Delphia Ann Jones

Descendant Chart of James Aiken

Descendant Chart of Andrew Jones

Related Surnames: Aiken | Jones | Stewart | VanZandt | York

Walter & Delphia Ann Jones Stewart

Walter & Delphia Ann Jones Stewart

Delphia Ann Jones is the grand daughter of James & Amanda Aiken. She is also grand daughter of William ‘Buck’ Jones & wife,  Millberry Marlow.  The daughter of Jesse Franklin Jones & Susan Ann Aiken.

The only photos I have of any one in this family is the handful of photos my great grandmother & her children.  I consider myself lucky to have what I do have.

I met my great grandmother when I was a little girl.  I don’t exactly remember the year, maybe 1972 or thereabouts.  She was a woman with energy to spare even though she was old enough to be a great-grandma!  She was caring for her daughter (my great aunt) Mable, who was sick at the time.   I feel fortunate to have been able to travel with my parents and grandparents to Illinois that summer to meet my great grandmother though.  I will remember the rest of my life, at the end of the day watching her take her hair down out of her bun, and running her brush through her hair. She was a 100 stroke kind of gal!  In the morning, putting her hair back in the bun.  She showed me how she saved her hair out of the hair brush so that she could put it in her bun and make it look like she had more hair! She was a good cook.  A little rough around the edges in personality, as I remember it. But, one must consider the days she came up in. Think Al Capone! Think Bloody Williamson! Think Herrin Massacre. She was there!  Not that she knew or even met Al Capone. That is not the point, she grew up and grew old in those brutal,  bloody days of Illinois history. That had to make her one tough lady!

Headstone of Walter & Delphia Jones Stewart

Headstone of Walter & Delphia Jones Stewart

I know nothing, & yet I have volumes about her life. She was an orphan by a fairly young age. Her father died when she was two years of age, and her mother died when she was twelve. How she ended up with the VanZandt family I do not know. But, in the 1910 census  at Blairsville, Williamson County, Illinios lists her as a servant in the home of Grant VanZandt. I took notice that Mr. VanZandt was 37, and had children, and a widowed mother in his household.  My great grandmother was 22 years old, and listed both her parents as being born in Illinois as well.  By the 1920 Census Mr. VanZandt & my gr-grandmother were married and had children of their own. Now, in the 1900 Census she lived with her mother, Susan who was listed as head of household. Her birth year there is listed as 1890, and I’m willing to bet it’s a more reliable date.  If that is the case, she never knew her father, and her mother died when she was 10 yrs. old.  And, she was actually 20, while living with Mr. VanZandt as a servant.  I have mixed feelings about what I ‘see.’

I think that having had her parents die when she was so young, she was probably left to fill in a LOT of blanks about her family history.  I would be willing to guess that she did a lot of that over her lifetime. Doing the best she could with what she had.  For example, I was told that her full name was Philadelphia Ann Jones, named after the harbor she was born in while her parents were immigrating over from Ireland.  It’s a great story! So far as I can tell this story has maybe one grain of truth to it.  She was given the name Delphia Ann Jones and she and her parents were born in Illinois.  And her true family history is actually kind of fun. I wish she had known it herself, I believe she’d been proud, for her Jones & Aiken fore bearers were some of the original settlers in the area, and Jones Corner is named for her family.  With a name like Aiken, there is no doubt of Irish Ancestry. That is the grain of truth.

1910 Federal Census, Blairsville, Williamson, Illinois.

1920 Federal Census, Blairsville, Williamson County, Illinois.

I’ve been told by family members to just leave her lay (in peace).  Since I am not looking for skeletons, I will continue to seek out more information and photos about her and her family.  It helps to explain who my family is.

I have no proof, but was told by a reliable family member that she actually shot & killed a man once.  She was a cook and my grandmother, Hazel Lorine VanZandt was a waitress at the same restraunt.  A truck driver came in for a meal and apparently was trying to flirt with my grandmother and maybe got a little too close with his hands.  I was told that my great grandmother warned the man to leave her daughter alone.  He did not heed the warning.  The man was shot dead.  I hope someday to find a newspaper clipping or something to verify this.  For it would explain a few things if it really did happen.  But, for now it’s part of what seems to be another piece of  a “mythological past” of Delphia Ann Jones.

Kinda seems like I might have inherited that “pistol packin’ moma” mentality honestly! 🙂

Delphia Ann Jones VanZandt York Stewart grand (far left) grand daughter of James & Amanda Aiken

Thankfully, along with photos and documents, I also have a few letters she wrote to my parents, &  grandparents. (Thank you, mom, for thinking of me)  I will scan them into digital forum and will put them here, somewhere for others to see.  That along with a few documents is all that I have to ‘prove’ that this soul existed.  Makes me sad actually.  I know she made an imprint on those who were near her. There is no way that ball of energy could have done anything else!


Delphia’s (aka Dolly, Della) Obituary

Delphia Stewart

Taken from The Southern Illinoisan, March 14, 1974

Delphia Ann Jones Stewart Obit

Delphia Ann Jones Stewart Obituary

Delphia Ann Stewart, 85, Rt. 2, West Frankfort, died at 1:28 p.m. Wednesday in the Union Hospital, West Frankfort.

