James Jauncey (Thorn)

I have already mentioned that one of the most rewarding aspects of this project is how it has acquainted me with new relatives. This week, I heard from Jacqueline who is a descendant of James Jauncey Thorn, Herman and Jane’s oldest surviving son.

As a memory jog, James Jauncey Thorn (b. 1814; d. 1845) is buried in Pere La Chaise cemetery, Paris. He married Baroness Therese Von Leykham (b. 1808 approx; d. 1856), sister-in-law of Prince Metternich, in 1834 in Florence, Italy. James was only 31 when he died. They had three children, Jane, William and James. James Jr married Countess de Bastard d’Estang. Jane Mary, the daughter, married Eugene Cruger and that is Jacqueline’s line. Jacqueline is also putting together her own family history, and she kindly shared some of her private portraits, beginning with James Jauncey himself…

James Jauncey, son of Colonel Herman Thorn and his wife Jane Mary Jauncey.

James’s daughter Jane Mary was a beautiful lady.

Jane Mary Jauncey Kruger, daughter of James Jauncey

Also this delightful one is Frances Anne Jones, Eugene Cruger’s mother, and Jane’s mother-in-law.

Frances Anne Jones

Anyway, I am grateful to Jacqueline and all the other relatives who have made contact. And I strongly sense there are more to come.

In undertaking new searches, which now include the Kruger family, I found this lovely snapshot of the Jauncey legacy. It is intriguing to see how in retelling the story many times, by different historians, a different slant is introduced.

Jane Mary Jauncey’s ancestral history is the stuff of which romantic novels are written. She was a granddaughter of Herman and Jane-Mary (Jauncey) Thorn and the great granddaughter of John Jauncey of New York. Herman Thorn, it is said, came to New York from the Palatinate. John Jauncey, and his brother William Jauncey of New York, were evidently sons of James Jauncey of New York, the loyalist. John Jauncey (Jane Mary’s great grandfather) is said to have taken his own life by drowning, leaving an illegitimate daughter [Jane Mary Jauncey] “by a vulgar low actress.”2 The girl was evidently brought up by an aunt. Meanwhile, her uncle, William Jauncey, who had no children of his own, had acquired great wealth, and he saw to it that his niece grew up in the fashion of a lady. Humiliated when she chose Herman Thorn, “a young man of no great family, tut a midshipman in our Navy,” Jauncey nevertheless accepted the couple into his home, though he refused to speak of his nephew-by-marriage. By his will, William Jauncey left his substantial fortune to his niece’s heirs – amounting to about $15,000 each – provided that they assume the name of Jauncey. From Douglas Wright Kruger’s history of the Kruger family in America.

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