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Neva Elisa Jones (1888-1985)

This month, WeRelate looks at the Person Page of Neva Elisa Jones, born 23 January 1888 in Palo Alto County, Iowa, the daughter of George Washington Jones (1840-1917) and Eliza Bliss Liscum (1846-1888). Her mother died the day after she was born and her father, George Jones, had had trouble supporting his family before his wife died. With Eliza gone, caring for a large family was beyond him. He found people to care for the youngest children: Lottie, three years old and Neva’s closest sister, was taken by friends of Eliza’s into an already a blended family; Ona, five and next youngest, was taken in by an older couple who lived in neighboring Dickinson County; Reuben, six, eventually found a home with a near-by farmer. Likely Edward (ten) and Henry (twelve), also found homes with farmers either in Palo Alto or neighboring counties. Frank, at fourteen, was probably considered old enough for a full-time job. Anna, at fifteen the oldest still at home, apparently assumed responsibility for Neva, along with becoming a school teacher. Anna had help from her mother’s sister, Charlotte Bliss, whose family moved to Palo Alto about this time, providing a place for Anna and Neva to live. n spite of their separation, Neva’s brother’s and sisters made an effort to stay in touch with each other, visiting when they could, writing when they couldn’t. Reuben, for example, had an autograph book, which he treasured for his entire life. It was signed by his brothers Dell and Stephen in 1895, his brother Henry in 1896, and his sisters Neva and Anna in 1901. Their father did return home at least once, but the visit was not remembered with any fondness by his children. Part of his reason for visiting was an effort to find financial assistance, at their expense if need be. Neva married George Henry Knott on 17 March 1909 in Wyndmere, North Dakota, where her brother Henry lived. How they met is unclear, but Neva may have taught in County where George lived. Neva and George spent the first years of their married lives in a sod house on George’s homestead near Powers Lake, North Dakota. In later years Neva had few good things to say about life in a sod house. Even with sheets up on the walls and ceilings, she said, there was always dirt, and it was impossible to keep the house clean. It did have one advantage: when one of her young sons had a temper tantrum, she simply poured a pitcher of water over him, knowing that the floor would dry by itself. Her subdued son was set on a rock in the yard to dry in the sun. This Person Page, is a good example of the type of Page that you can add to WeRelate for your ancestors. (learn more...)

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Crowdsourcing Challenge

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for "Fifth of May," is an annual celebration, now observed primarily in United States by Mexican-Americans, to commemorate the Mexican Army's unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on 5 May 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza. The battle was more symbolic rather than strategic, but under pressure by the United States, the French were forced to finally withdraw from Mexico in 1867. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not in honor of Mexico’s independence which actually occurred in 1821.

You can read more about this month's WeRelate Crowdsourcing Challenge and help in bringing the WeRelate pages on this Mexican hero and his family to life. Have fun.