Welsh people

Welsh people
Welsh people
21 Welsh people.png
1st row: Anthony HopkinsTom JonesDylan ThomasGeorge EverestRyan GiggsRobert OwenMichael Sheen

2nd row: Mary JonesWilliam JonesKelly JonesBertrand RussellGwyneth JonesAneurin BevanOwain Glyndŵr
3rd row: William ReesGareth EdwardsRuth JonesDavid Lloyd GeorgeRhodri MorganRichard BurtonCatherine Zeta-Jones

Regions with significant populations
 Wales 2,630,700 [1]
 United States 1,959,794 [2]
 England 609,711 [3]
 Canada 440,965 [4]
 Australia 84,246 [5]
 Argentina 50,000 [6]
 Scotland 16,623 [7]
 New Zealand 9,966 [8][9]

English, Welsh


Christianity (Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, Roman Catholicism)[10] and other faiths.

Related ethnic groups

Argentinians Bretons, Cornish, Manx, English, Scottish, Ulster-Scots, Irish

The Welsh people (Welsh: Cymry) are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.

John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain,[11] although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have been spoken in Wales far longer. The term Welsh people applies to people from Wales and Welsh ancestry perceiving themselves or being perceived as sharing a cultural heritage and shared ancestral origins.[12]

An analysis of the geography of Welsh surnames commissioned by the Welsh Government found that 718,000 people, or nearly 35% of the Welsh population, have a family name of Welsh origin, compared with 5.3% in the rest of the United Kingdom, 4.7% in New Zealand, 4.1% in Australia, and 3.8% in the United States, with an estimated 16.3 million people in the countries studied having Welsh ancestry,[13]Today Wales is a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living in Wales are British citizens.



During their time in Britain, the ancient Romans encountered tribes in present-day Wales that they called the Ordovices, the Demetae, the Silures and the Deceangli.[14] The people of what is now Wales were not distinguished from the rest of the peoples of southern Britain; all were called Britons and spoke the common British language, a Brythonic Celtic tongue.[15] Celtic language and culture seems to have arrived in Britain during the Iron Age, though some archaeologists argue that there is no evidence for large-scale Iron Age migrations into Great Britain.[16] The claim has also been made that Indo-European languages may have been introduced to the British Isles as early as the early Neolithic (or even earlier), with Goidelic and Brythonic languages developing indigenously.[16][17] Others hold that the close similarity between the Goidelic and Brythonic branches, and their sharing of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age terminology with their continental relatives, point to a more recent introduction of Indo-European languages, with Proto-Celtic itself unlikely to have existed before the end of the 2nd millennium BC at the earliest.[18] The genetic evidence in this case would show that the change to Celtic languages in Britain may have occurred as a cultural shift rather than through migration as was previously supposed.

Some current genetic research supports the idea that people living in the British Isles are likely mainly descended from the indigenous European Paleolithic (Old Stone Age hunter gatherers) population (about 80%), with a smaller Neolithic (New Stone Age farmers) input (about 20%).[19] Paleolithic Europeans seem to have been a homogeneous population, possibly due to a population bottleneck (or near-extinction event) on the Iberian peninsula, where a small human population is thought to have survived the glaciation, and expanded into Europe during the Mesolithic. The assumed genetic imprint of Neolithic incomers is seen as a cline, with stronger Neolithic representation in the east of Europe and stronger Paleolithic representation in the west of Europe.[19][20] Most in Wales today regard themselves as modern Celts, claiming a heritage back to the Iron Age tribes, which themselves, based on modern genetic analysis, would appear to have had a predominantly Paleolithic and Neolithic indigenous ancestry. When the Roman legions departed Britain around 400, a Romano-British culture remained in the areas the Romans had settled, and the pre-Roman cultures in others.[21]

In two recently published books, Blood of the Isles, by Brian Sykes and The Origins of the British, by Stephen Oppenheimer, both authors state that according to genetic evidence, most Welsh people, like most Britons, descend from the Iberian Peninsula, as a result of different migrations that took place during the Mesolithic and the Neolithic eras, and which laid the foundations for the present-day populations in the British Isles, indicating an ancient relationship among the populations of Atlantic Europe.[22][23][24] According to Stephen Oppenheimer 96% of lineages in Llangefni in north Wales derive from Iberia. Genetic research on the Y-chromosome has shown that the Welsh, like the Irish, share a large proportion of their ancestry with the Basques of Northern Spain and South Western France, although the Welsh have a greater presumed Neolithic input than both the Irish and the Basques.[25] Genetic marker R1b averages from 83-89% amongst the Welsh.[25][26]

Sculpture of Owain Glyndŵr, the last native Welsh person to hold the title Prince of Wales.

