Although the family is recorded very much as Welsh, it started off in ‘Britain’, which was an amalgamation of the two islands speaking a common Celtic language also used in ‘Europe’. It would seem that the 'kingships' held were mainly in the Midlands area and it is thought that perhaps the ancient town of Ludlow could derive from Lludd Llaw Ereint and perhaps Gloucester from Gloyw Gwallthir.
Before and during the Roman occupation they were Kings of Britain who, if not defeated by Rome, had to pay homage and rule under the Romans.
When the Romans left these shores they left a ‘High King’ or ‘Over King’ known as Vortigern, whose real name was thought to be Gwrtheyrn but, as was the custom in those days, was known by a description and became Vortigern Vorteneu meaning ‘High King – The Thin’ in Latin and Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu in Celtic Welsh. Unfortunately this was also the man who invited the Saxons to help defend the country, leading to much internal war and strife before intermixing to make the population Anglo-Saxon.
Because many people had the same or similar names the ‘descriptive’ name becomes very important in following an ancestral lineage; many having confused Brochfael c500 with Brochwel, who fought and died at the battle of Derva (Chester) in 613.
So the family tree starts as follows :-
1 Beli Mawr (The Great), King of Britain c110 BC
1 Beli Mawr (The Great), King of Britain c110 BC
+ Don ferch Matonwy.
2 Lludd Llaw Ereint (Silver Handed), King of Britain, c80 BC
3 Afallach ap Lludd, King, c45 BC
4 Euddolen ap Afallach, King, c12 BC
5 Eudos ap Euddolen, c35 AD
6 Eifydd ap Eudos, c80
7 Eudeyrn ap Eifydd, c125
8 Eeuddigan ap Eudeyrn, c170.
9 Rhodri ap Euddigan, c210
10 Gloyw Gwallthir (Long Hair), c250
11 Gwidolin ap Gloyw, c290
12 Gwidol ap Gwidolin, c330
13 Vortigern (Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheneu) (The Thin), High King of Britain, c 370 – 459
+ Severa ferch Macsen, c370
14 Gwerthefyr ferch Gwrtheyrn, c400
14 Vortimer Fendigaid (The Blessed), King of Gwerthefyriwg, c402 – 460
14 Cadeyern Fendigaid (The Blessed), King of Powys, c404 – 447
This is our
ancester and starts the next Family Tree
14 Pasgen ap Gwrtheyrn, King of Buellt and Gwerthrynion, c406
14 Brydw ap Gwrtheyrn, c408
14 St. Edeyrn ap Gwrtheyrn, c410
+ Rowena of Kent, c405
14 Daughter (ferch) Gwrtheyrn / Rowena, c400
15 St. Madrun ferch Gwerthefyr, c440
+ Ynyr Gwent, King of Gwent, c430
Starting B.C. it must be realised that before Christianity people worshipped gods such as the Sun. A king was the king of everything that was known, so was also king of the sun and should also be worshipped. When Christianity was introduced these practices gradually died out, but took decades.
Beli (or Belenos) had the descriptive title added of Mawr (the Great). He was said to be a King Of Britain who ruled in ‘Middle Britain’, but was also said to be the God of the Sun, so much so that bonfires were lit on May 1st. to herald the coming of the the ‘sun season’ or summer. Beli’s wife was Anu.
LLUDD LLAW EREINT.
This son of Beli, Lludd Llaw Ereint (Lludd the Silver Handed) was known as the God of Healing and was known in Ireland as Nuadu. His symbol was a dog, whose lick was supposed to cure. A shrine was built to him at Llud’s Island (Lydney in Gloucestershire) where models of diseased limbs were offered. He lost a hand himself in battle and Gofannon, a smith, made a new one for him out of silver, so giving him his ‘title’. Loss of the hand forced him to hand over to his nephew Lleu Llaw Gyffes (the Skillful Handed).
He ruled the Celtic heaven of Avalon and lived with his daughter Modron. Avalon was supposed to be an island where apples grew and after which it was named.
When the Romans left Britain leading up to 450 they left Vortigern as ‘High King’ of Britain. He is said to have had regional rulers that, being a weak man, he was afraid would supplant him, so set about murdering them and their families, all except two. The two were small babies, Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon, who were too small to threaten him. They were whisked away and brought up in Brittany. He married Severa, the daughter of Magnus Maximus, after whom the Severn river was later named.
Nervous that the Romans may return and being troubled by Jutes and Saxons, led by Hengist and Horsa, he came to an agreement with these two to defend the country in exchange for the city of Caer Correi (Caistor, Lincolnshire). Hengist and Horsa later tricked Vortigern out of Ceint (Kent) in exchange for Hengist’s daughter Rowena.
Eventually Vortigern fought but was driven west into Wales where he met Merlin, of King Arthur fame, who told him such a story of fighting dragons that Vortigern fled. Ending up at a wooden castle at the hillfort of Caer Guorthigirn (Little Doward). It was later struck by lightening and Vortigern burnt to death.
By this time Ambrosius Aurelianus (Emrys Wledig) had risen to power to fight the Saxons.