Inherited Craziness
A place to share all the nuts found on my family tree

Showing posts with label Jones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jones. Show all posts

Wednesday 3 July 2024

Charley Stone and Ellen Jones

St George's Church, Tiverton

Charley Stone (Char), son of Charles Stone and Emma Middleton, married Ellen Jones (Nell), daughter of David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White, on 3 Jul 1922, at St George's Church, Tivertongenerally considered to be the finest Georgian church in Devon, and one of the best examples in England. Witnesses were Francis Stone, the groom's uncle; William Henry Middleton, the groom's elder half-brother and their mother, Emily Stone (former Emma Middleton). Given that line up, my feeling is that Bill was best man, while Frank gave away the bride as her own father was back in Ireland.

Charley Stone born 6 Jun 1898 at 1 Silver Street, Tiverton, and baptised on 20 Jul 1898 at St Peter’s Church Tiverton, lied about his age when he enlisted in the Royal Marines at Exeter on 18 Jan 1915, which is why this and many subsequent records suggest he was born a year earlier in 1897. The marines can't ever have discovered the one year discrepancy though, because his record notes the 139 days he was underage, from 18 Jan 1915 to 5 Jun 1915, but 6 Jun 1915 will only have been his 17th birthday, not his 18th.

Char did his training at the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, until 18 Aug 1915. Then after a brief period at Plymouth Division, was assigned to HMS Revenge (06) on 1 Feb 1916 and stayed with this ship until 24 Jan 1918, being promoted to Corporal on the 1st day of that year.

Revenge (left) and the battleship Hercules (right) at the Battle of Jutland

Consequently, on 31 May - 1 Jun 1916, just five days before his 18th birthday, Charley Stone took part in the Battle of Jutlandthe largest naval battle of the First World War. "In the course of the battle, Revenge had fired 102 rounds from her main battery [...]. She also fired 87 rounds from her secondary guns. She was not hit by any fire during the engagement."

British battleship HMS Glory at Murmansk
From 23 May 1918, until 16 Jul 1919, Char was assigned to HMS Glory (1899), of the British North Russia Squadron, which took him to Archangel and Murmansk during the North Russia intervention. "Glory was based at Archangel to protect supplies that arrived there for the Russian Army. The squadron's mission evolved after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 into preventing the supplies that had been delivered from falling into the hands of the Red Army." Arrived just in time for A Fire, a Riot, a Bombing, and a Mutiny. Like most who went through these events, Char never spoke about his experiences, except to a brother who was also a Marine, and what I've been told only intimated that things were really bad (understatement) up there. 
HMS Royalist (1883)
Continuing his amazing ability to turn up in all the wrong places at the right times, from 12 Feb 1920 to 15 Mar 1922 Char was sent to HMS Colleen (formerly HMS Royalist (1883)), which was then the depot ship at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, at the height of the Irish War of Independence. Being hulked (stuck in one place), allowed more opportunity to fraternise with the locals, obviously. The 1921 Census shows Charley Stone (24) [i.e. still maintaining he was a year older than he really was], Corporal R M L I, was with the Royal Navy, Armed Forces Overseas.

Nell and Char's only child, Charles Francis Stone (Frank) was born, on 17 July 1923 at The Military Families Hospital, Devonport and christened at The Anglican Church of Saint Paul, Durnford Street, East Stonehouse on Sunday, 5 Aug 1923. This was the day after the wedding of Char's first cousin Frederick Thomas Stone and Kathleen Mullarkey, at which Char was best man and could have been the new baby's first "social engagement" - not that he'd have remembered it - but it feels like a real connection to the past to imagine that maybe Maria Mullarkey, the bride's mother, may have fawned over the new infant (as you do). The family's address at that time was 36, Admiralty Street, East Stonehouse. Now The Fig Tree Restaurant, this was once a shop.

Nell and Char's only child, Charles Francis Stone (Frank), aged around three.

The rest of Char's Royal Marines' career was spent mostly at Plymouth Division - they lived in the Eastern King battery where Frank played football on the landings - and at HMS Impregnable training establishments in Devonport: the former HMS Black Prince (1861) in late 1922 and the former HMS Ganges (1821) in 1923/24. Char was promoted to Sergeant from 9 Aug 1924, Colour sergeant from 2 Apr 1931, and Quartermaster sergeant (QMS) in Aug 1932, retiring on 5 Jun 1936. 

Charley Stone's uniform tunic now in the possession of the Royal Marines Museum

(Here's an exhibit you wouldn't see on display, even if the Royal Marines Museum wasn't currently homeless. So I consider myself fortunate that I was able to visit when it was still housed in the former officers’ mess on the Eastney Barracks (now to be turned into a five-star hotel) a few years ago and had made arrangements for a private viewing of the tunic pictured.)

Nell and Char on their
25th Wedding Anniversary
in 1947, in the garden of 117,
Corisande Road, Selly Oak.
After he retired from the Royal Marines, Char took a job as a Post Office Van Driver in Birmingham, which is where we find the family in 1939, at 117 Corisande Road, Selly Oak with Charley Stone, Postman Driver (Heavy Work) still listing himself as a year older and Ellen trying to bridge the four year age gap and be two years younger. Frank (16) was working as a Stationery clerk at the Screw Works. 

Char had worked as a gardener before he'd joined the marines, having worked in the kitchen garden at Knightshayes Court in Tiverton. In Birmingham, he grew soft fruits - I remember being sent up the garden to pick raspberries and blackcurrants - and he had a greenhouse stuffed full of his favourite fuchsias that, in his Devon accent were always pronounced foosherrs.

Charley Stone died on 10 May 1973 at Selly Oak Hospital. He was 75.

Ellen Stone died on 31 Jan 1993 in Highcliffe, Dorset (DOR Q1/1993 in BOURNEMOUTH (4271A) Reg A2D Entry Number 254), in her 99th year.

