Having completed a long series of post on the first JONES to appear in the legal records of England and Wales, I thought it would be helpful to try and put together a "big picture" of this surname. The next group of posts will present a summary chronology intended to piece together the many years of JONES surname tree climbing that brought me to believe its origin is more "phonetic" than "genetic". Say what!?...you might be thinking. Only time will tell [actually the next posts] if the trail to be presented is an accurate description of our surname. Come follow along and make your own opinion. Please feel free to correct or make any comments that will help complete our JONES surname story. So here we go.
Let's begin with our Celtic roots and the languages that formed their distinctive cultural groups. Language can be defined as the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a considerable community. What is generally accepted as the "language" roots of the various groups of folks that came to settle the geographic areas where the JONES surname has its highest frequencies is show as follows:
Six distinct cultural groups formed their unique way of communicating. The Irish, Scottish, and Manx making one branch [Q-Celtic], and the Welsh, Cornish, and Breton forming a second. It is in Wales that the JONES surname has its highest frequency than anywhere in the world. What has this to do with the JONES surname I asked at one point in the distant past. It took some years to sort through this question, but understanding the shared language roots for what has become the present cultures of Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Manx, and Wales [Cornwall and Brittany not excluded] helped me form a linguistic origin in a bridge to the JONES surname. A place to begin the first "big picture" it is.
The best reference for this research can be found in "The Celtic World", edited by Miranda J. Green, and published 1995 by Routledge, London. [Language and society among the Insular Celts 400 - 1000 can be found in Part XI: Celtic Britain Post AD 400, beginning page 703.]