Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The First JONES
The first of my direct JONES line that is recorded among the pages of history is Beli Mawr, son of Manogan. His name first appears in the most ancient of Welsh documents called "The Mabinogion". [A translation by Gwyn Jones and Thomas Jones, Everyman Press, is available.] In the manuscript known as "The Four Independent Native Tales", a story titled "Lludd and Llefelys" is told. He is recorded here as having four sons; Lludd, Caswallawn, Nyniaw, and Llefelys. A daughter is given by the name Penarddun in another story titled "Branwen Daughter of Llyr". Now Ashley in his book "British Kings & Queens" states that Beli was a "semi-legendary British king who was probably an historical ruler" (p. 69) He dates him to around 100 BC and notes that he was from the Silures (southern tribal group), and was "High King" of the Britons. This would place my JONES line 50 years before those Latin writers were to show up. According to the "Historia Brittonum", he is identified as the "King of the Britons" in the time of Julius Caesar. Well, by any account, he was early in the history of Wales. According to Stephens in her book "The New Companion to the Literature of Wales", early heraldry of Wales shows that the eminent families in and the "Old North" claimed descent from Beli Mawr.(p.44) Not a bad start for a JONES line, hey?