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Ancestors and Children of the Lord Rhys

                               THE FIRST MEILYR GRYG OF GREGYNOG
                                            By Darrell Wolcott
         In constructing his family charts for Meilyr Gryg[1], Peter Bartrum assumed there was just one such man who was born c. 1170.  In doing so, he omitted from his work and indexes many marriage matches which were wholly inconsistent with that dating.  Yet there is a whole body of pedigree material (of the same era and written by the same sources as that data he did accept) which point to a Meilyr Gryg born about 1025.  In fact, that earlier date is consistent with the pedigrees[2] cited for the man of that name:
                                         655  Gwylog
                                          685  Eliseg
                                       715  Brochwel*
                          l                                           l
                745  Cadell  ob 808                    Cyngen  750
                          l                                           l
              775  Cyngen  ob 856                    Aeddan I**  785
                                                               Brochwel I  820
                          l                                                   l
            855  Gwaeddan                                        Selyf I  850
                          l                                                   l
               890  Rhodri                                         Aeddan II  880
                          l                                                   l
               920  Owain                                        Brochwel II  910
                          l                                                   l     
              955  Iorwerth                                        Selyf II  945
                          l                            ____________l_____
                          l                            l                              l
             990  Gruffudd            980  Beli II***      975  Aeddan III
                         l                             l                              l
          1025  Meilyr Gryg     1015  Gruffudd II     1005  Brochwel III
                         l                             l
           1060  Llewelyn         1050  Gwyn II****  ob 1101
                         l                             l
              1095  Nest========Pasgen II[3]  1080
        *Brochwel ap Eliseg ap Gwylog is cited in Harleian Ms 3859, 27
       ** Aeddan ap Cyngen ap Brochwel ap Eliseg is cited in Harleian Ms 3859, 31
     *** The first sequence of Pasgen ap Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli ap Selyf descended from the Selyf of c. 850 and is the one cited in ABT 20. This is the second of four such repeated naming sequences which occur in the Powys family
    ****This Gwyn ap Gruffudd is the one whose obit is recorded in 1101 and is cited in HLG 2f which omits one string of Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan and also makes Cyngen the son of Eliseg
        Many genealogists, including Bartrum, assign Nest's marriage to a Pasgen ap Gwyn of c. 1200[4] and date her to c. 1230.  We have rejected that possibility although we acknowledge there was both a Llewelyn ap Meilyr and a Pasgen ap Gwyn in the early 13th century. A later Nest would occur c. 1250, far too young to match with the later Pasgen.
        A second daughter of Llewelyn ap Meilyr Gryg is cited[5] as having married Rhys ap Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog.  We date Rhys to c. 1075 and his wife, Lleuci ferch Llewelyn ap Meilyr Gryg to c. 1090.  Peter Bartrum dates Llewelyn Aurdorchog a generation later than we think is correct[5] so his Rhys is dated to c. 1100 and the marriage is omitted because it fails to match chronologically with a granddaughter of Meilyr Gryg of c. 1170.
         Another early marriage match is cited[6] as:
                                                         1020  Cadwgan ap Elystan
                       1025  Meilyr Gryg         1050  Idnerth  
                                    l                                   l
                      1060  Llewelyn              1080  Madog
                                    l                                   l
                       1095  Einion                  1115  Adda 
                                    l                                   l
                       1130  Llewelyn=========Angharad 1145 
          Since two other Dwnn pedigrees omit the ancestry of Adda ap Madog, Bartrum's charts assume the one which does has made an error, that Angharad was really a daughter of Adda ap Madog ap Maredudd ap Maelgwn [ap Maelgwn] ap Cadwallon ap Madog ap Idnerth. After correcting for the second Maelgwn omitted from his charts[7], he would redate Angharad five generations later....which is exactly where the later Llewelyn ap Einion ap Meilyr falls.  But our construction does not require emending her pedigree to make her fit timewise.
         Other citations of early marriages include a sister of Llewelyn ap Einion ap Llewelyn ap Meilyr:
                                  1025  Meilyr Gryg              Cynan  1014
                                                l                             l
                                 1060  Llewelyn               Maredudd  1055
               l                                l                            l
                                  1095  Einion                Llawr Craff*  1085
                                               l                            i
                                  1130  Elen=========Collwyn  1115
             *Alao called "Sulien", he was the son of Maredudd ap Cynan ap Idwal, brother of Gruffudd ap Cynan nephew of Iago.  Llyr Craff's mother was a daughter of Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn Aurdorchog, a lady born c. 1070,  This marriage is cited in Montgomeryshire Collections, vol 10, pages 20/21
            Since this marriage points to an early-11th century Meilyr Gryg, neither it nor the lady exists in the Bartrum charts or indexes.  But an even more glaring omission is found with our final early marriage match.  Cadwaladr ap Llewelyn Fychan ap Llewelyn ap Einion ap Llewelyn ap Meilyr Gryg is cited[8] as having married Alison, daughter of Trahaearn ap Iorwerth.  The latter was a contemporary of Madog Danwr and born c. 1170  Alison would date from c. 1205.  Since a Cadwaladr who occurred 5 generations after a c. 1170 Meilyr Gryg could scarcely have married Alison, not only is this marriage omitted from Bartrum's charts, but so is Cadwaladr and his entire family which the Dwnn pedigree extends down to the 16th century.
           We believe the pedigree evidence demands a Meilyr Gryg born c. 1025, but also one born 5 generations later who began a sequence of repeated names:
                              1025  Meilyr Gryg ap Gruffudd
                              1060  Llewelyn
                                1095  Einion
                               1130  Llewelyn
                            1160  Llewelyn Fychan
                                1190  Meilyr*
                               1220  Llewelyn
                                1250  Einion
                              1280  Llewelyn
                           1315  Llewelyn Fychan
                             1355  Gruffudd
                            1385  Evan Blayney of Gregynog
       *The second Meilyr may not have been called "Gryg", that ephitet being supplied by genealogists who confused him with the earlier Meilyr; such confusion is understandable since each heads a 5-name string of identical names.
        Evan Blayney was contemporary with Sir Gruffudd Fychan and still held the manor at Gregynog, lands originally ascribed to the 11th century Meilyr Gryg.  The present day Blayney family descended from this Ieuan ap Gruffudd who took the Anglecized name Evan Blayney from Ieuan Blaen "the first or foremost".

[1] See "Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400" vol 1, pp 48 and vol 4 under Meilir Gryg. There, his ancestor Gwaeddan is made a son of Brochwel ap Aeddan of c. 1005 and the 200 year gap back to Brochwel ap Aeddan of c. 820 is ignored
[2] Dwnn i, 299; Dwnn ii, 23
[3] Subsequent men named Pasgen ap Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli ap Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan occur in c. 1180 and c. 1280.  See the paper "Powys Dynastic Family 945 - 1385 at the link below:
[4]  ibid Note 3
[5] Montgomeryshire Collections, vol 7, pp 55
[6] Dwnn i, 283 cites "Adda ap Madog ap Idnerth ap Cadwgan" while Dwnn 1, 299 and 300 stop with Madog.
[7] Refer to the paper "Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179" at the link below:
[8] Dwnn i, 300