After that quick look at surrounding parishes (Shropshire Parishes), I made an effort to follow-up on the Jones research posted about last week (Jones Clarifications from the Diddlebury and Other Parish Records).
As noted before, Edward Jones, the father of William Jones and the other children discussed in my prior post, was married for the first time in 1822, and was identified in his marriage record as a member of the Diddlebury parish. So that’s where I started looking for his christening record, and found a couple of likely options:
- Edward Jones, chr. 11 Sep 1796, parents Edward and Maria, and
- Edward Jones, chr. 14 Jan 1798, parents John and Elizabeth
Other nearby parishes also had plausible Edward Joneses, as it is (of course) a common name, so I couldn’t even limit it to these. From other information, however, Diddlebury seemed likely. For example, the 1851 census identifies Edward as born in Westhope, which is in Diddlebury, and his wife Sarah as in Munslow (which other research confirmed). This census also gives Edward’s age as 56 (so born 1795 or 1796, but I know from work on the US census records that that can be off). The 1841 census (which asked less detailed questions) indicated that Edward was born in Shropshire (but not where) and was born between 1796-1801. That information is not sufficient to decide between the two or at least eliminate one of them.
I then looked for likely siblings of the two Edwards, and found that the following children of a John and Elizabeth Jones had been christened in Diddlebury during the right time period: Thomas (1794), John (1796), Edward (1798), Anne (1799), John (1802) (note: the first John could have died), Jane (1807), Martha (June 1809), Sarah (Dec 1809), and Mary (1812). The dates for Martha and Sarah suggest that these could be the children of two separate couples (although it’s also possible Martha was just baptised at a slightly older age). The names John and Elizabeth Jones are common enough that that would not be too surprising. For Edward and Maria, the only other child christened in Diddlebury or neighboring parishes during the relevant time was William Jones, chr. 10 Aug 1794. Expanding the search to elsewhere in Shropshire or Edward and Mary Jones did not turn up any other likely possibilities.
Looking for marriage records did not help. I was unable to find anything likely for Edward and Maria (if my relatives who researched this before me are correct, this is the correct couple and they were not married in Shropshire–the online information I’ve seen suggests they have or have seen a family Bible, so I really need to make contact!), and there are too many possibilities for for John and Elizabeth (with the likeliest looking one John Jones and Elizabeth Richards on 21 June 1793 in Stanton Lacy).
However, for burial records, I did find one for an Ann Maria Jones, age 87 (so born around 1760), on 1 Jan 1847 in Westhope, where Edward and Sarah Jones and their family were living around that time. A matching couple (Edward Jones (age 70, born in Shropshire) and Marian Jones (age 80, not born in Shropshire) are found near Edward, Sarah, and their children, in Westhope, Diddlebury. Also, although it could just be a coincidence, I remembered that Edward and Sarah had a daughter named Anne Maria, quite possibly named after his mother, as that combination in the parish records does not seem particularly common. Based on all this, I tentatively conclude that Edward and Maria are the correct parents, and that Edward married an older woman, possibly a widow. Unfortunately (if this is correct), Ann Maria died before the 1851 census, which would have provided more information.
So far I have not found anything helpful from trying to follow-up Edward’s likely brother William, b. 1794.
My next step was to see what became of the other Edward. Searching for his own marriage record, I found too many plausible ones:
- 5 Oct. 1820 in Stanton Lacy to Hannah Bowen, both of that parish. The marriage was witnessed by William and Mary Mills. (A likely remarriage occurred on 5 May 1825 in the same parish, between Edward Jones, widower, and Jane Parton, both of the parish. This marriage was witnessed by William Mills and Sarah Edwards. In Diddlebury, Thomas Jones of Sutton Hill, age 18 months, had been buried on 13 Apr. 1824, and Hannah Jones also of Sutton Hill, age 24, on 10 Jul 1824.)
- 14 Apr. 1825 in Diddlebury to Elizabeth Partington, both of that parish. The marriage (first for both) was witnessed by George Partington and ?? (looks like John or Jane) Jones.
- 11 May 1825 in Diddlebury to Elizabeth Smith, both of that parish. The marriage (again, first for both) was witnessed by Francis Jones and Mary Smith.
I did not find any obvious records of these couples subsequent to the 1824-1825 marriages. So this is another dead end, at least for now.
Returning to the Edward Jones who was married to Maria/Ann Maria, from the 1841 census he was born in 1771-1775, and I found the following possibilities born in or around Diddlebury in that time period (although of course I don’t know where he was born other than the census information of Shropshire, if correct):
- Edward, chr. 24 Dec. 1769 in Culmington, parents William and Mary
- Edward, chr. 28 Jan 1770 in Diddlebury, parents David and Margaret
- Edward, chr. 14 Feb 1773 in Munslow, parents John and Elizabeth
- Edward, chr. 9 Jul 1775 in Culmington, parents Edward and Ann
- Edward, chr. 20 Oct. 1776 in Culmington, parents Edward and Elizabeth
As you can see, even limiting it to the census years plus 2 on each end and the parishes immediately surrounding Diddlebury still leaves me with several possibilities and more quite common names so at this point I will take a break from the effort to trace Joneses back through the parish records and seek some additional sources for this family. Happily, William Jones’s mother, Sarah Maund, has a less common name.