Aurelia Jones was a prominent member of the Black community in mid-19th century London, Ontario, Canada, and the spouse of Abel Bedford Jones, a Black entrepreneur and religious and political leader.
After A.B.’s death, Aurelia moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The archival traces of her life tell the story of a migration from one Black community with British and American affiliations to another with strong Caribbean influences.
As research associates on the Black Londoners Project at Western University, we are finding historical clues about people like Aurelia Jones and exploring the Black history of London, Ont., by using a digital mapping approach. This methodology helps to understand the movements of individual people and how these movements, in turn, reveal connections within communities and to other places.
Black migration to and from Canada is an ongoing process dating back to the 17th century. The migrations of Black individuals often reflect the geographic and cultural connections of Black communities across borders …