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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
                                               By Darrell Wolcott
         Our discussion will center around those families known to have ruled Brycheiniog, or parts thereof, after the mid-7th century and will not focus upon its reputed founder, Brychan, a 5th century man.  When conquered by the Norman knight Sir Bernard Newmarch in 1093, we are told[1] that it was then ruled by Bleddyn ap Maenyrch ap Dryffin...a man NOT paternally descended from Brychan. 
        The pedigree for Bleddyn[2] traces his ancestry to the 5th century Caradog Freich Fras, a man from Ewias believed to have descended from the clan of Bran ap Llyr Llediath.  No satisfactory explanation has been offered by historians as to how and when the rule of Brycheiniog was transferred from the family of Brychan to that of Caradog.  Some claim that Caradog's father married a daughter of Brychan[3], but no early evidence is found to support this assertion.  In fact, direct male descendants of Brychan can be found as late as 610, making it quite unlikely any earlier heiress could have carried the lands to another family.
           One group of medieval pedigrees[4] appear to say that even in 1093, a family living in Brycheiniog represented an unbroken line of males reaching back to Rhain ap Brychan.  But when examined in more detail, the Rhain in those pedigrees can be dated to c. 685 and is probably the Rhain ap Cadwgan of the Deisi tribe of Dyfed.  However, that Rhain WAS maternally descended from Brychan since his male ancestor, Cloten ap Noe, had married Ceindrec ferch Rhiwallon ap Idwallon[5]; she appears to have been the heiress of Brycheiniog when the family of Brychan became extinct in the male line.  Men of several different families descended from this Cloten are described as kings or lords of Brycheiniog in ancient documents and medieval pedigrees.  But none of those were male ancestors of the 1093 Bleddyn ap Maenyrch.
         Before considering how and when Bleddyn's family obtained a claim to Brycheiniog, we present a chart showing how it passed from Brychan's family to the Deisi dynasty, and follow the latter family until it began to divide Dyfed and Brycheiniog between subsequent brothers:
                        BRYCHEINIOG                  DYFED
                                                       Aeda Brosc  375
                    400  Brychan                      Tryffin  405
                                l                                l
                      430  son(a)                 Aircol Lawhir  435
                                l                                l
              460  Rhain Dremrudd(b)          Vortepir(c)  465
                                l                                l
                    490  Rigeneu                      Cyngar  490
                                l                                l
                    520  Llowarch                    Pedur  520
                                l                                l
                    550  Idwallon                     Arthur  545
                                l                                l
                   580  Rhiwallon                      Noe  575
                                l                                l
                   610  Ceindrec(d)=======Cloten  600
                                      625  Cathen
                                     650  Cadwgan
                 l                         l                               l
     680  Rhain(e)      685  Tryffin(f)          687  Tewdos(g)
           NOTE: The estimated birthdates in our chart yield a standard generational gap shorter than we apply to Welsh families, but both charted families were Irish in origin and likely did not adhere to the Welsh laws and customs which delayed a man's marriage until he was near 30 years old.  Primary source for the Brycheiniog family is Jesus College Ms 20, 8;  Harleian Ms 3859, 2 is our source for the Deisi family.
       (a) Peniarth Ms 131, 299 traces the c. 1095 Trahaearn Fawr, lord of Cantref Selyf, Brycheiniog to a Rhain dremrudd (Rhain who looks red) ap a son of Brychan. Possibly that unnamed son of Brychan (who Peter Bartrum would delete) was the "Rein ap Brychan" of De Situ Brecheniauc, 11(2) and his same-named son was called "dremruddd" to distinguish him from his father.  A single "Rein" separates Brychan from Rigeneu in J.C. 20, 8 and is there called Rein dremrud, but the timeline appears to require both men.
      (b)  Peniarth Ms 131, 299 omits all the names between this Rhain and the c. 685 Rhain ap Cadwgan.  Rather than consider that the pedigree writer simply assumed both Rhains were a single man, Bartrum proclaims it "grossly deficient in generations" thus casting doubt on the entire citation.
      (c) One of the few men in either family who can be dated by contemporary records, Vortepir was alive about 540 when Gildas wrote his De excidio et conquestu Britanniae, and was described as nearing the end of his days thus an old man. 
      (d)  No other families known to have descended from Brychan survived to the 7th century, so this lady was almost certainly the heiress of Brycheiniog. 
      (e)  Probably the eldest son, he appears to have ruled over much of both Dyfed and Brychieniog.  His family is shown in our next chart
      (f)  ABT 18(b) conflates this Tryffin with the c. 405 Tryffin ap Aeda Brosc, and makes him the ancestor of the c. 1030 Cadifor Fawr of Ystrad Tywy.  We think the same family might have produced the Gwaithfoed of Ystrad Tywy of c. 975
      (g)  Jesus College Ms 20, 12 cites his son as "Maredudd ap Tewdos" while Peniarth Ms 131, 269 & 296 makes "Sawl Felyn ap Meurig ap Maredudd, king of Dyfed" the ancestor of the c. 1075 Llewelyn ap Gwrgan of Cydwili.  The chronology points to a birthdate of c. 715 for that Maredudd, so we suggest he was Maredudd ap Tewdos ap Cadwgan
         The eldest son of Rhain ap Cadwgan was Tewdos[6], born c. 710, who inherited his father's portion of Dyfed.  That family ended with an heiress, Tangwystl ferch Owain ap Maredudd ap Teudos, who carried those lands to her son, Hyfaidd ap Bledri[7].  The other sons of Rhain appear to have divided Brycheiniog among themselves; men from each of their subsequent families are cited as "king", but more likely were only lords of cantrefs or commotes:
                                    680  Rhain ap Cadwgan
                       l                             l                               l
       715  Naufedd Hen(a)    715 Tewdwr(b)         720  Elisse(c)
        (a)  He received the lordships of Cantref Selyf and probably Talgarth, the north and eastern parts of Brycheiniog
          (b)  We think he received the lordship of Cantref Mawr, the south part of Brychieniog which lies west of Talgarth
          (c)  He probably received his father's manor plus scattered manors within the lordships of his brothers.
           While the Elisse in our chart is cited in Jesus College Ms 20, 8 as having a daughter, Sanant, his father is not identified.  Most, including Bartrum, assume he was also the Elisse ap Tewdwr ap Rhain cited in the same source.  But Sanant married Noe of Powys who was born c. 735 and herself must have been born no later than c. 750 or just 2 generations after Rhain.  A Sanant ferch Elisse ap Tewdwr ap Rhain could not have been born earlier than c. 780.  Sanant and Noe had three sons: Cathen, Gruffudd and Tewdos.  The opening pedigree in JC 20, 8 appears to be the family of Gruffudd son of Sanant. 
          Harleian Ms 3859, 15 confirms some of these relationships by telling us that Gruffudd, Tewdos and Cathen were 3 sons of Noe by Sanant ferch Elisse.  But the JC 20, 8 citation is less clear:
         segment 1 - Tewdwr m. Griffri m. Elisse m. Tewdwr m. Gruffudd
         segment 2 - Gruffudd and Tewdos and Cathen were sons of Noe, king of Powys, and Sanant ferch Elisse was their mother 
         (The suggestion here is that this Gruffudd is the same man as the Gruffudd which ends segment 1,  That reading is chronologically possible and likely correct)
         segment 3 - Elisse mab Tewdwr m. Rhain m. Cadwgan m. Caten m. Ceindrec ferch Rhiwallon m. Idwallon m. Llowarch m. Rigeneu m. Rein drumrudd m. Brychan 
        (The suggestion here is that this Elisse is the father of Sanant in segment 2.  That is NOT chronologically possible.  Either this segment identifies a family wholly different from the one in the first 2 segments, or the "mab Tewdwr" should be deleted
         NOTE:  The text is in some disarray as to the placement of Noe and his title; the above shows Bartrum's emendation concerning Noe, with which we concur,  Bartrum has also deleted ""ferch Neuue hen" who is included in the original citation as the father of Elisse in segment 3.  We concur, but perhaps the "mab Tewdwr" which follows in the text should also be deleted)
          When we date and chart this family, we find:
                              720  Elisse
                            750  Sanant=====Noe(a)  735
                l                                 l                                    l
     765  Caten                770  Gruffudd                 770  Tewdos
                                     805  Tewdwr
                                     840  Elisse(b)
                                     870  Griffri
                                     900  Tewdwr
