Discover Your Welsh Heritage

November 27, 2019  - by 
a beach in wales.

Do you hail from Wales? Welsh heritage is rich and vibrant—one of its nation’s symbols is even a dragon! The dragon appears on the Welsh flag and has been an important symbol of the country since medieval times. It is a central figure in many Welsh legends, along with daffodils and leeks. This wide variety of symbols shows the variety of life found in Wales and its culture.

Wales is a country located in the western part of Great Britain. Although it shares some of its culture with its neighbor, England, much of its culture is uniquely Welsh. The culture has Celtic roots, and the land was even once part of the Roman Empire! During the Middle Ages, Norman knights led the country, but it was conquered by England between 1277 and 1283. The country was formally united with England by Acts of Union in 1536 and 1542. As a colony of England, Wales became a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain when it was established in 1707.

a graphic showing fun facts about Wales
a graphic showing welsh populations worldwide.

Some say the name “Wales” comes from the term “wealas,” a word used to describe the people of Britain who spoke Brittonic—a Celtic language that was used in Britain. That language later developed into Welsh, Cornish, Breton, and other languages. Others say that “Wales” is a variation of the Proto-Germanic word “walhaz,” which meant “foreigner” or “stranger.” It was used in this way by the Anglo-Saxons.

Learn about Your Welsh Heritage

If you have Welsh ancestors, you can search for them in FamilySearch’s Welsh records. You can also learn more about your Welsh heritage in a variety of articles on the FamilySearch blog.

Welsh Heritage

a welsh grandmother embraces her grandchild

Learn enhanced details about your Welsh heritage, including how to preserve your memories, look for historical records, work on your family tree, and much more. Get started here.

Welsh Food

a welsh family eats dinner together.

The Welsh culture has a treasure trove of delicious foods and recipes. From baked goods such as Welsh cakes and breads, to special cheeses and leeks, to the famous Welsh rarebit, there is something to suit all tastes!

Welsh Names

a welsh family smiles together.

Have you ever thought about integrating names from your ancestry when naming your children? Often, knowing popular names from your native lands helps you find your ancestors as well. This article will help you understand a bit more about Welsh names current and past, plus a bit of the meaning behind them.

How Do You Say That?

a welsh woman laughs with friends

Wales has its own language! While it is written with a similar alphabet as English, there are some different elements of Welsh that are fun and interesting.  Learn how to pronounce Welsh words, and download a handy Welsh pronunciation guide.

Learning about the history of your ancestors is rewarding and comforting. Learning about their culture, the foods they ate, and interesting landmarks gives a flavor of what life may have been like. There is much to discover about Wales. Enjoy the journey!

Rachel Trotter

Rachel J. Trotter is a senior writer and editor at Evalogue.Life. She tells people’s stories and shares hers to encourage others. She loves family storytelling. A graduate of Weber State University, she has had articles featured on LDSLiving.com, FamilySearch.org, and Mormon.org. She and her husband Mat have six children and live on the East Bench in Ogden, Utah.

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Comments

  1. My family is from Wales and I have visited there twice. I would love to see something on how to pronounce Welsh
    words.
    I would love help on pronouncing welsh words.

  2. Thank you for your informative information. I wish I had checked this before going to Wales. However, we did have a wonderful time there experiencing the land and its people and its very difficult looking language. Thank goodness they had English translation under the Welsh words. We did get to stay in Cardiff and traveled to Swansea. My Evans family left from Swansea to America in the late 1600’s as free-slaves to start a new home in the Carolinas. This is my assumption and I’m sure this was common practice among free-slaves that they took upon themselves the surnames names of their masters. My ancestor Lizzie Evans was mulatto (half-white) when she was given her freedom and sailed to a new land. Again I can only assume her father or perhaps her mother must have been Welsh. So it was a privilege for me to document the land of her birth for my descendants. I have had my DNA tested and know that Lizzie’s family were from West Africa and another part of my DNA listed Wales as well.
    I testify to you that I know God’s hand is in this work. The spirit of Elijah is alive and well. I feel it everyday. I am truly blessed to be able to do my small part in researching. documenting and continuing to write the history of my family. I am 76 years old but I hope Heavenly Father will continue to bless me with clarity of mind each and everyday that I live on this earth. Aloha, Faith Amoe Evans Meyer Bean

  3. I have been searching my family tree for over a year now. My paternal forefathers are from the Flintshire region of Wales. My 7th great grandfather, Hugh Roberts imegrated to the United States in 1640. I am very interested in researching more information on my Family.

  4. My mother’s family is from Wales. Both her parents immigrated from Northern Wales, Caernarvonshire to Alberta, Canada. It is on my bucket list to go back to Wales. I probably identify with being Welsh more than with any other aspect of my heritage. We had a treat when we were in the Upper Canada Village east of Kingston a few years ago. We sat down to eat and looked at the menu and ordered Welsh Rarebit … I hadn’t had that since I was a kid. We called our gramma and grampa, Nain and Taid., My name, Robert comes from my great grandfather, Robert Pritchard, and my brother’s name comes from our great uncle, Elwyn Jones. My oldest sisters name, Ann, comes from my grandmother Annie Kate Evans, as does her daughter, Kate. I love being Welsh …. and yes, most of us were redheads … but we all get grey eventually. My mom could pronounce a lot of Welsh names and words including: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch! When I was young, if we were bad, we would get a “clistine” (sp) which means a slap upside the head. My mom took the opportunity to return to the “old country” three times … mostly to do genealogy, but also to meet her long-lost cousins. I’ve now picked up the touch and do Family History anytime I can. I’m a ward Temple and Family History consultant and also responsible for the technology in our local Family History Center. I can say that I truly have the spirit of Elijah which I inherited in part from my mom, who was a convert to the church and had been doing genealogy for as long as I can remember … Back when it was a lot harder than it is now. Before computers and the Internet. I just love reading the blogs … thanks for all of your efforts.

  5. I would love to know the origin of my husband’s last name, I know that it Well’s because so many people say “Oh that is from Wales, I know a lot of people with that last name. And the last name is: Gwilliam