Jones (surname)

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Language(s)Middle English
Region of originEngland and Wales
Meaning"John's son"
Other names
Variant(s)MacSeoin, Johnson, Johnston, Johnstone, John, Johns

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][3]


Distribution of Jones surname in Britain

The surname Jones first appears on record as a surname in England in 1273 with the name "Matilda Jones".[3] Others put the first known record of the surname Jones as 1279, in Huntingdonshire, England.[4] 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.[5]

20th and 21st centuries[edit]

Jones remains the most widespread surname in Wales, borne by 5.75% of the population.[6] The frequency in England is lower, at 0.75%, but still the second most common surname, after Smith.[6] 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.[7] Jones was the fourth most common surname in the 1990 U.S. Census, behind only Smith, Johnson and Williams.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Distribution of the surname Johnes in the UK". UK Surname Map.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "Surname Database: Jones Last Name Origin". Retrieved 19 December 2012.
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Pendle, George. "How 'Jones' Became One of World's Most Common Last Names". Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  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" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-16. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Frequently Occurring Surnames from Census 1990". United States Census. Retrieved 31 December 2015.

External links[edit]