csawlogo.jpg

Home
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
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
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Glast and the Glastening
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
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
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
The Family of Trahaearn ap Caradog
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The 5 Dafydd Llwyds of Llanwrin Parish
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
Parents and Children of the Lord Rhys

                             A STUDY IN CHARTING MEDIEVAL CITATIONS
                                             By Darrell Wolcott
 
          The Welsh pedigrees found in the works of the 16th and 17th century heralds and genealogists[1] are often derided unfairly as fantasies.  But the manuscripts rarely were intended to depict all the branches of any family and exist most often as brief snippets which name men associated with a particular region of Wales.  Seldom does a single citation extend back more than a handful of generations; it is necessary to combine several widely-scattered citations in order to chart a man's full ancestry....and dozens more to flesh out an entire family.  The majority of citations for non-contemporary men were merely copied from earlier manuscripts which are no longer extant, and were not merely the beliefs of the men who authored the works which now exist.  Rather than be overly critical of their work, we should be thankful they preserved for us data that would otherwise have been lost.
 
         It has been our experience that the inaccuracies, gaps and anachronisims we see in "compiled" pedigrees is more a function of flawed assembly than with flaws in the individual citations themselves. While it is easy to find omitted generations in the manuscripts of any one of these medieval writers, another writer likely got that one right while making his quota of mistakes elsewhere.  Hand copying is a laborous effort and strings of names containing the same male name multiple times are easy to reproduce in a slightly corrupt manner.  But if the compiler follows a strict timeline for the family he is charting, the gaps he finds should send him back to the entire body of manuscripts searching for an "authority" that resolves the chronological problem; someone else probably did not make the same copying error.
 
          To demonstrate how even a recognized expert such as Peter Bartrum can go astray, we have selected the narrow case of a man called Iorwerth Saithmarchog.  In his Peniarth Ms 139 under the heading "Ruthun", Gruffudd Hiraethog cites two marriages[2]:
 
         "Dyddgu ferch Madog ap Madog Hyddgam ap Madog ap Cadwgan married Ieuan ap Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Heilyn" and
 
         "Gwerfyl ferch Gwrgeneu ap Gwrgeneu married Iorwerth ap Heilyn ap Einudd"
 
          Hiraethog also cites an "Ieuan ap Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn" under the same geographical heading.
 
          On his page "Einudd 7" in vol 2 of "Welsh Genealogies AD 300-1400", Bartrum assembled those fragments into the following chart:
 
                   (2)  Einudd
                             l
                   (3)  Heilyn
                             l
                            xx        Gwrgeneu (4)               Cadwgan (4)
                             l               l                                l
                            xx      Gwrgeneu Fychan (5)        Madog (5)
                             l               l                                l
                            xx      Gwrgeneu Lloyd (6)              xx
                             l               l                                l
                  (7)  Iorwerth===Gwerfyl (7)            Madog Hyddgam (7)
                                      l                                       l
                  (8)  Iorwerth Saithmarchog                   Madog (8)
                                      l                                       l
                             (9)  Ieuan=================Dyddgu (9)
 
          The numbers in parenthesis are the "generation" numbers which comprise Bartrum's dating scheme; those shown range from c. 1070 (generation 2) to c. 1300 (generation 9).  Our own estimates for these people ranges from c. 1045 to c. 1275.
 
          We would point to the following errors in Bartrum's work, none of which were made by Hiraethog:
 
          1.  The assumption that Gwerfyl was a daughter of Gwrgeneu Lloyd instead of a daughter of Gwrgeneu Fychan.  (Hiraethog did not attach the descriptive bynames to his men called Gwrgeneu). Bartrum's choice appears to have been the one which seemed to fit in the chart he was constructing, which is fine unless the chart itself is flawed.
 
         2.  Showing a whole generation missing from the ancestry of Madog Hyddgam,  Actually, there are no missing generations; the problem is that Bartrum has dated the Cadwgan and Madog at the top of his chart incorrectly.
 
         3.  The 3 missing generations following Heilyn ap Einudd were required ONLY because the other data in the chart has been incorrectly assembled.  In fact, a man named Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth WAS the grandson of Heilyn ap Einudd....just not the one in Bartrum's chart.  Extant charters granting lands to the Abbey of Ystrad Marchell dated 1176, 1183 and 1198 were witnessed by "Yarourd (or Yoruerd or Joruert) Saithmarchaug"....the spelling of Iorwerth varies slightly from one charter to the other...who must have been born 100 years earlier than the man of that name who fathered the Ieuan that married Dyddgu[3].
 
