Jones last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Jones is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Jones.

Meaning of Jones

A patronymic surname meaning "son of John" in English and Welsh.

Jones, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Jones surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Jones in America

Jones is the 5th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Jones surname appeared 1,425,470 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 483 people would have the surname Jones.

We can also compare 2010 data for Jones to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 5 5 0.00%
Count 1,425,470 1,362,755 4.50%
Proportion per 100k 483.24 505.17 -4.44%

The history of the last name Jones

The surname Jones originated from the personal name John, which is derived from the Hebrew name Yochanan, meaning "Yahweh is gracious". It is believed to have first emerged as a surname in England during the 12th century, initially used to denote someone as the son of John.

In medieval times, the name Jones was commonly spelled as Jon, Jone, or Jons, before evolving to its modern form. The earliest recorded appearance of the surname Jones is in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire in 1182, where a man named Richard Jones is mentioned.

The name Jones quickly spread across England and Wales, with many bearers of the name originating from counties like Shropshire, Flintshire, and Denbighshire. Some notable early figures with the surname Jones include Sir William Jones (1566-1640), a renowned Welsh judge and politician.

In the 14th century, the surname Jones appeared in the Domesday Book, a manuscript commissioned by William the Conqueror to record landholdings in England. This further solidified the name's place in English history.

Over the centuries, the surname Jones has been associated with various prominent individuals. One of the most famous was Inigo Jones (1573-1652), a renowned English architect who designed the Banqueting House in London and introduced the classical Renaissance style to England.

Another notable figure was Sir William Jones (1746-1794), a philologist and scholar who established the field of comparative linguistics and was instrumental in deciphering Sanskrit. He also served as a judge in the Supreme Court of Bengal.

In the United States, the surname Jones has a long and storied history, with many bearers of the name making significant contributions. One such individual was John Paul Jones (1747-1792), a Revolutionary War naval hero often referred to as the "Father of the American Navy".

Another notable American with the surname Jones was James Jones (1921-1977), an acclaimed novelist and author of works such as "From Here to Eternity" and "The Thin Red Line", both of which were adapted into successful films.

Lastly, Bobby Jones (1902-1971) was a legendary American golfer who achieved a Grand Slam in 1930, winning all four major championships in a single year, a feat that has never been replicated in the modern era of professional golf.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Jones

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Jones.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Jones was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 55.19% 786,717
Non-Hispanic Black Only 38.48% 548,521
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.44% 6,272
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.00% 14,255
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.61% 37,205
Hispanic Origin 2.29% 32,643

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Jones has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 55.19% 57.69% -4.43%
Black 38.48% 37.73% 1.97%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.44% 0.35% 22.78%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 1.00% 0.94% 6.19%
Two or More Races 2.61% 1.85% 34.08%
Hispanic 2.29% 1.44% 45.58%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Jones was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Jones, please contact us.

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"Jones last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 12, 2024.

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