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"She was the sweetest, smartest, most wonderful woman who ever lived."
―Indiana Jones[src]

Anna Mary Jones was the wife of Professor Henry Walton Jones, Senior and the mother of their two children: Henry Jr., nicknamed Indiana, and Susie. Although Susie died young, Anna served as bridge for the mixed relationship between her husband and son.

After traveling the world on a lecture tour with her family between 1908 and 1910 — a trip which saw her fidelity waver in Italy and son almost die in China — she succumbed to scarlet fever in the early half of 1912.

Over the following years, Anna posthumously became the mother-in-law of Deirdre Campbell Jones and Marion Ravenwood as well as grandmother to Indiana's son and daughter.


Anna Mary Jones[2] was born of a wealthy family in Virginia, USA[3] on March 17, 1878.[2] She had at least one sibling: a sister.[5]


Photograph of Henry and Anna Jones's marriage.

When she grew up, Anna met and fell in love with an Oxford University graduate named Henry Jones whom she eventually married in 1898 and kept a modern home with him in New Haven, Connecticut. The following year she gave birth to a son, Henry, named after his father, at their new home in Princeton, New Jersey. The pair had a second child, Susie, but her strength was poor and she died at an early age.[6]

Soon after Henry Jr's birth, Anna gifted her son with Indiana,[4] an Alaskan Malamute whose name Junior would later take for his own in 1905.[2] The senior Henry, meanwhile, had become a successful professor at Princeton University and his books had garnered enough attention to see him invited on a two year long world lecture tour. He accepted, and Anna and her family set out to travel the world in 1908.[4]


July 1, 1899.

Later that year in Italy, she faced a crisis of fidelity as Giacomo Puccini took advantage of the toll her husband's constant absences were taking and Anna found herself being drawn to the opera composer. However, she ultimately stuck to her vows, jilting the suitor at the very same train station where Professor Jones was returning. Henry was overjoyed in seeing that his wife had come to greet him and her faith remained.[7]

In Russia, 1910, Indiana ran away after causing a scene at a wedding at their hosts' estate. Anna had to both worry about Indiana, and care for Indy's tutor, Miss Helen Seymour, who began to fall ill. Concern for Miss Seymour's health prompted her to consider letting Henry continue toward Greece without them once Indiana was found, but the group managed to stick together for the train ride to Odessa and the voyage to Athens. In Athens, a trip to the Parthenon was cut short as Anna felt compelled to return to tend to the ailing tutor. Anna also received word that her sister was in town, and planned a trip to a spa with Miss Seymour and her sister, persuading Henry take their son to Kalambaka - and hoping that the two would become more attached as father and son.[5]

The tour then took Anna and her family to Benares, India before a visit to China found Anna at her son's bedside when he was near death from typhoid fever.[6]

Jones family Princeton

The Joneses in Princeton, 1907.

After the family's return to America, Anna and Henry visited New Orleans with their son during his twelfth year and found they had to drag the jazz aficionado away from Preservation Hall.[8] In 1912, the Joneses were invited to Miss Seymour's home in the United Kingdom. However, Indiana went alone as Anna and Henry were otherwise preoccupied.[9]

At some point, Anna became ill and contracted scarlet fever.[2] Not wanting to worry her husband, she kept him unaware of the illness.[10] She died of complications with the fever on May 16, 1912 at the age of 34.[11]


"What are you trying to do, scare me? You sound like my mother."
―Indiana Jones[src]

While the Joneses would much later argue whether Anna ever understood and sympathised with her husband's obsession with the Holy Grail, her widower maintained that she did. Anna would be a subject of pain for Henry Sr., as she withheld her illness from him. He explained to his son that by the time he was fully aware of the malady all he could do for her was "mourn her".[12]


Photograph of Anna in Indiana's bedroom in 1919.

Posthumously, Anna became the mother-in-law of Deirdre Campbell Jones in 1926.[13] She became a grandmother with the arrival of Mutt Williams in 1938[2] and again with Sophie[14] in the mid-1940s.[15]

In 1957, when Mutt started to complain about his own mother, Indiana warned him to treat her right as people only get one, adding "and sometimes not for long". Later that same year, Anna gained another daughter-in-law with Marion Ravenwood after the latter's wedding with Indiana.[16]

In 1992, Indiana looked back on his mother in his twilight years as the sweetest, smartest, most wonderful woman who ever lived that adored her husband.[17] After telling a woman called Mimi the story of Anna's liaison with Giacomo Puccini, Indiana mentioned that Puccini would go on to write La fanciulla del West, an opera about an American who gives up her home and friends for the man she loves.[18]

Behind the scenes[]

Anna Jones was portrayed by actress Ruth de Sosa in The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.[19]

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade writer Jeffrey Boam brought Indiana Jones's mother into the second revision of the film's script (then simply known as Indy III) in which the character is named Margaret. When Indiana returns home with the Cross of Coronado, Margaret shoos him away as his father is on the telephone.[20] In the final film, Margaret doesn't appear – as she is implied to have passed on by that point – and isn't referenced by name.[12]

The video game Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure came with a replica of Henry Sr.'s Grail Diary, in which Henry Jones referred to his wife as "Mary".[21] However, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles later firmly established the character's first name as "Anna". Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide and The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones combined the two names, reconciling her full name as "Anna Mary Jones".[2][22]

Circustances of death[]

In the The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "London, May 1916", and the bridging material filmed for The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones chapter Spring Break Adventure, Indy mentions that his mother died three years before. As both stories are set in 1916, this statement would suggest Anna's death was in 1913.[23] However, official timelines specifically date the event in 1912.[2] While the Grail Diary replica set Anna's death in 1912,[21] it had her death in the February of that year when the Ultimate Guide later have it occur on May 16.[2]

Although The World of Indiana Jones states that the character died of scarlet fever,[24] it is contradicted in newer footage shot for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles 1999 re-edit, in which Indiana explains that she died of influenza.[23] The former is confirmed in the Ultimate Guide as dying "of complications from" scarlet fever,[2] as well as by the franchise's continuity keeper Leland Chee, who stated that Helen Margaret Seymour was the one who died of influenza.[25]



Notes and references[]

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Passion for Life
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 My First Adventure
  5. 5.0 5.1 Travels with Father
  6. 6.0 6.1 Journey of Radiance
  7. The Perils of Cupid
  8. The Roaring Twenties
  9. Young Indiana Jones and the Titanic Adventure
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade novel
  11. The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones has a memorial card stating that she was 33 when she died on March 3, 1912. Indiana Jones: The Ultimate Guide states that she died on May 16, 1912, and would have been 34 based on her birthdate in that source.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  13. Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils
  14. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Ireland, April 1916"
  15. The teleplay for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles episode "Peking, March 1910" identifies Sophie as being in her late forties, during the events of the episode's bookends, which is set in 1993. This would then place Sophie's birth somewhere near the mid-1940s.
  16. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  17. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Young Indiana Jones and the Curse of the Jackal"
  18. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles – "Florence, May 1908"
  19. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
  20. The Complete Making of Indiana Jones
  21. 21.0 21.1 Grail Diary
  22. The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones
  23. 23.0 23.1 Spring Break Adventure
  24. The World of Indiana Jones
  25. Indycron continuity database questions (Web archive)