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Until very recently, I thought I would never discover anything about my father's antecedants other than the names of my paternal grandparents. According to stories my father used to tell, my grandfather John Richard changed his last name from Leahy to Jones.This was supposedly to avoid embarassing his family, as he claimed he had brothers who entered the priesthood while he chose not to. For many years these stories were all we knew about John Richard Jones. After running against many stumbling blocks, we finally discovered that the stories of his being born Leahy were true afterall.
A lot of patient researching, and some good luck, has led to my discovering the truth about John Richard Jones, or as his parents named him, John Patrick Leahy. Thanks to the Internet, I have made contact with descendants of both his father's and mother's families, the Leahys and the Beckerts. Below is their story as I have been able to reconstruct it. (The picture at left is one of only a couple that I have of my father, John Patric Jones, as a child.)
John Richard Jones (John Patrick Leahy), born February 22, 1874 in Franklin County or Columbus, Ohio; died February 01, 1944 in Toledo, Ohio. He was the son of Timothy Patrick Leahy and Theresia Beckert.
He married (1) Clara Feulner, (ca.1874-1916) on May 16, 1900 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He married? (2) Candace Marie Hibbard Abt. 1925, location unknown.
Candace Marie Hibbard was born July 23, 1894 in Tedrow, Dover Twp, Fulton County, Ohio, and died May 29, 1967 in Toledo, Ohio. She was the daughter of Lowell Earl Hibbard and Margaret "Maggie" A. Watkins.
On May 16, 1900, John Patrick Leahy married Clara Feulner in Cuyahoga County. His family had moved to the Cleveland area probably during the 1880s, but the exact date or year has not yet been discovered. John and Clara had 8 children, but when Clara died in 1916 -- only 39 years old -- John abandoned his children and disappeared from their lives. He was known as a "drinker" -- a euphamistic term for an alcoholic -- and his exact reason for leaving his family and children will perhaps never be known. John's descendants from this marriage say that most of the children were placed in an orphanage, while his brother William took in two of the daughters.
More information will be added to this section as it is found.
Children of John Patrick Leahy and Clara Feulner:
Where John Leahy went to after leaving his family is not known. At some point, probably to avoid being found, he began calling himself John Richard Jones and met Candace Marie (Hibbard) Wolfe. Oral family tradition -- or if you prefer, "family gossip" -- says that Candace had at some point prior to 1926/27, left her husband, George Wilbur Wolfe. Whether there was ever a formal divorce or merely a "seperation" -- unilaterally or otherwise -- is also not known at this time. To this point no record of a marriage between John Richard Jones and Candace Marie (Hibbard) Wolfe has been found. It could be that the record is lost, we have not found the correct location of the marriage, or perhaps theirs was simply a "common-law" marriage. Regardless of the formalities, or lack of same, Candace and John Richard lived as husband and wife until his death in 1944. They had 3 children -- two sons and one daughter.
Children of John Richard Jones and Candace Marie (Hibbard) Wolfe:
See Hibbard Genealogy for family history of Candace Marie Hibbard.
Timothy Patrick Leahy, born ca. 1848 in Ireland; died October 28, 1896 in South Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He married Theresia Beckert July 12, 1869 in Muskingum County, Ohio.
Theresia Beckert, born September 08, 1845 in Muskingum County, Ohio; died August 22, 1897 in (South) Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She was the daughter of Andreas Beckert and 7. Magdalena Link.
Timothy Leahy, as noted above, was born in Ireland around 1848. The exact date is not known, nor have I found his place of birth or when he came to America. He was born during the midst of some of Ireland's worst times. Famine, a represive British government, and failed revolutions made daily existence nearly impossible for most of the Irish, and many a man and woman left their homes in search of a better life in America. It is not too much to imagine that Timothy came from such a family, and perhaps arrived while still a child.
In the late 1860s Timothy was living in Muskingum County, Ohio in or near Zanesville. On July 12, 1869 he married Theresia (Theresa) Beckert, daughter of Andreas and Magdelina (Link) Beckert, themselves immigrants from Germany. Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved to Columbus, Ohio where Timothy worked as a stone cutter. At least four of their children were born in Columbus between 1870-1875, and at least two of the births were entered in the records of St. Patrick Church, 376 E. Naghten Street. Their names were Henry Anthony (also called Harry, b. 1870), Francis J. (also called Frank, b. 1872), John Patrick (b. 1874) and William E. (b. 1875). A fifth son, Jeremiah, was born in 1880, but at this time it is not known if the family was still living in Columbus. The possibility of a sixth son, Timothy, has been suggested by some documents but as of this point has not been verified.
