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Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research by J. Rowlands, et al. (Eds.). Genealogical Publishing Co. Inc., Baltimore, Maryland. Copyright 1994. $19.95

Welsh family history research has a friend. Finally a publication to help you muddle through the differences of Welsh and English social, religious and cultural areas of concern, to say nothing of the language.

This book was conceived in 1987 and with the help and expertise of twenty outstanding Welsh researchers, the first edition of Welsh Family History was born in the spring of 1993.

To do Welsh research you must have a knowledge of the country and history of its laws which affect genealogy / family history. This book not only lets the researcher know where to find particular records, but also gives the historical background and defines the differences and similarities between these in Wales with like records in England.

While Welsh Family History is not a "how to" book, it does provide some basics, including a brief chapter on repositories in Wales with addresses and phone numbers.

There is a good chapter on surnames by Sheila Rowlands. Surnames are probably the one reason (besides the language) why people put their Welsh research on the bottom of the pile. With so few surnames it might seem like you're looking in the dark. But with a history of the naming patterns and an idea of the language, success can be yours.

Several chapters on "other" sources, such as: school records, printed pedigrees, manuscripts, immigration and emigration can lead you to your ancestor if the conventional records are non existent or hard to come by.

Each chapter provides ample endnotes and the final chapter is a lengthy bibliography.

Reviewed by Ann Wells
BIGWILL v.1 no.6, 1994