Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Guest Post from Kristin Cleage

Prologue: On the day of my niece's funeral, a facebook friend and blogger, Kristin Cleage, published this poem about her mother. It spoke to me, in a way few poems ever speak to me. With her permission, I am reposting it here, along with a link to her page.

Credit: Kristin Cleage

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

One More Day - Julie Theresa Jones

The Dan and Carol Jones Family
Photo Credit: Mark Jones

Background: At the service celebrating Julie's life, her mother, Carol, shared the things she would have said to Julie if she'd known they only had one more day together. As a tribute to Julie, Carol wore a pair of pink Crocs, Julie's favorite footwear. Carol was supported by her two sons, Chris and Greg, who also shared wonderful memories of Julie and her admirable courage as she tackled life head on.

Carol's Letter to Julie

You all have no idea what it means to us that you are here. Julie would be so touched and so happy to see you. Thank you.

I have all of these thoughts and feelings about our daughter that I’d like to share with you, but really what might be more meaningful is if I read to you what I would have liked to tell Julie, if I just had known that I only had one more day with her. So here goes:

My dear precious daughter: How do I even begin to tell you how completely broken I am that you are no longer here with me? But you know that.  How do I even begin to tell you how much I love you and adore you? But you know that. And how do I even begin to tell you how afraid I am to not have my BFF in my life anymore, to not know what I’m going to do now without you, each and every day? But I know that you know that too.

I don’t know Jul- I guess it was just your time to be returned to Him. He loaned you to us for 34 precious years, and He decided that he needed you back. I will accept that. But I don’t like it.

Did I ever tell you how you made me giggle inside every time you refused to put on decent shoes when we went out? And instead you wore those ridiculous Crocs? It didn’t matter if we were going to the most formal event of the year. You would have on a beautiful outfit and then some clunky, multicolored Crocs.

Did I ever tell you how you drove me completely insane with your refusal to clean out your car more that once a year? And please do not even get me started on your bedroom. Your idea of “cleaned up” and mine were definitely on two opposite ends of the spectrum.

And goodness that tip money from Jimmy John’s. I’ve never known anyone to run around on a daily basis with what appeared to me to be at least $600 cash in their purse. It did not matter how many times I would ask you to please put the money in the bank, that you would most certainly get mugged. You just looked at me, rolled your eyes, said something along the lines of “Mother!” and then just did whatever you wanted anyway. Why did I waste my breath?

Did I ever tell you that had it been me lying in the hospital bed at the age of 14, two brain surgeries later, flat on my back, unable to raise my head, that I’m fairly certain I would have given up? You gave me a whole new understanding of the word “fighter”. And then to have to go through a series of chemo treatments, the ensuing sickness, hair loss, and embarrassment of starting high school bald and now very heavy. Did I tell you about the time you’re your father almost murdered a patron at Tellers for mocking your obesity a year or so after your treatments? I nearly had to drag him out of the restaurant.

Did I tell you in those early years after your treatments how many nights I cried myself to sleep because I knew that your life moving forward would never be “normal” again? I prayed to God to “just please, somehow let it be me instead”. But that just wasn’t in the plan.

Did I tell you how unbelievably proud I was to see my daughter walk across that stage at Cincinnati State and receive her associates degree? I told everybody I knew, whether they wanted to hear it or not, about my daughter, what she overcame and how she pushed through day by day to get this college degree? I was just busting at the seams! (Of course, what I didn’t tell them was how you were ready to murder me on multiple occasions throughout that time for “making you” -in your words- get the degree).

I’m pretty sure I never told you that you were the focus of any decision Dad and I ever made about where to go on our next vacation: “Would Julie enjoy this? How much walking would be required, and could she handle it? Are there plenty of things for her to do there? Will she be bored?” I’m sorry, boys, but as you guys always told me: ”Julie was the princess”. And gosh, didn’t we have the most awesome trips together? You were our vacation girl. Those smiles, that laughter. You always started packing about a week ahead of time. That tickled me too. Remember when you and I had the idiotic idea of getting our hair corn-rowed in Mexico? It hurt and itched like crazy and then our heads got so sunburnt! Remember how your dad and you and I really thought we were going to be able to get up that hill on our bikes on Mackinac? What a joke that turned out to be. How long did it actually take for the three of us to walk our bikes up that hill? And I’m pretty sure we were all half sick the rest of the day.

Did I ever tell you that your often completely inappropriate sarcasm and blunt remarks would make me laugh so hard that I almost wet my pants? (Now, this is after I recovered from the shock of what you just said in front of everybody and then had time to process). Dad and I later would compare notes, and say to each other: Oh my God, did she really say that out loud?

And if you said it once you said it a hundred times: “Yes I will go to Coopers Hawk Winery with you and Dad for dinner, but I am not driving you guys home!” (Those of you who do not know this, Julie would not touch one single drop of alcohol).

And on the note of your personal morals and values, Julie girl- did I ever tell you how, honest to goodness, your Dad and I looked up to you for your strong sense of right and wrong, your complete inflexibility and intolerance of anything remotely resembling immorality or sketchiness. When you went to work, you were always early, you never called in sick and you did not abide well with those folks at work who were slackers.

Did I ever mention that I thanked God constantly for the fact that whenever I was sick, or post-surgery, that I had you around to help me recover and get back on my feet? Once again, Jul, you showed me what it meant to be compassionate, to be there for someone who truly needed it. (And between you and me, I was pretty sure if it had just been Dad, I would have been in really bad shape.)

And speaking of Dad, I need to tell you something. You do not want to hear this but honey, you and dad are most definitely cut from the same cloth. I do not think you ever figured out before you left us, that the reason you two butted heads so often was because you and Dad are little carbon copies of one another. Sorry honey. He loved you more than life itself. I know that you did not always think that, because like you, your father is one stubborn tough cookie. But every single solitary thing he ever said or did was to help you grow and be a better version of yourself. You were his life, Julie. Believe that. 

You know my sweet girl, I could go on and on with the memories I have and the little things and the big things that I should have said to you.

But in a nutshell, you were the focus of my entire life, my Julie girl. I worried about you, I prayed for you, I thought about you every hour of every day since the minute you were born. You were my best friend in the entire world. We chilled together every evening and every weekend. It was uncanny how -more often than not- you would come down in the morning with a shirt and pants the exact same color as mine. Dad would remark: “here you guys go again”. You finished my sentences and I finished yours. You could predict what I was feeling before I ever spoke it out loud. It was like you were inside my head most of the time.

My daughter, I know with certainty that you’re with our Lord now. And I know with certainty that you are so happy, and carefree and you have that boundless energy that I remember so well from your younger years. You no longer have to take 12 medicines a day just to feel a semblance of normalcy. You are dancing, and swinging on the swings, and doing your puzzles with your grandmothers, and laughing that deep hearty chuckle that always filled my heart to bursting. Baby girl, thank you thank you thank you for changing my life forever. I love you Julie.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Julie Theresa Jones

In celebration of the life of Julie Theresa Jones
August 17, 1983 - May 17, 2018

Julie was special. Born the only daughter of my brother, Dan, and his wife, Carol, she was destined to be the middle child with brothers on either side. Life for Julie was "normal" in every way as she grew into a teenager. At the age of 14, Julie started experiencing headaches, which led to the unfortunate diagnosis of a brain tumor. Despite two surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy,  doctors were not able to totally remove it, and it clearly had an impact on her life.

But that's not what I want to discuss. Julie died, unexpectedly, at the age of 34, probably due to adrenal insufficiency -- a side effect of her brain tumor which compromised her adrenal gland. It was shocking to all of us, as she seemed to be doing so well.

Despite her challenges, Julie was working as a delivery person for Jimmy John's at the time of her death. Due to the wonderful support she has always received from her immediate family, Julie was able to pack more in her life than most of us manage to accomplish in a much longer life span. She had received her Associate Degree from Cincinnati State. She had traveled the world, often as the result of her brother's job which took him to Germany, Colorado, Thailand and D.C. Although she still lived with her mother and father, she lived rather independently in her own suite including two bedrooms and a living area. She was able to travel to the Smoky Mountains (a favorite destination) and traveled to Thailand by way of China completely on her own.

