The Quaker Women
Eleanor Parke Lindley Jones
Two Husbands & Fifteen Children
Eleanor Parke was born 02 January 1684 in Ballyredmond, Carlow County, Ireland, to Robert and Margery Medowe Parke. She married James Lindley when she was 21 in 1705 in Carlow County, Ireland (Kilconner MM). Both the Parke and Lindley families were prominent and well-respected Quakers.
Eleanor gave birth to their first five children in Ireland (Thomas 1706, Rachel 1707, James 1709, and twins Robert and Margery 1712) before immigrating with her husband and children to Pennsylvania. They arrived in Philadelphia in 1713, as recorded in the Newark MM and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting on August 3, 1713.
Eleanor and James Lindley had six more children (William1714, Alice1716, Mary1717, Jonathan1719, Elizabeth1720 and Hannah1723) in Chester County PA where James was a successful blacksmith and landowner and a Quaker minister (New Garden MM). In 1726 James died at the age of 45, leaving Eleanor pregnant with another child, a daughter who was born after his death (Eleanor1727).
1726 must have been a tragic year for Eleanor as her eldest daughter Rachel, 19, and son William, 12 also died shortly after their father. There may have been an epidemic that year … William died only two weeks after his father … although the cause of death is rarely mentioned in old Quaker records.
In 1729 or 1730, Eleanor met Henry Jones (our direct ancestor), a 37-year old Quaker widower with a 13-year old son (George) from his first wife, Loveday Archer. Eleanor was by then 46 years old, with ten living children ages 3-23, running a 1,000-acre estate with the help of her three eldest sons.
Henry Jones had moved from Haddenfield NJ (Duck Creek MM) to Londongrove (New Garden/ Londongrove PA MM) when he proposed marriage to Eleanor. He was a prosperous farmer, landowner and Quaker in good standing in his community.
Their proposed union was the subject of lengthy consideration and note taking in three meetings before they received permission and were married in New Garden MM 17 Dec 1730. Quaker custom was to review the background of any potential marriage partners before granting permission, but perhaps because of the difference in their ages and the considerable amount of property involved – or because Henry was not from New Garden and James Lindley had been a prominent minister and leader of their congregation, more than the usual attention was paid to this union.
Despite her age, Eleanor and Henry had three more children (James1731, Sarah Jane1733, and Isaac1735). They are mentioned numerous times in New Garden Quaker records, along with the Lindley children, so we can confirm her age and number of births. I have seen several instances of Quaker women who give birth to many children and remained fertile well into their forties, but Eleanor was 51 when her last child was born.
A Quaker woman testifying in monthly meeting.
Three Husbands & Ten Children
Quaker women enjoyed more rights and privileges than women in other religious communities or in the general non-religious population of Great Britain and the American Colonies in the 17th and 18th Centuries. They had equal rights to speak at meetings, travel as Quaker preachers, administer their children's education, and own and inherit property. Theoretically, a young Quaker woman had the right to choose a husband also, but several safeguards were in place to ensure an appropriate match. She must first have the approval of her parents and her prospective groom's parents (no matter what her age or status or the age of her chosen mate). As soon as the couple's intentions are announced at both her monthly meeting and his, a committee is set up to investigate both parties. Finances, previous marriages, children of previous unions ... everything must be verified. Especially in the case of children of previous unions, their inheritance rights must be secured, and often, in the case of adult children, their approval given to the marriage. Quakers, who did not recognize the authority of civil governments or take oaths or vote or pay tithes, relied heavily on wills witnessed by relatives and elders of the congregation.
It was also the custom when a widow or widower was left with small children for the community to encourage a remarriage after a decent 12 months of mourning. Widows with farms needed a husband to work or run them and widowers with small children needed a mother for them and a wife to run the home.
There must, of course, have been a few exceptions to these strict Quaker rules, and Jane Wallis Medcalf Jones Taylor is an outstanding example of both the rule and the exception.
