Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Beginnings

The JONES surname had its beginning with struggle...struggle between two races, struggle between two languages, and struggle between two cultures. Ironically, these two races had their own beginnings within the same central European geography. One was south of the Danube, and the other north. The one south was centered around salt mines, which gave it the name Hallstatt Culture, from the very word for salt. The one north ultimately migrated to the coastal areas facing the North Sea to become Jutes, Angles, and Saxons. It was the clash of these two cultures lasting more than a thousand years that led to the surname JONES. Each culture shared a common belief (paradigm) that "might makes right". To both cultures the sword certainly spoke louder than words, and it was by the sword that both survived and expanded to end up fighting each other in a land called Albion.

The Hallstatt Culture which, at first, shared a common European language root with the northern tribes, branched westward to a developing period call "La Tene". Here a warrior-aristocracy evolved where a warrior took his two-wheeled chariot and sword to his grave! The earliest roots of languages, by this time, had split with the Celtic branch dividing from the Germanic branch. They both shared the culture of family, which was the center of society and social rank. It is unclear at what point the southern group became known at "Celts", but they had an advantage over most other tribes due to iron. Their iron weapons had a distinct advantage when their might was to make right. As their culture moved southward, eastward, and westward, they shared a common language called "Continental Celtic" which was to branch into Brythonic, Gaulish, and Manx. The Germanic branch divided into the Northern Germanic languages and the Western Germanic languages. By the time the Anglo-Saxon language and the Welsh language collided on an island centuries yet to come, their tongues had become so distinct and different sounding, that they could not understand or pronounce the other's speech.

It is the conflict between these two languages that leads to the surname JONES.

1 comment: