Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Old Welsh Patronymic Naming System

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Old Welsh Patronymic Naming System

    I made a graphic to illustrate how the old Welsh patronymic naming system worked, which shows how a bunch of people of Welsh ancestry can share the same ancestor and yet have a number of different surnames. The gentry began adopting permanent surnames in the 18th century. The common folk did so about a hundred years later. Moving to North America led to the adoption of permanent surnames even earlier, as the old system was more difficult to maintain here.

    Originally, each son took his father's first name as a surname along with the prefix ap for son of. That was modified to ab when the first name began with a vowel, as in ab Owen (Bowen - son of Owen). Later, names like "ap Stephen" became Stephens, "ap John" became Jones, etc.

    Daughters also used their fathers' first names, but with the prefix ferch for daughter of.

    The graphic illustrates the hypothetical example of a man named John Evans who had five sons, each of whom had four sons of his own.

    If your ancestry is Welsh and you have a bunch of close y-dna matches to men with different Welsh surnames, don't jump to the conclusion that there were multiple NPEs at play. Probably you are just a victim of the old Welsh patronymic naming system.

    Welsh Patronymic Naming System graphic.jpg



  • #2
    It's similar to the old Swedish (and other Scandinavian countries) patronymic system, with father's first name + possessive "s" + -son, or -dotter. Swedes started using permanent surnames in the latter part of the 1800s, and it was required by law in 1901, later than Scotland. Regardless of county, it all makes for interesting times when researching people who lived in those times.

    I've been in these forums so long, that I recall when you used to have your icon depicting a dragon, as shown in your chart.

    Comment


    • #3
      And I remember when Stevo posted often; but then disppeared. Welcome back!

      And I remember when I first tested at FTDNA, they would give us only 30 minutes at a time to use the site; then cut us off. Please someone confirm that this is true; and that I do not have a false memory. Just testing my cognative abilities. LOL

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KATM View Post
        It's similar to the old Swedish (and other Scandinavian countries) patronymic system, with father's first name + possessive "s" + -son, or -dotter. Swedes started using permanent surnames in the latter part of the 1800s, and it was required by law in 1901, later than Scotland. Regardless of county, it all makes for interesting times when researching people who lived in those times.

        I've been in these forums so long, that I recall when you used to have your icon depicting a dragon, as shown in your chart.
        That wasn't too many years ago. I was using the coat of arms of the old Welsh kingdom of Powys. The flag in the upper right of the graphic is the banner of Owain Glyndwr (Owen Glendower).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Biblioteque View Post
          And I remember when Stevo posted often; but then disppeared. Welcome back!

          And I remember when I first tested at FTDNA, they would give us only 30 minutes at a time to use the site; then cut us off. Please someone confirm that this is true; and that I do not have a false memory. Just testing my cognative abilities. LOL
          Can't help you there. I've been around FTDNA's forum off and on since April of 2006, and I can't remember a 30-minute time limit.

          Thanks for the welcome back. I hope the place gets a little more active, but not as busy as some of the other, overly busy, venues.

          Comment


          • #6
            Do men with Scots or Irish y-dna experience the same sort of thing that the Welsh patronymic system produced, i.e., lots of close y-dna STR matches with men with different surnames?

            It would make sense that they would, since the same Celtic patronymic system prevailed in Scotland and Ireland before surnames became fixed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Any Scots or Irish out there have the same experience, i.e., numerous close STR matches with different surnames? "Mac" and "Mc" are the equivalent of the Welsh "ap", which was originally "map".

              Comment

              Working...
              X