Most Welsh last names are patronymic, and the surnames, especially those from the middle ages, have prefixes like ap and ab, which mean “son of”, and ferch, which means “daughter of”. Other names were derived from nicknames, occupations, and some were also non-hereditary personal names. Let’s take a look at some popular Welsh surnames.
80 Popular Welsh Surnames or Family Names With Meanings
Welsh family names make for some great first names. With their origin and history, you could pick one of these rare names that will stick on:
A common biblical surname, it means “son of Adam”. The popular Welsh version of this name is Adda and Bathoe.
A rare Welsh surnames, it seems to belong to only one family found in only one part of Cardiganshire.
Derived from the Welsh word annwy, which means “beloved”, “dear” or “favourite child”.
Derived from an English place name it is adopted by the Welsh. It means “eastern woodland clearing” in Old English.
One of the Old Welsh surnames, it arrived after the Normans went on to conquest the Wales region. The person who originally bore this name was supposed to live in a place planted with elder trees.
Commonly used as a nickname for a short or small man, it traces its origin to the Welsh word, bach that means “little”.
It is a patronymic name that is created from the Welsh name Bevan, derived from ab Lefan or ap Lefan. The prefix ap or ab means “son of” and therefore the name means “son of Lefan”.
Derived from the personal name Bedo, which is a short form of Meredydd. It means “sea lord”.
Adopted from the English name Bendbow, this name moved to Wales from the midlands. It was originally given to an archer.
The name is an English version of the Welsh name ap Einion, which means “son of Enion”.
The name is given to someone who lived in the upland.
A variant of the name Calwallader, it means “leader of the battle”. It is derived from the Welsh words cad, which means “battle” and gwaladr, which means “leader”.
It is a toponymical name for someone from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff. The name Cardiff is itself derived from a combination of two Welsh words caer, meaning “fort”, and taf, which means “stream of water”.
The name comes from Welsh care, which means “fort”.
Derived from the old Welsh name Seisyllt, it is actually a different form of the Latin name Sextilius, which comes from the Latin word sextus. It means “sixth”.
It is a Cornish surname that came to Wales with the mining families that migrated before 1800.
This name is an English or anglicized version of the Welsh personal name Deicws. It is also a pet or short form of “Dafydd”, the Welsh form of “David”.
Dee is derived from the Welsh word Du which means “dark”.
A Welsh variant of Daniel, this biblical name means “God is my judge”.
It is derived from the Welsh surnames Devenallt and Dyfnallt. It means “deep hill”.
A variant of the personal name made of two Welsh elements uud menaing “lord” and ris that means “impulsive” or “ardent”.
A name with a Hebrew origin, it means “God of the Lord” or “the strong Lord”.
Derived from the Welsh word Einion/Einon, it means “the son of Eignion”.
This name originates from the Latin word that means “lucky” and also the name of a saint.
It is a toponymical name for someone from the place called Flint in Wales based in Flintshire, famous for the Flint castle.
A variant of the surname Lloyd, it is derived from the Welsh word llwyd that means “gray”. The name could have a reference to a young man.
The name is derived from the forest deity “Hu Gadarn”.
A Welsh surname derived from the Welsh words gam or cam, which means “crooked” or “bent”.
An occupational name for the one who built walls and medieval machines. It also means “engineer”.
It is a variant of the English name Gough that comes from the Welsh word coch, which means “red”. Again it could be a nickname for someone with red hair or a reddish complexion.
Meaning “Son of Gruffud”, this name comes from the old Welsh name Griphuid, which means “chief” or “Lord”.
This name is derived from the Welsh word Gwyn, which means “blessed”.
Heir could be derived from Hir, which in Welsh means “long” or “tall”.
This is an English surname adopted in Wales and derived from Hob. In English, it means “son of Hob”.
A popular English name, its Welsh variant is Howells. It means “Son of Howell”and could also trace its origin to Hugh from the Old Germanic word hug, which means “heart” or “spirit”.
A derivative of the Welsh personal name Ithael, it originates from the Old Welsh name ludhail, which means “bountiful Lord”. Another variant of this name is Ithell.
It’s a biblical name that came to Wales after the reformation. In Hebrew, it means “he will laugh”.
This biblical name came to Wales with the Reformation. It means “to be behind” or “to follow” in Hebrew.
It means “son of Jenkin”. The name is derived from the name “John” with the suffix kin added to it. It could mean “relating to John’s family”.
Derived from Gervaise, the name could be a Norman personal name Jarvis.
Derived from the old Welsh personal name Cynbel, it is a composition of Old Welsh elements cyn, which means “chief”, and bel, which means “war”.
Derived from the medieval Welsh personal name Cynwrig, meaning “greatest champion”.
A toponymical name derived from Neath, which is also the name of several places and a river in Wales.
This name is derived from the Welsh word cyffin, meaning “border”.
It is a short form of the word glandeg, and it means “handsome”.
The name is an ancient Welsh personal name and also a popular name for the medieval princes. It is also believed to have been derived from Lugobelinus and Cunobelins. Some believe it to be derived from the Welsh word llyw, meaning “leader”.
Derived from the Welsh personal name Lleision or Ley, it means “lion-like”.
It is derived from the Welsh word mab, which means “son”.
It is derived from the Welsh personal name Madoc, which comes from the Welsh word mad that means “good” or “fortunate”. Other variants include – Mattock, Maddox and Madog.
The name is a Welsh form of Maurice and originates from the Welsh name Meurig. The name, Maurice, comes from the Late Roman name Maurus that means “dark-skinned”.
An English name, it means “someone who lives by the mill”. Welsh variants include Mille and Mylle.
It is a habitational name derived from the place of Nannau in Wales.
It originates from the Welsh place called Narberth in Pembrokeshire.
It is a Welsh name that means “someone who lived by an ash tree”.
The name originates from an old English word cniht, which means a “young man” or “knight”.
This name is derived from the place names Lancashire or Nottinghamshire from where people migrated to Wales.
Derived from a personal name from England that came from the Norman invaders, it is also a form of the name Olaf. It means “Olive tree planter”.
Originally spelt as Penoyre, this name comprises of two Welsh elements pen, which means “head” and aur, which means “golden”.
It is a patronymic surname from the Welsh personal name Piers. It originates from the name Peter, which comes from the Greek word petros, which means “stone”.
An anglicized version of the name ap Redith, it means “Son of Redith”. It also comes from the old Welsh name Meredith, which means “the protector of the sea”.
An anglicized version of the Welsh name ap Rhydderch, it means “son of Rhydderch”.
It is a derivative of ap Rosser, which means “son of Rosser”.
The name means “son of Rhys”.
This name is the Welsh version of the English name Roger, and it is derived from the old German name that comprises the words hrod, meaning “fame”, and gar, which means “spear”.
It comes from the old Welsh word sais, meaning “saxon”. It referred to the English people settled in and around Wales.
The name originates from the Welsh personal name that is formed from the personal element ysgor, which means “camp” or “fort”. It refers to the fortified manors across several parts of Wales.
Derived from the names Selyf or Selau, this name is a Welsh version of the biblical name Solomon. It means “peaceful”.
This English name was brought to Wales from Derbyshire during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It means “steep valley”.
Derived either from the Irish personal name or surname Tegan, or the Welsh word teg, this name means “fair“ or “beautiful”.
In Welsh it means “Fat”, “stout” or “plump”. It could have begun as a nickname for someone who was fat and just stuck on.
Derived from the personal name Trahaearn, it is made up of two Welsh words tra, meaning “most” and haearn, meaning “iron”. It could have been used to refer to someone who was as strong as iron.
It is derived from a Welsh place name that was recorded in the medieval times upto the 20th century.
It’s a derivative of Brythonic personal name Orbogenos, also known as “Urgen” or “Urbgen” in older version of Welsh. The name is supposed to have originated from the word gen, which means “born”.
Originating from the Welsh word bychan it means “small” or “little”, it could have been derived to distinguish between the younger of the bearers of the same name.
The name originates from the Welsh word moel, which means “bald”. It would have been used to refer to a bald person or a dry patch of land.
The name is derived from the Welsh personal name Gwaiddan, and it refers to someone from Robeston Wathen in Wales.
It originates from the Welsh personal name Gwgan or Gwgon, which comes from the word gwg, meaning “frown”.
It comes from the Welsh word gwyn, which means “white”, “fair” or “blessed”.
Derived from the Welsh word ial, it means “fertile land”.
This name is a combination of Welsh elements Ior, which means “Lord’ and a short form of berth that means “handsome”.
These Welsh last names have wonderful meanings. They could be perfect for those seeking a name change or even for those who are trying to trace their roots.