Friday, April 26, 2013


Merion, who from Welsh ancestry, was of lineal descent from Cunedda. He is credited with saving north Wales from the Irish after the fall of Rome, thus giving his name to this ancient territorial designation.  Thus, "Meirionydd" was the district over which he ruled.

The first with the surname JONES recorded in the English legal records for this area was William Jones, 1547 - 1551. [Bundle 1238/ No. 50]  He his described as "an infant by Edward Pery his guardian".  In this record, the reasons for the suit had to do with "messuages" [land] in "Llandecwyn" which was owned by Humphrey Jones, "father of complainant".  Therefore, William Jones is listed by case in the records, but Humphrey Jones would have to be alive in the area before this time.  "John ap Evan ap Rice" and "Rice ap Jevan" were listed as "Plantiff(s)".  This again shows how the English records related to the surname JONES and the name John/Jevan.

 A map is shown of Merioneth, and its general geographic location in Wales.

 A detailed discussion of Merionethshire and its history can be found in Annals and Antiquities of The Counties and County Families of Wales, by Nicholas, Vol. II, pp. 649-714.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Edward I continued to slice and dice the ancient comots of Wales under the Statute of Rhuddlan 1283.  The ancient region know as Tegaingl was to become Flintshire.  Ironically, the very town of Rhuddland is in this county where the very statue was signed in 1283.

The first JONES recorded in the English legal records was Edward Jones, 1544. [Bundle 1135/No. 30]
His suit was against  "Edward Puelston, esq., son and heir of Roger Puelston, knt."  Both these folks ended up being connected to my own JONES family tree.  Various geographic locations such as "Mastyn" [Mostyn], "Basingwerk"[ Basingwerk Abby], Pengwern, and Holywell were play a role in my JONES family history.  Several of these locations are shown in the figure below in the context of of northeast Wales.

The geographic relationships between Chester, Wrexham, Llangollen, and St.Asaph are shown.  It was in this area that my JONES family took its roots.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The first English document using the name "Denbigh" is found 24 October, 1282, under Edward I. [Calendar of Patent Rolls, Vol. 2, p.38-39 ]  Before this time, it seems to have been referred to a "Perfedd-wlad" meaning the interior land.  There were four "cantrefs" which could be viewed as our counties of today.  These were 1) Rhos, 2) Rhyfoniog, 3) Ystard, and 4) Dyffryn.  These cantrefs were to play an important role in my own JONES surname family tree.

The first JONES (spelled Johnes) was Robert Johnes, listed as "vicar of Llanvau" [ Llan-fairdyffryn-clwyd] in the records of 1553 - 1555. [bundle 1363/no.55-56]  A John Jevans (1538), and a  Jeavan ap Griffith ap David ap Tuder (1544) appear before Robert, which show how the spellings were being listed.

Interestingly, it is recorded that "Thomas ap Jevan ap David ap Blethyn, alias Thomas Jones" is clearly listed [bundle 1363/ no. 62] during the same time period 1553 - 1555.  This shows the transition from the Welsh naming system to the English surname system. 

It is my own JONES family that has its earliest bridge from the Welsh to the English naming system during this transition period, and from this geographic area.  What a deal!