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The Family of Vortigern
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The House of Vortigern - Pedigrees of eastern Wales
Robert Vermaat

Diagram 2: Vortigern and his place in the Pedigrees of eastern Wales - Powys (north and south), Built, Gwrtheyrnion.

The colour scheme attempts to show the different collections of pedigrees, such as the Harleian pedigrees and the Jesus College MSS. White gaps show similarities between pedigrees.

   
HB 49

(c. 825)
...................

Jesus College MS 20.14 & 15

(c. 1375)
.......................
.

Pillar of Eliseg

(c. 850)
......................

Harleian 3859.27

(c. 1100)
..................

Harleian 3859.22

(c. 1100)
.................
.

Harleian 3859.23

(c. 1100)
..................

Jesus College MS 20.16

(c. 1375)
.........................

Jesus College MS 20.18

(c. 1375)
........................

Bonedd y Saint.62

(c. 1140)
.....................

ABT 6k

(c. 1500)
....................

ABT 20

(c. 1500)
.......................

Hen Lwythau
(Llwyth aelan.f)

(1500, later)
.......................

Built & Gwrtheyrnion   Powys Powys Powys Powys            
                       
Gloiu Gloyw g.                    
Guitolin Gwdoloeu                    
Guitaul Gwidawl                    
Guorthigirn Gwrtheyrn g. Guarthi(girn)       Gwrtheyrn Gwrtheyrn g. Gwrtheyrn Gortheyrn Gortheyrn g. Gortheyrn g.
    Britu Catel Catel d. Catell            
      Cattegirn Cattegirn Cattegirn Cedehern Cadern Eurdeyrn Kyndeyrn Kyndeyrn .Kyndern
    Annan       Kadell d. Cadell d. Ruduedel Rhuddfedel Rhuddfedel v. Rhuddfedel v.
    Mau(n?)     Brittu Bredoe   Brutus Brydw Bridw Brydw
Pascent Pascen Pascent Pascent Pascent Camuir Thewer Pascen   Pasgen Pasken Pasken
Briacat Riagath - Maucant Maucann Millo Cassanauth w. Manogan Cadell d. Kadell d. Kadell d. Kadell d.
(Mep)urtit Idnerth Concenn Cinan Cincen Cinnin Kynan Cyngen Kyngen Kyngen k. Kyngen Kyngen g.
Paul Pawl - Brocmail Brocmayl Elbodgu Kenelaph Brochfael y. Brochuael y. Brochwel y. Brochwel y. Brochfael y.
Eldoc   - Cincen Cinan Gurhaiernu Run Kynan g. Kynan g. Kynan g. Kynan g. Kynan g.
        Selim (H)esselis Madawc Seliph Selyf Selyf s. Selyf Selyf s.
Eldat Elaed   Eliud     Merin   Dona Eilud Mael m. Mael m.
Moriud Morvo - Eli     Tutwawl Beli   Beli Beli Beli
Guoidcant Gwedgad Guoillauc Guilauc     etc. Coledawc   Kyllau Gwylawg Gwylawg
    Eliseg Elitet       Elisse   Elisse Elisse Elisse
Pascent Pascen Buellt                   Kyngen
  Gloud                 Aeddan Aeddan
Teudubir Vraustud Brohcmail Brocmayl       Brochuael   Brochwal Brochwel Brochfael
Fernmail   Catell Catel     Idwal Cadell   Gadell Selyf Selyf
  Rees         Arthuael       Beli Beli
  Howel Concenn Cincen     Howel       Gruffud Gruffydd
  Ewein         Ewein          
  Morgant Eliseg       Morgant          
    This page attempts to show the position of Vortigern in the several versions of the pedigrees of his own territories and that of his neighbours, from the Roman period up to the 10th century. Shown here are the sometimes legendary claims, the many existing versions, the impossible generation-legnths when compared with other pedigrees, but also possible answers to the development of the early British kingdoms.

The sources are coloured, so that you can recognise the corresponding ones (e.g. all Jesus College MS) more easily. I have given all corresponding names a transparent background, so that it is easier to recognise where the pedigrees are in agreement.

These sets of pedigrees show the claims of several medieval royal houses of Wales. As can be seen by comparing them, they do not give us the answers to the questions that arise from a lack of sources. They are no absolute king-lists, but only the claims from several families to such a kingship; there is no guarantee that every man in the list was ever (a) king. Neither were all these men sons of the one before them; cousins or brothers could inherit just as easily, and other families could take over in case their were no male heirs.

Some lines have far more names than others, giving some generations a far larger average lifespan than others. This is very likely due to the later interpolation of more names into the pedigree. Some of these names are mistakes due to misspelling or duplications that happen during copying. Other were inserted when a later family 'usurped' the pedigree and had their own genealogist make the past 'agree' with their own claims. Similarly, such families could insert their pedigree into the old one at a later date, thereby obliterating ancestors from the line. As we have seen from the conflict between the lines of Catigern and Cadell, such confusion can really mess up one's pedigree!

Therefore we cannot use such pedigrees as real sources without completely understanding them.

Bibliography

  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. and trans. M. Swanton, (London 1996).*
  • Bartrum, P.C.: Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts, (Cardiff 1966).*
  • Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English People, trans. L. Shirley-Price, (St Ives 1990).*
  • Bonedd y Saint, Lineage of the Saints, in: Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae, ed. A.W. Wade-Evans, pp. 320-323.*
  • Bromwich, R.: The Character of the Early Welsh Tradition, in: Chadwick, Studies in Early British History, pp. 83-136.*
  • Bu'Lock, J.D.: Vortigern and the Pillar of Eliseg, in: Antiquity XXXIV,1960, pp. 49-53.*
  • Chadwick, H.M.: The Foundation of the Early British Kingdoms, in: Chadwick, Studies in Early British History, pp. 47-56.*
  • Chadwick, N.K. et al: Studies in Early British History, (Cambridge 1959).*
  • Chadwick, N.K.: A Note on Faustus and Riocatus, in: Chadwick, Studies in Early British History, pp. 254-263.*
  • Dumville, David N. (1984): Gildas and Maelgwn: problems of dating, in: Lapidge and Dumville, Gildas: New Approaches, pp. 51-60.*
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth: The Historia Regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth, trans.R. Ellis Jones, ed. A.Griscom, (London 1929, repr. 1977).*
  • Geoffrey of Monmouth: Life of Merlin, Vita Merlini, ed. and trans. B. Clarke, (Cardiff 1973).
  • Gildas: The Ruin of Britain and other works, Latin and trans. M. Winterbottom, in: History from the Sources VII, (Old Woking 1978).*
  • Historia Brittonum - Nennius: British History and the Welsh Annals, Latin and trans. John Morris, in: History from the Sources VIII, (Chichester 1980).*
  • Miller, M.: Date-Guessing and Pedigrees, in: Studia Celtica X/XI, 1975-1976, pp. 96-109.*
  • Miller, M.: Date-Guessing and Dyfed, in: Studia Celtica XII/XIII, 1977- 1978, pp. 33-61.*
  • Ralegh Radford, C.A.: Vortigern, in: Antiquity XXXII, 1958, pp. 19-24.*
  • Vitae Sanctorum Britanniae et Genealogiae, ed. A.W. Wade-Evans, (Cardiff 1973).

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