Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jones Surname in Wales after 1500 AD

The Jones surname begins to appear in the counties of Wales on the most part after 1500 AD. The first Jones was Robert in 1496 from Cardiff, but it took those Tudor boys to bring the Welsh into the English system. The figure to the right shows the appearance of the Jones surname as it occurs in the counties 1544 - 1553. North to south, the border counties in Wales begin the connection. The table below shows the number of Jones by Welsh counties over the years 1544 - 1700! All these names begin to appear after the Act of Union 1536. With the reign of Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) the Jones surname rapidly increases with the highest numbers between 1558 - 1579. By 1558 all the counties of Wales, except Pembroke, had a JONES! The first Jones here (Pembroke) appears after 1579. Montgomery had the highest number (44), followed by Denbigh (40), followed by Glamorgan, then Flint (32). Thus by 1579, every county of Wales had a Jones.

These figures are abstracted and copied from The Jones Genealogist, Vol. VI, No. 4, Nov/Dec, 1999. They represent more than 25 years of research into the Jones surname. The English counties will follow. Remember that you can click on the pictures to enlarge the table for the Welsh counties.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Jones Surname 1273 - 1500 in England and Wales

Following the Statues of Rhuddlan, 3 March 1284, the new "Principality" [of Wales] was divided into six counties. Over the next two centuries the JONES surname begins to show up in English records. A small number at first that were scattered about several English counties. The figure to the right shows the dates of the Jones surname as it appears in the counties. Philip Jones, 1312 in Warwickshire, to Robert Jones in Cardiff Castle 1496. It was this Robert Jones that was the first Jones in a county of Wales!

A large number of Joneses are found in Warwickshire 1313 - 1389 which represents one Jones family. The name seems to concentrate in the counties that border on Wales and England [the Marches]. These counties were also involved in wool trade. I suspect this is the major reason that the Jones surname follows this group of English records. The Welsh Marches provided the very best wool in western Europe and many Welsh were dependent on wool. A reference titled : "Power and Profit, The Merchant in Medieval Europe" records that 45,000 sacks of wool were traded in 1301. Each sack of wool represented 180 - 250 sheep! Just think how many sheep! [180 x 45,000 !]

There you have the beginning of the Jones surname in England and Wales. These dates are taken from the historic records of England, Great Britain Public Records Office, List and Indexes, Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1966, New York. [Located at University of Alabama, Main Library, Reference Room, REF.CD 1040.AZ. No. !] The book is : "Power and Profit, The Merchant In Medieval Europe, by Peter Spufford, Thames & Hudson, NY, 2002, pp 327 -328.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Welsh Birth Names 1301 AD

The name given to a male child at birth was announced to the tribe before the elders, and he became an offical member of the kindred. To his birth name, the father's name was joined to his sons, by the Welsh term ap/ab. [ap before a consonant, and ab before a vowel] The tribal chiefs would then add the family's ancestory, by adding the next four generations of grandfathers.

Thus a male child would become a son of a six-generation patrilineal kindred. [patrilineally is through the male side] Thus a kindred was counted to the 4th cousins!

The figure to the right shows a listing of Welsh names recorded in English records of Edward I, 1301. This pattern of names has been discussed in a previous post describing the way English scribes wrote down their Welsh names. A total of 365 names were recorded in the Welsh manner. The following is a description of the "birth" names used in this group of Welsh outlaws.

The 365 names contained a total of 813 birth names. Not surprising was the fact that "Yevan" accounted for 104 (13%) of these names! This was the Norman-French way of spelling John, and it was the most frequent birth name used among this group. The next birth name was "Lewelyn" at 54 (7%). The following list shows the remaining birth names above 1% in descending order:

David 43 (5%), Madok 39 (5%), Griffith 32 (4%), Howel 32 (4%), Yervorth 26 (3%), Waghan 24 (3%), Wilim [William, Wylim] 20(2%), Trahan 19 (2%), Phelip 19 (2%), Gronu 19 (2%), Goch 18 (2%), Res 17 (2%), Seisil 14 (2%), Rosser 14 (2%), Cadugan 13 (2%), Itherl [Itherl] 11 (1%), Eynon 10 (1%), and Ivor 10 (1%). This list of names made up 64 % of the birth names.

The spelling "John" occured only 5 times (.006 %)!

Thus, at this point in the English records of the day, "Jevan" was the most common birth name among the Welsh. This birth name was the root of the JONES surname.

The list is analyzed from Patent Rolls, Edward I, made available by Professor G.R. Boynton, University of Iowa Libraries.

A helpful reference in understanding the Welsh kindred is: "Wales in the Early Middle Ages", by Dr. Wendy Davies, Leicester University Press, 1982.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dane Lands

Just about the time that the Anglo-Saxons began writing down their history, a number of folks showed up wanting some of the land. Vikings they were called, these people from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Arriving around 875 AD they took over a large part of this island, mostly along the coast. The map to the left shows a rough distribution of these settlements down to the very heart of the land. Their language named a multiple of sites and villages which have been marked in green. The Anglo-Saxon continued to fight them right up to the time that the Frenchman William arrived in 1066. The map to the right shows the distribution of the name John as it is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was far from the most common used name, but the blue shows a wider distribution than the green. This would make me believe that it had to do with the establishment of Christianity among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, and not from anything the Danes language had to contribute. Please note that this was the spelling translated as "John".

A helpful reference is "A History of The Vikings", by Gwyn Jones, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1984. [another Jones!]

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saxon Name Calling

Seven manuscripts and two fragments compiled in the 800s AD [after Offa's Dyke] compose what came to be called "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles". It was written in the vernacular at the monasteries instead of being written in Latin. An ecclesiastical calender was used beginning with the year 1 AD, reading, "Octavian reigned for fifty-six years, and in the forty-second year of his reign, Christ was born." It ends in the year 1154 AD with, "King Stephen was dead this year..." Thus for more than one thousand years, the Saxon recorded their calendar. A lot of names were recorded during this time!

It appears that the Saxon's dominate method of listing names [name calling] was just to give the name! "Severus received the kingdom..", "Bratian recieved the kingdom", "Cerdic and Cynric killed a British king named Natanlaod...", "Hengest and Horsa fought Vortieger the king", and many, many other. Occasionally, a qualifier was used such as "Vortigern the king", and "Theodosius the Younger". Many of the religious leaders were identified as "Archbishop Mellitus", and "Higbald, bishop of Lindisfarne...". Thus it would seem that a religious or social position of standing was recognized. Otherwise, just call them by name.

So the Welsh would tell who their father's, father was. The Normans would tell where they came from. The Saxon would call them by name.

The quotes are taken from a wonderful reference titled: "The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, The Authentic Voices of England, From The Time of Julius Caesar To The Coronation of Henry II", translated and collated by Anne Savage. It contains a world of additional pictures and items that give a broad picture of the Anglo-Saxons during this period.