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.

Jones Resources on

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

was the only county in Wales to have the Jones name to appear (and then
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 1600’s that Jones as a
surname started to spread.

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
    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
    Jones of Dol-yn-Edeirnon in Glamorgan (from JeslynapGwrgant, Lord of

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
and acquired the Fonmon castle estate in Glamorgan in 1658.  It
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
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.

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
through his son Thomas who was Shrewsbury’s first mayor in 1638.
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
several years its Master of the Haberdashers.
He bought the Welford Park estate in Berkshire in 1618 and two
later became Lord Mayor of London:

  • his
    grandson Richard Jones had the present house at Welford Park built in
    the 1650’s, 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
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
in Henrico county, Virginia in the 1650’s may have been the first Jones

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

Canada.  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
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.

Argentina.  The Rev. Michael Jones, a
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.

Jones Miscellany

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

Jones Names

, born in London of Welsh parentage in 1573, is considered
the first significant British architect of the modern era.
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
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.


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2 Responses to “Jones”

  1. Lorry Talley

    Selina Annie Jones born 1864 in (?) Wales. Her father was Thomas Jones (marriage certificate). She married Patrick Tobin b. 1865 in Widnes, Prescott, Lancashire, England. They immigrated in 1888-1889 to Paterson Passaic NJ.
    Appreciate any help….Thank you. GEDMATCH # DX7990209

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