Saturday 17 February 2024

David Jones and Laura Elizabeth White

Christ Church Rushbrooke Cobh

My great-grandparents, David Jones (b. 10 Jul 1850 at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire), son of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty, and Laura Elizabeth White (b. 15 Oct 1870 in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, Norfolk), daughter of Walter White and Hannah Blazey, married at Christ Church, Church of IrelandRushbrooke, Cobh (Queenstown, as it was then), Ireland on 17 Feb 1892. David Jones was then Sexton of this Anglican Christ Church. But this was not David's first marriage, so we have to rewind for the full story: 

David was baptised, on 1 May 1851, at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk and brought up in Baltimore, West Cork. He enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy Second Class, on 7 July 1865, just shy of his 15th birthday. His father, Thomas Jones, and mother, Mary, co-signed the papers. David was then 4ft 8½in tall, with a sallow complexion, dark brown hair and hazel eyes. Once he reached 18, his period of engagement was to last a further ten years, obviously intending to follow in his father's footsteps. At 14 he was assigned to HMS Implacable, which had become the Royal Navy's first training ship at Devonport in 1855. But instead of continuing his service as planned, David was discharged on 17 Oct 1866, when he will have been just 16. Under the Cause of Discharge, is the abbreviation for Invalided.

Because David always claimed to come from Wales, I almost missed his naval record. In fact, I'd dismissed it twice, because, although many other details seemed close enough, the boy was born in Lincolnshire, which didn't seem relevant. Then I found his father's posting to Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire and David's birth there and the pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place.

You gotta love a family story. There's always a grain of truth in them, but inevitably some embellishment. Family tradition was that David had "lost a hand in battle". We searched high and low for a naval battle in the right era and came up with nothing. "In battle" sounds more heroic, clearly. Maybe it also proved handy (pun intended) in attracting him two wives! My late cousin in Ireland recounted that her older sister had remembered visiting the family in Rushbrooke and seeing David's 'Sunday Best' gloved hand hanging up in the kitchen (such a creepy image) and continued that, apparently, he had a fork attachment for everyday - from which we may deduce that it was his left hand he lost - that attached to a metal pin that was inserted at his wrist. 

There not being more detail, nor medical records we can access, we have to surmise the rest of story. That he lost a hand is not in question. He was still in training, so there was no 'battle'. But, taking into consideration that this was 1866 - general anesthesia was still very much in experimental infancy - my feeling is that the only place that such a procedure as inserting a metal pin into his wrist was likely to be carried out was in a military hospital and at that time there was the the former Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. That they did this and sent him off with a pension at the tender age of 16, suggests that the Navy was at fault and, my cousin's sister had recalled that this was as a result of an exploding gun, which also seems to confirm this theory.

After being pensioned off from the Navy, David Jones was next recorded at Castle Oliver in Limerick at the time of his father's death in 1873. Records of his Dog Licences then placed David at Castle Oliver in 1874 to 1877 too and, from 1878 onwards, man and dog were at Rushbrooke. Following the Dogs Act of 1865, every dog owner in Ireland had to go to the court and pay 2s 6d - to have the breed and colour of dogs written down in a ledger. It was hardly an exact science, because the same dog was described differently each year. Most of David's dogs were terriers, retrievers and spaniels, so I'm pretty sure he was using them to hunt. Nevertheless, we learned from these listings girl dogs were called 'Slut'. As if bitch wasn't bad enough!

On 5 Oct 1880, David Jones married Johannah Anne O'Callaghan at the Parish Church in Inchigeelagh, Cork, By Licence. Johannah's father, Cornelius O'Callaghan was a Schools Inspector and on a later census return pedantically listed himself as Church of Ireland, and a member of the 'Irish Truth Society - Protestant'. Interesting choice of father-in-law for "a nice Catholic boy".

David and Hannah had five children, all baptised at Christ Church: 
  1. Thomas Jones b. 19 Oct 1881, bap. 19 Nov 1881. (Died 8 Jan 1891.)
  2. Marcella Jones b. 10 May 1883, bap. 2 Jun 1883
  3. Helena Jones b. 4 Mar 1885, bap. 14 Mar 1885 [1]
  4. Anna Jones b. 14 Feb 1887, bap. 19 Mar 1887. (Died in 1902.)
  5. Marion Jones b. 27 Aug 1889, bap. 21 Sep 1889 (Died 8 Mar 1891.)
By the time of the baptism of David and Hannah's first child in 1881, David was listed as "Sexton of Church". Rushbrooke had docks, a tradition of ship building and the Irish Naval Service nearby, so I don't suppose it hurt that he was a Naval Pensioner, but the timing and the fact that the pedantically detailed school records were held in the church, lead me to believe that his father-in-law's contacts may have secured David this position. 

David appeared before the Petty Sessions Court on 17 Oct 1884 and was fined three shillings, plus one shilling and sixpence costs, for trespass. This time the cause of the complaint reads, "Trespass: Defendant's goat trespassed on complainant's pasture land at Ringmeen, Queenstown on 15 Oct 1884." From this we can probably safely deduce that David kept a goat. 

And so things might have continued, but Johannah Jones (35), wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died of Typhoid fever, on 18 Feb 1891. Johannah was buried, on 20 Feb 1891 in the same plot as David's father, Thomas Jones (Section S, Row 9, Position 76), at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), where her son Thomas (9) had been buried little more than a month earlier, on 10 Jan 1891. One assumes from the same cause. Youngest daughter, Marion (2), also died on 8 Mar 1891. There was no record in the church of Marion's burial, but I imagine she'll have been buried with her mother.

The kitchen at Fota House

So, on 17 Feb 1892 - 'scandalously' one day less than a year after Johannah's death - David Jones married Laura Elizabeth White. Witnesses were Ellen Jones (David's brother Nicholas' wife) and Annie Jones, David's sister. On the marriage certificate, Laura's address is given just as 'Fota', the island in Cork Harbour, just north of Great Island and Fota House & Gardens was (and is) probably all there was there, so perhaps Laura was employed at Fota House, which makes sense, because my gran had talked about them baking cakes for "the big house". We also know that the family from Fota House attended the Anglican Christ Church, which is obviously where David and Laura met.

