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Anthony Family History
This surname derives from a personal name which has roots in the ancient Roman name, 'Antonius', a clan name which is believed to translate as 'praiseworthy or 'priceless'.
It was originally therefore a patronymic name, in that it derived from the given name of an ancestor, and when first used as a surname therefore meant 'son of Anthony'.
As a surname, it was first recorded in England in the 13th century, but in Wales, where fixed, hereditary surnames generally did not begin to gradually develop until the 16th century, it was first recorded much later than this.
Early examples of the surname in England include John fil Anton (John the son of Anton/Anthony) and Alice fil. Anton (Alice the daughter of Anton) who both appear on the 1273 Lincolnshire Hundred Rolls.
Early examples in Scotland include Thomas Anthony who lived in Clashbenny, parish of Abirlott, in 1607, and Isobel Anthonie who was living in Edinburgh in 1664.
In Wales, fixed hereditary surnames were generally adopted between the 16th and 19th centuries, and as such, the surname 'Anthony' usually refers back to an ancestor with the given name Anthony who lived during that period. It is most often recorded in south Wales, mainly in Glamorganshire, during the 17th century, although there are some notable clusters in the mid Wales county of Montgomeryshire (around Churchstoke) during the 16th century where the surname initially appeared as 'ap Anthony', meaning 'son of Anthony', as well as in the 18th century in the Llanfyllin area. During the 18th century, the surname started to appear in earnest in Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire.
Early examples in Wales therefore include the baptism of a Robert ap Anthony (Robert the son of Anthony) in Churchstoke in 1529; and the baptism of Catherina the daughter of Ludovici Anthony in Glamorganshire in 1692.
By 1841, the vast majority of Anthony families as recorded on that year's Wales census lived in Carmarthenshire, Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire.
1841 Wales Census
A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain (1890) by Henry Brougham Gupp
The Surnames of Scotland (1946) by George Fraser Black (1866-1948)
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