A Jones Family History
the first three hundred years (1700-2000)

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Jessie/Jesse & His Three Wives

One of the most interesting men in the Jones Family saga is Jesse (Jessie/Jespe) Jones, the eighth child of Samuel and Mary (Mote) Jones, the ancestors who led the group of forty or more Quaker families out of the Wrightsboro Settlement, Georgia, across Indian country and through the wilderness, to a new home in the southwestern backwoods of the newly-recognized non-slavery state of Ohio. 


Jesse was 10 or 11 at the time of the great trek westward in covered wagons, on horseback and on foot. Late in his life - in his eighties - he described in detail the journey and the early years of the extended Jones family in their new home. His descriptions of the early days of the settlement were published in a book, “The History of Miami County” (Ref)


This photograph of Jesse taken when he was 86 shows him to be well-dressed in Quaker plain clothing, broad-shouldered, even-featured, with bright, light colored eyes and a full head of hair.  From the quotes attributed to him at the time it would be easy to believe that he was charming and talkative as well as a proud husband and father. Jesse was a landowner, as were his children, and a prosperous farmer.  He married three times, had nine children, and lived to be 94.


The following records of births, marriages and deaths have all been taken from the Jesse Jones Family Bible, now in the possession of Brooks Paul Jones, his great-great-great grandson.(See flyleaf from that bible below.)  Our Father, Jesse Hayworth Jones, great-great grandson of this Jesse, acquired the bible in a lottery held at a Jones Family Reunion in West Milton, Ohio (he won the option to purchase the bible for $100).            


This is a copy of the marriage document of Jesse and his first wife Jane Cothren who married themselves on December 11, 1816 in the Union Monthly Meeting, Union Township, Miami County, Ohio, in the Quaker custom.  Jesse was 22 and Jane was 19.


Wheras, Jesse Jones, son of Samuel Jones, of the state of Ohio, in the Country of Miami, and Union township, and Mary, his wife, and Jane Cothren, daughter of Alexander Cothren, deceased, and Hester, his wife, having declared their intention of marriage with each other in a monthly meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, held at Union meeting house in the County aforesaid, and having consent of parents and parties concerned, their said 666 of marriage was allowed by said meeting.


Now this is to certify whom it may concern, that they, the said Jesse Jones and Jane Cothren appeared at a public meeting of the said people held on the Eleventh day of the twelfth months in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, and him the said Jesse Jones, taker her, the said Jane Cothren, in the same assembly did in like manner declare that she took him, the said Jesse Jones, to be her husband, promising with divine assistance to be a loving and faithful wife until death should separate them, and furthermore, they the said Jesse Jones and Jane Cothren did as a further confirmation thereof, she according to the custom of marriage, assuming the name of her husband, did then and there to these presents set their hands.

                                                                                    Jesse Jones (signature)  

                                                                                          Jane Jones (signature)


And we whose names are here-unto subscribed, being present at the solemnization, have as witnesses hereto set our hands the day and year above written.


Asa Jones, William Casey, Samuel Jones, Jane Coppock, Mary Elleman, Rhoda Teague, Delpha  Patty, David Cothran, Hester Cothran, Jean Coppock, Wm. Neal, Esther Pearson, John T. Pearson, Benjamin Pearson, Rachel Jones, Benj. A. Iddings, Henry Coate, Nathan Hollingsworth, David Elleman, Elijah J. Penny, Moses Coppock, John Furnas, Samuel Pearson, William Elleman, David Patty, Moses Teague, Sam’l A. Jones, Jesse Coppock, Elijah Hunt, Esther Cothran, Jesse Cothran


Jesse and Jane lived together for twenty years.  They had seven children. Their only daughter and two of their six sons died before the age of three. Jane died at the age of 39.  Their offspring, as listed in the front pages of the family Bible:

Alexander 6th mo  29th day 1818 d. 3rd month 9th day 1900; m. Anna Jones in 1839 (b.5th mo 19th day 1823 d. 3rd mo 6th day 1900)

Samuel  9th mo 5th day 1820 (died at the age of 3)

Harvey  2nd mo 9th day 1823 (DIRECT ANCESTOR)

William R.  8th mo 25th day 1825

Mark 7th mo 24th day 1828 (died at the age of 2)

Eunice  1st mo 9th day 1832 (died before the age of 2)

Alvin 1st mo 5th day 1835 d. 4th mo 2nd day 1913, m. 9th mo 20th day 1855  Mary Ann Walker (b.2nd mo 29th day 1836 d. 2nd mo 20th day 1917)


I have not found their certificate of marriage, but we know from the family Bible that after the death of his first wife, Jane (Cothren) Jones (b. 8th mo 14th day 1797, d. 9th mo 19th day 1836), Jesse married Naomi/Naoma Tucker (b. 2nd mo 12th day 1799 d. 3rd mo 31st day 1852) thirteen months later on 10th mo 26th day 1837.


It was customary among Quakers to wait one year of mourning before remarrying.  When a mother or father died leaving young children it was encouraged within the Quaker community to marry again promptly, even if less than one year.  Alvin, Jesse's youngest, would have been not yet three when his father remarried.


Jesse and Naoma (Naomi) were together for the next fifteen years.  They had two daughters:

Jane Jones b. August 25, 1838 d. June 27, 1861 m. Samuel Coppock (She died at age 23, and I found no record of any children).

Mary B. Jones b. April 27, 1840 d. January 7, 1905  m. William Jay (they had 12 children and many descendants)

(See pages of the Jesse Jones Family Bible, photo below)


Following Naomi’s death in 1852 at the age of 53, Jesse was married for the third time in 1854 to twice-widowed Betsy Haworth Elleman Davis Jones (b. 6th mo 13th day 1800 d. 4th mo 8th day 1883).  He was 60 and she was 56.  Since his youngest children were teenagers by then and there would not have been any thought of further children, it may be that this marriage was a love match simply for the pleasure of each others company. Or, it may simply have been a practical arrangement to combine property rights she inherited from previous marriages with Jones family holdings in order to ensure the inheritances for their children, step-children and grandchildren.


Betsy had been previously married to David Elleman in 1817 and they had four children, two sons and two daughters. David Elleman died in 1829. One year later, in 1830, she married widower John Davis (who had 5 children born between 1811-1820 from his marriage to Lydia Coate). They had three children together between 1830-35. When John Davis died in 1853, Betsy married Jesse Jones the following year.  Even if her 5 step children and 3 natural children had all lived they would have been fully grown by 1854.  Jesse probably brought with him his youngest son, Alvin 17, and his two youngest girls, Jane 16 and Mary 14.


I believe that Betsy at age 5 had come to Ohio with her parents in the same group of families in 1805 that Jesse came with when he was 11, and since they were both related to the Haworth, Davis, Coppock and Mote families, they had probably known each other all their lives.  Jesse and Betsy remained together for the next twenty nine years, until her death in 1883.


This is a copy of the marriage document of Jesse and  Betsy Haworth Davis who married themselves on April 20, 1854 in the West Branch Monthly Meeting, Milton Township, Miami County, Ohio, in the Quaker manner. (Book 1, page 86, for marriage certificates)


Whereas, Jesse Jones of the State of Ohio & County of Miami, son of Samuel & Mary Jones, both deceased -- and Betsy Davis of the State and County aforesaid, daughter of James & Ann Haworth (now Ann  Embice) the former deceased, of the State and County above named – having declared their intentions of marriage with each other before a Monthly meeting of the religious society of Friends held at West Branch and having consent of parents their said proposal of marriage were allowed by said meeting.


These are to certify whom it may concern that for the full accomplishment of their said intentions this twentieth day of the Fourth month in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Four, they the said Jesse Jones & Betsy Davis appeared in a public meeting of the said people held at West Branch aforesaid and the said Jesse Jones taking the said Betsy Davis by the hand declared that he took her the said Betsy Davis to be his wife promising with divine assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband until death should separate them – and then the said Betsy Davis did in the like manner declare that she took him the said Jesse Jones to be her husband, promising with divine assistance to be unto him a loving and faithful wife until death should separate them.  And moreover they the said Jesse Jones & Betsy Davis, she according to the custom of marriage adopting the name of her husband did as a further confirmation thereof then and there to those present set their hands.


                                                                                    Jesse Jones (signature)

                                                                                                Betsy Jones (signature)


And we whose names are also hereunto subscribed being present at the solemnization of said marriage have as witnesses thereto set our hands the day and year above

 Tena Mote, Deborah Mote, Luvena Hasket, Thomas Hasket, Harry Jones, John Abbott, David Mote, Miriam Mote, Thomas W. McCool, Sinus Mote, Thomas Jay, John Mote, May Brown, Juliann McCool, Hannah L. Mote, Barbary Mote, Rachele Jones, Eli Holmes, Michael Wealsh.



Jesse outlived all three of his wives.  After the death of Betsy in 1883 he lived with his youngest son Alvin and wife Mary Ann, and their six children. He died at the age of 94 in 1888 on Alvin’s 90-acre farm about a mile northwest of the village of Laura, Union Township, Miami, Ohio.  Alvin and Mary Ann lived to be 78 and 89 respectively.  They were prosperous farmers and devoted members of the Society of Friends.  Before he died, Alvin presented each of their 16 living grandchildren with Bibles.

(Ref.)  "The history of Miami County, Ohio" Chicago: W. H. Beers & Co., 1880.

"A Geneology of the Jessie Jones Family in Ohio 1805-1966"

Since this private publication includes a comprehensive list of our branch of the family from 1805 up to and including the births of Brooks, Marney, Michael and Mark Jones - where this website geneology stops - I have concentrated more on the period 1711-1805 and the first four Quaker generations in Colonial America.

           The Jesse Jones Family Bible (flyleaf)

Alvin and Mary Ann Jones (ca.1900) on their 90-acre farm, located about a mile northwest of Laura, Ohio.

Alvin & Mary Ann Walker Jones

Alvin was the youngest son of Jesse and Jane Cothren Jones.

Previous Page             The next page covers Jessie & Jane Cothern Jones' son Harvey (our direct ancestor)