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Nefydd Hardd of Nant Conwy
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
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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
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
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Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys

                              THE FAMILY OF TRAHAEARN AP CARADOG
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
        When Trahaearn ap Caradog was killed at Mynydd Carn in 1081 [1], he had been the interim king of both Gwynedd and Powys, as neither of those dynasties had a qualified claimant available to serve.  His opponent at Mynydd Card, Gruffudd ap Cynan, nephew of Iago, had previously been unsuccessful in his attempt to claim Gwynedd [2], and he lived in Ireland.  The next-in-line, Gruffudd ap Cynan ap Iago, was then just 11 years old.  In Powys, the eldest son of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn was the designated edling, but was yet a year or so too young for kingship. [3]
       Trahaearn was survived by a wife and 4 legitimate sons. [4]  His widow was Nest, the daughter of former Powys king Gruffudd ap Llewelyn, by his first wife. [5]  Their sons were:
        Owain, born c. 1065, so near age 16
        Llywarch, born c. 1070, so near age 11
        Meurig, born c. 1073, so near age 8
        Gruffudd, born c. 1075, so near age 6
       The three youngest boys were still under age 14, so they lived at the bed and board of their parents.  The eldest son had, when he turned age 14, been sent for his mandatory training to the court of Idnerth ap Cadwgan in Ceri.  The Powys court was temporarily unstaffed for military training [6]  and Idnerth represented a cousin branch of Trahaearn's family. [7]
       The edling-in-waiting for the Powys crown was probably Madog ap Bleddyn, and he was due for coronation the following year.  Madog was, however, old enough to assume the wardship of Trahaearn's lands during the minority of his heirs.  Young Owain ap Trahaearn was now sent to the Powys court, together with his mother and other Powys members of his father's court. Owain's younger brothers each joined that court as they, respectively, turned age 14.  Madog ap Bleddyn, when coronated, ruled Powys until 1088, when he and his brother, Rhiryd, were killed attempting to seize Deheubarth from Rhys ap Tewdwr. [8]  Cadwgan ap Bleddyn then became the new king of Powys.
       About 1093, King Cadwgan named Owain ap Trahaearn as Lord of Arwystli.  About 1098, he named Llywarch ap Trahaearn Lord of Cedewain after Llywarch married a daughter of Iorwerth ap Cadwgan of Ceri. [9]  In 1106, the two youngest sons of Trahaearn, Meurig and Gruffudd, apparently demanded a larger voice in Powys affairs.  King Cadwgan sent his 21 year old son, Owain, to handle the matter....which he did by killing the two men. [10]  Each man left one or more toddler sons as orphans. [11]

       Owain ap Trahaearn apparently lived a full life; when he died, his eldest son, Ieuaf, became the new Lord of Arwystli.  His younger legitimate sons, Llewelyn, Meurig and Iorwerth, never married since they were either blinded or killed in the wars between the sons of Owain and the sons of Llywarch. [12]  When Ieuaf ap Owain was also killed in 1130 [13], his only son, Hywel, was barely 5 years old.  The Lordship was held in wardship by the kings of Powys until Madog ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn conferred it upon Hywel ap Ieuaf about 1153. During the lifetime of Hywel ap Ieuaf, King Henry II deprived him of the lordship and conferred it upon Lord Rhys in 1171. [14]  Although Hywel had several sons who continued to hold lands in Arwystli, there is no indication any further lordships were held by descendants of Owain ap Trahaearn.  Owain also had a base son who will be discussed later in this paper.
      We believe Llywarch ap Trahaearn died about 1128, precipitating the war between his sons and the sons of his brother, Owain.  He left 5 legitimate sons, with Cadafael the eldest, born c. 1100. Three other sons, Maredudd, Madog and Iorwerth were killed in the inter-family wars [15], and Robert, the youngest, was yet a teen, born c. 1110.  The Lordship of Cedewain was held in wardship by the kings of Powys until about 1138 when it was given to Robert.  While Cadafael had been old enough to become Lord when his father died, King Maredudd ap Bleddyn had declined such a grant due to that man's mental incompetence. [16]  Lords of Cedewain which followed Robert ap Llywarch are discussed in another paper. [17]  Llywarch also had a base son who will be discussed presently.    

       About 1063, Trahaearn had a base son, Ieuan, by an unnamed lady, probably of the commote of Gorddwr. [18]  The boy was raised by his mother and never knew his father.  We suggest he married a Gorddwr lady by whom he had a son, Dafydd c. 1095.  We further suggest his wife had two younger sisters, and that Ieuan, his wife, her sisters, and the parents of his wife all resided at his in-laws manor.  Ieuan had inherited nothing from his own father, so he worked as a tenant for his father-in-law. 
       Ieuan had been made aware of his birth father and half-brothers when he reached his teens.  His curiousity about, and desire to learn more of  his father, led him to visit his half-brothers.  He assured both Owain and Llywarch that he sought nothing but friendship from them,  and he was happy to live in obscurity far from the political scene.  The three men embraced each other and became good friends,  About the year 1101, both his half-brothers visited Ieuan and his family in their home.  Neither of the younger sisters of Ieuan's wife had ever married, but neither was still a virgin.  One thing led to another, as often happens when a married man travels without his wife in tow.  When the brothers Owain and Llywarch departed for home, we think they left behind two pregnant ladies. [19]
        The following year, Ieuan's household was increased by two baby boys: Eilas ap Owain [20] and Trahaearn ap Llywarch [21].  A chart of the families which descended from those illegitimate men, including the base son Ieuan ap Trahaearn ap Caradog, will show the closeness these families shared with each other:


General comment on chart:
    Notice how the families which descend from Trahaearn ap Llywarch repeat the same series of male names found in the other two charted families
Specific chart comments to support our dating estimates:
(a)  It is known that Trahaearn ap Iorwerth, a man descended from Llewelyn Aurdorchog of Ial, was an officer in the warband of Gwenwynwyn of south Powys, who granted him the Lordship of Garthmyl for his services.  The c. 1170 Eilas ap Owain is called a man of Aberriw in some citations.  Garthmyl and Aberriw are less than a mile apart in the commote of Llanerch Hudol, Powys. We suggest Eilas acquired that manor at the same time and for the same reason that Garthmyl was given to Trahaearn ap Iorwerth.   The marriage of Sian ferch Dafydd Fychan to Iorwerth (ap Einion ap Rhys ap Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog) is cited in "Powys Fadog" vol 5, page 120.  Dafydd Fychan is called "of Bachelldre", a placename less than a mile from both Aberriw and Garthmyl
(b)  Pen. 127, 39 cites the marriage of Angharad to Gruffudd (1210) ap Ednyfed Chwith (1175) ap Morgan Fychan (1145) ap Morgan (1110) ap Rhiryd (1075) ap Hywel (1045) ap Trahaearn (1008), which Trahaearn was a son of Pasgen I ap Gwyn I of the Powys Royal Family
(c) Pen 127, 39 also cites the marriage of Dafydd Frychgoch (corruptly called "Frygoch") to Tangwystl (1235) ferch Madog Goch (1205) ap Gruffudd (1175).  Gruffudd was the son of Llewelyn (1145) ap Robert (1110) ap Llywarch (1979) ap Trahaearn (1035) ap Caradog
(d)  Dwnn i, 274 cites the marriage of Ieuan ap Einion ap Eilas to Meddefys ferch Dafydd Fychan ap Dafydd ap Ieuan ap Trahaearn, men who are dated in the chart
(e) Dwnn i, 308 cites the marriage of Dafydd Llwyd to Angharad (1305) ap Madog (1275) ap Cadwgan (1240).  This Cadwgan was a son of Rhys ap Richard ap Einion ap Richard ap Einion ap Cadifor Fawr
(f) Dwnn i, 274 cites the marriage of this Dafydd to Annes (1330) ferch Gruffudd (1295) ap Maredudd (1260) ap Einion (1230) ap Cynfelyn (1200), the 2nd of the men named Einion ap Cynfelyn in his family

[1] See our paper "The Battle of Mynydd Carn" at the link below:
[2] ByT 1075
[3] The eldest sons of Bleddyn were Madog, Cadwgan, Rhiryd and Llywarch whose birth order is not known, but the eldest would have been born about 1054
[4] He also had a base son, Ieuan, by an unnamed mistress
[5] This marriage is cited in Dwnn ii, 107.  Gruffudd ap Llewelyn had a second daughter named Nest by his second wife
[6] Trahaearn held the interim kingships of both Gwynedd and Powys and was not using the Powys court except for ceremonial events
[7] Both men were in the 10th generation after their common ancestor, Tegonwy ap Teon
[8] ByT 1088
[9] This marriage is cited in Dwnn ii, 24
[10] ByT 1106
[11] ByT 1129 says Maredudd ap Llywarch killed the son of Meurig and blinded the sons of Gruffudd, calling them his cousins.
[12] We describe this war in our paper "The Sons of Owain ap Cadwgan" at the link below:
[13] ByT 1130
[14] ByT 1171, but Hywel was still described as the Lord of Arwystli in his obit notice in 1185
[15] See Note 12 above
[16] See our paper "Cadafael Ynfyd of Cedewain" at the link below:
[17] See the paper "Maredudd ap Robert,  Lord of Cedewain" at the link below:
[18] This suggestion is based on our observation that several Powys noblemen had fathered base sons by ladies who lived in this commote
[19]  The details in this paragraph are necessarily conjecture, but the results were real
[20]  Eilas is cited Dwnn i, 308
[21] Trahaearn is cited in Dwnn i, 274 and 308.  The first incorrectly calls him a son of Robert ap Llywarch, brother of Maredudd.  The latter calls him a son of Maredudd ap Robert ap Llywarch.  Chronologically, however, he must have been a brother of Maredudd and Robert ap Llywarch