David and Laura added yet another six children: 
  1. Cornelius Walter Jones (Con) b. 2 Jan 1893, bap. 22 Jan 1893 [2]
  2. Ellen Jones (Nell) b. 23 Apr 1894, bap. 13 May 1894
  3. Laura Mary Jones (Queenie) b. 2 Aug 1896, bap 28 Aug 1896 [3]
  4. David Jones (Young Dave) b. 10 Nov 1898, bap. 9 Dec 1898
  5. Alice Jones b. 26 Jul 1903, bap. 14 Aug 1903 [4]
  6. Agnes Jones (Daisy) b. 27 Feb 1907, bap. 15 Mar 1907
Here I should mention that prior to going to Cobh in 2014, I'd only known that my grandmother had lived in Ireland growing up: we didn't know when or where she was born. There'd been some mention of her father marrying twice and I'd known of a younger sister. Getting to the church and being let loose with all the original records was a huge surprise: finding record after record until I had various marriages, all eleven children, every relevant baptism, school record and, where appropriate, burial, was quite a shock.

It's interesting that the first son by the 2nd wife is named after the 1st wife's father first and the 2nd wife's father second. (Irish logic?) David appears to be - less strictly with the girls - following the traditional naming pattern that was often used by Irish parents until the later 19th century, but it's clear that this is in the order of the father's 1st, 2nd, etc., child irrespective of which wife produced it. Did wives not matter? Yeah, that's probably rhetorical.

In 1901, David Jones (50), Laura (30), Helena (16), Cornelius (8), Ellen (6), Laura (4) and David (2) were living at Queenstown Urban, Cork. Marcella had already left home and was working as a servant in the household of Edward Gibbings, Rector of Kinsale, at Rampart's Lane (Kinsale Urban, Cork), while Anna (or Annie) (13), was staying with her grandfather O'Callaghan.

At the Cork Petty Sessions on Monday 9th September 1901: "Defendant was found unlawfully on the premises of one Zachariah Fox licenced for the sale of intoxicating liquor by retail during a period during which said premises are required by law to be closed on Sunday the 1st September 1901."

Then on 13 Apr 1902, Annie Jones (14), Daughter of a Naval Pensioner, died from Tuberculous meningitis. Her grandfather was present when she died.

On Monday 13th May 1907: "Defendant was found unlawfully on the premises of one John Luddy licenced for the sale of intoxicating liquors by retail at Newtown during a period during which said premises were required by law to be closed to wit at the hour of 10.20 of PM on Tuesday 7th of May 1907." On this second occasion David was convicted and fined 1/- plus costs of 1/-, with the threat of 7 days imprisonment if he failed to pay up. 

In 1911, the household, still at Rushbrooke, included David (58), Laura (40), Cornelius (18), Ellen (16), Laura (14), David (12), Alice (7) and Agnes (4). 

On both census returns, David listed his birthplace - wrongly - as Wales, but I think we can all imagine reasons why being Welsh in Ireland was far more desirable than being English and with a name like Jones and his father supposedly born in Swansea, this was a perfectly believable fib.

Once more, David Jones was back before the courts, this time for the heinous crime of failing to obtain a dog licence. Friday 12th April 1912: "Defendant had in his possession at Queenstown on the 12th April 1912 one dog for which he omitted to take out a licence on or before the 31 March 1912."
He was ordered to take out a licence forthwith. (Records show he did.)

Laura Jones, wife of David Jones a Naval Pensioner, died, aged 46, on 17 Jan 1917 from Splenic Leucocythemia (or Leukemia) and Influenza. Laura was buried, on 19 Jan 1917 at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50. So David was widowed again. Daughter Ellen (Nell), then 23, (resentfully) looked after the house and younger children until she married, after which David's sister, Annie, took over as housekeeper. 

From the The Weekly Freeman on Saturday, January 18, 1919: Raid at Queenstown: "The sexton's lodge at Rushbrooke Church, near Queenstown, has been raided for arms, and a fowling-piece belonging to the sexton, David Jones, was taken away by the three men with their faces muffled, who presented revolvers." This was just days before the start of the Irish War of Independence. My grandmother had also told me this story, because she was there when the raid took place and specified the raiders were Sinn Féin.

On 7 Aug 1935, David Jones, widower, 79, Sexton of Church, died at Church Lodge from Hemiplegia 2 years (from which I'm reading that he'd probably had a stroke in 1933) and Cardiac failure. David was buried, on 10 Aug 1935, at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), in Section D, Row 6, Position 50, along with second wife, Laura, and their son Cornelius, who had died in 1926.

The Jones Family Church Lodge Rushbrooke at Rest, Section D, Row 6, Position 50
Old Church Cemetery (Cobh). Resting place of David Jones (1850-1935), Laura Elizabeth Jones (1870-1917), Cornelius Walter Jones (1893-1926) and David Jones (1898-1966).

Researching documents and discovering online records that go towards telling an ancestor's story is fascinating. Visiting the places where they were born, baptised, married, lived or worked really helps put those things into context, but there is something very emotive about finding a grave with a headstone to feel properly connected to family members, knowing a physical part of them is right there beneath your feet. But with cremation being the norm in the most recent generations and the majority being too poor for headstones, such moments are very rare and special. There are no graves for my parents nor grandparents, so the first would be for my great-grandparents. 

Old Church Cemetery, Cobh, Cork, Ireland

In 2014, we went to Cobh (formerly Queenstown), Cork, Ireland where my paternal grandmother had been born and brought up. While there, we were met by the late Jack Gilmartin, who used to provide free guided tours of the Old Church Cemetery, where there are a number of famous burials, particularly many of the victims of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. I don't know what I was expecting, but Jack took me totally by surprise, when he said, "I'll take you to your family's grave." It sent a shiver down my spine and completely took my breath away. And it still does.

With an inscription on the cross-shaped headstone reading, "The Jones Family, Church Lodge, Rushbrooke, At Rest", this is the final resting place of my great-grandfather, David Jones (1850-1935), my great grandmother, his second wife, Laura White (1870-1917) and their two sons, Cornelius Jones (1893-1926) and David Jones (1898-1966) (Young Dave.)

