Surnames/tags: Wales Managed Profiles
Before 1535 in some cases, and before the Statute of Rhiuddlan in 1284 in all cases, Welsh geography was comprised of cantrefs and their constitutent commotes the the larger kingdoms and principalities into which they were organized.
- The Cantrefs and Commotes of Wales. These can all be found here
Name Fields in the WikiTree Data Field
Prior to 1535, the Welsh naming pattern was patronymic. ap (ab in front of a vowel sound) meaning "son of". and "ferch" meaning "daughter of" precede the father's name to form the WikiTree Last Name at Birth. The Welsh "f" sounded like a "v" to English scribes, so in many sources one will see "verch" rather than "ferch." We aim not to use verch, even when the anglicized source uses it as there is no letter v in welsh.
Please also note that in order to distinguish between father and son with the same given name the descriptor Fychan, meaning "the younger" was used. For example, Idwal, the son of Idwal would be called Idwal Fychan, rarely Idwal the Elder would be given the Descriptor Hen. Fychan was often anglicised as Vychan, this is not part of the LNAB. Putting it in as a middle name is acceptable. As anglicised surnames came necessary in the 1500s this was transmuted in the surname Vaughan.
Other descriptors such as Goch (red), or Ddu (black) usually referring to hair-colour would best be put as a second forename.
- See name field guidelines on the Welsh Project's page here .
- You can learn more about the meanings of Welsh names:
Sources and Resources for Profile Data
Medieval Welsh genealogy is distinctive for its reliance on pedigrees, which were undoubtedly transmitted orally by bards for some time before they were written down. Bards were specially trained to transmit material by word of mouth as it had come to them; still, errors are inevitable. Pedigrees are long on names and short on dates, which makes working with them hard. Because of the turmoil in Welsh history, primary records such as charters are fewer for Wales than for England. The list of sources on which one can rely without question, will be very short!
Reliable Sources with Conditions
- Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400 and Welsh Genealogies AD 1400-1500 by Peter Bartrum is available online at Bartrum Genealogical Project (Link updated 7 June 2023). It is an excellent source of information, but needs to be used with caution, especially as you follow the lineage back. Many of the people charted do not have any date(s) given, and generations are sometimes condensed. For details, see Darrell Wolcott's article, The Bartrum Welsh Genealogies (accessed 1 August 2019).
- Medieval Welsh Ancestors of Certain Americans by Carl Boyer, 3rd, published 2004 is digitized at Internet Archive - Medieval Welsh Ancestors of Certain Americans. It generally follows Bartrum.
- Medieval Lands: A Prosopography of Medieval European Noble and Royal Families by Charles Cawley is a study which attempts to provide a narrative biography of all of the noble houses of Europe cross-referenced to some original sources. Valuable because of the broad scope of the study but mostly doesn't have the in-depth investigation of individuals as some other resources in this list. The complete website is at Medieval Lands: A Prosopography of Medieval European Noble and Royal Families
- There is a separate section on Wales.
- Dictionary of Welsh Biography, which was originally published by the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion in two English-language volumes and three Welsh-language ones covering the whole history of Wales up to 1970. This electronic version was first launched by the National Library of Wales in 2007, and it includes all the articles from the print volumes and also articles about a number of people who died since 1970. The DWB is now published online only, and it is a fully bilingual resource.
Other Genealogy Resources:
- The History of the Princes, the Lords Marcher and the Ancient Nobility of Powys Fodog and the Ancient Lords of Arwystli, Cedewen and Meirionydd (1881-1887), Lloyd, Jacob Youde William, (6 volumes. London: T. Richards, 1881-1887), FHL book 942.9 D2L; FHL microfilms 990,213-990,214
- Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches Between the Years 1586 and 1613 by Lewys Dwnn (1846), Dwnn, Lewys; transcribed and edited with notes by Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, (2 volumes. Llandovery: William Rees, 1846), FHL book 942.9 D23d; FHL microfilm 176,668.
- The History of Wales, Caradoc of Llancarvan, translated by Dr. Powell, augmented by W. Wynne, (London: T. Evans, 1832), GoogleBooks
- Sir John Edward Lloyd. A History of Wales from the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1911. [ ] (2 Volumes)
- Inquisitions Post Mortem: Mapping the Medieval Countryside
Names and lands included in medieval IPMs from c. 1236 to 1509 with over 500 involving Wales.
- Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families: with Their Collateral Branches in Denbighshire, Merionethshire (1914), Griffith, John Edwards, (Horncastle, England: W.K. Morton, 1914), FHL book Folio 942.9 D2gr; FHL microfilm 468,334.
- The Golden Grove books of pedigrees (filmed 1970), (Manuscript, National Library of Wales manuscript number Castell Gorfod 7. Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950), FHL microfilms 104,349-104,351.
- George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman. History of the princes of South Wales. Wigan [Eng.]: Printed by Thomas Birch, 1876. Open Library
- Sir Joseph Alfred Bradney. The History of Monmouthshire from the Coming of the Normans Into Wales Down to the Present Time, in multiple volumes. Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1904-1993. FS
- Theophilus Jones. A history of the county of Brecknock. Vol. 1. Brecknock: Printed and sold by Wm. & Geo. North ... for the author; and sold by J. Booth ... London., 1805. Open Library
- Theophilus Jones. A History of the County of Brecknock. Vol. 2. Brecknock: Printed and sold by Wm. & Geo. North ... for the author; and sold by J. Booth ... London., 1805. Open Library
- Edward Hamer, Howel William Lloyd. The history of the parish of Llangurig. London: printed by T. Richards, 1875. Internet Archive
- Archaeologia Cambrensis, A Record of the Antiquities of Wales and Its Marches, and the Journal of the Cambrian Archeaological Association. various, 1846-1900. National Library of Wales
- George Thomas Clark. Cartæ et alia munimenta quæ ad dominium de Glamorgan pertinent. Cardiff/Talygarn: William Lewis, 1910. [ ] (6 Volumes)
- There are bibliographies for the various shires in Wales at GENUKI
- Welsh Journals Online at the National Library of Wales
- Center for the Study of Ancient Wales Darrell Wolcott's articles need to be read carefully. Some have been found in error.
- Lloyd, John Edward Sir. A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest. Vol. 1. London: Longmans, Green, and co., 1911. Open Library (Volume 1 - Paleolithic to about 1040 A.D.)
- Lloyd, John Edward Sir. A history of Wales from the earliest times to the Edwardian conquest. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green, and co., 1912. Open Library (Volume 2 - About 1040 A.D. forward)
- Gruffydd ap Cynan, translated by Arthur Jones. The history of Gruffydd ap Cynan. Manchester [Eng.]: University press, 1910. Open Library
- John Davies. A History of Wales. London: Allen Lane, The Penguin press, 1993. [ ]
- A Brief History of Wales, by Peter N. Williams, at Britannia
- Welsh History Review 1960-2000. It contains academic articles and book reviews, mostly in English.
- The website Castles of Wales has a number of good articles about medieval Wales, including A Timeline of Medieval Wales.
- FamilySearch Genealogies - Community Trees - This is a compilation of many sources, including Bartrum, but including unsourced user-submitted trees. May be useful for the beginning of the search, but information shown here should be confirmed with more reliable sources. NOTE: Be sure to limit your search by going to the bottom of the search page and changing the search parameters from ALL to Community Trees.
- Popular Genealogies -- user-submitted trees on Ancestry.com, Geni.com, and other popular genealogies may be useful for beginning a search, but profiles which contain only information from these sources should be considered unsourced. Such sources are never adequate justification for creating a new pre-1500 profile.
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