Ancestral Roots is actually pretty good.There is an article in David Dumville's "Briton's and Anglo Saxons in the Early Middle Ages" - "The West Saxon Genealogical Regnal List and the chronology of Wessex" - that questions the first four or five generations of the West Saxon lineage in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle (which Ancestral Roots follows) but does not really provide an alternative.There is also a debate on the relationship of King Egbert son of the Kentish earldoorman Eahlmund to the Kentish royal house.However, that debate does not question that King Egbert was believed by his contemporaries to be a West Saxon Atheling of the line of Caedwalla, only whether he can be said definitely to be related to the Kentish house or not.
Recent thinking has suggested that the West Saxon House may have arisen from two "Saxon" kingdoms - one (actually more likely "Anglian" than Saxon) based at Dorchester on Thames and the other at the Solent that later Saxon writers combined into one kingdom and royal line.It is also pointed out that Cerdic?fs long life and reign may be an attempt to give the Wessex line greater antiquity than the rival royal lines of Sussex or Northumbria which was important for political reasons at the time the Anglo Saxon Chronicle was being written because scions of those older houses existed and may have been encouraged under some cicumstances to try to supplant the Wessex line for the Overkingship of all the English.
Finally, Cerdics name (which is derived from the Brythonic hero name "Caradog" (Latin "Caratacus") and the much later "Caedwalla" derived apparently from the Brythonic hero name "Caswallon" (cf Caesar's invasion of Britain in the Gallic Wars - Early Welsh "Cadwallon" name born by the near contemporaneous Welsh War leader Cadwallon who destroyed the Deiran Royal House in Northumbria and with his ally and pagan Anglian brother in law Penda nearly retook Britain from the Saxons and by his slightly later Venedotian successor Cadwallader.Caedwalla was likely related in some way to the Venedotian Royal house that had appropriated the name.) suggest strongly the possibility that the Wessex line may have originally been a British or even Roman house that chose to "Anglo Saxonize" in the 7th and 8th centuries (For examples of Romans going German on the continent see the predilection for things German of Syagrius of Burgundy the great great grandson of a Roman consul who spoke fluent Burgundian at court or Florentius of Geneva who named his son "Gundulf").It appears that the Britons or Roman Britons may have survived in the Hampshire area as a British and non-Saxon polity well into the sixth century.The ruling family is thought by some to be the family of Aurelius Ambrosius identified by Gildas as the British leader who ended the intial Saxon federate revolt and whose son was likely the king Caninus Aurelianus mentioned so unhappily by Gildas.This does not preclude Saxon settlement in Hampshire from a much earlier date of course, Arthurian legend mixed with history in Nennius notwithstanding, but settlement and rule in post Roman territories were often decidedly different things.
The provisions of the laws of king Ine (688-722) regarding Britons in Wessex would seem to substantiate these hypotheses as far as they go (by setting weregilds for "Welsh" ie native British subjects he was showing that they still exercised considerable clout in Wessex as late as 700 and a century earlier had certainly weilded much more.It is not certain just when or how the Winchester-Hampshire area came under Saxon control or as the case may be chose to become "Saxon."There may have been a linguistic and a religious aspect.Since British Christians are all but invisible to Bede except when his Angles and Saxons are massacring them in divine punishment we cannot really get much of a sense of how much Christianity was still present in Wessex.Common sense suggests that from the christianization of the area sometime in the 4th or century there was never a complete or even severe lapse into paganism.Bede does go into the conversion of the Saxon rulers but it is far from certain relying only on Bede how much territory they controlled before "conversion" (winning a battle someplace and incorporating it into your kingdom were very different things for the Saxons) or how they dealt with their christian subjects.It is well accepted now that the Anglo Saxons pagan kings neither drover the christian Britons out or massacred them in any significant numbers.If they had found any objectionable they certainly would have sold them for slaves, there being a superb market for slaves around the North sea.It was probably a century later than the rise of an independent Saxon (Anglian?) polity at Dorchester on Thames which appears to have existed as a germanic military settlement from Roman times and whose emblematic king, Ceawlin, defeated the Britons in 577 at Dyrham near Bristol and was supposed to have cut the British kingdom/s in two by driving through to the Severn river (but again, Saxons do not appear to have grabbed much territory by battling Britons.It was more the total collapse of government in British kingdoms or willing alliance with the local Saxon strongman - see the Western Mercian marches- that allowed the greatest permanent Saxon expansions).It is not entirely impossible that Cedric's group, if they were originally Saxons at all, were federates in the service of the British (only eventually taking over when the British line failed).Cerdic's Celtic name may have indicated he was in fact a Briton (perhaps leading Saxon federates) that he had a British mother (dark age ethicity tended to be patrilineal) or perhaps that the Hampshire Saxons had come from that Saxon colony near Bayeux that served Queen Fredegunda so well in the Merovingian Civil Wars and conflicts involving the Bretons.It is even possible that Cedric's settlement if it occured much later than has heretofore been believed was a result of Lothar's, Chilperic's or Fredegunda's meddling in British politics, particularly if the latter two thought Sigebert or his heirs were sending Saxons to Kent and Essex (see below).I do not think any scholars have looked at this possibility seriously as yet (though I think some have touched on the possibility) but in years past it would have violated the iconic paradigm that Britain was isolated like the "island of mystery" Caesar and Procopius described it as.It is beginning just recently to look increasingly as if the Merovingians may have been quite heavily involved in 6th centuury British affairs.
As to Cerdics possibly not being (entirely) a Saxon, many Romans took Frankish names during the Merovingian period and led Frankish troops as leudes or duces of the Frankish king.It would be unusual not to see similar occurrences in Britain.And as I have stressed elsewhere, the Saxons should be undestood to be firmly under the control of the Merovingians between about 500 and about 630 AD.
In short, the origins of the West Saxon Royal House, particularly those associated with Hampshire is fraught with difficulty and it is interesting that all are agreed that as far as near contemporaneous sources go, the Anglo Saxon chronicles, with all their difficulties are the closest we have to a history at this point.All else is confusion and even veteran speculators are throwing up their hands (though the day may come when we can do better).So at present, the pedigree as given in Ancestral Roots is the best out there and accepted all around with the caveat that it can't really have happened just like that and with a lucky discovery in the next few years we may well rewrite the history and regnal genealogy of the whole area.
I remember when I used to have to go to the library and copy from Ancestral Roots (a much older and less complete version) and when I obtained a copy at last (used from Amazon) it took a cherished place on my bookshelf that it still occupies.Most of the primary sources are appearing on the internet and if you are ever looking for one and I am lucky enough to know where it may be found you have only to ask.The only major change I have seen that has not been made in the ancient (pre Carolingian) sections is that it is now no longer held by David Kelley - who deduced the line - that Itta wife of Pepin of Heristal was daughter of Arnoaldus Bp of Metz but that it was Doda wife of Annulf, the succeeding Bishop of Metz who was daughter of Arnulf.This shifts the Roman ancestry of Charlemagne from Pepin to Arnulf but it is the same ancestry (See line 181 - it may be pssoible to trace the Tonantii back further as well.Tonantius is latin for "thunderer" and epithet if Jove.The First tonantius may be son of -in my opinion- the disgraced usurper Iovius or Jovius who challenged Hadrian with Gallo Roman support in the aftermath of the collapse of the usurpation of Constantine of Britain.It so it may just be possible to take the line back two or three more generations, possibly to at least one legitimate emperor.Sidonius was quite enthusiastic about Tonantius parentage but except for Syagrius uncharacteristically unwilling to name any of them.Sidonius grandfather may have been executed in the aftermath of that rebellion).This hypothesis was developed by Christian Settipani and published in Onomastique et Parente Dans l' Occident Medieval(2000) and David Kelly has indicated he supports that position (at least the last I heard)
I find primary sources a mixed blessing.They often assume you know everything there is to know about the 6th or 7th century and that can be a headache.In that respect the Anglo Saxon chronicles, despite any faults it may have, is quite helpful.The other indispensible source for that period (I won't recommend Gildas - he really does not say much about the English except that they were a heaven sent punishment) is Bede in his Ecclesiastical History of England which touches on the end of the 6th century in Wessex and can be relied upon to be generally accurate from then on (but see my oft repeated comment on his silence vis a vis British christians).