What I didn't fully appreciate until later is there's also an earlier family grave in this cemetery, where the inscription reads, "Erected by David Jones In memory of his beloved father Thos. Jones Who died Jan. 8th 1873 aged 56 years Also his beloved son Thomas Who died Jan. 8th 1891 Aged 9 years and 3 months And his beloved wife Johanna Who died Feb 18th 1891 Aged 35 years."

There also is the grave of Catherine Jones (Kitty), wife of Young Dave

And I wouldn't have known about any of those, had it not been for Jack giving me a pair of A4 sheets, listing all the Jones' burials there. It was so sad to read about Jack's death less than a year after we'd met him, but lovely to know that he has been buried in the Old Church Cemetery. You can listen to Jack talking about the cemetery and some of the stories of his co-occupants here.

[1] The last record I have that mentions Helena Jones is where she was witness to the marriage of her sister, Marcella to Edward John Bicknell, in Portsmouth, in 1906, so we know she was in England then. There are also records of voyages to America for a Helena Jones of the right age.

10.11.1917 EGYPT

[2] We've never been able to find a military record for Cornelius Walter Jones, but know he enlisted in the Army and served during World War I. His first cousin's husband, who was in Queenstown with the US Navy, kept a detailed diary and had written that Cornelius (Con) was leaving for Egypt in 1917

The image above, which I admit I downloaded some years ago (the page no longer exists), is dated 10.11.1917 EGYPT. The taller man (that makes perfect sense too as his grandfather, Thomas Jones, had been 5' 9½", which was tall for his time), second from right, back row, is so much like my father it's literally like looking straight into his eyes. His stance, his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, brow line and, above all, hair, are utterly identical. It's so close a resemblance that it's eerie and uncanny and, unless someone can prove otherwise, I feel sure this has to be my great-uncle, Cornelius Jones.

Though our cousin had thought that Con didn't return from the war, I now know he did, probably suffering shell-shock, for which his sister Agnes had described him as "daft" - such was the lack of understanding. So not expecting to find him there in Ireland, we were quite shocked when we read the listing of his burial at the Old Church Cemetery (Cobh). His death certificate tells us Cornelius Jones, late of Rushbrooke, Cork, died on 21 Apr 1926 at the Cork District Hospital (now St. Finbarr's Hospital, with its origins in the Cork Union Workhouse and Infirmary). He was a bachelor, previously employed as a labourer. The record says 30, but he was 33 and died from Pneumonic Phthisis (tuberculosis, also known as consumption), after 8 months in hospital. The informant was Helena Lynch, "Inmate" Cork Union. Cornelius Walter Jones was buried on 24 Apr 1926, in the family plot at Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), along with his mother.

The file name of the image above, b4croad3 matches the file name of the now defunct page at the former Royal Munster Fusiliers website at http://royalmunsterfusiliers.net/b4croad3.htm (also mentioned here) appertaining to a Private Frederick R Croad, 2nd R. Munster Fus, who I believe is also in the image. We have no record of what unit Cornelius joined or when, however, two Extra Reserve Battalions of the Royal Munster Fusiliers were mobilised at Queenstown (Cobh). The 6th (Service) Battalion certainly sailed on 9 Sep 1917 from Salonika for Alexandria in Egypt.

[3] Laura Mary (Queenie) Jones was alive and unmarried in 1942, when she and her sister Alice were both witnesses at their brother Dave's wedding.

[4] As with her sister, Laura Mary, I've found no records that I can definitely attribute to Alice Jones beyond 1942. My belief is she stayed in Ireland, as when I was a child, my gran used to have shamrocks sent to her for St. Patrick's Day and I'm sure I remember them coming from an Alice, in Ireland. Family stories - we know how reliable those are - alleged that Laura and Alice had been thrown out of the family home and sent to the workhouse as they both had children out of wedlock. We were unable to find records of them entering the Cork workhouse. My late cousin had said they had lived at the Cork County Hospital for years and visited them there in 1946. Unfortunately, without an admission date, the Health Service in Ireland couldn't (wouldn't) make a search of the records for me to be able to confirm.

Sunday 7 January 2024

Thomas Jones and Mary Harty

St John the Baptist Church, Cobh (Queenstown) Via: Cobh Heritage Centre

Cobh Parish Office, were able to tell me that my 2x great-grandparents, Thomas Jones and Mary Harty had married, on 7 Jan 1844, at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Cobh (Queenstown). St John the Baptist was the Catholic Church for Cobh from 1810 to 1868, when it was demolished to make way for the bigger St Colman's Cathedral. Nobody in the family had even considered the possibility of an Irish Catholic ancestor. 

Thomas and Mary Jones had six children that I know of: 

  1. Mary [Ann] Jones, bap. 15 Nov 1844 in Cobh, Cork, Ireland
  2. Rees Jones, b. 25 May 1849 in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire (1849 J Quarter in HOLBEACH Volume 14 Page 461), bap. 1 May 1851 at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
  3. David Jones, b. 10 Jul 1850 in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire (1850 S Quarter in HOLBEACH Volume 14 Page 448), bap. 1 May 1851 at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
  4. Anna Jones, bap. 4 Oct 1851 at Sacred Heart Church, Rath
  5. Nicholas Jones, b. 10 May, bap 17 May 1853 at Sacred Heart, Rath
  6. Thomas Jones, bap. 17 Sep 1854 at Sacred Heart, Rath
On the GRO birth registration for Rees, the mother's maiden name is correctly listed as HARTY; on David's it was HARDY (presumably misheard).

Thomas Jones, according to his merchant seaman's register ticket that was issued on 5 Mar 1847, while he was serving on HMS America (1810), states that he was born on 9 Apr 1817, in Swansea, Glamorganshire. On the 1851 census in England, he's also listed as having been born in Swansea. The merchant ticket also tells us that Thomas Jones, then a Ship's Corporal, was 5 ft 9½ in, with dark brown hair and, it looks like hazel eyes and had a ship [tattoo] on his left arm and a man & woman on his right; that he went to sea as a boy (of 10) in 1827 and, 'when unemployed', resided at Cove of Cork.

We know that David listed himself as being born in Wales, when he must have known he'd been born in England and it's easy to imagine reasons why being Welsh in Ireland might have been more acceptable than being English in the era. Is it possible that Thomas, marrying an Irish girl in 1844, had had the foresight to do the same? Jones would make that claim entirely believable, because, there exists an alternative theory: Thomas Jones pension record, naturally, starts when he reaches pensionable age at 18, in 1835. In 1841 and 1843 thereon, he is listed with HMS Caledonia (1808). On 9 Jan 1831, a Thomas Jones, aged 12, Supy. Boy 2nd Cl., but born in Devonport, was discharged at Cove, Cork from HMS Windsor Castle (1790), which he'd joined on 6 May 1830 (and probably took him to the Mediterranean) to HMS Caledonia (1808). Both ships were fitted for Channel service

This Thomas Jones was baptised at St George's church, East Stonehouse, Plymouth on 1 Nov 1817, the son of John Jones, Private Royal Marines Artillery (RMA) and his wife, Elizabeth. The Royal Marines copy of this baptism (under ADM 193: Admiralty: Royal Marines: Miscellanea), lists the child's father as a Gunner, 2nd Class. These latter records are listed, not in date or alphabetical order, but appear to group family offspring together, from which we can deduce that Thomas Jones was an only child. His parents, John Jones and Elizabeth Williams had married, again in East Stonehouse, on 6 Apr 1816. Then John Jones died, aged 36, and was buried in East Stonehouse on 12 Dec 1817. That would be a pretty good excuse for him not fathering further children and a reason for a boy of ten to go to sea. If this is the right family, it also explains why DNA matches only come up via those I already know I'm related to. It would also be easy to accept to that John Jones and Elizabeth with the surname of Williams were Welsh with his occupation bringing him to Plymouth. And as Thomas names his first son Rees, I do think 'someone' had to be actually Welsh and that much is confirmed by DNA. 

There could, of course, be thousands of boys called Thomas Jones, but how many are going to be exactly the right age, in exactly the right place, even transferring to a ship he is known to serve on? This is no proof at all, but circumstantially, I think there's a fair chance this is 'our' Thomas Jones, although I accept this is speculation and may be impossible to prove. 

Either way, Thomas Jones was born in the reign of George III, during the The Regency, lived through the reigns of George IV, William IV and much of Queen Victoria and four Cholera pandemics; served in the First Opium War and the Crimean War; and emigrated TO Ireland during the Great Famine.

Mary Harty, must have been born around 1821. Although she married in Cobh, I see no reason to assume that she was from there originally. My late cousin in Ireland had said that Mary later went "up country" to where her people were from, but we don't know where her exact place of birth nor original parish was. What we do know from that 1851 English census is that Mary was born in Ireland and, later from the 1901 Irish census, that she spoke both Irish and English. The only other clue is that Mary had a younger sister, Ellen Harty (b. 1825), who was visiting them in Sutton Bridge, England in 1851 and who was sponsor on both David's and Nicholas' baptisms.

HMS Sparrowhawk by William Smyth, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Built by Matthew Warren, Brightlingsea, Essex, launched 20 August 1807 (Sold 1841)

Voyage to South America 1834-1837

When Thomas Jones' naval pension record begins on 11 Feb 1835, he's listed as being on HMS Sparrowhawk (1807) - an 18-gun Cruizer-class brig-sloop - as a Boy 2nd Class. Still on this ship, he is made an Ordinary Seaman on 1 Mar 1835 and an Able Seaman on 1 Aug 1835

After spending the second half of 1833 being fitted out as a brig, on 1 Feb 1834Sparrowhawk was reported at Portsmouth, expected to sail for the South America Station shortly and departed Spithead for the South American station on 13 Feb 1834. As I don't imagine Thomas was flown out later, I think it safe to assume he left with the ship on this voyage.

Commanding the Sparrowhawk, between 9 Nov 1833 and 4 Feb 1837, was Commander Charles Pearson, veteran of the Peninsular War (father of Lieutenant General Sir Charles Knight Pearson KCMG CB), who was employed, 1830 to 1833, in the Coast Guard at North Yarmouth.

Around 24 Mar 1834, Sparrowhawk touched at Madeira en route for South America. Then on 17 Aug 1834, she rescued the crew of the Mars (en route from Launceston to London, foundered on the Falkland Islands 3 July). 

10 May 1835 was at Valparaíso (Chile); 30 Oct 1835 reported to be off the coast between Callao (Peru) and Mexico17 Apr 1836 is reported to be calling at Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Coquimbo (Chile), prior to returning to Valparaiso to meet HMS Blonde (1819)20 Aug 1836 is reported to be due at Valparaiso shortly to relieve HMS Rover (1832), and to sail for Rio de Janeiro and England in Oct. Thomas Jones remained with this ship until the end of this voyage, on 4 Feb 1837, when he was paid off. 

An 1850 map showing the Akan Kingdom of Ashanti within the Guinea region in West Africa
Rev. Thomas MilnerCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Cruise off West Africa 1841

The next ship listed on his pension record that Thomas joined, as an Able Seaman, on 29 Apr 1841, was HMS Forester (1832). Whilst there is no image available online of Forester, she was a Royal Navy 10-gun Cherokee-class brig-sloop of the same era and ilk as HMS Beagle. "Per a report made to Parliament in 1842, at some time during 1841 [Forester] was involved in combatting the Slave Trade". And, indeed, just two days prior to Thomas Jones joining this ship, the following entry appears, which would certainly explain why they will have suddenly needed men to replace those lost: 
27 Apr 1841 [Forester] proceeded up the River Pongos with the ship's boats to ascertain the state of the slave trade in the river. Early next morning the boats of the Termagant joined the party, and as soon as the flood tide commenced at 7.00 am, they boarded several boats while proceeding up the river to Mrs Lightbourne's slave barracoons, which were burnt. However following an explosion, as they were departing a number of men were killed and wounded, and several went missing, in particular one man who would appear to have found alcohol in the barracoon, which he consumed to excess, and was awaiting punishment.
Forester had arrived at Accra (Kingdom of Ashanti - Ghana), from Whydah (Kingdom of Whydah - now Benin) on 28 Apr 1841, and departed on the 29th on a cruise. (A guess, but I doubt they mean pleasure cruise.) 

