Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Thomas L. Jones

Recently, in a curious turn of events, Jersey City, New Jersey honored my great grandfather Thomas L. Jones by adding his name to a plaque of fallen fireman in City Hall. We don't know too much about Thomas Jones as he was killed this week 92 years ago. We do know he was educated in Dublin by the Christian Brothers and emigrated from Ireland to the New York Metro area around the turn of the century. He wasn't a fireman in the hook and ladder sense of the word, he was a Telegraph Lineman who died when he fell several stories from a ladder while working underground. I've often wondered if my great grandfather was Irish at all with a name like Thomas Jones and we have a picture of him and he has the dark good looks of a Welshman. Attempts at a fuller exploration of who he was and where he came from are hampered by the near ubiquity of both his first and last names. It's odd to think that he died 11 years before my father was born and now my father is the oldest member of our greater family which consists of at least four generations. The Hoffman side of the family has been here for years, when my father's brother John died, he was the seventh generation interred at our family plot at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

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