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Sir Aaron ap Rhys
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys
                                     EUNYDD SON OF GWENLLIAN
                                           By Darrell Wolcott
          The author of the early 15th century manuscript, Achau Brenhinoedd a Thywysogion Cymru, identified this mid-eleventh century man by reference to his mother, an heiress of lands in, or near, Dyffryn Clwyd, without any mention of his father.[1]  Gwenllian was the daughter of Rhys ap Marchen descended from Cynddelw Gam and second cousin of both Llewelyn Aurdorchog of Ial and Afandreg ferch Gwyar who married Iago ap Idwal of Gwynedd.  No doubt Gwenllian was a lady of noble stock, but why would her son not be identified with the usual patrynomic form as "ap" his father's name?
        We suspect the reason was that other pedigrees cite two different men as the father of Eunydd.  He is called "Eunydd ap Morien ap Morgeneu ap Elystan ap Gwaithfoed" in some citations[2], but others call him "Eunydd ap Gwergynwy ap Gwrgeneu"[3].  The latter is usually rejected out of hand by those who equate Gwergynwy ap Gwrgeneu with a son of Gwrgeneu ap Gwaeddgar, an ancestor of Tudor Trevor who occurs c. 805.  Since the mother of Eunydd was born near 1025, his father was also an eleventh century man.
        When we read what our historians say about Eunydd, we soon realize they have confused several same-named men who lived in very different eras:
        "Eunydd, lord of Dyffryn Clwyd, came into Powysland in the time of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, Prince of Powys, and fought with him against the English. For his services, the Prince gave him the townships of Trefalun and Gresford in Maelor Cymraeg and Leprog Fawr, Leprog Fychan and Trefnant y Rhiw in Tegeingl.  He married Eva, daughter and heiress of Llewelyn ap Dolfyn ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog."[4]
        No doubt this "biography" originated with a 1604 pedigree compiled by Randle Holme[5] for Sir William Meredith of Stansty.  In that document[6], we find this wording:
        "Eunydd the son of Gwerngwy the son of Gwaeddgar, and of Gwenllian daughter and heiress of Rhys ap Marchen of Ruthin land, was one of the 15 houses or tribes of the chiefest accomplishments with Dafydd the son of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales.  He came to Bromfield by the procurement of Bleddyn the son of Cynfyn, Prince of Powys, to his aid against Englishmen, and to whom the said Prince gave the townships of Alunton and Gresford for his good service.  He married Eleanor one of the daughters and heirs of Llewelyn the son of Dolffyn of Ial, and of Tangwystl daughter and heiress of Iorwerth Sawdnorgrin ap Grono ap Hywel ap Ithel Felyn.  They had issue Ithel who married Gwladys daughter and one of the heirs of Gruffudd ap Meilyr ap Elidyr and of Angharad daughter and heiress of Meurig ap Caradog ap Iestyn ap Gwrgan.
       "Ithel and Heilyn his brother, after the death of their father Eunydd, entered into their father's possessions and divided the same betwix them according to the tenure of gavelkind.  Ithel had for his part the townships of Alunton and Gresford in Bromfield, Lleproe Fawr, Lleproe Fychan and Trefnant in Englefield....and Heilyn had for his part all his mother's lands in Ial and the 7 townships of his father's possessions in Ruthin land."
        Since the various claims made in those sources are anachronistic and cannot all refer to a single man, let's examine them one by one: 
        1.  Bleddyn ap Cynfyn was the prince of Powys from 1069 until his death in 1075.  There is no record of him ever fighting the English, either in Bromfield or elsewhere; he was confirmed as a local ruler in Wales by Edward the Confessor in 1063 and nothing indicates the Norman Marcher Lords invaded Powys as early as 1075. He was killed long before Dafydd ap Owain Gwynedd was born; the active floruit of the latter was c. 1173-1203.
        2.  Eunydd ap Morien did not "come into Powysland", he was born there to a family which had resided in Tegeingl since the early tenth century.[7]  Born near 1045, this man would have served the kings of Powys as a legal duty and not simply as a friend of Bleddyn. Actually, Bleddyn was a second-cousin of Eunydd's father.[8]  The lands in Tegeingl were almost certainly those inherited from his father, not a royal grant to him. He was not "Lord of Dyffryn Clwyd"; while the 7 recited townships he inherited from his mother[9] might be described as "Ruthin land", they are located just south of the cantref of Dyffryn Clwyd in Edeyrnion. 
