Tag Archives: Tudors

Roger Waters’ Family Tree – The EL Cid connection

elcidFurthering my research into the family tree of Pink Floyd front-man Roger Waters, I discovered that his ancestor, Helen Paterson had a very interesting ancestry herself, leading to connections with royal families from Scotland, Wales, England, France and Spain if not more. To re-cap from my previous post, she married the Rev. William Morrice (1730-1809) on 6 December 1763, a daughter of the Rev. James Paterson (1702-1789) minister of Coull, and Jane/Jean Turing (1712-1784) who herself was a daughter of a minister, Walter Turing (Johnston, p.181). Helen died on 20 April 1817 aged 73 and had 17 children (Johnston, p.181).

One of them was Isabella who interestingly married a William Roger (Johnston, p.183), possibly of the same family as the one that her sister Jane Morrice, Roger Waters’ ancestor, married into, namely Rev. John Roger (Johnston, p.182). During my research into this post I discovered that two of Jane and John Roger’s children emigrated to commonwealth destinations; the Rev. John Morrice Roger was a Presbyterian minister in Canada[1] and Walter Roger passed away in New South Wales (Johnston, p.182). The latter was married and had two children. Their brother, Robert Roger (d. 1869), became an engineer and was Roger Waters’ great-great grandfather.

Three sons of William and Helen also departed to foreign climes. James (1745-1798) who practiced as a physician in Jamaica, and Robert (b. 1769) and David (b. 1775), as planters (Johnston, p.183). From the same source I discovered also that the three had two uncles living in Jamaica.[2] A patient trawl through some old genealogical books will reveal that we can go further back in history and discover some illustrious names that Helen Paterson was descended from.

Now, I’ve been down this path with my own family history research and part of my interest in researching this tree was finding whether I shared some ancestors with Roger Waters. Going back in time as much as I have I was confident that this would be the case. For this particular post I was keen to determine whether Rogers’ family history included some of my own ancestors in Spain[3]. The research took me back to the same historical periods that I have gone with my own family, which helped me cut back some research time. I hope to continue to write about these interesting historical characters in Waters’ family history in future posts. But in this instance I was particularly interested whether I could find proof that we both have a connection to Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, otherwise known as El Cid. Some of you will know that the American actor, Charlton Heston, played the famous Spanish nobleman in the epic film of the same name released in 1961.

My research has revealed at least two lineages from Helen Paterson that eventually led to a connection with El Cid. One of her great-great grandmothers was Grizel Brodie who married Robert Dunbar[4] on the 7 September 1654 (Burke, p.596). Robert’s ancestry is rich with medieval Scottish kings[5] and will be the subject of a future post. Grizel was the daughter of Alexander Brodie[6] and Elizabeth Innes who were married on 28 October 1635 (Burke, p.596). Elizabeth died 12 August, 1640, but by then she had also produced a son, James (Burke, p.596). Her parents were Robert Innes and Grizel Stewart (Burke, p. 596) and this is where the research gets a little more exciting. Grizel Stewart turns out to be a great grandchild of King James V of Scotland! Here’s how.

Grizel’s parents were James Stewart[7] (nicknamed the bonny earl of Moray) and Elizabeth Stewart, the daughter of James Stewart, an illegitimate son of James V (Debrett, p.517)  by his well documented mistress Lady Margaret Erskine (Cheetham, p.59). The King’s son was created the 1st Earl of Moray and became a chief advisor for his half sister, Mary Queen of Scots (Meline, p. 42-43), the mother of James VI of Scotland who became James I of England in 1603. His wife was Agnes Keith[8], married on 8 February, 1562 (Knox, p.314[in footnote]) and I found her ancestry leads to James I of Scotland and Lady Joan Beaufort, and through Joan down to King Edward III of England. This means that there is a another connection to the Royal families of France and Spain, and therefore  a connection to El Cid too. So both husband and wife were descendants of El Cid. I could show how they are fully connected, and I will, but essentially because King Edward III of England was both their ancestor, the path to El Cid will be the same from this particular monarch. The direct line that I have traced goes through Edward III’s mother, the treacherous Isabella of France (1295-1358)[9].

So, if we look at James Stewart’s line first…

His paternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, wife of King James IV of Scotland, and daughter of King Henry VII of England (Mortimer, p.169). Her Welsh ancestry will certainly lead to many notable figures who are included in the family trees of  both Waters and myself, and having Owen Tudor as an ancestor a future post will reveal the many connections that Walters’ has in Welsh history.

The period before Margaret Tudor’s father won the English crown on the field at Bosworth was quite a turbulent time in English history with as many episodes of intrigue, murder and plotting to fill an Agatha Christie novel. King Henry VII, Henry Tudor, claimed the throne in 1485 because of his ancestry to King Edward III, his

great-great-great-great grandfather,  who ruled England and Wales from 1327 to 1377 (Unwin, p.4). In fact it is generally known that Henry knew that he didn’t have much of a claim, but legitimised his action by claiming the throne through defeating the current King, Richard III in battle. However, it can be said that his wife Elizabeth (1466-1503) had a greater claim for the throne of England. By marrying Elizabeth, Henry strengthened his own eligibility. Two years previously, he had vowed to marry her, with the support of anti-Richard Yorkists, who hoped that Elizabeth would be Queen of England, and Henry her consort (Pendrill, p. 84). Her father was King Edward IV (1442-1483) and when he died, and with the disappearance of her younger brothers, Edward and Richard, she could have staked her claim to be Queen of England[10]. With the young princes out of the way, Richard, an uncle to Elizabeth, grabbed the throne and declared all the children of Edward IV illegitimate thus making them ineligible to be considered as heirs[11]. He consequently seized the throne and became King Richard III.

It was he was the one that lost the crown and his life that day on Bosworth Field; he is depicted by historians as a murderer of children and a conniving individual who manipulated events to make sure that he became King. It is with some irony that Henry Tudor, had to slay his future brother-in-law, then married Elizabeth, thus uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York and ending the devastating period in our history that we now designate as The Wars of the Roses.

His mother was Margaret Beaufort, the Countess of Richmond, his father Edmund Tudor, son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois (Lehman, p.257-259) .  Her father was the 1st Duke of Somerset, John Beaufort (1403-1444) a grandson of John of Gaunt, 3rd son on King Edward III. At the death of the King, the English throne was passed to the only legitimate individual, Richard II, Edward’s grandson, who ruled from 1377 to 1399.[12] His untimely death at the hands of Henry Bolingbroke, his cousin, who then took the throne from him, produced a succession of troubled reigns, devastated by wars, legitimacy and economic problems which eventually bankrupted the country, until Henry Tudor came and restored order to the kingdom[13].

So, the ancestral line from James Stewart to Edward III is as follows:

James Stewart – King James V – Margaret Tudor – King Henry VII – Margaret Beaufort – John Beaufort – John Beaufort – John of Gaunt – Edward III

Now, let’s turn to Agnes Keith’s ancestry to Edward III…

Her parents were William Keith (died 1581) and Margaret Keith, the daughter of another William Keith, the younger (Almon, p.324). Agnes’s paternal grandfather was Lord Robert Keith who married Lady Elizabeth Douglas, the daughter of John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton and Janet Crichton (Burke, p.303). Robert and Elizabeth may have been 2nd cousins, but I didn’t find any proof of this[14]. John Douglas fought and was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513[15]. His parents were James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton and Princess Joan of Scotland (c.1428-1486), daughter of James I of Scotland and Lady Joan of Beaufort (1404-1445)[16]. Joan was unfortunately afflicted with being deaf as well as not being able to talk. She was known as the muta domina [mute lady of Dalkeith] (Maxwell, p. 238).

Joan Beaufort was the daughter of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and Margaret Holland (French, p.148).  John was the son of John of Gaunt, 3rd son of Edward III of England. Here we arrive at a full circle to the ancestry of both James and Agnes[17].

To simplify, this is the ancestral line from Agnes Keith to Edward III:

Agnes Keith – William Keith – Robert Keith – John Douglas – Joan of Scotland – Lady Joan Beaufort – John Beaufort – John of Gaunt – Edward III

Let’s now have a look at the ancestral journey towards El Cid from King Edward III.

Edward’s bride was Philippa of Hainault, a province in modern day Belgium, south of what was then Flanders. Her parents were William I, Count of Hainault (Strickland [1848], p.173) and Joan of Valois (Edgar, p.75). Edward’s parents were Edward II (1284-1330) and Isabella of France (1295-1358), and she was notoriously involved in the deposition of her husband with the help of her lover Roger Mortimer (Haines, p. 190), and both later arranged the king to be murdered[18]. This Roger Mortimer was hanged at Tyburn for his role in the Edward II affair and was the son of my direct ancestor Sir Edmund de Mortimer (1251-1304) who was involved in the death of Llewelyn the Last, who perished in the Battle of Orewin Bridge on 11 December, 1282[19].

It is quite a sobering thought that one of my ancestors was responsible for the demise of Wales’ last Prince. The death of Llewelyn signalled the beginning of English domination in Wales under King Edward I.

Isabella’s parents were Phillip IV of France (1268-1314) and Joan I of Navarre[20]. Philip was known as ‘the fair’ (Philippe le Bel)[21] and after marrying Joan he became King Philip I of Navarre and Count of Champagne. He was responsible for the demise of The Knights Templar, of whom he was heavily in debt (Robertson, p. 132). In 1314, he ordered Jacques de Molay, the leader of the Templars, and Geoffroi de Charney[22] to be burned at the stake on an island in the middle of the River Seine in Paris (Demurger, p. 227). Before he died, de Molay (who has been rumoured by some to be the image left on the Shroud of Turin[23]) cursed those who passed sentence on him, Philip and Pope Clement V, and both were dead within the year, Philip died during a hunting expedition (Robinson, p. 473).

Joan’s parents were Henry I (c.1244-1274), nicknamed ‘the fat’ (Chepmell, p. 404), and Blanche of Artois (1248-1302), a daughter of Robert I of Artois and Matilda of Brabant (DeBacker, p. 245). Robert was a brother of King Louis IX of France and son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile (1188-1252) (Newman, p. 120). Blanche was a daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) and his wife Eleanor of England, daughter of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine (Swabey, p.97).

Joan, barely a year old when her father Henry I of Navarre died, found herself and her mother under the protection of the court of Philip III of France, where at the young age of 11 married the king’s son, the future Philip IV, and the following year, 1285, became Queen of France (Fegley, p.68). Her three sons would eventually be kings of France, and her daughter Isabella, Queen of England[24].

If I go back to Henry I of Navarre’s ancestry I found that his father was Theobald I of Navarre (1201-1263), the first Frenchman to rule over Navarre (Wikipedia), and his mother, Margaret of Bourbon. He was also known as Theobald IV of Champagne. His son Theobald V died young[25] which meant Henry became King of Navarre. Tragically, Henry’s infant son was dropped accidentally from the castle wall in 1283[26] which left Joan as heir to the throne of Navarre (Chepmell, p. 404).

Theobald III (1178-1201) ruled the region of Champagne and he inherited the Kingdom of Navarre when he married Blanca Sanchez (born c.1181), the daughter of Sancho VI and Sancha of Castile (Koch and Schoell, p.53). Blanca was a sister to

Berengaria, wife of King Richard I of England (Strickland [1841], p. 21) and to Sancho VII (O’Callaghan, p. 680). It is at this point when my ancestry joins that of Roger Waters’. His ancestor Sancho VI was the brother of Blanche of Navarre, my direct ancestor, and wife of Sancho III King of Castile and Toledo. Their father was Garcia Ramirez of Navarre (1099-1150) who was the husband of Marguerite l’Aigle (Daniell, p.55).

We are now only two generations from El Cid. Garcia’s parents were Ramiro Sanchez, Lord of Monzon and Christina Rodriguez (Burke [1900], p.193), the daughter of El Cid, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar and Ximena Diaz, who were married in 1074[27] (Southey, p.6).

So, here is the ancestral line from King Edward III to El Cid:

Edward III-Isabella of France-Joan of Navarre-Henry I of Navarre-Theobald I of Navarre- Blanca Sanchez of Navarre- Sancho VI of Navarre-Garcia Ramirez of Navarre-Christina Rodriquez-Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (El Cid)

Regarded as one of the most revered heroes of Spanish history, El Cid accumulated an impressive military career which comprised of periods of service with both the Christian armies of the kingdoms of Spain and the Muslim forces of the Moors. He pledged allegiance to Sancho II, the son of Ferdinand the Great, King of Castile and Leon, but when his eldest son, Sancho, was assassinated (allegedly organised by his brother Alfonso) he had no choice but to serve he who would become Alfonso VI. Rodrigo fought Alfonso’s battles but angered the King by fighting without permission in Grenada and spent some years in exile during which time he  fought with the Moors who in those times ruled Zaragosa, against the rulers of Aragon and Barcelona. It must be remembered that Spain at this time was split into various kingdoms, and that the southern parts of the country were controlled by the Moors.

But he returned to Alfonso when he desperately needed his services.  By this time El Cid had plans of his own. He formed his own army which comprised of both Christians and Moors. He no longer wished to fight for Kings but for himself, and prepared to take the city of Valencia, which was at the time was under Moorish control. He and his wife succeeded in taking over the city and keeping it in Christian hands until 1102. El Cid died on the 10 July, 1099. By all accounts he died from wounds in battle. When Valencia fell to the Moors in 1102, it is said that Ximena dressed the corpse of Rodrigo in his battle dress and rode it back to Burgos, his birthplace, where they both eventually were to lay under the cathedral of that city.

Footnotes
[1] Died at Peterborough, Ontario, January 1878, aged 70 (Johnston, 1894).
[2] John and James Paterson had already established medical practices in Jamaica long before the Morrice  brothers arrived (Johnston, 1894).
[3] I have outlined my ancestry to El Cid on a Facebook page and can be found here. A more detailed account will be posted on this blog.
[4] Robert was knighted by King Charles II of England.
[5] Ancestor includes Robert the Bruce.
[6] Alexander Brodie died in 1679 and wrote a diary which was published in 1740 (Burke (1838), p.596).
[7] The 2nd Earl of Moray. Murdered on 17th February, 1592  by George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly (Almon, p.96).
[8] Daughter of the richest man in Scotland at the time, William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (Burke, p.303 [1866]).
[9] Daughter of Philippe IV of France and Joan of Navarre (Strickland, p.231).
[10] Her brother, Edward became king for a mere 83 days and mysteriously disappeared along with another brother, Richard after they were sent to stay at the Tower of London, supposedly under the protection of their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. After their supposed deaths, Elizabeth became Edward IV heir.
[11] One of his first acts as King of England was to make Parliament create a statute declaring Edward IV marriage legal again, thus restoring Elizabeth’s legitimacy.
[12] He became King because Edward III’s eldest son, Edward ‘The Black Prince’, predeceased his father. Richard married twice but did not produce an heir.
[13] Henry Tudor was often accused of taxing his people for wars that never occurred, and always with an agenda of accumulating wealth for the crown, by any means (Vickers and Bacon, xxvi).
[14] As far as my research can gather, Lord Robert Keith’s great-grandmother was Elizabeth Crichton, perhaps related to Elizabeth’s mother, Janet.
[15] As was Lord Robert Keith and his brother William (Burke, p. 303 [1866]).
[16] Dissertation Upon “Male Heirs” When Used as a Clause of Reminder in Grants of Scotch Peerages (Sinclair, p.98).
[17] James and Agnes’ common ancestors were John Beaufort and his wife Margaret Holland, the parents of John Beaufort (1st Duke of Somerset) [James] and Joan Beaufort [Agnes].
[18] Mortimer was accused of agreeing for Edward II to be suffocated (Haines, p.216).
[19] Reports suggest that he was lured by Edmund, his brother Roger and Hugo le Strange to a spot where he became isolated from the rest of his forces (Fryde, p.39).
[20] Agnes and Elizabeth Strickland, p.231-232 (1840).
[21] His half-sister Margaret was the 2nd wife of King Edward I of England.
[22] His nephew was to put the Turin Shroud on public display about 1355 (Danver, p.107).
[23] Oxley, p. 9.
[24] Louis X of France (1289-1316); Philip V of France (1293-1322); Charles IV (1294-1328),
[25]  He died childless whilst on Crusade in Sicily in 1270 (Chepmell, p. 404).
[26] His governor and nurse were throwing him to each other in play when the former missed the infant, and was killed himself from falling off the battlements trying in vain to catch him.
[27] Falk, p.470.
 

