When I first became interested in the history of the Joneses and my German and Irish lines, I had a couple of things going for me. First of all, my mother gave me a folder of family information she had collected over the years. A lot of her notes were the result of conversations she had had with Margaret Ann Scardina, my Dad's sister. (A few years back, Patty and I compared notes and found out that she had the same record -- her mother must have shared the information with mine). In the folder was a copy of a letter from Lillian Mears to Edith Breving.
As I was new to all of this, I called Rosemary Kramer and asked her to explain what she knew about the letter. Much to my surprise Rosemary told me all about Lillian, who was our grandfather's first cousin. She told me she lived in Harrison and was about 95 years old.
I called Lillian and despite macular degeneration and being somewhat frail, she invited Patty Volz and me to lunch at the home she shared with her daughter in Harrison, Ohio. She could practically quote all of the details in the letter, which had been written in 1978.
With a name like Jones, you need all of the clues you can get, and Lillian had a lot of them. Lillian was a retired school teacher who had graduated from Miami University. She had great stories about the lengths her parents went to to fund her education -- now I wish I had written them down. A lot of the things in her letter have now been documented. There were a few inaccuracies, but they were largely based on the recollections of her mother whose father (Alexander) died when she was only two years old.
As I write this history as I know it, I will often include quotes from her letter. Thank goodness that Edith Jones Breving asked Lillian to write down what she knew and my mother was given a copy. When Patty and I visited her she also gave us a photocopy of the Jones Family in 1916. Despite it's poor quality, it's one of my favorite items.
This picture was taken at Lillian's home in Harrison in 1916. The adults from left to right were:
John Lewis Amiss (husband of Elizabeth Jones Amiss)
Elizabeth Jones Amiss (daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth)
Melissa Jones (wife of Leo)
Norine Jones (wife of Charles Fred - our grandfather)
Ella Jones (wife of Tom)
Margaret Jones (wife of Harley)
Fred Jones (our grandfather)
The children from left to right were:
Lillian Amiss Mears - daughter of John and Elizabeth
Edith Jones Breving - my aunt
Charles Jones - my uncle
Irma Jones - daughter of Margaret and Harley Jones
At least I had the good sense to have Lillian identify the people in the picture.
Lillian died just short of the age of 100 after suffering a fall in her home. She, too, is buried at New Haven Cemetery near Harrison.
More pictures from the luncheon:
Lillian, Patty Volz and Laura (Lillian's daughter)
Laura, Rosemary, Sue, Jeanne,
Patty, Lillian, Nan
Bottom Row: Kathy and Sue's son Spencer