The Shropshire Parish Register Society.

Diocese of St. Asaph.



Note for the Reader.

THE present volume is the fourth volume of the Registers of the Shropshire portion of the Diocese of St, Asaph, which has been printed by the Shropshire Parish Register Society. It contains the earliest volume of the voluminous Registers of Oswestry, extending from the year 1558 to 1669. The remaining volumes of these Registers to 1812 have been copied, and will in due course be issued to Members of the Society.

For the transcript of the present volume, our thanks are due to the energy of Mr. Henry Brierley, the Honorary Secretary of the Lancashire Parish Register Society. The proofs have been most carefully collated with the original Register by Archdeacon Thomas, and the Index has been prepared under his supervision by Mr. T. M. Carpendale.

A few words of explanation are necessary, in reference to the Index. In the first volume of this series, comprising Melverley and Selattyn, in the case of Welsh names - it would not be correct to call them surnames - the name appearing after the first 'ap' or ' verch ' was, for indexing purposes, regarded as the surname. This plan has not been adopted in the present volume, but the following will explain the method used in compiling the Index, and will serve as a guide in tracing families. (1) Where there is clearly no surname but a series of Christian names, the name of the individual will be found indexed under the first Christian name. (2) Where there is clearly a surname, in a Welsh family, the persons will be found indexed under such surname. (3) In some cases it is difficult to tell whether an apparent surname is really a surname or a trade, and in such cases the compiler of the Index has acted on his own judgment in indexing them either under the apparent surname or under the first Christian name.

The Venerable Archdeacon Thomas says:- " The indexing of the Welsh names is peculiarly difficult, and their identification for genealogical purposes, still more so. The repetition of ' aps ' each of which marks a generation - the different names taken by the same generation of a family, the mention of the township only and not the abode in it - the custom of the eldest son adopting his grandfather's name, while the other sons gave their own names as surnames to their children, - the use of the term Llwyd (Lloyd) to mark the older generation where the names were alike,- and again adding as a sort of nickname the colour of the complection to distinguish other members, e.g., Gwyn, Wynne (light), - Coch, Gough (ruddy); all these complicate the difficulty.- In common use indeed it was simple enough; as each man was talked of by his Christian name, and (1) his abode - e.g., Huw Caellwyd, Sion y Bryn, or (2) by his trade - Robert y Gof (Smith), Dafydd y Crydd (Shoemaker) - or (3) his descriptive name made permanent - Wynne, Lloyd, Vaughan, or (4) his place name adopted, Mostyn, Trevor, Coetmore, Penrhyn, Blodwel, Myddleton. Sometimes the last ' ap ' was omitted as John ap William Thomas; and sometimes it was prefixed to the father's name (a)p Rice, (a)p Hugh, (a)b Owen; but the commonest form was to utilise the father's name, thus making John ap William into John Williams, David ap Robert into David Roberts, or David Probert, thus Rhydderch became Prytherch or Prothero, - Ynyr, Bynner and Bonnor.

Let us take for illustration such a case as " Thomas ap Hugh ap Richard ap Howel " (p. 103). Richard ap Howel may have had several sons, Hugh, John, William, Robert; their sons would take respectively their father's name and become Jones, Williams, Roberts, and so on with Hugh's sons. As the adoption of surnames, however, did not take place simultaneously, even in the same family, - it is impossible to select one " Ap name " for the whole, and it must be left to the genealogist to trace carefully the connexion by a comparison of the names and dates and such other evidence as he can obtain. But the later the date, the nearer it will be to the surname adopted; so that while in the sixteenth century Registers it is desirable to index the whole series, in the late seventeenth and earliest eighteenth centuries the last name may have become the adopted surname."

Contrary to our usual method, this volume has been printed in extenso, and not in the abbreviated form employed in other volumes.

Thanks are due to the late and present Vicars of Oswestry for leave to print the Register, and for facilities afforded in transcription and collation.

December, 1909.

Contents.   PAGES.
Introductioni - vii
Registers, Volume I, 1558 to 16691 - 694
Return to top of page

URL of this page:

Copyright notice:
All pages at
are Copyright Mel Lockie 2021.
All rights reserved.
For a detailed copyright policy see: Conditions of Use.