Monday, January 30, 2012

JONES On Jamaica 1670

On St. John's eve, 23 June 1503, Columbus found himself beached on the shores of Jamaica. He spent a year here living off the land until he was rescued. A "starving party" was all that was left as described by Fiske in his book titled: The Discovery of America, Vol. I, p 454. What a way to start a history of this island.

It was not until 1670 that a survey of the Island of Jamaica was recorded in English records. There were six parishes organized after the English system, and 15,198 "persons" were documented in this survey. Those of the JONES surname were:

St. Thomas's Parish - David Jones 70 acres. [ 59 families in this parish.]

St. Andrew's Parish - William Jones 60 acres. [194 families in this parish.]

St. John's Parish - Thomas Jones 373 acres. [ 83 families in this parish.]
- Doctor Thomas Jones 20 acres.

There certainly may be older records with the surname JONES. Anyone please post if you know of earlier records.

Abstracted from: Calendar of State Papers, America and West Indies, 1669-1674, , Edited by, W. Noel Sainsbury, London, 1889. [Kraus Reprint Ltd., Vaduz, 1964.] pp. 99 - 104.

Reference on Columbus: The Discovery of America, With Some Account of Ancient America and The Spanish Conquest, by John Fiske, Vol.I, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Boston, 1892. pp. 454-455.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

First JONES Westminster 1382

Thorney Island was noted as a place of some importance from a very early date. The only ford for a considerable distance gave passage over the Thames to the road leading from Chester to London. Here a Roman fort was positioned. It was stones from this Roman fort that were used to begin the foundations of Westminster. It is recorded that a Saxon monastic church, dating from 750 AD occupied some of the present site. It was not until 1065 AD that the Norman church, which had been some ten years in the making, was consecrated.

It is in the Calendar of Close Rolls that the first JONES is identified. [Reign of Edward I (1272-1307) to Edward IV (1461-1470) p.212.] A Richard Jones along with a John Tererd is given as witness dated 10 March 5 Richard II. John Tererd is identified as "the elder of Esstances". It is dated July 29, 1382, Westminster.

Interestingly, it was during the year 1386 that the downfall of Richard II began. [See: British Kings & Queens, by Mike Ashley, pp.606-607.]

A helpful reference is: The New Guide to Westminster Abbey, by H.F. Westlake, 1916.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

First JONES in Bermuda 1639

A Spaniard named Juan Bermudez was the first European to discover this island in 1505. Little did he know that his name would be associated with a most notorious area of the world called "The Bermuda Triangle"! [Puerto Rico - Miami - Bermuda]

Bermuda was included in the third charter of the Virginia Company, 1612. [Called Somers Island in English documents.] It was after this that 60 English settlers were sent to colonize this small island. Indian and African slaves were transported by 1616 when the island became jointly administered by the Crown and the Company.

On May 17, 1639, an "Indenture" is recorded between a George Smith "citizen & grocer of London" and a David JONES "of Bermuda, planter". It seems that this David JONES was to "...plant oranges & lemon trees in convenient places and to keep tenements in repair." Just imagine, orange and lemon trees, 1639 Bermuda. I wonder if David ever needed to make lemonade out of his lemons.


The European Discovery of America, by Samuel Morison, The Southern Voyages A.D. 1492-1616. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1974. pp. 499-502.

Bermuda Settlers of the 17th Century, by Julia E. Mercer, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD, 1982. [deed found on p.104]

Friday, January 6, 2012

First JONES to Barbados 1628

Following the lead of the Dutch West India Company [established 1621], London merchants named Marmaduke Rawdon, and Edward Foster, sent out a ship to begin the settlement of Barbados. They had obtained a grant of 10,000 acres from the Earl of Carlisle, and were interested in trying to get on the ground floor of what was to be called "The Triangular Trade" routes. The name of their ship was the Marygold, and it arrived Carlise Bay, 5 July, 1628. The company's agents were Capt. Charles Wolferstone, and Capt. John Swan. The "master" of the ship was John Jones.

Some twenty years later, Ralph Harrison married Catherine Jones on 2 November 1643 at Christ Church. Owen Jones and Patrick Jones were active by 23 September 1648 in St. Peter's Parish. Connections between Barbados and the colonies have strong ties.

Good reference is Genealogies of Barbados Families, by James C. Brandow, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1983.

A good reference to the trade routes can be found in Atlas of Maritime History, by Natkiel and Preston, Gallery Books, 1987.