Monday, October 20, 2014

The Welsh Tract

Early on, the Welsh had a number of folks involved in the settlement of this new land they generally called the colonies.  At times, a large number of individuals would travel together as a group of Welshmen.  Often this would be called a "Welsh Tract".   Such is the case of one group coming as "Cymric Quakers" to what was called "Pennsylvania".


An account of such a migration from Wales is recorded by the text called "Merion In The Welsh Tract".  The front sheet of my copy is shown above.  It includes sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor.  It dates this migration to 1682.

The book by Thomas Allen Glenn was first published in 1896, and was reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, in 1970.  Clearfield Company, Inc. reprinted the text again in 1992.

For my own genealogical tree climbing it was very helpful in understanding this period in my own JONES family tree.  A Dr. Edward Jones was a leading individual among the first of this Quarker group. 

A dedication in the book states:

       "To The Memory of The First Welsh Planters In The Province of Pennsylvania Is Dedicated
        This Humble Record Of Their Lives, Their Lineage And The Country Which They Settled".

For those who have an interest in this early settlement group, this reference is a significant contribution to "The Welsh Tract".

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Cymry of '76

An address given by Alexander Jones in 1855 is recorded in a book about the Welsh descendents who were involved in the American Revolution.  The address was delivered in the Welsh Congregational Church which stood on Eleventh Street, New York.  At the request of the St. David's Benevolent Society it was given on the eve of St. David's day, February 28, 1855.  The following is a copy of the title page:


The material was reprinted by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, MD in 1968.  It was then reprinted in 1989 by the Clearfield Co., Baltimore, MD. 

The book contains a large number of "Appendix" discussing the Welsh language, history, and chronology.  It also contains the address of the Rev. David Jones at the Fort of Ticonderoga when the enemy were hourly expected in 1776.

I suspect the book is not widely known, so I put the reference for those who might be interested.  It is a fun reference to peruse.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Reference


References to aid your Welsh genealogical research are hard to find.  In America, this is especially true for the genealogist who are lucky enough to find their tree branches reaching back to Wales.

The above text written by Charles M. Franklin is a reference that has been very helpful.  It was published in 1995 by Heritage House, Indianapolis, IN.  I ran across this copy in one of those book stores that can only be found with difficulty.    The contents are : 1) Wales: Its History , 2) Welsh in America, 3) Research in Wales, 4) Basic Welsh for Genealogists , 5) What's in A Name , 6) Welsh Towns and Their Counties, and a detailed bibliography. 

It has a section on post-1974 Welsh Counties that were formed after a reorganization.  This "reorganization" has been returned to the original counties.  [Interesting aspect in Welsh history.]

Well, here is a reference that for those of American Welsh descent may find helpful.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

English Equivalents

Welsh names and their transliteration to English equivalents can give the genealogists nightmares.  Taking an English surname and tracing it back to the Welsh language can be difficult.  The words are distinctly different, and often in appearance not even close.  For example lets take the surname "David" as spelled in the English.

The name "David" first appears in the Jewish literature around 900 BC.  In the book of I Samuel 16:13 it is recorded: "...and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward."  In the Hebrew the name comes from the word for "short", but in the same book chapter 16:12 it describes David: "...Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance."  Hum... red headed and blue eyes maybe?  At any rate, the name was adopted by the early Celtic Christians and became a common name among the Welsh.

In the Welsh the name is written in a variety of ways.  The most common is "Dafydd" which certainly appears to be similar to the English spelling.  This also might be written "Davydd" where the "f" and "v" are frequently exchanged for one another.  Now you might not recognize the following : 1) Dai, 2) Dei, 3) Delo, and 4) Dewi which all are spellings of the name David.  How about that...Welsh names to the English Equivalent.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Welsh Genealogical Terms (part 3) M - Z

This is the third post on the topic of Welsh terms. They are abstracted from Dwnn as described in the first two previous posts.  There is no letter "Z" in the Welsh alphabet.

Mab, ab, ap = Son

Mam, vam = Mother

Marchog, varchog, pl. marchogion, varchogion = Knight

Marw, varw = Died, Dead

Marw heb etivedd = Died without issue

Marw heb etivedd yn byw ar ol = Died without issue surviving

Meibion, veibion = Sons

Merch, verched = Daughters

Modryb = Aunt

Nai, pl. neiaint = Nephew

Nith = Niece

Pais, bais = Coat of Arms

Parchedig = Reverend

Tad, dad = Father

Wedi priodi = Married

Wyr = Grandson, or grand-daughter

Yn byw = Living

Ysgwier = Esquire

Taken from Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of The Marches, Lewys Dwnn, Vol. I, p. xxxii, 1846.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Welsh Genealogical Terms (part 2 ) F - L

The second post that give the genealogical terms recorded in Dwnn, Vol. I, p.xxxii :

Ganedig, anedig = Born.

Gorvuchedd = Surviving.

Gwr, wr = Husband

Gwraig, wraig = Wife

Gwr bonheddig = Gentleman

Heb briodi = Unmarried

Hen = Senior

Hen dad = Grandfather

Hen vam = Grandmother

Iarll = Earl

Iarlles = Countess

Ior = Lord


This edition was published in Wales in 2005 by Bridge Books, Wrexham.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Welsh Genealogical Terms (part 1) A - E

Samuel Rush Meyrick states in his text of Dwnn:

"For the benefit of the English reader, large portions of Welsh have been followed by translations, and in the notes to the text the meanings of several words and phrases have been given; but, as a futrther assistance, the following with their mutations are added under this title."

The "title" is "Glossary".   Since Dwnn is not widely available to most genealogist, I thought it might be helpful to list the terms as translated by Meyrick on p. xxxii, Vol. I, Dwnn.  They are listed in alphabetical order in the text.  Part 1 will list those words beginning with A - E.

      Aeressau, pl. = Heiresses.

      Anweddawg = Unmarried.

      Arglwydd = Lord.

      Bach, bychan, vach, vychan = Junior, little.

      Barwn = Baron.

      Brawd, vrawd = Brother.

      Bedyddiedig = Baptized

      Cevnderw, fem. cyvnitherw = Cousin.

      Chwaer = Sister.

      Dwc = Duke.

      Etivedd = Heir.

      Ewythr = Uncle.

The title page from this monumental text (Dwnn) is shown below.