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DateOriginal Topic
9th March 2005Bobs brothers
By Phil Pearce
Due to a request from a potential relativein Ohio i have been delving into family records, census reports, Church records etc. Out of all of Robert jones VC 's siblings I am hitting a brick wall on two . Thomas jones born 1855 & John James jones born 1859. I belive that they also joined the military& served abroad. Can anyone help me find out where ? They were both born in Penrhos ( sometimes called Penrose in monmouthshire ) Fathers name Robert Jones born 1821 Mother was Hannah born approx 1826. Have tried Various military archive services but have drawn a blank.
All the best phil
9th March 2005Martin Everett
Dear Phil,
This is a problem we hit every day - there were 2,500 men named Jones in the Regiment in WW1. So you may have recognise that you may never solve it because you have little information - a name of a regiment would help. But you need a lot of luck.

He would have normally joined at 18. He could have served in the regular or the militia (part-time) - many of the 24th served in the Monmouthshire Militia.

There is probably no other way but to trawl through the Jones papers in WO97 in the National Archives and you are gonig to do it more thoroughly than a researcher. Check all the census to see when he is missing (ie. away in the army).
9th March 2005Phil Pearce
Cheers Martin. The only additional information I have is that all Three brothers Thomas Jones , John James Jones & Robert Jones are all missing from the 1881 census. Obviously I know why Robert is missing, he was stationed abroad.
I know that his brothers were still living . This is because I have found them & Robert on the International genealogy Index on the Mormon Church family search site. which was recomended to me by a mate. The mormons are heavily into genealogy & have amazing family records for births , christenings , marriages & deaths covering the whole planet ! Whats more unlike 1901 census online where you pay for additional info , this site is completly free with links all over the shop. I recomend it to any one interested in digging up their past.You can find it at This site is also very easy to navigate.Thumbs up to the church of latter day saints
Anyhow back to the depths of the of the national archives. By the way martin as you know Robert was the third eldest of fourteen children so not only will i be needing a lot of luck methinks I will need a lot of prozac! ( LOL)
best wishes
9th March 2005Peter Ewart

I spend my life recommending great caution in the use of the IGI. Since the above endorsement comes unaccompanied by any caveats, I may as well do so here too.

Despite being routinely recommended as a suitable starting place in genealogical research for beginners, I consider it to be the very opposite. Without going into all the technicalities of the project on this particular forum, it should be remembered that it is a VERY incomplete index, particularly where the source is parish registers. It is often assumed to be complete, especially by those who endeavour to undertake their genealogical "research" online. It also contains a disappointingly high level of errors (faulty transcription by Mormon staff for whom English was not their first language as well as other reasons, plus computer input errors) and also very many fictitious - yes fictitious - references (I hesitate to call them PR entries). Between the primary source and the eventual appearance on the IGI, each entry has gone through several stages of transcription - and the results show it. The worst damage is caused by the well-meaning but misguided submission of rubbish from Mormon church members to the index, arising from their own often lamentable efforts. This has littered the index with dross and the beginner is simply not equipped to recognise which is which.

With the 1881 census scheme, the transcriptions were completed manually by UK amateur family historians about 15 years ago in a huge nationwide project and the level of errors and omissions was eventually revealed as disappointingly high (at least by those with high standards) even before the LDS Church completed the computerised part of the project. In the case of this census project, it is a reasonable starting place to locate someone in 1881, as long as one is not deceived into assuming it is the real thing - the original enumerator's schedule should be examined every single time, and apparent omissions should certainly not be taken as evidence of absence.

I agree that the generosity of the LDS for that project was a very welcome contribution, though. They were also behind a great deal of the funding for the microfilming and release of the WO363 & WO364 surviving unburnt WW1 army service records at Kew in 1996 - so hats off to them there.

The online version of the 1901 census (remember that the m/film copies of the original returns will aways be available locally anyway) is, sadly, not much better than a dog's dinner. Transcribed in Sri Lanka (78%) and by guests of HMP in UK (22%) on behalf of the gov't agency in control of the outsourcing, the level of errors (which also inevitably leads to apparent omissions) is horrific. Just try a sample and add up the number of individuals whose surname is "Ditto" !!!

Slightly off-topic perhaps, but as many contributors here will also be researchers, perhaps not too irrelevant.

9th March 2005Phil pearce
Peter I agree that a lot of you find within online records should be questioned & cross refferenced. I did this prior to making the above recomendation & I am only speaking in regards to my personal experience but will bare your advice in mind.
Where 'errors' are concerned these occurre on the actual original census as well . For example on the 1881 census ( a copy of the appropriate page concerning my family I have in my possesion ) It states many of Roberts siblings were born in Penrose Monmouth. The only penrose nowadays is in Cornwall .However in victorian times the Village of Penrhos in Mons was sometimes anglocized to Penrose which was never its official spelling. The mormons have dealt with that problem. Whats more all other info on the family taly with the actual 1881 census.
Whats more you are right that the Mormon site is frequuently recomended . Appart from my friend , during my enquiries it has been suggested to me by The county archive service for Monmouth which is bases in Cwmbran, the staff at the 1901 census office who I telephoned for advice & the National Archive service.Not to forget a few other military contacts.All of whom told me this is an invaluable source of information . Where the 1901 census online is concerned however I fully agree it is a dogs dinner. Filled with glarring errors & very information sensitve ( ie it doesn't like too much yet not enough 7 you must refine your search )
As you say this tread is a tad off the mark in relationship to the AZW . But as you also rightly pointed out many people come here to this site as researchers. a number of whom think ( hope ) they have a AZW connection.
I , pesonally speaking , have found the site very simple to use . I also have rather high standards & cross reference everything I find instead of taking it at face value, as any average intellegent person would. What is more as you quite rightly point out in you opening paragrapg there is no indication of caveats as I intend to continue using this site.
Best wishes