Thursday, January 31, 2013

Welsh Place - Names

Unusual and strange names were these that presented themselves to my thought processes.  What in the world!...was often my response.  Who ever heard of Ifftwn or Kilgwrrwg?  This Welsh tree climbing was getting more difficult by the discovery.  Where were these places anyway?

Names and places found in Welsh genealogy can be difficult to understand and/or to find their location.  The following text has served me on many occasions to help discover if such a place name really exist.
"A Gazetteer of Welsh Place - Names" it is called. [ A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary.]  First published in 1957, it represents a revised work for the Ordnance Survey map system for Welsh place-names.  In the introduction it states that the primary purpose was to serve as a guide to the orthography of Welsh place-names. [An orthography is the art of writing words with the proper letters according to standard usage or the representation of the sounds of a language by written or printed symbols.]  You can imagine the difficulty I had with the Welsh "proper letters" and the sounds of the Welsh language passing through my Kentucky born and Bluegrass raised brain.

At any rate, this text provided me a way to look-up a name and find where it was geographically located in Wales.  What a help it was on those dark and stormy nights in my genealogical tree house.

The text was last published Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1967.  Edited by Elwyn Davies.

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