Welsh Mormon History Logo





Jones, Benjamin - Biography

A Brief History of Benjamin T. Jones and Jane Williams Jones:

Pioneers, 49ers, and Early Settlers of Nevada (1806-1878, 1806-1872)

Benjamin T. Jones was born in 1806 in Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales. As a birth record for Benjamin has not yet been identified, the names of Benjamin’s parents are not known with certainty. However, based on a review of records at Aberdare parish during that time period, it is currently believed that Benjamin’s parents might be Evan and Ann Jones. A possible connection with Evan Jones as Benjamin’s father is supported by the presence of an Evan Jones as a witness at Benjamin’s and Jane Williams? wedding in 1825. Review of the Bishops Transcripts for Aberdare, Glamorganshire, Wales indicates the marriage of an Evan Jones and Ann Thomas on 14 July 1804. However, review of the parish records between 1804 and 1812 has not identified entries for any children born to an Evan Jones. At present, not much is known regarding Benjamin’s early years, but he appears to have passed his childhood in the area surrounding Aberdare. Benjamin had at least one sister, named Ann, who remained in Wales throughout her life and whom he referred to in his will in 1878 as Ann Hopper. It is not known if Benjamin had any brothers, but a David Jones traveled with Benjamin to the US in 1849 and settled near him in western Nevada. The parentage of Jane Williams, Bemjamin’s wife, is not clearly established and requires further research. A review of the Bishop’s Transcripts for the Aberdare Parish has identified an entry for a Jane, daughter of William John, born on 24 Aug 1806. At present, this appears to be a possible birth entry for Jane, but further research is required to establish this relationship. Benjamin’s will of 1878 also mentions a Givienne Williams, sister-in-law, who likely is sister to Jane.

Benjamin and Jane were married in the Abardare parish on the 11th day of July 1825. Several children were born to Benjamin and Jane while living in Wales, including Elizabeth (born 28 Dec 1826 in Aberdare Glamorganshire, and who married John James in Wales/England about 1846), Thomas (born 18 Feb, 1827; christened 18 March 1827, and who married Eliza ?? before 1849), William (christened 1 March, 1829, and who married Marian ?? in Wales before 1849), Evan James (born 18 August 1834; christened 27 October 1834; was age 14 at the time of emigration in 1849), Ester (age 5 at emigration, thus born about 1844), and John (age 1 ½ - 2 at emigration, thus born about 1847). The births and baptisms of Thomas and Evan James were recorded in the Pont-Morlais English Wesleyan Methodist Church. The birth of William was recorded in the records of the Aberdare Parish, Church in Wales (Bishops Transcripts). Review of the Wesleyan Methodist Church records has also identified another possible child born to this family. A birth entry is recorded for an Anne born to a Benjamin and Jane Jones on 20 September 1836 (christened 10 October 1836). However, a daughter Anne was not listed with the family 5 years later in the 1841 census or at the time of emigration in 1849. Thus, if Ann were their child, she would have died in infancy before 1841. Additional research is needed to establish whether an Ann Jones, child of Benjamin and Jane, died prior 1841. As civil registration of births began in Wales in 1837, replacing the recording of such information in Parish registers, it is not possible to identify deaths of family members in church records after that date. Unfortunately, civil indexes for births and deaths during that period list on an individual’s name, but not the names of their parents. Because Jones is such a common name, it is not possible to identify an individual from civil birth or death indexes. It is thus possible that Ann, or other children who died in infancy, were born to Benjamin and Jane between 1836 and 1844.

The Benjamin Jones family is found in the 1841 Welsh Census living in Aberdare, as listed below:

Forge Row (place)

Male

Female

Profession

Born here

Benjamin Jones

30

Engineer

Y

Jones     do

30

Y

Elizabeth     do

15

Y

Thomas

10

Y

William

10

Y

Evan

5

Y

Note: In the 1841 Welsh Census, ages were rounded to nearest 5, except under 15, (although here the children were rounded down as well)

From LDS emigration records, it is apparent that the Benjamin T. and Jane Jones family joined the first group of LDS Saints to leave South Wales. During the year 1849, they traveled on the Buena Vista with the Welsh Saints, leaving Liverpool, England and traveling with the saints to St. Louis, Missouri. At that time, three of Benjamin’s and Jane’s children were married. Listed with the group upon arrival at New Orleans are Thomas (age 22) and wife Eliza (age 26) with an infant, William (age 19) and wife Mirian (age 19), Eliza (age 23) and husband John James (age 21), Even Jos Jones (age 14), Ester Jones (age 5), and Jno Jones (age 1 ½).

Based on census and immigration records, the following children identified with the Benjamin and Jane Jones family:

Name

Born

Died

1.

Elizabeth

28 Dec 1826

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

20 Mar 1889 Carson, Nev.

2.

Thomas

18 Feb 1827

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

1850-1860, Utah, Terr.

3.

William

1 Mar 1829

Aberdare, Glamorgan., Wales

after 1878

4.

Evan James

18 Aug 1834

Aberdare, Glamorgan., Wales

25 Nov. 1909, Denver, CO

5.

Anne*

20 Sep 1836

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

before 1841, A,G., Wales

6.

Ester

abt 1844

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

1849-1860

7.

John L.

abt 1847

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

1867,Carson,Dougl., Nev

8.

Mary Jane

abt 1850

Nebraska or Wyoming

10 May 1915, Reno, Nev

* Relationship not confirmed

During the journey to America, the historical record indicates that troubles arose with William and his wife Marian and the LDS church, resulting in their excommunication 2 days before the arrival of the Buena Vista at New Orleans. Benjamin Jones and his extended family continued to journey with the Mormons until their arrival at St. Louis, when they decided to separate from the main body of the Saints and move west on their own power. A brief description of the separation of the groups is found in the history of the Welsh emigration, “The Call of Zion, the Story of the first Welsh Mormon Emigration,” by Ronald D. Dennis (see Appendix 1). Several families separated from the Mormons at that time, including the families of Benjamin Jones, William Jones, Thomas Jones, and John James (married to daughter Elizabeth Jones). A David Jones and David Giles also joined the group at that time.

After spending the winter of 1849 in St. Louis, the extended Jones family then moved on to Salt Lake City, where the family spent the next winter. While on route across the plains by covered wagon, a daughter was born to Benjamin and Jane Jones whom they named Mary. Family tradition indicates that Mary was such a tiny baby, the family used a teapot as her cradle during the remainder of the journey to Salt Lake City. From that time on and throughout the rest of her life this daughter was known as “Teapot Mary.”

During the family’s brief sojourn during the winter of 1850 in Salt Lake City, another episode apparently occurred between these families and the Mormon community. A family history written by Elvie Winter (granddaughter of John and Elizabeth James, daughter of Jesse Logan Winter and Louisa Jane James) to her sister Bessie, records the following:

“Great-grandparents names were Jones. They came to USA from Wales and England. They left England and got over to Holland, after being persecuted by the Church of England. John James, our grandfather, married Betsy Jones and came with the family and Evan Jones, a son came also. The Mormons were looking for people to come out to Utah. They got passage on a Mormon ship. After some time, the Mormons brought them in out to Salt Lake City by wagon train. But the promises that had been made were never fulfilled. The men were kept prisoners and kept in a stockade. After several months they escaped from the Mormons. A band of whites and Indians had been fighting the Mormons, so they helped them to escape and met a wagon train and the calvary helped them get away. They went out to Cal with this wagon train. The gold rush was on about 1849. They moved around through California and then decided to settle in Nevada, in Jacks Valley.”

Regardless of what really happened, it is clear that serious problems continued between these families and the Mormons. Perhaps future research may clarify details of what occurred during that winter. Nonetheless, following the brief stay in Salt Lake City, the James and Jones families then continued on to the gold fields in California. The family initially settled in Hangtown, later known as Placerville, in the heart of the gold mining area, where the men worked in the mines. This was work with which they were familiar, since they had come from the coal and mineral mining area of Wales.

Additional information on the early years of the Benjamin Jones family is recorded in the obituary of Benjamin’s son-in-law, John James, published in the Genoa Courier, Oct 4, 1895.

“After remaining in Utah one winter the party moved to Nevada, locating in Eagle Valley in 1850, near where Carson City now stands. The Indians were quite troublesome and the party soon moved to Jacks Valley, to secure protection from the Mormon settlement, then located at Genoa. About a year later, Mr. James and his father-in-law, Benjamin Jones, with their families, moved to Washoe Valley, where they built a log house and made preparations to remain permanently, but were again driven out by the Indians. The Indians burned their house and they were compelled to return to the Mormon settlement in Carson Valley. Mr. James settled on the ranch where he has resided so many years and his father-in-law secured the land just below him, now owned by Mr. James’s sons.”

