Tag Archives: Mercer


I had always heard that my mom’s great-grandfather was a minister, and now , I have a photo of him and some colleagues. My mom’s cousin Mary was kind enough to go through some photos and found this one.

David Jones is on the far right, seated with the cane. The other fellows appear to have on clerical collars. I am guessing this is some sort of clerical meeting. It looks like a tent in the background. In all the census records I have found on David Jones, it lists him as blind. He was born in 1849 to William Jones and Mary Polly Boylan.  He was one of eight children, three brothers and four sisters. He names my great-grandmother after a sibling, Letitia. He married  Mary Catherine Steadman in about 1876 and were in the 1880 census living with David’s parents in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. In the 1860 census, the two families did not live a far distance from each other. He was still not a minister in 1870, so I assume it  was soon after he became ordained. I heard he was a traveling minister. In the 1870 census, the Jones family lived near Mary Catherine Steadman’s grandparents, the Boylans. Perhaps they met there, at a church social! They later moved to Venango county and then to Allegheny county. David E. Jones died in 1923 in the Mayfair community of Allegheny county. I have not found the death record or burial. I have also no record of his wife, or children except for my great-grandmother Ethel Letisia Jones. But, I have no idea where she obtained the information.

Surname Saturday

David Jones….a blind minister

I have a famous David Jones in my family as well. You see, my gg grandfather was David E Jones. I do not know much about him , other than the fact we was blind. Born 1849 in Pennsylvania and dies 1923 in Pennsylvania. The 1850 census stated him as blind. He would have been two years of age. The family lived in Mercer county, Stoneboro township  and also Allegheny county. In the 1880 census, it states he is a preacher, married to Mary Catherine ( Steadman ) and living with his parents. I only have heard he was a ” horse and buggy ” minister. Gathering that he travelled around preaching the gospel. I find a lot of history in the Mercer county website, about various churches in the 1800’s. But, find no mention of his name anywhere.

1880 census Stoneboro Township, Mercer county, Pa

I Need and Antidote but Will Take an Anecdote

I am about to embark on an adventure. Once you get this bug, there is no cure. My addiction began about 15 years ago . This is really only my third trip to do any real research.

My first trip was with my mother in 2000. We had gone to visit her mom, Blanche Dean ( Blanche Eleanor Ewing ) and also to visit the grave of our ancestor Alexander Ewing. He is buried in Plaingrove Cemetery, Mercer county Pennsylvania. He served in the American Revolution. Most of the family remained in the western Pennsylvania region, Allegheny , Venango , Lawrence and Mercer counties. I was able to locate most of them in census records. And a distant cousin had given my grandmother paperwork validating Alexander’s service in the Revolutionary War. Also, some lineage notes and copy of his will were included. Alexander Ewing was friends with Jonathan Harlan, for whom the township of Harlansburg was named. Alexander was the son of William and Jane Ewing. He came from Cumberland County with his family in the 1780’s. They were among the first settlers of Mercer County, along with his friend Jonathan Harlan. Alexander served in the Revolutionary War. He received a pension for his services.
A revolutionary war marker was installed at the cemetery, he and Mary his wife have a double heart headstone. It was a real joy to see this headstone.

Alexander Ewing

Walking Through the Past

I have a strange fascination with cemeteries. It doesn’t have to be where any of my family is buried, I don’t even have to know them. My interest is in the past, the lives they had, their families, what they did for a living and how they died. I can creep ( no pun intended ) around an old cemetery for hours. However, it is more interesting to walk through one with a historical significance. Perhaps with American Revolution soldiers or Civil war. I have attachments to both. My fourth Great Grandfather was Alexander Ewing of Pennsylania. He is buried at Plaingrove cemetery in Mercer county, Pennsylvania. I visited his burial sire in 2000 with my mother. We were in Pennsylvania to see my grandmother Blanche Dean. She was the great granddaughter of Alexander Ewing. At the time of our trip, we did not know that two weeks later my grandmother would be gone. It was a trip I will never forget.

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