Today it overlaps with a name category which has been on my mind a lot recently: the “son” names.
These are most familiar, of course, as names ending in –son itself, or beginning with Mac-
But there is also the Welsh equivalent – ap.
Wales holds the distinction of being the last place in the British Isles where surnames became universally hereditary.
In many parts of the principality where Welsh remained the dominant language, the patronymic system — in which a person was formally known as ap “son of” or ferch “daughter of” — remained common until the nineteenth century.
But across the centuries, the ap also gave rise to hereditary surnames, surviving as an initial “b” or “p.”
And many of these make interesting first name options.
Here then, are the sons of Wales:
- Barry – ap Harry (although it has a number of other origins too)
- Beddard, Bedward – ap Edward
- Bellis, Belliss – ap Ellis
- Benian, Benyon, Beynon, Baynham, Binyon – ap Einion
- Bevan, Beven, Beavan, Beaven, Beavon – ap Evan
- Bowen – ap Owen
- Breese, Breeze – ap Rhys
- Brobyn – ap Robin
- Brodrick, Broderick – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
- Parry – ap Harry
- Penry, Pendry – ap Henry
- Pinyon – ap Einion
- Pleaden, Pleavin, Pleven, Plevin – ap Blethyn
- Pluthero — ap Rhydderch/Roderick
- Pomfrey, Pomphrey – ap Humphrey
- Powell, Poel – ap Howel
- Preece, Prees – ap Rhys
- Price, Pryce, Prise, Pryse – ap Rhys
- Prichard, Pritchard – ap Richard
- Probert – ap Robert
- Probin, Probyn — ap Robin
- Probus – ap Robert
- Prodger – ad Roger
- Prosser – ap Rosser (an old Welsh form of Roger)
- Prothero, Protheroe – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
- Prytherick – ap Rhydderch/Roderick
- Pugh , Pughe – ap Hugh/Huw
- Upjohn — ap John
- Uprichard – ap Richard