Parents of Catherine Thomas Jones – Angley Project

Finding a woman’s parents is often difficult, but sometimes it can be easy if you use good technique. Thanks to Newspapers.com, Family Search, and Ancestry.com, I was able to quickly determine the parents of Catherine Thomas, who are a set of second great-grandparents in my Angley atDNA Project. The difficulty in finding women’s parents is often compounded when the surnames are extremely common.
1930 Census – Showing Huntsville St.
Ancestry.com

1930 Census – Showing James E. Jones
was a Union Organizer
Ancestry.com

From several other documents, I know that James E Jones had married Catherine Thomas in 1890[i] in Luzerne County, PA. I also know that they lived in various places in Luzerne County into the 1930s. I had neither of their death dates. The 1930 Census provided the breakthrough for both of them. The census said that James owned a home on Huntsville Street in Dallas, PA, and that he was an Organizer, Miner Union.
I then went to Newspapers.com and searched for: “James E Jones” Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 1930-1950. There it was, the 4th out of 15 articles. It was an interesting article about him and his life as a United Mine Workers organizer and chapter president[ii].
The Wilkes-Barre Record
March 6, 1944, Page 8
via Newspapers.com

Then, I turned to looking for Catherine. Again, a simple search for: “Catherine Jones” wife “James E Jones” returned three matches, one of which provided an obituary’s listing of children and siblings[iii]. The obituary mentioned three brothers, Thomas R Thomas, John R. Thomas, and William R. Thomas. Again, perfect. Switching to Family Search, I searched the 1880 Census for someone with the surname of Thomas and three children Thomas, John, and William. Again, there it was. The head of the household was Thomas Thomas and was married to Hannah. Catherine was also in the details. I needed to go to Ancestry.com, where I have a subscription, to see the image to glean additional information[iv]. So, in a matter of about 30 minutes, I had determined two more ancestors for the project. Then, of course, I spent another four hours documenting my sources, and adding events and individuals to my project. It was a good day.

Suggestions:

Pay attention to street names when you see them in census records. They provide a great clue to use when searching elsewhere, particularly newspapers.
When using newspapers, always do a search for Name and street if known. Also, search for “Name” “wife of Name.”
When searching census records, remember using advanced search, you can search for no first name, then add children’s names to your search parameter. You might find something helpful.

ENDNOTES

[i] Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), Year: 1900; Census Place: Edwardsville, Luzerne, Pennsylvania; Roll: 1431; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0043; FHL microfilm: 1241431.
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