Sometime after 1875, the family moved to Brooklyn in Cuyahoga County, just outside of Cleveland, and they first appear in the Cleveland City Directories in 1883/84. Timothy continued his work of stone worker, and by 1893, Tim (as he listed his names in the directories), Harry and Frank had their own business, Tim Leahy & Sons, flagging contractors, located at 241 Woodbridge Avenue in South Brooklyn, Ohio. In the 1897/98 directory, John Leahy's name first appears, also listed at the Woodbridge address.
There are no markers to identify their graves today, only a bare space of land in Section 13, Lot #136 where father, mother and son lie next to each other. Perhaps so many deaths in such a short period of time placed too much of a financial strain on the remaining family members; the surviving members of the family may have planned to place a monument on their parents' grave at a later date. Stone markers were expensive even then, and possibly could not be afforded. The family may have used less expensive, wooden markers that, over time, have rotted away, leaving nothing to show where they were once placed. Or, it could simply be a case of long-ago vandalism. Whatever the reason, a bare plot of land is all that marks the final resting place of Timothy and Theresa.
From Ohio Census, 8th Ward, City of Columbus,
Place of Birth - Ireland
Father of foreign birth - yes
Mother of foreign birth - yes
Place of Birth - Ohio
Place of Birth - Ohio
Father of foreign birth - yes
Month born in during census year - May
Children of Timothy Leahy and Theresia Beckert are:
Copies of birth certificates for John Richard (Leahy) Jones's older brothers, Henry and Francis. Henry was baptized by Father S. H. Rosecrans, brother of famous Civil War Union General William Stark Rosecrans.
Andreas Beckert was born on August 24, 1807 in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Kappel Neustadt). He died on December 16, 1859 in Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio. He is the son of Martinus Beckert and Theresia Lehman. He married Magdalena Link on November 20, 1830 in or near Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. They had 13 children.
Magdalena Link was born on August 27, 1812 in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (possibly in Steinback). She died on 22 Jul 1852 in Zanesville, Muskingum, Ohio. She is the daughter of Antoine Linck Sr. and Rosina Lux.
The following information was provided by a descendant of Andreas Beckert through his daughter Magdalena.
"ANDREAS (ANDREW) H. BECKERT was born Aug. 24, 1807 in the Swartswald ("Black Forest") area, (probably the state of Baden) Germany. He married Magdalena Link (or Lentze or Lenke or Lent) in 1830 in Freiburg Germany. Magdalena was born Aug. 27, 1812 probably in Alsace-Lorrain France which is on the French/German border and the object of dispute between the French and Germanic rulers, passing control from one to the other. Some accounts (such as the census) list her as being born in Baden Germany, while others (such as the gravestone) list her birth place as France.
"According to family accounts, Andreas' father owned a cut glass factory on the Rhine River between Germany and France. He had five sons (one of whom was Andreas) that he sent to the United States to escape the Prussian War. They came to New York about the year 1830. Whether Magdalena came at the same time or later is not known. One of the relatives recounts in a letter, "When they got to New York, one brother stopped to get a drink out of a stream of water, and on walking farther up the stream, he saw a badly decomposed horse lying in the water. He became violently ill and died almost at once." (Family stories also say that after Andreas came to this country, he never heard from relatives in Germany again. Relatives believe Andreas did not hear from his family because they died out and the glass factory was turned over to the country of Germany. Some of the stories say his father owned two glass factories there.)
"After leaving the New York area, Andreas and Magdalena moved to Starke County Ohio by the fall of 1835 (Caroline is born in Ohio) and then settled in Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio by mid 1841 at the latest. They attended St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Andreas was a glass engraver and owned the land at the foot of Market Street near the Muskingum River. He was the owner of the only hotel at the time -- The American Exchange Hotel, which was across from the railroad depot at the end of Market Street. The family also lived on Third Street at the river boat end of Market Street in the 4th Ward."
Picture of Andreas Beckert courtesy of Cindy Sterling. Thanks, Cindy!
For more Beckert family information, visit
Children of Andreas Beckert and Magdalena Link are:
Martinus Beckert was born between 1770-1780 in Germany (probably in or near Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany). He died on Unknown.
Theresia Lehman, daughter of Antonius Lehman and Catharina Winderhalter, was born about 1776 in Germany (probably Baden-Württemberg). She died on Unknown. Martinus Beckert and Theresia Lehman were married on 07 Jan 1806 in Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
Children of Martinus Beckert and Theresia Lehman:
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Antoine Linck Sr., son of George Linck and Magdalena Willmann, was born in 1782 in Alsace, France (probably in or near Schirrhein). He died between 1838-1840.
Rosina Lux, daughter of George Lux and Maria Ann Straub, was born in 1784 in Alsace, France. She died about Apr 1864 in Canton, Stark, Ohio (based upon probate documents). Antoine Linck Sr. and Rosina Lux were married on 10 Mar 1803 in Schirrhein, Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France.
Children of Antoine Linck Sr and Rosina Lux:
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