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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

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During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations for the name: Walsh, Welsh, Welch, Brannagh and others.

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


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Welsh Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Welsh 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 Welsh History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Welsh Early Notables



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

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Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Welsh:

Welsh Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Welsh, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Nich Welsh, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • Thomas Welsh, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1645
  • Walter Welsh, who landed in Maryland in 1668
  • Margaret Welsh, who arrived in Maryland in 1677


Welsh Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Judith Welsh, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Grace Welsh, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Ellin Welsh, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Elinor Welsh, who arrived in Virginia in 1717
  • Hannah Welsh, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746


Welsh Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Roger Welsh, aged 24, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Edmund Welsh, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Louisa Welsh, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Martin Welsh, aged 36, landed in New York in 1812
  • Joseph Welsh, aged 42, landed in New York in 1812


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  • Matthew Empson Welsh (1912-1995), American politician, 41st Governor of Indiana (1961 to 1965)
  • Chris Welsh (b. 1955), former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Thomas Jerome Welsh (1922-2009), American Roman Catholic Bishop of Allentown (1983 to 1997)
  • Stanley Larson Welsh (b. 1928), American botanist, Professor of integrative biology at the Brigham Young University for 44 years
  • Kenneth Welsh (b. 1942), Canadian film and television actor
  • Irvine Welsh (b. 1958), Scottish novelist, playwright and short story writer
  • Matthew "Matt" Welsh (b. 1976), Australian Olympic swimmer
  • Andrew Peter David "Andy" Welsh (b. 1983), English footballer from Manchester
  • John Joseph Welsh (b. 1984), English footballer from Wavertree, Liverpool
  • Brian Welsh (b. 1969), Scottish football player and coach


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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. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Welsh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Welsh 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 September 2014 at 09:26.

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