The Surnames Of Wales

Language: English

ISBN: 9781848517752

Current Publication Date: 2014

Format: Hardback

Number of Pages: 324

Title available as:

  1. About the book
  2. Book Reviews


First published in 1996, The Surnames of Wales has long been regarded as an indispensable guide to this most fascinating of verbal and historical minefields. This new updated and expanded edition seeks to dispel many of the myths which surround the subject and is illustrated by evidence taken from a survey involving more than 270,000 surnames found in parish records throughout Wales. In addition, it has been extended to cover given names, drawing upon examples recorded in ancient pedigrees and in more recent family history research.


"Many talk about ‘keeping up with the Joneses’: this is the book which invites and entices you to get right back to their roots. Based upon a lifetime’s research, and using original documents, The Surnames of Wales is written with precision and clarity, with many tables and maps showing surname distribution, with helpful lists of most Welsh surnames and their likely places of origins. This is a sure-footed guide for the unwary through the seemingly-baffling labours of plotting the origins of rare and common surnames. It shows one how the famous Welsh patronymic system worked and how it continued to work in remote areas even into the mid-nineteenth century, and why the Welsh had such a small stock of surnames. But it also shows how the researcher can use this book to build up a theory of probability as to the likely original home of one’s name. It also, unusually, deals with the stock of given names of men and women. This book is a godsend to historians in Wales and indeed right across the world."

Professor Prys Morgan