Of Welsh Descent, Father Makes His Way to the Land of Opportunity

Common Welsh name creates difficulty when tracking down father’s immigration to land of opportunity.

| Good Old Days

The immigration story of my father's family is lost in the mists of time. My dad was of Welsh descent, born in 1873 on a farm in Owen County, Kentucky, in this land of opportunity. His name was Lewis Marion Jones. Never was there a more Welsh name, or one more difficult to trace. One can only guess at how many Welsh families were named Jones.

Dad's mother, whose maiden name was Schooler, died when he was an infant. He was raised in Indiana by his mother's brother, John Henry Schooler, and his wife, Rebecca. How I wish I had asked for more information about that family when I had the opportunity.

My maternal grandparents emigrated from Germany in the 1860s. My mother, born in 1889, was their youngest. She and her siblings were first-generation United States citizens. One of her brothers, John M. Schmid, became circulation director of all the Hearst newspapers and a president of the International Circulation Managers Assoc.

My dear Aunt Rose lived in our home for 20 years. She wrote, in her beautiful penmanship, an interesting account of our ancestral background; the following information is from her record.

My great-great-grandfather was a Royal District Forester in Bavaria. His daughter, of German and French descent, married a horticulturist and copper engraver who owned a large estate and a hotel named Zum Hirsch, "The Stag." They had 14 children, including two sets of twins. Ten lived to adulthood, and several of the sons were skilled artisans, working in gold, ivory, ebony, tortoise-shell and mother-of-pearl to create jewelry.

My grandfather learned his trade as a journeyman tinner, and he was probably the only family member to come to the United States. He and my grandmother-to-be were schoolchildren together. They were taught French in school, but spoke German. He came to the United States first, then sent for his fiancée. They were married in Cincinnati in 1869. My grandmother was of German and Hungarian descent. Her father was a craftsman of musical instruments.

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