Thomas had presumably arrived in Accra on some other vessel, however, there's a gap of some 4 years, from when he was paid off from HMS Sparrowhawk on 4 Feb 1837, until joining Forester in 1841, where no ship assignments are listed and, thus I've not discovered how. At that time they signed on each voyage rather than permanent navy, so he could well be merchant navy in the intervening time, which would adequately explain both the gap and provide a means to reach Africa, but as the requirement for merchant register tickets wasn't introduced until 1844, it seems unlikely that I'll ever find details. However, while his son David followed him into the Royal Navy, Nicholas had a long career in the Merchant service. It hadn't occurred to me that both sons could have been following in their father's footsteps. 

Being on this cruise does explain why Thomas was not on the Census of 1841, as he was at sea. Seamen on shore on census night were enumerated in the same way as the general public, in the place where they spent that night. There was no provision made for recording seamen at sea on census night. 

There are no more details of what this cruise aimed to achieve - besides bringing the ship back to England - or where it went, merely the notice that, on 17 Sep 1841, it arrived Plymouth Sound from the coast of Africa. On 29 Sep 1841, the date Thomas left this ship, in Plymouth and was paid off.

HMS Belleisle later as a Hospital Ship in the Crimean War Edwin WeedonCC BY 4.0
HMS Belleisle, a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 26 April 1819 at Pembroke Dockyard, was converted to serve as a troopship in 1841.

Expedition to China 1841-1843

On 30 Dec 1841, three troop ships, the BelleisleApollo and Sapphireof this Britsh naval expeditionary force, put into the Port of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. They'd left Plymouth Sound on 20 Dec 1841, bound for China, during the First Opium War (or First China War). The Canary Islands, whose strategic position in the Atlantic, between Europe, Africa and America, made it a mandatory refuelling stop for ships from Columbus' time onwards.

With HMS Caledonia (1808) - a 120-gun first-rate ship of the line - from 14 Oct 1841 to 21 Nov 1841, Thomas Jones, joined the 74-gun third-rate ship HMS Belleisle (1819), in Plymouth, on 22 Nov 1841, as an Able Seaman, but was assigned as Captain's Guard, on 4 Sep 1842, presumably somewhere up the Yangtze, as this was ten days before the force began to withdraw from the area. The captain of the Belleisle, who they will have been guarding, was John Kingcome (Admiral Sir John Kingcombe - 1794-1871).

On 18 Nov 1841, the Belleisle had been in Plymouth, being fitted out for sea, and as a troop ship. Two days later, Lieutenants George Winsor. D. Ferguson, J. Risk, and Philip De Saumarez, were appointed. On 28 Nov 1841, they went out to Plymouth Sound. A company of artillery brought to Plymouth by the steamer Alban, embarked on 5 Dec 1841, and the 98th was reported to be embarking shortly. On 7 Dec 1841, the ship's company was paid advance of wages, which will have been useful on their first stop off en route.

1 Jan 1842 [Belleisle] is reported to have been at Santa Cruz for the last 2 days, with the troop ships Apollo and Sapphire, and schooner Wanderer. The Belleisle arrived Teneriffe (sic) [...] where the officer commanding of the troops, at the request of the locals, allowed the band of the 98th Regt to go on shore and play on the Mole, where comparison was made to Nelson's welcome some 40 years previously, and his unsuccessful attack. The ships took the opportunity to top up with water and fresh provisions, with prices reflecting the demand for 2,500 men on board the ships.

The ships left Tenerife on New Year's Day and continued their voyage. On 2 Feb 1842 the Belleisle, Apollo and Sapphire arrived Rio de Janeiro en route for China with reinforcements. They were there until 28 Feb 1842, when she departed Rio de Janeiro in company with her consorts, for China. On 14 Mar 1842 she arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, in company with the troop ships Sapphire and Apollo and departed for China on 22 Mar 1842. It took them until 2 Jun 1842 before they arrived in Hong Kong, from England, with part of the 98th Regt. On 5 Jul 1842 they were stationed at Chusan (Zhoushan). And from 16 Jun - 29 Aug 1842, made their expedition up the Yang-tse-Keang, to the end of hostilities and signing of the Treaty of Nanking. Following the signing of the Treaty, the force began its withdrawal on 14 Sep 1842; by 6 Oct 1842, the expeditionary force had completely withdrawn from the Yangtze River
"Shanghai was evacuated on June 23rd, and the troops and vessels fell back to Woosung. The expedition into the Yangtsekiang proper was then promptly organised. The European  troops which took part in it were the 18th, 26th, 49th, 55th, and 98th Regiments, with some Royal Artillery and Engineers, the whole being under Sir Hugh Gough, Major-Generals Lord Saltoun, Schoedde, and Bartley, Colonel Montgomerie, R.A., and Captain  Pears, R.E. Besides about forty transports, the following vessels of the Royal Navy and H.E.I. Co.'s marine participated :— H.M.S. Cornwallis, Blonde, Calliope, North Star, Dido, Modextc, Endymion, Clio, Columbine, Ahjerinc, Bellisle (sic), Apollo, Sapphire, Jupiter, Rattlesnake, Plover, Starling, and Vixen, paddle. H.E.I. Co.'s Sesostris, Auckland, Queen, Tenasserim, Nemesis, Phlegethon, Pluto, Proserpine, and Medusa — all paddle steamers. North Star, Modeste, Clio, and Columbine."
The Captain’s Guard

"In addition to their combat role, Marines also acted as a vaccine of sorts against the infection most feared by ship’s captains: mutiny. Armed with muskets and bayonets, they served as the captain’s personal guard and moved quickly to quell any hint of insurrection on the lower decks. It certainly was not lost on sailors that Marines were billeted between the sailors and the captain’s quarters. Fully armed sentries were posted at key points around ships, including captains’ cabins, powder magazines and spirit lockers. In battle, Marine sentries stood guard at the entrance to the companionways to prevent any less-than-stalwart sailors fleeing to the relative safety of the lower decks." 

It's interesting that Thomas was in a role that was more normally carried out by Marines. We did wonder if this was because there were no Marines on this troop ship, however, Thomas was also part of the captain's guard on his next two ships. If his father had been a Marine, I think this was likely of less influence than Thomas being 5ft 9in. Thomas Jones remained as Captain's Guard on HMS Belleisle until 28 Sep 1843. He went back to HMS Caledonia, then under the command of Captain Alexander Milne (Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet), again as Captain’s Guard, on 29 Sep 1843, in which capacity he was still serving at the time of his marriage in 1844.

[A] view of Maitavie Bay, [in the island of] Otaheite [Tahiti], William Hodges 1776

In the Pacific Northwest 1844-1846

There's a note under entry for the marriage of Thomas Jones and Mary Harty, on 7 Jan 1844, which looks like it relates to this marriage. It's not clear, but seems to say something about a ship sailing. Thomas was, at that time, assigned to HMS Caledonia (1808), as Captain's Guard, however, on 1 Mar 1844, he joined HMS America (1810), again as [part of the] Captain's Guard.

HMS America, a 74-gun third-rate ship of the line, since 22 Feb 1844had been under the command of Captain John Gordon and, it appears, personal influence - with brothers in the cabinet and the Admiralty - got Gordon this command on the Pacific Station, and "could expect his appointment to prove lucrative". Initially, I found scant details of this voyage, other than that "during the rising tensions with the United States over the Oregon boundary dispute, HMS America was dispatched to the Pacific Northwest in 1845"; that circa to Jun 1845, she was reported to be on the California coast and in 1846: was at the Pacific and Otaheite [TahitiStation, until I found Gordon's biography

Also on that voyage was Lieutenant William Peel (later Captain Sir William Peel VC KCB), son of then British prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, 2nd Baronet. Peel had "ship-hopped" to the Pacific, eventually to the frigate America, in which he voyaged to Puget Sound. [Source: Lieutenant William Peel, British Naval Intelligence, and the Oregon Crisis by Barry Gough PDF] The ship was to give naval support to the Hudson's Bay Company and Peel became involved in a secret mission: to investigate the state of affairs of the besieged British interests at the Columbia River. Record tells us that HMS America arrived off Cape Flattery on 28 Aug 1845. They left Port Discovery on 26 Sep 1845, bound for Honolulu and reached England on 19 Aug 1846.

"As for Captain Gordon and the further voyages of America, it may be observed briefly that after reaching Honolulu and sailing for Mexican harbours he dallied taking on board a lucrative shipment of silver for the Bank of England, from which he stood to gain personally. His superior, Admiral Seymour (Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Francis Seymour GCB, GCH, PC), charged him with dereliction of duty and he was court-martialled on his return to Portsmouth."

These events were, I feel, not without consequences for Thomas Jones' career: Thomas stayed on HMS America, but on 1 Oct 1846, obtained a "sideways promotion" to Boatswain’s mate and, quite soon after, on 30 Nov 1846, was made Ship’s Corporal. These coincide with the appointment, on 10 Nov 1846, of Captain Thomas Maitland (Admiral of the Fleet Thomas Maitland, 11th Earl of Lauderdale, GCB) and it makes sense that there would be a clean sweep and changing of the Captain's Guard. It's reported that Maitland commanded HMS America off the coast of Portugal in November 1846, but I've not found any further reference to explain in what capacity. Thomas Jones remained Ship's Corporal on HMS America until 20 Oct 1847, after which, he was appointed Coast Guard Boatman on 28 Dec 1847.

Houses at the junction of Lime Street and Custom House Street, Sutton Bridge

Coast Guard Service

My late cousin in Ireland had told me that her great-grandfather (my 2nd great-grandfather), Thomas Jones, had been a coastguard - this was confirmed on his sons, David and Nicholas' marriage certificates - and that she had been down to Baltimore, West Cork in an attempt to find any trace of the family. She'd had no luck at the Church of Ireland churches there - never occurred to try the Catholic ones. But from that information, eventually, I traced Thomas' posting - on 2 Jun 1851 - via the Coastguard Establishment Books for Ireland (ADM 175/19) at The National Archives at Kew

That record also told me that his previous posting had been at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, where on Sunday 30 March 1851 on the England and Wales Census, 1851, we find the family resident in Lime Street, with Thomas Jones (33), Boatman Coastguard, wife Mary Jones (30), daughter Mary Ann (7), son Reece (1), son David (0) and sister-in-law Ellen Harty (26) visiting.

On Thu 1 May 1851, sons, Rees and David, were baptised at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. My Latin isn't great (ok, non-existent), but on these baptisms, the mother's name is written, as you would expect, as Marie Jones and her maiden name is clearly listed as Harty. On David's baptism, the sponsor is Helena Harty, presumably Mary's sister, Ellen.

Coastguard station and coastguard cottages: Mariner’s Row, the terrace of
coastguard houses on the edge of the Cove in Baltimore, Cork

The Coastguard Establishment Books for Ireland (ADM 175/19) at The National Archives show that Thomas Jones was posted to Baltimore, West Cork on 2 Jun 1851Baltimore is the main village in Rath and The Islands Parish and three of Thomas and Mary's children were baptised there in the Catholic Sacred Heart Church, Rath. Ellen Harty was, again, one of the sponsors at Nicholas Jones' baptism, in Rath, in 1853.

Griffith's Valuation of 1853 shows that Thomas rented a house and office in Tullagh civil parish from John Goodchild. On the map it's in Baltimore.


Crimean War in the Baltic 1854-1856

Thomas Jones, I imagine, must have been happy to get the equivalent of a desk job - or at least become captain of his own rowing boat - for the Coast Guard Service, which allowed him to have some family life. It cannot have been easy to marry in 1844, then go off to sea for three years. He won't have seen his daughter, Mary Ann, until she was around 2 years old. At Sutton Bridge, Thomas and Mary added two sons and, at Baltimore, West Cork, they added another daughter and two more sons. Then along came the Crimean War. Thomas' 4th son and namesake was born, in 1854, after he'd sailed, so he won't have met this child either until he was around 2 years old either. 

