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Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                                                 SELYF, "BRENNIN" DYFED
                                             By Darrell Wolcott
 
        While born in Dyfed c. 1055, Selyf [1] was never the king of anything.  He was a direct descendant of Tudwal Gloff ap Rhodri Mawr, whose half-brother, Cadell, and nephew Hywel Dda, had granted Tudwal lands in Dyfed for income.  Tudwal himself had married a niece of the former Dyfed king, but lived in Rhufoniog in Gwynedd.  Some of his descendants, however, took up residence on these Dyfed lands in the mid 10th century.
 
           The pedigree evidence is somewhat muddled as to both his ancestry and his later family, for two reasons.  First, Selyf was not politically ambitious and played no role in the wars, either among the descendants of King Rhys ap Tewdwr, or earlier, with the Norman incursion into south Wales, so he is absent from virtually all accounts of Welsh history.  And secondly, there were two different men named Selyf who have been conflated by the early genealogists.
 
          We believe a correct chart of their ancestry would look like this:

                                                        865  Tudwal Gloff
                                                                       l
                                                            895  Alser
                                                                       l
                                                           930  Aelan
                                                                       l
                                                           960  Gwyn
                                                                      l
                                                         990  Tegwas
                                                                      l
                                                      1025  Ifor Felyn
                                                                     l
                                                        1055  Selyf 
                                                                     l
                                                      1090  Cadifor
                                                ____ _______l__________
                                                l                                       l
                                 1122  Gruffudd                   1125   Selyf
                                                l                                       l               
                              1152  Meurig Goch                1155  Cadifor
                                                                                        l
                                                                          1185 Gruffudd
                                                                                        l
                                                                      1220  Meurig Goch

 
               Most of the pedigrees [2] for Selyf says he was a son of "Irfelyn ap Tegwas ap Gwyn ap Aelaw ap Alser ap Tudwal", but "Irfelyn" appears to be a name combined with a nickname.  One citation [3], which is in disarray, provides a clue to the correction.  It traces Meurig Goch to an "Ifor ap Tegwas felyn Lord of Hwlffordd".  Since all other citations which mention this Lordship assign it to Irfelyn,  we think the "ap Tegwas" is misplaced and belongs at the end of the citation, yielding "Ifor felyn Lord of Hwlffordd ap Tegwas".  Other citations say that Tegwas was Lord of Cemais.
 
               The earliest marriage cited for this family [4] says the mother of Selyf was Efa (1039) ferch Iorwerth (1000) ap Uchdryd (965) ap Aleth (935) ap Alser (895), so Efa must have been the wife/consort of Ifor Felyn, her 3rd cousin.  This Selyf married Efa (1070), sole heiress of Morda Frych (1040). [5] We shall meet that man presently.
 
              We think that Selyf ap Ifor Felyn was about age 38 in 1093, and looking forward to inheriting several manors in Dyfed which had been held by his father and grandfather.  But that year saw the death of Deheubarth king Rhys ap Tewdwr at the hands of the Norman Sir Bernard Newmarch, and the sudden influx of Normans into southwest Wales.  The Brut describes the event as "within two months of that, the French overran Dyfed and Ceredigion and made castles in them and fortified them." [6] Clearly they had come as conquerors and not as friendly neighbors.  We suggest Selyf abandoned his potential Dyfed inheritance and fled to Cil-y-cwm in far away Mallaen commote in the extreme northeast corner of  Cantref Mawr.  This was the home of his wife's father, Morda Frych.
 
             Morda Frych was the only legitimate son of Cydrich ap Gwaethfoed of Ystrad Tywy [7] and is described in a pedigree as Lord of Cil-y-cwm "a llawer o diroedd eraill" [8]. In English this says "and a great amount of other land".  Based upon what is known of his family, this included lands in 3 commotes of Cantref Mawr and 1 commote of Cantref Bychan.  He might well have been receiving the Lord's annual revenue from 160,000 acres.  All of it, however, was land-locked in the interior of Wales and would have been worth less annually than lands near the seacoast. If he lived a normal life span, Morda would have died near 1105, with his daughter and Selyf his only heirs. [9]  To Selyf, it was an inheritance vastly greater than he had abandoned in Dyfed.
 
             Selyf had a brother, Gruffudd, who appears to have accompanied him when he left Dyfed.  When the line of Gruffudd daughtered-out in the early 13th century, that lady married a man of northeast Ystrad Tywy, so she was likely living there herself. [10]
 
             Cadifor ap Selyf was but a toddler when his parents left Dyfed. It is not known who he married, but he had two sons, who he named after his father and uncle.[11]  Gruffudd ap Cadifor married Sioned (1137) ferch Hywel (1111) ap Madog (1080) ap Idnerth (1050), [12]  which Madog was Lord of Ceri, Maelienydd and Elfal.  And Selyf ap Cadifor began a same-name tradition by naming his son Cadifor
 
             Gruffudd and Sioned had a son, Meurig Goch, about 1152.  Gruffudd died before 1185 and his widow married Owain Brogyntyn as his consort in his declining years. [13]  Meurig Goch married Lleuci (1165) ferch Gruffudd (1135) ap Rhys (1105) ap Rhydderch (1075) ap Cadifor (1045) ap Dyfnwal (1015) [14] and was named Lord of the commote of Caeo.
 
              Cadifor ap Selyf, the 2nd of that name, was born c. 1155.  His first wife is unknown, but she likely died before 1200 and he married Lleuci Fychan (1155), the youngest daughter of Einion ap Seisyll of Mathafarn, apparently also widowed. [15]  By his first wife, Cadifor had a son named Gruffudd to continue the naming-sequence to a 3rd generation.
 
