BRYN MAWR AND ROWLAND ELLIS
"The peasant finds in thee a home,
The rustic shed beside thee stands;
Thy ancient dwellers, like the foam
That sinks beneath the ocean sands,
Have perished, and have left no trace
Of what they would have been, or were;
Forgotten in their natal place
Their virtues, and their lineage fair.''
It is generally supposed that '' Bryn Mawr,'' so well known as the name of a station on the main line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, was chosen at hap-hazard, because it had a pleasing sound, and, above all, was Welsh.
No place in Pennsylvania, however, could be more appropriately designated. It was selected because it had been the name originally given by Rowland Ellis to his plantation of some six hundred acres, afterward called 'Harriton'' in this immediate vicinity, and so called by him after his Welsh home. Along the rolling side of a steep ascent, less than a mile out on the winding road leading southward from the old market town of Dôlgelly in Merionethshire, basks on the sunlit, craggy hills that ancient messuage, tenement and field, called since the days of Cadwgan, the renowned Britain, and Heaven only knows for how many hundreds of years before, "Tythyn Bryn Mawr.'' The sleepy little pointed-stone house, perched on the site of the hendre of an early Welsh Prince, amid its deserted garden, broken down stone walls and dilapidated out-buildings, now the abode of a poor mountaineer, was the birthplace of Rowland Ellis, and was built by his grandfather, Rees Lewis. The property seems to have been lately repaired; a new roof has been put on and the quaint old diamond-pane windows replaced by modern sashes. There was also formerly, it is thought, a portico over the doorway. The walls remain untouched, and the interior is unchanged.
A Pennsylvanian who visited Bryn Mawr a few years since says that it is ''a comfortable stone house; the floors are of stone; and it was built by Rees Lewis, grandfather of Rowland Ellis, A. D. 1617, as an inscription on one of the rafters tells. To the right of the house are the remains of an ancient garden which has seen better days. Its walls are gone, but there are traces of old paths, while ancient box and venerable yew-trees tell of what has been.'' The title papers to this property are now in possession of Edward Griffith, Esq., of Springfield, near Dôlgelly, a descendant of Ann, eldest daughter of Rowland Ellis by his first wife. Amongst these old documents is the original marriage contract and settlement made upon the marriage of Ellis Price and Ann Humphrey, the parents of Rowland Ellis, in 1649. The parties to this settlement were: Humphrey (Humffrey) ap Hugh, of Llwyn- gwril, gentleman, father of Anne Humphrey, Rees Lewis ap John Griffith, of Dyffrydan, gentleman, father of Ellis Price, who was his second son, and Richard Nanney, of Llwyngwril, and David Ellis, of Gwanas, gentlemen, who were to act as trustees. Richard Nanney was cousin to Ann, his father, the Rector of Llangelynin, having married one of the daughters of Hugh Gwyn, of Peniarth. David Ellis was brother-in-law to Rees Lewis, the latter having married his sister Catherine.
Mr. Griffith very kindly permitted me to photograph this ancient document, which is on parchment and exceedingly diffcult to decipher. What is here given of it was made out only by the use of a very powerful glass, and at the expense of a very severe strain upon the writer's eyes. The time occupied in making the copy was, altogether, about forty-eight hours. It has been thought best to give at first here an account of the various papers extant concerning Rowland Ellis and his ancestry, because they are parts of the proofs of descent of the allied Pennsylvania families of Ellis, Evans, Humphrey, Owen (through Rebecca, wife of Robert Owen), and others. The marriage settlement in question is as follows, the lines omitted being legal repetitions or indecipherable words:
"This Indenture, made the first day of January in the year of Our Lord God, according to the computation of the Church of England, One thousand, Sixe hundreth, forty and nien. Between Rees Lewis ap John Gruffith, of Dyffrydan in the County of Merionethshire, gentleman, of the first Pty., Humphrey ap Hugh, of Llwyngwril in the sayd Com. of Merioneth, gentleman, of the second Pty., and Richard Nanney, of Llwyngwril in the Sayd County, gentleman, and David Ellis, of Gwanas in the Sayd County of Merioneth, gentleman, of the third Pty. Witnesseth That yt is covenanted granted and fully agreed upon by and between the Sayd Partys to these Presents-And first the Sayd Rees Lewis for himself his hears, Executors and Administrators and for any of them doth covenant promise and agree to and with the sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, his heyres, Executors and Administrators ----- and any of them doth covenant promise and agree that Ellis Rees, the Second Sonne of the sayd Rees Lewis, Shall and will before or one this side the feast day of the purification of our blessed Virgin Mary next ensuing, the date here of espouse, mary and take to wife, Anne Humffrey, one of the daughters of the sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, if the sayd Anne doth thereunto consent and agree, and the laws of God and the Holy Trinity doe Permit and suffer the same and Likewise the sayd Humffrey ap Hugh for himself his hyres, executors and administrators, or any of them doeth covenant promise and agree with the sayd Rees Lewis his heyres, Executors & Administrators, and with each of them by these presents That the Sayd Anne Humffrey shall and will on this side of the sayd feast of the Purification, espouse, mary and take to Husband the sayd Ellis Price yf the Sayd Ellis doeth thereunto consent and agree and the Laws of God and the Holy Trinity doe Permit and Suffer the same.
