Jones (surname)

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Family name
Pronunciation /ˈnz/
Meaning Offspring of John/Jone
Region of origin England, Wales
Language(s) of origin Middle English
Related names MacSeoin

Jones is a surname of Medieval English origins, derived from the given name John which in turn is derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan (Johanan). It is especially common in Wales and south central England.[1][2] In Ireland the surname has been Gaelicized as MacSeoin.


Distribution of Jones surname in Britain

It first appears on record as a surname in England in 1273 with the name "Matilda Jones".[2] Others put the first known record of the surname Jones as 1279, in Huntingdonshire, England.[3]

It is likely that a number of Afro-Caribbean and African Joneses got their names from freed slaves adopting the names of the estate managers or owners. It should be noted that some descendants of former slaves are genetically linked to the Welsh name Jones.[4][5]

20th and 21st centuries[edit]

Jones remains the most popular surname in Wales, borne by 5.75% of the population.[6] The frequency in England is lower, at 0.75%, making it the second most common surname, after Smith.[6] The 2000 United States census provides a frequency of 0.50%, providing an overall rank of 5th most frequent with 57.7% White, 37.7% Black, 1.4% Hispanic, 0.9% Native American. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Percy Hide Reaney; Richard Middlewood Wilson (1991). A Dictionary of English Surnames. Taylor & Francis Group. pp. 1784–. ISBN 978-0-415-05737-0. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Surname Database: Jones Last Name Origin". Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Reaney, Percy Hilde (1995), Wilson, Richard Middlewood, ed., A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 256, ISBN 0-19-863146-4 
  4. ^ Cruickshank, 'Liberated Africans,' p. 78
  5. ^ John Thornton, 'Central African Names and African-American Naming Patterns' - 'The William and Mary Quarterly', 3rd Series, 50, 4(October 1993): 728, 730, 733-739.
  6. ^ a b McElduff, Fiona; Pablo Mateos; Angie Wade; Mario Cortina Borja (2008). "What's in a name? The frequency and geographic distributions of UK surnames". Significance 5 (4): 189–192. doi:10.1111/j.1740-9713.2008.00332.x. 
  7. ^ Word, David L., et al. (2000). "Demographic Aspects of Surnames from Census 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 

External links[edit]