Sam Jones: As told by Bruce Ambler to his daughter Cynthia Ambler

Sam Jones came to Ulster, Ireland as a boy with his parents from Wales.  His father raised horses in Banbridge, Northern Ireland near Newry in County Down with his Scottish wife whose maiden name had been Hill.  Bruce Amber said of his great grandfather that he must have been a terrific horse trader to make money selling horses to Scotsmen.  But, every time Bruce told this story, people would say, “they must have been good horses.”  Same came to America at age 18 (1864) without “one dollar in his pocket?”

Sam married Annie McConnell from a Philadelphia colonial family of Scots-Irish ancestry.  Her uncle was Robert Lithgow.  He and his wife had 9 children; William James Jones, Jennie Jones, Robert Lithgow Jones, Samuel Allen Jones, John Kelso Jones, Mary Allen Jones, Frank Morris Jones, Albert Fulton Jones and Howard Irving Jones.

May Jones Ambler always said that her father, Samuel Allen Jones, was a seventh son of a seventh son.  Actually he was a fifth son and eighth child.  Sam Jones became a manufacturer of wooden boxes and quite well-to-do for those days. He left an estate of about $300,000, and the family broke up over disputes about distribution of the estate.

Jennie was a chronic paranoid schizophrenic and her mother was at least eccentric.  May Jones Ambler, felt she was rejected by her mother.

May Jones Ambler:  As told by May to her granddaughter Cynthia Ambler

Sam Jones used to take his daughter May for buggy rides in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia and they would always stop for refreshments.  He would buy May a soft drink and he would get a beer for himself.  He was always very careful to turn the beer label around where he thought May wouldn’t see what he was having.

May Jones married Henry (Harry) Ambler, a young lawyer and her family thought she was marrying below herself.  May had always had cooks when she was a girl.  But Harry came from a farm family and was just starting his law practice.  So, when May was to cook dinner for her new mother-in-law, she didn’t know what to do.  Her sister-in-law, Grace, dropped in to see how May was doing.  Grace, seeing the predicament, took charge and cooked the meal slipping out the back door as the mother-in-law came in the front.  May quickly grabbed a platter from a top shelf, piled on the chops and put them on the table.  She noticed the chops looked odd and only too late realized that the platter had not been washed and dust was floating to the surface of the pork grease.

Everyone has a mother-in-law story.  When I showed this to my dad, May’s son, he roared with laughter.  May was a notoriously troublesome mother-in-law.