Whether he volunteered or was required to do so, Thomas Jones joined the crew of HMS Duke of Wellington (1852) on 14 Feb 1854, as a Petty Officer First Class - sufficient to distinguish him from ordinary ratings. (The timing of which means that Thomas could well be 'in the photo' (somewhere inside the ship) at the time the above photo was taken on 5 Mar 1854.)

On 11 Mar 1854 Duke of Wellington, it's reported, departed Spithead (which infers that she had sailed from Plymouth to Portsmouth during the intervening six days), with the fleet, for the Baltic, where, on 15 Apr 1854 she captured Russian brig Patrioten [Prize Money per London Gazette of 21 Jul 1857].

On 13 Jun 1854 the French fleet joined the British in the Baltic at Baro Sound. On 10 Aug 1854 guns were landed and sent up to the British battery, under officers from the EdinburghDuke of Wellington, and Euryalus.

The Bombardment of Sveaborg, 9 August 1855 by John Wilson Carmichael
Duke of Wellington is 2nd from left, with Thomas' previous ship, from his expedition to China during the First Opium WarHMS Belleisle (1819), alongside on the far left.

On 9-11 Aug 1855Duke of Wellington was involved in the Bombardment of Sveaborg, a.k.a. Battle of Suomenlinna, during the Åland War:

"British and French naval forces consisting of 77 ships arrayed for the long-expected battle on 6 August 1855. They formed into a battle line more than 3 km off shore beyond the range of the defenders' obsolete artillery. Three days later the bombardment commenced. It continued for 47–48 hours. All the while, the attacker sat beyond the range of the defenders' guns. The British and French bombarded only the fortress of Viapori and avoided firing at the town of Helsinki directly. While the bombardment caused damage to the structures above ground, including to several gunpowder magazines which exploded, the bulk of the defending forces survived unscathed with their weaponry intact, leading to a draw stalemate." 

After the bombardment, the Anglo-French fleet sent no troops ashore and instead set sail for Kronstadt. Then, with little more fanfare, Duke of Wellington is listed, on 4 Feb 1856, "At Spithead".

Review of the Fleet at Spithead by the Queen, April 23, 1856

On 23 Apr 1856 Present at Fleet Review, Spithead; under Captain Caldwell CB. From February until April, one imagines, were several weeks of scrubbing, polishing and painting every component of the vessel until it was 'shipshape'. 

In April 1856 the first recorded evening illumination of the fleet took place.

The Illustrated London News, 26 April 1856 reported the event:

"On Saturday, after some days spent in evolutions of a preparatory nature, the fleet anchored in a stately line, with the Duke of Wellington at its head, bearing the Admiral's (Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Saunders Dundas, KCB) ensign." [...] "At the head of this imposing squadron was the Duke of Wellington, her 131 ports shining in the sun, which showed her chequered sides, bright with paint." [...] "The Queen's yacht, emerging from the surrounding smoke, proceeded rapidly past Fort Monckton, meeting everywhere the same enthusiastic reception, and, having rounded into a position to return down the centre line, entered the squadron of gun-boats, disposed in double rows on each side of her course, and majestically proceeded on her way. She glided past the small vessels of the flotilla, passed steam-frigates of various strength and speed, passed the giant screw line-of-battle ships, till she reached the Duke of Wellington, greeted in all directions by the most enthusiastic cheers." 

What a finale for such a fascinating career. It will have been a proud moment.

After Thomas returned from his last voyage to the Baltic during the Crimean War, o6 May 1856, Thomas went back the Coast Guard Service as a Boatman, at Baltimore, West Cork, until Fri 31 Jan 1868, when he retired from the service, early, aged just 51, due to heart disease.

Nobody ever spoke of Mary Ann, Rees, nor Thomas Jr. Mary Ann only ever appears on that English 1851 census; David did things one would associate with the role of eldest son, so I'm sure Rees perished as an infant; Anna still lived with her mother in 1901 and later became David's housekeeper. She never married and died on 8 Mar 1934; Nicholas was my cousin's grandfather. His baptism is the first I'd even heard of youngest son Thomas. 

The only other record I've found [so far] for Thomas Jones Jnr is when he was enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 14 Apr 1871. On it, there's a reference provided by a John Lombard, which states, "Thomas Jones is a Protestant Parishioner of Queenstown, and son of a Naval Pensioner. He is a steady, well conducted lad." Emphasising Protestant for what purpose? Also attached to the record is a Declaration Before a Magistrate in Thomas Jones (the father's) own handwriting - I recognise his signature - stating that, "I hereby certify that my son Thomas Jones was born in Baltimore, Cork on May 25th, 1855." Not when he was baptised in 1854, he wasn't! Clearly the date wasn't a mistake and can only have been a deliberate falsification, because later on the form, it states that, "Boys for the Navy must be over 15 and not above 16½ years of age ..."  He was 17. Thomas Snr having retired in ill health, one can perhaps understand him doing this in an attempt to ensure that his son was taken care of. The most curious part of this record, however, is that the service record is blank. Thomas Jnr was not even assigned to a training ship: it's like he didn't even turn up. He then just disappears. 

Thomas Jones died, aged 56, on 8 Jan 1873, at Castle Oliver, from Morbus Cordis (unspecified heart disease) 4 years certified (which ties in with his date of retirement) - presumably in the surrounding village, rather than Kim and Kanye's honeymoon castle itself. Could that be the "up country" area Mary had originally come from? Can't think of another reason to be in Limerick.

Thomas Jones was buried, on 10 Jan 1873, in the Clonmel Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), Cork in section S, row 9, position 76

The inscription on his grave reads, 
Erected by David Jones In memory of his beloved father Thos. Jones Who died Jan. 8th 1873 aged 56 years”.
In 1901, Mary Jones, widow, was living with her daughter, Annie (who claimed to be 30, but was 50) at The Glen, Passage West (Monkstown, Cork). Mary Jones (81), Widow of Thomas Jones a Coastguard Pensioner, died of senile decay on 14 Aug 1903 at The Rock, Queenstown, Cork. 

Section S of the Clonmel Old Church Cemetery (Cobh), Cork