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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
                       MEIRION MEIRIONYDD, "GRANDSON" OF CUNEDDA
                                          By Darrell Wolcott
 
           Virtually every scholar and historian who speaks of the man for whom the cantref of Meirionydd is named assures us he was the son of Tybion ap Cunedda.  But in our study of the daughters of Brychan, we found problems with the chronology of the marriage match between Marchel ferch Brychan and Gwrin Barbdrwch ap Cadwaladr ap Meirion.  Since it seemed to point to a Meirion born c. 420, he should be contemporary with the sons of Cunedda and not a whole generation younger. The claim that he was the son of Tybion rests on the following language found in Harleian Ms 3859,32:[1]
 
          "Hec sunt nomina filiorum cuneda quorum numerus erat ix Typipaun primogenitus quimortuus inregione que uocatur manau guodotin et non uenit huc cum patre suo cum fratribus suis predictis meriaun filius eius diuisit possessiones inter fratres suos ii Osmail iii rumaun iiii dunaut v Ceretic vi abloyc vii enniaun girt viii docmail ix etern"
 
           All the underlined letters are missing from the Latin manuscript which uses an abundance of abbreviations.  Those words as fleshed out above were provided by Egerton Phillimore[2] and we have no quarrel with his reading.  Peter Bartrum offers the following as a translation[3]:
 
           "These are the names of the sons of Cunedda, whose number was nine: Tybion, the firstborn, who died in the region called Manaw Gododdin and did not come hither with his father and his aforesaid brothers.  Meirion, his son, divided his possessions among his brothers. 2, Ysfael, 3. Rhufon, 4. Dunod, 5. Ceredig, 6, Afloeg, 7. Einion Yrth, 8. Dogfael, 9. Edern"  Bartrum further indicates his belief that "among his brothers" means among Tybion's brothers.  He does not specifically tell us here that he takes the antecedent of the pronoun "his" in "Meirion his son" to be Tybion, but everywhere else that Meirion is mentioned, he is called "ap Tybion".
 
          If we were to agree with this meaning, we must believe that Tybion ap Cunedda died before the family went to Wales and that Tybion's son Meirion divvied up his property among his uncles, keeping nothing for himself.  To us, this was a novel concept not seen elsewhere in families we have studied.  Why would a son not inheirit his father's possessions outright and retain them for his own future heirs?  Under what law was it necessary for the son to divide them with the brothers of his father?  An alternate reading of the passage might say that Meirion divided his dead father's property with Meirion's brothers (who were unnamed).  Yet if that were the case, why would that common practice be mentioned in what, after all, was merely a list of Cunedda's sons?  Why was Meirion even mentioned when none of the children of the other sons were?  We suspect the reason lies with the pedigree of Meirion found in this same manuscript[4]:
 
        "Cinan map brochmail map Iutnimet map Egeniud map Brocmail map Sualda map Iudris map Gueinoth map Glitnoth map Guurgint barmb truch map Gatculart map Meriaun map Cuneda"
 
        Both Phillimore and Bartrum cite the very passage which we find capable of multiple meanings as their reason to emend this pedigree by inserting "map Tybion" between Meirion and Cunedda.  Under his entry for Meirion in his Welsh Classical Dictionary, Bartrum admits there is some confusion with the use of the Latin words "eius" and "suos" to mean "his" but claims the passage is to be interpreted "Meirion, his [Tybion's] son divided the possessions among his [Tybion's] brothers" and further admits there is no mention of Meirion getting any portion. He then points to a centuries-later manuscript[5] which says he divided the possessions with his uncles, and the cantref of Meirionydd came as his own portion.
 
         Obviously Bartrum believed the 15th century genealogists over the 10th century pedigree, but we must wonder if his reading of the "erratic" (his word) passage which confuses us was not biased by what earlier men believed.  Has no one before us asked the obvious question "how did Meirionydd come to be among Tybion's possessions which Meirion divided and took as his portion, when Tybion was dead before the family came to Wales and never owned ANY land there?"
 
         Whether you follow Bartrum in dating Cunedda to AD 370 or, like us, place him nearer 380, the sons who did follow him to Wales must have been young adults at minumum.  They conceivably could have been in their 30's, but if much older than that, Cunedda would have been too old to help them on the battlefields of Wales. Any grandson of Cunedda would have been a mere toddler at the time they went to Wales even if Tybion had married while his father was still alive.[6] Thus, we must also wonder which of Meirion's uncles had to give up a cantref of his lands to a nephew when the child came of age.  If the reader finds this all hard to square with what is known of Welsh laws of inheiritance, we are not surprised. 
 
         We do know what the law provided for the division of a man's property among his sons. "....the youngest son is to divide...and the eldest is to chose; and each in seniority choose unto the youngest".[7]  There is no provision in the law which shares a dead man's possessions with his brothers, whether or not he had a son. Since Meirion is said to be the one making the division, should we not expect he was the youngest brother among those receiving shares?
 
           In fact, nothing more is required to achieve consistency between the two sections of Harleian Ms 3859 than to assign a different antecedent to one pronoun, thus:
 
           "Meirion, his [Cunedda's] son divided the possessions [in Wales] between his [Meirion's] brothers".
 
            We would further note that the passage began by saying Cunedda had 9 sons, but the numbering of them began with 2. The number 1 did not precede the name Tybion. We think it is reasonable to conclude that the 9th son was Meirion and that Tybion was mentioned only to say there had been a firstborn son who was not being counted because he died early and without issue.  It is not known who actually was the eldest of these (we would opt for Einion Yrth based upon his lineage becoming kings of Gwynedd) but we find his role as the divider of the possessions marks Meirion as the youngest.
 
           For those who recall Ninnius saying Cunedda came to Wales with 8 sons, we would point out that eight territories were named for his "crew"[8] and none of them bears Einion Yrth's name. Did his sources also read the ancient passage to omit Meirion?  In the same passage from Ninnius, it was claimed the emigration occured 146 years before Maelgwn reigned.  Maelgwn's reign was c. 525-547 according to most accounts, while modern historians place Cunedda's emigration to c. 430/440.  Subtracting 146 from 525 yields 379; perhaps the reference was to the birth of Cunedda, not his move to Wales. In any event, it shows that Ninnius is not an infallible authority as to Cunedda and his sons. 
 
           We think the sense of Harleian Ms 3859 pedigree #32 is this reading:
 
           "These are the names of the sons of Cunedda, which numbered nine: (not counting Tybion the first-born because he died in Manaw Gododdin before his father and brothers went to Wales) 1. Meirion, his youngest son who, following the death of Cunedda, divided the lands in Wales between his brothers;2. Ysfael; 3. Rhufon; 4. Dunod; 5. Ceredig; 6. Afloeg; 7. Einion Yrth; 8. Dogfael; 9. Edern"
 
 
Notes:
[1] Y Cymmrodor, vol ix, pp 182-183
[2] ibid
[3] A Welsh Classical Dictionary, 1993, pp 152
[4] Harleian Ms 3859, 18
[5] ibid Note 3, pp 466; Bonedd yr Arwyr 29 printed in Bartrum's Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts, 1966, pp 91-92
[6] Refer to "Generation Gaps and the Welsh Laws" elsewhere on this site for reasons why a son seldom married during the lifetime of his father
[7] Aneurin Owen, Ancient Laws and Institutes of Wales, 1841, pp 169
[8] Osmaeliog, Rhufoniog, Dunoding, Ceredigion, Aflogion, Dogfeiling (Dyffryn Clwyd), Edeirion and Meirionydd.  Those who claim the cantref of Caereinion in Powys was named for Einion Yrth are mistaken; his lands were much farther north.
 
 
APPENDIX I:
 
         Some connections between the daughters of Brychan and the family of Cunedda:
 
                400  Brychan                           380  Cunedda
          ___________l_________             ___________l_______
          l                                l            l                             l
        Rhein 430           430  Meleri===Ceredig 415        420  Meirion
          l                                      l                                    l
460 Brychan II                    450 Gwawr                    450 Cadwaladr
     ___l__________                      l                                    l
     l                     l                     l                                    l
 Marchel 495   490 Gwladys====Gwynlliw 475                480 Gwrin
     =                                                                               =
      l__________________________________________________l