           4.  Hiraethog DID err when he recited the ancestry of the spouse of Dyddgu, but he had previously (within the same pedigree)  identified the man correctly as Ieuan ap Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn. 
 
          Our construction of the exact same citations yields a completely different chart:
 
                             1045  Einudd (or Eunydd)
                                           l
                              1075  Heilyn
            _________________l____
            l                                      l
1105 Einudd[4]             1110  Iorwerth
            l                                      l
1135 Heilyn       1140  Iorwerth Saithmarchog**   Cadfan  1140
            l                                                                l
1170 Iorwerth*                                                  Cowryd  1175
                                                                             l
                                                                1205  Heilyn 
                                                                             l
                                                               1235  Iorwerth
                                                                             l
                                                   1265  Iorwerth Saithmarchog
                                                                             l
                                                                1295  Ieuan***
 
      *The Iorwerth ap Heilyn ap Einudd who married Gwerfyl ferch Gwrgeneu ap Gwrgeneu...a sister of Gwrgeneu Lloyd
     **The Iorwerth Saithmarchog who witnessed charters in 1176,1183 and 1198
   ***The Ieuan ap Iorwerth Saithmarchog ap Iorwerth ap Heilyn who married Dyddgu ferch Madog ap Madog Hyddgam, a lady born c. 1305
 
         Our dating of the ladies in the cited marriages is consistent with both our charts of their families and with the husbands shown above:
 
           1090  Collwyn                                1110  Cadwgan
                        l                                                Nannau
           1125  Gwrgeneu                                           l
            _______l________                        1140  Madog
            l                           l                                    l
1155  Rhiryd          1155 Gwrgeneu           1170  Cadwgan
         Flaidd                  Fychan                              l
                     ___________l______                       l
                   l                                l         1200  Madog
     1190  Gwrgeneu        1185  Gwerfyl*                l  
                 Lloyd                                                  l
                                                             1235  Madog Hyddgam
                                                                          l
                                                             1270  Madog
                                                                          l
                                                            1305  Dyddgu**
 
      *We match her with an Iorwerth ap Heilyn ap Einudd born c. 1170.  She was  not the Gwerfyl that Bartrum shows as being born a full generation later
     **We date the entire Nannau family nearly a generation earlier than Bartrum's "generation numbers" would indicate.[5]
 
          Having produced a chart (actually charts of two entirely different families) which contains two different men called Iorwerth Saithmarchog, we must explain why that could have been the case.  Saithmarchog is a manor in the lower Clwyd valley once held by Gwenllian ferch Rhys ap Marchen.  Her son was the first Einudd in our chart and we posit that manor was passed on to Heilyn, then to Iorwerth and finally to the same-named son of Iorwerth.  We find no cited issue for the c. 1140 Iorwerth Saithmarchog, but do find an unrelated man situated in the same Clwyd valley...Cowryd ap Cadfan...whose ancestors were not known to have been located there.  Indeed, we believe they had resided in Tegeingl. This Cowryd had a grandson who is called Iorwerth Saithmarchog and may be assumed to have resided at that manor.  A single missing link, if added to the chart, would make perfect sense of the whole; a marriage between Cadfan and a sister (and heiress) of the first Iorwerth Saithmarchog...the manor then passed on to the son of that putative sister, thence to his son and grandson. [6]
 
         Our suggestion to other family researchers is this:  don't mistrust the medieval citations simply because others have woven them together sloppily, but do beware of authors whose charts leave time gaps.  This is a sign that the individual citations likely have been incorrectly assembled.
 
NOTES:
[1] These include such men as Lewys Dwnn, Gutun Owain, Ieuan Brechfa, Gruffudd Hiraethog, Thomas ap Ieuan ap Deicws, Jacob Chaloner and others whose works are now housed in the Peniarth, Harleian and other collections of manuscripts
[2] This group of citations is from page 155 of Peniarth 139, Part 2
[3] The charters are reproduced in full in Montgomeryshire Collections, vol iv, pp 21, 24 and 31
[4] This is the Einudd or Eunydd to whom the lands called Trefalun and Gresford in Maelor were first granted.  Refer to the paper "Eunydd ap Gwenllian" at the link below:
[5] This family is discussed at length in the paper "Cadwgan of Nannau" at the link below:
[6] Such a marriage was first posited in our paper "Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd", at the link below: