100 Common Welsh Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings

100 Common Welsh Surnames Or Last Names With Meanings1

Wales lies to the west of Great Britain Island and is the part of the United Kingdom. The Welsh, people from Wales, are often identified by a given name and their connection to a family. Most Welsh surnames are patronymic and mainly derived from paternal lineage.

During the Middle Ages, they used to add prefixes such as ‘ap,’ ‘ab’ (meaning ‘son of’) and ‘ferch’ (meaning ‘daughter of’) in their surnames. The patronymic system was gradually replaced with fixed surnames, which continued into the 19th century and present.

Welsh surnames are often derived from the Welsh and English, and some even have Celtic origins. If you wish to give your baby a Welsh name, then go through the following list. In this post, MomJunction presents a list of 100 Welsh surnames or last names with their meanings.

List Of Common Welsh Surnames With Meanings

1. Awbrey

The Norman name arrived in Wales after the Norman Conquest of the Wales region. The original bearer of the name was known to live in a place planted with elder trees, and it is also a derivation of Baptismal name meaning ‘son of Aubrey.’

2. Bach

It was used as a nickname for a short or small man, and is taken from the Welsh word, ‘bach’ meaning ‘little.’

3. Baughan

It is derived from the Welsh words ‘bychan,’ which mean little or small. This surname is also a family name in Oxfordshire in England.

4. Beavin

This is a patronymic name created from the Welsh name, Bevan that itself is derived from ‘ab-lefan’ or ‘ap-lefan.’ The prefix ‘ab’ or ‘ap’ means ‘son of,’ and thus the name means ‘son of lefan.’ The name ‘Lefan’ is likely the Welsh version of the name John.

5. Beddoe

It is a variant of the name ‘Bedo,’ which is the pet form of the Welsh name Meredith that means ‘sea lord’ or ‘protector of the sea’ in Welsh.

6. Bennion

It is the anglicized form of the name ‘ap Einion’ meaning the ‘son of Einion.’ The name Einion is the Welsh word for ‘anvil.’

7. Bethel

It is a patronymic surname and an anglicized form of Welsh name ‘ab Ithel’ or ‘son of Ithel’ meaning ‘bountiful Lord.’

8. Blayney

This is derived from the Welsh words ‘blaenau’ meaning ‘uplands’ or ‘blean’ meaning ‘a river source.’ The name is also associated with the place called Castleblayney in Ireland.

9. Breckon

It is a toponymic name for someone from the county of Brecon, also called Brecknockshire, in south Wales. The name is also said to be the name of a 6th century Welsh prince from the same place.

10. Caddell

This is derived from the Old Welsh personal name ‘Cadell’ that itself comes from the Welsh word ‘cad’ meaning ‘battle.’ The surname was popularly associated with the 7th-century saint Cadell ab Urien.

11. Cadogan

It is a derivative of Old Welsh family name Cadwgan where ‘cad’ means‘ battle’ and ‘gwgan’ means ‘glory.’ The surname thus means ‘glory in battle’ or ‘honor in battle.’

12. Cardiff

It is a toponymic name for someone from the Welsh city of Cardiff. The name Cardiff comes from a combination of two Welsh words, namely ‘caer’ meaning ‘fort and ‘taf’ meaning ‘stream of water.’

13. Carew

It is a toponymic name for anyone from the several places of the same name in Wales, including a castle called Carew. The name is a combination of the Welsh words ‘caer’ meaning ‘fort’ and ‘rhiw’ meaning ‘hill’ or a ‘slope.’

14. Cecil

It is taken from the Old Welsh name ‘Seisyllt’ that is derived from the Latin name ‘Sextilius.’ The name ‘Sextilius’ comes from the Latin word ‘sextus’ meaning ‘sixth.’ The name ‘Cecil’ could also be the modified form of the Latin name ‘Caecilius,’ which is derived from ‘Caecus,’ the Latin word for ‘blind.’

15. Collins

This surname is derived from ‘Collen,’ which is a Welsh word for hazel or a hazel grove. Hazel is a shrub and the source of hazelnut. This surname likely has English and Irish origins.

16. Coslett

This is a variant name of Corslett or Cosslett that is considered to have migrated to Wales from Germany. The exact origin of the name is unknown. The surname is common in northern Wales and around Liverpool in England.

