Asahel Jones Story
Contributed by Milan Paddock
Captain Asahel Jones, born July 7, 1752, in New Jersey, of Welsh ancestry. Commanded a troop (I believe of New Jersey militia) in the Revolutionary War. Married Phoebe Stevens, date not known. Came to Durham in 1788 from Duchess Co. with a company of “North East Baptists”. Never heard of Captain Jones having any relatives, but his son Asahel married a relative, Nancy Jones, who come from Vermont. Have heard Grandma say that her father, when a young man, made a trip to New Jersey to see the house where he or his father was born. I am not sure which.
Phoebe Stevens Jones, born March 15, 1759, had one brother, Obadlah Stevens, who lived in Herveystreet, but whether they came with the other first settlers, I do not know. Mrs. Ed Barnes is a descendant of Obadlah Stevens. I do not know of any others. According to Grandmother Paddock’s stories, her grandmother was much the better, or at least the bossier, man of the family, keeping the house and farm going and the hired help at work, while Great Great Grandfather "tended store" and swapped stories. Grandma had seen her grandfather's sword, but it was lost when the house burned.
Asahel Jones died June 2, 1809, Phoebe Stevens Jones Feb. 17, 1834. Both are buried in the neglected little family plot on the place that used to be Uncle Alvin's and now belongs to people named Durso. Their headstones were there, although pretty well down, at the time we left home. It is from these stones that I got most of the real dates that I have.
Capt. and Phoebe Stevens Jones had only son, Stevens Jones, who seems to have been a man of considerable ability. He was largely instrumental in laying out the old Susquehanna Turnpike up East Windham Mountain, and built the house where we always lived.
"keeping tavern" there the greater part of his life thereafter. He was a "squire" and prominent In the Baptist Church at Herveystreet, which was flourishing then, and where apparently no one considered it at all out of place that he sold whiskey to all and sundry, and held dances that attracted the young people from all around. It is only fair to say that these last were very innocent and proper compared to our present day variety. Great Uncle Alvin acted as official bouncer, and I can remember how we children considered It a great joke to point out the dent in the hall floor where tradition had it Uncle Alvin had thrown a certain Bill Reinhardt over the stair rail for coming into the ballroom upstairs; when he was tipsy. Although a faithful member of Elder Hervey's church, Great Grandfather seems to have had a mind of his own, and had some hot arguments with the Elder on the subject of predestination. Grandma used to quote, almost with bated breath, but yet with great deal of pride, the swelling sentence her father had once flung at the Elder: "I would as soon worship the Bashaw of Tripoli as such an austere God as you preach."
Stevens Jones married Elizabeth Bumhourd, who was born Oct. 14, 1781, and died Dec. 26, 1834. The Greene County History mentions a Mr. Bumhourd as one of the Baptist group who settled in Durham at the same time as Captain Asahel Jones and Deacon Obed Hervey. The name has been variously spelled, and I presume the Boomhowers living around East Durham and Freehold are descendents of the same stock. Great Grandmother seems to have been a quiet, retiring kind of woman, submerged in her husband and family. As she had eleven children and died at fifty-three, it is perhaps hardly surprising that she seems not to have had much history. Great Grand father survived her for more than sixteen years, dying Mar. 27, 1851. Both are buried in the family burying ground.
Asahel Jones, first child of Stevens Jones, was born July 28, 1799, married Nancy K. Jones, who was some sort of cousin, but how I don’t know. He built a house on part of his father's farm which was given or willed to him and lived there until he died June 7, 1877. He is buried In the East Durham Cemetery. He had four daughters, including Henrietta, whom you may remember as living on the home place. Marietta married and moved to Michigan and had one daughter, she married, but I do not know her married name. Ellen married John Murta and had one daughter and two sons. John Evory, Mrs. Chas. Jennings, Mrs. William Armstrong and Gertrude Murta are her grandchildren.
Andrew B.H. Jones, second child of Stevens Jones, was born Oct. 6, 1801, married and "went west" to Ashtabula Ohio, where he died. He had at least one daughter, but never heard of any son.
Phoebe Jones, third child of Stevens Jones, was born Sept. 18, 1803. Died, after a lingering Illness (evidently tuberculoses) March 25, 1832. Never married, and the only record we have of her is the record in the bible that gives her birth, and the stone in the family burying ground.
Catherine, fourth child of Stevens Jones, was born April 8, 1805. Married Austin Newcomb, and you know her decedents. Grandma Paddock used to stay with Aunt Catherine a lot after her mother died, and always seemed to look up to admire “Sister Katie” who was seventeen years older than she, so I have heard more about her than any of the others. She went to help a neighbor's family who were sick with "Black Tongue" which seems to have been some thing like diphtheria, and caught this disease herself, her last pathetic cry being, "Poor little George, he'll never know a mother". Probably your aunts have told you all this. It made a great Impression on me as a child. In these days of quarantine and sanitation, it seems so tragically unnecessary for a. young mother to have been cut off like that. They brought her home to be burled, and she lies with the rest in the family burying ground. If you ever see the stone, you will see that it gives her age as 28, but this was a mistake of the stonecutter’s, Mrs. Chatfield told me, as she died March 29, 1844, when she was 38.
Calvin, fifth child of Stevens Jones, born April 29, 1807, died in infancy, and his tiny grave in the family lot has two unmarked slabs of native stone.
Elizabeth, sixth child of Stevens Jones, born May 8, 1809, married George Edward Calkins and died in childbirth Feb. 7, 1834. The baby, a boy, lived, but the father moved away, and the family afterward heard that the boy had died. "Betsy" Calkins is also buried in the family lot.
Polly Naomi, seventh child of Stevens Jones, born Aug. 18, 1811, died in childhood. Her grave is also marked only by native stones.
Alvin, eighth child of Stevens Jones, born March 14, 1814, married Juilette Francis, lived on his share of the home place, where after the old home burned, he built the house now owned by the Durso family. The "Burying Ground Lot" was on his land, and he was willed a sum of money for its upkeep, but he was a poor business man and always unfortunate and never found time to do anything for the family dead. He lost his only child and finally his farm, and when at last he came to die himself, I think it was your father who paid his burial bills. He is buried at Cornwallville, but has no stone, and I am not certain about the date. Should say 1896 or thereabouts.
Ira, ninth child of Stevens Jones, born Dec. 17, 1817, never married died February 22, 1845.
Lyman, tenth child, born April, 1821, died. October 17, 1849. Never married. Both Ira and Lyman are buried in the family lot. One was hurt while working in the woods, one contracted some throat disease, but I do not know which was which.
Cornelia, eleventh child of Stevens Jones, born March 1, 1822, married Albert Paddock, inherited her father’s house (which burned last June) and a share of the farm, and her descendants you know. Uncle Will's only living son has two children, my brother has one. She died in February, 1898 and is buried at East Durham.
N.B. In case I have omitted any dates for the earlier generations, the following is a recapitulation:
Capt. Asahel Jones,
born July 7, 1752. Died June 2, 1809.
Phoebe Stevens Jones, born Mar. 13, 1759, died Feb. 17, 1834.
Stevens Jones their son, born Oct. 15, 1778, died Mar 27, 1851.
Elizabeth Bumhourd Jones, born Oct. 14, 1781, died Dec. 26, 1834
"MILITARY RECORD OF ASA JONES"
Asa Jones served as Sergeant, Captain Helm's Company, Second Regiment; enlisted December 15, 1776; Quartermaster Sergeant, New Jersey Battalion, New Jersey Continental Line, Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant John K. Gumming; on rolls March 1 to April 30th, 1783; mustered April 21, 1783 by Major William Barber, Assistant Inspector, Northern Array; received $5.00, dated January 19, 1781, from Colonel Frelinghuysen, for part of the money due for the depreciation of Continental pay; received certificate No.8,320, dated December 20, 1783, for $146.00, on a final settlement of accounts; received certificate No. 8,644, dated December 20, 1783 for $80.00, on a final settlement of accounts; received certificate No. 8,776, dated December 20, 1783, for $40.00 on a final settlement of accounts; received certificate No. 9,187 dated December 20, 1783 for $61.00 on a final settlement of accounts; received certificate No. 9,430, dated December 20, 1783, for $80.00, on a final settlement of accounts; received certificate No. 741, dated February 10, 1784, for 73:8:1 1/2, for the depreciation of his Continental pay; received $23.00, for balance of clothing, November 14, 1783, received Land Warrant No. 8415, from the United States, dated April 4, 1798, - during the Revolutionary War.
The above is a copy taken from a certified copy compiled from ,the record, as found in the Adjutant General's Office, of the State of New Jersey, at Trenton, New-Jersey, under date of December 20th, 1928, and certified t/u by Adjutant General Frederick Gilkyson.
AUSTIN R. NEWCOMBE.
December 24th, 1928, at Kingston, N.Y.