Guest-written Papers
Reference Abbreviations
Guidance Articles for Researchers
Single Family Analysis
Families of Mixed Origin
Family Pedigrees
Mis-identified Same-Named People in Wales
Battles and Historical Events
Ancient Welsh Territories
Welshmen in Llydaw, Brittany
The Men of the North
Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
Papers Related to Maxen Wledig
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
Britain's Royal Roman Family
The Royal Family of Powys
2nd Powys Royal Dynasty
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
Men Descended from Tudwal Gloff
Royal Family of Gwent/ Glamorgan
Royal Family of Brycheiniog
15 Noble Tribes of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Glast and the Glastening
Papers about Rhiryd Flaidd and Penllyn
The Men of Collwyn ap Tangno of Lleyn
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Ednowain Bendew in Welsh pedigrees
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Tudor Trefor and his Family
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
The Family of Trahaearn ap Caradog
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The 5 Dafydd Llwyds of Llanwrin Parish
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
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
                                  GWRGI OF CASTELL CAEREINION  
                                            By Darrell Wolcott 
         Among the shadowy men found in the ancient manuscripts is the one first cited as the grandfather of Gwledyr, the lady whose daughter Genilles married the bard Gwalchmei ap Meilyr.[1]  He appears as "Gwrgi mab uchelwr o Gastell yn ghaereiniawn".  This chart dates the man to c. 1035:
                               Beli  980
                             Gruffudd  1015
   1035  Gwrgi         Gwyn  1050             Ithel  1007
                l                 l                            l
  1065  Seisyll====Tangwre  1080     Ednowain  1040
                       l                                       l
         1095  Gwledyr============Gwrgeneu 1080    Meilyr  1070
                                      l                                                 l
                        1115  Genilles================Gwalchmei 1100
                                                1130  Einion
         As written, the citation does not place Gwrgi at Castell Caereinion but says his father was the nobleman of that place, or that he was the son of the nobility who held lands in the broader region between Welshpool and Mathrafel which formed the parish called Castell Caereinion.  (An actual castle was not built there until 1166.) This places him in the heart of those lands known to have been held by the Powys royal family in the tenth and eleventh centuries, hard by Ystrad Marchell, Deuddwr and Mechain.  While probably not descended from the senior or "kingly" line of the family, Gwrgi may well have represented a junior cadet.  That guess appears to be strenghtened by another "Gwrgi of castell Caereinion" citation found in a 16th century manuscript.  Peniarth Ms 138 attributed to Griffith Hiraethog c. 1550 cites the marriage of Ieuan ap Gruffudd Goch ap Gruffudd ap Gwilym ap Alo to "Marged ferch Dafydd ap Rhiryd ap Dafydd ap Ifor ap Gwrgi of castell Caereinion".  Using the Alo family to date this Marged, we find:
                1240  Gwrgi
                 1275  Ifor                   Alo  1270
                           l                        l
               1310  Dafydd             Gwilym*  1305
                           l                        l
               1345  Rhiryd              Gruffudd  1335
                           l                        l
               1375  Dafydd           Gruffudd Goch  1365
                           l                        l
              1410  Marged======Ieuan  1395
         *His brother, Gruffudd ap Alo, was the father of Gwenhwyfar who married Ieuan ap Madog ap Gwenwys.  Gwenhwyfar would occur c. 1330 as the grandmother of Sir Gruffudd Fychan born c. 1385
           Clearly, the Gwrgi in this chart is a different man than we encountered in c. 1035, but seems to occur about 200 years later.  In other research of families who descended from the first Powys dynasty, we find an abundance of same-named men who occur repeatedly at 100 year intervals.  If we were to identify this c. 1035 Gwrgi  as such a man, other men named Gwrgi may well occur c. 1140, c. 1240 and c. 1340.[2]
         This theory seems to be strengthened by a third (and last) citation which mentions Gwrgi of Castell Caereinion. Peniarth Ms 176 p. 61 also by Griffith Hiraethog cites a family in Deuddwr.  The text reads "Gwrgi o gastell ynghaer einion aeth a meddefvs vz Gr vychan ap lln ap D i lathlyd ac yno i kad Gr v'n o ddeuddwr".  Peter Bartrum translates[3] that line as "Meddefys ferch Gruffudd[4] ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llawch was a mistress of Gwrgi of Castell Caereinion and had by him a bastard child called Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr".  If that reading were accurate, this Gwrgi must have occurred near 1340. 
         Before challenging that translation, we should mention there are an abundance of citations[5] which portray the "Deuddrw" family as:
                    1080  Beli III
                 1115  Gruffudd III
                  1150  Gwyn III
                 1180  Pasgen III
                1210  Meurig
                1240  Owain                
                1270  Madog                  
                 1300  Ieuan                       
          1335  Gruffudd Deuddwr
       1370  Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr
           Most citations which mention a wife for Gruffudd Deuddwr [6] make her a daughter (called Gwenllian by one source, Efa by another) of "Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llach ap Madog".  If this sounds a bit like the ancestry of Meddefys, who was cited above as having some connection to a Gwrgi of castell Caereinion, observe two different families descended from the Powys Royal Family:
          950  Gwyn I
         980  Pasgen I
         1010  Mael I
       1040  Iorwerth I                1050  Gwyn II
                     l                                      l
        1070  Madog                   1080  Pasgen II
                     l                                      l
      1105  Llywarch                   1115  Mael II
                     l                                      l
      1135  Cadwgan                 1145  Iorwerth II
                     l                                      l
       1165  Rhiryd                    1180  Cadwgan
                     l                                      l
       1195  Madog                     1210  Rhiryd
                     l                                      l
   1230  Dafydd Llwch                1245  Madog
                     l                                      l
      1265  Llewelyn               1275  Dafydd Llwch
                     l                                      l
 1300  Gruffudd Fychan           1310  Llewelyn
                     l                                      l
     1340  Meddefys               1345  Gwenllian/Efa
           Like Gruffudd Deuddwr, the above ladies both descended from from one of the 4 Powys families who had men named "Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli ap Selyf ap Brochwel ap Aeddan".  Bartrum's reading of the Meddefys citation suggests that both Gwrgi and Gruffudd Deuddwr fathered a son known as Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr, and that is how he charted it. [7]
         Our own reading [8] of the Peniarth Ms 176 pedigree is "Gwrgi of Castell Caereinion oedd a Meddefys ferch Gruffudd Fychan ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch, ac hynno i tad Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr."  We would render this as "[gwraig] Gwrgi of Castell Caereinion was Meddefys ferch Gruffudd Fychan ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch, and the same applies to the father of Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr."  Nothing in the citation suggests Meddefys was a mistress of Gwrgi; indeed one might read the lines to be saying that Gwrgi was married to Meddefys and the same applies to the father of Gruffudd Fychan, i.e. Gruffudd Deuddwr.

