My Welsh Ancestry - Sarah Woodbury

My Welsh Ancestry

I say in my bio that my ancestors came from Wales. While Woodbury is a Saxon name, my umpteenth great grandfather, William Woodbury, self-identified as a Welshman when he came to Salem in 1628.  I discuss the origins of the name ‘Woodbury’ and its Welsh possibilities here:

I am also descended from a host of Morgans, Thomas’, Kemries, Johns, Rhuns etc.  The line I’ve researched most successfully descends from Llywelyn ap Ifor born around 1300.  Six generations later, Sir John Morgan (1448) was knighted and is featured here:

One of his sons, Thomas, married  Elizabeth Vaughn and had Rowland (who became sheriff in 1588).  The line then goes Henry-Thomas-Robert to Samuel, who had two children:  Anna and Robert. Anna, born in 1685, married Hezekiah Ober.  Their child, Joanna, married Elisha Woodbury, 8 generations up from me through my father.  In turn, Robert married Mary Thorndike. Their son, Paul, is also 8 generations up from me, through my mother.

In addition, a reader was kind enough to inquire about my ancestry and explained that Llywelyn ab Ifor’s wife was descended from Rhydderch ab Iestyn, whose father Iestyn is thought to be another son of Owain ap Hywel Dda. The line from Rhydderch comes via his grandson Caradog ap Gruffudd. Caradog married Gwenllian, daughter of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn, King of Powys and later also of Gwynedd. Llywelyn ab Ifor’s father, Ifor ap Llywelyn, married Tangwystl, who was the daughter of Rhys ap Hywel ‘Sais’ ap Rhys ap Gruffudd, The Lord Rhys, Prince of Deheubarth. Llywelyn ab Ifor’s grandfather, Llywelyn, married Nest, daughter of Hywel ‘Felyn’, Lord of Senghenydd, son of Gruffudd ab Ifor ‘Bach’, Lord of Senghenydd whose wife was Nest, daughter of Gruffudd ap Rhys and sister of The Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd.

Some of these people can be seen here (in 2nd chart from top, begun in first chart):

He explains that this is yet another example of how dynastic lines became entwined, which makes many Welsh people kinsmen. It also (particularly in the example of Rhydderch ab Iestyn) provides a better sense of how battles between various lines began, each claiming some inheritance from a common ancestor.

9 Replies to “My Welsh Ancestry”

  1. My name is Jeffery Louis Griffin. I’m Welsh/Dutch and I believe I am a direct descendant of Owain Gwynedd (Grufedd). How would I be able to prove such a claim?

  2. So in other words, you’re a direct descendant of Rhodri Mawr, but not Owain Gwnydded, who i believe you once mentioned was a sort of grandnephew to Hywel Dda.

    And I know you must be really tired of this, but….
    when is the next book of the Cilmeri series coming out?

    1. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it!

      The next book’s working title is Children of Time and my cover artist starts work next week. It needs editing and proofreading and all the rest, but it’s coming 🙂

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