Bibliography

Genealogical Account of the descendants of James Young, merchant Burgess of Aberdeen and Rachel Cruickshank his wife, 1697-1893, William Johnston (1894).

A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Vol.3, John Burke (1838).

Debrett’s Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland revised, corrected and continued, John Debrett (1840).

Mary Queen of Scots and her latest English Historian: A Narrative of  the Principal Events in the Life of Mary Stuart, James Florant Meline (1872).

On The Trail of Mary Queen of Scots, J. Keith Cheetham(1999).

A Genealogical History of the Dormant: Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct …, Sir Bernard Burke (1866).

The Peerage of Scotland: a genealogical and historical of all the Peers of that Ancient Kingdom…, John Almon (1767).

The works of John Knox, Volume 2, Jon Knox (1848).

Lives of the Queens of England, from The Norman Conquest, Agnes and Elizabeth Strickland (1840).

A New History of England, from the earliest accounts of Britain to the ratification of the Peace of Versailles, 1763, Vol. 2,  Thomas Mortimer (1765).

The Making of the United Kingdom, Robert Unwin (1996).

The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII, Colin Pendrill (2004).

Lives of England’s Reigning and Consort Queens, H. Eugene Lehman (2011).

Dissertation Upon “Male Heirs” When Used as a Clause of Reminder in Grants of Scotch Peerages, Alexander Sinclair (1837).

A History of the House of Douglas: From the Earliest Times Down to the Legislative Union of England and Scotland, Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, Vol. 1 (1902).

Bacon: The History of the Reign of King Henry VII, ed. Brian Vickers (1998).

The Ancestry of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and of His Royal Highness Prince Albert, George Russell French (1841).

Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest, Volume 2, Agnes Strickland (1848).

Noble dames of ancient story, John George Edgar (1864).

King Edward II: His Life, His Reign, and Its Aftermath, 1284-1330, Roy Martin Haines (2003).

The True Christian Gospel, Orlando A. Robertson (2012).

The Last Templar: The Tragedy of Jacques de Molay,  Alain Demurger (2009).

The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin,  Mark Oxley (2010).

Popular Controversies in World History,  ed. Steven L. Danver (2010).

Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades,  John J. Robinson (1992).

The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with Their Descendants,  John Burke (1848).

The Revolutions of Europe: being an historical view of the European nations , Christophe Koch and Maximillian Samson Friedrich Schoell (1839).

History epitomised and contemporised; or, Historiæ Sententiæ,  E. M. Newman (1862).

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Courtly Love, and the Troubadours, Ffiona Swabey (2004).

Gathering Leaves,  D. M. DeBacker (2008).

Lives of the Queens of England, Vol.2,  Agnes Strickland (1841).

A History of Medieval Spain, Joseph F. O’Callaghan (1983).

The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II 1321-1326, Natalie Fryde (2004).

The Golden Spurs of Kortrijk: How the Knights of France Fell to the Foot Soldiers of Flanders in 1302,Randall Fegley (2002).

A History of Spain from the earliest times to the death of Ferdinand the Catholic Vol.1, Ulick Ralph Burke (1900).

From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066–1215, Christopher Daniell (2013).

Chronicle of the Cid, R.Southey (1808).

A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews, Avner Falk (1996).

Advertisements

Some old posts from a previous blog – part 1

BpWilliamMorganAround 2007 I started my first ever blog and included anything and everything in it including some research I started from my discovery of my ancestral connection to Bishop William Morgan, the 16th century translator of the Hebrew Bible to the Welsh language. The following post is as I wrote it at that time.

In the last 3 weeks I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to delve into my family history like I have never delved before. The information I have gathered is, in a word, amazing, and it seems unbelievable that ordinary me could be related to such notable figures in history. And not only Welsh history but European. My research has led me to the great Welsh leader Rhodri Mawr, as well as French kings such as Henri I and Hugh Capet. As to the English monarchy I get as close as to a half brother to Henry II (Hamelin Plantagenet) and links with the family of Henry Tudor. However, for this post I am going to write about my research on my Welsh ancestors and show how I got there.

It all started when I bought the book ‘Bywyd ac Amserau Yr Esgob Morgan’  (Life and Times of the Bishop William Morgan) by Charles Ashton, published in 1891, and bought from Abebooks on the internet. This is the book that I had been after for many years because I needed it to confirm my family link to Bishop William Morgan, something that I knew but wanted proof. And there it was. A family tree, just after page 115, showing my great great great grandfather Owen Evans and his wife Jane Hughes, and his parents being Margaret Morgan and Owen Evan of Ty’n Ddol, Ffestiniog. Margaret’s lineage was exactly as I thought it would be, her father being William Ellis Morgan. It was his brother, John, whose papers that Ashton relied on, and the tree descended all the way to Bishop William Morgan. At last I can feel sure that I am truly a decendent of this great man’s family, though others had known this but I wanted to see physical proof for myself. It was at this point that I noticed that Ashton indicated on the tree that the bishop had a son, Evan Morgan, also a man of the cloth. Now this has been a contentious issue with genealogists as some claim that he was a nephew of William Morgan rather than his son, which to be fair Ashton points this out. I had always assumed up to now that Evan was his nephew because I hadn’t seen any evidence that William had a son. He was married twice so the chance of producing at least 1 child must be high, you would think. Ashton’s reasoning is based on the known appointments and places that William Morgan had been. For instance, it is known that he was at Cambridge University from 1564,and was there for, I think, 7 years. Considering that Evan’s first appointment was at Llanrhaiadr-y-Mochnant in 1588 (taking over from William in fact), Ashton deduces that he was likely to have been born around 1564. If he was born after William came back from Cambridge, Evan would have been 16 taking up this first post, a highly unlikely scenario. However, his does not rule out the possibility that Evan was the son of one of William Morgan’s brothers, but Ashton was basing his research from the family papers held by John Ellis Morgan, a gggg grandson to William, so it seems more likely to be correct. If this is the case then William Morgan was married to Ellen Salesbury, who was related to that other famous translator, William Salesbury. Her family tree is also included in Ashton’s book and he has managed to trace it back to Adam de Salzburg, a relative of a Duke in Bavaria. Because of the uncertainty of the parentage of Evan, I cannot for certain rely on my connection to Ellen’s ancestors. However, the Salesbury (or Salusbury) connection re-emerges later in my research.

So, Evan Morgan seemed to be the logical choice to research, and I was lucky enough to use Ashton’s research again. In his book he states that Evan was married to Catherine daughter of John ap Rhys Wynn of Caer Ddinen, and Mary, who was a daughter of Baron Lewis Owen (or Lewys ap Owen). This seemed an interesting path to follow so I started looking on the internet for these people.

I must point out here that there are literally thousands’s of out of copyright books available for either download or to view, for free from Google books and www.archive.org, which have fantastic information for genealogical purposes. Well worth checking if you have relatively well-known people in your family history. There is, of course, a reliance that the information written in these books are correct, but they do seem to have based their research on primary sources (original manuscripts) so we must assume that they are.