Bede did not like the Britons and did not write about them (thinking both following the Briton Gildas Jeremiah like writings and his own prejudices that God had abandoned them for good reason)So the problem is we do not get any idea from Bede (well not much) of what Britons survived or what they contributed to early Saxon kingdoms or whether some of them turned Saxon as we now know they certainly must have.So you can believe what Bede says but remember he does not say everything he should.Bede and the Anglo Saxon Chronicles are both available in English from Penguin.
The Dumville book I mentioned is a good reference for the problems in understanding early Saxon pedigrees but it spends all its time telling you what is wrong and is frustratingly unable to tell you what is right.So I do not know how far you want to go into it.
I have never had too much problem with the Wessex line because it probably in some manner by the time of Ine or perhaps his successors contained elements of both the Hampshire (true Wessex) kingdom and the Gewisse (Dorchester on Thames).So they are all probably in there just not necessarily in the way stated.It may be Caedwalla came from one of the two kingdoms and conquered or inherited the other.If he did, no one says so now.Bede is remarkably unclear about how many Saxon kingdoms there were in that area but considering he was at the other end of Britain I suppose he can be forgiven.
So in one line or the other the Wessex Saxons date back to the mid six century and possibly a generation or two earlier at Dorchester.Prior to late sixth century the Britons (or more precisely kingdoms ruled by Britons) appear to have been in general control of everything west of and including London except the Gewisse at Dorchester (see "Civitas to Kingdom: British Political Continuity from 300 to 800" by K. R. Dark for the existence of a British Verulamium-Londinium civitas/kingdom east of the Chiltern hills prior to the 570's).The Saxons were mainly successful in Sussex and Essex and the Angles in the Lindsay and Humber areas.Gildas account of the 40 year peace (though scholars argue endlessly about it) would seem to corroborate this.In the 550's to the 570's Saxons who had left the Austrasian kingdom on the continent to join the Lomard invasion of Italy were driven out of Italy as the Lombards suffered reversals there (and chose not to keep payrolling the Saxons they had brought with them). Returning home this large group of unemployed, grumpy warriors very likely turned their eyes to Britain - likely also with their liege the Merovingian King Sigebert's connivance (People just think that the Saxons were running around free in the hyperborean forest.That had not been true if indeed it ever was since the time of Augustus.Much of the Saxon economy - as with other contemporary Germanic economies - was based on service in the Roman military.Most of the Germanic raids including the ones that brought down the empire- were a result of not being offered work or getting paid.In this context I ahve suggested that if Sigebert began to allow Saxons into eastern Britain his rival Chilperic may have begun to allow his Saxon proxies in Normandy to do the same or to seek allies among the western British kingdoms.For a description of how Chilperic and his wife Fredegund interacted with the British in Gaul see Gregory of Tours).It is quite interesting that the Saxon kings of Essex - established in the aftermath of the second Saxon invasion - invariably alliterated the name of the Merovingian king whose subjects they had been when they left Germany into the names of their own kings and princes (The "Sige" element is the most common element in Essex royal names).
The other interesting thing about the Saxons is their steadfast paganism when all the German tribes around them (except the Scandinavians to the North) had adopted Arian (ie heretical) Christianity for between 100 and 200 years.It is one of those rare historical facts from the period that can be verified.The other problem though is that Saxon religious beliefs do not appear to have been nearly as systematized as the wonderful stories told by Snorri Sturlson for the Danes some centuries later (which may have benefited and grown extensively from their contacts with the pagan Irish and Brythonic Celts and Romans and even Christianity).When Charlemagne at last Christianized the Saxons they were worshipping some God at a pillar named Irminsul in Germany.I think Tacitus may have done more than anyone in recording early Germanic beliefs and their belief system (as well as social organization and ethnic identity) changed immensely over the next three centuries prior to the invasion of Britain.The Saxons in Britain appear to have been far more "Scandinavian" in their beliefs but one wonders to what extent the "Saxons and Angles" were really "Saxon and Angle" and not Scandinavian and a number of other things as well.