How Welsh is your name?

Just been playing with this website which has been quite good at placing my mothers family names. However, it doesn’t work with my fathers family so well. My great grandmother was a Smith who married a Smith and my Grandfather Smith married Miss Jones and their daughters married a Mr Green and a Mr Brown! To top it off my mother is Janet and my Father is John Smith. It did cause some problems in hotels when they were young!

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Mine was spot on and exactly where I expected. Thanks for posting.

Exactly where I need to be, which is NOWHERE! because I have neither name nor surname British related. :slight_smile:

But this is really interesting thing.

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Very accurate for my surname (= my father’s surname, of course), for where he came from.
Pretty accurate for my mother’s surname, for where her father came from.

Laughably wrong for where I met my wife, but I understand why it made its choices like it did.

I tried my wife’s mothers surname, and got a result I would not have expected, but I need to ask my wife, as she will have more background information.

Indeed. Very interesting.

Thank you @jo-hornagold1. This is great fun.
Maiden name puts me firmly in Wales and centred on Carmarthenshire, which is right. Mother’s maiden name is Pembrokeshire (expected), tip of Cornwall and round Londonderry (unexpected). Grandmothers are north of Cardiff (doubtful) and round Caernarfon (no way!). English great-grandmother is Nottinghamshire, which is right. It can’t be expected to get a meeting place correct for those of us who went away to university and met a partner there - and it doesn’t. I could play for hours.

Wow, I already knew my name isn’t Welsh but what I did not expect was the fact that I would have to go back to such a very old spelling (Lowthorpe, from before my ancestor who came over here in 1634) to get a hit, even though the name itself comes from a place name in Yorkshire… I shouldn’t have been surprised, of course, it is just that the name must not have gone through the same spelling changes as it did once it reached America. :sweat_smile:


Mine (Branley) is about where I thought. My Dad traced our ancestry back to Ireland (Galway) in about 1832, and the map shows Branleys are most heavily centred around Northern Ireland and Newcastle Upon Tyne. As the map is only of the UK, it’s not too much of a stretch to suspect that as there are some in Northern Ireland there are also some further down the West Coast in Eire.

My Mother’s maiden name is Davies, so I think we can probably assume the Welsh connection there… and sure enough it’s MASSIVELY centred around South West Wales. Hooray! Cymro dw i!

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It’s always interesting to do any kind of searches about the past.

I tried a few surnames just for fun, and I have to say that the results here are a bit unexpected, though. :thinking:

It seems that if I were British, I’d be either from slightly north of Ipswich, or north-east of Winchester.
I must assume, at some point in time, quite a few Italians moved in those areas since I get much higher results than a few surnames of undoubtfully British friends! :open_mouth:

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I’m from Somerset (South West England) and around here there are LOTS of Costanza and Constanzas because there was a Prisoner of War camp near Goathurst (a little village in Somerset) that housed Italian PoWs during WWII. Many of the prisoners had no desire to go back to war-torn Italy so they settled here.

I wouldn’t be surprised if places like Ipswich or Winchester also had PoW camps nearby and similarly had many prisoners who decided to make England their home.


Oh that’s very interesting and very likely to be the reason!

A lot of Italians moved to other countries to look for jobs - my own relatives did in France, Germany and the USA - so it’s pretty much the first and only possibility that comes to mind.
But they usually settled in areas where big industries or coal mines were or later, opened restaurants and cafes but usually in more populated areas than those tiny towns that appeared in the map!

Interestingly, it thinks my (distinctly West African) surname originates from somewhere between Llandysul and Camarthen. Just a little bit off, but I like that it put us in Wales.

Pretty accurate on the Welsh family names, though!

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There were quite a few Italians in the UK before WW2. And although it’s a cliche, there is some truth in the idea that wherever you find good ice-cream in the UK, you will find Italians involved somewhere along the line - certainly in the past. A cousin of my mother’s married into an Italian ice cream family. They had several successful ice-cream cafés in one of the seaside towns in the north-west of England, and at least one of them is still running - I had an ice cream there a few years ago.

I think Italian ice-cream can be (or used to be) found all over the UK, but I gather it was particularly the case in Glasgow for some reason - no doubt on account of all the hot weather they have up there …
…The Bill Forsyth / Bill Paterson film “Comfort and Joy” sort of satirises this, I would say.

Francis Rossi, of Status Quo, comes from an Italian “ice cream family”, in the south of England. He used to joke (maybe it wasn’t a joke) that if he hadn’t made it in the music business, he would have ended up driving an ice cream van.

Edit: Found this:

Edit2: Another take on this:

(and as I slightly suspected, many traditional places have closed, and one wonders how long the rest can survive, which is a pity).


Here on Ynys Wyth (Isle of Wight) the Minghella family have run an Italian-style ice cream business since the 1950s. Their son Anthony Minghella (1954-2008) went on to achieve fame as a film director, with The English Patient, The Talented Mr Ripley, and Truly, Madly, Deeply, among others.


Then there was Joe Cascarini in Swansea.


Sad that he died so young. I tend to get him confused with Alfred Molina (half-Italian, half-Spanish, apparently - no ice-cream connection, as far as I can tell).

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This worked very well for my mother’s family name - Gravelle. It confirms what I found in namely that there has been an enclave of us around Kidwelly for a couple of hundred years. It also picked up our Manchester branch (Sadly I was not able to establish a link between me and Wales’ greatest ever centre). As for Jones - well there are far too many of us. :laughing:

The case of my ex-wife’s maiden name made me wonder about the statistical basis of the map, however. She had an unusual (in the UK) German/Swiss name and the map shows a hot cluster round Aberdeen. I’m pretty sure that the total number bearing that name round this cluster was six.

I’m adding my thanks to @jo-hornagold1 for posting the link. - Diddorol iawn :slight_smile:

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I lived in Hoddesdon just north of the M25 and could sit in my garden and listen to my neighbors speaking Italian to each other. Best selection of pasta in the local shops I’ve ever seen, Yum! There is a huge community of Italians running market gardens in the Lea Valley. Follow the river towards London and you reach the Olympic Park.


That was rather fun… :slight_smile:

[Apparently Jones is from Wales… :wink: ]


Question linked to Jones… If j is a borrowed letter and not an original part of Welsh alphabet how would Jones have been written originally?

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In other news: Pope still Catholic; Bears off to the woods for a number 2. More at 11.