Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beeks line: David Jones 1653-1707, Immigrant

It's possible that I should be writing about Samuel Jones, who may or may not be David's father, and who may or may not have emigrated from Wales to Pennsylvania.  However, I can find a bit of documentation for David and I find nothing for Samuel, so at this point we'll write what we can about David. 

David was born in 1653 in either Pembrokeshire or Carmarthenshire, Wales.  We know nothing at all of his early life until he shows up in 1682 in Langamin, Carmarthen(shire) Wales, marrying Susanna Howell at the Monthly Meeting of Pembroke.  This gives us our first clue-he was a Quaker, and so that may explain some of why he can't be found earlier.  Quakers left few footprints, unless they were jailed for their faith.  So far, records haven't been found that would indicate this.  So he probably lived a very quiet life, and either paid his taxes when due, as some Quakers did, or possibly owed no taxes. He married Susanna Howell, whose parents are believed to be Morgan Howell and Elizabeth Adams, on April 6, 1682.  There are 22 names signed as witnesses on the marriage record, including Saara Jones, who may be a relative, and three people with the last name of Howell. 

Soon after their marriage, David and Susanna came to America, arriving in Pennsylvania in 1682, so probably part of the William Penn group.  Here they found frontier territory to settle, and it appears that they settled in what became Chester County, in what was later termed the "Welsh Tracts".  He and Susanna had at least three children-Susanna, Elizabeth, and Alice.  That is all we know of him until his death 04 Eleventh, 1707 (Quaker usage), or January 4, 1707, as we would know it.  This is noted in the Chester Monthly meeting, and his religion is indicated as "Orthodox" which doesn't seem to have much meaning as applied to this time period in history. 

It appears that his wife Susanna died within just a couple of months of David's death.  Was there an epidemic, or were these two fifty somethings just worn out?  I've seen no hints that there were problems with the native Americans, as the early Quakers did all in their power to treat them peacefully. 

Of course there is so much more we'd like to know.  David undoubtedly did some farming, but was this his principal occupation?  Was he a fur trader, or a merchant of some kind?  With no known sons, it would have been hard to expand his landholdings, if he even owned land.  Did his daughters work for others in order to help support the family, or was David doing well enough by the time they were born that they didn't need to do that?  I'd like to know what land he held, if any, and of course I'd love to know about his life in Wales, and his family further back. 

The line of descent is:

David Jones-Susanna Howell
Elizabeth Jones-Isaac Malin
Isaac Malin-Lydia Booth
Sarah Malin-David Ruble
Hannah Ruble-Samuel Dunham
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel G Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants