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                              THE ANCESTRY OF IESTYN AP GWRGAN
                                               By Darrell Wolcott
          We are speaking here of the first of 3 men called Iestyn ap Gwrgan of Morgannwg.  The earliest known pedigree [1] cites an "Iestyn ap Gwrgan ap Ithel ap Idwallon ap Morgan Mawr ap Owain ap Hywel ap Rhys" and continues the ancestry, albeit somewhat short of generations, back to the 6th century Morgan ap Athrwys ap Tewdrig. [2]
          Another ancient pedigree [3] appears to identify Nest ferch Rhodri Mawr as the mother of Morgan Hen, while the same source [4] cites the wife of this Morgan as Lleuci ferch Enflew ap Cynfelyn, and says the mother of Lleuci was Adwent ferch Eliffer ap Gronwy descended from Cassanauth Wledig.
          Charting these relationships yields this probable pedigree for Morgan Mawr/Hen [5], the best-known of the near ancestors of Iestyn:
   440  Cassanauth Wledig
       470  Cynan
      505  Cenelaph              505  Tewdrig
                   l                                 l
        535  Rhun                  540  Athrwys
                   l                                 l
       570  Madog                 570  Morgan     
                   l                                 l
       600  Merin                    600  Ithel  
                   l                                 l
      630  Tudwal                   635  Rhys
                   l                                 l
      665  Sandde                665  Arthfael
                   l                                 l
       700  Madog                 695  Meurig
                   l                                 l
         735  Noe                 730  Brochwel
                   l                                 l
       765  Ceneu                765  Arthfael
                   l                                 l
   795  Cynhaethwy              795  Rhys
                   l                                 l
      825  Gronwy                 825  Hywel, ob 886       Rhodri Mawr  820
                   l                                 l                               l
        855  Eliffer                  855  Owain==========Nest  865
                   l                                                  l
    885  Adwent (female)                                   l
                   l                                                  l
       900  Lleuci================Morgan Mawr  885
                                 ?   Idwallon
                                    ?   Ithel
                             1008  Gwrgan
                              1045  Iestyn
         The men at the bottom of the chart can be dated from their cited spouses.  Gwrgan ap Ithel married a daughter of Cynfyn ap Gwerystan [6] (that lady was a full sister of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn).  Such a daughter would have been born c. 1026.  Iestyn married Constance Wen ferch Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd [7], a lady born c. 1050.  Thus we have a full generation missing in our chart, between Morgan of c. 885 and Gwrgan of 1008.
         We suggest two possibilities for identifying the missing generation:
          1.  The 975 entry in Annales Cambriae, and the corresponding entry in 2 of the 3 versions of the Brut, say that an "Idwallon ap Owain" died.  Thomas Jones, who edited all 3 modern versions of the Brut, suggests the entry was intended to be the obit of a Strathclyde ruler named Domnall ap Eogain. [8]  Both the Irish Annals of Ulster and Annals of Tigernach cite the death of such a man in 975.  While Domnall is alternately spelled as "Dunwallon" and Eogain has the Welsh spelling "Owain", Jones assumes the Brut spelling "Idwallon" was an error for "Dunwallon".  However, the 975 Brut entry also says that Dunwallon of Strathclyde died that year (in addition to Idwallon ap Owain).  Perhaps two men died that year, one of them being Idwallon ap Owain ap Morgan Mawr, and that "Owain" is the missing generation in our chart...belonging between Idwallon and Morgan Mawr.  However, our dating of Ithel ap Idwallon to c. 980 makes this solution doubtful.
          2.  Morgan Mawr, also called Morgan Hen, is usually identified with the man mentioned in the 974 Brut entry "bu varw Morgan" or "the death of Morgan".  If that identification is correct, then Morgan lived to an age near 90.  That belief is said to be the reason Morgan is called Hen or "the old",  But since the typical Welsh nobleman of the era seldom lived past age 65, it might simply have designated him as the "older" Morgan to distinguish him from a same-named son.  Perhaps there was a Morgan ap Morgan Hen who died in 974, having been born about 915.  And this younger Morgan may have fathered a son, Idwallon, about 945.
            In our companion paper "King of England Mediates Welsh Dispute", we cite two events from the Text of the Book of Llan Dav, and show how its c. 1150 author conflated them.  And how, when separated, they compel the conclusion that Morgan Hen had a son named Morgan.  A third event from the same source suggests the same conclusion. [9]
            The pedigree we charted above should probably be emended following Morgan Mawr as :
                                   885  Morgan Mawr/Hen
                                  915  Morgan the younger
                                       945  Idwallon
                                         980  Ithel
                                      1008  Gwrgan
                                       1045  Iestyn

[1]  ABT 15
[2] See our paper "Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees" at the link below:
[3]  JC Ms 20, 20
[4]  JC Ms 20, 16
[5]  Book of Llan Dav, page 240 calls him "Morcant Hen filius Yugein" (i.e. Morgan Hen ap Owain"
[6]  Mostyn Ms 212b, 117
[7] Llyfr Baglan, 11 & 298
[8]  Brut y Tywysogyon, Peniarth Ms 20 version, p 144
[9] Reference is to a Morgannwg election in 983 which is discussed in our "English King Mediates" paper, at the link below: