Documenting Our Maternal Family’s Pioneer Heritage

During our childhood, my four siblings and I learned very little about our extended and ancestral families. Why? Stated simply, both the maternal and paternal sides of our family were very splintered and disconnected.

Nannie Anderson Perkins, born circa 1855

For example, I met our maternal grandmother only once and our maternal grandfather only twice in my life that I’m aware of (although we have a photo of me with him as a small child on an occasion I don’t recall).

We did have regular contact with our paternal grandmother, but we never met – or even saw photographs of - our paternal grandfather. In fact I didn’t even know his name until not long ago.

The result? We never had family reunions, Thanksgiving or Christmas gatherings with grandparents where stories about family were passed on, or any other sources of learning our family’s stories.

Previous Work on This Blog
That combination of circumstances left a void that turned into a yearning for me – a desire to learn about our heritage. After I retired from the business world I had the time to explore our family genealogy and history, and once I began I found it to be addictive.

As I progressed in assembling our Family History I uncovered stories that amazed me, saddened me, and made me want to learn more – and some of them filled me with pride. Making the stories available to the rest of my family is what led to the creation of this blog.

This page and one other page of this blog deal with people in our maternal ancestral family who were literally the pioneers in the newly-formed nation shortly after the U.S. Revolutionary war. Here’s a link to the other page. [Some of the material on this page is also included on that page, but I want to document our lineage to these pioneers and decided to add this page rather than rework that earlier page.]

So, this current page is designed to provide documentation of our links to the people in our family to whom I refer, both in the page linked above and to the information below.

Those in our Jones family line are directly descended from Thomas Perkins, Rev. John McPherson and Lewis Jones, who married McPherson's daughter Rebecca. Below is the lineage for them - compiled from various documents inherited from my generation's uncle DeRand Jones and extensive research conducted via Ancestry.com and other online sources.

The earliest reference I found to this part of our ancestral family is to Thomas Perkins, who would have lived through - and may well have fought in - the U.S. Revolutionary War.

Descendancy Chart for Thomas Perkins

Thomas Perkins (1742 – 1837) & Cassandra Casteel

Samuel Perkins (1788 – 1861) & Elizabeth Hart

Margaret Perkins Anderson & Rev. J. W. Anderson

Dennis Parrott Anderson (1819 – 1890) & Margaret Skinner Bonar

Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Anderson Cash (1852 – 1927) & William Galen Cash

Leona D Cash Jones (1873 – 1957) & Fleetwood Churchill Jones

Rev. Carleton D Jones (1895 – 1967) & Nelle Virginia Field Jones

Fleeta Claire Jones Dunn (b. 1921) & William Edward (Bill) Dunn]


Other early references I found to our ancestral family are to Rev. John Wesley McPherson - who also lived through the Revolutionary War - and Lewis Jones, who was born shortly after the war ended.

Descendancy Chart for Rev. John Wesley McPherson

John W McPherson (1758 – 1856) & Ann Smallwood Acton

Rebecca McPherson Jones (1795 – 1880) & Lewis Jones

Dr. William M Jones (1831 – 1892) & Elizabeth Ann Goodman

Fleetwood Churchill Jones (1837 – 1937) & Leona Cash Jones

Rev. Carleton Duane Jones (1895 – 1967) & Nelle Virginia Field Jones

Fleeta Claire Jones Dunn (b. 1921) & William Edward (Bill) Dunn

Claire was the mother of five children, including me, Patrick William Dunn, the editor of this blog, whom I’ve labeled the “East Chicago Dunns” for the purposes of this blog. Claire's siblings, Paul Wesley Jones and Virginia Lee Jones Pecaro, also had children who descend from Thomas Perkins, John McPherson and Lewis Jones.


The first source from which I’m drawing information is this book, which was published in 1880: “History of Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio” by J.A. Caldwell. Following are excerpts from that book in which members of our ancestral families are mentioned. (Source)

History of Kirkwood Township

"First Settlement

The first settlement in Kirkwood township was made on section eight, in 1800, by three brothers, Joseph, William and Barnet Groves, who migrated from Pennsylvania with their families, located and made improvements on this section...(snip). In 1805, Thomas Perkins and family settled on section seventeen...(snip); Rev. John McPherson, in 1816; Lewis Jones, in 1816...(snip).

And there are many others who were here in an early day and endured the hardships of a pioneer life, labored hard to clear away the dense forests, make improvements and prepare the soil for cultivation. Some of them are mentioned in the history of Sewellsville...(snip).

Kirkwood formed one of the first four original civil townships [in Belmont County, Ohio] and extended from the Ohio river to now Guernsey, in which part of said county was included. It was erected November 25, 1801, and named in honor of Robert Kirkwood, the pioneer…(snip).


In about 1798 a party of hunters were camping at a spring near where Jonathan Perkins' dwelling now stands. One evening when they returned to camp one of their party, by the name of Robinson, was missing. Diligent search was made for him, but he could not be found. They supposed him to be carried off a captive by the Indians, as there were some in the neighborhood at that time. In 1807 there was a gun barrel and some human bones found on the Perkins' farm, section 17, which were thought to be the remains of Robinson. In honor of this unfortunate man one branch of Stillwater creek bears his name, and is known as Robinson's branch.

Salem M.E. Church

This society was organized in about 1810 or 1812, with eighteen or twenty members. They held their meetings in private residences until 1813 or 1814, they erected a hewed log church building near the western line of section ten, in Kirkwood township…(snip).

Class Leaders

The first class leader was John Fox; 2d, Isaac Midkiff, who acted in that capacity for about twenty-five years; 3d, Alex. Carr Skadden, for ten years; 4th, Samuel Douglass for six years; 5th Earl Douglass for three years; 6th Jonathan Perkins fifteen years."


A 1903 History of Belmont County

Here’s another source from which I’ve drawn excerpts. It’s a 1903 book called “History of Belmont County, Ohio and Representative Citizens”, edited and compiled by Hon. A. T. Mckelvey. (Source)

"Kirkwood township was one of the first townships erected in the county. It passed the centennial mark in 1901; as heretofore noted, it was named after the Revolutionary hero, Capt. Robert Kirkwood.


Among its first settlers were: Barnet, Joseph, and William Groves, John Israel, ___ McBride, John Bradshaw, Hugh Gilliland, Hugh Ford, John Burton, John McClain, A. Randall, Thomas Perkins, James McKinney, Ralph Cowgill, William Spencer, Robert and Thomas Griffin, Josiah McColloch, Hugh McMahon, Robert Waddell, Thomas Barrett, James Shepherd, B. Ridgeway, Thomas Green, Philip Ward, Alexander McCormick, Rev. John McPherson, Eli Taylor, Patrick Hamilton, Samuel Boden, Joseph Reynolds and Robert Armstrong.

Many of the descendants of these old pioneers reside on the lands that their forefathers cleared with infinite labor and toil 75 and 100 years ago.


The headwaters of the Stillwater rise in Kirkwood township at a point near Hendrysburg and pursue their sluggish course through one of the richest valleys in the world, to the point where the stream empties into the Tuscarawas….(snip).

One of the branches of the Stillwater is named Robinson's Branch, in memory of a noted hunter by that name, who, in 1798, while hunting with a party of friends and neighbors, disappeared. Nine years thereafter, his skeleton was found on the old Perkins farm, with his gun near-by.


John Israel was one of the first justices of the peace in Kirkwood township. He was followed by William B. Beall, John H. Johnson, Jarvis A. Moore, T. Lacock, and John McPherson.


The School Board in 1902 consists of A. O. Campbell, O. H. Groves, John Wilson, John Rore, Frank Sample, Ed. Wheaton and [Samuel] W. Perkins.


Is the only church in Sewellsville. It was organized in 1818 by Rev. Thomas Ruckle, who preached in a little log cabin, near where the present church now stands. This building was also used as a school house. Previous to the organization, a class meeting was held at the home of Basil Ridgeway, and some of the members of the class were Thomas Frizzell, Mead Jarvis, Thomas Miller and Zachariah Marsh. Some of the early ministers were John Carper, William Knox, Thomas Taylor, Daniel Limerick, Pardon Cook and John McPherson, a local preacher."


The Perkins Family (with references to the Anderson and Cash family links)

Here’s a biographical sketch about members of the Perkins family. The source is “Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio and Representative Citizens”, published by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois , in 1903.

"SAMUEL W. PERKINS, a farmer and stock raiser residing in section 17, Kirkwood township, Belmont County, was born in this township July 14, 1849. He is a son of Rev. Jonathan and Rebecca (Majors) Perkins, and a grandson of Samuel Perkins, after whom he was named. The last named [Samuel] was soldier in the War of 1812, and his widow received a pension for nearly 15 years.

Rev. Jonathan Perkins was born June 15, 1820, where the house of our subject now stands, and was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church for many years. He traveled the Moorefield circuit and was senior minister of the circuit.

He later had a local charge and was a man of great popularity, enjoying the distinction of having united in marriage and buried more people than any other minister in the county. He served as justice of the peace some 12 or 15 years, and his efforts were successful in amicably settling the differences of his neighbors without the intervention of the courts.

During the Civil War he was captain of a military company which he took out to oppose the
Morgan raid [this link takes you to a page where this raid is discussed in detail]. He was a strong abolitionist and believed in a vigorous prosecution of the war.

At one time he owned nearly a section of land and was a very successful farmer. In 1872 he had a large quantity of wool destroyed in the great Boston fire, but his loss was comparatively slight, owning to the property being insured. His death, which occurred Aug. 28, 1887, was widely deplored, as he had lived a very useful life and came from one of the early families of the county.

He joined the church at the age of 17 years and ever after was a consistent Christian. He served as a class leader in the church at Salem, and during a period of 15 years never missed a class meeting.

He was united in marriage Feb. 8, 1846, to Rebecca Majors, who was born in section 18, Kirkwood township, Sept. 9, 1825, and died Aug. 25, 1902. She was a lifelong member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and for many years was quite active in church work. She was a great home woman until the death of her husband, when home lost its charms, and she thereafter spent her declining years at the homes of her children, whose chief joy was ministering to her wants.

Eight children blessed the union of Rev. and Mrs. Perkins, five of whom survive, namely: Sarah E., wife of George E. Smith; Samuel W.; Margaret R., wife of J. W. Anderson, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church of Wichita, Kansas; Josephine O., wife of Albert S. Reynolds, a justice of the peace of Kirkwood township, and N. S. G., who resides where his father lived.

Samuel W. Perkins was educated in the common schools and later at Hopedale, after which he took to agricultural pursuits. He has 210 acres of well improved land, and all is underlaid with coal. He raises some stock that he sells, and winters about 35 head. He is one of the substantial men of his township, of which he is now serving his second term as trustee.

March 29, 1876, Mr. Perkins was united in marriage with Nannie A. Anderson, a native of this county, and a daughter of [Dennis Parrott] and Margaret Anderson, the former of whom died in 1890, and the latter April 18, 1902, at the age of 86 years. Mr. Anderson and wife had the following children: Rev. J. W.; Mary, wife of Rev. W. G. Cash, superintendent of schools at Morristown for a time; Nannie A., and Ella M., wife of G. W. Warrick, who resides on the old Anderson homestead in this county.

[Editor's comment: The evidence I've seen suggests that the photo at the top of the page, noted as "Aunt Nannie Perkins" is the mother, Nannie A Perkins, referred to above. In fact, I can find no census records that verify there was a daughter by that name.]

Our subject [Samuel W.] and his wife have four children, as follows: Emsley O., a member of the class of 1904 at Athens College; Isa Edith, who married F. J. Hamilton, a manufacturer of cigars at Hendrysburg, O., and has daughter, Carrie L.; Jonathan F., who lives at home on the farm, and Margaret R., who is attending school.

Our subject and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been trustee and steward. He has frequently served as superintendent of Sunday-schools and has been a leader for about 10 years. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias. In politics he is a Republican."


Last revised 7/26/2011

Please refer to the disclaimer on the index page of this blog for a statement regarding the accuracy of - and documentation for - the information presented in this blog.

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