Jane Wallis was born in Boldon, Durham, England in 1690, to Thomas and Jane Hall Wallis. Her parents immigrated to the American Colonies and settled in the lower Pennsylvania province which later became New Jersey. She was married at age 23 to Matthew Medcalf/Metcalf (1690-1716) in Burlington, NJ, a prosperous landowner and farmer. He died suddenly in 1716 after less than three years of marriage, when she was pregnant with their first child, who was born in 1717.
Here was a young, fertile widow who had inherited significant property and had a fatherless infant.We can only speculate on how she came to meet a young Quaker bachelor of her own age who had helped his parents and brothers get settled in the area of Chester Co PA called The Gap and was now ready to marry. After the requisite period of mourning, they were married.Between 1719 and 1734 Jane and Francis Jones had eight children.
On the 17th March 1739, Francis died at the age of 49, leaving Jane a widow again - now with nine children, ages 21 to 3. Three months later, on the 17th June 1739 Jane married Isaac Taylor, a prosperous farmer from Burlington Co, NJ. A family document noted, "she married a younger man and moved to the Jerseys". Isaac wasn't younger - they were both 49 when they married - but was a widower with no children and greatly in need of an heir. Jane (Wallis Medcalf Jones) Taylor promptly produced one, their only child, Isaac Taylor II, in 1740.
We can speculate that Isaac Taylor may well have been someone she grew up with in the close Quaker community of Haddonfield, Burlington Co NJ.
Isaac Taylor died in 1756, leaving Jane a widow for the third time. His will left substantial property to her, "my dear and loving wife", to hold for their "only son" Isaac. No mention is made of his nine step-children.
Jane remained a widow until her death in 1764 at the age of 74. Her will is very interesting as it mentions her children by all three husbands (A Quaker man's will rarely mentioned step children as they were presumed to have been taken care of in their own father's wills.)
Pioneer Wife & Mother of 14 Children, and the most traveled - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia ...but just missed the real Quaker utopia in Ohio.
Sarah Jane was born in London Grove, Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1733, the second-to-last of fifteen children born to Eleanor Parke Lindley Jones (1684-1748). Sarah Jane's father was Eleanor's second husband, Henry Jones (1693-1749). Sarah Jane was his only daughter.
Sarah Jane's early childhood would have passed in the happy company of a huge extended wealthy Quaker family consisting of much older Lindley half-siblings (many married with children her age), a half-brother George Jones, Henry's son from his first marriage, and two brothers her own age, James (1731-), who probably did not survive childhood, and Isaac (1735-1801). Several of the orphaned children of her father's brother Francis II (1690-1739) were added to the household by the time she was around six, including her first cousin, Francis Jones III (1725-1817).
In 1750, when she was 17 and Francis was 25, the first cousins married "out of the unity of Friends" as the Quaker faith did not permit first cousins to marry. That they were allowed by their parents to marry, and that their parents both appealed to their Quaker congregation to have them reinstated, would imply that this was a love match. Also, this match would not have been financially a good match (as most arranged marriages were) since most of Sarah Jane's inheritance would have previously been parceled out to her much older half siblings and Francis' inheritance had been lost or divided between his older brothers at the time of his father's death.
This energetic young couple choose to leave the farms of their parents and find their own land, becoming pioneers and seeking their own fortunes further south in the southern provinces.
They struck out first for Deer Creek, Maryland, but after a year or two caught in the midst of fighting between the French, the Indians and the British, they moved further south, forming a close-knit group of young Quaker families in 1755 traveling to Cane Creek, North Carolina, where the land was fertile and available. Together with their two young children they joined the settlement at Cane Creek MM, Orange Co (now Alamance Co) North Carolina,
that had been established in 1751 by Quakers from Lancaster Co PA.
Between 1755 and 1768, Sarah Jane and Francis had ten more children. Francis and his brother John, who had either been part of the original group or had joined them later, were active in the Quaker leadership, led by Joseph Maddocks/Maddox.
As it happened, the area they had been invited to settle in was in a region of the Carolina and Georgia Provinces that was not clearly owned by any authority strong enough to administer it, and thus remained in dispute until after the Revolutionary War. Land sold or granted by the British Crown, private British nobility, local colonial administrators, or local Indian tribes was disputed and fought over. With a growing revolutionary movement developing and hostility between Loyalists and Rebels growing, it soon became clear that this was not to be the Quaker utopia the Pennsylvania group of Quakers had been seeking.
The decade that followed was beset by religious disputes which split the Cane Creek Society of Friends, political unrest caused by an uprising of farmers (both Quaker and non-Quaker) against unfair taxation by the British which became known as the Regulators War, which culminated in the Battle of Almance, and land disputes which may have resulted in the Quakers' title to the land they cleared and farmed for years being invalided.
Again, the Quaker leadership sought and found the solution in a grant offered by the British provincial governor of Georgia to found a new Quaker settlement, which became Wrightsboro, Georgia.
In 1768, Francis and Sarah Jones arrived to Georgia with 6 sons and 6 daughters (1 yr-20 yrs old). They were granted a tract of 200 acres on a fork of the Little River, south side, for a deposit of 4 pd, 12 s 4 d. (Plat Book C #270, GA Sec't of State, Atlanta).
If leaving Pennsylvania for North Carolina had been jumping from the frying pan into the fire, then starting over again in the British-sponsored and protected Wrightsboro Quaker settlement at this particular time in history was like jumping into the fires of Hell. In addition to clearing virgin land again and the usual hardships of pioneer farming, the Quakers now came under fire from renegade Indian raiders, Rebel groups seeking to overthrow the British or anyone associated with them, and Loyalists who feared that the non-combatant Quakers were in sympathy with the Rebels (which many were). The influx of non-Quaker settlers, the rise of the cotton trade and the slave trade that went with it, and the violent conflicts leading up to the Revolutionary War, all spelled doom for the non-violent, anti-slavery Quaker community.
Again, after war and hardships that lasted three decades, the Quaker settlement at Wrightsboro GA had lost their land and their autonomy, and decided yet again to move on, this time to migrate West in search of their Quaker utopia.
Sadly, Sarah Jane Jones Jones died in Wrightsboro GA in 1801 at the age of 68, having spent her entire married life as a pioneer wife and devoted Quaker mother, raising all but two of their fourteen children into adulthood. Her beloved husband, Francis, lived on to join the Great Trek West to Ohio in 1805. At the age of 80, he traveled in his rocking chair inside a Conestoga wagon, as part of the wagon train led by his son Samuel. He died in 1817, living long enough to witness the beginning of a strong Quaker community taking root in the wilderness of Ohio ... perhaps even the utopia his great grandparents had dreamed of a century earlier.
Fifteen siblings, Three Husbands, Mother to Seven, Stepmother to 14 Children, and Grandmother and Aunt to hundreds more Quaker children.
I've included Betsy Jones here as the clear embodiment of the Quaker woman in an close-knit and interrelated community who embraced the obligations of marriage, motherhood and family life throughout her long life.
Betsy was the third wife of Jessie Jones (1794-1888), our direct ancestor. Since they had no children together, Betsy is not related to our Jones line at all, but she was mother to Jessie's two young daughters from his second wife and to his five older children (two had died) from his first wife.
Elizabeth (Betsy) Haworth was born in Newberry County, North Carolina in 1800. Her parents made the Great Trek West to Ohio, arriving to the same new wilderness community of Quakers as the Jones/Davis/ Elleman/Coates/Cox/Jay/Coppock families.
There is no way to know whether Betsy and Jessie knew each other as children; she was six years younger and one of 16 children.
Jessie, however, was an 11-year old boy (when she was five) who had killed a bear on his own so it is at least likely that she knew of him. Their two families were related many times over by marriage.
At age 17 she married David Elleman (1795-1829), and they had four children (two daughters and two sons). Quaker records note their marriage and his death in 1829. They had 12 years together.
One year after her husband's death, Betsy married John Davis (1787-1853), a widower with five young children. They were together for 23 years. There are records of three children born to Betsy and John, but none survived infancy. The five Davis children (their mother had been Lydia Coates) grew up, married, and had many children who would have called Betsy Grandmother.
Thirteen months after John's death, in 1854, Betsy married another widower, Jessie Jones, who had buried two wives, had adult married children and many grandchildren, and was raising two young daughters, Jane and Mary, from his second wife who had died two years earlier. Her children and step-children were by then fully grown.
Besides the dozen or more grandchildren Jessie already had, the two daughters went on to marry and produce over a dozen more, so Betsy would have been grandmother to many more children in the Quaker community. She would have been Aunt Betsy to the offspring of her fifteen siblings who most likely lived nearby in the rapidly expanding Quaker community.
Betsy and Jessie were together for 29 years, until Betsy's death in 1883 at age 83.
When Jessie died in 1888, at age 94, he was buried beside Betsy in the Union Cemetery, Ludlow Falls, Newton Township, Miami County, Ohio.
What our immigration ancestor Rachel Newton Jones wore in 1680 probably was not too different in style from what Eleanor Jones or Jane Jones wore in 1730 or Sarah Jane Jones in 1790.
Quaker “plain dress” was never a uniform dress code for all
Quakers, but instead a principle related to the Friends’ belief in plain living.
Dressing simply without adornment was a
formal rejection of the decorative extravagance favored by the followers of the
Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church during that time (George Fox
led the movement of the Society of Friends in the late 1640s in England).
Wearing clothing made of un-patterned fabrics without lace,
ruffles, ribbons or decorative buttons was an outward and visible reminder of
the Quaker belief in the stripping away of ostentatious displays of religious
piety in favor of a direct and individual relationship with God.
While clothing styles were modest among the Quakers, there
was no objection to quality fabrics and fine tailoring. Many wealthy Quaker families, especially
in prosperous and cosmopolitan Philadelphia, wore elegant “plain” dresses and
bonnets in the finest imported silk.
Quaker brides wore satin and fine linens and cottons were used for
shirts, aprons and collars.
Pioneer Quaker families living in semi- wilderness farming communities wore simple homespun in the same utilitarian styles of all pioneer families, but personal adornment was discouraged by Quakers at all levels of society.
Strong-minded Non-Quaker Wife & Mother of 14 Children
Armina Haworth was the eldest of eight children born to a non-Quaker Darke County OH farmer, Isaac Haworth, and his wife Mary Catherine Graham. Her mother died when Armina was only 16, which may have accounted for her being free to seek a husband from among the many prosperous Quaker farming families in the area. Although she had almost no education, she possessed a strong character and a burning ambition to better herself.
She chose Rollin Jones, the handsome third son of Harvey Harrison Jones and his wife Rachel Hunt (they had nine children, six of whom survived to adulthood). Rollin's mother had passed away when he was fourteen, which may have meant he also was freer in choosing a wife outside of the close Quaker community.
Rollin and Armina married when they were both 21, and went on to have 14 children together, four of whom died in infancy. Rollin was a farmer and a purchasing agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
They were a fine looking couple, and their five daughters and five sons were often described in family accounts as being especially good looking, intelligent and accomplished. They were all educated outside of the Quaker school system and were reportedly greatly influenced by their charismatic and domineering mother. The boys became a prominent surgeon, an engineer, a chemist, an entomoligist and a government inspector. The girls were sent to co-ed boarding school and learned professions (nurse, stenographer, clerk) and were allowed to live and work away from home before marrying.
Rollin died in 1919 at age 64 of a stroke while out riding (scouting timber for the railroad), and Armina lived on to 1935, ruling over her large and successful family. Her tragedy was to be that she outlived two of her daughters, Mable and Glenna, and her eldest son Roscoe.
My father (Roscoe's son Jesse) was 22 when Armina died at the age of 77, and he remembered his grandmother as a forceful and domineering personality throughout his childhood in the extended family and even in her later years.
Rollin and Armina Jones with grandson,
Jesse Hayworth Jones, 1916
Jesse Hayworth Jones, 1916