Gwatkins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A product of the ancient Brythonic Celts of Wales, the name Gwatkins, is from the personal name Walter. The surname Gwatkins is derived from the pet form Wat, which is supplemented by the common diminutive suffix -kin.

Early Origins of the Gwatkins family

The surname Gwatkins was first found in Breconshire (Welsh: Sir Frycheiniog), a traditional county in southern Wales, which takes its name from the Welsh kingdom of Brycheiniog (5th-10th centuries), where they held a family seat at Pennoyre from ancient times and early in the eleventh century branched to Llangorse in that same shire.

Important Dates for the Gwatkins family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwatkins research. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1653, 1670, 1660, 1665 and 1670 are included under the topic Early Gwatkins History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gwatkins Spelling Variations

Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Gwatkins has occasionally been spelled Watkins, Watkyns, Watkens, Watkin and others.

Early Notables of the Gwatkins family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Morgan Watkins ( fl. 1653-1670), English Quaker from Herefordshire who was imprisoned in 1660 in St. Albans gaol and later twice in 1665...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwatkins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gwatkins family to Ireland

Some of the Gwatkins family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gwatkins family

The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Gwatkins: Henry Watkins who was a fisherman of Little Harbour in Twillingate Newfoundland in 1814; Peregrine Watkines settled in Virginia in 1621; Evan Watkins settled in Virginia in 1622.

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