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.

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