The Gines Diaspora


THE NAMEGines is a name with Welsh, English, German, Spanish and French origins, depending on the particular family.  The name developed in different ways, at different times, in different parts of the world.   It is related linguistically to many other names. For example, the Welsh-English variant may be derived from the English Johns. Some scholars believe that the Welsh names Joynes and Jones are variants of Johns. The English name Gines may have developed thusly:

Evidence of this appears in some early North American  public records wherein members of  a single family are sometimes surnamed differently as Joines, Joynes, or Gines.  For example, the 1787 tax records of Rowan County, North Carolina list an Ezekiel Jones, apparently referring to Ezekiel Joines.  This man’s son appears in the same records under the name “Jines.”   Other variations of the English surname include Goins, Goines, and Gaines.  (For more on the example cited, see the excellent work on the Descendants of Ezekiel Joines.

The Spanish version of Gines is Gines. The name makes its most notorious appearance in Spanish as the moniker of the ringleader of a gang of condemned galley slaves in the novel Don Quixote.  Of course, the Spanish Gines is not a homonym of the Welsh-English or German name of similar spelling.

The French roots of the name Gines seem to be in the name Guion.  The metamorphosis in North America may looked like this:


Some evidence to support that theory may be found in the migration of a large number of people named Guion to New Bern, Craven County, North Carolina.  The original settlers were francophone Swiss. Some of the Guion immigranyts eentiually moved on to New Rochelle, New York in the mid-18th century.  It was from New Rochelle that Revoltuioonaryn War figure Issac Guion came. After the war, Capt Guion was dispayched to secure the Mississippi Valley for the United States.  He went to Natchez via Memphis, and Guion family members are found in both places.

Acording to the U.S. Census Bureau, the name GINES was represented by the following demographic data in the 2000 census:


Rank among “common names”   11621 [names occurrimg more than 100 times]

Number of Occurrences                  2468

Proportion per 100,000 (%)                  0.92

Cum’l Prop per 100,000                69697.76  [number per 100,000 with this name and others]

% White                                                   37.13

% Black                                                    16.10

% Asian/Pacific Islander                    15.78

%Amer. Indian/Alaska Native            0.28

% Two or More Races                           2.18

% Hispanic                                            28.53

EARLY AMERICAN SETTLERS: The Maryland State Archives record one Joel Gines as the owner of 208 acres in Anne Arundel County in 1787.  The 1810 Federal Census has John Gines in Johnston County, North Carolina.  These early settlers may have come from Warwickshire, England, the county which includes Loxley (Robin Hood’s birthplace in legend), Stratford-upon-Avon (where Shakespeare lived) and, more importantly today, the industrial city of Birmingham.

In America today, there are at least five Gines family groups:

1.  The Midwestern Gines families: These families are largely descendants of German and English immigrants in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. Their genealogy has been well-documented by Ron Gines. (Ron and his mother, Wanda L. Gines, have published a two-volume book called Our Brink Heritage ([1998] Gynzer Publishing, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 98-71249, ISBN 1-57502-784-4), available at most libraries.)

2.  The LDS Gines families: Centered in Utah and Idaho, these familiesy were among the founders of the LDS cmmunity in Woodland, Utah. These families comprise the largest Gines family group in America today.  They trace their origins to the German-English Midwestern Gines family group.

3. The Latino or Hispanic Gines families are of two sub-groups: one is centered in the Southwest and is mainly of Mexican descent; the other is found in the urban areas of the Eastern United States, being primarily of recent Puerto Rican ancestry.
4.  There is an Asian-Pacific Islander Gines family group consisting of Filipino-descended individuals.  They are concentrated on the west coast and in Hawaii.  Like the Latino Gines families, the Filipino Gines families trace their roots to Spain.
5.   The African-American Gines families can be found in the Midwest, the South, and Texas.  There is some evidence which suggests that the African-American Gines families may been have two originally distinct groups which have overlapped. One group may have been slaves of English Gines families  in the Carolinas.  The other group may have originated as slaves of the French family named Guion, also in the Carolinas.
OUR FAMILY: Also now located in the Midwest, our Gines family ranges from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi to Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri to Minnesota.  This American family seems to have begun in the Carolinas and migrated to Louisiana.  Mostly African-American, this family has a strong record of achievement and service, counting among its members clergymen, teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, military officers, media executives, physicians, and community leaders.

The first ancestor of our Gines family that I found was be Richard William (“Dick”) Gines, born in Louisiana in about 1860.  There is some evidence that his father was born in South Carolina. Dick lived for awhile with his brother Ed and Ed’s wife, Adlade, in Shreveport. He also worked as a laborer in the household of Edmond Morris, a Negro from North Carolina. In 1883, he married Sylvia LeJay, whose parents, Lewis LeJay and Syntrilla Brayboy, also had roots in South Carolina.  In Shreveport, Dick was a fireman at an electrical roundhouse.  He and Sylvia raised ten children.  The family spread to the Midwest in about 1920 when two of Dick’s sons, William Edward Gines (“Eddie”), and Henry Willie Gines,  headed north to Kansas City.

Acknowledgements: Principal Sources for information on the following pages include–

º Delorise Annrie Gines, The 2004 Gines Family Calendar, (unpublished) Copyright © 2004, The Descendants of Richard Gines & Sylvia LeJay.
°  US Dept of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Federal Censuses for Louisiana, 1870-1910.

7 Responses to “The Gines Diaspora”

  • Donna m Gines says:

    My husband is Ronald Floyd Gines. His family is from Utah. his great great great grandfather was George Gines from stratford upon avon . Looking for any info on the family, if there are still family living in England, and any other branches of his family tree. Would appreciate any information. Thank You
    Donna Marie Gines

  • harry a.gines says:

    i would love to learn more of my family

  • Randy Cole says:

    In my genealogical research of the Cole family, I have discovered that one of my ancestors, William Cole married an “Alles Gines” in Aschurch, Northway, Gloucestershire, England on November 25, 1594. There are other marriages recorded about this time in the same location involving individuals with the surname spelled Geynes, Gynes and perhaps even Heynes.

  • lasonja holloman says:

    my grandmother susie jones thomas was born on sept 28, 1913 to mary gines (1900-1918) and nelson jones on Marydale plantation. she now resides in arkansas. she was raised by her grandparents Charles gines and Louellen roach gines on marydale plantation. charles gines was born to milford and rebecca gines around 1820. I would love to connect with anyone who has any information on my family. my grandmother travels back to tensas (saint josephs) louisiana when she can. She will turn 99 on september 28, 2012. please contact me at thank you, lasonja

  • Craig says:

    Actually, Roger, I really don’t know. That’s about two more pages away in my research plan! But since I found the Guion connection (Huguenots) [see, and the posts immediately following], I have to wonder if there really was a UK connection anyway.

  • roger gines says:

    Any relations still living in UK?

  • […] have written before about the five main Gines family groups in the United States.  In sorting out my issue here, we don’t need to disturb the Latino, Pacific Islander, or […]

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