Monday, November 12, 2012

East of England

The distribution of the JONES surname is shown in the figure below.  It represents the occurrence of the JONES surname in the legal cases of England before 1700.   The number of cases found recorded in the Public Record Office for 1) Index of Ancient Petitions (generally before Edward III (1327-1377), 2) Calendar of Close Rolls (AD 1381-1495), 3) List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol IV, for dates 1500-1515, 4) Lists of Early Chancery Proceedings Vol.V - Vol.X, 1515-1558, 5) Index of Chancery Proceedings (Series II) Vol. I 1558-1579 and for years 1579 - 1600 (given as Vol. XXIV), 6) Proceeding on the Court of Requests, Vol 4, James I (1603-1625), 7) Index of Chancery Proceedings (Series II), Vol. III, AD 1621-1660, and 8) Public Record Office, London: Chancery Proceedings, Bridge's Division, 1613-1714, Vol. IV, I-Q are included.

The counties colored green represent the English counties that did not have a legal case involving one with the JONES surname.  Durham, Derby, Nottingham, and Isle of Wight all failed to record a legal case.  Either the JONES families were perfect angels or some other cause was the reason for the lack of JONES surnames. [I doubt the perfect angel approach.]

The counties colored blue represent those English counties which had less than three (3) cases during the period of study. They certainly cluster to the east and north of England. [Except for Cornwall to the southwest.]  A more likely explanation is based on the following figure.

The Viking settlements that came to occupy most of the north and east of England (875-950 AD) are roughly shown above.   Amazing that they follow the same distribution that has no JONES surname. This would support the facts that the Danes were not Christian (at first), and would not have the name "John" in a lot of their family trees.   The also became the "law of the land" for many generations leaving those Welsh, who were to become English many years yet to come, little room to expand into the north and east of England.

[Not sure why Cornwall shows a lack of those with a JONES surname.  Anyone have any theories why?  Please post any suggestions or ideas. ]

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