17. Craddock

This is a derivative of the Welsh personal name, Caradoc which traces its origin to the ancient Celtic name ‘Caratacos.’ The Celtic name comes from the Celtic word ‘car’ meaning ‘love.’

18. Davies

It is the Welsh variant of the name ‘Davis’ that means ‘son of David.’ The name ‘David’ itself comes from Hebrew and means ‘beloved.’

19. Dee

It is derived from the Welsh word ‘Du’ meaning black or dark. The name ‘Dee’ likely started as a nickname for a person with a dark complexion or dark skin color. Another origin could be the River Dee in Wales. In this case, the name could be a toponymic one referring to those who lived along the banks of the Dee River.

20. Dew

It is considered to be one of the new names that migrated to England after the Norman Conquest. The name means ‘treasured one’ in Welsh

21.Edris

It is a variant of the Welsh personal name Idris that is made of two Welsh elements, namely ‘uud’ meaning ‘lord’ and ‘ris’ meaning ‘impulsive’ or ‘ardent.’

22. Edwards

It is a patronymic name that means ‘son of Edward.’ The name Edward itself comes from Old English words ‘ead’ meaning ‘wealth’ or ‘fortune,’ and ‘weard’ that means ‘guard.’ The name Edward thus means ‘rich guard.’

23. Elijah

The name means ‘my god is Yahweh’ or ‘my god is lord’ in Hebrew. Elijah has been the name of several saints in the past.

24. Ellis

It is a derivative of the Welsh personal name ‘Elisedd’ that is derived from the Welsh word ‘elus’ meaning ‘kind’ or ‘benevolent.’ This surname has been the name of a few kings that ruled over Wales.

25. Evans

It is a patronymic name that means ‘son of Evan.’ The name Evan is the anglicized version of ‘lefan,’ which is the Welsh version of the name John.

26. Eynon

This is a derivative of the Welsh personal name ‘Enion’ that comes from the Welsh word ‘Einion’ meaning ‘anvil.’

27. Flint

It is a toponymic name for someone from the place called Flint in the Flintshire county of Wales. The place is famous for its castle, that is called Flint Castle.

28. Flower

It is an anglicized form of the Welsh personal name ‘Llywarch’ that has an unexplainable origin. The surname may be of English origin where it refers to a blossoming flower or a derivative of Old French word ‘flur’ meaning ‘flower.’

29. Floyd

It is a variant of the surname Lloyd that is a derivative of the Welsh word ‘llwyd’ meaning ‘gray.’ The word ‘llwyd’ is also used to refer to the color ‘brown.’ The name may have been a reference to a young man.

30. Gaynor

It is a variant of the feminine name ‘Gaenor’ that came from ‘Gwenhwyfar,’ a compound of Welsh elements ‘gwen’ meaning‘fair,’ ‘wyf’ meaning ‘smooth,’ and ‘fawr’ meaning ‘large.’ A few variants of the name Gaynor are Guinevere, and Jennifer, which is a popular feminine name.

31. Gethin

It is derived from the Welsh name ‘Cethin’ meaning ‘ugly’ or ‘hideous.’ The name would have likely begun as a nickname.

32. Glace

It is the anglicized form of Welsh word ‘Glas’ that means ‘green’ or can even refer to ‘silver-gray.’ The name could have originally been a nickname.

33. Goff

It is a variant of the name ‘Gough’ that comes from the Welsh word ‘coch’ meaning red. The name likely began as a nickname for someone with red hair or a reddish complexion.

34. Gower

It is a toponymic name for someone from the Gower peninsula, which lies to the south-west of Wales.

35. Griffiths

It means ‘son of Gruffudd.’ The name Gruffudd comes from the Old Welsh name ‘Griphiud’ meaning ‘chief’ or ‘lord.’

36. Guild

It is an anglicized form of Welsh surname ‘Gwyllt,’ a nickname that means ‘wild’ in Welsh.

37. Gwalchmai

It is derived from two Welsh elements, ‘gwalch’ meaning ‘hawk and ‘mai’ meaning ‘field.’ It is also the name of a village in Anglesey, an island off the north-western coast of Wales.

38. Hanmer

This surname is likely a toponymic one, referring to a place called Hanmer , which is a place within the Wrexham County of Wales. The name means ‘lake’ or a ‘pond’ in Old English.