          3.  The lands called Trefalun (also called Alunton or Allington) and Gresford in "Bromfield" were clearly not held by an 11th century Eunydd.  In 1086, the Cheshire portion of the Domesday Book lists both as held by a Thored, from Earl Hugh.  Together with Mortyn (also called Burton), these lands lie north of the Alun River and were probably not a part of the Welsh Maelor Cymraeg until the following century.  We believe Earl Ranulf of Chester granted that territory to a Eunydd and Sandde Hardd in 1144,[10] and would identify this Eunydd as a grandson of the c. 1045 man bearing the same name.
          4.  There was never a lady called "Efa ferch Llewelyn ap Dolfyn ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog and the latter had no son named Dolfyn.[11]  Such a mythical lady would occur no earlier than c. 1095, much too late to have married the son of Gwenllian.  But a lady whose mother Tangwystl was fourth from Ithel Felyn would occur about 1215.  A pedigree cast for Hughes of y Ddysert in Tegeingl[12] introduces us to a "Llewelyn ap Dolfyn ap Iorwerth ap Madog ap Llewelyn ap Ithel Hen of the tribe of Ial (Yale)" who would occur at the right time to be the husband of Tangwystl and father of Efa:
                                   1005  Llewelyn Aurdorchog[13]
                          l                                                     l
       1035  Llewelyn Fychan                         1036  Ithel Hen
                          l                                                     l
           1065  Ithel Felyn[14]                       1065  Llewelyn
                          l                                                     l
              1095  Hwfa                                   1095  Madog
                          l                                                     l
             1130  Gronwy                               1125  Iorwerth
                          l                                                     l
            1160  Iorwerth                                1155  Dolfyn
                          l                                                     l
           1195  Tangwystl=================Llewelyn 1185
                                       1215  Efa
          5.  The Eunydd ap Morien of c. 1045 did have sons called Heilyn and Ithel but neither could have inherited any Ial lands from the c. 1215 Efa. In fact, it is unlikely Efa had any such lands. The seven townships she supposedly inherited from her father were actually the seven townships which the c. 1025 Gwenllian ferch Rhys ap Marchen held, none of them in Ial.  Furthermore, Efa was not an heiress at all; she had a sister Sissely and a brother Ithel.[15]
          6.  Peter Bartrum, the modern Welsh genealogist, has suggested at least one man named Eunydd in this family was also called Eunydd Gwerngwy from a manor in Llanynys, located in the commote of Colion in Dyffryn Clwyd.[16] Perhaps this partially explains why some pedigrees cite a Eunydd ap Gwerngwy ap Gwrgeneu which others then distorted to Gwerngwy ap Gwaeddgar.  We suggest the correct form was originally "Eunydd o' Gwerngwy ap Gwrgeneu", and further believe his father can be found in Peniarth Ms 128, which cites a "daughter of Iorwerth ap Einion ap Ithel ap Gwrgeneu" as one wife of Ednyfed Goch ap Cynwrig ap Gruffudd Fychan of Bersham.  The Gwrgeneu in that citation would occur c. 1165/1170 and we think he was the father of the Eunydd who married Efa of Ial (the instant pedigree concerning not him, but his brother Ithel).
