THE CHILDREN OF OWAIN GWYNEDD
By Darrell Wolcott
Owain Gwynedd was the eldest son of Gruffudd ap Cynan, grandson of Iago, and ruled Gwynedd from 1137 to 1170.  His
mother was Angharad ferch Owain ap Edwin of Tegeingl  and he was born c. 1100 soon after his father returned from a brief
exile to Ireland.  Owain was not the only "Owain ap Gruffudd" ruling a Welsh kingdom in his era; another Owain ap
Gruffudd ruled the southern part of Powys.  To keep them from being confused with each other in written history,
they were dubbed Owain Gwynedd and Owain Cyfeilog, respectively, but only long after the death of both.
Owain Gwynedd sired children by two wives and at least 8 mistresses. including at least four base sons born before his first
marriage. These were:
1. Rhun, born c. 1125
by Annest (1110) ferch Gwrgi of Penmynydd in Anglesey.  This was probably Gwrgi ap Hedd ap Alunog, a man born c. 1080.
Rhun was a handsome, curly-haired blonde lad, the apple of his father's eye, who died unexpectedly about the age of 20 in
1146, an event which sent his father into deep depression. 
born c. 1125 by Gwenllian (1110) ferch Ednowain (1080) ap Gwrydr (1045) ap Dyfnaint (1015) descended from Cilmin Droed Ddu.
 After the death of Rhun, he had been his father's choice for succession to the kingship. but he died in 1165 while his
father was yet alive.
3. Hywel, born
c. 1126 by an Irish mistress who ancestry is unknown.  After the deaths of Rhun and Llewelyn, he was chosen by Owain
as his eventual successor. When his father died in 1170, he was briefly installed as the new king, but was slain by
his half-brother, Dafydd, before that year ended. 
4. Cynan, born
c. 1127 by Angharad (1110) ferch Peredur (1070) ap Mael (1035) , this Peredur being the brother of Bradwen ap Mael of
Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd. After his father died, he was awarded the Lordships of Meirioinydd, Ardudwy, Eifionydd and
Llyn. He married Angharad (1140) ferch Genillin (1100) ap Meirion Goch (1070) of Lleyn, and had numerous children.
Cynan died in 1174 when his eldest sons were yet teenagers and his Lordships were reclaimed by his half-brothes, Dafydd and
Owain had 3 children by his first wife, Gwladys (1113) ferch Llywarch (1070) ap Trahaearn (1035) ap Caradog (1005). 
5. Iorwerth, born c. 1128. This son had a facial birth defect, often described as a "broken" or "flat" nose. Most historians called him Iorwerth
Drwyndwn, from "trwyn" meaning "nose" and "twn" meaning "broken". This defect barred him from ever becoming a Welsh
king. Iorwerth married Marged
(1142) ferch Madog (1095) ap Maredudd (1065),  this Madog being king of Powys from 1132 to 1160. Iorwerth's only
son,  Llewelyn, later became the king of Gwynedd. No obit is recorded for Iorwerth, but most believe he died in
the battles between his half-brothers around 1174.
6. Maelgwn, born
c. 1130. No wife or children are cited for him, but as the oldest legitimate son who was not disqualified, he would
normally be the leading candidate to succeed his father. Apparently, a large faction of the Gwynedd elders supported
the king's widow, his second wife, who campaigned for her sons, Dafydd and Rhodri, to jointly assume the kingship. Since the
younger of those boys would not turn 28 until 1173, we believe Maelgwn was permitted to rule from Aberffraw in Anglesey for
the interim period, although he did not know his reign was going to be only temporary.
In 1173, his half-brother, Dafydd, drove him out of Anglesey and he took refuge in Ireland. The following year, Maelgwn
returned after gaining the support of a few Gwynedd elders, but Dafydd seized and imprisoned him.  History records
no more about Maelgwn; he either died in prison or was otherwise banished from Gwynedd.
born c. 1134. She married Owain Cyfeiliog (1125) ap Gruffudd (1095) ap Maredudd )1065) ap Bleddyn (1025] and was the
mother of Gwenwynwyn, king of southern Powys. 
About 1141, Gladys ferch Llywarch died and Owain Gwynedd then married Cristyn (1114 ) ferch Gronwy (1080) ap Owain (1050)
ap Edwin of Tegeingl. Cristyn was the widow of Hywel ap Maredudd ap Bleddyn of Powys , and left a young son to be
reared by his uncle, the king of Powys. She was also Owain's first-cousin  and their marriage was strongly condemned
by the Church, but was legal under Welsh law. She and Owain had 4 children:
Angharad, born c. 1142. She married Gruffudd Maelor (1130) ap Madog (1095) ap Marededd. king of northern Powys. 
Dafydd, born c. 1143. He married, in 1174, Emma of Anjou, base half-sister of King Henry II of England.  After 1173,
Dafydd and his brother, Rhodri, jointly ruled Gwynedd. He was ousted in 1197 by his nephew, Llewelyn ap Iorwerth.  His
obit is recorded in 1203, when he died in England. 
Rhodri, born c. 1145. He married a daughter of Reginald of Man, whose aid restored Rhodri to Anglesey in 1193 after
his brother had expelled him.  He also sired children by a mistress, Annes ferch Lord Rhys.  He and his older
brother shared the rule of Gwynedd after 1175. His obit is unknown, but he was listed among the allies of Llewelyn ap Iorwerth
Cadwallon, born c. 1147. Little is known of this son since he abstained from Gwynedd politics and became an Abbot on
Bardsey Isle which the Welsh called Ynys Enlli. 
Gwenllian, born c. 1125, married Cadwgan of Nannau (1110) ap Bleddyn (1075) ap Madog (1045).  Her mother is unknown.
Gwenllian, born c. 1135, married Hwfa (1120) ap Cynwrig (1090) ap Rhiwallon (1060) ap Dyngad (1025) ap Cynwrig (995) ap Rhiwallon
(965) ap Dyngad (930) ap Tudor Trefor.  Her mother is unknown. Bartrum charts a single base daughter named Gwenllian
and assigns both marriages to her since a single source (Pen 127, 140) makes that claim. Our own analysis suggests that source
is mistaken; the ladies were born 10 years apart.
14. Madog, born c. 1128. He was a uterine brother of Hywel (child
#3 above).  He was known to be a mariner and when his older brother was killed in 1170, he left Gwynedd. Others
 have made a strong case for this Madog having sailed to America, landing in Mobile Bay, Alabama.
15. Einion, born c. 1130. He was the uterine brother of Hywel
and Madog.  Nothing is known of him but he was probably the father of the Iago (1165) cited as a "son" of Owain
Gwynedd and father of Einion Foel of Anglesey, a man born c. 1200. 
16. Rhiryd, who left Gwynedd and resided at Cloghran, the manor
located between the city of Dublin and Swords, which had once been the home of the first Gruffudd ap Cynan. He is said to
have married a daughter of Iarll Desmond and had a son, Thomas. 
17. Idwal, born c. 1131 of Afandreg ferch Gwrgi, sister to Annest who
was Rhun's mother (child #1 above).  Local tradition claims that as a young boy, he was placed in the foster care of Nefydd
Hardd of Nant Conwy and that Nefydd had a son, Dunod, who killed Idwal. There is little, if any, reason to suggest the tale
is historically true, but there is also nothing to indicate that Idwal survived his father. See our paper about Nefydd Hardd
as the following link:
18. Maredudd Ddu, of whom nothing is known other than his mother was
Morfydd ferch Merwydd, further ancestry unknown. 
19. Philip, of whom nothing is known other than his mother was Morfydd
ferch Eluan ap Sandde, further ancestry unknown. 
20 and 21. Cynwrig I and Cynwrig II. Probably the youngest of
Owain's base sons, these boys were given as hostages to King Henry II. Following the 1165 wars between Owain and Henry,
these hostages were blinded and returned to their father. One died shortly thereafter and the other was called "son
of the Baroness" who is not otherwise identified. 
OTHER CLAIMED CHILDREN:
Modern genealogical websites
assign other children to Owain Gwynedd, either reciting unsourced books or corrupt pedigrees found in usually credible sources.
1. Ieuan, a son,
and Marared, a daughter. These are found in the 2003 edition of "Burke's Peerage" by Charles Mosley.
While the various "Burke's" group of books are sometimes useful in researching old families, none of the genealogical material
which they include is referenced to any credible source. Neither Peter Bartrum's work, nor ours, located any mention of these
children in early Welsh pedigree manuscripts, and we do not regard them as authentic children of Owain Gwyndd.
2. Caswallon, a son.
He is found in the article "Montgomeryshire Worthies" by Richard Williams, published in "Montgomeryshire Collections",
vol IX, page 149. This is an example of a corrupt pedigree recited in a usually credible source. Under the entry
for "Cydafael Ynad", it reads "Tudor, the great-grandson of Cydafael, married Agnes, daughter and heiress of Tudor ap
Llewelyn ap Caswallon ap Owain Gwynedd".
writer incorrectly styles this Cydafael as "Ynad" or "judge" when he was actually called "Ynfyd" or "insane".  That
Cydafael was born c. 1100 and the lady he mentions was born c. 1265. "Agnes" is not a Welsh female birth name, but simply
a form used by English writers to express the name "Annest", and an abbreviated "Nest" is what many ladies
of that name were actually called.
A correct chart  of the
marriage discloses the omitted generations in the ancestry of both the man and his wife:
1100 Owain Gwynedd
Cadafael Ynfyd 1100
Thus, Caswallon was a
grandson of Owain Gwynedd, not a son.
His father, who died in 1137, was the Gruffudd ap Cynan grandson of Iago born c. 1070, not the same-named man who was born
c. 1041 who fled to Ireland in 1039 and later tried unsuccessfully to claim the Gwynedd kingship in 1075 and 1081. That earlier
Gruffudd was a nephew of Iago.
ABT 5(a); ByT 1125
ByT 1098 and 1099
The southern part of Powys was called Powys Gwenwynwyn after the eldest son of Owain Cyfeiliog
His marriage is cited in HLG 4(d); ByT 1174, which also says Dafydd gained possession of all Gwynedd; also see our paper "Kingship
of Gwynedd - 1170 to 1175" at the following link:
JC 20, 28/29 where she is called Marereda. Also see our paper on Iorwerth Drwyndwn at the link below:
 For a discussion of a claimed brother of
Llewelyn ap Iorwerth. see our paper at the link below:
Her father was the brother of Owain's mother, both of whom were children of Owain ap Edwin of Tegeingl
ByT 1175; Rot. Pat. 20 Henry II, 9, 16, 94 say it was in 1174
Lloyd, "History of Wales", 1912, 2nd edition, pages 588 and 617
Dwnn ii, 69
Pen 127, 140
Pen 128, 151b; Pen 127, 140.
Zella Armstrong "Who Discovered America? The Amazing Story of Madoc", 1950, Chattanooga, TN
Richard Deacon "Madoc & the Discovery of America", 1966, New York, NY
Ellen Pugh "Brave His Soul, the Story of Madog of Wales", 1970, New York, NY
Bernard Knight, "Madoc Prince of America", 1977, New York, NY
ABT 2(m) A single copyist of the now lost original manuscript added Cadell as a brother of Hywel, Madog and Einion.
A single copyist of ABT 2(o) added that "Iago ap Owain Gwynedd was by the same mother as Philip ap Owain". Pedigrees,
like Bartrum's chart, depict an omitted generation somewhere between Einion Foel and Owain Gwynedd, and we would identify
that omission as "Einion ap Owain, father of Iago" since Einion Foel had a son Einion Fychan who had a son Einion Ddu per
Pen 134, 2218 and Dwnn ii, 77 and Dwnn ii, 260. That same single copyist added "Cadell" as a uterine brother of Madog
and Einion. Bartrum's charts include both Iago and Cadell, but we reject both as sons of Owain Gwynedd
ABT 2(p) which refers to Gruffudd ap Cynan, nephew of Iago, who fled in Ireland in 1039. Rhrid's marriage and son are
cited in a single source, Pen. 138, 574
ABT 2(o) The copy of this pedigree found in Pen. 127 says Iago was a brother of Philip by the same mother, but the only
"Iago ap Owain Gwynedd" cited in other pedigrees was born in the generation of grandsons of Owain Gwynedd. See #14 Einion
in the text of this paper and note 31 above
ABT 2(n); op cit Lloyd, page 549, note 64 calls these sons "Cadwallon and Cynwrig" and omits mention of the son, Cadwallon,
cited as an abbot at Enlli. Bartrum charted them as Cynwrig I and Cynwrig II
 See our paper on Cadafael Ynfyd at the link below:
 Dwnn i. 136 and Dwnn ii, 127 cite the ancestry of Nest correctly, but omit the second pair of "Samuel
ap Cadafael" from her husband's pedigree