Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Hertford is just north of London.  It would appear that as early as 1515 the surname Jones [spelled Joones in this case] was already active in the legal records.

"Edward Joones" is the name.  He is listed as "of London, brewer". [bundle 421/ no. 52 ]  His case involves a "John Ayleworth of Bristol".  The reason is "detention of deeds, messuage & land in Ridge". London and Bristol were key sea ports for trade through out the rising commerical network.  Why the case is recorded in Hertford is unclear, but I would guess that Edward Joones' family must be from this county.  A "brewer" indeed he is...cheers.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Martin Jones is the only individual identify for the county Bedford.  It not an usual first name for a JONES, but perhaps a related family surname.

The date is 1603 - 1625.  The Bundle is 399 with the No. being 52.  This would make me think that old Martin was closer to 1620 or so.  The location and name of plaintiff is not listed in the index.  It would seem that as one moved closer to the London area [Middlesex] fewer individuals resided with the surname JONES.  Anyone know of this Martin Jones?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Dame Katherine Jones, widow it is.  The date is 1640 -1642, and Griffith Jones is the Plaintiff . [Bundle 407/ No. 88 ]

The location of the case is given as "East Claydon".  This case involves a female who is listed as "Dame" and a "widow".  It must have been a family affair since the plaintiff is also a Jones.  A Griffith Jones to be exact is listed.  This date is at the beginning of the English Civil War, and may have had to do with this episode in history.  Does anyone know the story of this JONES?  Buckingham was a county with a history of sheep and cattle raising.   The major road from North Wales [Holyhead, Chester, to London] came through this area.  The ancient "Watling-street" it was called.   I suspect these JONES were connected.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


The first JONES has to do with a parsonage of Colly Weston.  It would seem that William Alford, "late parson", had taken the "profits of the said parsonage demise". 

Alexander Jones, "parson of Colly Weston", appears to be the defendant, and a "Dame Anne Skevyngton" is the plaintiff.  The case is found in Bundle 1016/ No. 40-42 for the years 1538 - 1544.  It must have been a lengthy case since it covers No. 40 - 42.  It states: "profits of the said parsonage demised to the defendant by William Alford, late parson".   Any JONES families connected out there?

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Thomas Jones 1558 - 1579 is the first with the surname JONES in the county of Leicester.

There are two cases recorded during these years.   Case [101/41] has a plaintiff named "John Shelson" and case [103/9] has "Roger Kyrekeham".  Both cases involve "Thorpe Garendon (Gawden)" or spelled "Garendon (Garadon) Thorpe" in the second case.  The wife of Thomas Jones was listed as Elizabeth. 

Say hello to Thomas and Elizabeth Jones from Leicester County.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Now moving to the eastern side of the Island is Lincoln County.  The first with the surname JONES is a female.

Constance Jones is her name.  The date is 1551 - 1553, and involves a "Robert Alen".   A "messuage" [a dwelling house with the adjacent buildings and courtyard and the adjoining land used in connection with the household] in "Sterlying" and "Bourn" is the issue.  This land is listed as "late of Adam Arnolde, dec'd father of complainant".  [Bundle 1304/ No. 50 - 53 ]

There is a "John Jonson" found in 1538. [Bundle 1016/ No. 58 ]  This spelling may have become Johnson, but maybe even Jones.  No clear direction can be found.  So...Constance Jones is the first with the actual spelling JONES.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Another northern county with a few JONES it is.   In 1651, Jeffery Jones is the first to be discovered among the English legal records. [Bundle 397/ No. 74]

The reason for the case is given as "copyhold of manor Thornthwaite".   The plaintiff is a Thomas Jackson and the case seems to be to carried forward to 1654 [Bundle 396/ No. 100].  Jackson and Jones is certainly an interesting combination.  There are only three cases identified after 1651 - 1700.

Are there any JONES families connected out there...please post a comment.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Another English county with "zero" for JONES.  Cumberland it is.   A previous post outline four counties that did not contain a legal case with the surname JONES between 1400 - 1700 AD.  Having looked through my research on this topic [RN # 91], I discovered that Cumberland County had been missed in the previous post of 7/21/14.  So here it is.

Cumberland Co. is also among the northern most counties.  Durham, Derby, and Nottingham share some things in common with their legal history.  The Danes maintained what became known as "Dane Law".  The following map is my attempt to show the general distribution of these areas.

It is my hypothesis that this Danish/Norwegian influence limited the expansion of the JONES surname into this northern area.  Anyone with any other suggestions please post.

Friday, August 8, 2014


Ann Jones 1695 is the single case involving the JONES surname in Northumberland.  This reflects in the northern most counties a pattern of very few with the JONES surname appearing in the English legal system during the period 1300 - 1700.

The case involved a Thomas Wilson for money issues. [bundle 304/ no. 2 ]  Also, this case is one of the few that involve a female JONES.  Are there any out there who know more about this case?