        (a)  Noe was in the 9th generation after Cassanauth Wledig, from his son Cynan[8].  We date Cassanauth to c. 440 and Noe to c. 735 
         (b)  According to Asser's 'Life of King Alfred', section 80, Elisse ap Tewdwr, King of Brycheiniog, was harrassed by the sons of Rhodri Mawr and turned to Alfred the Great for protection.  The active floruit of Rhodri's sons was c. 875-900 which accords with our dating of Elisse as perhaps 10 years older than Anarawd ap Rhodri Mawr
         We now turn to Tewdwr ap Rhain ap Cadwgan of c. 720.  We would identify him as the father of Elisse in segment 3 of the pedigree shown above.  That Elisse would date to c. 750; since we would chronologically argue he could not be the father of Sanant, no family is known to have descended from him.  Thus, we think this is the most logical place where the family descended from Caradog Freich Fras obtained a "kingship" in Brycheiniog.  If this Elisse ap Tewdwr ap Rhain had an only daughter, she might have married Tangwydd ap Tegid and carried her father's lands to her son Anarawd.  In fact, in his "History of Brecknock", page 52, Theophilus Jones calls Tangwydd and Anarawd "regulus of Brecknock" while earlier men in that family are called kings of Radnor, Buillt and Fferlys...lands north and east of Brycheiniog. 
          Our suggested connection is shown in the following chart:
                    475  Caradog Freich Fras
                           505  Cawrdaf
                             540  Caw
                            575  Gloyw
                             605  Hoyw
                           640  Cynfarch
                           670  Cyndegg              Rhain  680
                                       l                         l
                          705  Teithwalch           Tewdwr  715
                                       l                         l
                            740  Tegid                  Elisse  750
                                       l                         l
                         775  Tangwydd=======dau  785
                                         805  Anarawd
                                         840  Gwenddy
                                       875  Hydd Hwgan, killed 914[9]
                                         910  Gwynngy
                                          945  Hwgan
                                          980  Dryffin
                                      1015  Maenyrch
                                      1045  Bleddyn, ob 1093
         NOTE: The basic pedigree of this family is given in Llyfr Baglan 120 and Jones' "History of Brecknock", pp 51-56.  The former omits the pair "Hydd Hwgan ap Gwenddy" while the latter omits "Hwgan ap Gwynngy", both assuming there was a single Hwgan and that Gwenddy was identical to Gwynngy.  The marriage shown is conjectural and all the birthdates are our estimates.  This family lost Fferlys when Elystan Glodrydd (born c. 985) took it from Dryffin ap Hwgan c. 1020 [10]
         We repeat our previous caveat that there are no credible citations which explain how this family obtained a "kingship" in Brycheiniog; our suggestion seems reasonable but awaits the production of an alternate solution by other scholars.
         The remaining son of Rhain was Naufedd Hen whose pedigree is cited in Peniarth Ms 131, 299.  His family definately ruled Cantref Selyf and probably the cantref of Talgarth.  We chart it as:
                           715  Naufedd Hen(a)
                              745  Naufedd
                              775  Tewdwr
                               810  Gwylog
                                840  Elisse
                             l                                 l
                875  Gruffudd               870  Tewdwr(b)
                  910  Selyf  
              l                            l
   940  Dryffin           945  Einion(c)
              l                            l
970  Maenyrch========Elen(d)  980  
                 1000  Rhiwallon
                 1035  Madog
                  1065  Einion
             1095  Trahaearn Fawr(e)   
        (a)  The citation actually reads "Nauvedd ap yr ail Nauvedd" (yr ail = the second).  Alternate pedigrees in Peniarth Ms 132, 126 and Pen. 136, 350 call these two men "Neinied ap Nevved" and "Ysteiniaid ap Neved" respectively
        (b)  A Tewdwr ap Elisse, king of Brycheiniog, is mentioned in a charter in the Book of Llan Dav, page 237, which scholars date c. 927/928.  Bartrum makes him a son of the c. 835 Elisse ap Tewdwr ap Gruffudd descended from Noe and Sanant, but he fits as well as a son of Elisse ap Gwylog.  Either identification could be correct but neither is certain   
        (c)  Some 17th century pedigrees[11] mention an Einion ap Gwynngy (Gwngudd/Gwage are alternate spellings) as the ancestor of Rhys Goch of Ystrad Yw.  This Gwynngy fits chronologically as the son of Anarawd in the family descended from Caradog Freich Fras.  We suggest, however, that the Einion in the pedigree of Rhys Goch ap Maenyrch might well have been the Einion ap Selyf in our chart; the late pedigrees may have simply attached Rhys Goch to the Caradog line since it also contained a man named Maenyrch
      (d)  This marriage is cited in many sources, all of which confuse Elen's spouse with the c. 1015 Maenyrch ap Dryffin ap Hwgan who was father to Bleddyn
      (e)  He was lord of Cantref Selyf.  Bartrum dates him c. 1100 but charts him as a brother of Elen ferch Einion, a lady born 120 years earlier.  But his entire chart of this family prior to the year 1100 is in total disarray[12]
          We shall conclude our look at the Brycheiniog families with the pedigree of Rhys Goch of Ystrad Yw, which shows the uncertainty of his ancient ancestry.  Ystrad Yw was a commote in the cantref of Talgarth in southeast Brychieniog:
            CARADOG FREICH FRAS                 RHAIN AP CADWGAN
       910  Gwynngy ap Hydd Hwgan     910  Selyf ap Gruffudd ap Elisse
                             945  Einion
                             975  Richert
                             1010  Ifor(a)
                         1040  Maenrych
                          1070  Rhys Goch(b)
      (a)  Harleian Ms 3525, 81/82 cites a Rhys Goch ap Ifor ap Einion, omitting Richet.  This man, a brother of Maenyrch, was born c. 1045 and married Sian ferch Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd, a lady born c. 1055/60  He was NOT the Rhys Goch who was lord of Ystrad Yw.  Cardiff Ms 2.30, page 63 cites the names "Richert ap Einion" among the ancestors of Rhys Goch, so we would insert Richert into the pedigree
      (b)  Lord of Ystrad Yw, his father is often confused with other men named Maenyrch...particularly the one who was father to Bleddyn.[13]
          Most authorities would attach Rhys Goch to the Einion ap Gwynngy descended from Caradog Freich Fras, but they rely on late citations.  If our suggestion that Selyf ap Gruffudd ap Elisse ruled both Cantref Selyf and the cantref of Talgarth is valid, then the Einion in the ancestry of Rhys Goch was probably a son of Selyf and thus descended from the Deisi dynasty of Dyfed. 
NOTICE: In a more recent look at these families, we reached the opposite view.  See that paper at this link: http://www.ancientwalesstudies.org/id310.html

[1] Jones "History of Brecknock", p 60; Llyfr Baglan, 227
[2] Llyfr Baglan, 120
[3] This bogus marriage is discussed in our paper "Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras" at the link below:
[4] those of Trahaearn Fawr; see Journal of National Library of Wales, Vol XIII, p 122
[5] JC Ms 20, 8 makes Ceindrec the mother of Cathen, while Harleian Ms 3859, 2 makes Cloten the father of Cathen.  No sources specifically say that Cloten married Ceindrec
[6] Tewdos ap Rhain ap Cadwgan is cited in Harleian Ms 3859, 2
[7] For the pedigree of the new Dyfed kings, see our paper "The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg" at the link below:
[8] The full pedigree is found in JC Ms 20, 16
[9] This man was attacked by Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great.  He fled to Derby but died there in battle about 914 when Ethelfleda pursued him. See Jones "History of Brecknock", p 54
[10] It is not known how the Brychieniog family obtained Fferlys since it was anciently among the lands of Elystan Glodrydd's ancestors.  It may have been earlier taken by the Saxons, wrested from them by the ancestors of Dryffin and finally recovered by Elystan.
[11] Llyfr Baglan 166 & 215; Mostyn Ms 212b, 131; Cardiff Ms 2.30, 63
[12] Bartrum's "Welsh Genealogies AD 300 - 1400", chart Trahaearn Fawr 1
[13] Llyfr Baglan 10, 141. 235 & 257 cite the marriage of Gwladys ferch Rhys Goch ap Maenyrch with Ynyr Fychan ap Meurig ap Ynyr; most of those call Rhys "lord of Ystrad Yw" but only one adds "Goch" to his name.  Harleian Ms 2414, 31 cites Rhys Goch ap Maenyrch as the father of Genillin