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Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Ifor Bach, Lord of Senghenydd
Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys

By Darrell Wolcott

          This man heads one of the ancient families of Anglesey which claims descent from Cunedda.  Born c. 1085, his pedigree [1] makes him "ap Cynddelw (1050) ap Cwnws (1020) ap Cillin (985) ap Maelog Dda (955) ap Greddyf (920) ap Cwnws Ddu (890) ap Cillin Ynfyd (860) ap Peredur Deyr" (830), the latter man being contemporary with Rhodri Mawr.  The family descended from Meilyr, one of the sons of Edern y wyrion (aka Gwron) ap Cunedda who, an early source claims, eliminated the last settlement of Irish from Anglesey in the 5th century. [2]

           Hwfa was honored in the 17th century by being designated as the "first and foremost" of the Founders of the 15 Noble Tribes of North Wales.  Early antiquarians attributed to him these deeds:

          1.  He "placed the crown on the prince's head when Owain Gwynedd was coronated king by the Bishop of Bangor". [3] This text led others to claim that Hwfa was therefore the king's seneschal, when in fact, the seneschal in 1137 was Gwyn ap Eginir ap Collwyn ap Tangno.

          2.  He "bore up the right side of the canopy over Owain Gwynedd's head during his coronation as king of Gwynedd". [3] If so, we wonder why it didn't fall when he paused that chore to crown the new king.

          3.  He was selected by Owain Gwynedd as his "successor and heir apparent because he was gallant and brave". [4] We think this reading is a mis-translation of the original Welsh text and it will be discussed later. [5]

          4.  His was the "most distinguished and wealthy tribe on the Island of Anglesey". [6] This one we can accept as probably true, and would add "He was one of the closest friends and advisors of the Kings of Gwynedd".

          5.  Together with Llowarch ap Bran, Hwfa rebuilt the church at Caergiby and founded nearby Holyhead College. [7]


          In our work to validate or correct Bartrum's charts of Hwfa's family, we found several same-named cousin branches which point to ancestors named Hwfa born c. 1085, c. 1119, c. 1145 and c. 1180  Three of these were men named Hwfa ap Cynddelw, but the second family line requires a Hwfa born in the generation of the sons of the first Hwfa.

         The earliest Hwfa was about age 13 when Gruffudd ap Cynan ap Iago first became Lord of Anglesey. [8] That Gruffudd held a birthright claim to the kingship of all Gwynedd, but the Norman Earl of Chester held this territory by conquest.  It was near 1125 when King Henry I finally allowed Gruffudd to rule the whole of Gwynedd.  The father of Hwfa, Cynddelw ap Cwnws, was an ardent supporter and close friend of Gruffudd, and young Hwfa assumed the same role after his father died.

          Gruffudd had, among other children, a daughter Annest, [9] born about 1104.  No early sources mention any marriage for her and we suggest she was born disabled in some serious way.  But she grew up as a sweet child dearly loved by her parents, and when she passed age 14 with no husband, she longed for a child of her own just like her older sister had.  With Gruffudd's blessing, and at his urging, we suggest Hwfa made this possible for the young lady.  She named her new son (born c. 1119) Hwfa, and he was thereafter styled Hwfa ap Annest rather than the patronymic Hwfa ap Hwfa. This child became Gruffudd's favorite grandson and he provided generously to assure that he and his mother enjoyed a lifestyle befitting their royal ancestry. [10]

          We think that when Gruffudd ap Cynan was finally allowed to hold the kingship about the year 1125, it was his seneschal, Gwyn ap Eginir, who placed the crown on his head at the coronation ceremony.  However, after Gruffudd's death in 1137, Gwyn (we posit) was still alive but ill and near death himself, so a 52 year old Hwfa ap Cynddelw was called upon to crown Owain Gwynedd as the new king.  And it was an 18 year old Hwfa ap Annest who "bore up the right side of the canopy" during the ceremony. 