Monday, July 28, 2014


It was James Peirson and Robert Peirson who where the "Plantiff(s)" against Edward Jones.  The location is listed as "Sedbergh", and the "Bundle" is 102 with the "No." being 31.  The dates of the records are 1558 - 1579.

This record seems to be the only legal case of the JONES surname during the period of study 1327 - 1700.  Not many with the surname JONES in the north counties. {see last post for those with no one recorded with the surname JONES}

Anyone out there know about "Sedbergh"?  Please post a comment...:-).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Zero For JONES

A series of volumes indexing and listing the holdings of the public records office in England can be found. [Great Britain Public Records Office, List and Indexes, New York, Kraus Reprint Corporation, 1966.]  The lists and indexes were abstracted for the surname JONES as part of my tree climbing experiences.  They have served as the documents pertaining to the dates and distribution of the JONES surname in England and Wales given in the posts surrounding this discussion. 

From 1327 to 1714 there are four counties in England that have ZERO with the surname JONES!  These are shown below.

Derby, Durham, Nottingham, and the Isle of Wight are these counties.  Over the years I have suspected that the first three (northern counties) situations are due to the impact of Danish occupation, and "Dane Law".  The Saxons and Danes spent a lot of time struggling to control the legal activities of these counties.  I do not have a good rational for the Isle of Wight.   Not sure why there are no JONES in the legal system, but they must have been of good behavior...:-).  There certainly must be other factors that have a role in this phenomena since every other county in Albion has a JONES from early days.  Is there anyone out there who might have some ideas regarding this? 

The following are the references explored:

1)  Index of Ancient Petitions.  Generally before Edward III (1327 - 1377)
2)  Calender of Close Rolls: AD 1381 - 1499
3)  Calendars of the Close Rolls: From the reign of Edward I - to Edward IV (1272 - 1483)
4)  List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol. IV, for dates 1500 - 1515.
5)  List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol. V, 1515 - 1529.
6)  List of Early Chancery 1530 - 1538
7)  List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol. VIII, 1538 - 1544.
8)  List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol. IX, 1544 - 1553.
9)  List of Early Chancery Proceedings, Vol. X , 1553 - 1558.
10)Index of Chancery Proceedings (Series II), Vol. I, 1558 - 1579.
11)Index of Chancery Proceedings ,...for years 1579 - 1600..given as Vol. XXIV
12)Proceedings in the Court of Requests, Vol. 4, James I (1603 - 1625)
13)Index of Chancery Proceedings (Series II), Vol. III, 1621 - 1660
14)Public Record Office, London: Chancery Proceedings, Bridge's Division, 1613 - 1714, Vol. IV.

If anyone has found the JONES surname in these counties before 1714, please post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


In the heart of Albion is Warwickshire.  Being in the center of things it had its share of the tough-of-war that has occupied the span of history. 

The first JONES surname belongs to the Philip Jones family starting 1312.  These records are found outside the legal records which are being used to document the surname JONES.  In these legal records, Edward Jones [bundle 1016/no.50-54] is involved in a suit by a Henry Fenton (a smith) for caring for a gelding left to heal after a hurt foot.  These records are dated 1538 - 1544.  It would seem that Edward Jones was yet to pay the bill.

A discussion of the Philip Jones family can be found in the post dated Monday, February 11, 2013.  These records are found in Gregory family of Stivichall [Catalogue Ref. DR10].  These records reveal that Philip Jones was the son of a William Jones.  The location of this William Jones is uncertain, but it may be Warwick.  It is interesting to me that in the heart of the Island a cluster of those with JONES surname begins.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


The northern counties of England seemed to have less of those with the JONES surname during this period of study. [1066 - 1700]  Lancaster County produced only one record, and that record not occurring until 1640. [Bundle 407/ No. 84 ]  It was Edmund Jones.

The case had to do with the personal estate of William Blomely, Manchester.   The plaintiff  was John Leighe, and the dates would be between 1640 - 1642.  No other legal cases involving the JONES surname was found before these dates.   Anyone out there who has additional information, please post.

Friday, May 16, 2014


The Court of Request Proceedings, Vol. I represents the period from 1485 - 1603.  The names are arranged alphabetically in the index which also uses the Roman numeral system for the records of bundles and numbers.  These records are also transferred to the numbering system using the dates of the monarchs.  Our John Jones of Stafford is found in bundle 1-13 representing the reigns of Henry VII - Henry VIII, 1485 - 1547.

The first Jones surname for this county is found in bundle iv (4), No. 55.  It is John Jones.  Another John, who would have guessed. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


The first of the JONES surname in Worcester was John Jones of Birmingham. [Bundle 326/No. 60]

The date of the case is 1504 - 1515, and the plaintiff is listed as Braudon Nicholas of Shelden, "yeoman".  The reason listed is land called "Over Swyfte Nether Swyfes in Yardley".   The land is to be leased by "complainant to defendant".  Anyone have information about "Over Swyfte"? 

