Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Names First

A previous post of August 30th, 2011 presented these tables to the reader.  I thought it might be of interest to give them again in light of the surname JONES.  The first volume of  Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623 - 1666, by Nugent, was the source for the data presented.  Using the index of this volume, I abstracted the first names that were recorded for the surnames JONES, SMITH, WILLIAMS, JOHNSON, and BROWN.  They were then organized by the most frequent first name used by each surname. [Those that occurred 10 or more times.]

 There were 1486 first names that occurred 10 or more times among all of the surnames.  The most common name was of course JOHN (n = 344/ 23% = 344/1486)  Interestingly, it was not first among those with the surname JONES ( n = 48/ 11% = 48/437)  It was first among those with the surname SMITH ( n = 67/ 28% = 67/236), the surname WILLIAMS (n = 94/ 28% = 94/336), the surname JOHNSON (n = 87/ 29% = 87/299), and the surname BROWN (n = 48/ 27% = 48/178)  Of those having the first name JOHN (n = 344), it was most common among the surname WILLIAMS ( n = 94/ 27% = 94/344 ).  This was followed by the surnames JOHNSON (n = 87/ 25% = 87/344), then the surname SMITH (n = 67/ 19% = 67/344), the the surname BROWN and JONES having equal numbers at 48. ( n = 48/344/14% = 48/344).

The first name William was the most common among the surname JONES! (n = 78/18% = 78/437 )  This was followed by Richard (n = 51/12% = 51/437), then Thomas (n = 50/11% = 50/437) and then JOHN (n = 48/11% = 48/437).  The remaining first names are given in descending order for the surname JONES.  You can see that only the first name James (SMITH), Robert (WILLIAMS/BROWN), and Mary (JOHNSON) fell out of the top four first names.  How the first names listed are distributed among the surnames can be examined.

The following table gives the remaining first names as used among the surnames.

This list would suggest that there were first names used among those with the surname JONES
 that were not used among the others!  For example, none of the names listed were used with the surname SMITH, JOHNSON, and BROWN.   Several were shared with the surname WILLIAMS showing "Morgan" being the most frequent.  The two "Welsh" surnames [JONES/WILLIAMS] with three "English" surnames [SMITH/JOHNSON/BROWN] can be compared.  Hum...a distinction can be made...first names first!

 Figures are taken from my research on the JONES surname first published in my newsletter The Jones Genealogist, Vol. XI, no. 1, May/June, 1999, pp. 6-7.  Copyright included.