Eliza Grew Jones

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Eliza Grew Jones
Missionary to Burma and Siam
Born (1803-03-30)March 30, 1803
Providence, Rhode Island
Died March 28, 1838(1838-03-28) (aged 34)
Bangkok, Siam

Eliza Grew Jones (March 30, 1803[1] – March 28, 1838[2]) is noted for having created a romanized script for writing the Siamese language, and for creating the first Siamese-English dictionary.


Born Eliza Grew to Rev. Henry Grew, Jones was a native of Providence, Rhode Island. Presaging her future accomplishments, an early school teacher noted that she had an unusual ability in languages, learning Greek without the aid of a teacher.[3]

She married Rev. Dr. John Taylor Jones on July 14, 1830.[4] Her husband was ordained in Boston two weeks later under the American Baptist Missionary Union, and the couple was then assigned to work in Burma.

Her first large work was a Siamese-English dictionary that she completed in December 1833, after she had been transferred to Siam. It was not published due to the difficulty of printing with Siamese type. No extant copy is known to exist. Later, she also created a romanized script for writing the Siamese language. She wrote portions of Biblical history in Siamese.

In Burma and Thailand, she gave birth to four children, two of whom died in childhood.

Jones died in Bangkok of cholera on March 28, 1838. She is buried in the Bangkok Protestant Cemetery.[2]

The grave of Eliza Grew Jones in the Bangkok Protestant Cemetery



  1. ^ "Jones, Eliza Grew 1803-1838". Archived from the original on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  2. ^ a b Locke, John Goodwin (1853). Book of the Lockes: A Genealogical and Historical Record of the Descendants of William Locke, of Woburn. James Munroe and Company. p. 269. 
  3. ^ Sigourney 1851:294,296.
  4. ^ Harrison, Jerry Norman (1995). A Few More Descendants of Lewis Jones, 1603-1684. Heritage Books. p. 132. ISBN 0-7884-0219-6. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Dana Lee Robert, American Women in Mission: a social history of their thought and practice, Mercer University Press (1997)
  • Eliza G. Jones, Memoir of Mrs. Eliza G. Jones, Cornell University Library (March 21, 2007)
  • Sigourney, Lydia Howard. 1851. Letters to My Pupils: With Narrative and Biographical Sketches. (Her former teacher wrote of her on pp. 294–302.)