I will tell you the story today of Thomas Brown Jones. I challenge others of you to research your families and submit stories for our upcoming issues.
The Jones family and associated families came to Maryland as early as the early 1600’s. They were an important part of Maryland’s history political, mercantile patriotic and religious. Most of the families were Quakers who settled in southern Maryland. One served on the Provincial Court, another on the Governor’s Council under Charles Calvert and later one served in the MD legislature voting to declare the colonies free. But his family did not just serve in government but industry, beginning the production of iron as early as 1679. Another ancestor was a great minister of the Society of Friends dying from complications after being imprisoned for spreading Quakerism in Virginia in 1678
Thomas’ great-great grandfather Samuel Thomas owned the ferry rights on both sides of the Susquehanna River during the time of the Revolutionary War. It isn’t hard to imagine his transporting some of our founding fathers across the River. It is interesting that he took the oath of allegiance to the United States even though this was generally contrary to Quaker teaching.
On his mother’s side of the family were the Browns, who operated a pottery in Baltimore as early as 1763 and were officers in the first abolitionist society in Maryland. As we come to the 1800’s Thomas Jones’ grandfather Nicholas Jones managed the pottery owned by his wife’s family. As a Baltimore merchant Jones served as an artilleryman in the militia which protected Baltimore during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814. Thomas’ other grandfather David Jones was a landowner on the Easter Shore of Maryland who served there during the War of 1812. As you may have guessed by now, Thomas Jones’ grandfathers were brothers. Thomas’ mother Fannie Isabel was the daughter of Nicholas and father Thomas Sr. was the son of David. Yes, first cousins did marry back then!
Thomas Sr. was a carriage maker in Kent County and later owned a farm there. The Jones family lived in Kent County until 1869 when they moved to a farm in Howard County near West Friendship. They had 3 boys and 2 girls, Thomas B. being the eldest. The Jones family was members of St Barnabas Church and Thomas’ father mother and siblings are buried there with marble markers directly in front of the church. Thomas B. moved closer to Eldersburg after he married and he attended Holy Trinity, serving as a vestryman. His is one of the most intiricately carved stones in the cemetery and is used on some of our caring cards. Look it up the next time you visit.