          This brings us to the "heir apparent" claim and the preposterous idea that Owain Gwynedd would have chosen Hwfa for that role.  Much more ancient texts tell us that Owain had favored his base sons as his successor; first Rhun, who died early, then Llewelyn, who also died before his father, and finally Hywel, who DID succeed Owain as king. [11]

          The actual text in question is a Welsh statement reading "ef a ddewisodd Owain Gwynedd yn aer aparawnt, achos gwych a denr oedd".  We would render this as "and he selected Owain Gwynedd for heir apparent because he was gallant and brave".  The wording which immediately proceeds this statement, and which identifies the first "he" that follows, was "Hwva ap Cynddelw ap Cwnws ap Cillin ynad".  We suggest the entire statement refers to an event where King Gruffudd ap Cynan was discussing with friend and advisor, Hwfa ap Cynddelw, which of the king's sons Hwfa thought should succeed after the king's death.

          Llowarch ap Bran was born c. 1120, so it is only a guess which Hwfa partnered with Llowarch to rebuild the church at Caergiby and to found Holyhead College.  Conceivably, any of the men in this family named Hwfa would have had the wealth to undertake those projects.  We would lean toward the c. 1145 Hwfa ap Cynddelw and date those events to the 1180's.


           Our chart of folks directly descended from the original Hwfa ap Cynddelw includes several same-named cousin lines, including 3 lines which trace to Mathusalem ap Hwfa, 2 lines headed by a Cyfnerth ap Hwfa and 2 lines descended from an Iorwerth ap Hwfa. 




(a)  This Cynddelw ap Cwnws married Ceinfryd (born c. 1060) ap Ednowain Bendew (1020) ap Neiniad (985) of Tegeingl  [12]  No children except Hwfa are known for him

(b)  In addition to the 3 sons shown in our chart, this first Hwfa had a son, Iorwerth, who was father to Hywel Penclais  No wife is cited for him

(c)  The single Maredudd ap Mathusalem which Bartrum charted is assigned no wife.  We suggest it is likely that this c. 1150 Maredudd was married to Angharad (1150) ferch Iorwerth (1120) ap Cynan (1090) ap Llywarch Goch (1055) ap Llywarch Hwlbwrch (1020)  [13]

(d)  This Iorwerth ap Maredudd married Gwenhwyfar (1200) ferch Ieuaf (1170) ap Cynwrig Efell (1135)  [14]

(e)  This Gruffudd ap Iorwerth married Gwenllian (1230) ferch Rhiryd Fychan (1190) ap Rhiryd Flaidd. [15] In addition to the son in our chart, he had sons Gruffudd Fychan and Hywel y Pedolau, and a daughter, Gwenhwyfar.

(f)  This Gruffudd ap Iorwerth had a daughter, Gwenllian (1275) who married Cynwrig (1270) ap Iorwerth Fychan (1235) ap Iorwerth (1200) ap Gronwy (1165) ap Tegerin (1130) ap Carwed (1090) [16]

(g)  This Iorwerth ap Gruffudd married Gwladys (1255) ferch Hywel (1220) ap Iorwerth (1185) ap Cadwgan (1150) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090)  [17]  In addition to the son charted here, he had sons Cynwrig Ddu, Hywel Ddu, Gruffudd Ddwn, Dafydd, Rhys and Llewelyn

(h)  This Iorwerth Ddu married Gwenllian (1295) ferch Maredudd Benhir (1260) ap Maredudd (1230) ap Llewelyn (1195) ap Caswallon (1160) ap Hywel (1126) ap Owain Gwynedd (1100) [18]

(j)  This Hywel ap Iorwerth Ddu married Angharad (1335) ferch Hywel (1305) ap Cynwrig Fychan (1275) ap Cynwrig (1245) ap Llywarch (1210) ap Heilyn (1180) ap Tyfid (1145) descended from Marchweithian  [19]  He had sons, Llewelyn, Cwnws and Hwlcyn.  See APPENDIX 1 below

(k)  This second Hwfa was posited by us as discussed in the text above the chart. In addition to the son charted here, he had a son, Cynddelw, who was the father of a c. 1180 Hwfa.  See the Cyfnerth chart below.