The border counties of England and Wales disclose the earliest dates of the JONES surname.  To me, this again shows the impact of the English legal system upon those from Wales who had already tried to assimilate into the laws and procedures of English rule.  Any other thoughts or interpretations, please post...:-).

Monday, April 7, 2014


To date, more than 36,000 page views have been recorded on "The Jones Surname" blog spot.  This would just be a fraction of the folks that carry this surname!   Anyway, a new blog called "Networking Jones Genealogy" has been developed, just to help those who have an interest in sharing their expertise in this world of genealogy. 

The blog is organized around key "themes" that have been important in my own 50+ years of tree climbing.  The subjects are presented so that the individual who shares interest in this topic can identify themselves to the readers of the blog.  Hopefully this will offer a chance to connect (network) with others who have the same interest.  It is intended to be on the JONES surname, but I suspect there will be others who can share in the adventures along the way.

The "themes" are broad and general at first, and will represent key areas of research.  As the blog develops, the subjects will become more specific.  To begin, the broad themes are: 1) geography (g.), 2) chronology (ch.), 3) DNA (d.), 4) key variables (k.), 5) individual researchers (i.), 6) resources (r.), and 5) coat of arms (a.).  Each post may contain a number of these themes, and they will be coded with the abbreviations outlined above.  The reader can then place a comment with each post, if they share this interest. 

The blog is found at  ...check it out, and please comment if your share this terminal illness.

Monday, March 17, 2014


The suburbs of Bristol have a lot to do with the first to record the surname JONES.  It is for Gloucester County of course, its location shown below.

It was 25 June, 1441 (Henry VI) that a Thomas White, the heir of Bernard White "burgess of Bristol" had to settle the estate.  It is listed as "settlements of Thomas White, from John Godarde".  It had to do with lands in the town of Bristol.  The settlement involved the following: 1) Thomas Younge, 2) John Bailly, 3) John Morgan, 4) John Benet, and 5) Robert Jones.  A lot Welsh surnames involved here.  These folks must have been involved in some kind of agreement which the White family needed to settle.  Many of these surnames [White, Younge, Morgan, and Bennett (Benet)] were involved in my own JONES family.  What a deal!

Monday, February 24, 2014


A knock down...drag out...kind of place is "here" were the "ford" crossed the Wye.  Ever since the ancient Britons and the Romans began the struggle, the area became a strategic military location where the to and fro of battle often occurred.  First the Romans, then the Saxons, and then the Normans all struggled to gain control of this area.

Interestingly it was Agnes Jones who came to be the first to record the surname Jones. [Bundle 422/ No. 41]  Between 1518 and 1529 she had to deal with the detention of "deeds, messuage & garden in Little Marcle".  The female was often involved in land disputes as heir or widow of someone who had recently died. 

The dates are before the Act of Union 1536, which most likely represents the impact of English law (cultural and social structure) in this southern border country.  A fact due to the continual conflict between the folks since the Roman times, down to the Tudor reign of Henry VII.

Well here, at Hereford, you have her...Agnes Jones, 1518 - 1529.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Shropshire (Salop)

The Cornavii and Ordovices were the first "Celtic" folks to occupy the land that was to become Shropshire.  It was held by these Britains as part of the "Kingdom of Powys", where the chief town (capital) was called "Pengwerne".  However, it was the Anglo-Saxons who provided the name "Scrobbes - Byrig - Scyre" [ the shire of "Scrobbes-Byrig"].

The first of the Jones surname was Roger Jones, 1551 - 1553. [Bundle 1304/ No. 58]  He is listed as "of Edmonton, baker ".  The case was regarding "gavel kind" (all sons inheriting equal parts) for land in the township of Llynglyses.  This land was "late of  John ap Roger, dec'd. father of complaintant".  The suit was against "William ap David ap Jevan" and "Richard ap David ap Jevan".  This case shows the overlap of the formation of the Welsh system of naming, and the English system of surnames.  I suspect that Roger Jones' Welsh name was Roger ap John ap Roger.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


The last series of posts [Monday, March 11, 2013 - Monday, November 18, 2013] have presented the Jones surname that first appears in the counties of Wales.  I thought it might be of interest to continue this theme into the counties of England.  It will begin with the counties that border Wales [Marches], and in later post move east, northeast, south, and southeast.

The first county along the border is Chester.  It was one of the earliest counties to be organized along the Norman feudal system. [Palatine of Chester].  The map is that of England and Wales, to show the general geographic locations.  The county of Chester is colored blue.

John Jones was the first to appear in the English legal records. [1558 - 1579 : Bundle 99/ No. 94]
The case involves a Robert Fletcher with the reasons being "tithes".  The location is given as "Bromborough".  Of course, it would have to be a John Jones.