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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish Welch family come from? What is the Irish Welch family crest and coat of arms? When did the Welch family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Welch family history?

With the arrival of the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 11th century came new naming traditions to the eastern region of Ireland. These new naming traditions actually meshed fairly well with the pre-existing Irish traditions. Both cultures made significant use of hereditary surnames. And like the native Irish, the Strongbownians often used prefixes to build patronymic surnames, which are names based on the given name of the initial bearer's father or another older relative. Strongbow's followers often created names that were built with the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius, both of which mean son. They also used diminutive suffixes such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el, and occasionally even two suffixes combined to form a double diminutive such as -el-in, -el-ot, -in-ot, and -et-in, to build patronymic names. The surname Welch is derived from Breat(h)nach which literally means Welshman. Phillip Brenagh, known as "Phillip the Welshman" was likely the progenitor of the family. Phillip and his brother David arrived with Strongbow, in 1170.


A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Welch has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Walsh, Welsh, Welch, Brannagh and others.

First found in Counties Kilkenny, Leix, and Waterford, in Ireland, where they held a family seat from 1170.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Welch research. Another 257 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1170, 1606, 1615, 1618, 1688, 1604, 1580, 1654, 1618 and 1688 are included under the topic Early Welch History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 97 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Welch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Welch:

Welch Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Mary Welch, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Morgan Welch, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Nicholas Welch, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Daniell Welch, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • Gilbert Welch, who landed in Virginia in 1650

Welch Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Jone Welch, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Reuben Welch, who landed in Virginia in 1719
  • Jacob Welch, aged 21, landed in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Hans Martin Welch, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • Peter Welch, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1742

Welch Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Nally Welch, aged 31, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • Edmond Welch, aged 47, landed in Tennessee in 1812
  • Abraham Welch, who arrived in New York in 1834
  • Lawrence Welch, who arrived in Morgan County, Illinois in 1840
  • Robert Welch, aged 26, landed in St Louis, Missouri in 1840

Welch Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • James Welch, who arrived in Alabama in 1918
  • Rudolph George Welch, who arrived in Alabama in 1919


  • Adonijah Welch (1821-1889), American politician
  • C. David Welch (b. 1953), former Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs of the United States
  • Bob Welch (1946-2012), American musician, former member of Fleetwood Mac
  • General Larry D. Welch (b. 1934), the 12th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
  • Thomas Bramwell Welch (1825-1903), the discoverer of the pasteurization process to prevent the fermentation of grape juice
  • Raquel Welch (b. 1940), born Jo Raquel Tejada, American Golden Globe winning actress, author and sex symbol in the 70s
  • Gillian Welch (b. 1967), American Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter
  • Robert Lynn "Bob" Welch (b. 1956), American former Major League Baseball starting pitcher
  • Carolyn Welch (b. 1929), American bronze medalist figure skater at the 1947 U.S. Figure Skating Championships
  • Edward F. Welch Jr. (1924-2008), American rear admiral of the United States Navy, President of the Naval War College



  • The Tishomingo County Connecti.
  • : History of Skinner-Welch, Adams-Seago and Allied Families of Tishomingo County, Mississippi by Esther Welch Adams.
  • The Welsh (also Welch) Family from the Revolution to the Bicentennial, 1776-1976 by Mrs. Berne Chamberlin.
  • Welch by Jeff D. Welch.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Transfixus sed non mortuus
Motto Translation: Transfixed but not dead.


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  1. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  8. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Welch Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Welch Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2014 at 13:35.

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