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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Capt. William J. F. Jones is a farmer and mechanic of Pine Ridge Township, Monroe County, Ark., but his birth occurred in Maury County, Tenn., in 1831, his parents being William and Penny (Skipper) Jones, natives respectively of North Carolina and Virginia. They were both taken to Maury County, Tenn., when small and were reared, educated and married in that State. Mr. Jones died when our subject was about twelve years of age, and his wife afterward married again and removed to Texas, where she died in 1883, both she and Mr. Jones having been earnest members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Jones was a farmer, as were his father and father-in-law, Joseph Skipper, and all were early settlers of the State of Tennessee. Capt. William J. F. Jones was the second of five children, and he and his elder brother, John W., were reared to a farm life and after their father’s death assisted in the support of the family until they attained manhood, William J. F. being so occupied until he was twenty-four years of age. He was married in 1854 to Nancy A., a daughter of William and Louisa Malone, by whom he became the father of ten children, three sons and two daughters being now alive: William C., James T., Maggie I. (wife of John L. Barnett), Viola J. and Theodore T. After his marriage Mr. Jones resided in De Soto County, Miss, (which was Mrs. Jones’ native birthplace), until 1856, since which date he has been a resident of Monroe County, Ark. His first home here was a little log-cabin among the woods, twelve miles east of Clarendon, and here, after many years of slow and disheartening labor he finds himself the owner of 680 acres of as fine land as there is in the county, and by his own efforts he has put 125 acres under the plow. At the breaking out of the war he owed $500 on his homestead of 120 acres, but during this time he paid off the debt in full, and although suit was afterward brought against him for the amount, the case was decided in his favor. The rest of his property has been made since then. In 1861 he joined Company A, Fifteenth Arkansas Infantry, as a private and became a member of the Army of the Tennessee, participating in the battle of Shiloh. On May 15, 1862, he was detailed home for recruits, and had no difficulty in raising sufficient men to form Company E, which was attached to the Sixth Arkansas Infantry, and he became its captain. He was in the engagements of Prairie Grove and Helena, but was taken captive at the latter place on July 4, 1863, and was taken to Alton, Ill., where he spent one month, and from that time until January 9, 1865, he was kept a prisoner at Johnson’s Island. After being paroled he returned to his farm. His first presidential vote was cast for Pierce in 1852, but since 1874 he has been a member of the Union Labor party. He belongs to the Agricultural Wheel. His wife is a member of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 86 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Monroe County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Monroe County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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