For the past few days we’ve been engaged in a rather interesting discussion about the country of origin for the surname “Jones”. Our JonesGenealogy.com website talks about how the Jones surname is likely to have originated in England (see Jones Last Name Origins), and this is what we’ve been talking about.
Uncovering the origin of the Jones surname is actually quite an interesting exploration because it involves so many elements including language challenges, political environments, cultural norms, and many more challenges that may have had an impact on how our names were created and passed down through generations.
Popularity of the Jones Surname
Many of us already know that the Jones surname is THE most popular surname in Wales, the second most popular name in England, and the fifth most popular name in the U.S., BUT do we really know what country it originated from? Well obviously we can rule out the U.S. because the first documented Jones living in America (Virginia) was in the year 1587.
Jones Surname Origins
That basically leaves us with England or Wales as the originating country for the surname Jones. Our research leans toward England as being the source of origination, the reason for this is as follows:
- There is no letter “J” in the Welsh language. There are similar sounding letters in the Welsh language in terms the English pronounciation of “J”, but the letter “J” does not exist in Welsh.
- The first documented recording of anyone with a Jones surname was in the Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire (England) in 1279.
- The Welsh began using last names after England adopted their use. Up until then, most Welsh used either a single name, or the Patronymic system to name their offspring, for example “Evan son of John”, etc.. The conversion to a fixed last name began in Wales in the 15th century.
There’s much more behind our research than the above, but this at least gives us a starting point for discussion.
Your Feedback is Needed
We’d love to hear what you’ve found about the origins of the Jones surname. If you’ve done any research into the origins of the Jones surname, or have any interesting stories that might indicate what country the Jones surname originates from, please let us know via a comment below. Naturally, if you have any documented proof of anyone with the last name of Jones that lived prior to the year 1279, we’d love to hear about it!