Subsídios para o Resgate de Identidade Céltica Britânica: Parte III – Galeses

Instruções Gerais

Os povos CELTAS das Ilhas Britânicas são, em ordem alfabética, e nomes originais Celtas de seus países ou nações:

  • Córnicos (Cornualha, condado; Kérnow)
  • Escoceses (Escócia, nação constituinte com referendo de independência agendado para 2014; Alba)
  • Galeses (Gales, nação constituinte; Cymrú)
  • Irlandeses (Irlanda, país soberano, Irlanda do Norte, nação constituinte; Eire)
  • Maneses (Ilha de Man, país com autogoverno mas dependente da Coroa Britânica; Mannin)

Sempre recordando que há outros povos Celtas em outras partes da Europa! Aqui estamos nos dedicando aos Celtas das Ilhas Britânicas, não são de modo algum os únicos, muito pelo contrário, estudos das universidades de Trinity, Leeds e Cambridge comprovaram geneticamente que os Irlandeses descendem de Galegos e de outros povos do Norte da Península Ibérica.

Para maior agilidade, copiamos e colamos listas em inglês, apenas editando ou traduzindo quando havia necessidade, maiores informações ou correções poderão ser buscadas nas fontes desta coletânea!

Lista de Sobrenomes Galeses

A maioria dos sobrenomes Britânicos que vem do País de Gales:



Informações Auxiliares:


The Welsh created surnames in a way which was fundamentally different from the way surnames were used by the Anglo-Saxons and the Norman-French after them, and this is why there are far fewer Welsh surnames today than English ones. There are currently over 30,000 different surnames in use in England, but less than 5,000 in Wales, with most of these being non-Welsh in origin, brought in by centuries of immigration. This difference needs to be explained somehow.

English surnames (sobrenomes derivados de nomes ingleses)

From 1066 until the present day England has experienced a steady influx of immigrants, often as a result of major political and religious events in Europe. With the Norman Conquest came thousands of French invaders, eager to take possession of land which was confiscated from the defeated English, usually with the utmost brutality. In later centuries other parts of Europe supplied new immigrants (and therefore new names) to England in a more peaceful manner, through migration rather than invasion. Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, were just some of the places they came from, usually as the result of trade between Britain and these countries, but religious persecution after the 16th century Protestant Reformation also brought large numbers of people to these shores in search of refuge. Wales, in contrast, experienced little immigration other than Norman-French incursions from the 11th century onwards. With the final defeat of the Welsh by Edward I in 1282, the last enforced immigration into Wales began as English supporters of Edward and the successive English Kings were given confiscated Welsh lands. The Welsh may have gradually adopted the Christian names which the English brought with them but they continued to use the Welsh ‘patronymic’ system for their names for some centuries after 1282 (see below).

It was noticed some time ago that native English surnames fall into four broad categories:

•  Those derived from personal names: Richards, Jones, Johnson, Robinson, Thomas, Martin, Williams, Matthews, Jackson, etc.

•  Those derived from place names or geographic features: Essex, Kent, York, Telford, Stokes, Carlisle, London, Marston, Lancaster, Charlton, Dover, Wood, Hill, Bush, Green, Field, Moore, Moss, Marsh, Waters, Lake, Hedges, Banks, Burn, Hall, Towns, etc.

•  Those derived from occupations: Butcher, Baker, Smith, Mason, Shepherd, Farmer, Cooper, Hooper, Fletcher, Thatcher, Taylor, Wright, Skinner, Carpenter, Joiner, Weaver, Cook, Miller, etc.

•  Those derived from nicknames or physical descriptions: Grey, Black, White, Green, King, Lord, Baron, Earl, Noble, Bishop, Bold, Strong, Armstrong, Quick, Young, Long/Lang, Short, Broad, etc.

The overwhelming number of surnames found in Wales are those formed from personal names. Some surnames from the other three categories are present but these make up a small fraction of native Welsh names, which is why so few surnames exist, to the frustration of today’s family historians. Because there are a small number of Christian names in the first place, the result is an equally small number of surnames. If, say, only a hundred or so Christian names are in circulation in a region, then only the same number of surnames can be constructed from them. Even more confusingly, it was the common practice for the first-born son to be given the Christian name of his grandfather, so that the same names were recycled again and again down the generations.

Some Welsh surnames derive from pure Celtic sources like Owen (Owain); Morgan; Meredith (from the native Welsh personal name Maredudd); Llewelyn (which became anglicised to Lewis in time). Rhys is another native Welsh personal name which has furnished the modern Rees, Reese and Reece, while Tudur is today’s Tudor. Merrick comes from Meurig; Gruffydd has given us Grifftihs and Hywel has become Howells, but the total list of surnames of pure Welsh origins is small, having been supplanted by English personal names.

Descriptive/nicknames in Welsh (sobrenomes derivados de características pessoais ou apelidos)

There are a small number of these surnames, like Lloyd (from the Welsh Llwyd, grey); Gwynn/Wynn (from the Welsh gwyn, white); Vaughan (from the Welsh fychan, meaning boy, or the younger). Coch (red), mutated to goch and corrupted in speech and writing became Gough, Goff and Gooch. Du (black) has come down to us as Dee. Brace, from the Welsh bras (gross, coarse) is another, but there are not many more.

Occupational names in Welsh (sobrenomes derivados de atividade ou ofício)

Even fewer occupational surnames exist in Welsh, not least because an almost entirely agricultural society would have a limited number of occupations to provide surnames, and what few do exist are even rarer than descriptive names. Gwas (servant) has become the rare Welsh surname Wace; Crowther is another uncommon Welsh surname, derived from crythor, the player of the crwth (a stringed instrument). The Welsh saer (carpenter) has become Sear/s around the Pembrokeshire-Carmarthenshire border.

Surnames derived from Welsh place names (toponímicos galeses)

Some names of this type exist, but not many. A few wealthy families took their surnames from the names of their landed estates: Mostyn, Pennant and Nanny are said to be such examples in north-East Wales and Mansell is found in the south. But more often the ordinary people in an area adopted their towns or region as a surname, such as Gower, Conway, Laugharne, Pembroke, Roch/Roach. Glyn as a surname derives from glyn, a valley. Once again these are not only rare surnames, except in localised areas, but tiny in number as well.

Without surnames from other sources, and without major immigration into Wales to bring in other surnames and Christian names into the population before the 19th century industrial revolution, the resulting pool of surnames is impoverished compared to England.

A table compiled by a notable Welsh family historian show this difference in stark terms:

…. by combining the information contained in the Report of the Registrar General published in 1856 (in which he gives details of the incidence of the fifty most common surnames in England and Wales combined) …. it is possible to derive separate listings for each country, and hence to draw some broad comparisons. “



Surnames derived from ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ (son of) (sobrenomes derivados de ‘filho de’)

Surnames were never used in Wales until the arrival of the Normans, who conquered the border areas and south Wales coastal areas during the 11th century, and then only by Welsh gentry families eager to copy their new masters. This process was accelerated somewhat after the final conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1282, but it wasn’t until the highly centralised Tudor state created by the Welshman thHenry VII and his successors that the system already in place in England became applied to ordinary Welsh men and women. Before this the Welsh used the system of patronymics (from the Latin ‘pater’, father) whereby a son would carry his father’s Christian name after his own, with the word ‘ab’ or ‘ap’ (from the Welsh ‘map’ or ‘mab’, son). Thus Rhys ap Thomas means Rhys, son of Thomas. If he named his son Gruffydd, then he would become Gruffydd ap Rhys (Gruffydd, son of Rhys) and so on.

A specialist in Welsh family history has written

In Wales surnames only started to be taken on any scale in the sixteenth century, a full hundred years after they had become the norm in England. Prior to the sixteenth century the traditional naming system in Wales involved a person having a given name and attaching to it the given name of (normally) the father and, if necessary, the given names of as many earlier generations as would uniquely identify the bearer within their particular community. With the Acts of Union (1536-43), the people of Wales became fully subject to English law and administration for the first time. They also became subject to pressures to conform to English practices regarding surnames.

( Rowlands and Rowlands, page 165.)

Naturally, the switchover to the English system wasn’t immediate, and it took several centuries before the Welsh finally abandoned their patronymics and adopted the English system of adding the possessive ‘s’ to many Christian names to create a surname:

However, things did not change overnight, nor did they change in an even way across Wales. Instead surnames were adopted earlier by the gentry than the ordinary people; earlier in those areas subject to greatest English influence; and earlier in the richer lowlands than the poorer, more isolated upland areas. The process of transition took place over an extended period and it was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the patronymic system could be said to have been fully replaced.

(Rowlands & Rowlands, pages 165-166)

There was a transition phase in which the word ‘ap’ (son of) or ‘ab’ (before a vowel) was dropped, with the second Christian name retained. Another process saw the ‘ap’ and ‘ab’ absorbed into the second Christian name to create a brand-new surname. So Thomas ap Hywel (Thomas, son of Hywel) would first become anglicised to Thomas ap Howell before becoming plain Thomas Howell. Similarly, John ab Owen would become John Owen. In time, the possessive ‘s’ would be added to create the surnames Howells and Owens, and both forms of these survive in Wales today. Similarly ap Gruffydd could become plain Gruffydd before finally becoming Griffiths, with an anglicising of spelling thrown in for good measure. Ap David and ap John became the surnames David and John before becoming Davies and Jones. But there were regional variations in this process also:

Of particular interest, however, is the effect this had on those holding the patronymic names David or John. In those areas in which surnames became fixed relatively soon after the dropping of the ap prefix this resulted in the survival as surnames of David and not Davies, John and not Jones, as would be the case later on. Thus we have a high incidence of both David and John as surnames in south Glamorgan (often well in excess of 5%), in south Carmarthenshire (sometimes exceeding 5%), and in the northern part of Pembrokeshire (often approaching 5%).

(Rowlands and Rowlands, page 167)

As a result of this dropping of ‘ap’ and retaining the personal name, there are many Christian names in Wales today which are also surnames. A surname such as Arthur, David, John, Howell, Owen, George, Harry would give the owner a good chance of being either Welsh or of Welsh ancestry. Christian names which are Old Testament in origin (see below) also became surnames but often without the possessive ‘s’ at the end. So Samuel, Daniel, Isaac, Abraham, Joseph are Christian names and surnames which are found in Wales along with Samuels, Daniels, Isaacs, Abrahams, Josephs.

The other group of patronymics to undergo a transitional phase were the ones where the ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ was absorbed into the following patronymic to create a special class of surnames unique to Wales:

ab Owen (son of Owen), becomes Bowen; ab Evan, Bevan; ab Einon, Beynon; ap Harry, Parry; ap Huw, Pugh; ap Hywel, Powell; ap Rhys, Preece and Price; ap Richard, Prichard; ap Henry, Penry; ap Robert, Probert; ap Rhydderch, Prothero; ap Rosser, Prosser; ap Robin, Probyn.

The incidence of surnames incorporating ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ in this way is overwhelmingly found in two areas of Wales. The Welsh areas bordering with England were the first to be colonised by the Normans, and later Anglicised by the English, so these are where the highest distribution is to be found. These surnames are also found in north Wales but are relatively rare in the south and west of the country, except for south-east Carmarthenshire and the Gower peninsular.


4. SURNAMES DERIVED FROM OLD TESTAMENT GIVEN NAMES (sobrenomes derivados de nomes Bíblicos)

Biblical names are common throughout the Christian world. But the various Christian denominations differ as to where these names are taken from. Catholic and Anglican Christian names are taken overwhelmingly from the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Simon, Paul, Thomas, James, Andrew, Philip, etc. Some Catholic countries will even go so far as naming children Jesus or Xavier (ie Saviour,) though British Protestantism tends to stop short at these names (the Welsh, however, have been happy in the past to give children the Christian name Christmas). Needless to say the name Judas is never given to children in the Christian world.



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