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Deacon Ebenezer Janes
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Birth: Jul. 31, 1736
Hampshire County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1808
Northfield
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA

Ebenezer married (1) Sarah Field, March 1755; (2) Mehitable Alexander, daughter of Simeon and sister of Rev. Caleb Alexander. Sarah died March 1766. Ebenezer died 22 January, 1808.

Deacon Ebenezer Janes was a great-grandson of the first William, and the grandfather of the writer and compiler of this genealogy. He was born in Northfield, at the old homestead, and maintained from early life a character for probity and virtue which furnished him an easy passport to the highest posts of distinction among his fellow townsmen. He inherited the estate and good name of his father, and was a large landholder in Northfield and the adjoining towns. He was a representative of the town at the general court at Boston, a town and church officer and town clerk for many years previous to his death.

He was a good, kind counselor and a pattern of religious fidelity and godliness. He died some three months previous to the author's birth. He built the present house on the old homestead in the latter part of the life of Jonathan, his respected father, which though occupied by some five generations of the family, is in a good condition, and is still regarded a friendly shelter for many friends and a pleasant retreat. In times past, here, many innocent youthful sports have caused many a ring of merriment and jubilant exultation, and many dry jokes were cracked, as well as 'butternuts', and some of a still harder nature, and many fair maidens have here been led to the hymeneal altar; and from this parental covering many robust sons have gone forth to unite their interests with other families to perpetuate their own names and to allure fortune, worldly joys and riches, to their own hearthstones. To this old homestead have they silently turned their eyes when battling with life, in ardent toil of duty, in new and untried enterprises, in whatever clime providence has cast their lot. Though Ebenezer had no brother, his offspring is about as numerous as those of his three Easthampton cousins, who started with him in the race of life. He had six sons who raised up families, and three daughters whose children are scattered far and wide through the country. They are located in many different states, and many of them are religious, industrious and frugal, and have acquired a name worth to bequeath to their children.

Deacon Ebenezer Janes will long be remembered in the history of the people, and when the present generation has departed, the impress of his influence will prove permanently good. His counsel was not easily rejected, his word was not doubted, his example was influential. His wish was the law of the household and the guide of the neighborhood. He died at a good old age, respected and beloved as a kind neighbor, father and Christian friend, and an exemplary member and officer of the church of Christ.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Soon after the Soules' stay in Deerfield, Nathaniel Phelps's Northampton shop began making very austere sandstone markers with anthropomorphic angels. In the late 1770's or the 1780's, the shop produced several very ambitious stones with angels or imps holding aloft crowns and blowing trumpets or bugles that owed nothing to indigenous traditions but attempted to respond to a new taste for naturalistic gravestones. While Phelps received payment for at least one of theses stones, they could be the work of another hand. Phelps's son Elijah (1761 - 1842) could have had a hand in producing these stones or they may be largely the work of an undiscovered stonecutter working as a journeyman for Phelps.

More directly indebted to the Soules' angels were the images on slate stones that a new generation of stonecutters in the Deerfield area began producing. These stonecutters continued to supply interested customers in Bernardston, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hatfield, Montague, Sunderland and Whately with a version of the Soule angel until at least 1800. The training of these stonecutters who set up local shops was the most lasting legacy of the Soules. Though it is not possible to document certain stonecutters' associations with the Soules, timing, proximity and visual evidence suggest the existence of master-apprentice relationships with members of the Soule family. The production of slate gravestones by these cutters and their acceptance in the northern river towns broke the unity created by the Connecticut River valley's network of stonecutters working in sandstone.

First of the local stonecutters to begin working in slate was Ebenezer Janes (1736 - 1808) of Northfield. Janes may have been a practicing stonecutter before the Soules' itinerancies, but the dates of the surviving examples of his work suggest that he learned the stonecutter's trade late in life, perhaps from Ebenezer Soule, Sr. A prominent life-long resident of Northfield, the forty-one-year-old Janes stood fifth on Northfield's tax list in 1771. He owned a mill and sixty-three acres of prime farm land. A town leader, he served as a selectman and would later represent the town in the legislature and would receive a commission as justice of the peace. Janes was also a part time "gravestone manufacturer." The earliest stones which can be attributed to him are winged angels that began appearing in the Northfield graveyard probably during the 1770's; among the earliest dated of these stones is the marker of his son, Ebenezer Janes, Jr. These early slate stones, which bear a strong resemblance to the "fish winged" angel stones of Ebenezer Soule that are found in neighboring Hinsdale, New Hampshire, suggest that sometime in the 1770's Janes came under the elder Soule's influence. Several characteristics found on contemporary angel stones of the Soules are found on Janes's earliest stones: almond-shaped eyes with split pupils, a split upper lip, wings with scale-like feathers and tightly curled hair or wigs. During the 1780's and 1790's, Janes developed his own distinctive winged effigies characterized by very human-looking, puffy faces with long narrow eyes and wavy hair and wildly flapping wings. Around 1800, he began to cut stones with male and female portraits. Despite his obvious artistry and technical proficiency, he placed few stones outside of Northfield and the neighboring towns of Bernardston, Gill and Warwick. It appears that for this prosperous and prominent Northfield resident, gravestone manufacturing remained a sideline.

There remain 116 gravestone markers that Ebenezer Janes carved in the Northfield Center Cemetery. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Jonathan Janes (1695 - 1776)
  Jemima Graves Janes (1703 - 1790)
 
 Spouses:
  Sarah Field Janes (1737 - 1766)*
  Mehitable Alexander Janes (1745 - 1835)*
 
 Children:
  Jonathan Janes (1756 - 1813)*
  Jemima Janes Allen (1756 - 1786)*
  Ruth Janes Bliss (1757 - 1819)*
  Hannah Janes (1763 - 1770)*
  Ebenezer Janes (1766 - 1766)*
  Ebenezer Janes (1771 - 1775)*
  Xenophon Janes (1772 - 1829)*
  Sarah Janes (1774 - 1775)*
  Sarah Janes (1777 - 1779)*
  James Oliver Janes (1782 - 1829)*
  Alexander Janes (1785 - 1787)*
 
 Sibling:
  Ebenezer Janes (1736 - 1808)
  Sarah Janes Harvey (1738 - 1764)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Center Cemetery
Northfield
Franklin County
Massachusetts, USA
 
Created by: Ruth Janes-Allen
Record added: Nov 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 80078818
Deacon Ebenezer Janes
Added by: James Bianco
 
Deacon Ebenezer Janes
Added by: Ruth Janes-Allen
 
Deacon Ebenezer Janes
Cemetery Photo
Added by: lynnz74
 
 
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- Marilyn Andersen
 Added: Mar. 2, 2013

- Ruth Janes-Allen
 Added: Nov. 15, 2011
 
 
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