The Life of Mary Jane Jones

The Life of Mary Jane Jones

[Written for the 91st Carnival of Genealogy, A Tribute to Women]

This timeline shows the events in the life of Mary Jane (Haywards) Jones.

Mary Jane Haywards was born in Wales ca. 1810.  She left Wales for Australia prior to 1848.  I’m not sure if she left with her parents or with her husband.

Mary Jane married John Joseph Jones.  The couple lived in Sydney, NSW, Australia.  They had at least two sons, John Charles (born ca. 1843) and Thomas Augustine (b. 1850).  It is unknown if they had any other children.

The family left Australia for California sometime around 1860.  They settled in San Francisco where   John found work as a shoemaker.

The family moved around quite a bit between 1862 and 1878.  They lived on Sansom, Post, Stevenson, Jessie, and then Howard.

The 1870 census shows their real estate was valued at $3,000.  It looks like her husband had consistent work, though he had different employers within that span.

Her sons moved out in the late 1860s.  John Jr. married Margaret Coffin around 1868.  Thomas married Margaret Kelly, who also lived on Jessie Street, 7 Feb 1869.  Thomas and Margaret made Mary Jane a grandmother for the first time when Josephine Jones was born in 1870.

Mary Jane became a widow sometime around 1878.  She moved in with her son, Thomas, and his family, on Natoma Street.

When Thomas’ wife died in 1889 right after giving birth, someone had to take care of the younger children.  The baby died several days later, but Thomas and Margaret’s youngest daughter, Gertrude, was just seven years old.  Mary Jane stepped in, though she was in her late Seventies.

Mary Jane died two years later on 3 Dec 1891.  Her obituary says she was 80 years old.  Here is her obituary from the San Francisco Call, 6 Dec 1891:


Before I put together the timeline, I felt that I knew very little about Mary Jane (Haywards) Jones.  But now I see that I have enough details to get a glimpse into her life. She had traveled across the globe twice: from Wales to Australia and from Australia to California.  She ran a household in Australia and then in San Francisco.  She raised two sons.  Then when her son needed her, she helped take care of his children.  It appears she had quite a full life.

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Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website,

3 thoughts on “The Life of Mary Jane Jones

  1. Very interesting to me. Lately, it seems that I keep running across folks going from British isles to Australia. And your Mary Jones then traveled to California. It’s going to be a fun trip for you, a following Mary Jones.

  2. Sounds as if your Mary Jane had a very full life, Mel. I appreciate your sharing her with us. I think I don’t have much information on someone either until I look closer. And these timelines really do help.

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