Patronymic surnames in Wales

by Joanna Masters
(Wales, UK)

Wales used the patronymic form of names well into the 19th century and you need to be aware of this when searching for your ancestors.

The quickest way to explain is that John, son of William would have been known as John ap William and his son David called David ap John.

Then the (English) Victorian administrators imposed surnames as we know them, at which point David becomes David Jones.

Add in the bilingual issues and its enough to make a family historian pull their hair out!

There's a useful article explaining this at .

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Dec 13, 2011
Patronymics in Wales
by: Sue Fenn

Joanna, thank you for your contribution! As well as tying into this page, it links nicely with my page entitled Origin of Surnames.

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