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David Thomas Jones fonds (P650)

1784-1850. - 2 cm of textual records.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Little is known about the early life of David Thomas Jones. It is however known that his family lived in the United States during the last decades of the 18th century. A concession dated 1784 granted to "David Jones" a parcel of land in the Sorel region (it was signed by Haldimand) and referred to Jones as a "Loyalist refugee." It is difficult to determine if this "David Jones" is in fact David Thomas Jones, or rather a close relative, most probably his father.

The documents reveal that David Thomas Jones worked as a provincial surveyor from 1819 to 1849 and that he worked alternately in the Québec City area and in Lachine. While he was working as a surveyor, Jones also held a teaching post under the sponsorship of the "Royal Institution." The school therefore charged no fees and was open to children of all religions. The students nonetheless had to provide their own school supplies, as well as a half-cord of wood in exchange for the free courses. They received instruction in writing and reading, arithmatic, as well as religion. Their teachers were also charged with ensuring that they were thoroughly instructed on the subject of morality as well as hygiene and proper conduct.

Jones received his commission as a schoolteacher from the pen of Governor John Coape Sherbrooke in 1816, and then taught in the parish of Saint-Thomas de Montmagny, in the discrict of Québec City. He took up a similar position in Lachine in the early 1820s and then transferred to Pointe-Lévi, near Québec City, in the early 1850s.

David Thomas Jones was, it seems, perfectly bilingual; his survey reports were as well written in French as they were in English. He also taught both French and English. And he married a French Canadian, Marie Luce Perrault. It's known that the couple had at least two children - daughters: Angelina Luce Amelia, born 6 April 1824, and Flora Agnes, born 28 January 1830. The couple was then living in Lachine. Other than the records indicating that Jones lived in the Québec City area near what was probably the end of his career, no information has come to light on the last years of his life.

Finally, this David Thomas Jones should not be confused with another David Thomas Jones who was born around 1796 and was a missionary in the North-West Territoires in the 19th century (see DCB, vol. VII).

Scope and Content:

The fonds has information on the life and career of David Thomas Jones, but in particular on his professional activities as a surveyor in Lower Canada and as a teacher in schools in the Québec City area and in Lachine. There is also, to a lesser extent, information about him and his family.

The fonds contains primarily familial and personal documents, namely: a concession for land in the seigneurie of Sorel granted to David Jones in 1784, two baptisimal certificates for the daughters of David Thomas Jones and his wife Marie Luce Perrault, a commission as a schoolteacher issued to Jones in 1816 by the governor of Lower Canada, John Sherbrooke.

The fonds also has a series of survey reports written by Jones and some of his colleagues. Most of the reports concern land in the parish of Saint-Thomas de Montmagny and Pointe-Lévi, close to Québec City, or in the Lachine area on the island of Montréal.

Also found in this fonds are documents linked to David Thomas Jones's career as a schoolteacher, including rules, regulations and other notices written for schoolteachers, as well as lists of students and correspondance from the administrators of the Royal Institution about the schools and education-related finances (notably, Jones's salary).

Finally, the fonds has a document consisting of three artisanal recipes: a "tonic mixture," a recipe for treating toothache, and a "horse mixture."

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • P650/A: Personal and family life
  • P650/B: Career as a surveyor
  • P650/C: Career as a schoolteacher
  • P650/D: Miscellaneous documents