New York’s 1st Family Of Finance And Law..Origins Of The Jones Family Of Long Island

The family of Major Thomas Jones, whose descent from a noble Irish family, which intermarried with one from Wales, there is a tradition, is supposed (but without any certainty) to have originated in Merionethshire or Glamorganshire.

The origin of the family is, beyond a doubt Welsh, not only is the name indicative of this, but the traits and characteristics of the Welsh race are very pronounced in all its leading members, the transmission of which can be noted in the female lines in many of the allied families.

To quote the words of Edward F. deLancey, whose great aunt Anne Charlotte de Lancey, daughter of Governor James de Lancey, married Judge Thomas Jones III,”The distinguishing characteristics of the family were penetration, judgment, clearness of intellect, and a disposition extremely social and hospitable.”

Samuel Jones, second son of William Jones, and grandson to Major Thomas Jones was born on July 26, 1734, and was one of the most distinguished Lawyers that New York has produced.

In his early years he followed the sea, but abandoned that calling and devoted himself to the study of law. Samuel Jones was considered a patriot during the American revolution, being a member of a committee of One Hundred appointed in New York, May 1, 1775, to direct the movements of the people of New York, for the protection of the citizens and to resist the attempt of Great Britain to subdue the colony.

He married Ellen Turk, daughter of Cornelius Turk. She died about 1766, soon after marriage, without leaving issue. He then married Cornelia Haring, daughter of Elbert Haring, and Elizabeth Bogart of New York.

Samuel Jones, in time being admitted to the Bar, was speedily engaged in an extensive and lucrative practice.

At the request of the then Governor John Jay he organized the office of Comptroller in 1796, and was the first one to hold that office in the state.

In 1789, with Richard Varick, he was responsible for the revision of the statutes of New York State. His appellation was “Father of the New York Bar.”

He died on the 21st of November, 1819. His wife Cornelia, died July 29, 1821. Both are interred in the West Neck Burial Ground, Massapequa, L.I.

Their issue was seven sons: The first child William, died in infancy. The youngest, Walter, died in infancy. The surviving sons were: Samuel, William, Elbert Haring, Thomas and David.

Other characteristics of the family, those not based upon the ideas of any one individual, are its longevity, the excellence of its matrimonial alliances, the great eminence which many of its members have obtained in legal jurisprudence, and the continuance of the latter through successive generations.

On this point the great novelist, James Fenimore Cooper, in a letter to the Home Journal under date of 6 May, 1848, wrote “The Jones family has furnished legislators and jurists to the American colony and state for more than a century.”

Albert Walker