22 March 2015

Census Sunday: Connecting with J Jones Still of Chester County

J. Jones Still has shown up near – but never in – my Still family over the years. Yesterday he was mentioned in my On This Day post about a burglar/murderer who had broken into his Malvern home in 1881. That made me think about him again. 

He appears in Willistown, Chester County, in the 1880 US Census. Malvern, at that time, would have been a village within Willistown Township. He was a 48 year old carpenter. His wife, Sarah, was 44. They had two daughters: 10 year old Bessie, and seven year old Bertha J. The ages on the census were scribbled over and hard to read so these may not be accurate. The street the family lived on is not mentioned but the census does show him living next to a Charles Still and his family. 

Ten years prior, in the 1870 US Census, J. Jones (28) was a wheelwright. His wife Sarah was 34 and kept house. Their daughter Bertha is two months old. The Census was taken in July that year. They lived with a 60 year old Henry Still, a wheelwright as well, and his 67 year old wife, Elizabeth. Relationships were not provided in 1870 so it is merely an assumption that Henry is J. Jones’ father. Clearly, the enumerator switched the daughters up in the 1880 Census. 

J. Jones Still, an 18 year old laborer, was living with Henry and Elizabeth Still, presumably his parents, in Kimberton, West Vincent Township, Chester County, in 1860. Henry, 50, is a farmer. Elizabeth is 56. The 1860 US Census also reveals a Rebecca Jones, 78, living with them. Although relationships are not indentified in the Census, it would make sense that Rebecca is Elizabeth’s mother.  

Eight year old John J. Still appears in Phoenixville Borough in the 1850 US Census. He lives with – again presumably – his parents: Henry, 40, a storekeeper; and Elizabeth, 46. Living with them is also 73 year old John Jones and 69 year old Rebecca Jones. At this point, I believe the Jones are Elizabeth’s parents. 

A possible connection:
Using what I gleaned from the US Census records, I did a quick search on Ancestry.com under the Public Family Trees. I never use the trees as fact but rather as direction and leads. Often I come across people who do not document but today I lucked out! I found this J. Jones Still, born 1842 to Henry and Elizabeth Jones Still, on the public family tree of an “anitalarry1.” Their tree – which is what caught my attention – is titled “Seltenreich/Seltenright Family Tree.” 

Why am I so excited?
My Margaret Still (my 4th great grandmother) had her son out of wedlock in 1808 so finding documentation on her family before she got pregnant and “put out” has been like the most difficult jigsaw puzzle I ever did. Margaret’s parents are Charles Still and Margaret Rhoades. She had three brothers: Charles, born 1779; Henry, born 1780; and Jacob, born 1782. Charles married Catherine Seltenreich! 

Why am I still hesitant?
As a former reporter, I am big into documentation. I literally have post it notes everywhere because nothing gets entered in FTM until I can document it. I only have four of Charles and Catherine Seltenreich Still’s children, and Henry is not one of them. Everything else fits though (people, dates, places, etc.) from anitalarry1’s tree, so I am confident that I have just connected J. Jones Still finally, albeit distantly, to my Still line.  

My next step:
My next step is naturally to look over anitalarry1’s research and go through and attempt to document myself. In addition, I will send them a message. Perhaps – through all this collateral research – I may find answers regarding my Margaret! 

Ancestry.com. Public Family Trees. Seltenreich/Seltenright Family Tree by anitalarry1. 

Year: 1850; Census Place: Phoenixville, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: M432_765; Page: 92A; Image: 187 

Year: 1860; Census Place: West Vincent, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: M653_1094; Page: 814; Image: 363; Family History Library Film: 805094 

Year: 1870; Census Place: Willistown, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1325; Page: 330A; Image: 674; Family History Library Film: 552824 

Year: 1880; Census Place: Willistown, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1113; Family History Film: 1255113; Page: 41D; Enumeration District: 037; Image: 0148 

Census Sunday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.