I quickly found Lewis Owen. He wasn’t hard to find because he was regarded as one of the most well known men in Merionethshire in the time of the Tudors. He was appointed deputy-chamberlain of North Wales and baron of the exchequer at Caernarfon. He was also sheriff of Merioneth in 1545-6 and 1554-5, and MP for Merioneth in 1547, 1553 and 1554. On October 11th or 12th, 1555 he was murdered by the ‘Red bandits of Mawddwy’ at a place still called ‘Llidart y barwn, near Mallwyd in Merionethshire. Apparantly it was a revenge killing because Lewis had caught, tried and hung a few of the bandits just before. His wife was Margaret Puleston, daughter of Robert Puleston, rector of Gresford and Whitford (Burke’s Peerages). From another source, she is said to be not only the daughter of Robert but also the niece of Sir John Puleston of Hafod y Wern, Bersham. The first Puleston from Hafod was a Madog Puleston (Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales, Thomas Nicholas,p. 455, vol.2) and his father was Robert Puleston who married Lowri, sister to Owain Glyndwr. As a proud Welshman, this connection gladdens my heart! To have Owain as a distant uncle is fantastic. I discovered more when I looked into the family of Owain’s mother, Ellen. She was the daughter of Thomas ap Llewelyn, whose ancestry I will discuss later. Thomas had another daughter, Margaret, who married Tudur Fychan ap Goronwy of Plas Penmynydd, Anglesey. At this point I knew that there was going to be another important connection. Penmynydd is synomenous with the ancestry of Owain Tudor the grandfather of King Henry VII, and so he turns out to be my 4th cousin, 16x removed. There are a few more lines to investigate in this period, which I will no doubt look into in time.

Going back to Thomas ap Llewelyn (ggg grandfather to Henry Tudor), I followed his ancestry using the various Rootsweb family trees that are available on the net. Now, caution should be taken when relying on these trees because it is research carried out by others and who knows where they have got their information from. On at least 2 occasions I was led to believe that I was related to William the Conqueror because of mistakes made from these trees. There is an awful lot of copying on the genealogical net and a quick search on Rootsweb will reveal identical info on numerous trees. There is also a temptation for some to claim direct ancestry to noble and royal families because it would be difficult to DISPROVE those findings. Not many would bother to check to see they’re right. The reason I’ve taken so long to write this post is because I’ve checked and re-checked my information, and I want to find the TRUTH about my ancestors, and not find out out later that it was not the case. I am reminded here of John Hurt’s experience on the BBC programme ‘Who do you think you are’. He always believed that he was descended from Irish ancestry, which he was very proud of, only to find that one of these ancestors had lied about his birth. He was understandably angry and upset because he had always thought that he had Irish blood, which will have had an effect on how he perceived his ‘self’. The link between identity and ancestry can be very strong, and to John Hurt it must have felt that his very personality was based on a lie. Some of these submitters on Rootsweb may want to believe they are related to notable people, but I would rather find out who my real ancestors were, whether they were ordinary peasants or members of the aristocracy. They are all important and significant because they produced me and the family I love.

So, I rechecked these Rootsweb claims by reading up downloaded free books on the internet and believe I have found the true lineages that I am now writing about. By the way, one of the incorrect submissions on Rootsweb was a claim that Owain Glyndwr’s great grandmother was a Catherine, a daughter of Llewelyn ap Gruffydd (Llewelyn the Last) who married Eleanor de Montford, whose maternal grandfather was King John I, and this line leads to William the Conqueror. Llewelyn, as far as I know, only had one daughter, Gwenllian, who was whisked away to a nunnery by the English while still a baby, never to know her true roots. Despite finding a couple of authors writing in the early 19th century who state the existence of this Catherine, I think it’s not safe to pursue. If it was true then it would be a fantastic connection to not only King John but also the de Montforts, Eleanor of Aquitaine and the royal houses of France. I believe this to be false, but any direct links to Llewelyn is still possible because I haven’t explored all the lineages.