The first census entry for Benjamin T. Jones and family is found in the 1860 Utah Territorial census. At that time, the family is living in Carson Valley. B.T. Jones (age 54, farmer) is listed with Jane (age 54), John (age 13, born in England), and Mary Jane (age 10, born in Nebraska). Benjamin’s occupation is listed in the censuses throughout his years in Nevada as “Farmer,” the livelihood he followed during his early years in Aberdare.

As indicated above, during his early years in western Utah Territory, Benjamin Jones and his son-in-law, John James, secured farm land in Jacks Valley (present day Douglas County). Evan Jones would also purchase land near his father’s farm in Jacks Valley. For a time, Benjamin’s son Thomas ran a trading post at the sink of the Humbolt River in Nevada, but family history indicates that he was killed by the Indians during that period. During their early years in Utah Territory, Benjamin Jones and John James had business dealing with the Mormons, who had settled the Genoa area in the early 1850s. The Genoa settlement represented the first settlement in the state of Nevada. Court records indicate that Benjamin Jones and John James loaned John Reese, one of the original Mormon settlers in the Genoa area, and Company approximately $17,000 in June of 1854 to help finance the expansion of Genoa. In 1859, Benjamin Jones and John James secured the services of attorney Thomas Knott to obtain payment from the apparently bankrupt enterprise (document provided by Kristine Bruins). It is not known if the full investment was lost or whether some the losses were recouped. $17,000 was clearly a substantial sum of money to have been lost in those times, and must have been a major financial setback.

While living in western Utah Territory, Benjamin Jones shipped many household items and furniture from Wales through the San Francisco. The list of items shipped includes a large round dining table that has been handed down through Evan’s family. This table is now in the possession of Benjamin’s gggrandadaughter, Kristy Bruins, who lives in Genoa, Nevada (2004). Interestingly, Kristy and her husband are living in a home built by John Reese in 1855, one year after her gggrandfather Benjamin Jones and John James loaned John Reese the substantial sum noted above. Land purchases in the Genoa area are recorded for Benjamin and son Evan James up through 1861. On 4 November, 1861, Benjamin purchased the Metropolitan Saloon in Genoa on the east side of Main Street. It is about this time that the great Comstock load was discovered in nearby Virginia City, resulting in a dramatic change in the economic development of the area.

Whereas John and Elizabeth James remained in Jacks Valley throughout their lives, Benjamin together with his other children eventually moved on to settle other areas of Nevada. Beginning in 1864/5, Benjamin and Evan began to sell their land holdings in Carson Valley and Evan is found on 3 October 1863 purchasing land in nearby Dayton (Dayton Hay Yard). Several land purchases for Evan and Benjamin are recorded in Dayton in 1864 and 1865. During 1870, Jane Jones passed away and is buried in the Dayton cemetery. During their years in Dayton, son John L. Jones married (no marriage record identified) and then died shortly thereafter. He is buried in the Dayton cemetery (1847-1867) next to his infant son, John (1867-1869). Benjamin and Evan are found to have sold their land holdings in 1869/70, after which they relocated to the Lamoille area of Elko County in northern Nevada.

A brief history of Evan Jones is found in “This Land Was Ours, A History of the Lamoille Area of Elko, County, Nevada,” by Edna. B. Patterson, 1973. This history states that Evan Jones crossed the plains in 1850 and then located near Placerville, CA, where he was engaged in mining until 1853, at which point he moved on to Nevada. For a period of time he owned and operated a 400 acre farm in Carson Valley. He later moved on to White Pine County, eastern Nevada, and finally to Pleasant Valley, Elko County, where he resided for the remainder of his life. Evan’s wife Anna died in Dayton in 1869, leaving him 4 children to raise. He married again, but his second wife eventually became ill and spent her last years with a daughter from her first marriage in the mental hospital in Sparks, Nevada. Evan is listed in the 1875 Nevada State Census living with M.A. Jones (age 35, Female, born in New York) with M. Halantine (Balantine?) (female, age16), H. J. Jones (male, age 16), M. J. Jones (female, age 14), T. E. Jones (male, age 11), D. Jones (female, age 7). Evan later remarried and moved to live near children in Denver, Colorado, where he died in 1909.

After Jane’s death, Benjamin moved to Elko County. He is listed in the 1875 Census as living with his son Evan. The entry lists him as B.T. Jones, age 68, Male, born in England. Benjamin continued to lived in Pleasant Valley until his death in 1878, at age 72.

