Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Welsh Genealogies Online

Back in 2006 I was excited to read a BBC news item announcing that Peter Bartrum's lifetime's work of bringing order to the old bardic genealogical manuscripts was going online. Of course reading the small print of the article was a bit of a dampener, since the project would take three years to complete. It's getting on for four years now and, as far as I can tell, the searchable online database is yet to appear. What has appeared are scans of pages from the 26 volumes of Bartrum's published Welsh Genealogies, I'd guess that around half of the pages of Radnorshire and surrounding interest have appeared so far.

As well as helping family historians, the genealogies make sense of many of the names in the bardic poetry and other historical documents. Take this page for example, which Bartrum designates Elystan Glodrydd 9. Here we find the family background of the great Welsh captain and bardic patron from the 100 Years War, Sir Rhisiart Gethin - a man wealthy enough to loan Joan of Arc's executioner, the Duke of Bedford, a thousand pounds in order to pay the English troops in France. According to a recent book, his father Rhys Gethin of Llanwrtyd was Glyndwr's general and, incidently, the mythical leader of the firebombing campaign of the 1980s.

Without a placename index these scans will be difficult to navigate to those of us unfamiliar with the published volumes. To help any Radnorians with an interest in these old genealogies and who are impatient for the fully searchable resource to appear, the following list - and I'm certain to have missed some - of family groups of local interest might be useful:

Elystan Glodrydd, everything really from 1 to 48 - not all these are up yet, Rhys ap Tewdwr 14 to 26 - not all are up, Bleddyn ap Cynfyn 5 & 46, Cogfran, Y Dean Du, Drymbenog 1 & 2, Einion ap Llywarch 11, Gwirfaeth, Herast, Hywel Athro, Hywel Fain, Ieuan Ddu of Maelienydd, Irien, Llowdden 7, Llywarch ap Bran 9, Madog Cristyn, Padriarc 1 & 2, Paen of Ludlow, Philip Baker, Rhirid Flaidd 2.

Some to look out for as they appear:

Aubrey, Baskerville, Bull, Havard, Heilin Du, Hoby, Holl of Harpton, Hywel Gethin, Knill, Llywarch ap Bran 10, 11 & 12, Philpot, Whitney,


Anonymous said...

Update from Gwenddolen: The Bartrum archive online has been augmented and nearly all the material is now up for all to see.

Anonymous said...

The site has now been augmented and has most of the Bartrum material with indices as well.

Anonymous said...

Anyone got an web address for this?

Anonymous said...

Yes: start here and navigate to what you need

radnorian said...

It's a long time since I looked at Bartram's genealogies and then only briefly but ..... what I was hoping for was an index to the names in the trees and the places in the trees. The present searchable index seems only to be to the title of a tree Elystan Glodrydd 28 etc, not to what it contains.

I'm pretty sure Bartram did have such indexes as I was able to extract info on 15C female forenames for our area back then.

Also hoping they haven't stopped uploading trees such as Holl of Harpton, Phelpod etc. Plus the additions to the trees like Hywel Fain A, Hywel Fain B, Elystan Glodrydd 30 C etc etc.

Anonymous said...

Gwenddolen adds that the indices are going up very soon -- both Bartrum's, but also the massive database itself so that people can search for and locate individual people (as opposed to lines) much more easily. This is a massive project and the material is being loaded up in stages. It will definitely be worth waiting for.