Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jones Surname to Ireland

The Celtic tribal groups had exchanged their cultures and language across the Irish Sea from the earliest days. The Irish, taking advantage of Roman withdrawal, competed with the Scots, Picts, and Saxons, for a piece of Welsh territory. Inscribed stones document this exchange of culture, which became scattered about the landscape of Wales. [Ogam inscriptions, some with Latin and Ogam.] It was the threat of Irish invasion that brought Cunedda from the Men of the North to help save Gwynedd! [The northern most territory in Wales.]

Things had pretty much settled down by the Norman invasion. The Celtic Church had adopted the Roman Church way of life [hair cuts, calender, marriage, and the like] except for a few of those fringe elements that seemed to want to remain a little more independent. Hadrian IV, the first and only English Pope (1154-1159 AD), decided to give Ireland to Henry II. This Pope essentially wanted Henry II to conquer Ireland and bring this island under the influence and guidance of the Church in Rome. Henry II directed Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, nicknamed Strongbow, to take a leadership roll in this endeavor. Strongbow took a large number of Welsh archers and Welsh cavalry to Ireland. These folks were essentially private adventurers from Wales seeking lands of their own. This invasion was most successful around the city of Dublin, and English law was established as in an English shire. The area around Dublin became know as "the Pale". Under Edward I, Dublin, Waterford, and Cork became the major trading towns under English (was actually Norman) control.

It was during this time time that many of the Welsh families settled in Ireland. Here they began their families' tradition among the Irish. Of course the Welsh kept some of their culture, language, and naming system which was always a puzzle to the Normans, Anglo-Saxons, and ultimately what became the English. Thus the Welsh brought to Ireland their frequently used Christian name JOHN. The Church, using Latin, would spell it IOAN. The Normans using French would spell it JEVAN. The Welsh using their language would spell it SION. The Anglo-Saxons using their language spelled it JOHN. Those Welsh who mostly came to fight were under Norman influence and adopted JEVAN. The Irish would spell it "SEAN" (Shawn) The literature of the time records both "ap Jevan", "ap John", and in many cases "ap Ievan". Thus begins the JONES surname in Ireland. [More to come!]

For reference to Ogam see:

"A History of Wales", by John Davies, p. 47.

"The Celtic Realms", by Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick, pp. 38-40.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Average Age Admission, Oxford 1500-1599 For Jones Surname

Researching the JONES surname often requires some additional work. How to get around all those brick walls when they present their ugly heads seem to be a common experience. For me this occurred in my JONES family tree climbing when I discovered a number of family members attended that university called Oxford. Thomas, Richard, and Henry, all coming from Wales between 1500 and 1599. How does one go about sorting out all those with the first name Thomas, Richard, and Henry? Over the years, a detailed chronology has served to help separate many among the branches. See:

To aid this chronology, I asked what was the average age of those who where admitted to Oxford for the years 1500-1599? This was necessary since there were 146 individuals with the surname JONES admitted to Oxford, and only 72 gave their ages at admission. [49%] Knowing the average age at admission, no matter what the first name, would allow one to estimate a birth year. The figure above shows the results of this study.

There were 72 individuals with the surname JONES admitted to Oxford with the age at admission given. The range was 12 years [the youngest], to 30 years old [the oldest]. The average age at admission was 17.32 years. The most common age was tied between age 16 and age 19 [ each with 12]. Two folks were at the upper range of 29 and 30 years. Removing these two in the totals would only change the average age to 16.97 years. So, overall, it would seem that the JONES "young ins" were around 17 years old when they left Wales to visit the big city. If a Richard JONES was admitted 1576 and no age at admission was listed, it would estimate his birth year around 1559. A starting point for exploring those JONES families having children around 1559 in the area of Wales.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jones Surname: Oxford/Cambridge 1500-1600 County of Origin

Folks who shared the JONES surname, and attended Oxford and Cambridge between the years 1500-1600, were evaluated for their county of record. Every JONES admission who had their county of origin listed was recorded. The map to the right displays the results.

Pink color represents those recorded from Cambridge and the Blue color represents those from Oxford. The yellow color shows those counties that did not have a JONES surname recorded. Those counties that had a JONES attending both Universities are represented in white, with a pink and blue outline around the county.

Twelve counties in England did not have a person with the JONES surname attending between 1500-1600. All the Welsh counties had a JONES recorded, with only Pembroke going to Cambridge. Twenty one counties had a JONES attend Oxford only, and eleven counties had a JONES attend Cambridge only. Seven counties had a JONES from which both Oxford and Cambridge were attended.

Those attending Cambridge seem to cluster to the north, east, and southeast. Those attending Oxford seem to cluster from the west, and southwest.

Ireland also had a number of JONES attend, going both to Oxford and Cambridge.

The JONES surname moving into the educational system of England 1500-1600. There were a few of us there.