Anyway, the lineage of Thomas ap Llewelyn leads to Gruffydd ap Rhys who married Matilda de Braose, whose family I will write in a future post, who was the son of Rhys ap Gruffydd, The Lord Rhys. He was Prince of Deheubarth (modern day south west Wales) and Henry II appointed him the protector of South Wales. He, unfortunately, died of plague in 1197 and is buried at St. David’s Cathedral. His grandfather was Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of Deheubarth, and he was killed in the Battle of Brecon in 1093, probably fighting the English again. Protecting the borders of Wales then must have been as difficult as trying to save a sinking ship. When one area is patched up there is always another ready to leak through somewhere else. Rhys ap Tewdwr’s ggg grandfather was Hywel Dda (Hywel the Good), born circa. 887 and despite this apparent virtuous tag was regarded as quite ruthless. He even ordered the death of his brother-in-law, Llywarch of Dyfed. However, a great reign doesn’t get built by being soft. His most well known achievement was the creation of the Law of Wales which was the foundation of Welsh unity and identity. His grandfather was Rhodri Mawr (Rodri the Great)a famous warrior who defended Wales from especially the Danes, who had continuously raided Celtic coasts including Ireland and Brittany. He was killed, together with his son Gwriad, in a battle against the English in 877.

Archives that go further back before Rhodri’s time are a mixture of tales of myths and legends. Rhodri was supposed to be a descendent of Coel Hen (Old King Cole himself) and beyond this to Maelgwn Gwynedd and Cunedda and you are really in fantasy land perhaps. There’s one tree on Rootsweb that leads from Rhodri to a Roman called Padarn Beisrudd. It’s entirely plausible but difficult to prove. I’m quite happy with what I’ve found to date, and there are more discoveries to follow. The beauty of finding an ancestor who married into a notable family is that there is an excellent chance of finding more well known personalities. Such families liked to marry off their offspring to other families of equal status or better, and that has been the case with my ancestor Margaret Puleston. Bless her! The Pulestons originated from Pilsdon in Shropshire, but very soon were regarded as a Welsh family settling at Emral Hall, Flintshire. An early Puleston ancestor, Sir Roger de Pyvelisdon, was reponsible for collecting a tax from the Welsh to fund Edward I’s war with France. I can just imagine his face when the king told him what he had to do! It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it! Talk about walking into the lion’s den. As many I suppose predicted he and his assistants were grabbed and hung on the spot at Caernarfon. His son Sir Richard de Pyvelisdon married a daughter of a Warren from Warren Hall in Shropshire. This line of enquiry provided me with a very challenging research task, and all the reading I did paid off in a big way and will be the subject of my next post.

To finish off some loose ends, some interesting indirect connections.
Through Owain Glyndwr’s parents, I have a direct lineage to Gwenllian and Susanna, both daughters of Gruffydd ap Cynan, and sisters to Owain Gwynedd. He became King of Gwynedd after defeating Trahaearn ap Caradog at the battle of Mynydd Carn in 1081, and appears to have an alliance with my other ancestor, Rhys ap Tewdwr. Gruffydd was born in Dublin and his mother Ragnaillt was the daughter of the Norse king, Olaf Sigtryggsson (Olaf of Dublin). Through the wife of Gruffydd, Angharad ferch Owain ap Edwin, there is a link to the Earls of Mercia. Owain’s ggrandmother was Godgifu, Lady Godiva. So, through these lineages I have links to the Vikings. I have discovered other Viking links through Normandy connections as well but that is for another post.

If we go back to Rhys ap Tewdwr, he had a daughter named Nest. Reputedly she was so beautiful that men could not resist her, which happened quite often. She was a mistress to Henry I and produced a son. She married Gerald of Windsor and had 5 children with him. Her cousin, Owain ap Cadwgan took one look at her and decided to kidnapped her and her children, with Gerald escaping with his life going down the toilet! Quite appropriate in regards to the way his life was going I think. While in captivity she had 2 more children with Owain, who in real Mills and Boon fashioned was killed by the vengeful husband not long after. She next married Stephen, constable of Cardigan and had Robert FitzStephen. One of her grandsons was Gerald of Wales the historian, better known by his Lain name Geraldus Cambrensis.