Benjamin died November 5, 1878. A review of his will (filed on November 16, 1878) has yielded some interesting biographical information. Benjamin specified that he be buried next to his wife (beloved consort) in the Dayton, Nevada cemetery, with little expense or ostentation. He left his eldest daughter, Elizabeth James, $100, his eldest living son, William, $100, and his youngest living son, Evan J. Jones, the grain from his ranch. His honored sister, Ann Hopper, was given $60 annually for her natural life and his sister-in-law, Givienne Williams, was also given $10 annually for life. Son Evan and daughter Mary K. Thompson were given his ranch containing 180 acres of state land and 40 acres of railroad land. Examination of Benjamin’s personal property list (2 draft horses, 1 brown mule, 5 cows and calves, 3 head steers and heifers, 1 gang plow, 1 breaking plow, 1 stubble plow and harrow, 1 wagon and harness) suggests that he was engaged in operating a working farm up until the time of his death.

Not much is known regarding son William and his wife Marian. Benjamin’s will indicates that William was alive and living at the time of Benjamin’s death in 1878. Family tradition states that William died of tuberculosis and that after his death, Miriam (or Marian) married a man named Marks and was living in the Gold Hill region near Virginia City for several years.

Teapot Mary Jones Thompson lived on a farm for a period in the Lamoille area of Elko County, after which she lived in Southern Nevada where she ran a boarding house at a Way Station known as Bullfrog. In later years (1909) she is listed in her brother Evan’s will as living in Beatty, Nye County, Nevada. She remarried twice (married names: Thompson, Harris, Brogan) and was known as Mary Brogan at the time of her death.

Benjamin and Jane Jones’ gravestone in the Dayton Cemetery (Dayton, Nevada), reads: Ben. T. Jones, 1806-1878; Mother, Jane Jones 1806-1870. Also listed on the four-sided gravestone was: John L. Jones, 1847-1867. His son, John, 1867-1868. The grave marker also reads, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” These hardy pioneer folks are to be remembered for their great contributions in helping to build up the West during a most challenging time. At least three of their surviving children and their spouses (Elizabeth and John James, Evan James Jones and Teapot Mary Thompson Harris Brogan) did much to build up and contribute to the growth of Nevada during its early. Their posterity include men who served in positions of responsibility in their community and state, including the Nevada State Legislature, and a greatgrandson who served in the US Army as a Major General during WWII (See Appendix II). It is hoped that further research will provided additional information on the worthy lives of these fine pioneers and their posterity.

Children of Benjamin and Jane Jones and their families

1. Elizabeth Jones and John James

·    Married in Wales, abt 1848

·    See John James hist

Name

Born

Died

1.

Thomas

abt 1848,

Wales

abt 1849, Wales

2.

Sarah Ann
m. George Bell

1850

Missouri

Nov 1835, Paso Robles, CA

3.

Louisa Jane
m. Jesse Logan Winter

4 Jan 1852

Sierra Nev. Mts, CA

24 Jan 1836 Elko, Nev

4.

Elizabeth Esther
m. George Harding

1854

Jacks Valley, Utah Terr.

Abt 1917, of San Franc., CA

5.

William Henry
m. Elizabeth Wyett

1856

Carson Valley, Utah Terr.

Feb 1924

6.

John Heath

1858

Carson Valley, Utah Terr.

1942 of Carson City, Nev.

7.

Mary Ellen
m. Harry Austin

1860

Carson Valley, Utah Terr.

Nov 1945

8.

Edwin Oak

1865

Carson Valley, Douglas, Nev.

1923

2. Thomas and Elizabeth Jones

Married in Wales abt 1847. Thomas listed as 22 and Eliza 26 years of age during passage on Buena Vista. Thomas was killed in Utah Territory by the Indians during the early pioneer days.

Name

Born

Died

John

abt 1848

Aberdare, Glamorgan, Wales

in U.S.

3. William and Miriam Jones

Following William’s death due to tuberculosis (after 1878), Miriam married a man named Marks and lived in Gold Hill for several years.

Name

Born

Died

Lila

Nevada

Jenny

Nevada

(information from Bess Winter history)

4. Evan James and Anna Johns Jones

Name

Born

Died

Henry J.

18 Oct 1858

Carson City, Utah Terr.

1930’s, Lamoille, Elko, Nev.

