Jones, Volney H. (Volney Hurt), 1903-1982

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Jones, Volney H. (Volney Hurt), 1903-1982

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Jones, Volney H. (Volney Hurt), 1903-1982

Jones, Volney Hurt, 1903-

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Jones, Volney Hurt, 1903-

Jones, Volney H., 1903-...

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Jones, Volney H., 1903-...

Jones, Volney H. (Volney Hurt), 1903-

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Jones, Volney H. (Volney Hurt), 1903-

Jones, Volney Hurt

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Jones, Volney Hurt

Jones, V. H. 1903- (Volney Hurt),

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Jones, V. H. 1903- (Volney Hurt),

Jones, Volney H. 1903- (Volney Hurt),

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Jones, Volney H. 1903- (Volney Hurt),

Jones, V. H. 1903-

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Jones, V. H. 1903-

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1903-04-30

1903-04-30

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1982

1982

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Biographical History

Curator of ethnology and professor of anthropology at the Museum of Anthropology of University of Michigan.

From the description of Volney H. Jones papers, 1945-1948. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 34421611

Volney H. Jones was a leading ethnobotanist and served as Curator of Ethnology at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology from 1945 to 1969.

From the description of Volney H. Jones papers, 1909-1979. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 85778203

Volney Hurt Jones was born on April 30, 1903 in Comanche, Texas. He received an Associate in Science certificate from North Texas Agricultural College in 1927 and a B.A. in agriculture from Texas A&M; University in 1929. He then enrolled in the graduate program in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico, studying ethnobotany under Edward Castetter. Jones was awarded a master's degree in 1931.

In 1931, Jones left New Mexico to take a position as a student assistant in the Ethnobotanical Laboratory at the University of Michigan's Museum of Anthropology, working under Melvin Gilmore. With Gilmore in poor health, Jones was called upon to take over much of the work of the lab almost from the earliest days of his appointment. When Gilmore died in 1940, Jones became head of the lab and the museum's ethnographic collections, though he did not receive the full official title of Curator of Ethnology until 1945. Jones also taught in the Department of Anthropology, and was particularly known for his popular course on Native Americans. He was named assistant professor in 1945 and associate professor in 1952. Jones held these positions until his retirement in 1969. Jones spent his entire professional career at Michigan, though he took a fifteen-month leave of absence from the university to work in rubber production in Haiti during World War II.

The Ethnobotanical Laboratory served as a central facility for researchers throughout the country to send ethnological and archaeological plant specimens for taxonomic identification and analysis. This work brought Jones in contact with many of the major figures in the fields of archaeology and ethnobotany, and the analyses from the over 350 specimen reports Jones authored were cited countless times in field reports and publications (though Jones did not always receive proper attribution).

Jones conceived of ethnobotany as much broader than simple identification and listing of plant samples, however. His ecological perspective on the field, which he defined as "the study of the interrelationships between primitive man and plants," was instilled in the many students he mentored over the years and shaped its future development. Jones was particularly notable for his pioneering work in paleoethnobotany; little recognized at the time they were done, Jones' studies of the biological remains of archaeological sites received renewed attention through the ongoing research of his former students, particularly Richard Yarnell, Vorsila Bohrer, and Richard Ford.

Jones' interest in Native Americans extended to his activities outside of the university as well. He served on several state commissions related to Native Americans in Michigan. He was also president of the Memorial to the American Indian Foundation, an organization formed in Ann Arbor in 1953 with an eye to erecting a sculpture in Gallup, New Mexico. Jones was also sometimes called upon to use his ethnobotanical knowledge in unusual ways, including serving as an expert witness from the 1940s to 1960s in the identification of marijuana plants for criminal cases.

Jones was married to Joyce Hedrick, a mycologist, from 1933 until her death in 1978. They had one son, Alan, born in 1937. Jones died on December 12, 1982 in Ann Arbor.

Related Resources

Additional biographical information about Volney Jones may be found in The Nature and Status of Ethnobotany, edited by Richard I. Ford, University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology Anthropological Papers no. 67, and "Volney Hurt Jones, 1930-1982" by C. Wesley Cowan, American Antiquity 53(3), 1988, pages 455-460.

For further information about the Ethnobotanical Laboratory, see "The Ethnobotanical Laboratory at the University of Michigan" by Melvin R. Gilmore, published as University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology Occasional Contributions, no. 1, as well as the Melvin R. Gilmore Papers, available at the Bentley Library.

From the guide to the Volney H. Jones papers, 1909-1979, 1930-1979, (Bentley Historical Library University of Michigan)

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https://viaf.org/viaf/107913901

https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n95031387

https://id.loc.gov/authorities/n95031387

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Anthropology

Anthropology

Ethnobotany

Indians of North America

Indians of North America

Indians of North America

Paleoethnobotany

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Michigan

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Michigan

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Aleutian Islands (Alaska)

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Aleutian Islands (Alaska)

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15552931