Edward became a popular first name as it became to be the name of Kings and Saints which became popular in England and then Wales after the Norman invasion of Britain. The Welsh name Iorwerth / Yorath is believed to be the equivalent Welsh version although their meaning’s are unrelated. Bedward from ap/ab Edward can also be found in Wales but is relatively uncommon.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Edwards include:
Gareth Edwards – Legendary Welsh rugby international.
Richey Edwards – Member of the Welsh band Manics Street Preachers who disappeared in 1995 and has not been since.
Ifan ab Owen Edwards – Founder of the Welsh youth movement called Urdd.
Ellis derives from the Welsh first name of Elisedd, found frequently in early Welsh texts. The ‘dd’ was lost giving Elise, Elisa, Elisha, Elisa, Elissa and Eliza. ap/ab Ellis becomes Bellis and Bayliss. The famous Ellis Island in New York comes from a Welshman. Although the Welsh name Elias sounds similar to Ellis, their origins are thought to be separate.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Ellis include:
William Clough Ellis – Architect of Portmeirion, the Italian inspired village in North Wales where the cult television series ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed.
Ellis Island – Named after its owner Samuel Ellis, a Welsh New Yorker who acquired it around the time of the American Revolution. The name York comes from the Brythonic Welsh name Efrog.
A very popular Welsh surname ultimately derived from John via Ieuan. Fairly recently Ieuan developed into Evan, Ifan and Iefan. In modern times the spelling Ifans has been taken on by some.
Famous people with the Welsh surname Evans include:
Lyn Evans – Project leader of the controversial large Hadron Collider project in Cern Switzerland.
David Howell Evans – Also known as ‘The Edge’ from the band U2.
Gwynfor Evans – Famous Welsh politician and thinker who went on hunger strike to demand a Welsh language channel and led in making Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales a popular party in Wales.
Oliver Evans – A prolific Welsh American inventor. His most important invention was an automated grist mill which operated continuously through the use of bulk material handling devices including bucket elevators, conveyor belts and Archimedean screws. He also produced an improved high pressure steam engine and developed the idea of applying the steam power to wagons. He therefore lays claim to inventing the first self powered land vehicle in the United States as well the first self powered amphibious vehicle and dredger. As Evans also designed a refrigeration machine which ran on vapour in 1805, he is often called the inventor of the refrigerator, although he never built one (his design was modified by Jacob Perkins, who obtained the first patent for a refrigerating machine in 1834).
Rhys Ifans – Actor made famous in the film ‘Notting Hill’.