First published in 1872, with a second edition in 1875, Nicholas’s Annals and Antiquities of the County Families of Wales is still the standard work on Welsh family history and the chief source of genealogical data on the counties and families of the principality. Unlike other books on the subject, it combines histories of the ancient counties of Wales with family lineages, integrating the two to show the social and genealogical evolution of the country. Again unlike other works, it is based on the author’s personal investigation of county records and family papers, producing in the end what can only be described as the most complete and faithful compendium of Welsh family history ever published.
In this work, then, we are entrusted with a reliable record of ancient and modern families as well as–to paraphrase the subtitle–a reliable record of all ranks of the gentry, their lineages, appointments, armorial ensigns, and residences; ancient pedigrees and memorials of old and extinct families; notices of the family history and antiquities of each county; and rolls of high sheriffs and other county officials. So little is available on the subject that the reprint of this famous work will be a godsend to Americans of Welsh descent.