Why must we always “keep up with the Joneses?” Well, why not? They're all around us. Mr. & Mrs. Jones are really Mr. & Mrs. Average, everybody’s neighbors. Jones is the fourth most prevalent name in the U.S. In France, it would be the Dubois family; in Germany, the Meiers or the Müllers.
As with so many semi-forgotten names in the annals of literature and society, “Jones” represents many individuals who have contributed much to our society. And we should appreciate what they have accomplished---even if only 1% of us read some of their works or research their efforts.
I confess I first considered looking into the Smith Family, but decided that it was entirely too large a universe to draw from. But, how many writers and doers could have the name Jones anyway? Quite a lot as it turns out. This list is not all inclusive either with the Jones writers or their works. Even if we had the space for everything, only readers of the Jones persuasion would finish the article. And for some of the family, I could not find accurate dates of death---or even confirm whether or not they’re still alive. With so many to choose from, only the really outstanding Jones members are covered by historical or literary records.
Adam Leroy Jones (1873-1934,) taught Philosophy at Columbia University and wrote Early American Philosophers (1898) and Logic (1909.)
Alfred Jones (1819-1900,) was an engraver for “Godey’s Lady’s Book” and “Graham’s Magazine,” and he invented the process for photo-reproduction directly on a plate which could be printed with type (the “half-tone” process.)
Amanda Theodosia Jones (1835-1914,) was an inventor, poet, and songwriter. She wrote for “The Methodist Ladies’ Repository,” “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated,” and was literary editor of “The Western Rural” and “Bright Side.” Her works include: Ulah and Other Poems (1861,) her first book; Atlantis and Other Poems (1866); A Prairie Idyll (1862); Rubaiyat of Solomon and Other Poems (1905); A Mother of Pioneers (1908); and A Psychic Autobiography (1910.) Amanda also found time to invent a vacuum-preserving process for canning without cooking or without using preservatives: the Jones Direct Feed Safety Oil-Burning System; and the Jones Protection Valve. She doesn’t sound so average to me.
Charles Henry Jones (born 1848, probably dead by now,) was a journalist and a confederate veteran who had served under General Joseph Johnston. He edited several magazines and newspapers: “Eclectic Magazine”; “Appleton’s Journal”; “The Florida Daily Times” (he helped establish it in 1881); the “St. Louis Missouri-Republican”; “The New York World”; and “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.”
Charles J. “Buffalo” Jones (1844-1918,) was a buffalo hunter through 1872. In 1886, he began breeding experiments and ultimately crossed buffalo with cows---which he called “Cattalo.” [??? Sounds more like he crossed them with cats.] He was also the first game warden for Yellowstone National Park (1901.) One biography, edited by Henry Inman, was published in 1899: BUFFALO JONES’ FORTY YEARS OF ADVENTURE ON THE PLAINS. Another, BUFFALO JONES was written by Ralph Kersey. Buffalo was mentioned in Zane Gray’s ROPING LIONS IN THE GRAND CANYON, and LORD OF THE BEASTS by Easton and Brown. He was awarded a medal by Edward VII for his work with animals, and he entered the Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1959.
Ebenezer Jones (1820-1860,) was an English poet with strict, Calvinist views. He wrote Studies of Sensation and Event (1843) and Land Monopoly (1849,) which anticipated Henry George’s economic theories by some thirty years. Ebenezer is best known for three poems: “Winter Hymn To The Snow”; “When the World Is Burning”; and “To Death.”
Edith Newbolt Jones was the birth name of Edith Wharton (1862-1937,) and she used it for her first book, Verses (1878,) which was published in Newport, RI. Her other works include: The Valley of Decision (1902); The House of Mirth 1905); A Motor Flight Through France (1908); Ethan Frome (1911); The Age of Innocence (1920 and a Pulitzer Prize); Twilight Sleep (1927); Certain People (1930); and an autobiography, A Backward Glance (1934.)
