Text Box: More about the book


           Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio was created by the family of Dr. Nelson E. Jones, a remarkable group of amateur naturalists and artists who intended for it to be used as a companion volume to Audubon’s Birds of America. The book was their daughter, Genevieve’s idea but the parents were reluctant to support the undertaking of such an ambitious and expensive project until Genevieve became despondent over a broken engagement.

           Concerned over her fragile mental state, they encouraged her to begin the book as a distraction. When part one of Genevieve’s work was issued, leading ornithologists praised the illustrations as being even more beautiful than Audubon’s and former President Rutherford B. Hayes and then college student Theodore Roosevelt added their names to the subscription list. When Genevieve died suddenly from typhoid fever, her family took up the completion of the work in her memory.

           In 1935, Genevieve’s book was described as one of the most beautiful books ever created in America but very few Americans have had the opportunity to see it.

           America’s Other Audubon relates a little known tale of American ingenuity and resourcefulness; about a family working together to overcome grief by funneling their talents, energies, and financial resources into the completion of a masterpiece.


           America’s Other Audubon






Back row from the left: Steven, Michael, and Lloyd Jonnes;* front row from the left:

Marilyn Jonnes, Joy M. Kiser, and

Leslie K. Overstreet

examine one of the

Smithsonian Institution's copies.


                 *(who use a variant spelling of the family name)

The Jones family, 1858

“I have been enjoying simply browsing and admiring this wonderful book, for both the skill of the human artist and the intricacy of the birds’ constructions. The most remarkable thing is that this work has been neglected for so long, and I’m very pleased to see it now getting the recognition it deserves.”

—David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds