The dominance of a small number of common surnames in Wales can be a major stumbling block for those researching their Welsh ancestry or wishing to distinguish between individuals within a given community as part of a local history study. This book attempts to dispel many of the myths which surround the subject of surnames in Wales - such as the widely-held belief (outside Wales) that nearly everyone is named Jones - by describing the development of surnames within Wales down to modern times. Equal emphasis has been given to common names found throughout Wales and to rarer ones found only in specific localities. There are nearly 40 maps showing the incidence and distribution of the more interesting or typical surnames in the early part of the nineteenth century. These have been derived from a survey involving more than 270,000 surnames found in parish records throughout Wales and for this second edition it has been extended to cover given names. The most important additional work relates to the transition from patronymic naming to settled surnames. This illustrates very clearly how late the patronymic system survived in many parts of Wales. A method for predicting a possible place of origin within Wales for small groups of people (who may have migrated or emigrated), based on a knowledge of the distibution and incidence of both surnames and given names, is also described. The book draws heavily upon examples of surnames and given names recorded in ancient pedigrees and more recent family history research.
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Manufacturer/Publisher: Gomer Press
Author: J £ S Rowlands