Many family vacations were planned with Julie's needs in mind. Last year, she, her parents, her Uncle Tim and Aunt Dusty, and her Aunt Karen and cousin, Michael, went on the trip of a lifetime to Alaska.

Michael, Karen, Julie, Carol, Dan, Dusty and Tim, 2017 Trip to Alaska

After the initial shock of Julie's passing, her brother, Greg, gathered photos of Julie which ended up taking 75 minutes to view. Her Aunt Kath made a short video of Julie with her family, illustrating the huge role she played in the Jones family over the years.

No one post can do her justice. At the service celebrating Julie's life, her mother, Carol, gave a wonderful talk discussing what she would have liked to tell Julie if she had one more day with her precious daughter and best friend. This was followed up with remembrances of Julie offered by her brothers, Chris and Greg. With Carol's permission, I am reprinting Carol's thoughts in the next post.
Video Link:

Friday, December 23, 2016

Tom's Christmas Message - 2016

Thank goodness "someone" is writing a post for this blog. Merry Christmas from Tom and all of the Jones family.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Stephen Deane - Our 9th Great-Grandfather

When I started investigating our colonial ancestors, I had no idea that our family first arrived on American shores in 1621. This was just one year after the Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Bay. As mentioned in the last post, almost one-half of the passengers who arrived aboard the Mayflower in 1620 did not survive the winter.
It is thought that our ancestor, Stephen Deane, was born in Southwark, Surrey, England. He arrived aboard the Fortune the on November 9th, 1621 in the fall following the arrival of the Mayflower, in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This was the second ship to arrive in Plymouth Bay successfully, but the new arrivals were hardly a welcome addition. They arrived with very few supplies, and thus added to the burden of the Mayflower survivors who had already suffered too much.

Born about 1605, Stephen arrived in America as a single man. His occupation was listed as "miller." He met and married Elizabeth Ring. Together they became the parents of three daughters: Elizabeth (1630), Miriam (1632), and Susanna (1634), Elizabeth married William Twining in Eastham, MA about 1650, Miriam married John Wing in 1662/63, and Susanna married Joseph Rogers in 1660, grandson of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower. In 1663, Susanna married her second husband, Stephen Snow.

Stephen Deane was a successful businessman. In 1627, he bought an additional acre of property from William Delaney. In 1632, he was given permission to open a corn mill, probably his second, adjoining the town of Plymouth. The agreement allowed him to collect a toll of one pottle (half gallon) of each bushel ground. Stephen's biography is listed below.

Unfortunately, Stephen died before the age of 30, leaving his widow, Elizabeth Ring Deane, with three young children. I've not been able to find a cause of death. Elizabeth would later marry Josiah Cooke, who graciously became the stepfather of Elizabeth's children.

The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England

Additional References:

Master Profile for Stephen Deane on

Excellent reference for the arrival of Stephen Deane, his subsequent marriage to Elizabeth Ring and their children.

Find A Grave - includes a short biography of Stephen Deane

Boston Globe article about Stephen Deane reenactment: Boston Globe: Pilgrim for a Day

Nasalroad Family Genealogy

Passengers of 1621 Fortune Voyage

Saturday, March 26, 2016

They Came to America

It seems hard for me to believe that our Joneses have roots that extend back to 1621 in America. Our first ancestor in America was Stephen Deane, my 9th great-grandfather. To put his story in context, we have to go back to the Mayflower, and the first group of people to come to what became known as the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

Credit: Wikipedia

It was ALL about religion

In 1605 in England, there was no religious freedom. The Church of England was the state religion, and an attack on it was an attack on England. Although this church was the result of the Protestant Reformation, there were individuals who felt that the church still retained too much of the liturgy, sacraments, and ritual and had not gone far enough to reform the church. They referred to themselves as "Separatists."

They had to meet in secret and not promote their views among the rest of the population. Doing so could result in a loss of livelihood, imprisonment, and even death. Conditions became so difficult that a group of about 80 Separatists decided to relocate to Amsterdam and, later, the town of Leiden. At the time, it was illegal for Catholics and Protestant Separatists to emigrate without permission. In 1607, part of their group was able to escape to Amsterdam before being discovered. The rest of the group was able to join them in 1608. William Brewster of Mayflower fame, became one of their leaders after losing his job as postmaster in Scrooby, England because of his religious beliefs.

