29 July 2015

Gwilym JONES - Identified

Part of my methodology when researching the service people for the book is to look at their lives before and after the war. This begins with looking at basic genealogical information, like parents and siblings. I do this partly to give a broader view of the persons life, to make their bio more than just "the War" but it also has a broader research side effect of finding other potential subjects for the book who may have otherwise slipped through the cracks.

Case in point is the long list of JONES' on the Stockton Soldiers' Memorial. Usually, the problem is finding any potential suspects for those missing people. With a name like JONES, the problem is the opposite - too many!! I have put the JONES' in the too hard basket for the moment as their are just so many of them.

However, while looking into the family of 2425 Daniel JONES, I noticed he had an older brother, Gwilym. I found that he had served in the AIF. Checking his listing on the AIF Project page proved no immediate help. All his contact info related to Raymond Terrace. Very close to Stockton but no immediate link. However, the name  of his sister, as Mrs PITT did jump out at me. Firstly, I'd just finished researching 3122 John PITT, so I knew there were PITT's in Stockton. Secondly, I knew one of his sisters had married a PITT. I then checked his attestation papers. Here was the link. His NOK is his mother, Mrs Mary JONES, c/o his sister, Mrs PITT of Raymond Terrace. However, in his attestation file, this is changed to just his mother, of Forfar St, Stockton. We now have a link. And Gwilym JONES remained in Stockton until his death. So I'm now happy to assign the G. JONES on the memorial to him.

I think this is an important demonstration of three things. Firstly, the need to go further into the background of the soldiers and others we are researching for the deeper understanding of the individuals that this gives us. Secondly, because it provides us with a much greater depth of historical material to support our research and thirdly, it demonstrates the benefit that interplay between traditional historical research and the techniques of family history and genealogical research.


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