The Jones Family in
And Their Descendants in Lancashire, England and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Welcome to my family history website. This page covers the family of Harriet Ellen Jones' father, Sgt. Richard Evan Jones and his parents, John Jones and Ellen Evans. The Jones family were industrial working-class folks from Flintshire, Wales where their ancestry can be traced back to the late-1700s. If you are just arriving here for the first time then you may wish to start here.
Please Note: This page is intended only as a narrative historical overview of this family. There is additional detailed information available for almost ever person presented on this page. To avoid the unnecessary work of double-entering some data, the additional information can be found in the accompanying GEDCOM database. Please make sure you click on the INDEX button at the bottom of the page so you don't miss out on potentially valuable additional information.
The research presented on this page is not mine alone. It contains information submitted by all the Fellow Researchers listed below. I am indebted to them for their generous contributions. This page is intended as a place for researchers to freely and cooperatively share our research with each other. It would be too cumbersome a task to reference each piece of data as to which researcher it has come from. The information shown on this page should be understood as a product of ALL of the Fellow Researchers. I am merely the editor and not the sole author. - Ryk
Jones and Evans are both patronymic surnames. Jones is an abbreviation of "Johnson" which means "son of John". Under normal circumstances this would mean that our Jones family is probably descended from an ancestor whose father's name was John, which could easily be the case as John is one of the most popular male names in the world. However, in the case of the Welsh there is a different story, which we'll get to after we look at the name Evans.
Evans is an abbreviation of "Evanson", which means "son of Evan". Evan is a Welsh form of John (related to the Scot's Gaelic "Ewan", the Germanic "Johan", and the Russion "Ivan"), so Evans also means "son of John". Thus Evans and Jones are etymologically equivalent names. Evans and Jones are also by far the two most common Welsh surnames.
Prior to the imposition of English naming customs in Wales, the Welsh people, like their Celtic cousins in Scotland and Ireland, used patronymic surnames such as "Evan ap Dyffyd", which means "John, son of David". ("Ap" is the Welsh form of the Gaelic "mac" meaning "son of".) Legend has it that when the English imposed their surname system on the Welsh, the Welsh responded by having everyone take the name Evans or Jones, which to the Welsh were really just the same name. This was apparently done just to confound the English bureaucrats. Whether this legend is based in truth or is just folklore to explain the popularity of the two names may never be known, but it's certainly a good Welsh tale.
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Our account of our Jones family in Wales begins with William Jones in the town of Flint, Flintshire, Wales.
William JONES, b: 1769 in Flintshire, Wales. The relationship of William Jones and his wife Elizabeth to the rest of this family is not confirmed. William and Elizabeth are found in 1841 residing immediately next door to the younger William Jones (shown here as their grandson by an unknown son). The arrangement shown here is based solely on age and proximity. William is presumed to have married to a woman named ELIZABETH b: 1767 in Flintshire, Wales, although no record of their marriage has been found. Her surname is unknown. They are suggested as the parents of:
William JONES b: 1819 in Flint, Flintshire, Wales, shown above as the son of "Unknown Jones", and grandson of William and Elizabeth Jones in Flint, Flintshire, Wales. This William Jones has only been confidently identified in census records for 1851. William's son John's death record indicates that John was the son of "William Jones and Jemima Williams", allowing for William to be identified in 1851. In 1841 there are only two William Joneses close to the correct age in Flint. One is married to a Catharine with a young daughter and can therefore be eliminated. The other is residing with the elder William and Elizabeth Jones, shown here as this William's grandparents. In 1861 William's sons are found residing with "Jemima Griffiths" who is the same age as their mother. From this entry it is presumed that William died between1851-1861 and Jemima remarried to a man surnamed Griffiths. William and Jemima had the following children:
After William's death it is believed that Jemima married secondly to Unknown GRIFFITHS and had the following child. Jemima's second husband is not found in any census records and it is believed that he died sometime between 1858-1861.
Jemima Williams' parents are not known. She is found in 1841 residing in Flint not far from the Jones family. She is residing with 8 year old Ann Williams and 6 year old Elizabeth Williams, presumably her younger sisters. It is suggested from this entry that Jemima's parents died sometime prior to 1841 leaving Jemima to raise her younger sisters.
John JONES b: 13 JAN 1848 in Flint, Flintshire, Wales, shown above as the son of William Jones and Jemima Williams. No birth record has been found for John, however his death record shows his parents as "William Jones and Jemima Williams." Harriett Jones (John's granddaughter) recalled that John was born in 1848 in Flintshire, Wales, with parents: Richard Jones and Unknown Williams. Census records also indicate Flint as his birth place. However John's death certificate gives his parents' names as William Jones and Jemima Williams. It also says that he had resided in Ontario for 60 years at his time of death, which is impossible.
Sometime between 1861-1871 John moved to Manchester, Lancashire, England, where in July 1871, he married Ellen Evans. As Ellen came from Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales, about 15 miles west of the town of Flint, it is presumed that John and Ellen met in Wales prior to moving to Manchester.
