This happened because the oldest brother (Ebenezer, born in 1809) married Rebecca Adams in 1831 and settled in Newport, Vermont, while the rest of the family relocated to Lewiston, Maine, before the youngest brother (Luther) was born in 1833.
The family had tried several times over 40 years to have a complete family reunion, but they led busy lives and always one brother or another missed each reunion. Finally, the stars must have fallen into proper alignment, everything clicked into place, and the joyous family occasion happened at last.
Can you imagine the smiles on all the faces? At that remarkable—and long awaited—reunion of all the living members of the family, the seven brothers sat at the table in the order of their ages. To make the reunion complete, the brothers' one remaining sister, Mrs. Albert Frost, joined them.
This heartwarming story illustrates two important points about using newspapers to research your family history. First of all: you never know what you will find once you start looking through a newspaper archive. Even if the Jones family is not related to you, little discoveries like this story—and newspapers are full of them—add the human touch to your genealogy pursuit, and make your research fun and interesting.
For the second point, look closely at the family reunion newspaper article below: notice that it was originally printed in the Lewiston Journal (Maine), but was reprinted in the Huntsville Gazette—an Alabama paper! Perhaps the Gazette editors thought this amazing story would interest their readers, or maybe someone in the Huntsville area was related to the Jones family, and editors are always looking for news items that have connections to their readers.
The lesson here is to expand the geographic scope of your search if your initial search didn't turn up enough information. The archive you're looking in may not have the issue of the Lewiston Journal this article first appeared in, but it might have the Huntsville Gazette issue where the article was reprinted. It is a good thing that GenealogyBank has brought together the largest collection of U.S. newspapers available online—5,700 of them from all 50 states—with a powerful search engine, making it easy to search through this large newspaper archive to find your ancestors.
What will you discover?
Here is that family reunion story, printed by the Huntsville Gazette (Alabama), 5 November 1881, page 4: