Me and Mrs. Jones

In Jim Jones: The Fake Early Years, Mark devoted some of the article to Jim Jones’ genealogy. Of course, this piqued my interest, so I decided to see if I could dig a little deeper. What I discovered has me somewhat baffled since it was so easily unearthed. If the information was purposely planted, I can’t imagine what the motive could have been. On the other hand, if the connection is authentic, I don’t understand why it was not covered up. But before I divulge that “strange relation,” I’d like to share some other discoveries I stumbled upon relating to Jim Jones’ mother, Lynetta Putnam(This article will be my small contribution to the impressive amount of information already accumulated by Gaia.)

Jim’s mother is only mentioned six times on his Wiki page, and four of those instances are in the “Explanatory Notes”:

  1. While Jim Jones claimed to be partially of Cherokee descent through his mother Lynetta, this story was apparently not true.
  2. Lynetta’s cousin Barbara Shaffer said, “there wasn’t an ounce of Indian in our family.”
  3. Shaffer said that Lynetta was Welsh.
  4. The birth records for Lynetta have since been lost.

Due to this apparent “loss” of Lynetta’s birth records, we will need to resort to other methods to locate the names of her parents.  My first stop was “Find A Grave” which only provides the name of her spouses.

zzzzzzzzWe learn here that Lynetta married her first husband, Cecil Graham Dickson in 1920.  The surnames Dickson and especially Graham are peerage.  The 1920 U.S. Federal Census has the newlyweds living at the home of Lynetta’s mother, Mary E. (nee ?) Putnam.  The only other member of the family is a sister named Thelma who was six years younger than Lynetta.  Traveling back to the previous census (1910, shown below) reveals a father named Jesse Putnam.


There is no information to be found about Lynetta’s father Jesse, not even when or how he died.  Even though he was a ghost, I was able to see his name listed on a Marriage Application submitted by Thelma “Wright” in 1938.  Why Thelma was using the surname Wright is unknown, but her Indiana residence and 1909 birthdate further confirm her identity.  The mother is identified as Mary E. Farrell, so now we know the names of Lynetta Putnam (Jones’) parents.


Approximately two months before this marriage application was filed, Thelma and Guy Green’s (prospective husband on above document) names appear on a death certificate as parents of an infant who lived for only 25 days.  On that document, Thelma’s surname is indicated as “Norris.”  How or why Thelma went from “Norris” to “Wright” in two months while being involved with a man named “Green” is incomprehensible.  Naturally, all three names are very prominent in the you-know-where.

As bizarre as Thelma’s paper trail is, the topper turns out to be the mother Mary Elizabeth Farrell’s death certificate.  Let’s examine some zoomed-in snippets of that document.


As you can see, the information for 1. Place of Death has only three of the eight fields filled out.  That’s not entirely true since one of the areas was completed then smudged over.  Did Mary Farrell die in a hospital, at home, or in the street after being hit by a bus?  Apparently, the person completing this document felt that information to be superfluous.


In this section, the year of birth is missing, and the age is wrong (and not complete.)  This certificate was compiled in 1920 which would have been very soon after the 1920 census report that is mentioned above.  Mary gave her age as 34 at that time, so did she age 14 years in 1920?  The kicker here though is the “Name of Father,” Don’t no!?!   No, don’t tell me.  A first-grader filled this out.




Here we can see the faint impression of where the Maiden Name of Mother and the name of the Informant were written, but appear to have been erased.


Mary suffered “Paralysis” for 8 days, yet there is no indication that she ever went to a hospital.  And what’s with the DELAY stamp?  What was DELAYED?  Death?



zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzSince this death certificate states her date of death as 8/29/20, this Date of Burial (if it were legible) would have been either the next day or the day after that.  So this relatively young woman with two young daughters died and was six feet under the next day?

These spooky parents plus a non-existent family history and an only sibling who used multiple aliases make the “fact” that Lynetta Putnam Jones “died” in Jonestown a year before the mass suicide not so surprising.  Unless that is, you believe the date on the U.S. Social Security Death Index.



They used to say that “Behind every great man stands a great woman.”  Since that phrase has fallen out of favor, I will replace it for our purposes here with, “Behind every assigned Intel operative stands a handler.”  These “handlers” don’t necessarily need to be controllers.  They can also act as logistical support by appearing as a minor player while being the primary conduit to the decision makers at Langley (or wherever the decision makers reside.)  

One of the first television series to glorify the CIA was a show starring Jennifer Garner named “Alias.”  And one of the early plot devices was to show what a pain in the ass it is to be a double agent while trying to maintain “normal” relationships.

From Wikipedia:  The main theme of the series explores Sydney’s obligation to conceal her true career from her friends and family, even as she assumes multiple aliases to carry out her missions…Sub-plots include Sydney’s friendship with Francie, Francie’s romantic relationship with Charlie, and Sydney’s developing relationship with her CIA handler Michael Vaughn…In Season 2 Sydney begins a romantic relationship with Vaughn, now that their relationship will not endanger them.  

