Monday, April 18, 2011
Ancient Petitions A Transition Period
The records of the English nation expanded greatly after Edward I. English vernacular was the common speech, but the language of the realm was French. [William I brought this language with him, and it became the signal of prestige for this new society and culture.] Latin remained the principle language of religion and learning. When King John lost control of the Norman's French territories, the statues of French went south, and by Henry III, English words in Latin case were the norm for Norman courts of the day. Edward I brought this French-Latin-English [actually old English, Anglo-Saxon], to front page, and a transition to the English language began. It was not until 1365 that the Mayor and Alderman of London ordered court proceedings to be held in English. In 1362, the Chancellor opened Parliament in English. Thus a transition period between the French and English languages was taking place during the castle building time of Edward I. These early records have been abstracted for the surname JONES before 1327. The surname JONES does not appear! The spelling of John occurs in a variety of forms which demonstrate this transition period. They are as follows: 1) Ivens [Robert de Ivens], 2) Jeaen [Roderigo de Jeaen of Spain], 3) Jevan [Eynon ap Jevan...multiple listings], 4) John [John ap Meredith...multiple listings], and 5) Jehon, Johan, John, [all three spellings listed together]. The system of names appear multiple times indicating that the Welsh had come under the English legal system. Names such as "Rhys ap Jevan", "Griffith ap Madoc ap Jevan", "Rhys ap Griffith ap Llewellyn ap Jevan", and "Eynon ap Jevan" appear. Likewise, "Jevan ap Cadogan", "Jevan ap Hywel", "Jevan ap Thlegat", and "Jevan ap Traharen" appear. The name John appears in this context as "John ap Hopkyn", "John ap Meredith", and "John ap Rhys" . On the English side, the name John is listed as "John of Eltham, son of Edward II", "John, son of Henry IV", and "John of Gaunt". The name Elis de Joneston is the only spelling that contains JONES. [This information is abstracted from an Index of Ancient Petitions, Great Britain Public Records Office, List and Indexes. Kraus Reprint Corporation, New York, 1963. Titled: "Index of Ancient Petitions, Generally before Edward III (1327-1377)] This documentation has been published in The Jones Genealogist, Vol. V, No. 4, Nov/Dec 1993.