Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Welsh Surnames

The Welsh identified themselves by their patronymic preceded by 'ap' (before consonants) or 'ab' (before vowels) derived from 'map' or 'mab', meaning son (a cognate of the Gaelic 'Mac'), or 'verch', daughter. The centuries of English rule have eradicated this but the genitive '-s' ending to many common names and dialectic differences in diminutives have produced surnames considered typically Welsh. Most are derived from patronymics were in common use into the C16th and are still found in some rural areas as late as the mid C19th. They often retain the 'ap' element in the initial letters 'B' or 'P' - Bowen from ab Owen, Prichard from ap Richard.

By the time of surname formation, most families were using personal names of English (Norman-French) or Biblical origin and it was these that provided many of the patronymics, although some Welsh personal names do occur. The most common ten surnames accounted for over half the population of Wales. The variety was further restricted by the Welsh tendency to name children after family members.

Top Ten C19th Surnames

  Percentage Surname First Name Origin

1 13.84 Jones John Biblical
2 8.91 Williams William Norman
3 7.09 Davies David Biblical
4 5.70 Thomas Thomas Biblical
5 5.46 Evans Evan Welsh
6 3.69 Roberts Robert Norman
7 2.98 Hughes Hugh Norman
8 2.97 Lewis Llewellyn Welsh
9 2.63 Morgan Morgan Welsh
10 2.58 Griffiths Gruffydd Welsh

Adapted from 'The Surnames of Wales' - John and Sheila Rowlands

Modern Surnames

Abernethy Abethell Affleck
Annoil Annwyl Anwell
Anwill Apsimon Bach
Balch Batch Baugh
Baughan Baulch Baynham
Beavan Beddoes Bedward
Bellis Belth Bengough
Bengrisse Bengry Bennion
Bethell Bevan Beynam
Beynon Bithell Blaeney
Blayney Blethin Bonner
Boumphrey Bowen Brace
Broderick Byddir Bynyr
Caddick Caddock Cadogan
Cadwalader Caffyn Carduggan
Catharn Ceidiog Cnaitho
Cneitho Connah Connick
Craddock Cronne Crowther
Crunn Cule Cull
Cunnick Dakin Davenold
Daykin Dayos Deage
Dee Devenallt Devonald
Dew Duppa Eathel
Eddow Edmunds Edwards
Ethell Eynon Ffoulkes
Flello Flood Floyd
Folland Fychan Gadarn
Gainor Games Gethin
Gibbs Gibby Gittings
Gittins Gittoes Glace
Gogh Gooch Goodge
Goudge Gough Gove
Gronnah Grono Grunnah
Guilt Gwalchmai Gwalchmey
Gwenlan Gwgan Gwilliam
Gwilt Gwyn Gwyther
Haggar Haines Harries
Harris Heaven Heyns
Hier Hire Hoells
Hopkins Hoskins Humphreys
Huws Ithell James
Jeavons Jenkins Jevon
Jevons Johns Jone
Kedward Kendrick Kenvin
Kethin Kneath Knethell
Kyffin Landeck Landeg
Laugharne Lello Lelloes
Ley Leyshon Llewellyn
Llowarch Lloyd Llwyd
Lougher Loyd Loyn
Mabe Maddocks Maddy
Madox Mady Matthews
Mayn Mellens Melling
Meyrick Morris Morse
Mostyn Moyle Nanney
Nevett Onn Organ
Owen Parry Pennant
Penry Philipes Poiskyn
Popkins Powell Predith
Price Prichard Pritchard
Pritchett Probert Proger
Prosser Prothero Pryse
Prytherch Pugh Qiult
Reece Rees Reynolds
Rhiann Rhys Richards
Roch Rotherough Rowlands
Rumbald Rutherch Saise
Sayce Shone Siencyn
Stevens Tarvin Teague
Tegg Tew Tidder
Treffgarne Treharne Trevor
Trewent Tudor Tugh
Upjohn Uprichard Vane
Vaughan Vawer Vayne
Voyle Wace Walters
Watkins Willis Woosnam
Wynne Yorath Yorwerth

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

tekeli.li home|Onomastikon home