Friday, November 4, 2011

Sophronia Mystery

The latest Mystery came in my e-mail inbox - and was posted as a comment to an earlier blog:
An individual is researching Horace Jones - starting with a photograph circa 1860s. Here are the questions that came up: "When I researched Horace Jones, I found that there were two living in China / Arcade, both born in 1840. I am wondering if you have any information as to whether the two families are linked in some way?
Horace W. Jones, born in 1840 to Levi and Sophoronia Jones, with brothers elisha, Farley, William Henry, Luther and Elliott.
Horace W. D. Jones, born in 1840 to Milon and Sophorna Jones, with sister Mary and family boarder Orissa Casey or Crary
Horace Jones was a surprisingly popular name, but I find it more remarkable that a small town would have two with such unusual names of their mothers."
Here at the Society, I looked into what information I could find and my results are:
I only have 3 obits in my file that relate to this inquiry.

1. Luther Jones, died in 1925 (no birthdate given in obit). He was stated as being the son of Levi and Sophronia Hatfield Jones.

2. Francis Marion Jones (May 23, 1860-April 28,1939), better known as Manie Jones, son of Levi and Sophronie Jones, "one of a large pioneer family of this section." He married Clara Bridenbaker in October 1885, they had two children, Plin and Hazel.

3. Horace Jones, 1840-Jan. 24, 1900. This one was not an official obit, but an article, titled "Horace Jones Killed." He fell from a bridge at night into the icy waters below. He was apparently intoxicated, which was very unusual for him, no one ever recalled seeing him intoxicated before. He was last seen at the post office at 6:30 p.m. and then seen staggering in the street. Ice had to be broken in Cattaraugus Creek in order to drag it to find his body. No mention of parentage and no wife's name given in the article.

What I would surmise is that there was only one marriage of Levi & Sophronia and that "Milon" was perhaps Levi's middle name, or his formal name - similar to how Francis Marion was shortened to "Manie." Sophronia's name ending in an "e" or an "a" in these newspaper accounts I would put down to typo issues.

If any readers have other informaton, please feel free to post it here. Thanks for reading and sending in inquiries!