Surname Welch - Meaning and Origin
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Welch: What does the surname Welch mean?
The surname Welch is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is derived from the Old English term "welisc" or "wælisc" meaning "foreign." In the Middle Ages, this term was used to specifically refer to someone of Celtic or Welsh ancestry. So, essentially, the Welch surname means 'Welshman' or 'foreigner,' indicating that the original bearers of the name were from Wales or had a connection with Wales. The spelling variances of the name include Walsh, Walsh, Walch, and Welsh, among others. As with many other surnames, its usage first began as a nickname and overtime became a surname. Bearers of the surname Welch may have been recognized as such due to their Welsh accent, their Welsh ancestry, or because they migrated from Wales to another region.
Welch: Where does the name Welch come from?
The last name Welch is most commonly found in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the UK, the name is top concentration is in South and West Wales, specifically Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, and Vale of Glamorgan. The surname is also very prevalent in counties such as Oxfordshire, Kent, and Gloucestershire in England, and also Scotland - West Lothian, Moray, and Stirlingshire. In Northern Ireland, the name is most common in counties Antrim, Down, and Armagh.
In the United States, the name can be found most prominently in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Other states in the Northeast region like Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey also have concentrations of the surname. The Great Lakes region also has many of this surname, with populations around Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Illinois. The West Coast states - Oregon, Washington, California, and Alaska, as well as some Midwest states such as Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma - have moderate populations of people bearing the Welch name.
Further research suggests that the name Welch is also common in Australia, particularly in New South Wales and Victoria, as well as in Canada in the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.
Overall the name is quite widespread. Many variations of the name exist, such as Welsh, Welchman, and Welche, demonstrating the amount of migration that has occurred over the years due to the immense influence of the name.
Variations of the surname Welch
The surname Welch is derived from the Welsh language. It is of Old English and Old Breton origin. The variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for the surname Welch include:
The Welsh language was the most widely-spoken language in Britain from the 5th to the 12th century. The Welch surname is estimated to be most prevalent in the United Kingdom, with some concentration in Pretot, England. It has spread to the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, with branches of the same Welsh family name appearing in South Africa, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Germany, Austria, Holland, and France. The variants of the Welch surname reflect the languages spoken in the nations in which the family has since lived. Once the surname was adopted in Wales because of language-related reasons, it became relatively fixed in its spelling.
Famous people with the name Welch
- Raquel Welch: actress who achieved fame in the 1960s as a sex symbol and the star of the film ‘One Million Years B.C.’.
- Chris Welch: British politician and member of the LabourParty.
- Randy Welch: American guitarist known for his work with the progressive metal band Fates Warning.
- Raheem Welch: former professional American football player who played for the Denver Broncos in 2007.
- Bob Welch: American singer-songwriter, best known for his 1977 hit ‘Sentimental Lady’.
- Jack Welch: former chairman and CEO of the General Electric Company.
- Jeffrey Welch: drummer who has performed with musicians such as Jane’s Addiction and Guns N Roses.
- Sharron Welch: American musician, primarily known for her work with the classic rock band Savoy Brown.
- Ernie Welch: professional baseball player for the San Francisco Giants in the late 1960s.
- Christina Rene Welch: professional wrestler better known by by her ring names MsChif and The Female Hercules.