Mae J.
never married

abt 1861

Douglas, Nevada

Thomas E.

abt 1864
married Libby Dakin abt 1885

Douglas, Nevada

Delia Nevada

19 Nov 1867
married Frank Riddle, 1891, of White Rock, Nevada

Dayton, Lyon, Nevada

21 Sep 1943, Nampa, Idaho

5. John L. Jones Family

·    John L. born 1847 Wales

·    Spouse unkown

Name

Born

Died

John

1867

Carson Valley, Douglas, Nev.

1869, Carson Valley, Dougl., Nev.

6. Mary Jane and J.C. Thompson

Name

Born

Died

Addie E.

abt 1870
Married Frank Butler, lived in Canada

Carson Valley, Douglas, Nev

Walter J.

abt 1873

Eureka, Eureka, Nevada

Benjamin

abt 1876

Eastgate, Churchill, Nevada

Frederick

abt 1879

Pleasant Valley, Elko, Nevada

Additional research is needed to locate Mary Jane and family in the 1890 Census to identify additional children.

Note 1: age of children and J.C. Thompson calculated from 1880 U.S. Census information
Note 2: Mary Jane later married ____ Harris and the ____ Brogan.

Appendix I. Extracts from “The Call of Zion”, by Ronald D. Dennis, 1987:

p. 28. Something which marred the crossing was the council’s having to excommunicate William and his wife, Marian, both nineteen. They did not manifest the proper commitment to the teachings of their new religion to satisfy Jones and other members of the council (William Morgan, Rice Williams an William Davis). William and Marian Jones were deprived of their membership in the Church just two days prior to arriving at New Orleans. (note by author: during the early days of the LDS church, excommunications were not uncommon. With a maturation of the church, more tolerant policies are currently being practiced to help members remain in the church until problems can be resolved).

Entry on May 1, by the company Dan Jones, reads as follows:

We hired a steamboat and moved to it yesterday to carry us to Council Bluffs, 900 miles up the River Missouri, for 16s 8c each, half price for children between four and fourteen; and younger than that no charge; we can have 100 pounds of luggage without paying, and we pay 2 shillings per hundred for the rest. We shall start from here tomorrow. We purchased our food here to get us to the Valley. Also our stoves, iron to make wagons, clothes, arms goods, etc., etc. To this point, our journey has not been as expensive as I noted in the Prophwyd. And as far as I can tell, the costs will be hardly any different from what I noted there. The deadly cholera is killing hosts here now. One dear and faithful elder died this morning, namely Benjamin Francis, leaving great sorrow behind him. It would be difficult to find any more faithful than he in his life, and he died happy. His wife and children will come along with us. Benj. Jones and his whole family except his wife became blemished from unfaithfulness. They went away along the road to destruction at a gallop today. David Giles and David Jones and his wife went with them, completely unkown to me. I shall take greater care next time to refrain from bringing any but the faithful Saints with me. (letter from Captain Dan Jones to Pres. William Phillips, dated April 30, 1849, St. Louis)

Appendix II. “This Land Was Ours,” by Edna B. Patterson (1973).

Jones, Henry J. Son of Evan Jones, was born in Carson City, October 18, 1858. He grew to manhood in Elko County and his youth was spent on his father’s ranch in Pleasant Valley. Henry Jones became a livestock raiser and rancher owning some 2,000 acres. He and G. S. Garcia owned 6,000 head of sheep on a partnership basis. He was appointed Post Master of Elko under President McKinley in 1897. Henry Jones died in Lamoille Valley in the 1930’s, and was buried in the Elko Cemetery. He served Elko county as State Senator at the 25th Session of the Legislature held in 1911 and again at the 26th session in 1913.

Jones was part owner of the South Fork Flour Mill, owning the property in partnership withy Edwin O’Dell of Lamiolle and Fed C. Drown of South Fork. The group sold the mill to W. O. Williams in 1898. His son, Henry L. C. Jones became a U.S. Army Major General during World War II. The son later retired to Esparato, California and died there in January, 1969.

Jones, Tom. Son of Evan Jones, lived in Pleasant and Lamoille Valleys in the 1880-1920 era. He married a daughter of Judson Dakin. Around 1915 they leased the present John Mattice Home Ranch from the McDermott family.

Prepared by Michael David Lubeck, 3ggrandson, February 1, 2004 
(Benjamin T. Jones > Elizabeth Jones James > Louisa Jane James Winter > Edith Emelyn Winter Lubeck > Glen Harold Lubeck > Michael David Lubeck)

Immigrants:

Jones, Benjamin T.

Comments:

No comments.