          The following charts depict the early development of this family, the repeating name-strings often causing the medieval genealogists to assume all three men called Eunydd must be a single person; also the confusion regarding the name of Eunydd's father can be seen as a result of two different same-named men who lived 150 years apart:
                        GENERATION ONE
             955  Elystan           Marchen  960        
                         l                       l
           985  Morgeneu            Rhys      990
                        l                      l
          1015  Morien=====Gwenllian 1025
                    1045  Eunydd
                 l                        l                                l
   1080  Hunydd(a)           Heilyn(b) 1075             Ithel(c) 1075
      (a) She married Maredudd ap Bleddyn ap Cynfyn and was mother to Madog ap Maredudd[17]
       (b) He married Marged ferch Madog ap Cadwgan, the ancestor of the families at Maesmawr and Nannau[18] That Madog had served the brothers Rhiwallon and Bleddyn ap Cynfyn contemporaneously with Eunydd ap Morien
       (c) He married Gwenllian ferch Rhys ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog[19] but had no sons.  A daughter, Sioned, married Maredudd ap Uchdryd of Tegeingl[20]and a second daughter married Iorwerth ap Cynan ap Llywarch Goch ap Llywarch Hwlbwrch of Rhos[21]
                                GENERATION TWO
                                   1075  Heilyn ap Eunydd 
                       l                                                l
          1110  Iorwerth(a)                                       Eunydd(b)  1105
       (a)  His son, Iorwerth Saithmarchog, witnessed several land grants between 1176 and 1198 and died without known issue.  We believe a daughter of Iorwerth was his heiress and married the father of Cowryd ap Cadfan. A great-grandson of the latter was also called Iorwerth Saithmarchog, it being one of the 7 manors inherited by Eunydd ap Morien from his mother Gwenllian.[22]
        (b) It was this Eunydd to whom the Maelor townships of Trefalun and Gresford were granted for his military service, probably to the Earl of Chester
                              GENERATIONS THREE & FOUR            
                      1105  Eunydd ap Heilyn 
                            l                                               l
                1135  Ithel(a)                                         Heilyn 1135 
        ____________l__________             ________l_______
        l                    l                  l             l                            l
  Trahaearn        Rhiryd          Einion   Ithel(b)                Gwrgeneu
     1165             1175            1170    1165                     1165
       (a)  This Ithel married Gwladys ferch Iorwerth ap Madog ap Elidyr ap Rhys Sais descended from Tudor Trevor. [23]  Representatives of the families descended from each of his 3 sons were listed as owners of lands in Allington and Gresford in the 1315 Extent of Yale and Bromfield
        (b)  This Ithel married Efa ferch Owain Brogyntyn ap Madog ap Maredudd.[24] His sons were Llewelyn and Hywel and representatives descended from both sons were listed as owners of lands in Allington and Gresford in 1315
                             GENERATION FIVE
                  1165  Gwrgeneu ap Heilyn(a)
                       l                                                     l
          1195  Ithel(b)                               1200  Eunydd o' Gwerngwy
        ________l_____________________                 =
        l                l                l                 l         Efa vz Llewelyn ap
Trahaearn   Rhiryd Sais  Einion Goch    Ieuan      Dolffyn of Ial
   1230          1230          1225           1225
        (a) This Gwrgeneu, missing from most modern family charts, is the source of those pedigrees which call the father of Eunydd "Gwerngwy ap Gwrgeneu" and mistake this Eunydd for Eunydd ap Morien; the "of Gwerngwy" has been corrupted to "ap Gwerngwy"
          (b) The sons of this Ithel have been confused with similarly-named sons of Ithel ap Eunydd shown in the previous chart, even though nicknames were appended to these later men.  Sons or grandsons of these men are also listed as owners of lands in Trefalun and Gresford in 1315
         The final error in the pedigree material concerns the Ithel ap Eunydd who is said to have married Gwladys ferch Gruffudd ap Meilyr. Actually, he married Gwladys ferch Iorwerth ap Madog as we show in the above chart for Generations Three & Four:
                                    1025  Rhys Sais
                                     1060  Elidyr
                                     1090  Madog
                                   1120  Iorwerth                   Eunydd  1105
                                                  l                               l
                                   1150  Gwladys[25]=======Ithel  1135
                                               Trahaearn, Rhiryd and Einion*
        *We have noted earlier that Ithel ap Gwrgeneu of c. 1195 also had sons with these names
        It is only when we follow a strict chronological timeline that a clear picture can be seen of this, or of any early family which had a propensity to repeat strings of names in various branches of their descendants.  The medieval genealogists usually had the names right but were unaware that one A ap B in a family was often wholly different from another A ap B; they appear to have not considered chronology important in casting a pedigree.
