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.