Guest-written Papers
Reference Abbreviations
Guidance Articles for Researchers
Single Family Analysis
Families of Mixed Origin
Family Pedigrees
Mis-identified Same-Named People in Wales
Battles and Historical Events
Ancient Welsh Territories
Welshmen in Llydaw, Brittany
The Men of the North
Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
Papers Related to Maxen Wledig
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
Britain's Royal Roman Family
The Royal Family of Powys
2nd Powys Royal Dynasty
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
Men Descended from Tudwal Gloff
Royal Family of Gwent/ Glamorgan
Royal Family of Brycheiniog
15 Noble Tribes of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Glast and the Glastening
Papers about Rhiryd Flaidd and Penllyn
The Men of Collwyn ap Tangno of Lleyn
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Ednowain Bendew in Welsh pedigrees
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Tudor Trefor and his Family
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
The Family of Trahaearn ap Caradog
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The 5 Dafydd Llwyds of Llanwrin Parish
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys
                             EARLY CEREDIGION AND ITS RULERS
                                           By Darrell Wolcott
          When we think of the Welsh kingdom of Ceredigion, it is usually as those lands existed in the 11th century: ten commotes lying along the west coast of Wales between the Dyfi and the Teifi rivers.  But were those its bounderies back in the 5th century when it became the eponym of Ceredig ap Cunedda? 
          Professor John E. Lloyd observed that in the 6 commotes north of the Aeron valley, the influence of St. Padarn is strong; his base at Llanbadarn Fawr held wide authority as the mother church of all Northern Ceredigion.  But south of the Aeron, one moves into another region which knows nothing of Padarn but is part of the realm of St Dewi.[1]  Most will recognise Dewi as St David, generally identified as the bishop seated at Menevia in Dyfed.  Both holy men claim descent from Ceredig ap Cunedda, although Padarn was related only via his mother.  His father, Petrwn ap Emyr Llydaw, married Gwen ferch Ceredig ap Cunedda[2] and we may assume it was this marriage which brought Padarn to Ceredigion.  The two saints can be charted as:
                                     385  Cunedda
                                     415  Ceredig
                      _________________l____      Emyr Llydaw*  390
                      l                                     l             l
          445  Cedig Draws**        450  Gwen===Petrwn 435 
                      l                                          l
          480  Sant/Sandde                470  St Padarn
         510  St David/Dewi
          *This is the earliest of the men called Emyr Llydaw, being a great-great grandson of Cynan Meriadog.  This Emyr's grandson is also called Emyr Llydaw in the old pedigrees. 
           ** This generation is missing from many early pedigrees of St David, but can be found in Bonedd y Saint, 1
           We suggest that the lands first named Ceredigion were those 6 commotes north of the Aeron, and that the 4 commotes south of that river were then a part of Dyfed.[3]  Much historical conjecture is made of an 8th century king of Ceredigion named Seisyll conquering certain adjacent lands to form a territory called Seisyllwg.[4]  We think this was when the lands south of the Aeron were added to the original kingdom of Ceredigion.  The whole may have been called Seisyllwg during his lifetime, but within a generation all 10 commotes were simply "Ceredigion".[5]  It continued to exist as a separate kingdom until being merged into Deheubarth by Hywel Dda in the 10th century.  It's royal family, however, did not become extinct in the male line until 4 generations later in the second half of the 11th century.         
          Ceredigion had few natural harbors along its coast, so was generally accessible only overland.  Neither the Romans nor the pre-Cunedda occupants built any notable forts there, nor have remains of any regal-appearing manors of that age been seen.  One would expect that it had been sparsely populated in the days of Ceredig.  Later, its geographic features served to protect it from both Saxon invasions and Danish raiders.  Its enemies in the 9th to 11th centuries were primarily its neighbors to the north and south.
