Sunday, June 26, 2011

Peter Bartrum

Researching Welsh genealogies is a task. At least for most of us, reading and understanding Welsh genealogical tracts and text make for a long afternoon. Peter C. Bartrum was successful at both. Starting in the 1930's, he explored early and medieval Welsh history and genealogy. His publications have become the standard for Welsh genealogical research. The following gives the reference for his work:

1) Bartrum, Peter C., "Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts.", Cardiff: Wales Univ. Press., 1966.

2) Bartrum, Peter C., "Notes on the Welsh Genealogical Manuscripts", Part I, Transactions of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion (THSC), pp. 63-98., 1968.

3) Bartrum, Peter C., "Welsh Genealogies, AD 300-1400." Cardiff: Wales Univ. Press., 1974.

4) Bartrum, Peter C., "Further Notes on the Welsh Genealogical Manuscripts", Part II, Transactions of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion (THSC) , pp. 102-118, 1976.

5) Bartrum, Peter C., "Notes on the Welsh Genealogical Manuscritps", Part III, Transcations of the Honorable Society of Cymmrodorion (THSC), pp. 37-46, 1988.

This work is being made available on line by Aberystwyth University at:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Of Noble Descent

Gerald of Wales in 1188 AD kept a travel-diary of his preaching-tour through Wales which Archbishop Baldwin used to raise support for the Third Crusade. Being Welsh himself, [some writers count "three parts Norman and one part Welsh"], he records his view of the Welsh nation of his day which would be during the last years of Henry II. In Chapter 17, entitled, "Their respect for noble birth and ancient genealogy", he expresses the following opinion :

"The Welsh value distinguished birth and noble descent more than anything else in the world. They would rather marry into a noble family than into a rich one. Even the common people know their family-tree by heart and can readily recite from memory the list of their grandfathers, great-grandfathers, great-great-grandfathers, back to the sixth or seventh generation, as I did earlier on for the Welsh princes: Rhys son of Gruffydd, Gruffydd son of Rhys, Rhys son of Tewdwr, and so on."

Thus Gerald expresses the view that before the death of Henry II, who died 6 July 1189, the Welsh still maintained their Celtic roots, with the family unit being the center of social structure. In the same chapter he goes on to write:

"As they have this intense interest in their family descent, they avenge with great ferocity any wrong or insult done to their relations. They are vindictive by nature, bloodthirsty and violent. Not only are they ready to avenge new and recent injuries, but old ones, too, as if they had only just received them."

The title "Family Feud" might be applied. It was this continual tribal warfare that gave Edward I the edge to begin his conquest of Wales.

A source for "Gerald of Wales" is found:

"Gerald of Wales, The Journey Through Wales and The Description of Wales", translated with an introduction by Lewis Thorpe, Penguin Books, 2004, London. Reference quoted above are on page 251.

P.S. Just in case some readers might feel that Gerald had an opinion which just applied to his time period in Welsh history, I quote Roman historian writing 98 AD regarding the Britons:

"Nature has willed that every man's children and kindred should be his dearest objects. Yet these are torn from us by conscriptions to be slaves elsewhere. Our wives and our sisters, even though they may escape violation from the enemy, are dishonored under the names of friendship and hospitality." From: Tactitus, The Life of Agricola. Found in "The Historians of Ancient Rome", edited by Ronald Mellor, Routlede, NY, 1998. p. 400.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Early Welsh Documents (Part VI)

Part six of a series of post that deal with the early documents of Wales. Taken from the text published in 1856 by Richard Sims titled: "A Manual For The Genealogist, Topographer, Antiquary, and Legal Professor".

"List of Lords Presidents of the Marches of Wales; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 368, f.181; Add. MS. 5485, f.210".

"List of Deputy Lieutenants and Commission Officers in England and Wales, as they were brought into the House of Peers, in Nov. 1680; All Souls' Coll. Oxf. MS. ccxxiii, f.1."

"List of Chamberlains and Justiciaries of North Wales; Brit. Jus. Lansd. MS. 1218, f.64; Add. MS. 5485, f. 204."

"Justices of Peace for Wales; Brit. Mus. Lansd. MSS. 35, art. 40; 737, f. 149 - Harl. MS. 1933."

"List of Sheriffs of Brecknockshire, 1539 - 1717; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2289, f. 340."

"List of Bayliffs, Recorders, and Alderman of Brecknock, 1556 - 1715; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2289, f. 344."

"Names of Justices of the Peace in Co. Cardigan, Carmarthen, and Pembroke, 1587; Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 53, art. 87."

"Names of the Sheriffs of Denbigh, from 1541 to 1682; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2122, art. 32."

"List of High Sheriffs of Monmouth, 1647 - 1653; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 5832, f.181."

"Survey of the Cathedral Church of Bangor; Jesus Coll. Oxf. MS. cxvi."

"Surveys of the Cathedral Churches of Bangor, Llandaff, St.Asaph, and St. David's, by Browne Willis, were printed at London in the years 1721, 1718, 1720, and 1717, in 8 vo."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Early Welsh Documents (Part V)

This continues the series of posts (Part V) on early Welsh documents that deal with genealogy.

"A Display of Coat Armours now in use in the Six Counties of North Wales, by J. Davies. Salop, 1716. 12 mo."

