The Jones Family in Kent, England

As mentioned before on this blog, when growing up I had no real idea what my family background was, except for some comments about my maternal grandfather’s family being Swedish, and (a bit later) my paternal grandmother’s family going way back to the 1600s (in at least some branches) and being English. We didn’t know my dad’s father’s family at all, but we knew “Jones” was a Welsh name and they were Methodist, which seemed to fit, so I decided “Welsh” was as good an answer as any if someone asked my ethnic background.

Added to this, my father spent some time in London due to a work assignment in the mid 1980s and talked to someone (hotel concierge? I can’t remember the story that well now) about going to Wales while he was there, and was told “you don’t want to do that, they aren’t friendly” followed by “oh, your name is Jones? they will be friendly to YOU.” Not sure if this story is more unfair to Londoners or the Welsh, but anyway it was one person and who knows if it is even remembered correctly, but it always fed my assumption that Jones meant we were Welsh.

Census records and the bio of Frank that I found convincingly demonstrated that Frank was actually from England, however, although his in-laws were Welsh (and perhaps his own background, back far enough, I don’t know). Indeed, with the names of Frank’s parents from the bio (William and Sophia), and the information about his brother Herbert Henry, which seemed to check out, I was able to locate him and his family in Lewisham, Kent, England.  (The information discussed in More on Frank Reeves Jones and Annie Humphreys also supported this, and includes some excellent Trollopian photos of William Jones that I wish I could post here.)

In the 1861 Census for Sydenham, Lewisham, Kent, I found what appears to be the correct family at 9 High Street (London House):

  • William Jones, a linendraper, b. in Westhope, Shropshire, age 37 (abt. 1824)
  • Sophia Jones, a draper’s wife, b. Waltham, Exxex, age 35 (abt. 1826)
  • William Jones, scholar, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 10 (abt. 1851)
  • Frank R. Jones, scholar, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 8 (abt. 1853)
  • Alice M. Jones, scholar, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 7 (abt 1854)
  • George E. Jones, scholar, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 4 (abt 1857)
  • Herbert H. Jones, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 2 (abt 1859)
  • Florence E. Jones, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 1 (abt 1860)
  • Emma Jones (sister of head), visitor, b. in Westhope, Shropshire, age 21 (abt 1840)
  • Sarah R. Hill, house servant, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 24 (abt 1837)
  • Emma Walls, house servant, b. Godstone, Surrey, age 22 (abt 1839)

The same family is in the 1851 Census for Sydenham, at 40 Ann’s Place, Upper Sydenham, although Frank is not yet born:

  • William Jones, draper and warehouseman, b. in Diddlebury, Shropshire, age 28
  • Sophia Jones, milliner, b. in Waltham, Essex, age 25
  • Jane Jones, sister, shopwoman and draper, b. in Diddlebury, Shropshire, age 25
  • Mary Jones, sister, apprentice, b. in Diddlebury, Shropshire, age 15
  • Fanny Lucas, apprentice, b. in Diddlebury, Shropshire, age 16
  • Rhoda Jackson, mother-in-law, widow, b. in Felstead, Essex, age 48
  • Sarah S. Johnson, milliner, b. Northampton, age 25
  • Anna U???, milliner, b. Braintree, Essex, age 24
  • Emily J. S. Jones, daughter, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 2
  • William Jones, son, b. Sydenham, Kent, infant
  • Eliza Hall, servant, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 18
  • Sarah U??? [same as above], shopwoman, b. Braintree, Essex, age 22

Since Emily was not in the 1861 Census above, I searched for her and found her, age 12, plus another possible daughter, Annie Jones, age 6, b. Sydenham, Kent, as visitors with James and Isabella Hemmings in St. Peter, Brighton, Suffolk.  I don’t currently know what the connection is.

In 1871, the family is again in Sydenham, Lewisham, Kent, at 1 High Street, inhabiting 3 houses:

  • William Jones, draper employing 13 persons, b. Westhope, Shropshire, age 47
  • Sophia Jones, b. Stebbing, Essex, age 45
  • Emily Jones, daughter, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 22
  • Frank Jones, son, assistant, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 18
  • Alice Jones, daughter, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 17
  • George Jones, son, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 13?
  • Edith Jones, daughter, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 7
  • Elvina Jones, daughter, b. Sydenham, Kent, age 4
  • Rhoda Jackson, mother in law, b. Stebbing, Essex, age 71
  • various other servants and employees who I may follow up at some point, including:
  • Isabella Reeve, assistant, widow, b. Whitby, Yorkshire, age 42? [from other sources I believe Sophia’s maiden name is Reeve, so this could be a relative]

By 1881, the same family (still including Herbert Henry Jones, who is 22, a warehouseman, and due to leave for the US in 1882), is no longer in Sydenham, Kent, but in Fetcham, Surrey, at 98 Bell’s Inn.  William Jones, age 57, is now identified as an insurance agent.  He dies in 1887, and in 1891, Sophia, her two youngest daughters, and a couple of others seem to be in business doing art needlework in London.

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One thought on “The Jones Family in Kent, England

  1. Pingback: The Jones Family in Westhope, Shropshire | My American Journeys

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