           Nothing at all is known of the reign of Ceredig; by the year 600, only men descended from his son Iusay/Usai are found in the ancient pedigrees. And the descent of those men from Ceredig is missing two generations.  For our charts, we shall assume there were two pairs of men called "Serwyl/Serguil ap Usai" simply to have a name to fill each generational slot, but the gaps may occur anywhere between c. 450 and c. 600.  Thus: 
                              415  Ceredig ap Cunedda
                                 450  Iusay
                                480  Serguil
                                  510  Usai
                                 540  Serwyl
                                570  Boddw
                              600  Arthfoddw
                        l                                         l
           630  Arthglwys                   630  Eiddon Ddu
            665  Clydog                             (next chart)
            700  Seisyllt
            735  Arthen, ob 807
        770  Dyfnwallon
           800  Meurig
             l                       l    835
 830  Gwgan, ob 872  Angharad===Rhodri Mawr 820
             We assume the family on the left in our chart[6] was the senior branch of the Royal Family, since the obits of both Arthen and Gwgan cite those men as kings of Ceredigion.  The traditional historians of Wales claim that Rhodri Mawr added Ceredigion to his Gwynedd kingship when Gwgan ap Meurig drowned in 872 with no known sons. We have previously shown that to have been not only unlikely, but pure medieval conjecture.[7]  Instead, we posit the Ceredigion Royal Family continued its rule after 872 through the cousin line descended from Eiddon Ddu[8]:
                                      630  Eiddon Ddu
                                      665  Seisyllt
                                     695  Llywarch
                                 730  Cloddien Frych
                                     760  Caradog
                                      790  Meurig
                                       825  Einion
                                       860  Owain
                             l                      l                             l
                  890  Gwriad     890  Teithwalch      895 Meirchion
                    (next chart)         (later chart)          (later chart)    
            We suspect that after Gwgan ap Meurig of the senior line died, the kingship was conferred upon Einion ap Meurig of this junior branch, who was followed by his son, Owain.  The eldest son of Owain ap Einion was Gwriad, who held the kingship until about 932.[9]  Others have suggested that Hywel Dda of Deheubarth probably added Ceredigion to his kingdom after Gwriad disappeared from the Athelstan charters witness lists.  His obit is not recorded, but Gwriad was survived by sons Anarawd and Gwgan. 
            Both the male names Gwriad and Anarawd occur here for the first time in the Ceredigion family, having previously been known primarily in the Gwynedd family descended from Merfyn Fyrch.  This suggests a marriage between the two families such as posited in this chart:
                       755  Gwriad, Isle of Man
                      790  Merfyn Frych
                   l                                l
     820  Rhodri Mawr          830  Gwriad*        Einion  825
                   l                                l                   l
      850  Anarawd             870  daughter====Owain  860
                                                  890  Gwriad
                                        l                                       l
                            920  Anarawd                     925  Gwgan
         * Most ancient texts say the Gwriad who was killed in 878 was the brother of Rhodri, not his son as modern historians claim.
         If, as we suspect, Hywel Dda had taken the kingship of Ceredigion about 932, the sons of Gwriad ap Owain would have been sub-teenaged boys.  Ten years later, upon the death of Idwal Foel, Hywel Dda also took over Gwynedd.  But when Hywel died in 949, the sons of Idwal Foel successfully reclaimed Gwynedd as their patrimony.  We suspect the sons of Gwriad likewise attempted to reclaim Ceredigion as their patrimony.  The Brut says that Anarawd ap Gwriad was slain in 954 and Gwgan his brother was killed in 957.  It thus would appear that Owain ap Hywel Dda successfully held onto Ceredigion, while the more remote kingdom of Gwynedd slipped from his grasp.
         While the lineage of Gwriad of Ceredigion became extinct in 957, that royal family survived in the families descended from the younger brothers of Gwriad.  The eldest of those brothers was Teithwalch whose lands lay in the far north of Ceredigion:
                          890  Teithwalch
                            920  Odwin
                          950  Morfydd[10]====Eunydd ap Pyll  935
                                           965  Einion
         This family branch ended with a heiress, who married a man from Meirionydd and carried much land in north Ceredigion to her son, Einion ap Eunydd.  Her grandsons were Peredur Beiswrydd and Peredur Beisgwyn, from whom descended both Gwaithfoed of Meirionydd and Gwaithfoed of Ceredigion as well as other notable families.  There is no indication that Odwin ap Teithwalch contested Owain ap Hywel Dda for rule in Ceredigion after his first-cousins were slain, perhaps being content with a lordship north of the Aeron valley. 