Victorian Manchester, England
Manchester, as a city, was not only the leading example of the best of the Industrial Revolution, but also its worst. Not only was labour employment booming, but so was labour exploitation. The only people making money off the industrial revolution were the factory owners, while labourers were exploited and lived in horrific poverty. In the absence of labour laws the normal workweek was 14 hours/day, seven days a week. A few of the more benevolent employers would allow Sunday mornings off for church, but if you skipped church then you'd be fired. Children could be employed as young as age 6, and since they could also be paid less than adults it was more profitable for owners to employ as many children as possible. Far too many of these children died on the dangerous factory floors. Workers lived in slums built by the factory owners for maximum capacity, not comfort. Multiple families would share the same apartment, sleeping and eating in shifts. There were no plumbing facilities and it was normal for families to share one outhouse per 100 apartments (keeping in mind that each apartment probably housed two to three families!). Disease was rampant and the death rate was appalling. By the 1860s Manchester's poverty had become a public embarrassment and some social reforms were beginning, but this is probably an apt description of the Manchester our Jones family moved to.
Sometime between 1883-1887, John Jones moved his family to the town of Bolton, just outside Manchester (now a suburb of Manchester). Bolton was experiencing a similar industrial boom to Manchester, but being a smaller town was somewhat cleaner and subject to less corruption and exploitation. Somewhat less.
Late 19th Century Bolton, England
Bolton grew slowly over the centuries from a small settlement on the wild Lancashire Moors. The town is best known for its industrial heritage. Local inventions gave enormous impetus to cotton manufacturing and the establishment of Lancashire's mill towns. It grew as a boomtown in the 19th century to become one of the leaders in the Industrial Revolution. Its population grew from 17,000 in 1801 to 10 times that number by 1901. Cotton was king, but other industries flourished also, from supporting trades such as engineering, and the building of the railways which fostered all industry, to the rise and fall of such enterprises as the now defunct mining industry.
For many people, the Greater Manchester area ended up being a hollow and unfulfilling promise of a decent living for a hard working family. It's no surprise then, as Manchester's economy was beginning to implode, that many people immigrated to the "New World" and particularly to the industrial heartland of Canada, that is, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1907, most of the extended Jones and Liptrot (see below) families, immigrated to Hamilton.
John Jones married on 2 JUL 1871 in Manchester Cathedral, Manchester, Lancashire, England to Ellen EVANS. She was born 1848 in 1848 in Rhuddlan, Flintshire, Wales, however her early origins are uncertain. In 1871, she was working as a household servant in Manchester. There are no entries in the 1861 census for any Ellen Evans born in Rhuddlan, however two possible entries have been identified. The first is preferred:
In December 1912, John and Ellen Jones set sale for Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada, having been preceded there in March 1907 by their son Richard Evan Jones and his wife, Annie Liptrot. Ellen died during the crossing and was buried at sea.
John and Ellen had the following children:
Richard Evan JONES b: 6 NOV 1879 in Harpurhey, Manchester, Lancashire, England, shown above as a son of John Jones and Ellen Evans. Richard Evan Jones (after whom this author is named) was born in Manchester, England, or "Dick" as he was known, but grew up in nearby Bolton. He was very musical.
The Jones family were staunch Methodists and were very active in Ulswater Street Methodist Church in Bolton (or "Allswater"). Dick sang tenor in the church choir which is where he met his future wife Annie Liptrot who was as a "beautiful contralto" in the choir. Dick was very musical and also played the flute (as does his namesake great-grandson).
Dick worked as a bricklayer in Bolton. According to their daughter Edna, they lived at 345 Blackburn Road in Bloton.
Dick and Annie immigrated to Canada in 1907, though there is some discrepancy over the exact date. Their daughter Hilda Jones recalled her mother saying it was April Fool's day, while Hilda's sister Harriet Jones recalls it being in March. However, as the journey would have taken several days, it's likely that they departed sometime in March and arrived on April 1, 1907. A Liptrot family photo was taken in March 1907 just days before Richard and Annie left for Canada. They were the first of the Liptrot clan to emigrate and were followed shortly by Thomas and Elizabeth Liptrot.
Upon arriving in Hamilton, Dick and Annie stayed with a family named Bryers. It is not known how they were connected with the Bryers.
In Canada, Dick became more than just a carpenter and bricklayer. He began taking contracts to build houses and became moderately prosperous as a building contractor and owned his own private contracting company. Dick built many homes in the present Aberdeen area of Hamilton, including the home that his family eventually moved into on Maple Avenue (now Maplewood) near Gage Park. Many of those houses still stand today.
The family were very active in Ryerson Methodist Church (later Ryerson United Church) and Dick did the brickwork when the present sanctuary was built in 1915. Dick played piccolo in a drum and bugle corps in Hamilton and sang regularly in the choir at Centenary Methodist Church and Ryerson United Church in Hamilton.
According to census records, in 1911 Dick had two lodgers residing with him: Elizabeth Morris, b 1861 in England, and Hilda Morris, b Mar 1870 in England. It is not known if they are related to the Jones' family.
In 1916 Dick enlisted as a Sergeant in the 205th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force.
Annie died prematurely at the age of 46 leaving Dick to raise their three daughters, aged 16, 19, and 22. He was also caring for his widowed father, John Jones, who had immigrated a few years after Dick and Annie. Dick's mother died at sea on the voyage to Canada.
Richard Evan Jones married on 12 JUL 1902 in Ulswater Street Methodist, Bolton, Lancashire, England to Sarah Annie LIPTROT b: 22 DEC 1880 in Bolton, Lancashire, England, daughter of Richard Liptrot and Sarah Crook. The story of Annie's ancestors can be found on the LIPTROT Family Page. Dick and Annie had the following children:
People researching this family include the following. If you wish your name added to the fellow researchers' list, please contact me.
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This page was last updated on August 04, 2009