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Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                                         TRAHAEARN GOCH OF LLEYN
                                              By Darrell Wolcott
 
        The traditional pedigrees of this man make him the son of Madog ap Rhys Gloff descended from Rhys ap Tewdwr.  But the earliest version of that pedigree[1] does not call him "Goch" nor say he was "of Lleyn".  Instead, it speaks of a Trahaearn ap Madog ap Rhys Gloff ap Rhys Fychan ap Gruffudd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr as a junior branch of the ruling family in Deheubarth.  Since the families which descended from Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn suggest he was born c. 1235, that pedigree fails chronologically by one generation.  Amended medieval pedigrees[2] were circulated to "cure" that shortcoming, these making Rhys Gloff a son of Gruffudd[3] ap Lord Rhys and calling this Rhys Gloff "Lord of Cymydmaen in Lleyn".  Since the Deheubarth royal family held lands nowhere near Lleyn in Gwynedd, the medieval historians[4] asserted that the father of Rhys Gloff had married Margaret, the daughter and heiress of one Gruffudd, Lord of Cymydmaen (the southernmost commote in Lleyn). No further identification of her family was offered. 
 
         Whether the father of Rhys Gloff was Rhys Fychan, as claimed by the older pedigree, or a son of Lord Rhys as cited by the emended version, no manuscript sources cite such a marriage for either man.  In fact, such a lady and her supposed father are wholly absent from the body of early pedigree material.  That "Lord of Cymydmaen" was, we believe, a fabrication seeking to explain the presence of Trahaearn Goch in Lleyn. Our research led to a completely different conclusion: that two men named Trahaearn ap Madog were confused by the 16th century genealogists, men who lived a generation apart and in very different parts of Wales.
 
         Peniarth Ms 131, pp 104 written by Gutun Owain c. 1475 cites "Ieuan Goch ap Dafydd Goch ap Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn"[5], and  Peniarth Ms 127, pp 56 written by Sir Thomas ap Ieuan ap Deicws c. 1510 cites "Trahaearn ap Madog ap Rhys Gloff ap Rhys Fychan ap Gruffudd ap Rhys ap Tewdwr".  These two independent citations were incorrectly linked in Dwnn ii, 280 and Harleian Ms 1972, 127r where Trahaearn ap Madog was equated to Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn.  Should we reject such a linkage, it is not necessary to emend either family to fit the chronology nor to explain finding a Deheubarth family in Lleyn:
 
             1045  Rhys ap Tewdwr, ob 1093
                              l
                1085  Gruffudd, ob 1137
                             l
              1130  Rhys Fychan*   
                             l
               1160  Rhys Gloff  
                             l
                1190  Madog
                             l
              1220  Trahaearn                  1205  Madog
                                                                     l
              (Deheubarth family)          1235  Trahaearn Goch
                                                                     l
                                                    1270  Dafydd Goch
                                                                     l
                                                    1300  Ieuan Goch, lv 1352
 
                                                        (Lleyn family)    
 
           *a younger brother of Lord Rhys  
 
          The 1352 Record of Caernarfon confirms that the family of Trahaearn Goch was prominent in the commote of Cymydmaen in Lleyn.  The jury which assessed lands there contained at least six men who were grandsons of Trahaearn Goch, and its foreman was probably another[6].  Land owned by Ieuan Goch in Cymydmaen is described in that manuscript as being "in the wele Rhys ap Seisyllt" and it is a fair assumption the owners named in 1352 were lineal descendants of a man of that name. Accordingly, we consider that Rhys[7] a better choice as the grandfather of Trahaearn Goch than the Rhys Gloff of Deheubarth.  Our timeline would appear thusly:
 
                                 1140  Seisyllt
                                              l
                                  1175  Rhys
                                              l
                                 1205  Madog
                                              l
                           1235  Trahaearn Goch
 
        In a search for the probable father of the Seisyllt at the top of our pedigree, we turn to the descendants of Merwydd ap Collwyn ap Tangno known to have held Lleyn in the 11th century[8].  The 1352 Record of Caernarfon lists Llewelyn ap Dafydd ap Llewelyn as another Cymydmaen land owner, and pedigrees[9] say he was descended from Genillin ap Meirion Goch.  One also suspects the gene for red hair was dominant in this family, yielding several men nicknamed "Goch". Chronologically, Seisyllt would occur in the same generation as Cynwrig ap Genillin in the foregoing pedigree; accordingly we would see him as another son of Genillin:
 
                              1010  Collwyn ap Tangno
                                                  l
                                1040  Merwydd Goch
                                                  l
                                1070  Meirion Goch
                                                  l
                              1105  Genillin Farchog
                     ________________l_____________
                     l                       l                            l
        1135  Cynwrig          other children          Seisyllt  1140
 
