A Quaker Jones family nexus in western Ohio

Josephine "Josie" Jones
Josephine “Josie” Jones

Josie 2

Josie 3

Josephine Jane Jones (November 15, 1867-May 13, 1891), daughter of Samuel B. and Rhoda (Coate) Jones, married Joshua Francis Hodson (1857-1930) on December 25, 1888, under the care of Van Wert Friends Meeting. It was a service conducted by the pastor, reflecting the more evangelical stream of Quaker development.

They had two sons: Samuel Pleasant Hodson (November 30, 1889, Van Wert County, Ohio-November 13, 1961, Montgomery County, Ohio) and Kyle Jones Hodson (April 2, 1891, Van Wert-May 23, 1891, Van Wert).

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Although Joshua came from Quaker stock in North Carolina, his line of the family had not officially been members of the Society of Friends for several generations, even though they worshipped with Friends (and extended family members) at Centre and Concord and are  buried next to the meetinghouses. Josie’s family, on the other hand, had been more meticulous about observing Quaker discipline. Before their marriage, Joshua formally requested to join Friends at Van Wert, where he was accepted into membership.

As a consequence, Josie’s ancestry is well documented in William Wade Hinshaw’s massive Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy (Ann Arbor, 1936). In fact, assembling her lineage from these abstracts allowed my first practice in using Quaker records and instilled a respect for the painstaking care Friends take in minuting church business sessions, something I now see as a unique form of liturgy in a denomination that generally eschews outward forms. Some things merely reappear in new ways; among Friends, the origin of keeping minutes was a matter of recording sufferings in the face of persecution.

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Josie Jones’ album

At her death, Josephine Jones Hodson left a collection of small photographs — some of them tiny tintypes — and mostly without identification. Others are identified but I have no idea how they fit into her circle of family and friends.

Taken in the last two decades of the 19th century, these portraits with their fashionable attire — including jewelry — reflect a Midwestern Quaker culture that was rapidly moving away from the Plain witness of its past.

Most were photographed at studios in Van Wert, Ohio, while others were taken in Knightstown, New Castle, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Here are some of them. (Remember, for an enlarged view, just click on the image: remarkably, some of them, this way, are more viewable than the originals.)

The McSherry connection

Two years after the death of his first wife, Josephine Jane JONES (November 15, 1867-May 13, 1891), from complications of the birth of her second child, Joshua Francis HODSON married her good friend, Alice McSHERRY, on June 8, 1893, in Van Wert, Ohio.

Alice McSherry in 1891.
Alice McSherry in 1891.

My great-grandmother, Alice (September 12, 1865-November 2, 1944) was the daughter of Amos and Mary Magdalene (Bayhill) McSherry.

Joshua and Alice had eight children, in addition to one son surviving from his first marriage.

Joshua died September 25, 1930, at Spiceland, Indiana.

Joshua and Alice are buried, as are most of their children and their children’s spouses, at Parrish and Arlington cemeteries, on opposite sides of U.S. 40, in the village of Arlington near Brookville, Ohio.

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