Monday, September 11, 2006

The Name is Welsh Just in Case

Based on the origins of local surnames, the Isle of Barra has been declared the most Scottish place in Scotland, Ripley the most English place in England, and Llangefni the most Welsh place in Wales. Researchers also tallied up foreign names, and discovered a cluster of Dutch names in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, Wales.

The town's county councillor, Timothy Van Rees, may have a slightly Dutch sounding surname but insisted he had Welsh roots. In fact he said he couldn't understand this link at all.

He said, "We are a tiny town of 700-800. I can't think of any Dutch people here. I've been a councillor for the town for 25 years and I've never noticed it"

There was a possibility that the preponderance of Dutch names came from Dutch farmers who bought land near Llandovery and Carmarthenshire in the past.

But Mr Van Rees, whose says his own surname is Welsh, admitted it was sometimes mistaken for Dutch.

"My family descends from the Vans of Monmouthshire. Van is a Welsh name. The difference in Dutch is that it's spelt with a small v and in Welsh it is a capital v." [Link]

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