This photo is courtesy of site reader Ray Jackson who found it in a set of photos he bought from ebay. The back of the CdV indicated the subject is one Horace Jones, who at the time of the photograph looks to have been in his early twenties. We can tell this is an 1860s vintage CdV because of the square corners of the card and the thin border lines. The photographer was C. Young of Arcade, NY.
Ray was able to find an Horace Jones on the 1870 census as living in Arcade, Wyoming County, New York. This is quite a complicated search because there were actually TWO Horace Joneses living in Arcade at the time. Both had the middle initial W. Horace W. D. had a mother named Sophorona. Horace W. had a mother named Sophoronia. Unbelievable!
The town of Arcade was originally founded as the Town of China in 1807. For some reason they changed the name to Arcade in 1866, and the Arcade & Attica Rail Road runs through it. On the census, the town name change was reflected but makes it look like the families moved from one city to the other.
Horace W. D. was born to Milan (Milon, Melan) and Sophorona Jones in 1840. Milan was born in 1807 and Sophorona in 1815. Horace had a sister named Mary who was born in 1850. One can only imagine there were some lost siblings during that ten year span. The family also had a boarder named Orissa Crary or Casey who was a “tailoress,” what we today would call a seamstress. Milan was a carpenter.
In 1860 the family situation had not changed but Horace listed himself as a farmer.
Horace W. was born to Levi and Sophoronia Jones in 1840. Levi was born in 1814 and Sophoronia in 1820. Levi was a farmer and in 1850 they had Horace W. (10), Elisha W. (8), Farley Y. (6), Wm Henry (5), Luther S (3), and Elliott M. (1). I couldn’t find more about this Horace.
In 1880, one of these two men is married to Elizabeth, born about 1829. She has identified her occupation as “tailoress” which is an interesting coincidence. Maybe she knew or worked with the one Jones family boarder? At this point Horace lists his occupation as a painter. After that, the trail goes cold.
To further complicate the search, Horace Jones was quite a popular name in the 1840s and no fewer than 3 Horace W Joneses served in the military during the Civil War and enlisted from New York, but I am not able to determine if any of them are the two Horace W’s we are tracking here. It is a mystery that feels like it has a solution, but even that is a greater mystery.
UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments Intense Guy has added, there is some fascinating information including a connection to the Hatfields & McCoys.