Jones is an extremely common surname in England and Wales, one of the wide range of names derived from the personal name "John". It is a patronymic, coming from the genitive form "John's". Its widespread popularity in Wales is due to the form adopted in the Welsh translation of the Authorised version of the Bible, Ioan, phonetically close to the modern surname. In Ireland, it is quite widespread, coming among the two hundred most frequent names, and is understandably most closely associated with areas where English influence was strongest.
Henry Jones (1721-1770) was a bricklayer and poet from Co. Louth. Under the patronage of Lord Chesterfield he moved to London, where his plays enjoyed huge success in the 1750s and 1760s. In 1770 he was run over by a carriage, reputedly while drunk, and died of his injuries.
Sir Thomas Jones (1823-1893) was a foundling raised by the Archdale family in Dublin, who went on to become the most popular portrait painter of his day. He was president of the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1869.