Select Jones Miscellany

Here are some Jones stories and accounts over the years:

The First Jones in Wales

The Act of Union between England and Wales had occurred in 1536 and the English Jones appellation had appeared in eight counties of Wales by the year 1550.

John Jones
Hugh Jones
Humphrey Jones
Lewis Jones
Edward Jones
Roger Jones
William Jones
William Jones

Glamorgan had the first Jones.  John Jones was identified as the son and executor of Jankyn ap John in 1515.

The source for this material comes from The Jones Genealogist by Jerry E. Jones.

The First Jones in Shropshire

The first Jones in Shropshire was recorded in 1551 as“Roger Jonesof Edmonton, a baker."  The Welsh context here was strong.  Roger Jones appeared in relation to former land of “John ap Roger, deceased father of complainant."  Roger’s Welsh appellation was probably Roger ap John ap Roger.

Edward Jones the Conspirator

Edward's father had been the Keeper of the Wardrobe to Queen Elizabeth and had served as High Sheriff of Denbighshire in the 1570’s.  He died at his home at Plas Cadwgan in 1581, having set his young son up in influential London circles.  It was mixing in this kind of company that was eventually to lead to Edward’s downfall.

Edward Jones was recommended to the high-powered courtier the Earl of Leicester.  He subsequently became close friends with one of Leicester’s proteges and a fellow Denbighshire man, Thomas Salusbury of Lleweni.  It was Salusbury who led Jones into the murky world of Catholic conspiracies.  The so-called Babington plot (to put Mary, Queen of Scots on the English throne) was uncovered and the net of conspirators extended to Jones in his Denbighshire home.  He was captured, brought to London, tried, and executed for treason in 1586.

The family home at Plas Cadwgan was forfeit.  However, the house itself remained intact, albeit with different owners, until it was eventually demolished in the late 1960’s

Jones in the 1881 Census

There were 340,000 Jones recorded in the 1881 census.The four leading counties for Jones then were:  

  • 11% in Glamorgan in south Wales   
  • 9% in Caernarvonshire in north Wales   
  • 11% in Lancashire  
  • and 7% in London.  
The name was widely spread by that time.

Elisha Jones's Ancestry

Henry David Thoreau wrote the following in his Journal in 1856:

“My mother's mother was Mary Jones, the only daughter of Colonel Elisha Jones of Weston. 

He had been born in 1710, the son of Captain Josiah Jones, born in 1670 in Weston.  Captain Josiah Jones was the son of Josiah Jones of Watertown Farms, born there in 1643.  Josiah Jones was the son of Lewis Jones who appears to have moved from Roxbury to Watertown about 1650 and died there in 1684.

Lewis Jones seems to have remained unhonored until one of his descendants, the late General Edward Jones of Binghamton who commanded the Massachusetts Sixth Regiment when it was mobbed in the streets of Baltimore in 1861, caused the inscription "Lewis Jones, 1645" to be chiselled in large letters at the top of the great boulder which he placed on his family lot in Mount Auburn."

Michael Jones and the Patagonia Vision

Michael Jones, a Congregational minister from Bala in north Wales, was the prime mover behind the Welsh colonization of Patagonia.

While many Welsh communities in the U.S. prospered, notably in Pennsylvania.  Jones realized that the cultural identity of these emigrants would be diluted over time. The answer he proposed was an entirely Welsh settlement (Wladfa) free of external control. After considering numerous locations, including Palestine, a tract of one hundred square miles in the Chubut region of Patagonia was chosen and the agreement of the Argentine government secured. 

Some say he had combed the earth for a stretch of open country that was uncontaminated by Englishness.  He chose Patagonia for its absolute remoteness and its foul climate.  His colonists weren’t intendied to get rich there. 

The first 153 Welsh colonists, including Jones’ son Llwyd, arrived from Liverpool aboard the Mimosa in June 1865.  Lwyd settled in Patagonia but was shot by bandits there in 1909.  Michael Jones himself visited Patagonia only once, in 1882.  While it is fair to say that his vision for a New Wales was not completely fulfilled, this remarkable region continues to bear unmistakable traces of Welshness.

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