My theme for the A to Z April Challenge is “In-Laws and Out-Laws – Friends of the Family.” I will be researching friends, colleagues, neighbors - those people who came and went touching my family’s lives in both small and large ways.
is for Jones. Angus Jones.
Angus Jones was another witness for my grandaunt Sallie in her divorce from George, her husband of 23 years. He was a neighbor who saw and HEARD the evil temper that drove Sallie from her home.
While Angus was just another witness in a long line of witnesses, he stands out to me for one simple reason. He was black. Or “colored” as noted in his deposition.
Not that I’m surprised a black person would help a white person. But it was 1914 in sleepy ol’ Shenandoah, Virginia. I grew up in a time and place when neighborhoods were strictly segregated. So learning that blacks and whites were neighbors is a revelation to me; that a black man was called to testify seems rather progressive, at least from my understanding of the times. (And apparently my understanding is flawed.)
Angus Jones was born to William and Rachel Jones in 1855ish (depending on which census you believe). He lived his whole life in Page County, but he married Mariah Arrington from Greene County, just across the mountain, on August 6, 1880.
|Photo by Jan Hensley|
Baby Angus 1898-1899
In 1920, Angus was back working for the railroad. Two of his five daughters were working as servants in private homes.
Between 1920 and 1930, Angus experienced a lot of sad times. He lost his wife, plus three of his remaining six children. One died in 1921, and two girls died within days of each other in 1922. So in 1930, Angus was alone except for a grandson whose parents were living and working in Harlem in Manhattan, New York.
Photos of the Jones-Arrington Cemetery in Shenandoah, Virginia are on findagrave.com. There are 6 very fine tombstones for Angus and Mariah’s children, and more for other relatives on both sides of their family.
Surprisingly there is no photo of a tombstone for Angus and Mariah.
For a more Jolly time, Jump on over to the A to Z April Challenge.