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Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022?
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Welsh Ancestry of the Tudor Dynasty
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam
                                 THE ROYAL FAMILY OF CEREDIGION
                                            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
                                                 l
                                     415  Ceredig
                      _________________l____     Emyr Llydaw*  400
                      l                                 l            l
          445  Cedig Draws**        450  Gwen===Petrwn 435 
                      l                                       l
          480  Sant/Sandde                470  St Padarn
                      l
         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
                                           l
                                 450  Iusay
                                           l
                                480  Serguil
                                           l
                                  510  Usai
                                           l
                                 540  Serwyl
                                           l
                                570  Boddw
                                           l
                              600  Arthfoddw
                        ____________l___________
                        l                                    l
           630  Arthglwys                 630  Eiddon Ddu
                        l
            665  Clydog                          (next chart)
                       l
            700  Seisyllt
                       l
            735  Arthen, ob 807
                      l
        765  Dyfnwallon
                      l
           800  Meurig
             _____l________
             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
                                                 l
                                      665  Seisyllt
                                                 l
                                     695  Llywarch
                                                 l
                                 730  Cloddien Frych
                                                 l
                                     760  Caradog
                                                 l
                                      790  Meurig
                                                 l
                                       825  Einion
                                                 l
                                       860  Owain
                             ____________l_________________
                             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
                                 l
                      790  Merfyn Frych
                   _________l_________
                   l                             l
     820  Rhodri Mawr          830  Gwriad*        Einion  825
                   l                             l                 l
      850  Anarawd             870  daughter====Owain  860
                                                           l
                                                890  Gwriad
                                        ____________l__________
                                        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
                                       l
                            920  Odwin
                                      l
                          950  Morfydd[10]====Eunydd ap Pyll  935
                                                     l
                                           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
                                            l
                                 925  Gwgan
                                            l
                                 960  Carwed
                                            l                               
                            995  Llywarch Llwyd    
                                           l                               
                             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 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.
 
          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.
 

NOTES:
[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" elsewhere on this site
[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