Sunday, June 11, 2017

Names : Welsh To English

For those of us in the genealogy world who speak only English, being of Welsh descent has its own set of difficulties.  Language is one of these.  Welsh spellings often appear unusual, and the farther back in time one goes [especially before the Act of Union 1536] the struggles to sort through the generations of Welsh names can present many brick walls.  The next several post will try and present names that have occurred in the Welsh and their "English" translation.  The source for this material is "Welsh Genealogical Research" by Charles M. Franklin, Heritage House, 1995.  The Welsh spelling will be given first, followed by the English translation in alphabetical order.

                                                                       A - B

                                                Welsh Spelling          English Translation

                                                  Adda                          Adam
                                                 Andreas                      Andrew
                                                 Aneirin                       (no equivalent)
                                                 Aneurin                      (no equivalent)
                                                 Arnallt                         Arnold
                                                 Awatin                        Augustin

                                                 Bartholomeus           Bartholomew
                                                 Beda                           Bede
                                                 Bedo                           Meredith
                                                 Bedwyr                       Bedivere
                                                 Bened                         Bennet
                                                 Beti                             Betty, Betsy
                                                 Betsan                         Betty, Betsy
                                                 Betsi                            Betty, Betsy
                                                 Buddug                       Boudicca, Boadicea
                                                 Bwda                           Buddha

More to come...any other names A-B that come to mind?  Please place in comment section below.


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?]