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  1. #1
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    Can Welsh ancestry be determined by surnames?

    I have no known Scottish ancestry but feel the need to justify wearing the kilt. Since there are some Welsh tartans, that hopefully might be the excuse I'm looking for. I have ancestors with the name Pritchard which is supposed to be of all Welsh origins also Wallen supposed to be 75% probability of being Welsh,but most sites say Swedish is the origin. Most of the family names seem to be of English origins, Keyes, Grills, Vickers, Pafford, Whittle, Johnson, and possibly Roberts that is also supposed to be Welsh.

    Supposedly I'm related to Sir Thomas Overbury, could someone please confirm this and tell me of any possible Scottish or Welsh ancestors? On this document at 185. X. Ellis Newman Pafford is my Great Grandfather. Thank you.

    http://johnniewbrown.net/Bluehost/Overby.html

    Pritchard tartan
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    Last edited by tokareva; 9th April 18 at 08:45 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Prichard is indeed a Welsh patronymic, "Ap Richard" meaning descendant of Richard. "Ap" is the Welsh equivalent of "Ob" or "O'" in Irish.

    Alan

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Well, ap or ab, depending on the name; specifically it seems ab was favored for names beginning with a vowel (e.g. ab Ifan --> Evans/Bevan).

    Also keep in mind that there was no Richards clan. Plenty of unrelated people wound up with the same surname when Wales made the transition from the patronymic system to the modern concept of family names, simply because their fathers had the same given name. So you won't be stepping on any toes by wearing the Richards/Pritchard tartan...or Roberts/Probert, for that matter.

    And before the conversation gets derailed, I'll remind everyone what Rocky and Eric said regarding the newness and "unofficial" status of the Welsh tartans in one of USA Kilts' recent Q&As: every tradition starts somewhere.
    Last edited by Dollander; 10th April 18 at 02:10 AM.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
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    To some degree someone can tell where a family is from with the family name, yet there are often multiple origins for a name. Pritchard is one of the few that I have only found as Welsh as it is from Ap Richard, or son of Richard. The old Welsh map/mab to modern Welsh ap/ab for son of is often abbreviated to a p or b in the front of the name. Many people did leave Wales for other parts of Europe or the Americas from the 16th century through the 19th century and I would not be surprised if a Pritchard moved from Wales to Sweden. With my family surname of Morris it took a lot of research to find that the family is from Wales as the name is common in Wales yet can be from most of Europe.

    The family of Thomas Overbury could be hard to trace as the information you put a link to is from before most records that can be found in the UK. From what I see the family appears to have been in England close to Wales early in the Tudor era. There were many Welsh noble families that purchased land in England when Henry Tudor became Henry VII of England. Many of these families made a claim of arms that listed a Welsh ancestor, often just as descended from a person without the full lineage mentioned, yet I do not see that for Overbury on a quick search. Several of the Welsh families that moved to England returned to Wales after Henry VII did not give the Welsh an equal social and legal standing as the English, and several families were divided between those who stayed Welsh and those who claimed to be English to avoid issues.

    The Welsh Tartan Center has some nice tartans and they are well woven. I have a vest and tie in Morris of Wales and have considered a kilt in the tartan yet have not made the order yet. If you like tartans that stand out there is a Pritchard tartan from 1923 that looks nice.
    https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/ta...tails?ref=3414

    P.S.: I also have some Pritchard ancestors. Are you by any chance related to the following people?
    Sir Henry Pritchard, 1592 Wales
    Thomas Pritchard, 1620 Wales
    Henry Thomas Pritchard, 1650 Wales - 1698 PA, US (then a British colony)
    Benjamin Pritchard, 1678 NC, US - 1739 who married Sarah Culpepper
    Mary Pritchard, 1707 -1791 who married Aaron Morris

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  8. #5
    Join Date
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    Thanks for all the replies, so it seems I may indeed claim Welsh ancestry if I understand correctly. That would be nice since I do particularly like the Welsh dragon.

    LKM, all I can tell you is that my Great Grandmothers maiden name was Pritchard, her father was one of three orphans from NC, that came to live in Scarborough, TN.
    Last edited by tokareva; 10th April 18 at 02:36 PM.

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