My Morgan ancestors arrived in Pennsylvania over three hundred years ago;
needless to say, I am descended from a daughter of John Morgan - of several
generations ago - so the true story of the family is long since lost. I do
wish family members had had time to maintain and preserve diaries and/or
From: Margaret Holmes <margaret.holmes4(a)ntlworld.com>
Date: 6/22/06 3:30:42 AM
Subject: Re: [Dyfed] DYFED Welsh records written in English
Thank you Emyr for that. As a descendent of Morgans including a Welsh
born in Llanbadarn Fawr and educated at Ystradmeurig, I was a little
aback at the attack on Welsh vicars and there are several more in my
all of whom were born and brought up in Wales. Margaret
----- Original Message -----
From: "Emyr" <emyrmorgan(a)onetel.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 9:24 PM
Subject: RE: [Dyfed] DYFED Welsh records written in English
> Forgive me for sounding pompous but I believe it was the so-called
> union" of 1536 and 1543, passed by Parliament, that introduced the
> legal system into the Principality of Wales and harmonised the
> the two 'nations'. It had much to do with abolishing the power of the
> Marcher lords who were perceived as a threat to the stability of the
> Tudor order. The effect of this legislation was to make English
> 'official' language of Wales and thenceforth no legal document such as
> would be written in Welsh. The loss of status of the Welsh language did
> have an immediate effect upon the language of the people which was
> predominantly monoglot Welsh across much of the principality of Wales.
> Because of this and to ensure that the Welsh became good protestants, in
> 1588, the Bible was translated into Welsh. Church services from Tudor
> up to the industrial revolution across most of Wales were conducted in
> Welsh language. Most of the Welsh clergy were Welshmen who were
> with their flock. Most scholars would agree that the translation
> Bible into Welsh saved the Welsh language from extinction. Religion, far
> from being an agent of Anglicisation, became a saviour of Welsh souls
> of the Welsh language. Respectfully therefore I hope that you
> me for taking issue with the picture you portray of
> clerics" unwittingly acting as cultural assassins eroding Welsh culture
> identity. Incidentally, many of the personal names you mention aren't
> English anyway - most are Biblical or Norman-French in origin.
> Speaking here from a Welsh (a siaradwr Cymraeg hefyd) perspective in
> does it really matter whether a name is "truly Welsh" or not? We are all
> mongrels and children of the one world. Parry is obviously derived from
> Harry but I guarantee that most of 'Welsh' Ap Harrys
have became Harris
> Harries. Furthermore, Harry is a variant of Henry which was
> Britain by the Normans so perhaps, dare I say it, Parry is not so very
> after all! If by "truly Welsh" you mean 'Celtic' (which in itself
> different things to different people) then you've really narrowed down
> field. However if I suggested that I was more Welsh (by virtue
> surname - Morgan) than the people living in my street then I doubt that
> would reach the bottom of it without the aid of an ambulance
> wouldn't deserve to do so!
> Proud Welshman (with "English tampering"), European and citizen of the
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Venita Roylance [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: 21 June 2006 05:49
> To: DYFED-L(a)rootsweb.com
> Subject: Re: [Dyfed] DYFED Welsh records written in English
> Hi Annie et al,
> Yes, I, too, frequently have people ask me about Welsh records when
> they are beginning their research. They are suprised when I tell them
> they'll have to go back a very long way to find records actually
> written in Welsh, and those are usually only of royalty. The records
> we most commonly use for research were written in English, by order
> of the King. Welsh names were anglicized (Who could wrap their tongue
> around those Welsh sounds?? "Which English name sounds closest to
> what he (the father) said? Well, then let's say John, or William, or
> Lewis, ..."), later latinized (by order of the church), and even
> later anglicized again. Luckily (in my opinion), most of the place
> names have survived, or been returned to their original spellings.
> What many consider to be Welsh patronymics (ie adding "s" to a
> father's given name: William -> Williams) isn't true Welsh
> patronymics at all, but another evidence of English (dare I say it?)
> tampering. The English/English-trained clerics have had a dramatic
> impact on Welsh names through the centuries. It thrills my heart to
> see a truly Welsh name here and there. I work with a man named Bevan
> Parry - an American with Welsh ancestry. There are still a few such
> names around, aren't there?
> I just looked at the "Index to Memorials" section on the Llanbadarn
> website (http://www.llanbadarnchurchyard.org.uk/
). I don't see the
> years of the burials; I was interested in finding surnames that are
> truly Welsh, original or created from true Welsh patronymics, not
> anglicized. Here's my list from that list: Beynon, Bowen, Cynon,
> Dafydd, Evan, Hugh, Lloyd, Lyell, Morgan, Morice/Morrice, Owen,
> Parry, Powell, Pryce, Pugh, Rees/Rice, Tregoning, Vaughan. Many of
> the spellings have been anglicized to a point, as you can see. (I'm
> sure others will disagree with, or add too, or delete from this
> list.) Of course, I don't assume that everyone buried there is of
> pure Welsh extraction, so I'm not surprised to find many surnames
> from other cultures - English, Scottish, Irish, etc. Still, there are
> several that could be called "Welsh with English tampering."
> Venita (Spanish) Parry (Welsh!)
> Don't ask! 8o)
> PS: One exception to the general language rule above can be found in
> the early records of the Welsh conferences of The Church of Jesus
> Christ of Latter-day Saints. Those membership records are written in
> Welsh! That's the only one I've found. Perhaps there are others that
> I'm not aware of.
> Homepage: Family History and Other Fascinations
> My Views of Wales
> Just Picture It - Wales (Links to other photo sites)
> On Jun 17, 2006, at 1:39 PM, Cardi2(a)aol.com wrote:
>> I will probably have some of our group mad at me for what I'm going
>> to say.
>> Having done Welsh research for over 20 years, I know that since the
>> 1538, the records for Wales and England have been the same.
>> Therefore, because
>> the records are the same, they are in the same language - English.
>> Now, it may
>> be Old English but its still English. It's not Welsh. But, i bet
>> I'm asked
>> at least ten times a month, "will I be able to read the records?
>> Has anyone
>> translated them from Welsh into English?"
>> I think a lot of beginning researchers today have never picked up a
>> book on
>> how to do British research, much less read a history of Britain.
>> Maybe they
>> I finally finished the 1564 St. David's Diocese wills. Some I
>> couldn't read
>> at all and some were so beautifully written that you read almost
>> every word.
>> They were written in old English, terminology is different. But I
>> was amazed
>> that I was reading wills that were done before the USA was even
>> there. You
>> have to understand that these wills came from people who had land
>> or money.
>> They weren't wills of a poor farmer. Some of them left British
>> money to their
>> children, some left animals and some left property (land).
>> While I was looking at these wills, somebody asked me (naturally) what
>> language is that? I said "Old English." Then I was asked, "I
>> can't read that. Can
>> you?" "No," I said, "not every word but I've already
>> abstract so
>> I'm reading the will for land," (words such as Messuage, tenement
>> and lands" or
>> "Tir" or "Tyr" which means Land.")
>> I was also surprised when they kept mentioning Lady Elizabeth.
>> After about
>> the second will, I read the line above and it said "during the
>> reign of Lady
>> Elizabeth" and I realized they were talking about Queen Elizabeth
>> the First.
>> Later, when they spoke of James I, they called him King. I can't
>> figure out why
>> they didn't call Elizabeth Queen.
>> Anyhow, I'm done with those wills. Now to return to the later ones
>> and the
>> Principle Probate Registry. Those wills will be more interesting.
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