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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T ULETT V W X Y Z

Wales

Wales is a part of Great Britain. It was conquered in 1282 by the formidable English king Edward I. It then was a land of small principalities, a partly Celtic region distinct from Anglo-Saxon England. Britain and Wales were both conquered by the Romans, but Wales was a refuge for Celtic peoples during the Anglo-Saxon era. In the 1400s the Welsh rebelled against English rule under their leader Owen Glendower (Owain Glyndwr in Welsh), but were defeated. Welsh, the original language of Wales, is a Celtic language. Welsh came close to extinction in the 1800s, being replaced by English, but a late 20th century surge of interest in the language assures that it will continue to be spoken. Wales is about the size of Massachusetts, with three million people. About two million Americans have Welsh ancestry. Some American common surnames indicate a Welsh family connection. The most common names related to Wales are “Welch” and “Walsh.” Another is “Price,” which comes from ap Rhys, meaning “son of Rhys” that came to be pronounced Price. Wales was dependent on coal and heavy industry for many years, but that era is gone. The Welsh economy is transitioning to tourism and the service economy.