"Arms of the Princes, Noblemen, and Gentlemen of Wales; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 15,018, f.307".

"Arms of the Founders of Welsh Families; Brit. Mus. Harl. MSS. 1143; 1370; 1386; 1946".

"Arms of Welsh Families, sixteenth cent. ; Ashm. Lib. MS 32. - Brit. Mus. Harl. MSS. 1441, ff. 14-39; 1933; 4291; 6122".

"Arms of divers old Welsh Families, A.D. 1580; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 1961".

"Arms of Flintshire Families, by Chaloner, 1670; Coll. of Arms, MS. D.26".

"A Book of all the Justices of the Peace in England and Wales; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 7512, art.3".

"Names of Justices of Assize, Counsellors of the North, Counsellors of the Marches of Wales, Sheriffs, & c., A.D. 1562; Brit Mus. Lansd MS. 1218, f.64".

"Names of Gentlemen in Commission for the Peace in England and Wales, 1582; Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 35, art.40".

"Liber Pacis, or a List of Nobility and Gentry in England and Wales, qualified to act as Justices of Peace, circ. 1584; Brit. Mus. Lansd. MS. 737, f.149".

"List of Justices of Peace in England and Wales, circ. 1680; All Soul's Coll. Oxf. MS. ccxxiii".

"Shropshire: List of High Sheriffs for Shropshire, 1647-1653; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 5832, f.181". [Shropshire not officially part of Wales, but was part of Marches.]

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Early Welsh Documents (Part IV)

This continues a series of posts on Welsh documents that deal with Heraldic Collections, pedigrees, and genealogies of Welsh families prior to 1850s. The first three posts record mostly Welsh Pedigrees. The following references deal with a variety of topics dealing mostly with Welsh documents.

"Heraldic Visitations of Wales and part of the Marches, between 1586 and 1613, by Lewys Dwnn, ed. by Sir Samuel R. Meyrick; 2 vols. 4 to. Printed by the Welsh MSS. Society." [1st published 1846.]

"The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with their Descendents, Sovereigns, and Subjects, by J. and J.B. Burke. 2 vols, Lond. 1847-51. 8 vo."

"An Account of the Princes of Wales, from the first institution till Prince Henry, by R. Connak. 8 vo. 1751"

"The Royal Tribes of Wales, by P. Yorke, Wrexham, 1799. 4vo."

"Names and Arms of the Ancient Nobility and Knights of England and Wales, temp. Henry III. See the 'Antiquarian Repertory', vol. i."

"Descents of many of the Nobility and Gentry of Wales; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 1975."

"Thomas's Collections for a 'Genealogical History of the Ancient Nobility and Gentry of Wales'; Brit. Mus. Harl. MSS. 6823; 6831; 6870."

"The Originals and Desents of the Nobility, Barony, and Gentry, in the Realme of England and Principality of Wales, by Richard Butcher, Gent.; fol. pap.; St. John's Coll.Camb. MSS. H.3; 4."

"Wales; Book of Funerals in North Wales, &c., A.D. 1600 and 1606; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2041; Lansd. MS. 879."

"Monumental Inscriptions upon Archbishops and Bishops of England and Wales, collected by John Le Neve; Brit. Mus. Harl. MSS. 6407; 6414; 6416."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Early Welsh Document (Part III)

This continues the series on early Welsh documents that deal with genealogy. Its source is from the text by Richard Sims written in 1850 titled "A Manual for The Genealogist...". [See the two previous posts.]

"Arms and Descents of Welsh Families, temp. Hen. VII; ASHM. LIB. MS 32." [Not sure what the abbreviations for ASHM. LIB. represents. Anyone know, please post comment.]

"Copies of some Pedigrees in Fellows' Visitation of Wales in 1530; Coll. of Arms, MS. F. 9."

"Pedigrees from the Visitation of Wales, by Lewys Dwnn, edited by Sir Samuel R. Meyrick. 2 vols. Printed by the Welsh MSS. Society."

"Pedigrees of a few Welsh Families, compiled about 1587; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 12, 471."

"A Collection of Welsh Pedigrees, compiled circ. 1590: Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 18,114."

"Welsh and Anglo-Saxon Genealogies in Welsh, seventeenth cent.; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 19,761."

"Descent of divers Noble Houses springing from Wales, eighteenth cent.; Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 14,914."

"List of Esquires in England and Wales; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 6804, art. 104."

"Willis's Collections for a History of Bangor; Jesus Coll. Oxf. MSS. cxv.; cxvi."

"Collection of Welsh Pedigrees, chiefly of Families of Brecknockshire; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2289."

"Pedigrees of Families of Carnarvonshire; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 2300."

"History of Glamorganshire, by Rice Merrick, 1578; Queen's Coll. Oxf. MS. cclxxxviii. Privately printed by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart."

"A full Description of the County of Pembroke, containing some curious matter; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 6250."

"Descents and Arms of Pembrokeshire Families; Brit. Mus. Harl. MS. 6824."

"A Visitation of Pembrokeshire in 1671; Chetham Lib. MS. 6715."

"Observations on the Snowdon Mountains, with a Genealogical Account of the Penrhyn Families, by W. Williams. Lond. 1802. 8vo."