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Meaning : This surname means "Son of John". The Welsh meaning for the name "John" equates to "God has favored." Through time, the Jones surname was very popular through Europe's Christian community because of many Christian saints, such as John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist.
Variations : Johns, Jenkins, Evans, MacScion
Origins : Wales, England, Ireland

Brief History : Families did not begin to use the Jones name as a surname until after William the Conqueror passed into English law the Act of the Union in 1536. This act forced families to adopt a surname and translate all names to the English counterpart. Jones is an English name, so it replaced many variations of John in languages like Welsh.

The first known document containing the Jones surname was the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, which lists Matilda Jones in 1273. The Jones name did not become widespread until the 1800s. However on the Court of Request Proceedings dated between 1500 and 1700, 288 people with the Jones name lived in Wales and 564 people with the Jones surname lived in England.

The Country Origins of the Jones Surname
Although Jones is created from the English language, people using the Jones surname are usually traced back to Welsh descent. Since Jones derives from the Christian name of John, the Jones surname is mainly found in countries with dominant Christian populations.
Wales : As the most common name in Wales, one out of every ten Welsh decendents is a Jones. The name took on many other variations than the English name because the letter "J" does not exist in the Welsh language. For instance in the Welsh bible, the name "Ieuan" takes the place of the name "John".

Until the Welsh people were forced to change to a two name label by the Act of Union in 1536, the Welsh people held long names using the term "ap" to signify the "son of". Once the change was made the last name related to the "son of" became the surname.

Many Joneses from Wales can trace their lineage back to Welsh nobility. For instance, Jones of Llanerchrugog form a direct ancestral line to Bleddyn ap Cynfyn. Blenddyn is the founder of the Third Royal Tribe of North Wales and Powis, and in direct line to the King of Wales.
England : Jones is an English name. William the Conquerer forced other cultures under his control to select English names as a replacement for names in their language. In England the name "Gene" also translates to John. For instance, the first existence of the Jones surname on the Hundred Year Scrolls is Willelmus filius Gene, which translates to "William son of John" in 1274.
Ireland : The Gaelic term for Jones translates to "MacScoin".

The First Joneses to Migrate to America
The Jones family played a big part in colonizing New England. Captain Christopher Jones commandeered the famous Mayflower voyage landing in Cape Code in November 21, 1620. People with the surname, "Jones" are found in every state, but a greater number are found in such states as, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia.

  • Captain Christopher Jones - 1620 - Served as the captain of the Mayflower. He later returned to England where he died.

  • Alice Jones - 1635 - Landed in Boston, Mass.

  • Charles and Huphrey Jones - 1636 - Settled in Virginia

  • Owen Jones - 1665 - Settled in Maryland.

  • Famous and Notable People with the Williams Surname
    James Earl Jones
    Birth : January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi
    Parents : Ruth Connelly and Robert Earl Jones
    At the age of 5, his father walked out on his family. Subsequently, James' maternal grandparents, Maggie and John Henry Connelly, moved him to their farm, but the stress made him develop a pesky stutter that lasted into adulthood. Remarkably, he overcame his public speaking issues and found aclaim as an award winning film and stage actor. His highly acclaimed voice over roles include the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars and Mustafa in The Lion King.
    George Glenn Jones
    Birth : June 12, 1931 in Saratoga, Texas
    Parents : Clara Patterson and George Washington Jones
    After a rough childhood, George Jones grew into one of the most awarded and beloved country music singers. Of his fourteen number one hits, he sang We're Gonna Hold On with his first wife, Tammy Wynette. After surviving hard drinking and drugs from life on the road, he settled down and became part owner in a record label and a diner with his second wife.
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    Interesting Facts About the Williams Surname
  • In the 1930s a host of comedy films were made centered around the antics of the Jones Family staring Jed Pouty as the father, named John Jones. One of the films, The Jones Family in Hollywood aired in 1939.

  • The popular catch phrase, "Keeping up with the Joneses" was first developed by cartoonist, Arthur R. "Pop" Momand, for the comic strip of the name and debuted in New York World magazine in 1916. Other similar phrases include, "Keeping up with the Steins", "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "Spend it like the Beckhams". All take on the notion that neighbors find satisfaction in matching or surpassing each other's wealthy standing in society.

  • Together with Charles Dow, and Charles Bergstresser, Edward Jones founds the Dow Jones & Company in 1882. The company started as a letter distribution to subscribers on Wall Street. Eventually, the company published the Wall Street Journal for a mere 2 cents an issue.

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