Select Jones Surname Genealogy

The surname Jones is a patronymic (son of) name from Jon or John.  John had become the most popular first name in England by the beginning of the 14th century; and Jones was the most common surname in Wales by the 18th century.

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Wales.  The name has been particularly common in Wales - although the name Jones originated in England and the letter "J" does not even exist in the Welsh language (John is Ieuan instead).  John became popular through the John in the Welsh Authorized version of the Bible.

Glamorgan was the only county in Wales to have the Jones name to appear (and then only once) before the Act of Union in 1536.  The names Jevan and Jonys then began to appear and then the first Jones elsewhere in Wales.   But it was only in the 1600ís that Jones as a surname started to spread.

Some old Welsh families who claimed long and noble lineages adopted the Jones name: 
  • the Jones of Llanerchrugog in Wrexham in north Wales (from Lord Bleddynap Cynfyn and, before that, from Rhodri Mawr) 
  • the Jones of Cadwgan in Denbighshire (from Cynwrigap Rhiwallon, Lord of Maelor Gymraeg)
  • the Jones of Albemarlis in Carmarthen (from Lord Dynevor of Carmarthen)
  • and the Jones of Dol-yn-Edeirnon in Glamorgan (from JeslynapGwrgant, Lord of Glamorgan).  
Edward Jones of Cadwgan was a conspirator caught up in an anti-Elizabeth plot who was executed for treason in 1586

Colonel Philip Jones prospered as a Parliamentarian under Cromwell and acquired the Fonmon castle estate in Glamorgan in 1658.  It stayed with his family until the late 19th century.  Edward Jones started a legal practice in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire in the 1770's which continued with his descendants until the 1960's.

The Welsh Joneses were outnumbering the English Joneses by approximately two to one by the beginning of the 19th century.  Jones today is the most common surname in Wales.  Roughly one in ten people in Wales are called Jones.  It is to be found in both south and north Wales.

There were Welsh Jones that had extended into England.  Henry Jones of Middleton in Lancashire was descended from an old Monmouth line.  His son Thomas Jones was appointed Archbishop of Dublin in 1605.  Later Jones were made Viscount Ranelagh.  The family, now extinct, left the Ranelagh name to many places in London.

A Jones family in Shrewsbury prospered from the Welsh cloth trade, first through William Jones in the early 1600's and then through his son Thomas who was Shrewsbury's first mayor in 1638.  A descendant was Sir Thomas Jones, Chief Justice in the 1680's.

The Jones name first appeared in Shropshire in 1551.  Sir Francis Jones, originally from Shropshire, was a London merchant and for several years its Master of the Haberdashers.  He bought the Welford Park estate in Berkshire in 1618 and two years later became Lord Mayor of London: 
  • his grandson Richard Jones had the present house at Welford Park built in the 1650ís, but died there without issue.  
  • Captain Lewis Jones who departed England for Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1640 may have been related to these Jones (although tradition has it that he was born in Wales).  Later Jones of his line were Loyalists who settled in Canada.
There were other Welsh Jones in London during Elizabethan times, notably the bookseller Richard Jones and the architect Inigo Jones.  It was John Jones, a Welsh Parliamentarian under Cromwell, who signed the death warrant for Charles I in London in 1649.

America.  Early Jones in America were of English origin.  David Jones from Kent was in Charles City, Virginia by 1625 and Robert Jones from Berkshire had arrived in Hingham, Massachusetts by 1636.  The Thomas Jones from Cardiganshire who settled in Henrico county, Virginia in the 1650ís may have been the first Jones from Wales.

The Rev. Morgan Jones told the following story which may or may not be true.  In 1666, he said, he was in an area now known as South Carolina when he was captured by Indians.  They were about to put him to death when he muttered a few words in Welsh.  Amazingly they said they understood him and released him.

One noteworthy Welsh expedition to America in 1818 was led by John Jones, an innkeeper from Cardiganshire.  Following him were 36 Welshmen and women to new pastures in SE Ohio.  Many more came in their footsteps in the next thirty years so that the Jackson and Gallia counties where they settled got known as Little Cardiganshire.

Elisha Jones was a prominent landowner in Weston, Massachusetts in the years prior to the Revolutionary War.  But like other Loyalists he had to decamp to Canada at the conclusion of the war.  He settled with his family in comfortable circumstances in Augusta township, Ontario.  His son Ephraim and grandson Jonas were prominent in the early political life of Ontario.

  The Rev. Michael Jones, a Congregational minister from Bala in north Wales, was one of the pioneers to establish a Welsh colony in Patagonia.  Although he visited Patagonia in 1882, he did not settle there.  Two of his sons did, however, one to Patagonia and the other to Buenos Aires

Select Jones Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Jones Names

Inigo Jones, born in London of Welsh parentage in 1573, is considered the first significant British architect of the modern era. 
Edward Jones was an 18th century Welsh harpist and bard.
Davy Jones was a nickname for the devil of the sea; from which comes the expression "Davy Jones locker."
John Paul Jones, born in Scotland, was an American naval hero of the Revolutionary War.
Edward Jones, a statistician, was in 1882 the co-founder of the Dow-Jones index.
Bobby Jones was the great American amateur golfer of the 1920's.
Quincy Jones is the American jazz music impresario.
Catherine Zeta Jones is the Welsh-born actress married to Michael Douglas.

Select Jones Today

  • 578,000 in the UK (most numerous in Lancashire)
  • 491,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 171,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
Jones is the #2 ranked surname in the UK and the #5 ranked in America.

Select Surname List

Adams Ellis Johnson O'Connor
Allen Evans Jones O'Sullivan Shaw
Anderson Fisher
Kelly Parker Simpson
Bailey Foster Kennedy Perry Smith
Baker Fox King Peterson Stevens
Barnes Fraser 
Lee Phillips Stewart
Bell Graham Lewis Powell Taylor
Bennett Gray Marshall Price Thomas
Brown Green Martin Reed
Griffiths Mason      
Reynolds Turner
Campbell Hall McDonald Richards
Carter Hamilton Miller  Richardson Walsh
Chapman Harris Mitchell Roberts Ward
Clark Harrison
Moore Robertson Watson
Collins Henderson Morgan Robinson White
Cook Hill Morris Rogers Williams
Cooper Howard Murphy Ross Wilson
Cox Hughes Murray Russell Wood
Davis Jackson Nelson Ryan Wright
Edwards James O'Brien 

For other surnames check the surnames2 page where there are to be found the history and genealogy for more than 800 surnames.

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