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Legendary History Prior to 1st Century BC
Beli Mawr and Llyr Llediath in Welsh Pedigrees
The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"
Bartrum's "Pedigrees of the Welsh Tribal Patriarchs"
A study in charting medieval citations
The Evolution of the "Padriarc Brenin" Pedigree
Generational Gaps and the Welsh Laws
Minimum Age for Welsh Kingship in the Eleventh Century
The Lands of the Silures
Catel Durnluc aka Cadell Ddyrnllwg
Ancient Powys
The Royal Family of Powys
The Royal Family of Gwynedd
The 5 Plebian Tribes of Wales
Maxen Wledig of Welsh Legend
Maxen Wledig and the Welsh Genealogies
Anwn Dynod ap Maxen Wledig
Constans I and his 343 Visit to Britain
Glast and the Glastening
Composite Lives of St Beuno
Rethinking the Gwent Pedigrees
The Father of Tewdrig of Gwent
Another Look at Teithfallt of Gwent
Ynyr Gwent and Caradog Freich Fras
Llowarch ap Bran, Lord of Menai
Rulers of Brycheiniog - The Unanswered Questions
Lluan ferch Brychan
The Herbert Family Pedigree
Edwin of Tegeingl and his Family
Angharad, Heiress of Mostyn
Ithel of Bryn in Powys
Idnerth Benfras of Maesbrook
Henry, the Forgotten Son of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Muddled Pedigree of Sir John Wynn of Gwydir
The Mysterious Peverel Family
The Clan of Tudor Trevor
The Other "Sir Roger of Powys"
Ancestry of Ieuaf ap Adda ap Awr of Trevor
The Retaking of Northeast Wales
Hedd Molwynog or Hedd ap Alunog of Llanfair Talhearn
"Meuter Fawr" son of Hedd ap Alunog
The Medieval "redating" of Braint Hir
Aaron Paen ap Y Paen Hen
Welsh Claims to Ceri after 1179
The Battle of Mynydd Carn
Trahaearn ap Caradog of Arwystli
Cadafael Ynfyd of Cydewain
Maredudd ap Robert, Lord of Cedewain
Cadwgan of Nannau
Maredudd ap Owain, King of Deheubarth
What Really Happened in Deheubarth in 1022?
Two Families headed by a Rhydderch ap Iestyn
The Era of Llewelyn ap Seisyll
Cynfyn ap Gwerystan, the Interim King
The Consorts and Children of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn
The 1039 Battle at Rhyd y Groes
The First Wife of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn
Hywel ap Gronwy of Deheubarth
The Brief Life of Gruffudd ap Maredudd
The Other Gwenwynwyn
Eunydd son of Gwenllian
Sandde Hardd of Mortyn
The Floruit of Einion ap Seisyllt
The Enigmatic Elystan Glodrydd
Cowryd ap Cadfan of Dyffryn Clwyd
Owain ap Cadwgan and Nest ferch Rhys - An Historic Fiction?
The "sons" of Owain ap Cadwgan ap Bleddyn
The Betrayal by Meirion Goch Revisited
Gwyn Ddistain, seneschal for Llewelyn Fawr
The Men of Lleyn - How They Got There
Trahaearn Goch of Lleyn
Einion vs Iestyn ap Gwrgan - The Conquest of Glamorgan
Dafydd Goch ap Dafydd - His Real Ancestry
Thomas ap Rhodri - Father of Owain "Lawgoch"
The "Malpas" Family in Cheshire
Einion ap Celynin of Llwydiarth
Marchweithian, Lord of Is Aled, Rhufoniog
Osbwrn Wyddel of Cors Gedol
Bradwen of Llys Bradwen in Meirionydd
Ednowain ap Bradwen
Sorting out the Gwaithfoeds
Three Men called Iorwerth Goch "ap Maredudd"
The Caradog of Gwynedd With 3 Fathers
Who Was Sir Robert Pounderling?
Eidio Wyllt - What Was His Birthname?
The Legendary Kingdom of Seisyllwg
The Royal Family of Ceredigion
Llewelyn ap Hoedliw, Lord of Is Cerdin
The Ancestry of Owain Glyndwr
Welsh Ancestry of the Tudor Dynasty
Gruffudd ap Rhys, the Homeless Prince
The Children of Lord Rhys
Maredudd Gethin ap Lord Rhys
The 'Next Heir' of Morgan of Caerleon
Pedigree of the ancient Lords of Ial
The Shropshire Walcot Family
Pedigree of "Ednowain Bendew II"
Pedigree of Cynddelw Gam
                                  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. 1040:
 
                               Beli  980
                                  l
                             Gruffudd  1015
                                  l
     1040  Gwrgi           Gwyn  1050       Ithel  1010
                l                 l                       l
   1070  Seisyll====Tangwre  1080    Ednowain  1045
                       l                                 l
         1100  Gwledyr============Gwrgeneu 1085    Meilyr  1070
                                      l                                       l
                        1115  Genilles================Gwalchmei 1100
                                                            l
                                                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 around Welshpool and Mathrafel which formed the parish called Castell Caereinion.  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 that 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".  Using the Alo family to date this Marged, we find:
 
                1240  Gwrgi
                           l                      
                 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. 1040, but seems to occur almost exactly 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 Gwrgi as a son of Brochwel ap Aeddan of c. 1005, other men named Gwrgi ap Brochwel may well occur c. 1140 and c. 1340 as sons of the later men also called Brochwel ap Aeddan.[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
                               l
                  1115  Gruffudd
                               l
                    1150  Gwyn
                               l
                  1180  Pasgen
                               l
                   1210  Meurig
                               l
                   1240  Owain                 Dafydd Llwch  1230
                               l                             l
                   1270  Madog                   Llewelyn  1265
                               l                             l
                    1300  Ieuan                       (a) 
                               l                             l
            1335  Gruffudd Deuddwr=====Efa or Gwenllian  1335
                                                l
                      1370  Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr
 
      (a)  Those citations which mention a wife of Gruffudd Deuddwr called Efa or Gwenllian make the lady a daughter of Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch, but Pen. 176, 61 calls her Meddefys ferch Gruffudd ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch.  Only the latter is chronologically possible.
 
          Both families in this chart lived in the commote of Deuddwr so it isn't clear if the son Meddefys supposedly had by Gwrgi is a different Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr than the one shown here.  The fact that a lady of uncertain name who was the [great]grandaughter of Dafydd Llwch and married Gruffudd Deuddwr ap Ieuan... the couple then producing a son called Gruffudd Fychan of Dueddwr... may have been the source of Griffith Hiraethog's Meddefys whom he correctly describes as a great-granddaughter of Dafydd Llwch.  However, the connection of this Meddefys to Gwrgi rather than to Gruffudd Deuddwr is puzzling. And in no other source is the son of Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch called Gruffudd Fychan, but merely Gruffudd.
 
         Our own reading of the Peniarth Ms 176 pedigree is "Gwrgi of Castell Caereinion oedd a Meddefys ferch Gruffudd Fychan (sic) 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 (with or without "Fychan") ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch, and the same for 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 (Gruffudd Deuddwr).  In the latter case, she appears identical to the lady elsewhere called Efa and Gwenllian and was incorrectly called the sister, not daughter, of Gruffudd ap Llewelyn ap Dafydd Llwch. 
 
             1335  Gruffudd Deuddwr===Meddefys====Gwrgi  1340
                                               l       1340
                                               l
                         1370  Gruffudd Fychan of Deuddwr
 
        Now we have a great-granddaughter of Dafydd Llwch, variously called Efa, Gwenllian and Meddefys, whose second husband was Gwrgi after giving birth to Gruffudd Fychan by her first husband.  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
                             _____________l____________
                             l                                        l
                  880  Aeddan**                             Beli  885
                             l                                        l
                 910  Brochwel                             Gruffudd  915
                  _______l_________                          l
                  l                          l                      Gwyn*  950
        940  Gwrgi                    Selyf  945
                                            l
                                        Aeddan**  975
                                            l
                                      Brochwel  1005
                           __________l__________
                           l                                l
               1040  Gwrgi                         Selyf  1040
                                                            l
                                                       Aeddan**  1075
                                                            l
                                                      Brochwel  1110
                                _________________l_________
                                l                                         l
                     1145  Selyf                                   Gwrgi  1140
                                l
                   1175  Aeddan
                                l
                   1210  Brochwel
                __________l___________
                l                                 l
    1240  Gwrgi                           Selyf  1245
                                                  l
                                             Aeddan  1275
                                                  l
                                           Brochwel  1310
                                                  l
                                               Gwrgi  1340
 
       *The first of 4 men called Gwyn ap Gruffudd ap Beli ap Selyf who appear at 100 year intervals thereafter 
       **Each of these men had a brother called Beli who named a son Gruffudd who named a son Gwyn to continue a long string of identical names
 
         While no citations are extant which speak of a Gwrgi ap Brochwel born c. 940 or c. 1140, the naming conventions practiced so extensively by this family argue for there having been such men...and this is true even if our guess for the name of his father is wrong.  Each Gwrgi might have been another son of Gruffudd ap Beli and brother to each subsequent Gwyn ap Gruffudd, but occurring at 100 year intervals after 945...not 940.
   

NOTES:
[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" elsewhere on this site
[2] Many of these recurring strings of same-named men of the Powys family are discussed in the paper "Powys Dynastic Family 945-1385 elsewhere on this site
[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