The reality of life in Leiden, Netherlands did not live up to their expectations. As they were not citizens, they were limited in the kinds of employment they could obtain.Their children wanted to adopt the ways of the Dutch. And so the decision was made to reestablish a community in the New World.

On September 5th, 1620, 102 passengers and crew, departed for what turned out to be a 66-day passage. The voyage started out smoothly, but by October, they encountered fierce Atlantic storms that made the voyage treacherous. The winds blew them off-course, but they finally landed in what is now Cape Cod on November 9th. This late fall arrival date forced the passengers to rely on the provisions on board, and most of the winter was spent living on the boat. Food dwindled, disease spread, and temperatures dropped resulting in the deaths of half of the passengers and crew that first winter.

I could write a book about the rough beginning in what came to be known as Plymouth, but several others already have. If you are interested in this topic, you can find a lot of information at the links listed. I recommend that you read the first link, in particular. It explains in detail the beliefs of the Separatists (Pilgrims) and the role that faith played in their every day lives.

Further Reading:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree

Five Generation Birthplace Pedigree

Yesterday on facebook, fellow genealogist J Paul Hawthorne shared a template inviting us to note the birthplaces of our ancestors for the past five generations. After showing the number of ancestors from England we have ten generations ago, it was fun to look at the origins of our more recent ancestors. This chart starts with me on the left. I was born in Ohio, as were both of my parents. You can see our Buckeye roots run deep. If you want to know who is represented in each of the color-coded blocks, refer to the chart below.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Our Colonial Ancestors from England

I am often asked, "How can you have so many ancestors?" The short answer is that the number of direct answers doubles with every generation. By the 10th generation, we have 1024 direct ancestors. We each have 2 grandparents, 4 great-grandparents, 8 gg-grandparents, etc. On our paternal Jones side of the family, we have deep roots going back to the early 1600s in this country.

Since so much of my ancestral DNA is attributed to England, I decided to go through our family tree and identify our earliest ancestors who immigrated to the U.S. from England. Although this is not a comprehensive list, you can see we have quite a few. The numbered locations in the map below correspond with the list of our ancestors, their relationship to me, and their approximate date of arrival. With this information, you should be able to determine how they are related to you.

Relationship to Me
Date in U.S.
William Lynn Almy
8 X Great-Grandfather

Audrey Barlowe Almy
8 X Great-Grandmother
Elizabeth Dillingham
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1645
Emmanuel Woolley
7 X Great-Grandfather
Abt. 1652
Mary Sarah Brown
9 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1639
Sheffield, Yorkshire
John Worthley
9 X Great-Grandfather
Nicholas Wainwright
9 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1647
Elyzabeth Chapman
9 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1647
Elizabeth Offerton
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1647
Thomas Wainwright
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1647
William Twining
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1649
East Grimstead, Wiltshire
Robert Tucker
7 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1651
Thomas Mayhew, Sr.
9 X Great- Grandfather
Bef. 1648
Rev. Thomas Mayhew
8 X Great- Grandfather
Bef. 1648
Southwark, Surrey
Stephen Deane
9 X Great-Grandfather
Deal, Kent, England
Thomas White
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1658
Sandwich, Kent, England
John Wing
8 X Great-Grandfather
Bef. 1645
Elizabeth Ring
(wife of Stephen Deane)
9 X Great-Grandmother
Abt. 1628
London, Middlesex
Jane Paine
8 X Great-Grandmother
Bef. 1648
Matthew West
8 X Great-Grandfather
Wherwell, Hampshire
Deborah Batchiler
9 X Great-Grandmother

I counted twenty-one 7th through 9th Great-Grandparents who emigrated from England in the 17th Century. The first arrived in 1621 and the last in 1658. These are all DIRECT ANCESTORS! Recall that the Mayflower and its 102 passengers came to America in 1620 -- and half of them died that first winter.

So Joneses, Scardinas, and Brevings, we have deep roots in this country. There should be no surprise that a large percentage of our DNA comes to us by way of England. And now for the stories. The next several posts will discuss some of the amazing things I discovered about many of our ancestors in the New World. I hope you come along for the ride.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Who Are We?