          We now turn to Meirchion, the youngest brother of Gwriad, who held lands in far south Ceredigion.  After the death of Odwin ap Teithwalch, the family of Meirchion was the last surviving cadet of the old Ceredigion royal family.
                                 895  Meirchion
                                 925  Gwgan
                                 960  Carwed
                            995  Llywarch Llwyd    
                             1030  Morfydd               
          Again, no males of this family appear to have contested Owain ap Hywel Dda, or his descendants, for the kingship of Ceredigion.  But the line ended with an 11th century heiress.  The pedigrees[11] cite Morfydd as "Morydd, king of Cardigan AD 830" ab Llywarch Llwyd", but we think both the dating and gender are incorrect.  It is our view that she was the daughter of Llywarch Llwyd and that she married a Dyfed man.  Men named Llawr and Assur/Alser descended from her, names found almost exclusively in the Dyfed families descended from Tudwal Gloff.  Thus, we would identify her husband as the c. 1020 Uchdryd ap Aleth ap Llawr ap Aelan ap Alser ap Tudwal, and make him the ancestor of Llewelyn, Lord of Iscerdin, ap Hoedliw ap Llawr ap Assur ap Dyfnfarch ap Morfydd ferch Llywarch Llwyd. [12]
          It was, we suggest, with this 11th century heiress that the Royal Family descended from Ceredig ap Cunedda became extinct.  That family's rule over Ceredigion, however, likely ended with the earlier death of Gwriad ap Owain c. 932 and certainly ended with the death of his sons in the decade of the 950's.

[1]  J.E. Lloyd "The Story of Ceredigion", 1937, pp 4-8
[2]  His pedigree is found in ByS 21 reproduced in Peter Bartrum's "Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts"
[3] Tombstones have been found in the southmost part of Ceredigion bearing the Ogham characters of the Geodelic Celts who occupied Dyfed after c. 340AD, suggesting the area was once a part of Dyfed
[4] See "The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg" at the link below:
[5] The Brut obit of Arthen ap Seisyllt in 807 describes him as king of Ceredigion, not of Seisyllwg
[6] Harleian Ms 3859, 26 cites the pedigree of Gwgan ap Meurig; the marriage of Angharad to Rhodri Mawr can be found in ABT 6(j)
[7] op cit note 4
[8] Pen. 140, 348 but makes Einion Ddu a son of Ceredig ap Cunedda.  Chronological analysis of the families descended from him point to a birthdate near 630 where we place him in our chart
[9] Kevin Halloran "Welsh Kings at the English Court, 926-958" published in the June 2011 Welsh History Review; Gwriad was a Welsh king who joined Hywel Dda and Idwal Foel in witnessing royal charters, the last of which was in 932.  Thereafter, Gwriad's name is missing from such witness lists
[10] Pen. 140, 348/9 makes Morfydd ferch Odwin ap Teithwalch the mother of Gwaithfoed of Ceredigion.  But that Gwaithfoed was born c. 1160 in a family paternally descended from Meirion ap Cunedda, and that Meirionydd family had held lands in northern Ceredigion since the tenth century.  We think the citation actually refers to Gwaithfoed of Meirionydd, a man born c. 1100 to Eunydd ap Cadifor ap Peredur Beiswyrdd ap Einion ap Eunydd ap Pyll ap Sandde.  But Morfydd, we suggest, married the earlier Eunydd ap Pyll (not Eunydd ap Cadifor) and carried her father's Ceredigion lands to her son Einion 4 generations earlier than the birth of Gwaithfoed
[11] Dale Castle Ms, 26; Pen. 120, 588 cite the pedigree of Llewelyn ap Hoedliw back to Gwgan ap Meirchion before corruptly continuing with a 5th century Meirchion. The reference to a "king of Ceredigion anno domini 830" was likely included to show this branch of the family only became the surviving royal line after the death of Gwgan ap Meurig, he born c. 830
[12] See the paper "Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin" at the link below: