Thursday, April 7, 2011

On and On it Goes

The conquest of Wales was first started by the Anglo-Saxons (Germanic folks), then the Danes (Vikings), and then Normans (Northern French). By the time of Edward I [one of the first monarchs to speak Anglo-Saxon], the Normans had been working on this conquest for more than two centuries. The "barons" who were placed along the western border of "Norman land" took turns fighting the Welsh, and then fighting the Norman monarchy. On the other side, the Welsh would fight the Normans, or marry into the Norman families, and fight the Welsh. Back and forth it would go, on and on it would go, until fighting each other was just part of the landscape. Edward had already had his border warfare while yet a young prince under his father Henry III, and had a pretty good idea what was involved fighting with these crazy, independent, Welsh. It was not until the 12th year of his reign (1284), that he finally succeeded in making Wales a "Principality". The English would call this "Statutum Wallie", and the Welsh would call this "Statues of Rhuddlan" produced 3 March 1284. It was here that Wales, "...the newly conquered Principality..." was divided into six counties and placed under "English" jurisdiction. Thus begins the English records of its Welsh domain. It is in these records that the surname JONES begin to appear. The new English counties in Wales were grouped as follows: 1) Anglesey, Carnarvon, and Merioneth, known collectively as "North Wales" and were called "...the jurisdiction of the Justice of Snowdon..." 2) Flint 3) Carmarthen, with a later addition of Pembroke, came to be known as "South Wales". 4) Cardigan, which came to called "West Wales". Sheriffs and coroners were to be appointed for each county, and the English court system was to be applied. Of course, all of this involved record keeping, and these records became the source of analysis for the JONES surname. Chamberlains, sheriffs, ministers, receivers and other officers of these new Welsh counties formed many new records. This analysis will be presented in future posts. Much more to come!

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