               This Gruffudd ap Cadifor named his son (by a first unknown wife) Meurig Goch and was later remarried to the widowed Nest (1185) ferch Cadwallon II (1145) ap Cadwallon (1113)  ap Madog (1080) ap Idnerth of Ceri. [16]
 
               The naming pattern was broken slightly in the generation after Meurig Goch.  Extending our first chart, the families continue as:.

                        1152  Meurig Goch
                                          l
                            1180      ?  (a)
                                          l             
                          1215  Dafydd                      1220  Meurig Goch
                                         l                                         l
                     1245  Dafydd Fongam (b)           1250  Dafydd
                                         l                                         l
                        1280  Gruffudd                 1280  Dafydd Fongam (c)
                                         l                                         l
                         1315  Llewelyn                1320  Gruffudd Fychan
                                                                                   l
                                                                    1350  Llewelyn
 

CHART DISCUSSION:
 
(a)  This Meurig Goch had children Dafydd, Gruffudd, Maredudd and Mabli.  There is no guidance in the pedigree material to identify the missing generation shown here in our chart. We suggest using Dafydd as a space-filler, since dropping one of two identical names is the most common error which causes omissions in a pedigree.
 
(b)  This man is called "ap Dafydd ap Meurig Goch" but he married Gwenllian (1260) ferch Gruffudd (1230) ap Cadwgan Hen (1195) descended from Eidio Wyllt [17], and must have been in the third generation after Meurig Goch (unless there was a Meurig Goch II, son of the c. 1152 Meurig Goch).  The solution we suggested above results in "Dafydd Fongam ap Dafydd ap Dafydd ap Meurig Goch.
 
(c)  He is also called "ap Dafydd ap Meurig Goch" and he married an age-appropriate lady, Lleuci (1295) ferch Sir Gruffudd Llwyd (1260) ap Rhys (1230) ap Gruffudd (1195) ap Ednyfed Fychan.[18]  His father was the only child of the c. 1220 Meurig Goch.  Not exactly copying his earlier namesake, this Dafydd Fongam  named a son Gruffudd Fychan.
 
          Bartrum's charts conflate the two families from beginning to end, showing a single Dafydd Fongam of his generation 7 (c. 1315-1350) as married to ladies born 35 years apart.
 
           Not long after the 1282 conquest of Wales by Edward I, the king permitted some Welshmen to file a claim seeking the return of some or all of their ancestral land which had been unjustly seized by Norman invaders during the prior 200 years.  It appears that Maredudd ap Dafydd Fychan ap Dafydd Fongam (the first of that name) was able to recover at least some of the Dyfed land which Selyf had abandoned back in 1093.  The families descended from this Maredudd were living at Hwlffordd [19], the old seat of Selyf,  by the mid-1300's.

 
NOTES:
[1]  Pronounced "SOLL uv", this was the Welsh version of the Biblical name "Solomon"
[2]  These include Dwnn ii, 48; Pen 131, 299; Pen 140, 183
[3]  Pen 127, 98 which was copied word-for-word by Pen 128, 60,  It not only has the textual displacement described, but the part of Meurig Goch's pedigree which should read "ap Cadifor ap Selyf" has been replaced by a spurious "ap Rhys" 
[4]  Dwnn ii, 49
[5]  ibid
[6]  ByT 1093
[7]  Cydrich ap Gwaithfoed also had 3 base sons, Cadifor, Gruffudd and Gwalchmai who did not share in their father's lands
[8]  Dwnn i, 230 
[9]  Efa was cited as "sole heir" but Morda Frych also had a base son, Rhys
[10] She was Efa ferch Gwrgan ap Gwiort ap Idnerth ap Cadrod Fychan ap Gruffudd ap Ifor Felyn.  Her marriage to Owain ap Cadwgan ap Tegwared, descended from Eidio Wyllt, is cited in Pen 132, 125
[11] This is another indication that Gruffudd, brother of Selyf, had fled Dyfed with him and had enjoyed a close family relationship with Selyf's son.
[12]  Dwnn ii, 49 and Dwnn i, 230 cite this marriage, but transpose the name as "Madog ap Hywel" while describing the Madog as Lord of Radnor (Maelienydd).  That Lord was Madog ap Idnerth, and it was Hywel ap Madog that fathered this Sioned
[13]  Dwnn ii, 109 cites the marriage of Sioned ferch Hywel ap Madog to Owain Brogyntyn, but both were then widowed, and they had no children together
[14] Dwnn i, 230 and Dwnn ii, 49 & 50 cite this marriage, but do not extend it back any further,  For her full ancestry, refer to our paper "Refugees From Strathclyde Come to Gwynedd" at the link below:
[15]  ibid.  Lleuci Fychan was born c. 1155 and was about the same age as Cadifor ap Selyf ap Cadifor ap Selyf.
[16]  Bodleian Add, C177, 7 cites the marriage; both spouses were about the same age
[17]  Dwnn ii, 48 & 49
[18]   Dwnn i, 100 & 230: Dwnn ii, 50
[19]  The manor called Hwlffordd has since been converted into the town of Haverfordwest 

 
APPENDIX:
 
           We shall not dwell here on the dating evidence, but a similar naming pattern occurs in two families which descended from another son of Gruffudd ap Cadifor ap Selyf.  Both men named Meurig Goch had a brother named Iorwerth, and one or both are given the nickname "Winau":
 
         1155  Iorwerth ap Gruffudd              1215  Iorwerth ap Gruffudd
                           l                                                   l
          1190  Gruffudd                                1245  Gruffudd
                           l                                                   l
     1220  Gruffudd Fychan                       1275  Gruffudd Fychan
               ______l_________                     ________l________
               l                           l                    l                            l
1250  Llewelyn         1250  Rhys    1305  Llewelyn   1305  Rhys Fongam