The people in what is now Wales continued to speak Brythonic languages with additions from Latin, as did some other Celts in areas of Great Britain. The surviving poem Y Gododdin is in early Welsh and refers to the Brythonic kingdom of Gododdin with a capital at Din Eidyn (Edinburgh) and extending from the area of Stirling to the Tyne.[27] John Davies places the change from Brythonic to Welsh between 400 and 700.[28] Offa's Dyke was erected in the mid-8th century, forming a barrier between Wales and Mercia.[29]

Gene scientists at the University College of London (UCL) have claimed that the Welsh are the "true" Britons and are remnants of the Celts that were pushed out by Anglo-Saxon invaders after the Roman withdrawal in the fifth century. The genetic tests suggested that between 50% and 100% of the indigenous population of what was to become England was wiped out. In 2001, research for a BBC programme on the Vikings suggested a possible strong link between the Celts and Basques, dating back tens of thousands of years. The UCL research suggested a migration on a huge scale during the Anglo-Saxon period.[30]

"It appears England is made up of an ethnic cleansing event from people coming across from the continent after the Romans left," said Dr Mark Thomas, of the Centre for Genetic Anthropology at UCL. "Our findings completely overturn the modern view of the origins of the English."[30]

The process whereby the indigenous population of 'Wales' came to think of themselves as Welsh is not clear. There is plenty of evidence of the use of the term Brythoniaid (Britons); by contrast, the earliest use of the word Kymry (referring not to the people but to the land—and possibly to northern Britain in addition to modern day territory of Wales) is found in a poem dated to about 633. The name of the region in northern England now known as Cumbria is believed to be derived from the same root.[31] Only gradually did Cymru (the land) and Cymry (the people) come to supplant Brython. Although the Welsh language was certainly used at the time, Gwyn A. Williams argues that even at the time of the erection of Offa's Dyke, the people to its west saw themselves as Roman, citing the number of Latin inscriptions still being made into the 8th century.[32] However, it is unclear whether such inscriptions reveal a general or normative use of Latin as a marker of identity or its selective use by the early Christian Church.

The word Cymry is believed to be derived from the Brythonic combrogi, meaning fellow-countrymen,[28] and thus Cymru carries a sense of "land of fellow-countrymen", "our country"—and, of course, notions of fraternity. The name "Wales", however, comes from the Germanic walha, a term meaning "stranger" or "foreigner" which was applied particularly to peoples who had been Romanised.[33]

There are two words in modern Welsh for the English and this reflects the idea held by some that the modern English derive from various Germanic tribes (although there is little evidence for the extinction of the pre-Germanic inhabitants of England, and the idea ignores both the Scandinavian settlers in England and the Roman and Norman-French influences on English language, culture and identity): Saeson (singular: Sais), meaning originally Saxon; and: Eingl, denoting:-Angles,; meaning Englishmen in modern Welsh. The Welsh word for the English language is Saesneg, while the Welsh word for England is Lloegr.

There was immigration to Wales after the Norman Conquest, several Normans encouraged immigration to their new lands; the Landsker Line dividing the Pembrokeshire "Englishry" and "Welshry" is still detectable today.[34] The terms Englishry and Welshry are used similarly about Gower.[35]

The population of Wales increased from 587,128 in 1801 to 1,162,139 in 1851 and had reached 2,420,921 by 1911.[36] Part of this increase can be attributed to the demographic transition seen in most industrialising countries during the Industrial Revolution, as death-rates dropped and birth-rates remained steady. However, there was also a large-scale migration of people into Wales during the industrial revolution. The English were the most numerous group, but there were also considerable numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of other ethnic groups,[37][38] including Italians migrated to South Wales.[39] Wales received other immigration from various parts of the British Commonwealth of Nations in the 20th century, and African-Caribbean and Asian communities add to the ethno-cultural mix, particularly in urban Wales. Many of these self-identify as Welsh.[40] Recently, parts of Wales have seen an increased number of immigrants from recent EU accession countries such as Poland.

21st century identity

2001 census

It is uncertain how many people in Wales consider themselves to be of Welsh ethnicity, because the 2001 UK census did not offer 'Welsh' as an option; respondents had to use a box marked "Other". 96% of the population of Wales thus described themselves as being White British.[41] Controversy surrounding the method of determining ethnicity began as early as 2000, when it was revealed that respondents in Scotland and Northern Ireland would be able to check a box describing themselves as of Scottish or of Irish ethnicity, an option not available for Welsh or English respondents.[42][43] Prior to the census, Plaid Cymru backed a petition calling for the inclusion of a Welsh tick-box and for the National Assembly to have primary law-making powers and its own National Statistics Office.[42]

With an absence of a Welsh tick-box, the only other tick-box available was 'white-British,' 'Irish', or 'other'.[42] The Scottish parliament insisted that a Scottish ethnicity tick-box be included in the census in Scotland, and with this inclusion as many as 88.11% claimed Scottish ethnicity.[44] Critics expected a higher proportion of respondents describing themselves as of Welsh ethnicity, similar to Scottish results, had a Welsh tickbox been made available. Additional criticism was leveled at the timing of the census, which was taken in the middle of the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001, a fact organizers said did not impact the results.[41] However, the Foot and Mouth crisis did delay UK General Elections, the first time since the Second World War any event postponed an election.

In the census, as many as 14 per cent of the population took the 'extra step' to write in that they were of Welsh ethnicity.[45][dead link] Of these, Gwynedd recorded the highest percentage of those identifying as of Welsh ethnicity (at 27%), followed by Carmarthenshire (23 per cent), Ceredigion (22 per cent) and the Isle of Anglesey (19 per cent).[45] For respondents between 16 and 74 years of age, those claiming Welsh ethnicity were predominately in professional and managerial occupations.[45]

2011 census

In advance of the 2011 UK Census, the O.N.S. launched a census consultation exercise. They received replies from 28 different Welsh organisations and a large proportion of these referred to Welsh ethnicity, language or identity.[46]

For the first time ever in British census history the 2011 Census gave the opportunity for people to describe their identity as Welsh or English. A 'dress rehearsal' of the Census was carried out on the Welsh island of Anglesey because of its rural nature and its high numbers of Welsh speakers.[46]

The Census, taken on 27th March 2011, asked a number of questions relating to nationality and national identity, including What is your country of birth? ('Wales' was one of the options), How would you describe your national identity? (for the first time 'Welsh' and 'English' were included as options), What is your ethnic group? ('White Welsh/English/Scottish/Northern Irish/British' was an option) and Can you understand, speak, read or write Welsh?.[47]


According to the 2001/02 Labour Force Survey, 87 per cent of Wales-born residents claimed Welsh ethnic identity.[48][dead link] Respondents in the local authority areas of Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, and Merthyr Tydfil each returned results of between 91 and 93 per cent claiming Welsh ethnicity, of those born in Wales.[48] Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, returned results 88-91 per cent of Wales-born respondents claiming Welsh ethnicity.[48] Powys, Anglesey, Denbighshire, Caerphilly, and the Vale of Glamorgan returned results of 86-88 per cent of respondents born in Wales claiming Welsh ethnicity.[48] Pembrokeshire, Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent, Conwy, Flintshire, and Wrexham returned results of 78-86 per cent of those born in Wales claiming Welsh ethnicity.[48]

According to the survey, when factoring non-Wales born residents, 67 per cent of those surveyed claimed Welsh identity and an additional 7% ticked Welsh and another option, such as Welsh- British, giving a total of 74% overall. This reflects a residential population which includes 30 per cent born outside of Wales. The survey, from the Office for National Statistics, identified the remaining 33 per cent of respondents as 'Not Welsh'.[48]

A survey carried out by the Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends at Oxford University, found that only 17.9 per cent of respondents would claim to be Welsh and not British. 20.2 per cent said they were more Welsh than British, while the most popular answer (39 per cent) claimed to be equally Welsh and British.[49]

Surveys indicate that younger people are more likely to self identify as Welsh.


Part of a series on the
Culture of Wales
Flag of Wales 2.svg
Bara brith · Bara Lafwr · Cawl · Cawl Cennin · Crempog · Gower cuisine · Selsig Morgannwg · Tatws Pum Munud · Welsh breakfast · Welsh cake · Welsh rarebit
Traditional Welsh costume
Calennig · Dydd Santes Dwynwen · Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau · Saint David's Day · Calan Mai · Calan Awst · Calan Gaeaf · Gŵyl Mabsant · Gŵyl San Steffan · Eisteddfod
Land division
Commote · Cantref · Historic counties
Welsh (Cymraeg) · Welsh English · History of the Welsh language · Welsh placenames · Welsh surnames · Welsh medium education · Y Fro Gymraeg
Welsh law · Contemporary Welsh law
Welsh-language literature · English-language literature · Medieval Welsh literature · Welsh-language authors · Welsh-language poets
Cerdd Dant · Crwth · Cymanfa Ganu · Cynghanedd · Noson Lawen · Pibgorn · Tabwrdd · Telyn Deires · Twmpath · Welsh bagpipes
Welsh mythology · Matter of Britain · Arthurian legend
Bando  · Boxing  · Cnapan · Cricket  · Football  · Horse racing  · Rugby league  · Rugby union
Flag of Wales · Flag of Saint David · List of Welsh flags · Welsh Dragon · Welsh heraldry · Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau
Visual arts
Art · Cinema · Media

Wales Portal
v · edit] Language
Percentage of Welsh speakers by principal area

According to the 2001 census the number of Welsh speakers in Wales increased for the first time in 100 years, with 20.5% in a population of over 2.9 million claiming fluency in Welsh, or one in five.[41] Additionally, 28% of the population of Wales claimed to understand Welsh.[41] The census revealed that the increase was most significant in urban areas; such as Cardiff (Caerdydd) with an increase from 6.6% in 1991 to 10.9% in 2001, and Rhondda Cynon Taf with an increase from 9% in 1991 to 12.3% in 2001.[41] However, the number of Welsh speakers declined in Gwynedd from 72.1% in 1991 to 68.7%, and in Ceredigion from 59.1% in 1991 to 51.8%.[41] Ceredigion in particular experienced the greatest fluctuation with the a 19.5% influx of new residents since 1991.[41]

The decline in Welsh speakers in much of rural Wales is attributable to non Welsh speaking residents moving to North Wales, driving up property rates above what locals may afford, according to former Gwynedd county councilor Seimon Glyn of Plaid Cymru, whose controversial comments in 2001 focused attention on the issue.[41] As many as a third of all properties in Gwynedd are bought by persons from out of the country.[50] The issue of locals being priced out of the local housing market is common to many rural communities throughout Britain, but in Wales the added dimension of language further complicated the issue, as many new residents did not learn the Welsh language.[51]

A Plaid Cymru taskforce headed by Dafydd Wigley recommended land should be allocated for affordable local housing, and called for grants for locals to buy houses, and recommended council tax on holiday homes should double.[52]

However, the same census shows that 25 percent of residents were born outside Wales. The number of Welsh speakers in other places in Britain is uncertain, but numbers are high in the main cities and there are speakers along the Welsh-English border.

Even among the Welsh speakers, very few people speak only Welsh, with nearly all being bilingual in English. However, a large number of Welsh speakers are more comfortable expressing themselves in Welsh than in English and vice versa, usually depending on the area spoken. Many prefer to speak English in South Wales or the urbanised areas and Welsh in the North or in rural areas. A speaker's choice of language can vary according to the subject domain (known in linguistics as code-switching).

Thanks to the work of the Mudiad Ysgolion Meithrin (Welsh Nursery School Movement), recent census data reveals a reversal in decades of linguistic decline: there are now more Welsh speakers under five years of age than over 60. For many young people in Wales, the acquisition of Welsh is a gateway to better careers and increased cultural opportunity: Wales's third greatest revenue earner is media products and Cardiff boasts a world-class animation industry.

Although Welsh is a minority language, and thus threatened by the dominance of English, support for the language grew during the second half of the 20th century, along with the rise of Welsh nationalism in the form of groups such as the political party Plaid Cymru and Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society). The language is used in the bilingual Welsh Assembly and entered on its records, with English translation. Technically it is not supposed to be used in the British Parliament as it is referred to as a "foreign language" and is effectively banned as disruptive behaviour,[53] but several Speakers (most notably George Thomas, 1st Viscount Tonypandy, himself born in Wales, close by Tonypandy) spoke Welsh in longer English-language speeches.[citation needed]

Welsh as a first language is largely concentrated in the less urban north and west of Wales, principally Gwynedd, inland Denbighshire, northern and south-western Powys, the Isle of Anglesey, Carmarthenshire, North Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, and parts of western Glamorgan, although first-language and other fluent speakers can be found throughout Wales. However, Cardiff is now home to an urban Welsh speaking population (both from other parts of Wales and from the growing Welsh medium schools of Cardiff itself) due to the centralisation and concentration of national resources and organisations in the capital.

Speaking Welsh is an important part of Welsh identity. Welsh people actively distinguish between 'Cymry Cymraeg' (Welsh-speaking Welsh), Cymry di-Gymraeg (non Welsh speaking Welsh) and Saeson (English). Parts of the culture are however strongly connected to the language — notably the Eisteddfodic tradition, poetry and aspects of folk music and dance. However, Wales has a strong tradition of poetry in the English language.


Most Welsh people of faith are affiliated with the Church in Wales or other Christian denominations such as the Presbyterian Church of Wales, or Catholicism, although there is even a Russian Orthodox chapel in the semi-rural town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. In particular, Wales has a long tradition of nonconformism and Methodism. Other religions Welsh people may be affiliated with include Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism, with most non-Christian people in Wales found in Cardiff[citation needed].

The 2001 Census showed that slightly less than 10% of the Welsh population are regular church or chapel goers (a slightly smaller proportion than in England or Scotland), although about 70% of the population see themselves as some form of Christian. Judaism has quite a long history in Wales, with a Jewish community recorded in Swansea from around 1730. In August 1911, during a period of public order and industrial disputes, Jewish shops across the South Wales coalfield were damaged by mobs. Since that time the Jewish population of that area, which reached a peak of 4,000–5,000 in 1913, has declined with only Cardiff retaining a sizeable Jewish population, of about 2000 in the 2001 Census. The largest non-Christian faith in Wales is Islam, with about 22,000 members in 2001 served by about 40 mosques, following the first mosque established in Cardiff in 1860. A college for training clerics has been established at Llanybydder in West Wales. Islam arrived in Wales in the mid 19th century, and it is thought that Cardiff's Yemeni community is Britain's oldest Muslim community, established when the city was one of the world's largest coal-exporting ports. Hinduism and Buddhism each have about 5,000 adherents in Wales, with the rural county of Ceredigion being the centre of Welsh Buddhism. Govinda's temple and restaurant, run by the Hare Krishnas in Swansea, is a focal point for many Welsh Hindus. There are about 2,000 Sikhs in Wales, with the first purpose-built gurdwara opened in the Riverside area of Cardiff in 1989. In 2001 some 7,000 people classified themselves as following "other religions" including a reconstructed form of Druidism, which was the pre-Christian religion of Wales (not to be confused with the Druids of the Gorsedd at the National Eisteddfod of Wales). Approximately one sixth of the population, some 500,000 people, profess no religious faith whatsoever.

The sabbatarian temperance movement was also historically strong among the Welsh, the sale of alcohol being prohibited on Sundays in Wales by the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act 1881 - the first legislation specifically issued for Wales since the Middle Ages. From the early 1960s, local council areas were permitted to hold referendums every seven years to determine whether they should be "wet" or "dry" on Sundays: most of the industrialised areas in the east and south went "wet" immediately, and by the 1980s the last district, Dwyfor in the northwest, went wet, since then there have been no more Sunday-closing referendums.

National symbols

The Flag of the Princely House of Aberffraw, first associated with Llywelyn the Great
  • The Flag of Wales incorporates the red dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) of Prince Cadwaladr along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. The British Union Flag incorporates the flags of Scotland, Ireland and England but does not have any Welsh representation. Technically, however, it is represented by the flag of England due to the Laws in Wales act of 1535 which annexed Wales following the 13th century conquest.
  • The flag of the princely House of Aberffraw, which has 4 squares alternating in red and yellow and then a guardant lion in each square of the opposite colour. The flag was first associated with Llywelyn I The Great, who received the fealty of all other Welsh lords at the Treaty of Aberdyfi in 1216, becoming de jure Prince of Wales, according to historian John Davies. The Aberffraw family claimed primacy as princes of Wales as the senior descendants of Rhodri the Great, and included Owain I, who was known as princeps Wallensium (Prince of the Welsh), and Llywelyn II. The current claimant may be Sir David Watkin Williams-Wynn, 11th Baronet.
Banner of Owain Glyndŵr
  • The flag of Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales, which combined the flags of Powys and Deheubarth, has 4 squares alternating in red and yellow and then a rampant lion in each square of the opposite colour. The red lion on a yellow field represented Powys, and the yellow lion on a red field represented Deheubarth. Owain was the senior heir of both Powys and Deheubarth. The flag harkened back to the Aberffraw flag, linking Owain's rule with the Aberffraw princes of Wales in an effort to legitimize his rule.
The Red Dragon (Y Ddraig Goch) a popular Welsh symbol
  • The Dragon, part of the national flag design, is also a popular Welsh symbol. The oldest recorded use of the dragon to symbolise Wales is from the Historia Brittonum, written around 820, but it is popularly supposed to have been the battle standard of King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders. This myth is likely to have originated from Merlin's vision of a Red (The Native Britons) and White (The Saxon Invaders) dragon battling, with the red dragon being victorious. Following the annexation of Wales by England, the red dragon was used as a supporter in the English monarch's coat of arms. The red dragon is often seen as a shorthand for all things Welsh, being used by many indigenous public and private institutions (e.g.: The Welsh Assembly Government, Visit Wales, numerous local authorities including Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Newport, Rhondda, Cynnon Taf, Swansea, and sports bodies, including the Sport Wales National Centre, the Football Association of Wales, Newport Gwent Dragons, London Welsh RFC, etc.)
  • The leek is also a national emblem of Wales. According to legend, Saint David ordered his Welsh soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons that took place in a leek field. It is still worn on St David's Day each March 1
  • The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and is worn on St David's Day each March 1. (In Welsh, the daffodil is known as "Peter's Leek", cenhinen Bedr/Cenin pedr.)
Woman wearing a Welsh hat
The Flag of Saint David (Baner Dewi Sant)

Welsh emigration

Flag of the city of Puerto Madryn, Argentina, inspired by the Flag of Wales, owing to the Welsh immigration

Migration from Wales to the rest of Britain has been occurring throughout its history. Particularly during the Industrial Revolution hundreds of thousands of Welsh people migrated internally to the big cities of England and Scotland or to work in the coal mines of the north of England. As a result, much of the British population today have ancestry from Wales. The same can be said for the English, Scottish and Irish workers who migrated to Welsh cities such as Merthyr Tydfil or ports such as Pembroke in the Industrial Revolution. As a result, some English, Irish and Scottish have Welsh surnames ("Evans", "Jenkins" "Owen" etc.) and some Welsh have English, Scottish and Irish surnames — as a result, it is relatively rare in South Wales or English-speaking areas to find a person with exclusively Welsh ancestry (or so the Gog's would have you believe!).

Some thousands of Welsh settlers moved to other parts of Europe, but the number was sparse and concentrated to certain areas. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a small wave of contract miners from Wales arrived into Northern France, and the centre of Welsh-French populations are in coal mining towns of the French department Pas-de-Calais. Welsh settlers from Wales (and later Patagonian Welsh) arrived in Newfoundland, Canada in the early 1900s; many had founded towns in the province's Labrador coast region. In 1852 Thomas Benbow Phillips of Tregaron established a settlement of about 100 Welsh people in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil.

Internationally Welsh people have emigrated, in relatively small numbers (in proportion to population Irish emigration to the United States of America (USA) may have been 26 times greater than Welsh emigration),[55] to many countries, including the USA (in particular, Pennsylvania), Canada and Patagonia, Argentina.[56][57][58] Jackson County, Ohio was sometimes referred to as Little Wales and the Welsh language was commonly heard or spoken among locals by the mid 20th century.[citation needed] Malad City in Idaho, which began as a Welsh Mormon Settlement, lays claim to having more people of Welsh descent per capita than anywhere outside of Wales itself.[59] Malad's local High School is known as the "Malad Dragons" and flies the Welsh Flag as its school colours.[60] Welsh people have also settled as far as New Zealand and Australia.[55][61]

Around 1.75 million Americans report themselves to have Welsh ancestry, as did 467,000 Canadians in Canada's 2006 census.[2][4] This compares with 2.9 million people living in Wales (as of the 2001 census).[62]

There is no known evidence which would objectively support the legend that the Mandan, a Native American tribe of the central United States, are Welsh emigrants who reached North America under Prince Madog in 1170.[63]

The Ukrainian city of Donetsk was founded in 1869 by a Welsh businessman, John Hughes, (an engineer from Merthyr Tydfil) who constructed a steel plant and several coal mines in the region; the town was thus named Yuzovka (Юзовка) in recognition of his role in its founding ("Yuz" being a Russian or Ukrainian approximation of Hughes).[64]

See also


  1. ^ "Annual Population Survey: National identity by Welsh local authority, 2009". http://www.statswales.wales.gov.uk/TableViewer/tableView.aspx?ReportId=5501. Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "2006 Census (U.S. Census Bureau 2006 Census Fact Sheet)". Factfinder.census.gov. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-ds_name=ACS_2006_EST_G00_. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  3. ^ Neighbourhood Statistics. "Welsh people in England". Neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk. http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/LeadTableView.do?a=3&b=276743&c=London&d=13&e=13&g=325264&i=1001x1003x1004&m=0&r=1&s=1198518794421&enc=1&dsFamilyId=85. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  4. ^ a b "In the Canadian census of 2006, 27,115 people identified themselves as belonging only to the Welsh ethnic group, while an additional 413,855 included Welsh as one of multiple ethnic groups they claimed to belong to". 2.statcan.ca. 2008-04-02. http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census06/data/highlights/ethnic/pages/Page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo=PR&Code=01&Data=Count&Table=2&StartRec=1&Sort=3&Display=All&CSDFilter=5000. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  5. ^ "2054.0 Australian Census Analytic Program: Australians' Ancestries (2001 (Corrigendum))" (PDF). http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/free.nsf/Lookup/C41A78D7568811B9CA256E9D0077CA12/$File/20540_2001%20(corrigendum).pdf. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  6. ^ "Wales and Argentina". Wales.com website. Welsh Government. 2008. http://man121208a.wales.com/en/content/cms/English/International_Links/Wales_and_the_World/Wales_and_Argentina/Wales_and_Argentina.aspx. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  7. ^ "City of Aberdeen: Census Stats and Facts page 25, section 18, Country of birth" (pdf). City of Aberdeen. 2003. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=1722&sID=332. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  8. ^ The 2001 New Zealand census reports 3,342 people stating they belong to the Welsh ethnic group.]
  9. ^ The 1996 census, which used a slightly different question, reported 9,966 people belonging to the Welsh ethnic group.[dead link]
  10. ^ "Religion in Wales — Welsh Religion". Sacred-destinations.com. http://www.sacred-destinations.com/wales/wales-religion.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  11. ^ Davies, John (1994) A History of Wales. Penguin: p.54; ISBN 0-14-01-4581-8.
  12. ^ The Welsh people: chapters on their origin, history and laws by Sir John Rhys, Sir David Brynmor Jones. 1969
  13. ^ "The Welsh diaspora: Analysis of the geography of Welsh names". http://wales.gov.uk/firstminister/research/economic/completed/placenames/analysisgeographywelshnames.pdf?lang=en. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  14. ^ Cunliffe, B. Iron Age communities in Britainpp. 115-118
  15. ^ "BBC History – Ancient History in-depth:Native Tribes of Britain". BBC website “The Deceangli, the Ordovices and the Silures were the three main tribe groups who lived in the mountains of what is today called Wales. However, in prehistory Wales, England and Scotland did not exist in anyway as distinctive entities in the ways they have done so for the last 1000 years. “. BBC. 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_prehistory/iron_01.shtml. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  16. ^ a b Iron Age Britain by Barry Cunliffe. Batsford. ISBN 0-7134-8839-5.
  17. ^ Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland Before the Romans by Francis Pryor, pp. 121-122. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-00-712693-X.
  18. ^ Mallory, J.P. In Search of the Indo-Europeans pp. 106-107, Thames & Hudson
  19. ^ a b "Estimating the Impact of Prehistoric Admixture on the Genome of Europeans by Isabelle Dupanloup, Giorgio Bertorelle, Lounès Chikhi and Guido Barbujani (2004). ''Molecular Biology and Evolution'': 21(7):1361-1372. Retrieved 10 July 2006". Mbe.oxfordjournals.org. doi:10.1093/molbev/msh135. http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/21/7/1361. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  20. ^ del Giorgio, J.F. 2006. The Oldest Europeans. A.J. Place, ISBN 980-6898-00-1
  21. ^ "What happened after the fall of the Roman Empire?". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 9, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080609015441/http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/nation/pages/state01.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  22. ^ "Special report: 'Myths of British ancestry' by Stephen Oppenheimer". Prospect-magazine.co.uk. 2006-10-21. http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7817. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  23. ^ Adams, Guy (2006-09-20). "'Celts descended from Spanish fishermen, study finds'-This Britain, UK-The Independent 20 September 2006". London: News.independent.co.uk. http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1621766.ece. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  24. ^ "From the Cover: Genetic evidence for different male and female roles during cultural transitions in the British Isles". Pubmedcentral.nih.gov. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=33166. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  25. ^ a b "Genes link Celts to Basques 3 April 2001". BBC News. 2001-04-03. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/1256894.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  26. ^ "High-Resolution Phylogenetic Analysis of Southeastern Europe Traces Major Episodes of Paternal Gene Flow Among Slavic Populations". Mbe.oxfordjournals.org. 1964-10-22. http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/22/10/1964/TBL1. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  27. ^ Jarman, A.O.H. 1988. Y Gododdin: Britain's earliest heroic poem p. xviii
  28. ^ a b Davies, John, A History of Wales, published 1990 by Penguin, ISBN 0-14-014581-8
  29. ^ Davies, J. A history of Wales pp. 65-6
  30. ^ a b BBC News|Wales English and Welsh are races apart. 30 June 2002. Retrieved 2011-10-21
  31. ^ Williams, Ifor. 1972. The beginnings of Welsh poetry University of Wales Press. p. 71
  32. ^ Williams, Gwyn A., The Welsh in their History, published 1982 by Croom Helm, ISBN 0-7099-3651-6
  33. ^ Davies, J. A history of Wales p. 69
  34. ^ "The Flemish colonists in Wales: ''BBC'' website. Retrieved 17 August 2006". Bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/legacies/immig_emig/wales/w_sw/article_4.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  35. ^ "Gower Historical Processes, Themes and Background". Ggat.org.uk. http://www.ggat.org.uk/cadw/historic_landscape/gower/english/Gower_Features.htm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  36. ^ "200 years of the Census in...Wales" (PDF). http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/bicentenary/pdfs/wales.pdf. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  37. ^ "Industrial Revolution". Bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/storyofwelsh/content/industrialrevolution.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  38. ^ LSJ Services [Wales] Ltd. "Population ''therhondda.co.uk''. Retrieved 9 May 2006". Therhondda.co.uk. Archived from the original on May 20, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080520075715/http://www.therhondda.co.uk/living/population.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  39. ^ "BBC Wales — History — Themes — Italian immigration". Bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/society/migration_italian.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  40. ^ Interview with Mohammed Asghar AM
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h Dr John Davies (2003-02-14). "Census shows Welsh language rise Friday, 14 February 2003 extracted 12-04-07". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2755217.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  42. ^ a b c "Census equality backed by Plaid 23 September 2000 extracted 12-04-07". BBC News. 2000-09-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/uk_politics/2000/conferences/plaid_cymru/936077.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  43. ^ "Census results 'defy tick-box row' 30 September 2002 extracted 12-04-07". BBC News. 2002-09-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/2288147.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  44. ^ Scottish Parliament's Review of Census Ethnicity Classifications Consultation: June 2005 extrated April 7, 2008
  45. ^ a b c "NSO article: 'Welsh' on Census form published 8 January 2004, extracted 7 April 2008". Statistics.gov.uk. 2004-01-08. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=449. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  46. ^ a b Walesonline.co.uk Pioneering census questionnaire for Wales will help us shape the future] published in Western Mail, December 17, 2009 (retrieved 2011-10-17)
  47. ^ ONS website 2011 Census questions - Wales (retrieved 2011-10-17)
  48. ^ a b c d e f "UK ONS Welsh National Identity published 8 January 2004, extracted 7 April 2008". Statistics.gov.uk. 2004-01-08. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=448. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  49. ^ "CREST Minority Nationalism published 2001, extracted 14 July 2010". crest.ox.ac.uk. 2001. http://www.crest.ox.ac.uk/papers/p86.pdf. Retrieved 2010-07- 14. 
  50. ^ "Apology over 'insults' to English, BBC Wales, 3 September 2001". BBC News. 2001-01-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/1123782.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  51. ^ "UK: Wales Plaid calls for second home controls, BBC Wales, November 17, 1999". BBC News. 1999-11-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/524419.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  52. ^ "Plaid plan 'protects' rural areas, BBC Wales, 19 June 2001". BBC News. 2001-06-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/1397281.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  53. ^ "Oath of Allegiance (Welsh Language) (Hansard, 21 July 1966)". Hansard.millbanksystems.com. 1966-07-21. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1966/jul/21/oath-of-allegiance-welsh-language. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  54. ^ "Red kite voted Wales' Favourite Bird". The Rspb. 2007-10-11. http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?view=print&id=tcm:9-176206. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  55. ^ a b "Nineteenth Century Arrivals in Australia: ''University of Wales, Lampeter'' website. Retrieved 3 August 2006". Lamp.ac.uk. http://www.lamp.ac.uk/oz/hughes/welsh19.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  56. ^ Welsh in Pennsylvania by Matthew S. Magda (1986), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Retrieved 3 August 2006.
  57. ^ Welsh: Multicultural Canada. Retrieved 3 August 2006.[dead link]
  58. ^ "South America — Patagonia: ''BBC — Wales History.'' Retrieved 3 August 2006". Bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 13, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070613174806/http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/cag/pages/cag-patagonia.shtml. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  59. ^ "Tiny US town's big Welsh heritage: ''BBC News,'' 20 July 2005. Retrieved 3 August 2006". BBC News. 2005-07-20. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/4699459.stm. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  60. ^ "Welsh History, The Welsh in North America, Utah". Ligtel.com. http://www.ligtel.com/~wales/waleshistory.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  61. ^ "Welsh immigration from ''Te Ara, The Encyclopedia of New Zealand''. Retrieved 3 August 2003". Teara.govt.nz. 2009-10-13. http://www.teara.govt.nz/NewZealanders/NewZealandPeoples/Welsh/1/en. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  62. ^ "Estimated from population of Wales from 2001 census (2,903,085Census 2001 Wales". Statistics.gov.uk. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pyramids/pages/w.asp. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  63. ^ "Was there an Indian tribe descended from Welsh explorers to America?". Straight Dope. 2006-09-08. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/060908.html. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  64. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/southeast/halloffame/historical_figures/john_hughes.shtml

Further reading

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of Welsh people — is a list of notable Welsh people alphabetically within categories. See Also Actors: See Artists and designers*Laura Ashley (1925–1986), designer *Jeff Banks (born 1943), fashion designer *Richard Deacon (born 1949), sculptor *David Emanuel (born …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh language — Welsh Cymraeg, y Gymraeg Pronunciation [kəmˈrɑːɨɡ] Spoken in   …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh nationalism — is a political and cultural movement that emerged during the nineteenth century. It generally seeks independence from the United Kingdom for Wales, an aspiration supported by around 12% of the electorate of Wales, [… …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh English — Welsh English, Anglo Welsh, or Wenglish (see below) refers to the dialects of English spoken in Wales by Welsh people. The dialects are significantly influenced by Welsh grammar and often include words derived from Welsh. In addition to the… …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh — most commonly refers to: * Wales, a constituent country of the United Kingdom * the Welsh language (spoken in Wales) * the Welsh people (from Wales) * the Culture of Wales Welsh may also refer to:PeoplePlaces*Welsh, Louisiana, USA *Welsh,… …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh settlement in the Americas — was the result of several individual initiatives to found distinctively Welsh settlements in the New World. It can be seen as part of the more general British colonization of the Americas.The Madoc legendA story popularized in the 16th century… …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh — Welsh, n. [1913 Webster] 1. The language of Wales, or of the Welsh people. [1913 Webster] 2. pl. The natives or inhabitants of Wales. [1913 Webster] Note: The Welsh call themselves Cymry, in the plural, and a Welshman Cymro, and their country… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • welsh — The expression welsh on, meaning ‘to evade (an obligation)’ or ‘to fail to carry out (a promise)’, dates from the 1930s, although the verb (of unknown origin) was used transitively (with a person as object) in the 19c. To avoid a direct and… …   Modern English usage

  • Welsh settlement in Argentina — Infobox Ethnic group group = Welsh Argentines poptime = 20,000 [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A1163503] popplace = Chubut Province. langs = Spanish; about eight percent also speak Welsh rels = Christianity (mostly Anglicanism and Presbyterianism) …   Wikipedia

  • Welsh placenames — in Wales reveals significant features of the country s history and geography, as well as showing the development of the Welsh language. BackgroundHistory: See: History of Wales Wales emerged between the 4th and 11th centuries as an entity clearly …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”