Ernest Jones (1819-1869,) a poet, was born in Berlin and moved to England in 1838. His first book appears to have been: The Wood Spirit (1841,) a romance. In 1844, Ernest was “called” to the bar and became a radical leader in the Chartist Movement, issuing “The Labourer, Notes of the People” and “The People’s Paper.” He rejected an annual income of 2,000 pounds---payable only if he gave up his Chartist activities (the latter which led him to an 1848-1850 term in solitary confinement.) Ernest’s other works include: The Battleday and Other Poems (1855); THE PAINTER OF FLORENCE (1856); BELDAGON CHURCH (1860); and CORAYDA.
Harold Spencer Jones (1890-1960,) was an English astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope (1923-1933) and England’s Astronomer Royal from 1933-1955. His works include: WORLDS WITHOUT END (1935); LIFE ON OTHER WORLDS (1940); and PICTURE OF THE UNIVERSE (1947.)
Henry Arthur Jones (1851-1929,) a Welsh dramatist who wrote his first play at 16, worked in the business community until 1878. Then, with Sir Arthur Wing Pinero, he found “realist problem drama” in England. His first play was ONLY ROUND THE CORNER, produced in Exeter in 1878. Other works include: A Clerical Error (1879,) in which he acted; The Silver King (1882,) his first big hit; Saints and Sinners (1884); The Dancing Girl (1891); Rebellious Susan (1894); Michael and His Lost Angel (1896,) a failure on stage but Henry considered it his best play; and The Liars (1897,) considered by many to be his masterpiece. The Life and Letters of Henry Arthur Jones was published by his daughter in 1930.
Henry Macnaughton Jones (1848-1918,) a surgeon and professor of mid-wifery, was educated at Queen’s College, Cork, Ireland. In 1868 Henry Macnaughton founded Cork Ophthalmic Hospital (and was its first doctor); with Dr. Cummins, he founded Cork Maternity Hospital (1872); and he helped found County and City of Cork Hospital (now Victoria Hospital) in 1874. He published several volumes of verse privately and MANUAL OF DISEASES OF WOMEN (1884,) which lasted through nine editions.
Howard Mumford Jones (1892-1980,) taught comparative literature at the University of Texas, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, and Harvard University. He was literary editor of “The Boston Evening Transcript” (1938-1941.) Howard Mumford’s first book was A LITTLE BOOK OF LOCAL VERSE (1915.) He won the Pulitzer Prize (non-fiction) in 1965 for O STRANGE NEW WORLD (1964.) His other works include: AMERICA AND FRENCH CULTURE 1750-1848 (1927); THE LIFE OF MOSES COIT TYLER (1933); THE HARP THAT ONCE (1937,) a biography of Irish poet, Thomas Moore; and REVOLUTION AND ROMANTICISM (1974.)
Hugh Jones (1669-1760,) born in England, was an Anglican minister, mathematician, historian, and professor of mathematics at the College of William & Mary, and his works include: AN ACCIDENCE TO THE ENGLISH TONGUE (1724,) the first English grammar written in America; and THE PRESENT STATE OF VIRGINIA (1724,) a contemporary view of social, economic, and religious life in the colony.
James Jones (1921-1977,) was born in Illinois and served in the U.S. Army 1939-1944. He is best known for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1951,) a novel of Army life in Hawaii before the Pearl Harbor attack. It was made into a 1953 movie with Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, and Frank Sinatra (remade in 1979.) James’ other works include: SOME CAME RUNNING (1957,) set in the mid-west between WWII and the Korean War (a 1958 Frank Sinatra movie); THE PISTOL (1959); THE THIN RED LINE 1962,) set in Guadalcanal 1942-43 (a 1998 Sean Penn and Nick Nolte movie,) was a sequel to FROM HERE TO ETERNITY above; and WHISTLE (1978,) another sequel to make a trilogy. He also wrote THE ICE CREAM HEADACHE (1968,) a collection of short stories, and VIET JOURNAL (1974,) about his 1973 trip to Vietnam.
James Athearn Jones (1790-1853) wrote as Captain Matthew Murgatroyd: THE REFUGEE (1823,) a two volume romance of the Revolutionary War; TALES OF AN INDIAN CAMP (1829,) three volumes of legends of the Eastern and Plains Indians; and HAVERHILL; OR, MEMOIRS OF AN OFFICER IN THE ARMY OF WOLFE (1831,) about General Wolfe’s army.
