Monday, April 7, 2014


To date, more than 36,000 page views have been recorded on "The Jones Surname" blog spot.  This would just be a fraction of the folks that carry this surname!   Anyway, a new blog called "Networking Jones Genealogy" has been developed, just to help those who have an interest in sharing their expertise in this world of genealogy. 

The blog is organized around key "themes" that have been important in my own 50+ years of tree climbing.  The subjects are presented so that the individual who shares interest in this topic can identify themselves to the readers of the blog.  Hopefully this will offer a chance to connect (network) with others who have the same interest.  It is intended to be on the JONES surname, but I suspect there will be others who can share in the adventures along the way.

The "themes" are broad and general at first, and will represent key areas of research.  As the blog develops, the subjects will become more specific.  To begin, the broad themes are: 1) geography (g.), 2) chronology (ch.), 3) DNA (d.), 4) key variables (k.), 5) individual researchers (i.), 6) resources (r.), and 5) coat of arms (a.).  Each post may contain a number of these themes, and they will be coded with the abbreviations outlined above.  The reader can then place a comment with each post, if they share this interest. 

The blog is found at  ...check it out, and please comment if your share this terminal illness.

Monday, March 17, 2014


The suburbs of Bristol have a lot to do with the first to record the surname JONES.  It is for Gloucester County of course, its location shown below.

It was 25 June, 1441 (Henry VI) that a Thomas White, the heir of Bernard White "burgess of Bristol" had to settle the estate.  It is listed as "settlements of Thomas White, from John Godarde".  It had to do with lands in the town of Bristol.  The settlement involved the following: 1) Thomas Younge, 2) John Bailly, 3) John Morgan, 4) John Benet, and 5) Robert Jones.  A lot Welsh surnames involved here.  These folks must have been involved in some kind of agreement which the White family needed to settle.  Many of these surnames [White, Younge, Morgan, and Bennett (Benet)] were involved in my own JONES family.  What a deal!

Monday, February 24, 2014


A knock down...drag out...kind of place is "here" were the "ford" crossed the Wye.  Ever since the ancient Britons and the Romans began the struggle, the area became a strategic military location where the to and fro of battle often occurred.  First the Romans, then the Saxons, and then the Normans all struggled to gain control of this area.

Interestingly it was Agnes Jones who came to be the first to record the surname Jones. [Bundle 422/ No. 41]  Between 1518 and 1529 she had to deal with the detention of "deeds, messuage & garden in Little Marcle".  The female was often involved in land disputes as heir or widow of someone who had recently died. 

The dates are before the Act of Union 1536, which most likely represents the impact of English law (cultural and social structure) in this southern border country.  A fact due to the continual conflict between the folks since the Roman times, down to the Tudor reign of Henry VII.

Well here, at Hereford, you have her...Agnes Jones, 1518 - 1529.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shropshire (Salop)

The Cornavii and Ordovices were the first "Celtic" folks to occupy the land that was to become Shropshire.  It was held by these Britains as part of the "Kingdom of Powys", where the chief town (capital) was called "Pengwerne".  However, it was the Anglo-Saxons who provided the name "Scrobbes - Byrig - Scyre" [ the shire of "Scrobbes-Byrig"].

The first of the Jones surname was Roger Jones, 1551 - 1553. [Bundle 1304/ No. 58]  He is listed as "of Edmonton, baker ".  The case was regarding "gavel kind" (all sons inheriting equal parts) for land in the township of Llynglyses.  This land was "late of  John ap Roger, dec'd. father of complaintant".  The suit was against "William ap David ap Jevan" and "Richard ap David ap Jevan".  This case shows the overlap of the formation of the Welsh system of naming, and the English system of surnames.  I suspect that Roger Jones' Welsh name was Roger ap John ap Roger.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


The last series of posts [Monday, March 11, 2013 - Monday, November 18, 2013] have presented the Jones surname that first appears in the counties of Wales.  I thought it might be of interest to continue this theme into the counties of England.  It will begin with the counties that border Wales [Marches], and in later post move east, northeast, south, and southeast.

The first county along the border is Chester.  It was one of the earliest counties to be organized along the Norman feudal system. [Palatine of Chester].  The map is that of England and Wales, to show the general geographic locations.  The county of Chester is colored blue.

John Jones was the first to appear in the English legal records. [1558 - 1579 : Bundle 99/ No. 94]
The case involves a Robert Fletcher with the reasons being "tithes".  The location is given as "Bromborough".  Of course, it would have to be a John Jones.

Monday, November 18, 2013

First JONES Surname In Wales By County

The following table summarizes the last series of posts discussing the first to have the JONES surname in Welsh counties between 1500 - 1560.  It puts together (by date) those who first appear in the English legal records of the day.  The name of the Welsh county is given first, followed by the year that a individual with the surname JONES appears in that county.  This is followed by the name of the individual as recorded in the legal records.   The date of the post which discusses this county, and gives the documentation of each individual presented is shown. 

Anglesey is the only Welsh county during this period that did not have an individual appear with the JONES surname.  Glamorgan is only Welsh county to have a JONES surname appear before the Act of Union 1536.  There are a variety of first names with only "William" occurring twice.  This figure will provide at least a starting date and location for the genealogist seeking the origin of the JONES surname in Wales.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


The last county in Wales to be listed is the first (earliest) county in Wales to show the surname JONES.  Of course, it had to be "John Jones"...:-).  It is the county of Glamorgan.

John Jones was identified as the "son & exec." of Jankyn ap John [1515 - 1518] (bundle 421/ no. 72).  The case had to do with the lease of "...1/2 the mills of Cardiff held by the s'd Jankyn of John Howell, baker".

Now Tacitus was the first to describe these folks in his "The Life of Agricola".  He writes:

"The dark complexion of the Silures, their usually curly hair, and the fact that Spain is the opposite shore to them, are an evidence that Iberians of a former date crossed over and occupied these parts."
These Romans were to take control of this area by 84 AD. 

It would seem that the legal system of England had already established its influence well before the Act of Union" 1536.

Well, say hello to John Jones, the first to take this surname in Wales.

The history of Glamorganshire can be found in Nicholas, Vol. I, pp. 458 - Vol.II - 648.  The reference to Tacitus can be found in "The Historians of Ancient Rome", ed. Ronald Mellor, p.399.