Updated: Jan 24
It is hard to imagine that just a few centuries ago, some of my ancestors called Wales their home. It inspires visions of castles, kingdoms, and medieval villages of people living the simple life. Digging into Welsh history, however, reveals the difficulties the Welsh endured. It was Welsh resistance against the invading nations that seemingly gave them a reputation for being fighters. With invading Romans, Gaels, Normans and Anglo-Saxons, not to mention Viking raids, they had two choices - fight or be conquered. They chose to fight for Wales, century after century and have maintained their land, their name, and their identity.
The word for Wales is the Welsh language is "Cymru", pronounced kim-roo. The name "Wales" derives from the Ango-Saxon "Wealas", meaning foreigners. Welsh people are called "Cymraeg" or "Cymry", meaning "Compatriots". The country's motto is "Cymru am byth", meaning "Wales Forever".
All my life, I thought my Welsh blood came from my maternal grandfather's side of the family. This was what he was told and since both his first and last names are both Welsh names, it seems highly plausible. His DNA test originally reported his Ethnicity Estimate as 70% "England, Wales, and Northern Europe", 15% Germanic Europe, 10% Sweden, and 5% Ireland and Scotland.
Recently, however, the estimates have been updated and his ethnicity estimates are now 66% "England and Northwestern Europe", 21% Germanic Europe, 10% Scotland, and 3% Sweden. Notice, it now makes no mention of Wales? I assume the estimates will change again, but it seems unlikely to find as much Welsh as I expected him to have.
My mother's DNA wasn't tested but my father's was, and since his results showed no sign of Wales, I assume the 6% Welsh that appears in my results must have come from my maternal grandmother's side. Perhaps my 3rd great-grandmother, Emma (Griffith) Robinson, is the contributor of my Welsh DNA? See more of my maternal grandmother's ancestors on the Dickinson page and the Decker page. If these DNA results are accurate, my ancestors from Wales are listed there somewhere.
Hopefully I will find some documentation about my Welsh ancestry eventually. Stay tuned for updates!
In closing, I recommend this fantastic Welsh folksong, sang beautifully by Eve Goodman. It is called "Dacw 'Nghariad", meaning "There is my Sweetheart". Enjoy!
There is my sweetheart
There is my sweetheart down in the orchard,
Oh how I wish I were there myself,
There is the house and there is the barn;
There is the door of the cow house open.
There is the gallant, branching oak,
A vision, lovingly crowned.
I will wait in her shade
Until my love comes to meet me.
There is the harp, there are her strings;
What better am I, without anyone to play her for?
There’s the delicate fair one, exquisite and full of life;
What nearer am I, without having her attention?
For more Welsh Music see this playlist (it's not mine either) on YouTube: