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Wales and Williams-Jones

Up ] Ancestors of Owen Williams ] History of Wales and Anglesey ] Descendants of Williams-Jones ] Ancestors of Margaret Jones ]

The Williams Surname     Relevant Links to Wales, Anglesey, and the Williams Surname

Owen and Margaret (nee Jones) Williams in 1886 or 1887 with daughters Elizabeth (Bessie) and Annie. 

They married in Llanddeusant, Anglesey, Wales in 1882 and immigrated to America that year, eventually settling in the Arvilla area of Grand Forks County in Dakota Territory.


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From left to right: Owen, Arthur, Hugh, Charles, Margaret, and William.

About 1900.


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The Williams Surname

Most sources say that the Williams surname comes from either Germany or Wales, and probably both.  Williams means the son of William.  William was a very popular name in medieval Europe.  The Germanic origin of William is from the name Willihelm.  In Wales, the name Williams is first found in records of the 1000's and 1100's AD in Breconshire County.  It is supposed that most of the Williams in Great Britain were named after William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy who claimed the British crown by force in 1066. 

Gwilym is the Welsh version of William.  Other Welsh terms are:

Mon = Anglesey
Cymru = Wales
Cymraeg = Welsh

Oliver Cromwell's (1599-1658) family was originally from Wales, and named Williams.   Henry VIII's favorite minister was Thomas Cromwell, uncle to Oliver's Great, Great, Grandfather - thus his family adopted the Cromwell name, which became prominent in Huntingdon, where Oliver was born on 4/5/1599.  Oliver Cromwell was the most important leader of the English Revolution (1640-1660).  He was the best commander and politician of the rebel army, which defeated King Charles I, resulting in Cromwell's virtual dictatorship of England from 1653 until his death.

As with all of the most common names in Western Europe, there are a variety of Williams coats of arms, family crests, and mottoes. 


Williams motto: "Cywir in Gwlad", which means "righteous country," or "correct land".

Williams coat of arms: Black with a gold lion rampant (rearing up on hind legs with spread forepaws, and head in profile).

Williams crest: A Talbot (large white hound) passant (looking to right, with right forepaw raised).

The shield on this picture is consistent with the description above, but the crest is missing (it would be on top of the wreath), and the helmet, wreath (on top of helmet), and mantle (leave-like cloth or scarf) are not included in the description above at all.

Per the web site, "Williams Family Web Ring":

Williams motto: "duw a ddarpar ir brain!"  Which translates to "God is he who prepares for the crow," or "God feeds the ravens."   Duw = God; darpar = prepare or provision; and bran = crow or raven. 

Williams coat of arms: 4 blackbirds (Cornish Chuffs, as mentioned by Shakespeare's MacBeth in his surmising about the witches’ prophesies).

According to Burke's General Armory:

Williams motto: "nil desperandum," which I believe means "no desperation."

Williams coat of arms: crescents on a shield in quarters, one upturned crescent per quarter, with the NE quarter featuring 3 smaller upturned crescents and a spear. Above the shield and knight's helmet is a screaming eagle with wings spread, with 4 coins or circles on the underside of each wing. 

From, regarding Williams of Anglesey Wales (this may be most accurate for our family):

Williams coat of arms: Argent (shining silver), two foxes in saltire (crossed in the shape of an X), the sinister (the left of the shield) surmounted of the dexter (the right of the shield) gules (red). 

Williams crest (at the very top of the coat): A fox's head erased gules.

I think this just means two red foxes in an X shape, the left on top of the right, all on a shiny silver shield. Above the shield would be a red fox's head.

Relevant Links to Wales, Anglesey, and the Williams Surname

GenWeb for Anglesey


I last updated this page on May 05, 2007