Any Famous Welsh Ancestors?

The western-central portion of the Great Britain is known as Wales and many people have ancestors who originated from this region. Wales has actually been joined to England politically for over 475 years, so the English and Welsh relationship is very close.  This mostly mountainous landscape has approximately three million people today.

In researching any ancestors you may have come across a branch from Wales.  Many of the surnames from Wales are quite common in the Great Britain as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  Even with the Welsh language and very different spelling there is some common ties. Names such as Roberts, Llywelyn, Davies, Harries, James, Cowper, Morgan, Rees, Lewis, Dagger, Howell, Richards, Williams and Griffith are some of the ordinary surnames.

The Welsh Biography Online site has a great write-up on some 5,000 Welsh citizens who made a name for themselves during their lifetime. Each individual made some noteworthy contribution to the life and culture of Wales over the decades. More biographies are added monthly.

On the site there is a search box where a surname can be looked up.  There is also an alphabetical listing by letters so a researcher can scan through a complete listing of similar surnames with slightly different spellings.  A search can also be done by a keyword, such as a doctor, scientist, minister to see any Welsh biographies in a certain occupation or even town.

Once a person of interest is located, there will show a birth and death dates and a brief listing of what they were famous for. Click on the underlined name to reveal further details about the person. Some of the biographies take you back a thousand years such as Maurice Fitzgerald who was one of the conquerors of Ireland or Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn, who was a king in 1063 of the Powys people of Wales. In later Welsh history would be Sir Thomas Salusbury, a 17th century poet, or Dai Maewsmor, a famous harpist in the 16th century.

More contemporary people would be Sir Tannatt William Edgeworth David who lived from 1858 to 1934 and well known as an explorer and a geologist, along with William John Bancroft, a 20th century cricketer and rugby player and Anne Beale, a 19th century writer.

Searching by key words produced 400 individuals known as writers and 1,133 Welsh citizens who were ministers. The site great insight to the people that helped shape Wales over the years.  Besides, you just might come across a famous Welsh ancestor or two.

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