Family Trees Provide Demographic Information

by Fielding M. McGehee III

The Jonestown Institute has completed its latest work on the family trees for the people who died in Jonestown, and plans to upload the information to the biographical boxes by the end of 2017.

The trees, which are located on the Demographics page in the Jonestown Research section, were initially created several years ago, but have not been used as much as we would like. This is in part to their being on a page which receives fewer visitors than others, and in part because identifying the trees is, by necessity, somewhat non-intuitive.

The model we have adopted since the trees’ creation is to name each one after the most senior Jonestown resident who was part of that tree. This means that – for example – the tree which includes Jim Jones’ name (certainly the name which receives the most hits on the site) is not named after him but rather after his mother, Lynetta Jones.

The hope is that the inclusion of information on the family trees in the biographical boxes themselves will drive more traffic to the page.

In the meantime, the trees have formed one of the bases for demographic analyses, most recently resulting in the update of an article on the breakdown of the population of Jonestown by race, gender, age, and family relationships. As part of that breakdown, we have added statistical charts and graphs summarizing the demographic research.

The trees continue to grow, as we learn of more and more connections between families. In addition, many relatives of the Jonestown dead have asked to be listed with their family members. Finally, documents released to this site by the FBI have provided additional leads, especially to other Temple members.

We ask that anyone with additional information on the names and relationships of different family members, including their inter-locking branches with other trees, contact this site. Although we are working with the best information we have, we acknowledge that records we examine may be inaccurate and that we have made mistakes with the information we have, and we are always open to corrections.

Last modified on October 30th, 2017.
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