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Welsh Surnames


Welsh Surnames

Welsh Su
rnames such as Evans, Hughes, Jones and Owen are also referred to as family or last names. Welsh Surnames are inherited from the parents and follow the given name to create a full personal name. The Welsh people traditionally had a system of patronymic naming which used the first name of the father as the surname for example for example the Jones surname comes from John the first name of the father. This article contains the history, origins and a list of the meanings of old Welsh Surnames.

Welsh Surnames
Welsh Su
rnames use a system of patronymics as opposed to fixed names. Patronymics are derived from the name of the father or a paternal ancestor. The Celtic patronymics naming system used in Wales includes the prefixes "ab" or "ap", the meaning of which translates  as the 'son of'. Examples of this type of Welsh patronymic surnames are 'ap Rhys' meaning the son of Rhys and "ab Owen" meaning the son of Owen. This led to many Welsh surnames beginning with the letters B and P. The use of the letter A in "ap" and "ab" was eventually dropped. This resulted in the original Welsh surname of 'ap Howell' being shortened to "Phowell" which, over time,  resulted in the Welsh surname of Powell. In a similar way Price from 'ap Rhys' for son of Rhys Bowen and 'ab Owen' meaning son of Owen.

 
 

Origin of Typical Welsh Surnames
The origins of the majority of typical Welsh Surnames fall into four main categories: Patronymic Surnames and a small number of Geographical, Occupational and Descriptive surnames.
 

Origins of Welsh Surnames

 Typical Patronymic Surnames

The vast number of Welsh surnames are Patronymic that conveyed the lineage of a person and reflected family connections such as Evans meaning "son of Evan". The origin of the Jones surname comes from the fathers first name of John. Matronyms are the female equivalents to patronyms.
 

 
 Place Surnames

There  are a few surnames are derived from the names of actual places,  the home or workplace of the person or a nearby location such as Argall from the Celtic word 'argoi' meaning a "dweller in a quiet place" or Trevor from the Celtic words 'mawr and tref' meaning a 'Big Village"
 

 
 Typical Occupation Surnames

A small number of other Welsh Surnames describe occupations such as Priddy from the Celtic word 'prydudd' meaning "bard"
 

 
 Typical Descriptive Surnames

These Welsh Surnames are typically derived from physical or characteristic attributes such the build of a person as in the surname Couch meaning the person had red hair.
 

 
 

Origins of Welsh Surnames

 
 

List of Common Welsh Surnames
The 10 most common surnames in Wales today are as shown on the following list:


1. Jones
2. Williams
3. Davies
4. Evans
5. Thomas
6. Roberts
7. Hughes
8. Edwards
9. Lewis
10. Morris
 

Top 50 List of the most Popular Welsh Surnames
The origins and meanings of old Welsh Surnames are interesting to those studying genealogy and compiling a family tree. Genealogy is the name used to describe the study of successive generations of kin, ancestry and family history. The following list consists of the most popular Welsh Surnames.
 

Top 50 List of the most Popular Welsh Surnames

 1. Jones
2. Williams
3. Davies
4. Evans
5. Thomas
6. Roberts
7. Hughes
8. Edwards
9. Lewis
10. Morris
11. Morgan
12. James
13. Phillips
14. Price
15. Griffiths
16. Richards
17. Ellis
18. Powell
19. Owen
20. Lloyd
21. Rees
22. Parry
23. Griffin
24. Pritchard
25. Pugh
26. Howell
27. Bowen
28. Humphreys
29. Bevan
30. Howells
 
31. Rowlands
32. Johns
33. Meredith
34. Preece
35. Llewellyn
36. Prosser
37. Griffith
38. Harries
39. Pierce
40. Reece
41. Probert
42. Floyd
43. Tudor
44. Breeze
45. Pryce
46. Rosser
47. Brice
48. Gittins
49. Beynon
50. Mathias
 
 

Top 50 List of the most Popular Welsh Surnames

 
 

List of Uncommon Welsh Surnames
Some more uncommon Welsh surnames are as shown on the following list:


Burris
Demery
Glyn
Mabe
Gwyn
Scale
Yandle
Hargest
Beedles
Boyde
Skone
 

Welsh Surnames Meanings
The origin and meanings of many common Welsh Surnames have been lost over time as understanding of Gaelic language and old occupations have slowly disappeared. The following chart provides a list, examples and the meanings of common Welsh Surnames.

List of Welsh Surname Meanings

 Jones

Son of Jon or John

MorrisDerived from name Maurice 
 Williams

Son of William

Apted'Son of Teoda' 
 Bowan

ap Owain meaning 'Son of Owain'

ArgallPlace name  
 Evans

Son of Evan

Bainesab Einws meaning 'Son of Einws' 
 ThomasSon of ThomasBevanab Einws meaning 'Son of Evan' 
 EdwardsSon of EdwardDaviesSon of David 
 LewisAnglicized from the name LlywelynRobertsSon of Robert 
 HughesSon of Hugh from Aoidh meaning guestCouchRed Hair 
 CadwalladerCad "battle" and gwaladr "leader"GrayGray hair or beard 
 

List of Welsh Surname Meanings

 
 

Most Common Welsh Surnames
The 10 most common Welsh Surnames are as follows:
 
SmithMeaning a Blacksmith
BrownMeaning the color of the complexion
WilsonMeaning the son of Will
ThomsonMeaning the son of Thom or Thomas
RobertsonMeaning the son of Robert
CampbellGaelic Meaning a crooked mouth
StewartMeaning an estate manager

 

Welsh Surnames Meanings
Our list of old names from Wales provides a list, examples and the meanings of common Welsh Surnames.

List of Welsh Surname Meanings

 Cecil

From given name Seisyll

TrevorFrom 'tref maur' meaning large village 
 Ellis

From given name Elisedd

VaughnFrom 'bychan' meaning little 
 Hier

Meaning 'Tall'

YatesDweller by the gate 
 Lloyd

From 'Ilwyd' meaning gray

GriffithsFrom the name 'Gruffydd'  
 MaddoxFrom 'mad' meaning luckyCadellMeaning battle 
 MorganFrom given name MorcantTredegarPlace name 
 Parryap Harry meaning 'Son of Harry'BettisPlace name - Bettwys 
 Powellap Howell meaning 'Son of Howell'MaughanWelsh village of Machen 
 Priceap Rhys meaning 'Son of Rhys'PiercefieldPlace name 
 SayerFrom 'saer' meaning carpenterTredegarPlace name 
 

List of Welsh Surname Meanings

 
 

Welsh Surnames

Old Welsh Surnames meanings and origins
Useful information, meanings and history
List of old Welsh Surnames and last names
Examples of old Welsh Surnames meanings
Old Welsh Surnames, meanings and Genealogy
Common Welsh surnames and their meanings
List of old Welsh Surnames and meanings
Old Welsh Surnames meanings and origins

 

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Welsh Surnames

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