39. Havard

The name is of uncertain origin but is considered a toponymic one. It could refer to someone from the place called Hereford in the Herefordshire county of England. The name Hereford is a combination of the Old English words ‘here’ meaning ‘army’ and ‘ford’ meaning ‘ford’ (a shallow section of a river or a stream).

40. Hier

It is derived from a descriptive nickname derived from the Welsh word ‘hir’ meaning ‘long’ or ‘tall.’

41. Hopkins

It is a patronymic Welsh surname meaning ‘son of Hopkin.’ The name Hopkin is a derivative of the name ‘Robert’ that comes from the Old Germanic name ‘Hrodebert’ meaning ‘bright fame.’

42. Howell

It is an anglicized form of the Old Welsh name ‘Hywel’ which means ‘eminent.’ It was a popular name during the Middle ages and also the name of a ruler of Wales.

43. Hughes

It is the Welsh variant of the surname ‘Howells,’ which means ‘son of Howell.’ Another origin could be the name ‘Hugh’ that comes from the Old Germanic word ‘hug’ meaning ‘heart’ or ‘spirit.’

44. Idle

It is a derivative of the Welsh personal name ‘Ithael’ that comes from Old Welsh name ‘ludhail’ meaning ‘bountiful Lord.’

45. Ithell

It is a variant of the name ‘Ithael,’ which traces its origins to the Old Welsh name ‘ludhail’ meaning ‘bountiful Lord.’

46. James

It is adapted from the first name ‘James.’ The name ‘James’ originated from the Hebrew name ‘Jacob’ that means ‘supplanter.’ The name likely came to Great Britain during the Norman Conquest.

47. Jenkins

It means ‘son of Jenkin.’ The name Jenkin is derived from the name ‘John’ with the suffix ‘kin’, thus the name likely referring to ‘John’s family.’

48. John

It is a popular biblical name that is a variant of the Hebrew name ‘Yochanan’ meaning ‘Jehovah has been gracious’ or ‘god is gracious.’

49. Jones

It is a variant of the name ‘Jon,’ which originates from the name John.

50. Keelan

It is a toponymic name for someone from any of the several places called Cilan in Wales.

51. Kemble

It is derived from the Old Welsh personal name ‘Cynbel’ that is composed of the Old Welsh elements ‘cyn’ meaning ‘chief’ and ‘bel’ meaning ‘war.’ The name thus means ‘war chief.’

52. Kendrick

It is derived from the Old Welsh name ‘Cynwrig’ that is a combination of elements ‘cyn’ meaning ‘chief’ and ‘gwr’ meaning ‘man ‘. It is a popular surname in Wales and counties bordering England.

53. Kneath

The name is likely a toponymic one and likely derived from the name Neath – the name of several places including a river in Wales.

54. Kerry

The origins of the name are unknown, but the surname comes from Old Welsh and means ‘near the castle.’

55. Lewis

It is derived from the Welsh name ‘Llywelyn’that likely originated from the Welsh word ‘llyw’ meaning ‘leader.’ Another variant of the name Lewis is Lewison.

56. Lloyd

It comes from the Welsh word ‘llwyd’ meaning ‘gray’ or also used to refer ‘brown.’ The name may have been a nickname or a reference to young men.

57. Maddocks

It is derived from Welsh personal name ‘Madoc,’ which comes from the Welsh word ‘mad’ meaning ‘good’ or ‘fortunate.’ The other alternatives of the name are Maddox, Mattock, Maddick, Maddog, Mattack and Madog.

58. Meredith

It is derived from the Old Welsh names Meredydd or Maredudd, which means ‘great lord’ or ‘sea lord.’ Another origin of the name could be the Old Welsh name Morgetiud with its first part meaning ‘pomp’ or ‘splendor’ and second portion meaning ‘lord.’

59. Merrick

It originates from the Welsh name ‘Meurig,’ which is the Welsh form of the name ‘Maurice.’ The name ‘Maurice’ comes from the Late Roman name ‘Maurus’ meaning ‘dark-skinned.’

60. Moore

It is a derivative of Welsh word ‘mawr’ meaning ‘big’ or ‘large.’ It may have been originally a nickname for a large or big man.

61. Morgan

This is a derivative of Old Welsh personal name ‘Morcant’ composed of the Welsh elements ‘mor’ meaning ‘sea’ and ‘cant’ meaning ‘circle.’ It is a popular surname in Wales and other parts of Great Britain as well.

62. Morris

It is an anglicized form of Welsh personal name ‘Maurice’ that comes from the Late Roman name ‘Maurus’ meaning ‘dark-skinned.’

63. Moss

It is derived from either Old English ‘mos’ meaning ‘peat-bog’ or Irish ‘Maolmona’ referring to an ancient Gaelic devotee. Another origin of the name could be the Hebrew name ‘Moses.’

64. Mostyn

It is a toponymic name from someone from the place called Mostyn in Wales. The name of the place comes from Old English and means ‘moss town.’

65. Myrick

It is a variant of the Welsh name ‘Myrick’ that ultimately traces its origins to ‘Maurice.’ The name ‘Maurice’ comes from the Late Roman name ‘Maurus’ meaning ‘dark-skinned.’

66. Nanney

It is a toponymic surname derived from the name of a place called Nannau in Wales. The root word for the name is the Celtic word ‘nant’ meaning ‘brook.’

67. Nest

It is the Welsh form of the name ‘Agnes.’ The name Agnes comes from the Greek name ‘Hagne’ meaning ‘pure’ or ‘holy.’

68. Nevitt

It is derived from the Old English word ‘cniht’ that meant a ‘young man’ or a ‘knight.’ The name ‘Nevitt’ could also be the anglicized form of the Old Welsh name ‘Ednyfed.’ This name likely comes from the Welsh names ‘Edenevet’ or ‘Eidniuet’ composed of two Welsh elements, ‘iud’ meaning ‘lord’ and ‘nemeto’ meaning ‘sacred grove.’

69. Owen

It is derived from the Welsh personal name ‘Owain,’ which is likely the Welsh form of the name ‘Eugene.’ The name Eugene comes from the Greek name ‘Eugenios’ that means ‘well-born’ or ‘noble.’

70. Parry

This is a patronymic name that is an anglicized version of the Welsh name ‘ap Harry’ meaning ‘son of Harry.’ The name Harry is derived from the name ‘Henry’ that comes from the Germanic name ‘Heimirich’ meaning ‘home ruler’ or ‘ruler of the homeland.’

71. Pembroke

It is a toponymic surname for someone from the town called Pembroke in Wales. This surname is considered to have been established since the 17th century in Ireland.

72. Pennoyer

The name’s original spelling was ‘Penoyre,’ and it is composed of two Welsh elements, ‘pen’ meaning ‘head’ and ‘aur’ meaning ‘golden.’ The name likely referred someone with golden hair. The name ‘Pennoyer’ could also be a toponymic one referring to someone from the place called Golden Valley in Herefordshire, Wales.

73. Phillips

It means ‘son of Philip.’ The name Philip comes from the Greek name ‘Philippos.’ It is composed of elements, ‘philein’ meaning ‘love’ and ‘hippos’ meaning ‘horse.’

74. Pierce

It is a patronymic surname from the Welsh personal name ‘Piers.’ The name ‘Piers’ come from the name ‘Peter,’ which comes from the Greek word ‘Petros’ meaning ‘stone.’

75. Poyner

This surname is an anglicized form of the Welsh patronymic name ‘ab Ynyr’ or ‘son of Ynyr’. It is a derivative of the Latin name ‘Honorius’ meaning ‘honored.’

76. Price

This is a patronymic name derived from the Welsh personal name ‘ap Rhys’ meaning ‘son of Rhys.’ The name ‘Rhys’ means ‘enthusiasm.’

77. Priddy

It is a patronymic name that is the anglicized version of the name ‘ap Redith’ meaning ‘son of Redith.’ The name ‘Redith’ comes from the Old Welsh name ‘Meredith’ meaning ‘protector of the sea.’ Other origins of the name could be ‘ap Rhiddid’ meaning ‘son of Rhiddid.’ The name ‘Rhiddid’ is of unknown origin. The name ‘Priddy’ could even be a derivative of the Welsh word ‘prydudd’ meaning ‘bard.’

78. Pride

It is a derivative of the Welsh word ‘prid’ that means ‘precious’ or ‘dear.’ This popular name likely represents a valued and cherished person.

79. Prothero

It is the anglicized version of the Welsh name ‘ap Rhydderch’ meaning ‘son of Rhydderch.’ The name Rhydderch means ‘reddish-brown’ and the name may have been a reference to someone with reddish-brown hair or complexion.

80. Rees

It is derived from the Old Welsh personal name ‘Rhys’ that means ‘enthusiasm.’ Another source could be the Old Welsh word ‘Ris’ meaning ‘ardor.’ Other variants include Rice, Reese, and Reece.

81. Roberts

It means ‘son of Robert.’ The name Robert comes from Old German and is made from the Germanic elements ‘hrod’ meaning ‘fame’ and ‘beraht’ meaning ‘bright.’

82. Roderick

It is an anglicized form of Welsh personal name ‘Rhydderch’ that meaning ‘reddish-brown.’

83. Rosser

It is the Welsh version of the English name ‘Roger.’ The name Roger comes from Old German and is composed of the Germanic elements ‘hrod’ meaning ‘fame’ and ‘gar’ meaning ‘spear.’

84. Sayce

This surname comes from the Old Welsh word ‘sais’ that means ‘saxon.’ The name was a reference to the English people settled in and around Wales.

85. Scurlock

It is originated from the Welsh personal name formed by the element ‘ysgor’ meaning ‘fort’ or ‘camp.’ The surname is associated with fortified manors in several parts of Wales.

86. Sealy

This surname is derived from the Welsh personal names ‘Selyf’ or ‘Selau.’ These names are the Welsh version of the name ‘Solomon,’ a Biblical name that means ‘peaceful.’

87. Tew

It is the Welsh word for ‘fat, ’ ‘plump,’ or ‘portly.’ The name likely began as a nickname for a fat person and eventually transformed into a surname.

88. Thomas

It is a biblical name and was a popular medieval personal name in Europe. It is a derivative of Aramaic byname meaning ‘twin.’

89. Trahern

It is derived from the Welsh personal name ‘Trahaearn,’ composed of two Welsh words, namely ‘tra’ meaning ‘most’ and ‘haearn’ meaning ‘iron.’ The name originally would have referred to someone who was as strong as iron.

90. Trevor

It is a toponymic surname derived from two Welsh words, namely ‘tref’ meaning ‘town’ and ‘mawr’ meaning ‘large.’ The name thus means ‘large town,’ and could have referred to someone who came from a large town.

91. Tudor

It is taken from the personal Welsh name ‘Tudur’ that comes from the Celtic word ‘Toutorix’ meaning ‘ruler of the people.’

92. Uren

It is a derivative of Brythonic personal name ‘Orbogenos’ that was known as ‘Urgen’ or ‘Urbgen’ in Old Welsh. Although the first element is unknown, the root word ‘gen’ represents ‘born’ or ‘birth.’

93. Vaughan

It is derived from Welsh word ‘bychan’ that means ‘small’ or ‘little.’ The name would have originated to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same personal name. The name could have also been a nickname.

94. Voyle

It is originated from the Welsh word ‘moel’ meaning ‘bald.’ It may have begun as a reference to a bald person or a dry patch of land.

95. Wathen

It is a derivative of the Welsh personal name ‘Gwaiddan.’ The name ‘Gwaiddan’ is a toponymic one and likely refers to someone from the place called Robeston Wathen in Wales.

96. Williams

It is a patronymic surname that means ‘son of William.’ The name William comes from the Old German name ‘Willahelm’ composed of the Old Germanic elements, ‘wil’ meaning ‘desire’ and ‘helm’ meaning ‘helmet’ or ‘protection.’

97. Wogan

It is derived from the Old Welsh personal name ‘Gwgan’ or ‘Gwgon’ that comes from the Welsh word ‘gwg’ meaning to ‘frown.’

98. Wynn

It is a variant of the Welsh name ‘Wyn’ that comes from the Welsh word ‘gwyn’ meaning ‘white’ or ‘fair’ or ‘blessed.’ Some other variants of the surname Wynn are Wyne and Gwynne.

99. Yale

It is a toponymic name derived from the Welsh word ‘ial’ that refers to a ‘fertile upland.’ The name originally may have referred to people who came from a place that was a fertile upland.

100. Yarwood

It is an anglicized form of Welsh personal name ‘Iorwerth’ which has Welsh elements ‘ior’ meaning ‘lord’ and lenited form of ‘berth’ meaning ‘handsome.’

Welsh surnames are interesting and have several unique attributes that make them intriguing as well. These names are thus quite likely to catch your eye! Do you have some more Welsh surnames to add to our list? Let us know of them in the comments section below.

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