JONES was a baptismal name 'the son of Jone' meaning the Gracious gift of Jehovah. An ancient Welsh personal name which was spelt originally as Ioan. Early records of the name mention Johannes (without surname) 1140 Wales. Alanus filius Jene was documented in the year 1272, and Thomas fiz Jone was recorded in the year 1327. It was a numerous settler name in Ireland, and is found in every county with the heaviest distribution in Leinster. The name has been Gaelicized to MacSeoin. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definate nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Confirmed in 1647 to Bryan Jones Esq of Dublin, descended from an ancient Welsh family. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all beasts, and on that account is the symbol of strength and courage, and is most frequently borne in Coat Armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. This name has enjoyed enormous popularity in Europe, being given in honour of St. John, the Baptist, precurser of Christ and of St. John the Evangelist, author of the fourth gospel, as well as others of the nearly one thousand saints of the name. Some of the principal forms of the name in other European languages are Evan, Ioan, Sean, Johann, Hans, Jan, Jean, Giovanni, Giannai, Vanni, Juan and Ivan.
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