The origins of the Welsh
name Kidwely go back to the ancient Celtic culture that existed in the hills and Moors
. The forbears that initially held the name Kidwely once lived in the town of Kidwelly, which is situated in the Welsh
region of Dyfed
. The Normans
noted the strategic importance of this town, which is bordered by the coastline and two minor valleys. The town features a magnificent castle which dates from the 13th century; however, this stands on the site of a previous castle built in 1094, by William de Londres. The surname Kidwely belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Kidwely family
The surname Kidwely was first found in Dyfed
a former county, and the ancient Welsh
Kingdom of Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed
in South-west Wales
, comprised of the present day counties of Pembroke, Carmarthen, and Cardigan
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Kidwely family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kidwely research.Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1094, 1589 and 1747 are included under the topic Early Kidwely History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Kidwely Spelling Variations
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. Therefore, 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 Kidwely has occasionally been spelled Kidwelly, Kidwelley, Kidwell, Kidwall, Kedwell and others.
Early Notables of the Kidwely family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Kidwely Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Kidwely family to the New World and Oceana
In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh
families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Kidwely J.H. Kidwell, who sailed to San Francisco in 1851.