Chevalier/Welsh Privateer.. Origins of Thomas Jones
The family origins of Thomas Jones it is said were to have originated in either Glamorganshire or Merionethshire. Thomas Jones was descended from a noble Irish family, one which intermarried with one of Welsh descent. The year of Thomas Jones birth is uncertain but is believed to be about 1665.
Thomas Jones having served under William III of England and James II of Ireland, served as a Major in the army of the dethroned Monarch. He fought at the Battles of the Boyne, Aghrim and Limerick.
Thomas Jones served under a Letter of Marque from William III of England in 1692, and shortly thereafter arrived in Rhode Island where he married Freelove Townsend, the daughter of a prominent Quaker. There issue being 3 sons and 4 daughters. Freelove was born December 29, 1674.
Thomas Townsend the father of Freelove, gave to his daughter and son-in-law a vast tract of land situated on the south shore of Long Island having first offered it to his son John Townsend, but he refused it saying.. does father want me to go out of this world.
In 1696, Thomas Jones and his wife Freelove built a substantial brick house, and to this vast estate Thomas and his wife settled. The dwelling which he erected was for many years the wonder of the age. It's cognomen being: The Old Brick House.
In the year 1710, Governor Hunter of New York commissioned Thomas Jones Ranger General of the Island of Nassau. Rangers General, were sworn officers of the Crown, to whom were given by the Sovereign, the Royal rights, franchises, of waifs, estrays, hunting Royal fish, treasure trove, mines, deodands and forfeitures. This office gave Thomas Jones, the monopoly of the whale and other fisheries of Long Island.
Thomas Jones died December 13, 1713. Freelove died July, 1726. Both were interred at Grace Church Yard, Massapequa, Long Island.
In 1929, the vast estate of Thomas Jones which totaled some 6,000 acres through the dedication of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt officially became Jones Beach State Park, part of the New York State Park System.
For many years after his death many fictions existed in relation to Thomas Jones. This was likely fostered because of his early seafaring life, combined with the many rights granted to him by the Crown. These myths were cherished for over a century after his death, which ignorance and superstition did not fail to enhance. It is devoutly hoped that the present, as well as future generations, will be more charitable, and not so free to disparage, where cause has in no degree been shown to exist.