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

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

The name Tews can be traced to the ancient Celtic culture of Wales. The surname Tews is derived from the Welsh word "tew," which means "portly" or "plump," and was most likely originally a nickname for a heavy-set person.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Tews have included Tew, Tews, Tewell, Tewel, Tuel, Tuell and others.

First found in Cardiganshire (Welsh: Sir Aberteifi), the former Kingdom of Ceredigion, created as a county in 1282 by Edward I, and located on the West coast of Wales, where they held a family seat anciently. Traditionally they claim descent from Rhodri Mawr, the first great King of Wales through Lord Rhys, Prince of South Wales. Gwenllian, daughter of John Tew married Dafydd Llywellyn Lloyd of Castle Howel, first knight of the shire for Cardiganshire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tews research. Another 67 words(5 lines of text) covering the years 1654, 1718, 1714, 1715, 1650 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Tews History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 161 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tews Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Tews family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 67 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The Welsh began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Tews:

Tews Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Johann Tews, aged 34, landed in America in 1839
  • Karoline Charlotte Friderike Tews, aged 27, arrived in America in 1843
  • Joh Wilhelmine Tews, aged 27, arrived in America in 1843

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  • Andreas Tews (b. 1968), German amateur boxer


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  1. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Tews Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tews 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 3 January 2014 at 13:52.

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