                                      1335                        1340              1340
1345  Gwenllian/Efa===Gruffudd Deuddwr===Meddefys===Gwrgi
     1370  Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr

           It is also possible that the author of the Meddefys pedigree misidentified her as once the wife of Gruffudd Deuddwr due to the similarity in the pedigrees of Gwenllian/Efa and Meddefys.  But our dating of this Gwrgi relies on the pedigree of Meddefys and NOT on the dating of Gruffudd Deuddwr.  It just happens that she chronologically COULD have been once married (sequentially) to both men
        And this Gwrgi occurs at a 100 year interval after the Gwrgi of 1240, the pattern we would expect in this family.  In all these cases, we suspect it was only the earliest Gwrgi called "of Castell Caereinion", that phrase being added to all later men of this family by genealogists who believed there was only a single man of that name in the family.
         If we are right in placing Gwrgi in the Deuddwr family, the string of identical names spanning 400 years may have begun as follows:
                                          850  Selyf I
                             l                                                      l
                  880  Aeddan II                                          Beli I  885
                             l                                                      l
                 910  Brochwel II                                    Gruffudd I  915
                             l                                                      l
                  945  Selyf II                                           Gwyn I  950
                  ______l____________                                l      
                  l                                l                                l
    975   Aeddan III             980  Beli II                     Pasgen I  980    
                  l                                l                                l
  1005  Brochwel III     1015  Gruffudd II               Trahaearn I*  1008 
                  l                                l                                l
     1045  Selyf III           1050  Gwyn II                      Gwrgi I  1035
                  l                                l                                l
                  l                                l                            Seisyll  1065
                  l                                l______________
             ___l________________                             l  
             l                                 l                             l
1075  Aeddan IV           1080  Beli III        1080  Pasgen II
               l                               l                             l                         
1110  Brochwel IV      1115  Gruffudd III   1110  Trahaearn II*
               l                               l                             l
 1145  Selyf IV            1150  Gwyn III        1140  Gwrgi II
              l                                l                         (not cited)
 1180   Beli IV           1180  Pasgen III
              l                                l
1215  Gruffudd IV     1210  Trahaearn III*
              l                                l
 1250  Gwyn IV          1240  Gwrgi III
              l                                l
1280  Pasgen IV            1275  Ifor
1310  Trahaearn IV*
              l                  1340
 1340  Gwrgi IV====Meddefys ferch Gruffudd Fychan 
       *This may have been Meurig ap Pasgen or Cynwrig ap Pasgen; all 4 men named Pasgen ap Gwyn had sons named Cynwrig and Trahaearn.  Pasgen II, III and IV  also had a son named Meurig, but if Pasgen I named a son Meurig, no family (except possibly Gwrgi) is known to have descended from him,
         While no citations are extant which speak of a Gwrgi born c. 1140, the naming conventions practiced so extensively by this family argue for there having been such a man...and this is true even if our guess for the name of his father is wrong.  Each Gwrgi might have been descended from an unknown first-cousin of the ancestors who we suggest for him.

[1]  Hen Lwythau Gwynedd a'r Mars, pedigree 2 published in P.C. Bartrum's "Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts", pp 112/113  Other portions of this family are charted in the paper "End of the Powys Dynasty" at the link below:
[2] Many of these recurring strings of same-named men of the Powys family are discussed in the paper "Powys Dynastic Family 945-1385 at the link below
[3] Bartrum's "Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400" vol 3, on his chart "Mael Maelienydd 5"
[4] The construction shown by Bartrum omits the "Fychan" from this Gruffudd
[5] One source is the Cedwyn Manuscript which cites the family twice.  Reproduced in the Montgomeryshire Collections, these occur at vol viii, pp 406 and 420
[6] Pen. 139(2), 181 calls her Gwenllian, while Harl 1982, 139 calls her Efa.  Pen. 139(1), 22 simply calls her a daughter of Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llach
[7] See Bartrum charts "Gwyn ap Gruffudd 3" and "Mael Maelienydd 5"
[8] Our reading differs from that of Bartrum based mostly on the word "yno" in the text.  Bartrum thought the author meant "honno", a Welsh pronoun meaning "that one" or "the one previously named".  We suggest the author meant "hynny" or "the same is true of""