Friday, December 31, 2010

Labor and Delivery

The two hundred years following Roman withdrawl from our island could be considered the "labor and delivery" of several new cultural groups. [Having delivered over 800 babies during my medical practice years, I have experienced first hand the blood, sweat, and tears that are involved in such a process.]

The Irish had the upper hand since they did not experience Roman occupation. Their Celtic roots expanded more quickly forming first the script called Ogham (Ogam). This writing used short horizontal or diagonal lines on stone slabs recording names, and imagine this...genealogies! This script has been found on the Isle of Man, Scotland, and Wales, showing the extent of early Irish influence around what I would call the "Celtic Mediterrian". [Irish Sea] By this time, Christianity introduced Latin, and some stones in Wales shown both Ogam and Latin. The Irish language formed through a branch of the Q-Celtic giving rise to the Galic tongues.

Irish expansion is also credited with the settlement of the south and south-west coast of what was to become Scotland. One of their major influences was the continuation of the Q-Celtic language in spite of Roman occupation south of Antonine Wall.

The Anglo-Saxon nation begins its history on our island starting 446. In their chronicles they use the term "Britons" until 465, where the name "Welsh" first appears. This was the Anglo-Saxon term used to describe those who spoke Latin and a Celtic tongue. The Welsh nation was still yet to give birth.

Wonderful references are found:

"The Celtic Realms", by Myles Dillion and Nora Chadwick, Castle Books, 1988.

"The Celtic World", Edited by Miranda Green, by Redwood Books, Ltd., 1996.

"A History of Ireland" by Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry, Barnes & Noble, 1988.

"The Course of Irish History" Edited by Moody and Maritn, The Mercier Press, 1984.

"The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles", translated by Anne Savage, Crescent Books, 1995.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After Rome

The power vacuum that Roman withdrawal generated was a quagmire for those who remained upon the island. This time period is perhaps the least documented and poorly understood of any for our Welsh genealogy. The following posts, as written in my blog titled gives part of the historical picture as it is believed to have occurred during this period:

"Holding the Bag" - Oct. 15, 2010.

"Belief Systems" - Oct 18, 2010.

"Its Darkest Hour" - Oct 21, 2010.

"An Indolent and Slothful Race" - Nov. 5, 2010.

"Fleeging Fire" - Nov. 7, 2010.

"Wicked Deeds" - Nov. 10, 2010.

"The Rest of the Story" - Nov. 16, 2010.

"Made Themselves at Home" - Nov. 21, 2010.

"Resigned to Foreingers" - Nov. 24, 2010.

"The Ultimate Taboo" - Nov 29, 2010.

"Infamous" - Dec. 2, 2010.

These posts concentrate on what was to become the land of our fathers!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Roman Britain

Much of our Island's history has to do with Roman Britain. In order not to repeat what I have already written regarding this period of Welsh history, please read the posts dealing with this time period on the blog entitled:

"Lud's Town" - Sept. 1, 2010.

"The Roman Dance" - Sept. 4, 2010.

"Survival" - Sept. 7, 2010.

"Standing on Hadrain's Wall" - Sept. 8, 2010.

"World's End" - Sept. 10, 2010.

"New Kids on the Block" - Sept. 20, 2010.

"Follow the Leaders" - Sept. 23, 2010.

"Legionary Veterans" - Sept. 26, 2010.

"To reproduce another day" - Sept. 29, 2010.

"Pagans We Were" - Oct. 1, 2010.

"What a Mess" - Oct. 4, 2010.

"The World Turned Upside Down" - Oct. 8, 2010.

"Who's on First?" - Oct. 11, 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Important Factors

Before starting this blog called Welsh Genealogy, I had started a blog called The Jones Surname. Since the surname JONES has its origins and history in Wales, many of the early post deal with Welsh history and background. So as not to repeat much of the information, please seen the post that will give a overview of ancient Britain and those factors which seem to have an impact upon Welsh Genealogy. The post are titled and dated:

"The Beginnings" - July 31, 2010.

"Latin terms" = August 4, 2010

"Mind your P's and Q's" - August 5, 2010

"Walas" - August 7, 2010

"The Story Telling Gene" - August 12, 2010

"Sure Kin" - August 13, 2010

"Empire Without Limit" - August 17, 2010

"North to South" - August 22, 2010

"The First Jones" - August 25, 2010

"Sons of Beli mawr" - August 29, 2010.

This gives some of the factors which are important in understanding Welsh genealogy.
The blog is

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cattle Rustling

When the writers of history first arrived to our island, they described a multitude of family groups scattered about the island. Each family group (tribe) had settled a particular part of the island, laying claim to its own territory. These family groups all shared a cultural background from a central European origin which is now called "Celtic". Speaking a variety of Celtic languages, they lived in rural settlements, often warring with one another. The Romans would describe these tribal areas as kingdoms.

Prior to the Romans, money was of little use among these Celtic folks. Wealth was reckoned in cows, and trade carried on by barter of livestock. Cattle rustling was a major form of military training, and was an expected part of life among the settlements. Cattle were grazed among the uplands in summer months, and brought to winter quarters in the lowlands. This form of living called "transhumance" remained a form of society extending to our Welsh culture. [The Welsh have words for "summer home" and "winter home".]

Kinship was all important. A "pedigree", often fanciful by modern standards, established a family's descent from the ancient kings and heroes of the past. It was the family that gave a man his essential identity, enabled him to inherit land, and protect and avenge him in case of murder. More to come.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Welsh History

Understanding the history, culture, and society of the environment that surrounded our ancestors is one step in understanding ourselves. For the one who's history, culture, and society originated in the small, western part of a much larger island originally called "Albion", there is much to be learned. Albion is thought to mean "white land" which I suspect is called this after seeing the white chalk ridge that introduces itself to those who first arrived at the nearest point from the continent.

The history and culture to our JONES part of this world is best discussed by the founding father of Welsh History J.E. Lloyd. He published in 1911, a two volume account of Welsh History called: "A History of Wales: From the Earliest Times to the Edwardian Conquest" (Vol. I), and "A History of Wales: From the Norman Invasion to the Edwardian Conquest", (Vol. II). These volumes contain extensive documentation regarding the lives of those who took part in making this our JONES homeland. It is perhaps not the books to begin to read, since he uses extensive Welsh names and terms. For the American of Welsh descent, this may be difficult to follow and read if you have no Welsh background to naming and language.

The best contemporary text is by John Davies called "A History of Wales", published by Penguin Books. This text was first published in Welsh as "Hanes Cymru" in 1991. It was followed by an English translation in 1993. It is this text that I would recommend as the starting point to Welsh History.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Welsh Genealogical Research: The Foundation

Welsh genealogical research is a daunting task for those in America of Welsh Ancestory. An understanding of the basic Welsh resources available to the genealogist is at least a place to begin. The foundational books for Welsh genealogical research are:

"Heraldic Visitations of Wales and Part of the Marches; Between The Years 1586 and 1613, Under The Authority of Clarencieux and Norroy, Two Kings At Arms, By Lewys Dwnn, Deputy Herald At Arms; Transcribed From The Original Manuscripts, and Edited, With Numberous Explanatory Notes; By Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, Knt. K.H.LL.D. F.A.S. and Honorary Member of The Cymmrodorion and Gwyneddigion Soieties, Etc., Etc."

Wow, what a title! This was published in two volumes 1846 for the Welsh Manuscript Society by William Rees and Longman & Co., H. Hughes, D. Williams, London; and Parry, Chester. It has recently been republished in Wales by Bridge Books, Wrexham. Copies can be ordered but are fairly expensive.

The second reference is:

"Annals and Antiguities of The Counties and County Families of Wales", by Thomas Nicholas, M.A., PhD, F.G.S. The books are listed as "Containing A Record of All Ranks of The Gentry, Their Lineage, Alliances, Appointmets, Armorial Ensigns, and Residences; Ancient Pedigrees and Memorials of Old and Extinct families; Notices of the History, Antiquities, Physical Features, Chief Estates, Geology, and Industry of Each County; Rolls of High Sheriffs and Members of Parliment For Three Hundred Years". The text states that all information was compiled by direct visitation of the counties, and from reliable and original sources. [Dwnn being the primary source.] First published London, 1872, it has had a second printing 1875, and by Genealogical Publishing Co., in 1991. It is also in two volumes.

These two references are the foundation for Welsh genealogical research.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Glyn Family (Glenn)

Adam and Glenn are two good Welsh names. The spelling of Adam in Welsh is Adda. The spelling of Glenn is Glyn. There is also a family spelled Glan. One Glyn family has its origin in Montgomeryshire, an Evan Glyn. Another Glyn family has its origins in the three counties of north Wales above Conway. There is some connection with the Lloyd family. Anyone have additional information?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eryri (land of eagles)

For more than 50 years genealogy has been part of my life. With a surname like JONES, it finally became clear that my ancestors began their history in the mountains of Wales. This ancestry has certainly presented its share of challenges. How, what, when , where, and why in the Welsh culture produced many brick walls before me. This blog is intended to help those with Welsh genealogy. I have not found a similar blog open to everyone, so here goes.

Welsh culture is founded upon genealogy. The family group is central to the social structure and its survival, having its roots in Celtic culture. Since JONES is Welsh, I have also started a blog entitled which introduces much of the early history of the Welsh culture. This background is foundational to understanding Welsh genealogy. So let's begin. Anyone with Welsh genealogy, or an interest, is invited to join in the tree climbing.