  (to Llewelyn ap Dafydd)                            (to Trahaearn Goch)
 
         The marriages usually assigned to Trahaearn Goch and to his "father and grandfather" actually belong to the similarly-named men in the Deheubarth family, as can be seen by the timeline:
 
      980  Cadell ap Einion    Cadwgan ap Elystan  1020
                      l                        l
         1015  Tewdwr            Idnerth  1050      Iestyn ap Gwrgan 1045
                      l                        l                             l
          1045  Rhys                Madog  1080          Caradog 1080
                      l                        l                             l
        1085  Gruffudd          Cadwallon  1113        Dafydd  1110
                      l                        l                             l
       1130  Rhys Fychan       Maelgwn  1142         Einion  1145
                      l                        l                             l                        
       1160  Rhys Gloff[10]==Gwerfyl  1175         Gronwy  1175
                                      l                                     l
                       1190  Madog[11]=========Tangwystl  1205
                                                      l
                                       1220 Trahaearn===lady of Fferlys*
 
        *Cited in Dwnn ii, 175 as Gwerfyl ferch Madog ap Meurig ap Madog descended from Idnerth ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd.  Her linkage to Inderth is incomplete and the only way to estimate her birthdate is by her husband (who is usually misidentified as Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn)
 
         The fact that all these wives are ladies from the southern part of Wales adds to the belief the men they married were from the Deheubarth family, not the Gwynedd men with similiar names.
 
         Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn is generally credited with a son called Ithel Talfrith, but solely based on citations which call the father of that man a Trahaearn Goch.  Not only was Ithel Dalfrith born a full generation earlier than the Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn, he was a Powys man with lands in Ystrad Alun[12].  However, the Ithel Felyn of Lleyn cited as the father of Ieuan[13] would occur c. 1265 and was probably the eldest son of Trahaearn Goch; we suspect he was also the father of Ithel Ddu, the foreman of the 1352 jury which assessed lands in Cymydmaen.
 
NOTES:
[1] Pen. 127, 56.  Later citations in Pen. 128, 156 and Pen. 176, 221 added the "Goch" nickname and "of Lleyn" for his residence.
[2] Dwnn ii, 175 & 280 and Harl. Ms 1972, 127
[3] The Dwnn citations in Note 2 say Gruffudd ap Lord Rhys, while the Harleian version says Rhys Fychan ap Lord Rhys
[4] J.Y.W. Lloyd "The History of Powys Fadog", vol v, pp 230, note 2 says "Rhys Fychan married Margaret, d. and heiress of Gruffudd, Lord of Cymytmaen.  Her arms were assumed by Trahaearn Goch, her great-grandson".  Neither Papworth's 'Ordinary of Arms', nor Siddons 'The Development of Welsh Heraldry' assign the arms to anyone earlier than Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn.  Thomas Glenn, "Welsh Founders of Pennsylvania", vol ii, pp 73 says, when speaking of Cymydmaen "that these lands had been part of the possessions of one Gruffudd, father of one of the wives of Rhys Fychan, seems certain".  Glenn's source was probably "Powys Fadog"; that the claim "seemed certain" to him is simply more evidence of his sloppy work.  He makes Trahaearn Goch 6th from Lord Rhys, which would date him to c. 1310/20 
[5] Pen. 128, 281a extends the pedigree to Trahaearn Goch ap Madog"
[6] The jury foreman is only identified as Ithel Ddu, whom we suspect was a son of Ithel Felyn ap Trahaearn Goch
[7] If the man for whom Wele Rhys ap Seisyllt was named was also called Rhys Gloff (the lame), the incorrect attachment of Trahaearn Goch to the Deheubarth family would be easier to understand
[8] See the paper "The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited" at the link below:
[9] Pen. 177, 118 & 126 & 141; and Pen. 134, 157 cite Llewelyn ap Dafydd ap Llewelyn ap Tudor ap Iorwerth ap Cynwrig ap Genillin Farchog
[10] This marriage is cited in Dwnn ii, 175
[11] This marriage is cited in Harl. 5835 and Dwnn ii, 175
[12] We believe Ithel Talfrith was a son of Trahaearn ap Iorwerth of Garthmyl, a man some called "Goch" although it was his grandson who bore that nickname.  Ystrad Alun was part of the paternal lands of this c. 1170 Trahaearn, who descended from Llewelyn Aurdorchog, Lord of Ial and Ystrad Alun.
[13] Pen. 176, 400 cites Ieuan ap Ithel Felyn of Lleyn