John Beauchamp Jones (1810-1866,) a frontier novelist born in Baltimore, MD, founded “The Southern Monitor” in Philadelphia in the mid 1850s. His works include WILD WESTERN SCENES (1841,) describing Daniel Boone; THE WESTERN MERCHANT (1849); FREAKS OF FORTUNE; OR THE HISTORY OF NED LORN (1854); and THE WARPATH (1858.) He also wrote: A REBEL WAR CLERK’S DIARY AT THE CONFEDERATE CAPITAL (1866,) a good description of contemporary conditions; and BOOKS OF VISION (1847.)
John Luther “Casey Jones” (1863-1900,) at 17 was a telegrapher in Cayce (pronounced cay-see) KY---hence his nickname. In 1888, he was a locomotive fireman for the Illinois Central Railroad, rising to engineer in 1890. He didn’t write anything, but people have been writing about him for over 100 years. Casey bragged that he always brought the trains in on schedule, a trait which led to his demise when he was engineer on the “Cannonball Express,” a dangerous run from Memphis, TN to Canton, MS.
Trying to make up lost time on the night of April 30, 1900, Casey was speeding along with his well-know series of whistles. But, there was another train in front of him (the tail end of a freight sticking out onto the main track from a siding) near Vaughn MS, and when he saw it, he knew he was going to collide. He ordered the fireman to jump, slammed on the brakes, stayed with the train, and was killed in the crash. All the passengers were unharmed. According to the official railroad investigation, Casey was at fault---mostly because of his excess speed. He died with one hand on the whistle and one hand on the power lever. A fellow railroad worker, Wallace Saunders, wrote the original ballad of “Casey Jones,” found in AMERICAN BALLADS AND SONGS (1922, by Louisa Pound.) A biography by Fred J. Lee, CASEY JONES: EPIC OF THE AMERICAN RAILROAD was published in 1939.
John Paul Jones (1747-1792,) born John Paul in Scotland, was a naval officer
and author. His two volumes of memoirs were published posthumously in 1930. Biographies of him include: THE LIFE OF JOHN PAUL JONES (1841,) in two volumes by Alexander S. Mackenzie: THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF JOHN PAUL JONES (1913,) in two volumes by Anna F. de Koven; JOHN PAUL JONES (1927,) by Phillips Russell; and KNIGHT OF THE SEAS (1939,) by Valentine Thompson. John Paul, a dashing figure, also appeared in a Philip Frenau poem, James Fenimore Cooper’s THE PILOT (1823); Herman Melville’s ISRAEL POTTER (1855); Sarah Orne Jewett’s only novel, THE TORY LOVER (1901); Winston S. Churchill’s (the American writer and not the English Prime Minister) RICHARD CARVEL (1899); and James Boyd’s DRUMS (1925.)
John Pringle Jones (1812-1874) was the presiding judge of Pennsylvania’s 3rd District in 1874. He went on to become the president of the Berks County Courts from 1851 to 1861. He wrote EULOGY ON A. LAUSSAT IN 1834.
John Taylor Jones (1802-1851) was a missionary to Southeast Asia, where he learned Taling and Siamese. He wrote BRIEF GRAMMATICAL NOTICES OF THE SIAMESE LANGUAGE in 1842, and he published a Siamese translation of the NEW TESTAMENT in 1843.
Joseph Stevens Jones (1811-1877,) was an actor and an author of 150+ melodramas, farces, and comedies. He was also Boston city physician. His works include: THE LIBERTY TREE (1832); THE PEOPLE’S LAWYER [aka SOLON SHINGLE] (1839,) about a shrewd yankee; MOLL PITCHER (1839); THE CARPENTERS OF ROUEN (1840); and PAUL REVERE AND THE SONS OF LIBERTY (1875.)
Evarett Leroi Jones (born 1934,) is a militant black author and dramatist who changed his name to Immanu Amiri Baraka in 1965. His first books were published in 1961: CUBA LIBRE and PREFACE TO A TWENTY VOLUME SUICIDE NOTE, a book of poetry. Leroi’s dramas include many intensely anti-white plays, such as: DUTCHMAN (1964); THE SLAVE (1964); and THE TOILET (1964.) His novel of frustration and bitterness, THE SYSTEM OF DANTE’S HELL (1965,) equates Newark NJ slums to the Inferno. His poetry and essays include: THE DEAD LECTURER (1964); and IN OUR TERRIBLENESS (1971); HOME (1966); RAISE RACE RAYS RAZE (1971,) in black idiom; SPIRIT REACH (1972); and SELECTED POETRY (1979.) He has written non-fiction as well BLUES PEOPLE (1963,) re jazz as an expression of black people; BLACK MUSIC (1967); BLACK ART (1967); and BLACK MAGIC (1969.)