Several years ago, I sent a sample of my DNA to 23andme and had some surprises in my ethnicity estimates. (For the uninitiated, one must remember that these are ESTIMATES in an ever-evolving science). I was not surprised that I was classified as 99.7% European, (just look at me), but I was surprised that such a large percentage was designated as "British and Irish."

Over the past couple of years, I have spent a lot of time researching our paternal colonial ancestors. I had no idea that so many of my ancestors arrived here from England in the 1600s! Some of our English surnames include: Almy, Bickerdyke, Chambers, Darby, Havens, Wainwright and West. Many settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey where they intermarried. This concentrated that English DNA. Many started out as Quakers but soon included Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians.

Vincent Wainwright, our 4th great-grandfather, fought in the Revolutionary War. A cousin of Vincent was killed in a battle at Toms River, New Jersey. So our very diverse Jones family of Germans, Irish, Welsh and Scots has roots that extend back to the 1600s in America. It is these colonial ancestors that I hope to share over the next few months.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Doctor Says It Is Inoperable ... Now What?

Bill, Kathy and Nathan
January 2016
I love my husband. On January 1, 2016 we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. (Actually, we didn't celebrate because we were afraid to schedule anything as we were on "babywatch" for Nathan Jozsef. Nathan waited until January 17th to make his entrance).

So with our family complete, my thoughts turned to what we could do to celebrate. There are a couple of "issues" that need to be considered. Bill tells me he is not interested in doing anything that requires much walking. I was surprised because we went to D.C. less than two years ago, and he walked everywhere. He told me it was different now. We went to New Jersey last spring, and he let me know that it was difficult.

He gets three or four colds a year, and when he does, they are life-threatening. His doctor suspected pneumonia with his last cold, but the X-rays showed his lungs were very congested, but no pneumonia. Bill will be 80 years-old on May 6th, and he has let me know repeatedly that his personal goal is to "make it" until then.

As his spouse, I don't know how to plan. Almost two years ago, his cardiologist ordered up several tests. We were then called in and told, among other things, that he had three blocked arteries. They advised us that they would not recommend surgery as they thought that any surgical intervention would leave Bill in worse shape than he currently was. Bill continued to ride his bike on the bike trail and meet with friends over coffee and/or lunch. He tinkered with his multiple hobbies. Things were as good as could be expected.

Three weeks ago, Bill was experiencing extreme back pain. We went to the Emergency Room at U.C. and spent the entire night there. It was a snowy night and the hospital was understaffed. After a few tests, Bill was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica, a condition he's had before that is usually treated with prednisone and anti-inflammatories. It ended up being a misdiagnosis as the ER doc had misread the SED rate -- that's another story. They gave him an injection of dilaudid which took the edge off, and home we went.

Three days later, we were in the ER at Christ Hospital. We've always known that Bill has an extremely bad back, but due to his cardiac history, he had been told to wait until he couldn't stand it. Now is that time. They ordered an MRI for the next day and we were able to get an appointment with one of the Joint and Spine Center doctors for the following afternoon. The MRI showed that his back was in far worse shape than we thought and that he needed surgery. Now for the conundrum. BILL CAN'T HAVE SURGERY! When we met with the doctor, she told us that she didn't think she would be able to find a surgeon willing to take the risk.

Three days later we were back at Christ again because of Bill's fears that his "back problem" had now extended down his left leg and throughout his groin area. This is not an unexpected symptom, and the doctor ordered an ultrasound, blood and urine test. They ended up giving him an injection of a heavy-duty anti-inflammatory, with the hope that it would "get him through" to his follow-up appointment scheduled for next Monday.

So here is my question: What do either of us do in light of what looks like "the end of the road?" How many second opinions do we want to get? Do we dare plan a trip? How can we get a doctor to level with us? Do we want a doctor to level with us? What does Bill want vs. what I might want? I think we will just have to play out our hand because, unfortunately, the answer doesn't seem to be on google.Thoughts?.

Bill and I have both tried to follow the philosophy of Theodore Roosevelt who once said, "Do what you can with what you have where you are."  

I pray for God's guidance.