[1] ABT 1c;ABT 8f
[2] Pen, 178(1), 61; Pen. 134, 349; Pen, 138, 126 & 169.  Dwnn ii, 83 & 355 corruptly render Elystan as "Gwerystan" or "Gwrestan".  Actually Gwerystan ap Gwaithfoed was a brother of Elystan
[3] Cae Cyriog Ms cited in History of Powys Fadog, vol iii, pp 192
[4] Archaeologia Cambrenses, 1874, pp 144
[5] The first of 4 men of this name, Holme was apprenticed in 1587 to Thomas Chaloner, Ulster King of Arms.  He married his master's widow and continued his business as an arms painter and genealogist
[6] Actually a roll consisting of 4 skins about 10 1/2 ft long and over 2 ft wide; quotes from it are published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1932, pp 239-246
[7] His 10th century ancestor was Lles Llyddog who came into Tegeingl from central Powys to expel outside invaders.  See the paper "The Retaking of Northeast Wales" at the link below:
[8] Bleddyn's father, Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, was first-cousin to Morien's father, Morgeneu ap Elystan
[9] The 7 townships were called Llanaehaiaren, Llogadoc, Ucheldref, Garthiaen, Llandoufeld, Gaergelioc and Saethmarchog; while none are within the boundry of the medieval cantref of Dyffryn Clwyd, all are located in the Clwyd valley near the River Dee 
[10] For our construction of the 1141 events which brought this land to Eunydd ap Heilyn ap Eunydd ap Morien, see the paper "Sandde Hardd of Mortyn" at the link below:
[11] The citations found in Peniarth Ms 127, 128 and 134 make a Dolffyn the son of Llewelyn Aurdorchog, but the family descended from that Dolffyn point to a birthdate for him near 1070.  He was actually the son of Llewelyn Fychan, eldest son of Llewelyn Aurdorchog
[12] Dwnn ii, 300
[13] Llewelyn Aurdorchog was contemporary with Gruffudd ap Llewelyn and probably his first-cousin.  No extant pedigree cites Ithel Hen as his son, but many agree he had a son Ithel; HLG 5b and others mistakenly call his son Ithel Felyn
[14] Most authorities date Ithel Felyn to c. 1065, but incorrectly make him the son of Llewelyn Aurdorchog.  For the timeline shown in the chart, his birthdate is key regardless of which Llewelyn was his father.
[15] Harleian Mss 1972 and 1977 say "Cecily ferch Llewelyn ap Dolffyn" married "Llewelyn ap Moreiddig ap Sandde Hardd" but one generation is missing between Moreiddig and Sandde; Dwnn ii,300 cites an "Ithel ap Llewelyn ap Dolphin ap Iorwerth ap Madog ap Llewelyn ap Ithel Hen of Ial" as the ancestor of an "Annes ferch Madog ap Ieuan ap Gronwy ap Rhys ap Philip ap Ithel".  That Ithel would inherit his father's lands, not his sisters. For our discussion of the name omitted in the cited pedigree of Cecily's husband, see our paper on "Sandde Hardd of Morton" at the link below:
[16] Peter C Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400", vol 2 under "Einudd 1"
[17] ABT 1c, 8f; Maredudd was born c. 1065
[18] Harleian Ms 1969; also see the paper "Cadwgan of Nannau" at the link below:
[19] Peniarth Ms 287; Gwenllian would occur c. 1080
[20] Peniarth Ms 287; Sioned would occur c. 1105
[21] Peniarth Ms 74 which omits Llywarch Goch; Iorwerth ap Cynan would occur c. 1115
[22] Peniarth Mss 139 cites a "Ieuan ap Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn", who by the marriage assigned to him, would occur c. 1295. This is wholly consistent with the "Iorwerth ap Heilyn ap Cowryd" found in Peniarth Mss 127, 128 and 129.  However, a much earlier "Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn" found in Peniarth Ms 139 and Harleian Ms 1972 has been confounded with the later man of that name in Bartrum's Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400 on page "Einudd 7"
[23] Pen. 128, 525a
[24] Harleian Ms 1972; Efa would occur c. 1175
[25] Pen. 128, 525a

      In his paper "History of the Old Parish of Gresford" published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1903, A.N. Palmer cites this paragraph from Harleian Ms 1969:
      "Eynydh, one of the 15 tribes.  He was the sonne of Morien, the sonne of Morgenav ap Elystan (sic) ap Gwaethvoed.  Aliter, he was the sonne of Gwerngwy ap Gwaethgar or Gwaedhvawr.  His mother was Gwenllian vz Rees ap Marchen of Ruthyn Land.  This Eynydh lived in the time of David ap Owen Gwynedd, Prince of Northwales.  He came to Bromfield in the time of Blethyn ap Kynvyn, Prince of Powys & warred under him against the English.  The Prince gave him the townshipps of Alington and Gresford.  He married Ellena f.h. (ferch and heiress of) Llewelyn ap Dolphyn."
       Mr Palmer notes that Dafydd ap Owain Gwynedd was clearly not contemporary with Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, and further points out that the 1086 Domesday Book knew nothing of either Eunydd or his son Ithel holding Allington and Gresford.  His conclusion did not resolve the anachronisms, but did mirror our findings:
       "In it's present form it cannot be accepted, yet it is probable that it represents a distorted version of a series of events which actually happened."