(m)  This, the second Mathusalem ap Hwfa, also had a daughter Sian (1185), who married Iorwerth (1172) ap Maelog Crwm (1142) ap Iarddur (1115) ap Cynddelw (1080) of Creuddyn. [20]

(n)  This Robin ap Einion married Gwerfyl (1320) ferch Llewelyn (1285) ap Hywel Felyn (1255)  ap Llywarch (1225) ap Iddon (1195) ap Llywarch (1165) ap Iddon (1135) ap Iorwerth (1105) ap Iddon (1070) ap Ithel (1035) ap Edred (1005) descended from Marchudd ap Cynan  [21]

(p)  This Robin ap Einion had a daughter, Angharad (1405), who married Dafydd (1395) ap Ieuan Fychan (1365) ap Gruffudd (1330) ap Ieuan (1300) ap Sir Gruffudd Llwyd (1260) ap Sir Rhys (1230) ap Gruffudd (1195) ap Ednyfed Fychan (1165)  [22]

(q)  This Gruffudd ap Iorwerth had, in addition to the son charted here, sons Llewelyn, Iorwerth Wystl and Gruffudd Fychan.  That Gruffudd Fychan (1275) had a grand-daughter named Angharad (1340) ferch Madog (1305) whose mother was Angharad (1315) ferch Llewelyn (1280) ap Iorwerth Fychan (1245) ap Llewelyn (1215) ap Iorwerth (1185) ap Cadwgan (1150) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090) [23]

(r)  This Iorwerth ap Gruffudd had, in addition to the son charted here, sons Hywel Ddu, Rhys and Dafydd.  He also had two daughters:  Morfudd (1320) who married Dafydd (1310) ap Gruffudd (1280) ap Dafydd (1245) ap Tudor (1215) ap Madog (1185) ap Iarddur (1150) ap Trahaearn (1120) [24]; and Gwerfyl (1320) who married Dafydd (1320) ap Ieuan Wyddel (1290) ap Maredudd Ddu (1255) ap Gronwy (1220) ap Maredudd (1190) ap Iorwerth (1155) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090) [25]

(s)  This Hywel ap Iorwerth Ddu had, in addition to the son charted here, a son named Cwnws.  See APPENDIX 2 below

(t)  This Llewelyn ap Hywel married Mallt (1385) ferch Rhys (1355) ap Gruffudd (1325) ap Ednyfed (1290) ap Dafydd Llwyd (1255) ap Dafydd (1225) ap Hwfa (1190) ap Madog (1155) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090) [26]

(u)  This is the 3rd Hwfa in our chart,  In addition to the son charted here, he had sons Cyfnerth, Iorwerth, Gwilym, Ieuan and Bledrus

(v)  This Hywel had a son, Maredudd (1400), who had two daughters:  Marged (1435) who married Llewelyn (1425) ap Ithel Fychan (1390) ap Llewelyn (1360) ap Gruffudd (1330) ap Llewelyn (1300) ap Dafydd (1265) ap Llewelyn (1230) ap Tudor (1195) ap Iorwerth (1165)ap Cynwrig (1135) ap Genillin (1100) ap Meirion Goch (1070) descended from Collwyn ap Tangno; [27] and an unnamed daughter (1430)  who married Dafydd (1420) ap Hywel (1390) ap Llewelyn (1360) ap  Gruffudd (1325), a cousin of her sister's husband. [28]




(a)  This Hywel ap Tegwared married Gwenhwyfar (1340) ferch Hywel (1310) ap Dafydd (1280) ap Iorwerth (1245) ap Gruffudd (1215) ap Iorwerth (1185) ap Maredudd (1150) ap Mathusalem (1120) ap Hwfa (1085). [29] Their daughter, Gwenhwyfar, is discussed in APPENDIX 3 below.

(b)  This Mallt ferch Maredudd married Llewelyn Llwyd (1380) ap Llewelyn Fychan (1345) ap Llewelyn (1315) ap Madog (1280) ap Gruffudd Fychan (1245) ap Gruffudd (1215) ap Iorwerth (1185) ap Maredudd (1150) as in note (a) above. [30]

(c)  This Einion ap Cynwrig married Marged (1290) ferch Ithel Fychan (1260) ap Ithel Gam (1220) ap Ithel Llwyd (1190) ap Ithel Gam Hen (1155) ap Maredudd (1120) ap Uchdryd Cyfeiliog (1085) ap Uchdryd (1055) ap Edwin (1120) of Tegeingl. [31]

(d)  This Iorwerth ap Einion had a brother, Hwlcyn, and another son, Madog

(e)  This Mallt ferch Maredudd married Iorwerth (1420) ap Hywel y Farf (1385) ap Llewelyn (1350) ap Hywel (1320) ap Iorwerth Ddu (1285) whose further ancestry is shown in our Mathusalem chart above. [32]

(f)  This Gruffudd ap Iorwerth married Marged (1365) ferch Gruffudd (1325) ap Ednyfed (1290) ap Dafydd Llwyd (1255) ap Dafydd (1225) ap Hwfa (1190) ap Madog (1155) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090).  [33]  He had a son, Sir Gruffudd (1400)

(g)  This Hywel ap Ieuan married Angharad (1405) ferch Rhys (1370) ap Ieuan Llwyd (1340) ap Gruffudd (1310) ap Gronwy (1275) ap Cynwrig (1245) ap Iorwerth (1215) ap Iarddur (1185) ap Cynddelw (1150).  [34]

(h)  This Gruffudd ap Hywel married Sioned (1405) ferch Ithel (1370) ap Iorwerth (1335) ap Hywel (1305) ap Iorwerth Wystl (1275) ap Gruffudd (1245) ap Iorwerth (1215) ap Maredudd (1185) ap Mathusalem (1150) ap Hwfa (1119).  [35]  He had a brother, Dafydd, but NOT a sister, Gwenhwyfar. See APPENDX 3 below



(a) This Iorwerth ap Hwfa married Gwenllian (1175) ferch Cynwrig (1135) ap Iorwerth (1100) ap Gwgan (1070), which Cynwrig was the father of Ednyfed Fychan (1065). [36]

(b)  This Cynwrig ap Iorwerth married Angharad (1220) ferch Tudor (1190) ap Einion Fychan (1160) ap Einion (1130) ap Gwalchmai (1100) ap Meilyr (1070) ap Mabon (1040) ap Mor (1010), [37] the 1st of 3 men (all bards) named Gwalchmai ap Meilyr in that family.

(c)  This Dafydd Llwyd married Marged (1310) ferch Tudor Fychan (1280) ap Tudor (1245) ap Madog (1215) ap Iarddur (1185) ap Cynddelw (1150).  [38]

(d)  This Cynwrig ap Gronwy had sons Gruffudd, Dafydd, Iorwerth and Ieuan.

(e)  This Dafydd Fychan married Angharad (1340) ferch Gruffudd (1305) ap Dafydd (1275) ap Tudor (1245) ap Madog (1215) ap Iarddur (1185) ap Cynddelw (1150).  [39]  He had sons Mareduidd and Cwnws and daughters Marged, Morfydd, Gwladys, Gwerfyl Goch and Gwenhwyfar.

(f)  This Dafydd Llwyd married Angharad (1340) ferch Hywel Fychan (1305) ap Maredudd (1275) ap Iorwerth (1245) ap Cadwgan (1215) ap Iorwerth (1185) ap Cadwgan (1150) ap Llowarch (1120) ap Bran (1090). [40]

(g)  This Dafydd Fychan married Nest (1360) ferch Ieuan (1327) ap Gruffudd (1300) ap Hywel (1270) ap Gruffudd (1240) ap Hywel (1210) ap Maredudd (1175) ap Einion (1140) ap Caradog (1110) ap Gwgan (1075) ap Meirwydd Goch (1040) ap Collwyn (1010) ap Tangno (980). [41] He had two daughters, Efa and Nest.

