How common is your surname?

How common is your surname?

The fact is everybody will have a ‘common’ surname somewhere in their family tree.  I’m currently researching for those Welsh ancestors.  This branch is made very difficult by them having ‘common’ surnames.

The top 20 surnames in Wales are:

  1. Jones (5.75)
  2. Williams (3.72)
  3. Davies (3.72)
  4. Evans (2.47)
  5. Thomas (2.43)
  6. Roberts (1.53)
  7. Lewis (1.53)
  8. Hughes (1.23)
  9. Morgan (1.16)
  10. Griffiths (0.96)
  11. Edwards (0.93)
  12. Smith (0.85)
  13. James (0.82)
  14. Rees (0.81)
  15. Jenkins (0.69)
  16. Owen (0.67)
  17. Price (0.67)
  18. Phillips (0.65)
  19. Moss (0.63)
  20. Richards (0.55)

(Source: Wikipedia) The numbers in brackets indicate percentages.

Of the top 20 surnames in Wales, I have 9 of them in my Welsh direct ancestors.  Frustratingly, my Welsh ancestors didn’t seem to like middle names and originality with forenames wasn’t one of their strong points either.

I am currently trawling the Glamorgan Census returns for my great great grandfather, William Williams.  William was born around 1883 in Porth, Glamorganshire.  He married Harriett Ann Weeks in 1903 in Monmouthshire.
Before 1903, William Williams is extremely difficult to locate.  His father was also William Williams.  Looking for a William Williams born around 1883 whose father was also a William Williams is difficult to say the least.

I may never trace this side of the family back any further but I want to know which of these common surnames did your Welsh ancestors have?


  1. Donna Earnhardt

    September 27, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Well… I don’t know. MY maiden name is Welch. I was told by one of my relatives (who did some research) that they’ve traced our folks back a good ways to Wales, but I don’t have the info on hand. I’d love to know more!

    • beth

      September 28, 2011 at 7:03 am

      Interestingly, I have Welch/Welsh in my family tree somewhere along the line and they are Welsh.
      Welch is the 3rd most common surname in Powys, Wales. Much more than that I don’t really know. I will have a look around and see where I can find the surname in my tree. :)

      Thank you for visiting and thanks for the comment.

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