Thursday, January 15, 2015

Julia Jones Dumas (1914-1982) #52Ancestors

Julia Jones Dumas (1914-1982) #52Ancestors: Tough Woman/Closest Birthday

This is my entry #3 for Amy Crow’s 52 Ancestor Challenge 2015. I have decided to combine the theme's for weeks 3 and 4. Week 3's challenge is to write about a tough woman. Week 4's challenge is to write about someone who has a birthday closest to my birthday. Luckily, I know just the ancestor who fits both of these descriptions. She is also my namesake. So why make this harder than it needs to be?

Without further ado, here is a short biography of my beautiful grandmother:

Julia Jones Dumas (1914-1982)
Curtis Dumas & Julia Jones

Once Upon a Time 

There lived a woman with a generous heart, a kind spirit and a strong body. She is many things to me including my paternal grandmother and my namesake. She is also a major reason for my interest in family history. See, I never met my grandmother. She passed away before I was born. But, I know her because of the many stories from loved ones, each telling of her kindness, hospitality, spirituality and love.


Julia Jones was born 15 March 1914 in Wallace, Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. She was the third of four daughters born to Ignace Ernest Jones and Adelaide Bella Grant. Mama Julia (as she was affectionately called) experienced a lot of loss in her life, which is why she is my "tough woman". In 1922, when she was only 8, her mother died in of pneumonia. Ernest, her father, remarried a widow and mother of seven named Gertrude Duhe Rogers. Julia's father would have two more children with his new wife. They were the original blended family. Who needs the Brady bunch when you have the Joneses? In case you lost count, there were a total of 13 children.

Sadly, the good times grew more grim. At age 16, Julia's father, Ernest, passed away of bronchial pneumonia. She would go on to live with her uncle, Willis (aka Uncle Tot). Two years later, Julia would bury her step-mother, Gertrude. By age 18, my grandmother would have buried all three of her parents. Describing her as strong is an understatement.

A Family of Her Own

Julia's loss did not prevent her from keeping an open heart. She was a vessel of love. She loved family and wanted to created one of her own. So, she married a handsome, local young man by the name of Curtis Joseph Dumas. In 1932, she became known as Julia Dumas. Together, Julia and Curtis would raise a large family of their own--13 children in all. (My father was #12.) In addition to raising her biological children, Mama Julia also raised some of her grandchildren. Mama Julia's many responsibilities to her large family did not limit her generosity. Her home was always open. Her faith, hospitality and culinary skills are legendary.

The Grave and Beyond

Julia Jones Dumas passed away on Tuesday, September 1, 1982 at West St. James Hospital after enduring cardiac arrest. She was 68 years young. She is buried with her family at Willow Grove Cemetery in Wallace, Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana on Friday, September 9, 1982.

The biggest lesson I have learned by researching my grandmother's life is that tragedy and heartbreak need not be the end of our story. Strength is pressing on despite the tough times. It is finding love, joy and comfort with loved ones whom we choose to share our lives with. Despite deep loss, we can all celebrate deep love.

God Bless


  1. Very well done and such a great story! Sounds like she did a lot of this: "Ask yourself what is really important. Then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer." - Lee Jampolsky ❤️

    1. Thanks Amy! That is such a perfect quote. I know she did!