Jones (surname)

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Pronunciation /ˈnz/
Language(s) Middle English
Region of origin England, Wales, and Scotland
Meaning Offspring of John
Other names
Variant(s) MacSeoin

Jones is a surname of English and Welsh origins, meaning "John's son". It is most common in Wales and south central England.[1][2] In Ireland the surname has been Gaelicized as Mac Seóin.


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] Around the time of the union of Wales with England, the traditional Welsh system of patronymics was increasingly replaced by surnames. Furthermore, Christian names such as John which were common in England had become increasingly preferred to distinctively Welsh Christian names such as Meredudd and Llewelyn. Thus "Mab Ioan" or "ap Sion" (and many other variations) meaning "son of John" became the surname Jones in a large number of cases, making it a very frequently used surname.[4]

20th and 21st centuries[edit]

Jones remains the most popular surname in Wales, borne by 5.75% of the population.[5] The frequency in England is lower, at 0.75%, making it the second most common surname, after Smith.[5] The 2000 United States census provides a frequency of 0.50%, providing an overall rank of fifth most frequent with 57.7% White, 37.7% Black, 1.4% Hispanic, 0.9% Native American.[6] Jones was the fourth most common surname in the 1990 U.S. Census, behind only Smith, Johnson and Williams.[7] The popularity of the Jones surname in North America is in part owed to the use of Jones as an anglicized or shortened form of various cognate and like-sounding surnames from various European Languages.[8] These names are thought to include the German Jans, Jentz, Janz and possibly Janson, as well as the Scandinavian Jönsson, Johansen and Jonasen among some others, along with Polish Janowski, French Jean and Jacques, Irish MacSeáin, English Johnson, Spanish Jimenez and possibly Gomez, Italian Giannio, Serbian Jovanovic, Dutch Janzen and Scots Johnston (A habitational name).

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. ^ Pendle, George. "How 'Jones' Became One of World's Most Common Last Names". Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ Word, David L.; et al. (2000). "Demographic Aspects of Surnames from Census 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 1990". United States Census. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Ancestry-Jones Name Meaning". 

External links[edit]