(h)  This Dafydd ap Cynwrig married Gwenllian (1285) ferch Maredudd (1255) ap Dafydd (1220) ap Hywel Fychan (1185) ap Hywel Penclais (1150). [42]  See Item (k) below

(j)  This Rhys Ddu married Efa (1390) ferch Dafydd Fychan (1360), [43] the man mentioned in Item (g) above

(k)  This Gwenllian is the lady mentioned in Item (h) above

[1]  HLG 1(a)
[2]  ByA 13/15
[3]  Henry Rowlands, "Mona Antiqua Restaurata", 1723, p.131
[4]  Original Welsh statement:  Dwnn ii, 83
[5]  Translation (incorrect, we believe): Philip Yorke, "Royal Tribes of Wales", 1887, p. 174, in addenda notes made by the editor of Yorke's work, Richard Williams, Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
[6]  Angharad Llwyd, "History of the Island of Mona", 1833, p. 188
[7]  Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1883, pp. 181/183
[8]  ByT 1098
[9]  ABT 5(a) as "Agnest".  In his index to his family charts, Peter Bartrum called her "Annes" and described her as having "no husband"
[10] The suggestion that she bore an out-of-wedlock child for Hwfa ap Cynddelw, whom she named Hwfa, is merely our conjecture to explain an historical Hwfa born one generation after the first Hwfa ap Cynddelw.  Our choice for a mother of that base son was taken from the chart of J.E. Griffith in his "Pedigrees of Anglesey & Carnarvonshire Families", page 5,  Here, Griffith incorrectly cites Ceinfryd as the wife of Hwfa when she was actually the wife of Cynddelw, the man who appears one generation earlier in the chart.  This is followed by charting the wife of Mathusalem ap Hwfa as "Agnes, daughter of Gruffydd ap Conan". Even the earliest Mathusalem was born too late for such a marriage, so we suggest the author repeated the same error, and that the lady was a consort of Hwfa instead. No early sources actually mention a Hwfa ap Hwfa or Hwfa ap Annest
[11]  See our discussion of these sons in the paper about Children of Owain Gwynedd at the following link:
[12] HLG 1(a and b)
[13] op cit Griffith, also page 5.  The wife of Maredudd ap Mathusalem is called "Angharad d. of Llowarch Hwlbwrch"  Such a lady would date from c. 1050/55, about 100 years too early to marry any Maredudd ap Mathusalem  descended from Hwfa. We suggest the author's source may have described her as "sister of Llywarch Goch".  Many early sources conflated the  Llywarch Goch of  c. 1150 with his great-grandfather, Llywarch Goch ap Llywarch Hwlbwrch. If that earlier Llywarch Goch was the only one you knew about, you'd call his sister a daughter of Llywarch Hwlbwrch. 
[14] op cit Griffith, also page 5.  We think the author finally got the wives in his chart attached to the correct husbands
[15] Pen. 127, 30.  This citation errs in calling Gwenllian a daughter of Rhiryd Flaidd  by omitting Rhiryd Fychan
[16] Pen. 127, 119
[17] Pen. 128, 679b
[18] Dwnn ii, 146
[19] ibid
[20] Harl. 1972, 66
[21] Pen. 128, 276a which incorrectly makes Angharad their daughter
[22] Pen, 177, 128 which incorrectly makes Gwerfyl her mother
[23] Pen. 127, 175
[24]  Harl. 1977, 175
[25] Pen 129, 120
[26] Dwnn ii, 257/258
[27] Dwnn ii, 282
[28] Pen. 135, 174
[29] Dwnn ii, 258 but calls her Gwenllian
[30] Dwnn ii, 262
[31] Harl. 1969, 542.  This is the only source for the marriage and it ends with "Marged f. Ithel Fychan".  In Bartrum's index to his charts, he suggests this should be continued as "ap Ithel Llwyd", but our continuation is with the only Ithel Fychan in that family who fits chronologically
[32] Dwnn ii, 188
[33] Dwnn ii, 259/260
[34] Harl. 1974, 48
[35] Pen. 287, 920
[36] Pen. 287, 583
[37] Pen. 139(2), 226
[38] Pen. 131, 62
[39] Pen. 128, 253b
[40] Pen. 127, 68
[41] Pen. 127, 67
[42] Pen. 287, 943
[43] Dwnn ii, 20
[44] Dwnn ii, 288
[45] Dwnn ii, 259
[46] Dwnn ii, 76/77
[47] See the referenced paper by clicking on the link below:


