The Jones/Wiemer/Hahn/Lloyd family: an overview

11 generations on GRAMPS chart


The oldest close "relation" we found before the internet pushed the boundaries back almost without limit was a 12th Century German Lord, part of the well-known Pfule / Pfuel / Pule family. We can also go via rather circuitous routes to Queen Elizabeth II, William the Conqueror, Alfred the Great, Robert Bruce and Charlemagne (although we've discovered an error in the original data: it now seems Charlemagne was NOT my parent's spouse's spouse's brother's spouse's spouse's spouse's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's father's mother's father's mother's father's father's father's mother's father's father's mother's mother's mother's father's mother's mother's mother's father's father's father's father's father's father's father — but an even more distant connection!). On a different route, we can follow links to the founder of Lloyds Bank and hence to the Kings of Powys (Rhodri Fawr, Hywel Dda etc.), Vortigern, Hengist/Horsa, Joseph of Arimathea and thus Mary, Jesus and God Himself (if you dispute that version, a different tree takes us to Adam & Eve)! We have yet to find links to Gengis Khan or the Japanese imperial family, but surely it's just a question of time.

The internet and DNA testing has suddenly revealed hundreds of relatives in America, 99% via a single route: Brigham Young, the first governor of Utah, but more importantly also the second president of the Church of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), in which role he had 55 wives and 56 children. We're open to enquiries from those looking to go back to Wales from Hannah Cook (1858-1932), wife of Brigham Angell Holbrook (1856-1923), but tracking Utah/LDS descendants on the US side is a futile task.

On a more serious note, our roots basically concentrate on the Salzburger Exulanten and Swiss Huguenots fleeing religious persecution as immigrants into post-Plague Prussia, and mid-Wales farmers gradually becoming economic migrants to the Valleys. In Japan we have very tenuous (unclear) links to some 16th century samurai. Any genealogists researching the names Wiemer, Hahn, Kugland, Schneller, Schoeckh or Gueffroi / Geffroi / Jephra in Salzburg or Ostpreußen (East Prussia) … or Rigby, Brookfield, Brade, Parry, Woodcock in Liverpool, Shrewsbury, Chirk or Wales … are welcome to contact me (I would say Jones, Morris, Lloyd, Evans and Davies too, but there are rather a lot of us!). Better still, however, search on GenesReunited and/or Ancestry as I have uploaded most of our records there (4500+ people; 195+ born before 1700, 395+ before 1800).

Famous relations of the recent past

My paternal grandfather, Tom Jones CH ("TJ")

A young Thomas Jones CH

TJ was once described as "one of the six most important men in Europe" and therefore merits a page of his own: Dr Thomas Jones, CH. The magazine Welsh Outlook, which he founded, helped foster Welsh nationalism from a more linguistic and artistic perspective, and many decades later, a cousin through marriage, the renowned economist Eurfyl ap Gwilym, became Chair of Plaid Cymru while Eurfyl's son Llywelyn founded "All Under One Banner Cymru", part of the YesCymru campaign for "Annibyniaeth" (Welsh independence).

My aunt Eirene, Baroness White of Rhymney

Dorothy Rees MP, a policeman, and Eirene White MP at the House of Commons on St David's Day, 1950

TJ's daughter Eirene was a Labour peer and had a distinguished political career: for details see Wikipedia, and her obituaries in The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times (The Times also had a notice of death and later one of her memorial service).

In June 2022 she became the tenth person to receive a Purple Plaque, honouring significant contributions by Welsh woman to public life, as reported in and BBC Cymru/Wales (the latter in Welsh). Gregynog Press produced a 30 page tribute to her; Cardiff University also had a tribute; and the National Library of Wales had a photo of when she was first elected.

My father, Tristan Lloyd Jones

Tristan Lloyd Jones in viscount's coronet

Eirene's brother Tristan was Manager & Director of The Observer (despite what some sources say, he did not phrase it as 'Managing Director' nor was he the Editor: that was David Astor, a close friend). He was also a prolific collector of antiques and curios; his collection of commemorative ceramics (sold in 1991) was apparently the world's largest. His funeral attracted some attention in the local press (click for larger view):

Funeral article

The "Ford Escort" hand waving good-bye from the coffin:

Coffin in car

My mother, Anneli Jones née Wiemer

The author Anneli Jones - portrait

Tristan's wife, the much loved Anneli Jones was known as a Green Party candidate and peace campaigner (click on the left-hand image below to see a 2007 article about her in the local press). To the right is a photograph from a few years before, showing her on her way to the "2 million people" demonstration in London against the Iraq war. The 'funeral-style' placard she is holding bears a pun on the most famous phrase in Hagakure, the Japanese book of the Samurai. The Samurai were also known as "Bushi", and while the original says "The Way of Bushi is the Way of Death" (often phrased as "the way of the warrior is the way of death"), this version says "The Way of Bush is the Way of Death". (For those who can read Japanese, the original is: 武士道は死ぬことと見つけたり while the new version is ブッシュ道は死ぬことと見つけたり).

