Thursday, March 6, 2014

Welsh surnames

BBC - Blogs - Wales - Welsh surnames

There has been something of an explosion of interest in family history over the past two or three decades as people try to unravel their past and get in touch, historically speaking, with their distant and long-gone ancestors.
Celebrities with Welsh surnames/stagenames: Tom Jones, Huw Edwards and Katherine Jenkins.Celebrities with Welsh surnames/stage names: Tom Jones, Huw Edwards and Katherine Jenkins.

In England, as far as researchers are concerned, a person's surname might well be a good indicator of family connections. As John and Sheila Rowlands have recently written, with regard to English names, in The Surnames of Wales (Gomer Press):
“it would not be uncommon for a present day researcher to have all 16 great-great-grandparents with different surnames.”
Such diversity undoubtedly makes tracking down a particular relative a lot easier. But in Wales there was, until fairly recently, little variety in the surnames of people so that the same names appeared and were used time after time after time. In some parts of the country, this state of affairs was quite normal up until the beginning of the 19th century.

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