As there is no 'v' in Welsh, there is no word 'gove'. However, church
records were more often that not kept by non Welsh speakers and, despite the
fact that the Welsh language is phonetic in its own right, they would often
impose the chaos that existed in English spelling onto the Welsh language.
Our local parish of Llanbadarn Fawr appears as Llanbadarn Vawr, Lanbadarn
Vawre etc etc.
So in essence you are correct and Rowland John y Gof would imply a
blacksmith. Patronymics were slowly changing even in the 1600s but you
might reasonably have expected 'Rowland ap John y Gof' even then. The
implication would be that Rowland's father, John, was the smith. The
tradition is by no means dead and our local Pentecostal pastor is
affectionately known as Ifan y Coed (Ifan the woodworker) in recognition of
his expertise in that field.
It would be interesting to know where your reference is from but it
certainly seems as though 'Rowland John y Gove' is an ecclesiastical (ie
----- Original Message -----
From: "BJ & LC Kirkwood" <bjkirkwood(a)bigpond.com>
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2003 4:19 AM
Subject: [Dyfed] Translation please
During my research I have come across names such as Rowland John y Gove
and I have
always assumed that Gove was a place. However,
my trusty little Welsh dictionary tells me that "gof"
"smith" and I guess the man with the anvil and the muscles would be an
integral part of and well looked up to in his community and this may have
separated him from the general throng ...so what I want to know is whether
gof and gove might mean the same thing. I am talking about the 1600's here!
I am also keeping firmly in mind that to differentiate men of the village
who bore the same name, the Welsh called them "John the Milk", "John the
Bettye Kirkwood, Australia.
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