Leonard Augustus Jones (1832-?) was editor of the “American Law Review” and wrote a treatise on the law of mortgages of real property in 1878.
Mabel Cromise Jones (born 1860, probably dead) was a journalist and author; she also developed an educational system for her daughter, Dorothea, who read newspapers at age 3, attended Dickinson College at 13, and graduated at 17. Mabel’s works include: GETTYSBURG (1902); SIX OF THEM (1902); DOLLY’S COLLEGE EXPERIENCES ( 1909); IN DAYS OF OLD (1912); and ROME’S FOOL (1915.)
Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones (1902-1971,) was a practicing lawyer, professional golfer, and author, his first book being DOWN THE FAIRWAY (1927) with O. B. Keeler. Bobby won the U.S. Amateur Open: 1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, and 1930; the U.S. Open: 1923; 1926; 1929, and 1930; the British Amateur Open: 1930; and the British Open: 1926; 1927; and 1930. In 1930, he was the first golfer to win the Grand Slam: British and United States’ Amateur Opens and Opens. His other written works include: GOLF IS MY GAME (1960); BOBBY JONES ON GOLF (1966); and BOBBY JONES ON THE BASIC GOLF SWING (1969.) His biography was published as: THE BOBBY JONES STORY (1953,) by O. B. Keeler, a close friend. A 2004 movie, based on his life, “Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius,” stars Jim Caviezel, Claire Forlani and Malcolm McDowell.
Rufus Matthew Jones (1863-1948,) was an author and educator at Haverford College. His works include: THE LIFE OF ELI AND SIBYL JONES (1899); PRACTICAL CHRISTIANITY (1899); QUAKERISM, A RELIGION OF LIFE (1908); THE STORY OF GEORGE FOX (1919), NEW STUDIES IN MYSTICAL RELIGION (1927); SPIRIT IN MAN (1941); and the autobiographical SMALL-TOWN BOY (1941.)
Thomas Samuel Jones, Jr. (1882-1932,) was a poet and journalist for the “New York Times” and Reuters. His works include: THE PATH OF DREAMS (1905); LEONARDO DA VINCI, AND OTHER SONNETS (1930); and THE UNICORN AND OTHER SONNETS (1931.)
Virginia Smith Jones (1827-1906,) produced one work (only 90 copies printed): ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE NESTS AND EGGS OF BIRDS OF OHIO, (date unknown.) It had 68 hand-colored plates.
William Jones (1871-1909,) a Fox Indian, was an ethnologist and author who worked with the Field Museum in Chicago. His works include: ETHNOGRAPHY OF THE FOX INDIANS (1912,) edited by Margaret W. Fisher. He also wrote many papers on the Fox tribe.
William Jones (1675-1749,) was a Welsh mathematician. He wrote SYNOPSIS PALMARIORUM MATHESIOS in 1706, a book for beginners which included differential calculus; A NEW COMPENDIUM OF THE WHOLE ART OF NAVIGATION (date unsure,) and DISCOURSES OF THE NATURAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE ELEMENTS (1731.)
Sir William Jones (1746-1794,) was an orientalist and jurist: Judge of the High Court at Calcutta (1783-1794.) He was founder and first president of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (1784.) Sir William was best known for his efforts with oriental languages, including Sanskrit. His works include: PERSIAN GRAMMAR (1772); POESOS ASIATICAE COMMENTARIORUM LIBRI SEX [Latin Commentaries on Asiatic Poetry](1774); ESSAY ON BAILMENTS (1781); and MU’ALLAQAT (1783,) his version of the Arabian work. His collected works were edited and published by Lord Teignmouth in 1799.
