Major Thomas Jones..Welsh Privateer/Namesake Of Jones Beach State Park, New York
Thomas Jones, who fought at the Battle of the Boyne, Aghrim and at the capitulation of Limerick, served under William III of England and under James II of Ireland, having served as a Major in the army of the dethroned Monarch, which had formerly been from England, but of Welsh extraction, had long been seated in the north of Ireland.
Major Jones was born about 1665. In 1692, Major Jones was at the island of Jamaica at the time of the great earthquake of July 7th. In that same year Major Jones arrived in Warwick, Rhode Island and at this place met and married Freelove Townsend.
Thomas Townsend, the father of Freelove Townsend, gave to Thomas Jones and his bride a large tract of Land which had formerly belonged to the Massapequa Indians, on the south side of Long Island. To this vast estate Major Jones and his wife removed in 1696.
In 1702, Lord Cornbury, Governor of New York, commissioned Major Jones Captain of the Militia in Queens County, New York on Oct. 20; in that same year on Oct. 14, 1704, he was appointed High Sheriff of Queens, and on April 3, 1706 he was appointed Major of the Queens County Regiment.
Governor Hunter, of the Province of New York appointed him Ranger General of the island of Nassau (Long Island),which gave to him the monopoly of the whale and other fisheries. This commission was dated Sept. 4, 1710.
Major Jones died Dec. 13, 1713, and was buried in a small grave yard on the banks of the then called brick House Creek, now called Massapequa Creek. The issue of Major Jones and his wife Freelove was 7 children.
A brown headstone marked the spot on which the following inscription written by himself, "Here Lyes Interd The Body of Major Thomas Jones, Who Came From Straubane, In he Kingdom of Ireland, Settled Here and Died December, 1713."
From Distant Lands To This Wild Waste He Came
This Seat He Choose, And Here He Fixed His Name
Long May His Sons This Peace Full Spot Injoy
And No Ill Fate his Offspring Here Annoy.
In 1929, the large tract of land given to Thomas Jones and his wife Freelove, along with subsequent purchases by Major Jones, officially became Jones Beach State Park, as part of the New York State Park System through the dedication from Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the nautical vision of Robert Moses.