          The Hywel (1320) ap Iorwerth Ddu (1280) identified with the note (j) in the Mathusalem chart and its notes, had 3 sons:

             1. Llewelyn (1350) had one son, Hywel y Farf (1385)

             2. Hwlcyn (1350)

             3.  Cwnws (1355) had a son, Hywel (1385) who married Gwerfyl (1400) ferch Ieuan Llwyd (1370) ap Gruffudd (1340) ap Gronwy (1310) ap Hywel (1275) ap Cynwrig (1245) ap Iorwerth (1215) ap Iarddur (1185) ap Cynddelw (1150) [44] They had 5 children:

           a. Ieuan (1420)

           b. Llewelyn (1420)

          c.  Iorwerth (1420)

          d. Mallt (1415) She married the c. 1405 Iorwerth ap Gruffudd ap Hywel shown in Appendix 3 below. 

          e.  Angharad (1425) She married Rhys ap Cynwrig Fychan ap Ieuan, ancestry unknown [45]  See another Angharad ferch Hywel ap Cwnws in Appendix 2 below.


          The Hywel (1340) ap Iorwerth Ddu (1310) identified as note (s) in the Mathusalem chart and its notes, also had a son, Cwnws (1375).  That Cwnws had, in addition to a son, Gruffudd, a son named Hywel. (1410)  That Hywel had a daughter, Angharad (1445) who married Maredudd (1435) ap Mathew (1405) ap Madog (1370) ap Dafydd (1340) ap Meurig (1305) [46] descended from Iago ap Einion ap Owain Gwynedd.

          On his chart Hwfa 8(F), Peter Bartrum incorrectly charted both ladies named Angharad ferch Hywel ap Cwnws as one lady with 2 marriages. (The other Angharad is mentioned in Appendix 1 above)


          In our paper "#26 - Geraint of Pentraeth", [47] we discussed a lady named Gwenhwyfar ferch Hywel ap Tegwared ap Madog Goch, who married a Trefgoed man named Iorwerth ap Gruffudd.  Bartrum has charted her husband as Iorwerth ap Gruffudd ap Hywel ap Gruffudd ap Gronwy of Trefgoed, while the source he cited identified this man as Iorwerth ap Gruffudd ap Iorwerth Trefgoed.

          There were actually two separate men called Hywel ap Tegwared ap Madog Goch who are shown on our Cyfnerth chart and its notes (a) and (h) in the text above, one born c. 1330 and the other born c. 1370.  Bartrum has conflated these men on his chart Hwfa 4, where he dated Gwenhwyfar to c. 1410.

         A chart of this Trefgoed family actually looks like this:

                            1245  Tudor ap Carwed  
                        l                                             l
         1275  Gronwy                          1280  Iorwerth
                       l                                              l
        1310  Gruffudd                         1315  Gruffudd
                       l                                              l
          1345  Hywel                           1350  Iorwerth
        1375  Gruffudd 
        1405  Iorwerth  

             Since Bartrum only knew of a Gwenhwyfar ferch Hywel ap Tegwared who he dated c. 1410, he assumed the source (Dwnn ii 265) erred, so he assigned her marriage to the c 1405 Iorwerth.  But an earlier Gwenhwyfar is shown in our note (a) to the Cyfnerth chart, a lady born c. 1365. There was no error in the source citation, she married the Iorwerth born c. 1350.  The wife of the 1405 Iorwerth ap Gruffudd ap Hywel is shown in Appendix 1 above.