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2,194 CADWALLADER members around the world

Family spelling variants includes Cadwaladr, Cadwalladr, Kadwalader, Kadwallder, Cadwallador

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CADWALLADER Family History

This is an ancient Welsh personal name which derives from the Welsh words 'cad' meaning battle, and 'gwaladr' which means leader or defence.

A majority of Welsh surnames derive from personal names such as this, and they refer back, in general, to an ancestor whose given name was Cadwallader and who lived between the 16th and 19th centuries, the period when hereditary surnames began to emerge in Wales.

It has noble associations as it was the name of several early Welsh leaders, including 7th and 12th century princes.

Although not one of the most common of Welsh surnames, there were nevertheless historically significant clusters of the Cadwallader surname throughout north Wales, in particular in Merionethshire, and in adjacent English counties including Shropshire and Herefordshire, where it was most prominent during the 19th century.

Notable people

  • Betsi Cadwaladr (1789–1860), a Welsh nurse born in Llanycil, Merionethshire, who worked alongside Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War. In 2016 she was named one the 50 greatest Welsh men and women of all time, and her name was adopted as part of official title of the North Wales University Health Board.
  • Dilys Cadwaladr (1902–1979), a Welsh language poet and writer, the first woman to win the prestigous Crown competition (awarded for the winning entry for poetry written in free verse) at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.



1851 census

A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley

An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857) by William Arthur

Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison

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Jan Schonhaut

I would like to ascertain the relationship between John Cadwallader (1676-1742), who was born in Montgomeryshire, Wales and lived in Horsham, Pennsylvania, and John Cadwalader (1677-1734) who immigrated from Wales to Philadelphia. Were they cousins? I am a direct descendent of the Horsham, PA. John Cadwallader but would like to know if I am related to the Philadelphia Cadwaladers.


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