Mrs. Stewart was born May 16, 1888, in Philadelphia, PA., to Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Jones.  She was married to Walter Stewart who died in 1951.  Mrs. Stewart was a member of the Apostolic Faith Assembly, West Frankfort.  She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. James Swalls of West Frankfort, and Lorene Coop of Woodburn, Ore; six stepsons, Bert Stewart of West Frankfort, Albert Stewart of Mt. Vernon, William Stewart of Warren, Ohio, James Stewart of Milan, Arthur Stewart of Douglas, Ariz., and Charles Stewart of Bisbee, Ariz.; three stepdaughters, Mildred Bott of Danville, Freda Tolley of Mt. Vernon, and LuVera Rogers of Mason; six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Friday in the First Apostolic Church, West Frankfort.  The Rev. H. A. Hilderbrand will officiate.  Burial will be in the Bethel Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon. Friends may call after 5 p.m. today at the Union Funeral home, West Frankfort.

-One may wish to note that Mrs. Stewart was born in Illinois. 🙂

The following is a transcription of a letter written to me by my maternal grandmother, Hazel Lorine VanZandt Coop, circa 1978/79.  I still have the letter in my possession.

Page One is Missing. Start from top of Page 2 of a 5 page letter.
“…other things to moms folks.
Seems like there may have been an uncle (her dads brother – to my mother) that died in Ark when a levee broke or gave way.  He was not found.
Jesse Jones was a coal miner in Murphysburo, Ill.  When he died in 1896, Susan Jones took over the job of providing for the family.  She worked in the fields and had sunstroke in 1898 was ill until Dec and died.  They had six (6) children.  Elizabeth “Liz”, Catherine “Kate”, Jesse, Philadelphia Ann “Delphia or Della” her twin brother.  I don’t know his name and Bertha.  Aunt Liz had five children, Mabel, Agnes,,,, ?, Caleb, and Inez.  She died of heart trouble in 1932.  Caleb died of leukemia in the 1960’s.  no grandchildren that I know of.
Aunt Kate had two daughters Bertha and Akka.  Aunt Kate died of Cancer about 1950. Bertha had 2 children Anna May and Catherine. They both ohave children I believe.
Page 3
“Bertha died of pneumonia about 1945.  Uncle Jesse married, had one daughter Goldie.  his wife died, he then married Aunt Lulu.  They had two children a boy and a girl.  Ralph and ?.  Ralph is married and has a boy and a girl.  Uncle Jesse died of a stroke in 1932.
Aunt Bertha had two chilren a boy, Leo and a girl.  The girl died when she was 3 or 4 yrs.  Leo married and has twin daughters.  Aunt Bert died about 1958 of diabetes.
My mothers twin brother died when he was about 1 year old.  Aunt Kate set him on a window sill, and the window fell on him.
My mother married Grant VAnzandt in 1908.  They had four children.  Ulysses Grant born 1909 died at birth, too large and was injured.  Mable Parsette born in 1910.  Thomas Jesse born in 1916, and Ralph born 1917.  My mother separated
Page 4
from Grant Vanzandt shortly after the flu epidemic of 1918.  She later married John York.  I was born in 1919.  They separated in 1926.  She later married Walter Stewart.  He died of a heart attack in 1951.  My mother died of a heart attack in 1974.
Mable married James Swalls in 1932 they have a daughter Pearl and a son Kenneth.  Pearl married Dean Hooker and has one 1 son and 2 daughtres. Michael is married Dena and CArolyn.  Kenneth married Marguiet, they had 2 girls and 2 boys (I think) they separated he then married CArol. They have two girls and a boy.
Jesse married Sweetie Louise MacElroy in 1939.  They had two daughters Marieta and Lenita.  Marieta married twice and has four children.  Lenita married twice has 1 child.  Jess was killed in a mine accident in 1952.
Ralph died of influenza 1918.
Page 5:
“I am sure you have the details of my marriage, children and grandchildren.  I have two of each and they are super.  My grand daughters aren’t married but they are probably looking.
On that note I will change the subject.
Don’t know much about dads ancestry. He was born about 1887? in Tenn.  He married ? Speakman and had 4 sons, Henry, Rentford, Thurman, and Herman.  Henry was born about 1908.  Was married and had a baby girl that died in a home accident.  He left home and has been missing since. Rentford  was born 1910, married no children,  he died 1934 of tuberculosis and complications.  Thurman was born 1912 and married about 1933 to Ima Jewell-?  They have 4 boys, Darrel, Alvin, Hilous, and Roger.  Darrel is married to Lekita? has 1 boy and 1 girl..”
Click any photo on this page to view a bigger version!

Dolly & one BIG baby! LOL (Car is 20 or 30's style)

L to R: Mable daughter of Delphia, and ??

Delphia on the far left.

Delphia. This one is dated 1952

Delphia Ann Jones & ??

Delphia & Walter (??) Stewart

Delphia Stewart, Walter Stewart, & ?(child)

L to R back: Mable Parsett VanZandt Swalls, Delphia Jones Stewart, & ??

Delphia Jones Stewart & Walter Stewart (?)

letter to my parents

Letter to my parents from Gr-Grandma, Delphia Ann Jones Stewart, page 1

Letter to my parents from Gr-Grandma, Delphia Ann Jones Stewart

Letter to my parents from Gr-Grandma, Delphia Ann Jones Stewart, Page 2

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