Theodore, but a sister of Theodore, named Elizabeth Hopkins Jones who married a politician named Orrin Phelps. I even discovered a picture of Theodore's sister, and I suspect it is a 4 generation photo with Theodore's sister as the eldest member of the family.
I have tried to contact the ancestry.com member who originally posted this picture, seeking further information about the Jones family of Fairbury, Illinois, but so far I haven't received a reply. After I learned of Elizabeth Hopkins Jones Phelps, I wondered if the name "Hopkins" might be the maiden name of Elizabeth and Theodore's mother. It was a common practice to use a mother's maiden name as the child's middle name. And in fact I knew that the practice had continued in this family since my great grandfather Walter was named Walter "Jones" Thomas after his mother's maiden name. But I kept searching.
This week I got a confirmation that my hunch was correct! Just when I had nearly given up, Theodore's death certificate arrived.
The second thing I noticed is that I WAS RIGHT! Everything I thought about Theodore's parents was true. There was his father Charles from New Jersey. But best of all, Theodore's mother *was* named "Hopkins." For the first time I was able to learn the name of my pioneering 4Xgreat grandmother who was "buried in Judge Burton's deer park; it was Mary Hopkins. It says she was born in "Penn."
The informant was Henry T. Jones, the son of Theodore Jones and brother of my gg grandmother. I wonder if Henry really knew his grandmother's name...he could never have known her; she died long before he was born. But Theodore and Elizabeth Rachel only had two children who survived into adulthood. I'm hoping in their small family they passed on this information to their son so that Henry's report of his grandmother's name is true.
It would be wonderful if the ancestry.com member who posted the picture of Theodore's sister would respond to my message. It would be even better if that person would tell me that more pictures of the family exist and yes, maybe there is a photo of Elizabeth's brother Theodore in one of them. But for today and I am very happy to have learned the identity of Mary Hopkins, who is no longer just "the wife of Charles Jones." I hope I can learn more about her and her family that lived in Pennsylvania. But mostly I am glad to have discovered her name.