Thursday, September 27, 2012

English Border Counties and The Surname JONES

The English counties that border Wales became a center of activity for the JONES surname.  The figure below shows the number of legal cases involving someone with the surname JONES from 1500 AD to 1700 AD.  The counties in Wales have been discussed in previous posts, and they are shown by the slanted blue lines.

Salop heads the list with 41 cases. [This county becomes important in my own JONES family.]
Hereford and Gloucester share roughly the same number (33), with Somerset coming in at 35 cases.  Wiltshire is a close forth with 29 cases.   As one moves further east, the number of JONES seem to drop off dramatically indicating the legal conflicts for the JONES families are pretty close to Wales.  There are several counties in England during this time period that had no JONES families involved.  These are yet to be discussed.  At any rate, the border counties had their share of the JONES surname.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Number Analysis: Wales and Jones

Several of the previous post have shown the chronology of the JONES surname as it appears in the English legal records.  Starting in the south, the surname appears in a gradual pattern of spread from the "border" counties to the western coastal counties.  The following figure shows a map of the total number of JONES surnames appearing over the period 1500-1700 for the counties of Wales.  This demonstrates the total number of those with the JONES surname that were involved in the English legal records.

Monmouth seems to be the "hotbed" of legal action with almost twice as many cases with the JONES surname occurring. [#77]   William FitzOsbern began the Norman occupation here in 1068 AD. [After the Roman and Saxon of course.]  It was here that Geoffrey of Monmouth (ca. 1100AD) took his name, and wrote his now famous stories. [The world of literature would never be the same!]

Montgomery comes in a distant second, with the Montgomery family (Roger de Montgomery), perhaps finding things a little more difficult in the north.  His son, Robert of Belesme, probably helped things by trying to set up his own kingdom which Henry I frustrated.  It would seem that Denbigh and Shropeshire produced a similar number of legal cases. [#44...#41...#40]

Those counties surrounding Monmouth are pretty close to the same number of JONES with Glamorgan (#34), Hereford (#33), Carmarthen (#30), and Brecon (#29).

The western most counties show a distant third, with Angelesey showing the fewest.(#5).  Mereioneth (#16), Cardigan (#12), and Caernarvon (#8) sharing the same with Pembroke (#8) is shown.

Interesting, that Chester, the northern most border county only shows #5.  I suspect this has to do with the fact that Chester had already established the English legal system here since Hugh d'Avranches had his go at it. [One of his nicknames was "the Wolf" given for his ferocity against the Welsh.]

At any rate, the total number of those recorded with the JONES surname 1500-1700 is shown.