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Genealogy Places of Interest


   I have in my possession a photocopy of a family tree headed 'Pedigree of Derwas Family prior to 1577' which I took from an original on loan to my mother, it was understood, from a solicitor's office. There are interesting notes endorsed on the side, which are referred to later and in other parts of the text. It seems that the second son of the 6th Lord of Nannau was Gruffydd Derwas, better known as Sir Gruffydd Vychan above if my investigation is correct.

So at this point it is thought prudent to list the Lords of Nannau as follows: - Madog ap Cadwgan was 1st Lord of Nannau and was married to Efa, the daughter and heiress of Madog ap Philip ap Uchdryd, Lord of Cyfeiliog, ap Edwin ap Goronwy.

Their son Meurig was 2nd Lord and married Gwellian, daughter and heiress of Iorworth ap Peredur ap Ednowain ap Brddinen. (Is the Breiddon Hill taken from this name?).

A son Ynyr was 3rd Lord of Nannau and married Gwerfyl, daughter and heiress of Madog ap Wywarch or Hywarch or Llywarch.

Their son Ynyr Fychan was 4th Lord and married Gwellian, daughter of Gruffydd ap Gwen ap Goronwy ap Einion ap Seisyllt. The first border note applies here and reads :- "Amongst the positions preferred to Edward, Prince of Wales, at Kennington is one from Ynyr Fychan stating that the King had given him the Office of Raglon of the Cosnot of Tal-y-Bont for his service in taking Madog ap Llywelyn, who in the last war had made himself Prince of Wales." Edward the 1st made his son Prince of Wales in 1301.

Meurig, son of the above, was 5th Lord of Nannau and married Angharad, daughter of Gruffydd ap Owain ap Bleddyn ap Owain Brogyntyn. The second border note applies here and reads "His tomb on which is the following inscription is still to be seen in Dolgelly Church - 'Hic jacet in eurig Filius Ynyr Fychan'". An interpretation of this was sought by consulting a dictionary of Ancient English Use of Latin and the following discovered. HIC - Here in this place. JACET was not found but JACEN means - in abeyance. IN - in, final, entered, down in the earth. EURIG not found but EURUS - strong, mighty (usually as the wind). FILIUS - son of. So my interpretation would be 'Here in this place in the earth in abeyance is the mighty son of Ynyr Fychan'.

I am appreciative of the 'comments' received from readers and especially of Huw Evans who has pointed out that 'hic jacet' is a standard phrase on tombstones meaning 'here lies'. The if the 'in' of 'in eurig' was mistaken for an 'm', so making it 'meurig', the phrase would read 'here lies Meurig son of Ynyr Fychan'. As Huw points out, not as romantic but more factual.

Meurig Llwyd was 6th Lord of Nannau and married Mallt, daughter of Howell Pickhill ap David ap Goronwy ap Iorworth ap Howell ap Moreiddig ap Aardd, Lord of Mostyn. They had two sons, the first to carry on the family line and the second to establish the Derwas of Cemmaes line.

The first son was Howel Selyf (or Sele), 7th Lord of Nannau, who married Mali, daughter of Einion ap Gruffydd ap Llywelyn ap Lynuwrig ap Osbern Wyddel of Corsygedol, and their son Meurig Fychan became Lord of Nannau and founded the Vaughans of Nannau. Howel Selyf was a cousin of Owen Glyn Dwr but did not join his revolution.

A margin note reads 'Howel Selyf was slain by Owain Glyndwr and tradition says that his body was hidden in an oak tree at Nannau. See Scotts Marmion.' Howel Selyf died in 1402.

The second son was Gruffydd Derwas, Esquire of the Body to King Henry VI. My 'tree' shows him as being married once to Mabli, daughter and heiress of Ievan Lloyd ap Ieran Blayney, by whom he had a son and daughter.

The original text shows a second wife Angharad by whom he had a son Howel ap Gruffydd from whom are shown no further descendants. A margin note for Gruffydd says 'He was tutor and guardian to Meurig Vaughan (or Fychan) of Nannau, son of his brother Howel Selyf and was "the chiefest man in command in the county of Merioneth all his time" (as mentioned in a Roll at Peniarth). Returning to the son and daughter above the daughters' details are shown as Elin, wife of Jenkin ap Iorwerth ap Einion and the date 1494, with no further 'tree'. Of the son and his descendants the 'tree' and text agree that he was Gwillym ap Griffith Derwas who was married to Elizabeth, daughter of David Lloyd ap David ap Einion of Newtown and they had two sons and two daughters.  The two sons were Gruffydd and Gwilym and the one daughter Janet, all of whom no further is known.

The remaining daughter was Elen, who married Hugh Say of Pool on whom a margin note states 'A cadet (younger son) of the Norman family of De Say who came over with the Conqueror. An ancestor, Hugh Say, was constable of Pool Castle 1411, a contemporary of David Holbeck the founder of Oswestry Grammar School 1407'.

Elen had a daughter Anne who later married Owen ap Gruffydd ap Reinallt ap Sir Gruffydd Vychan of Garth, on whom the last margin note reads 'Descended from Sir Griffith Vaughan (or Vychan) Knight, who was one of the captors of Lord Cobham (the 1st reformers) and who fought at the Battle of Agincourt. Sir Griffith Vaughan was one of the earliest Knights of the Military Order of St. John of Jerusalem (see notes to the Mabinogion by Lady Charlotte Guest, page 339).

Their son was John, surnamed Derwas, will proved at St. Asaph, Nov. 14th 1577. This John Derwas brings together the two famous lines of descent of Cyngen and Brochwel and the Lords of Nannau. He took the surname Derwas from his grandmother Elen above, see below under ‘The Derwas Families of Penrhos and Penrhyn’.GRIFFITH DERWAS OF CEMMAES Second son of Meurig, 6th Lord of Nannau of the body of Henry VI, was tutor and guardian to his nephew Meurig Vaughan of Nannau, son of Howel Sele, and 'was the chiefest man in command in our Country all his tyme.' It is said 'he had many daughters whom he preferred (through marriage ?) to great houses.'