Has anyone found a Jones family in Virginia in which the men worked as coopers (barrel markers)?

+1 vote
My gr-gr-gr-grandfather, John H. Jones, was born somewhere in Virginia in 1805 or 1806.  He worked as a cooper (barrel maker), and then several of his sons and grandsons also worked as coopers - with a number of of them ending up in Pittsburgh working in support of the Atlantic Refinery Company in the early 1900s.

John died in Pittsburgh (just outside the city in O'Hara Township) on January 2, 1878.  I have not yet been able to trace him back to Virginia, so I was wondering if the cooperage profession could be an important clue.  I suspect that there could be a long line of coopers in my family.

WikiTree profile: John Jones
in Genealogy Help by Ray Jones G2G6 Pilot (163k points)
A few things check out there sources also:



pg 514 search for "John 11 Jones" thats one one instead of H


The barrel maker thing leads to Jones Family Farm Winery  and the listing they have of Ballou's Wine Bar. Sorry
Ya - unfortunately, those two people on Family Search haven't updated their work in years.  I have tried to email both of them in the past, but have never gotten a response.  They don't even have my great-great-grandfather (much less my great-grandfather) in their files.

Yes - I am a big fan of the Ballou family 1888 genealogy book.  Unfortunately, the author got frustrated with my family's lack of response to his letters and then essentially wrote them off.  In fact, his information isn't even close to being accurate for 1888 - much less today.  The Ballou book is an amazing source that I have read in-depth over and over for detailed information on John's wife, Eliza   (Ballou) Jones and her family.  It doesn't have anything for John H. Jones, other than a statement that he and Eliza were married in 1828.  I wish that they used sources back then, but alas....

That would be great if we were coopers in the wine making business. Unfortunately, I have only seen us connected to the oil industry.

1 Answer

+1 vote
Sir:  I can tell you that DAVID JONES, who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia on a ship named the "True Love" in 1620, from England is recorded as having been a cooper.  He is said to have been born in 1594 in St.-Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, Middlesex County, England (near London).  He married (in Virginia) a woman named Hannah (last name not known) and had several children.  He also acquired a good deal of land on which he would have grown tobacco (the only crop anybody grew back then.) [An interesting fact is that back in those times tobacco was shipped in barrels].  He died in Charles City County, Virginia in 1665 and left a will.  As far as I have been able to find out DAVID was the only cooper in the family, the rest of them became farmers.  The DAVID JONES family produced a great many sons/grandsons/etc. and by 1800 there there must be a near a hundred of them.

      There is alot of information about this family.  I have done a good deal of research and will search my records for your JOHN H. JONES and let you know if I find him.  (I'm typing this message without my research books nearby.)
Wow!  Thanks so much for the response!  This sounds really interesting.  I would love to hear more about David Jones and his descendants - even if there isn't a match with my John H. Jones.  Good looking out on him being a cooper!

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