Revolting granny The Way of Bush[i] is the Way of Death

The first volume of her memoirs, detailing her peaceful upbringing in East Prussia followed by a harrowing flight from the Red Army, is available from Ozaru Books as Reflections in an Oval Mirror and was also later translated into German as Vor dem ovalen Spiegel — Kindheitserinnerungen an Ostpreußen 1923–1945. The sequel took fifteen years to complete, but was finally (posthumously) published in 2023 on what would have been her 100th birthday: Carpe Diem.

Anneli Jones obituary
Her obituary in the local Isle of Thanet Gazette, appropriately published on Armistice Day, 11/11/11 (click image to enlarge)

My aunt, Marlene Yeo

The author Marlene Yeo

Anneli's sister Marlene had a distinguished career as an anti-nuclear campaigner: click on the image below to get the full picture (262K), or here for the Leicester Mercury's own abbreviated text version, with a separate article here. Her memoirs of growing up under Hitler, in East Prussia, were published initially in English as Skating at the Edge of the Wood, then later in German translation as Schlittschuhlaufen am Waldrand. She also wrote a children's adventure book, "Amina and the Moshi Makers" (pub. Longmans Arusha/Kampala/Nairobi, 1966 and still available over 50 years later).

Newspaper article

More distant relatives (generally cousins, removed at various extents)

Our ancestors the Lloyds of Maesgwyn, Chirk, such as Edward Lloyd (1813-1887), were apparently connected to both the banking Lloyds, e.g. Sampson Lloyd, and the shipping Lloyds, e.g. Edward Lloyd. The family home is now part of the Kronospan empire (who are quite unfriendly to visitors).

Thomas Snape (1835-1912) was an industrialist and Liberal politician.

Richard John Lloyd (1846-1906) was a prominent linguist, who drowned in unexplained circumstances.

Silas Kitto Hocking (1850–1935) was a Methodist preacher, also known for his novel "Her Benny", the first to sell over a million copies.

Captain Edward Llewellin (1864-1934) ran the Central Hotel at Aberystwyth, was Mentioned in Despatches during WW1 (Royal Field Artillery), and later became Mayor of Aberystwyth — he is shown in a 1923 video unveiling the Aberystwyth War Memorial.

Richard Francis Lloyd (1871-1943) was primarily an organist and hymn writer, active at Liverpool College of Music.

Eric Rigby-Jones (1897-1952) founded a company that became known around the world — the story is told in Tintawn and Binder Twine: The Story of Eric Rigby-Jones and Irish Ropes and his earlier life is depicted in Best Love to All: The Letters And Diaries Of Captain Eric Rigby-Jones.

RAF Wing Commander Raymond Bowen Evans (1913-1979) was also mentioned in dispatches.

Lieutenant Brian Hugh Band (1916-1942), a submariner, was awarded the DSC (Distinguished Service Cross) while serving aboard HMS Upholder, then died on HMS Olympus, in the single biggest submarine tragedy of WW2. He, his brother Rigby and the rest of their family were also keen cyclists, as shown by copious references in Anfield Bicycle Club circulars.

Admiral Sir Michael Seymour KCB, 1st Baronet — and, of course, his son, another Admiral Michael Seymour GCB and the latter's nephew Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Hobart Seymour, GCB, OM, GCVO, PC — were, unsurprisingly, prominent seamen too. Conversely, back in 1798 a further relation (in their branch) had sailed on the disastrous 2nd voyage of the missionary ship Duff

Moving away from Wales, rocket scientist Wernher von Braun is also in the tree; and on the Japanese side, the Nagasaka family are allegedly descended from the 16th Century general 長坂 光堅 (1513-1582).

Infamous relations of the present day

Immediate siblings & spouses include concert pianist Mariko Mitsuyu and her husband Adam, an eminent professor of West African History as well as founder of the Einigkeit4 cultural foundation, focusing on music, local history and art. I myself run a translation / interpreting company specializing in East Asian languages; we also publish books about East Kent, East Prussia and East Asia. We're based in St Nicholas-at-Wade, behind a famous gate with multilingual "Beware of the Dog" signs.

This page produced by Ben Jones