It makes no practical sense for agents involved in a major psychological operation such as Jonestown to be married to a “civilian.”  For this reason, I believe Marceline (Baldwin) Jones to be Jim Jones’ Intel handler and assistant.  Well, there’s also another reason.

In Jim Jones: The Fake Early Years Mark notes a paternal ancestor named Warren Jones (1825-1902.)  Warren was Jim’s great-grandfather, and he was born in Wayne County, Indiana to Edmund Jones (1789-1874) and Ruth Jarrett (1788-1876.)

It has become a habit of mine during genealogical investigations to always do a workup of the spouse of my intended subject.  In the case of Jim Jones that was Marceline Baldwin.  Since I recalled several generations of Baldwins in Rose McGowan’s history (McGowan supposedly grew up in a cult), I was hoping to make that connection.  Here is what I found instead.

Marceline’s mother was a woman named Charlotte Lamb.  Charlotte’s death certificate shown below indicates that her parents were Edmond Lamb and Hannah Freeman.


Hannah Freeman’s mother was an Ayers, same as Bill Clinton’s grandmother, but we’re not gonna go there.  The family breakdown below is from the 1860 U.S. Federal Census and it shows that Edmund Lamb was the son of Phineas and Sarah (Jones) Lamb.


Also recall that earlier in this section about Jim and Marceline I noted the parents of Jim’s great-grandfather Warren Jones as Edmond Jones and Ruth Jarrett.

Well, here they are as one big happy family.


If I’ve confused you, here’s the bottom line.  Jim Jones’ great-grandfather Warren and Marceline’s great-grandmother Sarah Lamb (Jones) were brother and sister.  That’s only three generations folks!






14 thoughts on “Me and Mrs. Jones

  1. I thought “Wow” as I read this not because Jim and his wife were descendants of a brother and a sister. I don’t know what that means, though it surely has something to do with inbreeding within the Peerage. The “wow” had to do with your sideways vision as you go through historical records. It is your attention to detail coupled with dogged determination.

    A certain someone we know might say (this is just snark on my part) “We see the name Jones in other places, for instance, John Paul Jones, naval captain, no coincidence I am sure, but note further that John Paul Jones bears the name of two popes, meaning that Jim Jones can be traced back to papal lineage.”

    It is just careless and sloppy. Your work is thorough and documented. Kudos.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks (Mark and “likers”). That means a lot coming from you guys.

      As far as Jim and Marceline, I’m of the opinion that they are offspring of an Intel family (Jones) and this was a sham marriage coordinated to further ensure success of the mission. Merely speculation of course.


  2. No one addresses the fact that Jim Jones just recently died again . The ” Pawn Stars Show ” had a character named “The Old Man ” . “The Old Man ” was the “Grandfather” and founder of the Pawn Shop on the” Pawn Stars Show “.I do not think He died . The show had run it’s course and people where starting to see that “The OLd Man ” was “Jim Jones ” cul;t leader in His Youth .


    1. I for one agree with you. I don’t know if it was you or another commenter that brought up this aspect in one of Mark’s Jonestown installments. I looked up pics of Jones and The Old Man and I see the remarkable resemblance. It is hard to find pics of Jones without sunglasses…but they are out there. It appears they both have a “lazy” right eye. That, IMO, is not a coincidence.


    2. I don’t know the “Pawn Stars Show”, I don’t watch TV and even stopped watching movies and series. So good you “were the only one” who pointed that out.

      Do you think that character of that show is the same person as Jim Jones? What makes you think that, if so, and if not, what is the relevance?


  3. Yes! A zombie! I want to believe, though I don’t believe anything. Seriously, I’ve never dropped the concept of retread spooks. This “Harrison” fellow has potential. He also has a comic actor’s name embedded in there.
    Also, big ups again to K Starr!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Kevin for another interesten genealogical investigation! One small correction: Putnam should be Putman. I looked at the handwritten name in the documents and as a Dutch person I read Putman, and then I also saw it was typed Putman on the small greenish document of the four family members. Putman is a Dutch surname although not very widespread. I suppose later on it may have changed to the name Putnam…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You need to give census takers some leeway. If I thought for a second that the Putnam’s were different than the Putman’s, I would have aborted. Besides, I didn’t go that deep into the family history so the Putnam/Putman name was of little consequence.


    2. Good point and always “gezellig” to have another Dutchie here.

      It indeed reads “Jesse Putman”. But that may even be a mistake too.

      When I went through my own genealogy (95% Dutch), I found so many changes in surnames and given names even for the same person in different documents (mostly church records) and then more in next generations…

      I don’t know anyone with the surname “Putman” (“well-man” basically) in Holland, but they may exist.


      1. Hello Gaia, yes indeeed nice to meet another Dutch person on this excellent site! I had a boy in my class in primary school with the family name Putman, but after that I never encountered the name again. I even looked it up before commenting here and apparently there is a Putman Company in the Netherlands. Kudos for your work before and now on this site!!

        Liked by 1 person

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