Other Jones writers include: Anson Jones, MEMORANDA AND OFFICIAL CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS (1859); Charles Colecock Jones, a Georgia historian, MONUMENTAL REMAINS OF GEORGIA (1861,) and ANTIQUITIES OF THE SOUTHERN INDIANS (1873); Daniel W. Jones, FORTY YEARS AMONG THE INDIANS (1890); Dennis Jones: COLOSSUS (1966,) and filmed in 1969 with Eric Braeden as “Colossus, the Forbin Project.”
Douglas C. Jones, THE COURTMARTIAL OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER (1976); Edward Dewitt Jones, a clergyman, THE INNER CIRCLE (1914,) and WHAT I LEARNED FROM ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1940); Edward Smyth Jones, THE SYLVAN CABIN (1911); or Gayl Jones, CORREGIDORA (1975); George Jones, clergyman and naval chaplain, SKETCHES OF NAVAL LIFE (1829,) in two volumes, and LIFE SCENES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT (1868); George William Jones, a mathematician, TREATISE ON ALGEBRA (1882,) and SOME PROOFS IN ELEMENTARY GEOMETRY (1904); Grover Jones (1893-1940,) a short-story writer, book collector, and scenarist; he wrote 400+ scenarios for motion picture plays; Herschel Vespasian Jones, newspaper editor and book collector, ADVENTURES IN AMERICAN (1928,) in two volumes.
We also know of: Idwal Jones, VINES IN THE SUN (1949); Joshua Henry Jones, BY SANCTION OF LAW (1924); Jenkin Lloyd Jones (1843-1918,) Unitarian clergyman, editor, and reformer NUGGETS FROM A WELSH MINE (1902,) and AN ARTILLERYMAN’S DIARY (1914); Llewellyn Jones, editor and critic, FIRST IMPRESSIONS: ESSAYS ON POETRY (1925,) HOW TO CRITICIZE BOOKS (1928,) and HOW TO READ BOOKS (1930); Livingston Jones, STUDY OF THLINGETS OF ALASKA (ca 1914); Louise S. Jones, THE HUMAN SIDE OF BOOKPLATES (1952); Nard Jones, OREGON DETOUR (1930,) and SUN TAN (1935); Owen Jones, HANDBOOK TO THE EGYPTIAN COURT (1854); Raymond F. Jones, THIS ISLAND EARTH (1952,) filmed with Jeff Morrow in 1954; John Richter Jones (1803-63,) THE QUAKER SOLDIER (1858,) written anonymously; Justin Jones, aka “Harry Hazel,” THE BELLE OF BOSTON (1844,) RED KING (1850.)
Uh oh! My mind’s racing out of control. Jones to the left of me! Jones to the right of me! Into the valley of Jones rode the six hundred. They were amassed before me. Barnaby Jones the detective; Buck Jones the astronaut; Buck Jones the cowboy; Carolyn Jones the actress; Chuck Jones the renowned cartoon animator; Cleon Jones the outfielder; Davy Jones the Monkee; Davy Jones the pop singer; Davy Jones the locker; Grandpa Jones the Hee Haw!; Henry “Indiana” Jones the archaeologist; Indiana Jones the Jones family dog; Chuck Jones the cartoonist; Jeffrey Jones the actor; Jeffrey Jones the illustrator; Ben “Cooter” Jones the actor turned politician; Catherine Zeta-Jones the---just wow!; Jenny Jones the talker; Tommy Lee Jones the man in black; Osmosis Jones the cartoon; Dow Jones the average; Grace Jones the singer; George Jones the singer; Inigo Jones the architect; Jack Jones the singer; James Earl Jones the voice; Smarty Jones the racer.
Jennifer Jones the actress; John Jonzz the manhunter from Mars; Marcia Jones the cute red-head who sat next to me in third grade; Mother Jones the activist; Quincy Jones the musician; “Sad” Sam Jones the pitcher; Shirley Jones the singer/actress; Tom Jones the singer; Deacon Jones the football player; “Too Tall” Jones---anything he wants to be; and Jones Beach the sandy one.
It was too much! I was overwhelmed with Jones! Spike Jones! Save the bones for Henry Jones! Turkey and Gravy flavored Jones soda! I called my martini supplier for a refill of my prescription: Jones Package Store. I called my doctor for a case of valium---he was out of town and his temporary replacement was Dr. Billy Jones!