Genealogy has become a shared activity for many. Who are my ancestors? Where did we come from? What skeletons are in my family's closet? Who was the first to take my family's surname? Questions that are frequently asked.
A basic assumption underlying genealogy is that the family comes from a shared ancestor. This "Adam", the first to take the family's surname, is the foundation of my family tree. Thus, if another shares my surname, then we must be related somehow out the family tree. This is certainly true for many, many, surnames. But, for those who have a surname derived from the Welsh, this may not always be the case. Jones genealogy is such a case.
Genealogy for those who have a common surname, like Jones, is often a difficult process. Making it more difficult is the realization that most of those who share the surname [JONES] are not genetically related! This comes from the fact that many Welsh surnames were produced during a period of English history that required the Welsh to take an English surname. [The period of Henry VIII called the "Act of Union", 1536.] The English refused to recognize the Welsh system of naming, and forced the Welsh to utilize the English surname. More often then not, when a Welshman entered the required English legal system, the clerks of court registered their Welsh name [Peter ap Thomas ap Edward] by taking the first name [Peter], putting it with the second Welsh name [Thomas], to become the "new" English name, "Peter Thomas". If a first cousin came to court on the same day [or another day for that matter] named David ap John ap Edward [shared the same grandfather], the clerk of court would record David Jones. Thus, the surname Thomas would share the same Y-chromosome with the surname JONES. After a few generations this becomes a real tossed salad!
Jones genealogy, does anyone have some dressing?
For a discussion of these issues see under http://thejonessurname.blogspot.com :
"Impact, The Act of Union 1536", Feb. 24, 2011.
"Early English Records and the Jones Surname", March 21, 2011.
"The First JONES Surname in English Records", March 28, 2011.
"Ancient Petitions A Transition Period", April 18, 2011.
"Welsh Names in English Records 1301 AD", April 23, 2011.
"Welsh Birth Names 1301 AD", May 12, 2011.
"Jones Surname 1273-1500 in England and Wales", May 17, 2011.
"Jones Surname in Wales after 1500 AD", May 21, 2011.
"Jones Surname in England and Wales 1500-1700", June 2, 2011.
"Phonetic Not Genetic", June 6, 2011.
"Genetic Bowel of Spaghetti", June 10, 2011.
"Jones Surname By English Monarch 1485-1714", June 14, 2011.