Friday, May 12, 2017

Ancient Welsh Naming System

Prior to the English system of surnames, the Welsh naming system consisted of an individual bearing one given name only.  The child was then identified as either the son of (mab, map, vap, or fab), or the daughter of (verch or ferch) the Welshman accepting responsibility under Welsh law for the child.  The terms given above were mutated in normal speech to "ap" or "ab" for the male, and "vch", "vz" or "ach" for the female.  The terms "eil" or "ail" meaning second in succession when used in a name was sometimes found.  When presented to the tribal group from which the father lived, the male child would be given the names of each earlier male ancestor to six or seven generations.  For example, a child given the name "David" who's father was "Morgan", would become "David ap Morgan".  The child's grandfather (say named "Griffith"), his great-grandfather (say named "Hugh"), his great-great-grandfather (say named "Tudor"), and his great-great-great-grandfather (say named "Rhys") under tribal custom would become "David ap Morgan ap Griffith ap Hugh ap Tudor ap Rhys"!  The new member of this tribe would then be able to recite his name as a patronymic string demonstrating his position within the tribal group.  Before written documentation, this would provide a way each individual could prove his "belonging" to a tribal group.  This was necessary since the tribe was responsible to care and protect each member, and hold them responsible for their inter-tribal activity such as injury or theft.  See past posts for more detail of this cultural organization for the ancient Welsh naming system.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Genealogies In The Library of Congress

In my earliest tree climbing days, folks worked on writing down their family stories.  Documentation was the foundation to success, and the Library of Congress was such a place to find genealogies written by others.  There were only a few that dealt with the Jones surname from Wales.  The following are those existing here as listed in "Genealogies In The Library of Congress A Bibliography" edited by Marion J. Kaminkow, Magna Carta Book Co., Baltimore, MD, 1972.

"9393   JONES.  Pedigree of Jones, Wern, parish of Penmorva, county of Carnarvon. (London, 1877)  (3) p. coat of arms.  29 cm.  Communicated by William Watkins Edward Wynne.  Caption title.  Also in Miscellanea genealogica et heraldica. new series, vol. II. p. 249-251.  9-19350.   CS459.J7"

Let's see now, the first four numbers represent the coding location it was given prior to 1972.  This is followed by the title of the reference and its date of publishing.  Other information regarding the number of pages, author(s), special contents, and other sources which contain the same item.  The final letter-number combination is the Dewy Decimal like system applied to this reference.  The few other references recorded 1972:

"9411    JONES.   Genealogy of the Jones family; first and only book ever written of the descendants of Benjamin Jones who immigrated from South Wales more than 250 years ago... By George Russell Jones...  Los Angeles, Cal.,  Times-mirror prg. & bdg. house (c. 1912)   85, (19)  p.  front., ports, , facsim.  18 cm.  19 p. at end for 'Memoranda.'   12-11738     CS71.J76   1912."

"9416    JONES.  The Jones family; five generations from Francis Jones, of Pembrokeshire, Wales, to Richard Mott Jones, of Penn Yan, New York.  Complied by Albert Brill Russell.  Ilion, N.Y. (1924)  24 p. ports. 23 1/2 cm.  Based upon research made 1924, by Alfred R. Justice.  Pages 23-24 left blank for "Addenda.  25-4510  CS71.J76      1924a"

"9436    JONES.  A tree grew in Wales.  By Mable (Jones) Wayland. (San Jose? Calif. 196-?)
100  p.  illus. 28 cm.   Includes bibliographies.  63-28074.      CS71.J76"

[Note the last two call numbers are the same as that above.  This must have been the fact that they were all grouped together in the same file location?]

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Welsh Tribes

A number of recent posts presented the Royal Tribes of Wales [I-V] as recorded in Burke 1840 edition.  The following table presents the "Royal"  and "Noble" tribes as they are geographically distributed among the lands of Wales.  It also list the individual who is given as the founder of each tribe.

This table was completed from my research accomplished before 1992, and published in "The Jones Genealogist" a family newsletter started in 1989.  These tribes and their geographic location would be a foundation to the genetic haplotypes found among the mountains.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Welsh Haplogroups

Some years past, my decision to have my DNA tested was finally made.  For years [some 50+], the genealogy virus had lead me to what seemed my own JONES family origins.  North Wales it was, or at least I thought this was the case.   Uncertainty gave way to verification as my DNA haplogroup returned R1b1b2 [now classified as R1b1a2 ].   The following table shows the haplogroups for my JONES surname from 2011 and 2016.  They are then compared to haplogroups from North Wales reported in 2011.

In 2011, my R1b1 haplogroup made up around 82% of folks seeking their DNA from North Wales.  Those in my JONES surname groups made up 75% of this R1b haplogroup.  From North Wales indeed it would seem.   Other haplogroup percents are shown, which again follow the same pattern as North Wales.  The 2016 group shows that several other haplogroups have been reported to carry the JONES surname which indicates a lot more folks have become interested in all this DNA stuff.

Now the following figure shows roughly how this R1b haplogroup got to Wales.  [It was drawn when my haplogroup was still R1b1b2]  How the genes did flow, from A to R1b some 60,000 years in the making.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New...with the...Old

Welsh history presents its own set of problems for the genealogist.  As time changes, the names of places frequently change in response to the social and political pressures of the day.  Present day names are often derived from older names.  [A change due to language perhaps.]  As one climbs out their Welsh family tree, these changes may not be recognized as one goes back in time.  For example, the following list shows the present day names of the counties of Wales as compared to the much older Welsh names.

                                   Anglesey (Ynys Mon)
                                   Caernarvon (Arfon)
                                   Denbigh (Dinbvch)
                                   Flint (Flint)
                                   Merioneth (Meirionydd)
                                   Montgomery (Trefaldwyn)
                                   Cardigan (Ceredigion)
                                   Radnor (Maesyfed)
                                   Pembroke (Penfro)
                                   Carmarthen (Caerfyddin)
                                   Brecon (Brycheiniog)
                                   Glamorgan (Morgannwy)
                                   Monmouth (Monmouth)

Names are taken from "Welsh Genealogical Research", by Charles M. Franklin, Heritage House, Indianapolis, IN, 1995. p.4.

Monday, February 8, 2016

New Blogs

One can not discuss Welsh genealogy for very long without running into issues involving the JONES surname, and issues with other WELSH surnames.  Two new blogs are started with hopes to address these topics. "JONES SURNAME CENTRAL" one is titled.  Its purpose is to provide a place to discuss the Jones surname from a variety of angles...the origin, history, and chronology...and any other subject that might be related.  The second blog is titled "WELSH SURNAME CENTRAL".  Its purpose is to provide a place to discuss other Welsh surnames as they relate to the Welsh patrilineal naming structure so important to understand among those genealogist seeking to trace their Welsh family trees.  Come join the fun.  You can place comments for subjects or topics that you think are important to address....or questions you might have regarding these subjects.  The blogs are:



I post this information on this blog since many readers share interest in Welsh genealogy.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Royal Authority

Understanding Welsh history and its role in the formation of many Welsh family trees, is a major aspect of Welsh genealogy.  English annexation of Wales started along the border area where many Welsh families intermarried with those who came to claim title to the land.  Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Normans, and what came to be called "The Plantagenets" all had something to do with that mixing of the X and Y chromosomes.  In 1272, Edward I inherited the throne of England.  His Welsh neighbors took top priority and the results of his partial annexation are clearly standing today.  A book by John E. Morris describes what occurred to advance this undertaking.

The Welsh Wars of Edward I is its title.  Many of our Welsh family trees still bend into various shapes, even today, as a result.  A grasp of this history will often help us tree climbers.

Originally published by Oxford at the Clarendon Press in 1901, the cover shown above is my copy published by Combined Books edition, 1996. [Pennsylvania]  Genealogical tables are contained within showing many of the interrelationships which took place.  Raids, castles and battles...who could ask for more.