Friday, November 30, 2012

A Big Picture

Putting the family tree together has its challenges, especially with a surname like JONES.  What methods can be used?  What charts are needed?  How do I get a "big picture"?

The following figure is from one of my research notebooks (RN #145).  It shows a way to visualize a family tree that can also be used to help check if the generations fit.

A blank sheet of  8.5 x 11 inch graph paper is used.   A chronology is equally marked along the right hand side using 50 year sequence.   A number/coding system is used for each generation, with each individual in the family tree given a distinct code.  A coloring system is then used to outline each beginning branch of the tree, so that a flow chart like to one above is produced on a single page.  The generations should then fit within the chronology outlined on the right hand side. 

Graph paper, pencil, ruler, and color markers are the basic ingredients.  Give it a try to get that big picture.

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. ]

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Jones Surname Museum

A museum dedicated to a single surname...the surname JONES.  Who would have guessed that some 12 years ago an idea floating around in ones head would become the only one in the world.  As far as I have been able to determine, it is the only museum that gives the history, origin, and details about a single surname,  the JONES surname. [Please let me know if anyone has information otherwise.]

The picture below shows one segment of the museum as it tells the story of the JONES surname beginning with Roman Britain 40 BC.  Can you believe it?  Beginning with the first writers  who recorded facts about the tribal groups which occupied the land that was to become the home of my JONES DNA, the story is told.   The story continues through 12 panels that give a chronology as follows:

  Roman Britain 40 BC - 400 AD
  The "Britons" 400 AD - 600 AD
  Early Wales 600 AD - 800 AD
  Wales of the Princes 800 AD - 1000 AD
  Age of Conquest 1000 AD - 1100 AD
  Age of the Marches 1100 AD - 1200 AD
  Age of Annexation 1200 AD - 1300 AD
  Age of Towns, Trade, Taxes, and Tragedy 1300 AD - 1400 AD
  The Final Rebellion 1400 AD - 1500 AD
  Act of Union 1500 AD - 1600 AD
  The final Twist
  House of Tudor Trevor 850 AD to present
The museum is located at The Golden Lion Bed & Breakfast, Danville, KY.  It is open to the public most afternoons if arrangements are made by phone 859-583-1895.  Come and walk through the history of the JONES surname.