Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Royal Tribes of Wales (III.)

The founder of the III. Royal Tribe of Wales is listed as Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, King of Powys, A.D. 1046.  In Burke he is given as "...derived from Mervyn, King of Powys, third son of Rhodri Mawr".  The arms are given:

                                                               "Ar. a lion ramp. sa"

This again is a lion standing erect on the hind legs which would be silver in color.  The shield would be black in color.

Meredith ap Bleddyn (son of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn) is given as "Prince of Powys".

Madoc, a son of Meredith ap Bleddyn, is given as "Prince of Powys-Fadog".

From: Burke, p. lxii, 1884 edition.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Royal Tribes of Wales (II.)

The sons of Rhodri Mawr continue their Y-chromosome into South Wales.  Rhys ap Twedwr Mawr, King of South Wales A.D. 1077, is given in Burke as being derived from Cadelh, King of South Wales.  This Cadelh is given as the second son of Rhodri Mawr. [Descent from first son given last post.]

Rhys ap Tewdwr is given as the "Founder of the II. Royal Tribe".  The arms are given:

                                     "Gu. a lion ramp. within a bordure indented or."

     This would be that the color of the shield is red [ Gu. = Gules = red].

     The charge [ordinaries] is a lion standing erect on the hind legs.

     The boarder of the shield would be colored gold with its inter margins being jagged or irregular.

From: The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales; Comprising A Registry of Armorial Bearings From The Earliest To The Present Time. By Bernard Burke, published 1884, by Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, London.  [p. lxi]

A good reference for South Wales is:


By Ruth Thomas, it was first published in 1977 by John Bartholomew & Son Limited, Edinburgh.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Royal Tribers of Wales (I)

Tribal groups were associated with geographic areas in Wales.  This was primarily due to the geological status of mountains, rivers, valleys, and the settlement pattern of family groups.  In Burke [1884 edition] there are recorded "Royal Tribes of Wales" divided by the major areas "North Wales" and "South Wales".  The next several post will present these tribes as identified.

North Wales:

     "Griffith ap Cynan, King of North Wales, A.D. 1079, derived from Anarawd, King of North Wales, eldest son of Rhodri Mawr, King of Wales, A.D. 843; founder of the I. Royal Tribe."

                       The arms are described: "Gu. three lions pass. in pale ar armed az."

                               Gu. = red [color of shield] :  three lions pass. [full body lions standing on feet]
                             
                               in pale ar [formed by two lines drawn perpendicularly from the top to bottom of the shield comprising a third of the field, in this case it would be colored silver and the three lions would be placed equal distance from the top to bottom in the middle of the sheild]

                               armed az = the claws of the lions would be colored blue

Saturday, June 6, 2015

A First

History books are written by those who feel they have something important to record about the events that have surrounded them.  For Wales [written by the Welsh], the earliest history book is titled "Annnales Cambriae" which begins Welsh history in the year 447 AD.   However, it was in another history book that the word "Welsh" first appears.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle it is called, and the word "Britons" is used to refer to the folks on the island before 456 AD.  In 465 AD it records:

"Hengest and Aesc fought the Welsh near Wippedesfleot and killed twelve Welsh ealdormen.  One of their own thanes was killed there, whose name was Wipped."

After this date, the word "Welsh" and "Britons" are both used in the context of these chronicles.

Note: in 540 AD Gildas wrote "De Exidio Brittaniae", and "The Chronicle of Ystrad Fflur" begins their history of Wales at 49 AD.  As best as I can tell, 465 AD is the first time the word "Welsh" is used in the English language. [Actually Anglo-Saxon.]


For those who might like to read things for themselves, the book shown above [translated and collated by Anne Savage] is an excellent reference.  Published by Crescent Books, NY in 1995.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Add Your Thoughts

Those interested in Welsh genealogy have approached it from all kinds of angles.  This blog has presented many things that have helped me approach this subject.  I am sure that there are many other folks out there who have experienced different ways to climb those Welsh family trees.  Please add your thoughts on ways that you have found helpful.  The comment section will allow you place your thought (method(s)/tool(s)/resource(s)/reference(s)/helps/etc....etc...).   In this way, you can share your own experience that may be helpful to those of us with Welsh descent.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Travel to Wales

Family tree climbing has led me from Kentucky, to Virginia, to London, to the county of Kent, and finally to the Vale of the Dee.  "Wild Wales" it was called by George Borrow in 1862.  Being on this side (USA) of the Atlantic Ocean, it was difficult at times to get a clear understanding of my ancestor's home.  The following book by Peter Sager helped give me insight to this land.


First published in German 1985, it was translated into English 1991 by David Henry Wilson.  A second edition came in 1996.  It was published by Pallas Athene, London 1991.

Mostly written as a travel guide, it provides a picture of Wales from South Wales, to Mid Wales , and to North Wales.  It contains 135 illustrations and diagrams, 64 color plates, 104 black and white plates, and 2 fold-out maps.  Certainly a good collection it is.  "Wales and the Welsh" is the first section.  "South Wales", "Mid Wales", and "North Wales" complete the 511 pages.  As the author states:

             "Books live with their readers, and some may also grow with their readers..." (p. 9)

Alive and growing it remains for me.  For the genealogist it fits well into the family tree of those with Welsh descent.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Law

The laws of the land they come to be called.  Those social directives that helps stabilize and hold together a culture.  The ancient laws of Wales were organized around 850 AD.  A fellow named "Hywel Dda" is credited with such an activity.  These have been translated from the Welsh and published as "Hywel Dda The Law".   The cover of my copy is shown below.


For those who might want to study the Welsh tribal system and its social directives, this book is for you.  First published by Gomer Press, Llandysul, Dyfed in 1986.  It is translated by Dafydd Jenkins and contains the law texts from medieval Wales.

For my own Welsh genealogy, it is recorded that Hywel Dda was the father-in-law to Tudor Trevor, the beginning of my Welsh family tree.  How about that, a father-in-law from the past!   This text has served me well to help understand the culture of this beginning.