Yn Consideration of wch marriage for to be hadd and Solemnized and performed --The Sayd Rees Lewis doeth for himself his heyres executors and administrators, Covenant promise and agree, with the Sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, his executors and Administrators and wth any of them by these Presents -- that they the Sayd Rees Lewis and Ellis Price shall and will from tyme to tyme and att all tymes hereafter when and as often as either or them shall reasonably and lawfully be required by the sayd Humphrey ap Hugh, his heyres Executors and Administrators, att the proper costs and charges of the law of the sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, his heyres Executors
and Administrators or some of them. Do make Sale and deliver execute and acknowledge, permits, super to be done and acknowledged and executed unto the sayd Richard Nanney or David Ellis, or to such other Person or persons as the sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, his heyres, executors, or administrators, or any of them, shall in that behalf [Select] . . . . [in trust] All those severale messuage, land Tenement hereditment of the sayd Rees Lewis, commonly called and known bo the several and special name and names of Tythyn y Bryn Mawr and Llwyn y Cai Dy, with their rights and appurtenances, situate lyeing and being in the sayd Township of Dyffrydan and Comt. of Merioneth aforesaid. . . . And yt is fully and absolutely covenanted determined and agreed . . . . That all and singular . . . . Tythyn Bryn Mawr and Llwyn y Cai Dy, whereupon the bawne called [Yfyndom ?] . . . . the same now are or lately were in the tenure occupation and possession of the Sayd Rees Lewis . . . . to the use and behoof of the Sayd Ellis Price, for and during the tearme of his natural life . . . . and from and after his decease, then to the use and behoof of the sayd Anne Humffrey for and during the tearme of her natural life, for and in the name of the Said Anne for and during the tearme of her n'rall life for and in the name [Then reserving certain uses to Rees Lewis, to the eldest of the Sayd Ellis Price, and to his eldest son, in tail male, or in default of said issue, then to the Second Son of the Said Ellis Price, by the Said Anne, and so on, until upon exhaustion of the male line, or if there is no male issue of the Said Ellis Price and Ann Humffrey, then to the first daughter, and to her eldest Son, and So on in regular Successions and in default of such yssue Thyn to the use and behoof of one Rowland Price, thyrd sonne of the Sayd Rees Lewis and the hyers of hys body lawefully yssuing, and in default of such issue, Then to the use and behyoff of Griffith ap Rees the fowrth Sonne of the Sayd Rees Lewis and of the hyres of hys body lawefully yssuing and in default of such issue Then to the use and behyoffe of the right heyres of the Sayd Rees Lewis aforesd. [It is further provided] That yf it happin the Sayd Anne Humffrey to dye or [depte] out of thys world before the furst day of May wch Shall in the yore of our Lord God according to the Said computation one thousand Sixe hundreth fieftie and fower without any yssue of her body by the body of the Sayd Ellis Price lawefully begotten, then Living, or yt the Sayd Anne Shall happen to dye or Depte out of this world before the Sayd furst Day of May wch Shall be the Sayd years of our Lord God according to the Sayd computation One thousand Six hundred fieftie and ----- without lawful issue (or if such issue die before then) (then) the sayd moety or one half of the Sayd Severall messuage lande and tenement Tythyn y bryn Mawr and Llwyn y Cae Dy ----- [Shall by the deed of the said Richard Nanney and David Ellis, Trustees, go to the] use and behoof of the Sayd Humffrey ap Hugh, his executor administrators and Assigns, untill and unles the Sayd Rees Lewis or Ellis Price their heyres or assigns doe well and truly pay or cause to be payd unto the Sayd Humffrey ap Hugh hys executors, Administrators or Assigns the full and lawful Sumn of one hundreth pounds of good and lawefull money of England in one whole Sume and entyier paymt in all or upon the furst day of May next ensuinge such Decease of the Sayd Anne Humphrey, without ysue living as aforesaid or the Decease of such ysue, as aforesayd, att or within [the] Church poarch of the P'ish Church of Llanglynin betweene the houeres of Nien of the clocke in the mornige and Three of the clocke in the afternoone of any of the Sayd Dayes [The final clause contains agreement of revision to Rees Lewis' heirs].
The witnesses to this document were : John ap William ap Humffrey, David John Hugh, Griffith ap Rees Lewis, Edward Vaughan and John ap Hugh. Rowland Ellis, born in 1650, was the only child of Ellis Price (alias ap Rees) and Ann Humphrey, and therefore inherited Bryn Mawr under this settlement, and continued to live there until his permanent removal to Pennsylvania in 1696 ; when he sold the place to Lewis Owen, of Tyddyn y Garreg, his kinsman, to whom he was indebted.
The deed made by Rowland Ellis at this time for the property is in the possession of Mr. Griffith,
who also has the marriage settlement made by Rowland Ellis in 1696 on the marriage of his daughter, Ann, to Rev. Richard Johnston, an Episcopal Clergyman, of whom we shall have occasion to speak more particularly further on. The descendants of Rowland Ellis in Pennsylvania possess several original papers which are of very considerable interest. One of these, now in the hands of Rowland Evans, Esquire, of Haverford, Lower Merion, who is descended in the direct male line from Eleanor Ellis, daughter of Rowland, and the wife of John Evans, of Gwynedd, is the original manuscript pedigree of Rowland Ellis in his (Rowland Ellis's) own handwriting. This was certainly compiled prior to1697, because the name of his daughter Catherine, born in that year, is not, apparently, in his hand, but has been added by another person. It is therefore fair to presume that the pedigree was made in Wales just prior to his last voyage to Pennsylvania. A facsimile of the old document is given as an illustration to this article, and also, as the genealogy is in the form of a chart, so much of it as is necessary for explanation is, for convenience, printed here much after the style of the old Welsh Heralds(1) :
Rowland (El1is) [of Bryn Mawr in Merionethshire, Wales, born 1650.] He was Son of Ellis ap Rees ap Lewis ap Sion(2) ap Gruffydd ap Howell. The mother of Rowland Ellis was Ann verch Humphry ap Hugh ap David ap Howell ap Gronw. The mother of Anne verch Humphry was Elizabeth verch John. The mother of Elizabeth verch John, was Sibil verch Hugh Gwyn of Penarth. The mother of Sibill verch Hugh was Jane verch Sir Hugh Owen(3). The mother of Humphrey ap Hugh was Catherine verch Sion, ap Rhydderch Abergynolwyn. The mother of Hugh ap David, ap Howell, was Mary verch Hugh Sion Bedo. The mother of Ellis ap Rees, ap Lewis, was Catherine verch Elissa, ap Davidd ap Owen ap Thomas ap Howell ap Mrhedydd ap Gruffydd Derwas. The mother of Catherine verch Elissa ap Davidd was Mary verch Sion, ap David ap Gruffydd. The mother of Rees ap Lewis was Ellin verch Howell Gruffydd. The mother of Lewis ap John Gruffydd was Elsbeth verch Dd Llwydd. Rowland Ellis married first Margaret daughter of Ellis Morris, descended from Gruffydd Derwas, and had issue : Anne, and Jane. He married secondly his cousin, Margaret, daughter of Robert ap Owen ap Lewis ap Sion ap Gruffydd ap Howell.
(1)Al1 of the lines given by Rowland Ellis are not here run out. The spelling follows the original. See original MS.
(2)Sion is the Welsh way of writing Join. Rowland Ellis used both forms indifferently. As stated afore, these Welsh names were anciently, and are now, spelled in many different ways, any of which are frequently correct.
(3)Should be sister of Sir Hugh Owen and verce Owen up Hugh.
The mother of Margaret verch Robert ap Owen, was Margaret verch Sion, ap Lewis ap Tyddur ap Ednyved ap Howell ap Mrhedydd ap Gruffydd Derwas. The mother of Margaret verch Sion ap Lewis, was Agnes verch Owen, ap Thomas ap Owen ap Thomas ap Howell ap Mrheydd ap Gruffydd Derwas. The mother of Agnes verch Owen, ap Thomas, was Mary verch Ellisa (Byrin ?). The mother of Robert ap Owen, ap Lewis, was Mary, verch Tudwr Vaughan, ap David Llwydd ap Tyddwr Vaughan ap Gruffydd ap Howell [ap Gr. Derwas]. The mother of Mary verch Tudwr Vaughan, was Agnes verch Lewis ap Mrheydd. [The mother of Agnes, was Elin verch Robert ap Howell ap David ap Mevrig]. The mother of Owen ap Lewis, was Elin verch Howell Gruffydd. The mother of Lewis ap Sion Gruffydd, was Elsbeth verch David Lloyd.
The children of Rowland Ellis by his second wife are given as : Elizabeth, Rowland, Robert, Ellin (m. John Evans), (Catherine).
Other records referred to in the compilation of this article were, deed to him for his land in Pennsylvania, he being described therein as ''of Brin Mawr, in the County of Merioneth, gentleman'' ; assignment, in trust, dated after 1717, he being then of Plymouth, Pennsylvania, gentleman, reciting transactions with Humphrey Owen, of Llwyndu (in Llwyngrill), and Lewis Owen, of Tyddyn y Garreg, concerning certain loans on bonds.
There are also several testimonials of him by Friends who knew him both in his native country and in Pennsylvania. Some of these are embodied in the sketch of his life which we reprint in this article. The old pedigree above described having been found to agree in the essential points with the Herald's, visitations made out 1585-1601, and with parish registers and other documents remaining in Wales, it is a comparatively easy task for one versed in Welsh genealogy to give a detailed account of the ancestry of Rowland Ellis, who, as we have seen, was the son of Ellis Price, son of Rees ap Lewis ap John Griffith, of Nannau.
Tytbyn Bryn Mawr, in Merionethshire, appears to have anciently formed a part of the Nannau Estate, which was the early possessions of Rowland Ellis's ancestors, many of whom lie buried in Dôlgelly Church.
The family from whence Rowland Ellis sprang was of princely lineage, descending in the direct male line from Bleddyn, the son of Cynfyn, who was Prince of Powys, and was so imprudent as to get himself murdered by the amiable "gentlemen of Ystrad Tywy'' in the year 1702. This Prince, in defiance to the advice of his countrymen, married Isabel, daughter of Picot de Say, a Norman Knight, and had by her a son
called Cadwgan, '' the renowned Briton,'' who, besides being Lord of Ystrad Tywy in Cardigan, was also Lord of Nannau, in Merionethshire.
Cadwgan also fell by the dagger of the assassin, and was succeeded, as Lord of Nannau, by a long line of notable descendants.
As we will give particulars concerning each generation in the chart pedigree on another page of this article, it is only necessary here to mention a few of the most prominent members of this old family.
One of these early Lords of Nannau was Meuric ap Ynyr Vychan, who was living in the 21st year of Edw. III (I347-8). In the Parish Church of Dôlgelly is the tomb of this Lord. It is a sepulchral effigy in mail and plate armor, having a shield on his breast, on which is carved a lion, and the stone bears this inscription : "Hic Jacet Meuric Filius Ynyr Vachan.'' The effigy formerly stood in the aisle; but was afterward set in the wall under a memorial window of more recent date. Meuric(4) was succeeded by his son Meuric Lloyd, who was father to Howell, of Nannau. commonly called Howell Sele.
(4)The father of this Meuric (Ynyr Vychan), appears to have been a very violent man even for the age in which he lived. In the Parliament of 15 and 16 Edward II (1322-3) he and others were charged with attacking, on the next Wednesday after the feast of St. Gregory, in the 15th of that king, the Castle of John de Grey, of Ruthen, setting fire to the town and killing two men.
When Owen Glendower instituted his famous rebellion, the Lancaster Howell Sele (his cousin) refused to join, which enraged Owen to so great an extent that meeting him one day whilst hunting alone in Nannau Park, Owen having one attendant, Madog, they fell upon Howell and slew him. throwing his body into a great oak, hollow through age. This Nannau oak was for centuries an object of superstitious dread to the peasantry of Merionethshire, and fell down on the 13th of July, 1813. Throughout Merionethshire it was known as the Spirit's Blasted Tree-'' Conbren Yr Ellyll.'' The vassals of Nannau, and Howell Sele's family were filled with alarm at his disappearance, but inquiries and searches gave no information of his whereabouts.
After Glendower's death, however, on a dark evening in November, an armed horseman was observed riding furiously up the hill which leads from Dôlgelly to Nannau ; it was Madog, who after the death of Glendower, hastened to fulfill his master's last command and unravel the horrid mystery. He told his story and referred to the oak for confirmation.
The tree was cut into and Howell's body discovered, griping with his right hand his rusty sword. The remains were removed to the neighboring monastery of Cymmer, where they were interred. After the oak fell the wood was made into a variety of utensils, and many engravings of the tree, framed with its wood, are to be found in Dôlgelly.
The story has been woven into a very fine ballad by Mr. Barrington, printed in the notes to Marmion, by Scott. It is partly as follows :
"Led by the ardor of (be chace.
Far distant from his own domain.
From where Garthmaelen spreads her shade,
The Glyndwr aught the opening plain.
"With head aloft and antlers wide,
A red-buck rous'd, then cross'd bis view;
Stung with the sight, and wild with rage,
Swift from the wood fierce Howell flew.
* * * * * *
"They fought, and doubtful long the fray,
The Glyndwr gave the fatal wound.
Still mournful must my tale proceed,
And its last act all dreadful sound.
"I marked a broad and blasted oak
Scorch'd by the lighning's livid glare,
Hollow its stem from branch to root,
And all its shrivell'd arms were bare.
"Be this, I cried, his proper grave!
(The thought in me was deadly sin);
Aloft we rais'd the capless chief,
And dropped his bleeding corpse within.
* * * * * *
"He led them near the blasted oak,
Then conscious, from the scene withdrew;
The peasants work with trembling haste,
And lay the whitened ones to view.
"Back they recoil'd: the right hand still
Contracted: grasp'd a rusty sword.
Which erst in many a battle gleamed,
And proudly deck'd their slaughtered lord.
"Pale lights on Caday's rocks were seen,
And midnight voices heard to moan ;
Twas even said the blasted oak
Convulsive heav'd a hollow groan.
"And to this day the peasant still
With cautious fear avoids the ground;
In each wild branch a spectre sees,
And trembles at each rising sound."
The brave but unfortunate Howell had married Mali, daughter of Einion ap Griffith, of Cors y Gedol, and had a son Meuric Vychan, of Nannau, who, together with his uncle, Griffith Derwas, is named among the heirs of a ''Wele,'' of free land, in the township of Nannau, in an extent of Merlon- ethshire taken 7 Henry V. 1419-20, and the "farm,'' of the mill of Llan Vachreth was granted to both at Michaelmas, 35 Henry VI. for four years. Meuric, of Nannau, was foreman of the jury at Caernarvon, 1444, and was living, a very aged man, 2 Henry VII., 1486. He married Angharad, daughter of David ap Cadwgan, descended from Elystan Glodrydd, and had a son, called David ap Meuric Vychan, of Nannau, who having married Ellen, daughter of Howell ap Rhys ap David,
descended from Owen Brogyntyn, had a son, Howell ap David, of Nannau, whose name appears in a roll of accounts for Merionethshire ending at Michaelmas, 2 Henry VIII. (1510), as surety for William ap Jenkin ap Iorwerth, ''farmer'' of the mills of Llanvachreth and Llanegryn. Howell married Ellin, daughter unto Robert Salisbury, of Llanrwst, son of Thomas Salisbury, descended from Sir Henry, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, and had issue : Griffith ap Howell, of Nannau. who was living 33 Henry VIII., l 541-2. He married Jane, daughter of Humphrey ap Howell, ap Ievan, of Yns-y-maen-gwyn; her mother being Anne, daughter of Sir Richard Herbert, Knight, of Colebrook. Griffith had two sons : Hugh, who was living 1588, and John ap Griffith, who married Elizabeth, daughter of David Lloyd, of Trawvynydd, and had three children : Ellen, Jane and Lewis. Lewis was father to Rees, who had Ellis ap Rees (alias Ellis Price), who married Ann, daughter of Humphrey ap Hugh, of Llwyngwrill, and was father to Rowland Ellis.
PEDIGREE OF ROWLAND ELLIS, OF BRYN MAWR, BORN ANNO 1650.
I. BLEDDYN AP CYNFYN, Prince of Powys ; murdered, 1072. He married 2ndly, Isabel, daughter of Picot de Say, a Norman Baron, and had :
II. CADWGAN AP BLEDDYN, Lord of Yestradtywy, Cardigan, and of Nannau in Merionethshire, murdered about 1109, who married Gwenllian, daughter of Gruffydd ap Cynan, Prince of Gwynedd. She was subsequently the wife of Gruffydd, Prince of South Wales, and is stated to have been killed in battle in 1135. By her he had :
III. MADOC AP CADWGAN, Lord of Nannau, who married Eva, daughter and heiress of Philip ap Uchtryd ap Edwin, lord of Tegeingle, ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Owen ap Howell Dda, King of all Wales, and had issue :
IV. MEURIC AP MADOC, Lord of Nannau, who espoused Gwenllian, daughter and heiress of Ierwerth ap Predyr ap Gronwy up Adda ap David Gôch, from Ednowain ap Bradwin, Head of the l 5th Noble Tribe of Wales, and a lineal descendant of the kings of Britain. By her he had :
V. YNYRR AP MEURIC, Lord of Nannau, whose wife was Gwyrvyl, daughter and heiress of Madog ap Llowarch Vycnan ap Llowarch Gôch, ap Llowarch Holbwrch, Treasurer of Gruffydd, P. of W. They had :
EINION AP YNYR ; he was consecrated Bishop of St. Andrews, 21 October, l 268, and :
VI. YYNR AP YNYR, alias Ynyr Vychan, Lord of Nannau, who married Gwenhwyvar, daughter of Gruffydd ap Gwen ap Gronwy ap Einion ap Seissyllt, Lord of Mathafon. He presented a petition to Edward, Prince of Wales, at Kensington, 33 Edw. I. (1304-5), for the office of Raglor of the Comôt of Talybont, stating that the King had given it to him for taking Madoc ap Llewelyn, who, in the last war, had made himself Prince of Wales. The petition, however, was not granted, as no charter could be shown. In the Parliament of 15 and 16 Edw. II. (1322-23), he and others were charged with attacking, on the next Wednesday after the feast of St. Gregory, in the 15th of Edw. II., the Castle of John Grey, at Ruthen, setting Ere to the town, and killing two men. (Rec. Caern. 220 ; Rolls of Parlt. Vol. 1, p. 397.) He had issue by Gwenhwyvar, his wife :
VII. MEURIC AP YNYR VYCHAN(5), Lord of Nannau, living 21 Edw. III. (1347-8). He married Angharad, dau. Gruffydd ap Owen ay Bleddyn ap Owen Brogyntyn, Lord of Dinmael and Ediernlon, ap Madog ap Meredith, ap Bleddyn, Prince of Powys. He lies buried in Dôlgelly church, and a tomb to his memory is still extant there. It is a sepulchral effigy, in stone, of Meuric, in plate and mail, having his shield charged with the arms which he assumed, a lion passant guardant, with this inscription : "Hic Jacet Meuric Filius Ynyr Vachan." He had issue, by Angharad, his wife :
(5)Fadog, Vol. V9 p.55, etc. ; Dwnn II, Nannau.
W. T. - 28.
VIII. MEURIC LLOYD AP MEURIC, Lord of Nannau ; died before 1400. He married Mallt, dau. Howell Pickhill, ap David ap Gronwy ap Ierworth ap Howell ap Meredith ap Sandde Hardde, Lord of Morton in Denbighshire, and had :
GRUFFYDD DERWAS, liv. 1416 ; he was Esquire of the Body to Henry VI. From him are descended many of the lines hereafter mentioned (vide Powys Fadog, Vol. V, p. 112), and :
IX. HOWELL SELF, Lord of Nannau ; he was slain by Owen Glendower, in Nannau Park about, 1401. He married Mali, dau. Einion ap Gruffydd ap Llewelyn ap Cynric ap Osborn, of Cors y Gedol, Menonethshire, and had :
X. MEURIC VYCHAN, Lord of Nannau; he, with his uncle, Gruffydd Derwas, are named among the heirs of a ''Wele'' of free land, in the township of Nannau, in an extent of Merionethshire, taken 7 Henry V. (1419-20), and the "farm'' of the mill of Llanvachreth was granted to both at Michaelmas 35 Henry VI. (1456) for four years. In 1444 Meuric was foreman of the Jury at Caernarvon. He was living 2 Henry VII. ( 1486), at which time he was probably aged over ninety years. He married Angharad, dau. David ap Cadwgan ap Philip Dorddu ap Howell ap Madoc ap Howell ap Growth ap Gronwy ap Gwrgenen ap Holdlien gôch ap Cadwgan ap Elystan Glodrydd, Prince of Fferlys, and had :
XI. DAVID AP MEURIC VAUGHAN, of Nannau, who married Ellen, dau. Howell ap Rhys ap David ap Howell ap
Gruffydd ap Owen ap Bleddyn, Lord of Dinmael ap Owain Brogyntyn, descended from the Princes of Powysland, and had :
XII. HOWELL AP DAVID, of Nannau. Hy appears in a roll of accounts for Merionethshire, ending M'lcllaelmas; 2nd Henry VIII. (1510), as surety for one William ap Jenkln ap Ierworth, "farmer,'' of the mills of Llanvachreth and Llanegryn. He married Ellen, dau. of Robert Salsbury of Llan-Rwst, ap Thomas Salsbury hên (liv. 1451), ap Sir Henry Salsbury, Knight of the Holy Sepulchre (died about 1399), ap Rawling Salsbury ap William Salsbury, M. P. 1322, and had :
XIII. GRIFFITH AP HOWELL, of Nannau, and Lord thereof ; living 33d Henry VIII. (1541-2). Hugh Nannau, the eldest son, signed the pedigree as head of the family, 24 July, 1588. (Dwnn II, p. 226.) He married Jane, dau. Humphrey ap Howell ap Ieuan, of Yns y Maen Gwyn. Her mother was Anne, dau. Sir Richard Herbert, Knight of Coldbrook. [Jane was a lineal descendant of Henry IV., King of England,] and had :
1.HUGH, Lord of Nannau, m. Annest, dau. Rbys Vaughan, of Cors y Gedol, living 1588.
2.JOHN NANNAU, alias John ap Griffith, of Nannau. He held certain lands in the township of Dyffrydan in Dôlgelly Parish, and elsewhere = ELIZABETH, dau. David Lloyd, of Trawsfynedd. (continued)
3.MARGARET m. William ap Tudor, ap Gruffyd ap Ednyfed of Egryn Abbey.
4.ELIZABETH ----- Anne.
2a.LEWIS AP JOHN GRIFFITH, of Dyffrydan, etc. He was living 28 Augt., 1654, being then described as holding the lands of Dewisbren and Debafeder. = ELLEN, dau. Howell ap Griffith. (continued)
2b.ELLEN born prior 1588.
2c.JANE born prior 1588.
2a1.REES LEWIS AP JOHN Griffith, of the township of Dyffrydan, in Co. Merioneth, built Bryn Mawr, 1617; living 1649; called also Rees Lewis, of Dyffrydan, gentleman. = CATHERINE, dau. Elisha ap David (his son David Ellis was liv. 1649) ap Owen ap Thomas ap Howell ap Meredith ap Griffith Derwas; descended from Bleddyn, P. of Powys. (See supra.) (continued)
2a2.Owen ap Lewis ; he married Mary daughter of Tudor Vaughan, of Caer y Nwch, in Co. Merioneth, lineally descended from Griffith Derwas, and had Robert, who ad Margaret, 2nd wife of Rowland Ellis.
2a1a.LEWIS AP REES ; m. Elizabeth, dau. and heiress of -----, and had Elizabeth, only child, who m. Robert ap Owen, whose child Lewis Owen d. s. p. circa 1695; his lands descended to Rowland Ellis, as next heir. (Ellis MS.) Lewis ap Rees was of Maes y helme in 1654.
2a1b.ELLIS AP REES (alias Ellis Price), of Bryn Mawr, in the township of Dyffrydan, "gentleman"; his marriage settlement is dated 1649, by which his father transferred to him Tythyn Bryn Mawr. He was living 11th of 1st month (March), 1678-9, but died before 1696. = ANN HUMPHREY, daughter of Humphrey ap Hugh, of llwyn Gwrill, gentleman, 1649. He was son of Hugh ap David ap Howell ap Gronwy ap Einion. (continued)
2a1c.GRIFFITH PRICE, liv. 1649.
2a1d.ROWLAND REES, liv. 1649.
ROWLAND ELLIS, of Bryn Mawr, in the township of Dyffrydan, Merionethshire, "gentleman"; born 1650 at Bryn Mawr; died at Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, in the 7th month, 1731. (See MS. pedigree in his own handwriting herewith.) MARRIED::
(A)MARGARET, dau. and heiress of Ellis Morris, of Dolgun, his kinswoman. She was married about 1672; died soon after.
A2.Ann m. Rev. Richard Johnston, Curate of Dôlgelly. He was at one time minister of St. Illtyd, near Dôlgelly.The present representative of this line is Edward Griffith, Esq., now (1895) of Springfield, Dôlgelley.
(B)MARGARET, daughter of Robert ap Owen ap Lewis ap John Gruffydd, of Dyffryddan. (See supra.) She was his cousin. She died about 1730.
B1.Elizabeth d. unm.
B2.Rowland Ellis, Jr.
B4.Ellin m. john Evans, of Gwynedd, son of Cadwalader Evans, son of Evan Robert Lewis, of Fron Gôch, Merionethshire. The present representatives of this line are Rowland and Allen Evans, Esqs., of Haverford, Penna. (1895) (See infra.)
B5.Catherine d. unm.
Many years ago there appeared in the Friend such an excellent account of Rowland Ellis, that we have thought well to reprint it here, making some slight corrections.
"Rowland Ellis was born near Dôlgelly, in Merionethshire, North Wales, in the year 1650. His place of abode was on his paternal estate, called Brin-Mawr. Soon after he was of age he married a young woman of some wealth and distinction near by, who was soon taken from him, leaving him a child, Ann, who, by her mother's death, became heiress to considerable estate. About the twenty-second year of his age he was convinced of the Truth as held by the people called Quakers, and receiving it in the love of it, he walked with faithfulness therein. He now married again. His second wife appears to have been Margaret . . . . . by whom he had several children. She was of a family who had already become members amongst Friends. He was soon called to suffer in support of his principles. In the year 1676 he was imprisoned with others on the charge of not resorting to the 'parish church', so called, and on the 6th of the Sixth-month, the prisoners were brought before the judges at Baala. These did not proceed to try them on the indictment, but tendered them the oaths of allegiance and supremacy. These they
could not take for conscience sake, seeing that he whom they were bound above all to obey, had charged his flock 'swear not at all.' On declining to take them, one of the Judges irritated out of all decency at the Christian firmness of the prisoners, declared that ' if they did refuse the oath a second time they should be proceeded against as traitors, the men to be hanged and quartered, and the women burned.' On the 1st of the Seventh-month they were brought again before the justices and the oaths again tendered them. The prisoners made a solemn declaration of their allegiance to the King and abhorrence of Popery; but they declined to violate their consciences, and were remanded to close imprisonment, to be kept as felons and traitors. Winter came on, and during the severe frost they were not allowed the benefit of a fire or fire-place. The goaler would probably have treated them more kindly,
but he was in awe of the parson of Dôlgelly, in which place the Friends were confined, who would have complained to the Judges(6) of any favor shown the prisoners. Edward Rice, one of them, a man above sixty years of age, unable to bear such suffering as fell to their lot during the severity of the cold, perished under it, dying during the extremity of the frost.
How long the rest of the Friends were imprisoned we do not know. Rowland, after his enlargement, continued faithful to his inward guide, and growing in grace and religious experience, a dispensation of gospel ministry wag committed to him. When Pennsylvania was conveyed to Penn he felt drawn to the new country, and sent thither Thomas Owen and family to make a settlement(7). His own way to remove was not clear, his master having further service for him in Wales. Friends being constant in supering in support of their principles, their honest neighbors taking note of their innocent courage and steadfastness, began to feel kindly towards them, and under the powerful influence of popular feeling, even the crue1 intentions of persecutors began to relax. [In 1685 the
Yearly Meeting of Wales addressed a letter to the yearly meeting in London, showing that such was the case at that time.]
6.See Besse's Sufferings of Friends.
7.This was the 1100 acres which he purchased.
Rowland Ellis was a man of note In the neighborhood in which he resided, and had a competent estate. In the year 1686 the subject of a removal to Pennsylvania pressing on his mind he concluded to visit the Province, and make such arrangements as might be best for the accommodation of his family, when the time should fully come for transporting them there. On the 16th of the Eighth-month, 1686, he took passage at Milford Haven in a Bristol ship bound for Pennsylvania, by the southern route, then a favorite one. He took his eldest son, Rowland, with him, and about one hundred of his neighbors accompanied them. The passage was a very long one, in which many of the passengers died from hunger, and others, soon after their arrival, from the effects of the privations they had endured. Some who long survived never recovered their usual strength. The amount of suffering and death would doubtless have been even greater if the vessel had not touched at Barbadoes, where it remained nearly six weeks. Here the kind entertainment of Friends and some others did much to recruit such as were not too much exhausted. They were twenty-four weeks in reaching their port, and arrived about the beginning of Second-month, 1687. On reaching Philadelphia all who were able hastened to their respective settlements, and Rowland Ellis among them. He styed about nine months, '' in which time,'' it is said, '' he had laid a foundation towards such improvements as were necessary to accommodate the family he intended to bring over.'' Leaving his son with his maternal uncle, John Humphrey, a valuable Friend, he, in the spring of 1688, returned to his own country. From what took place after his return, it is evident that he made a purchase of part of the Plymouth tract(8), the original settlers of which being chiefly tradesmen, and not able profitably to farm had left it, and removed into Philadelphia.
8.If he purchased any land in Plymouth at this time if was in connection with others. He was afterwards quite a speculator in land, losing all of his fortune in schemes to get rich quickly.
He found that some of his property had been seized for distraints during his absence, but this being no new feature of suffering, was not difficult to bear. His way was not yet clear to remove to his newly obtained possessions, and he awaited the time with patience and hope. A gift of the ministry of the gospel had been bestowed upon him, and although his labors in that line were not as frequent as some, yet being sound and lively, they were to the edification of the churches. A great trial awaited him. One of his daughters, doubtless,
Ann, the heiress, married the priest of the parish at Dôlgelly. We know not what circumstances had occurred to bring about an acquaintanceship between them, but we must suppose the young woman had never submitted to the restraining influence of true religion, when she thus openly contemned the principles and admonitions of her godly parents. The troubles and trials she brought upon those parents, whom she must have both loved and reverenced, although little thought of when in the enjoyment of gratified affection, would doubtless be present to her mind, bringing deep bitterness in seasons of sorrow and sickness.(9)
9.'It is not likely that Rowland Ellis was so greatly troubled regarding his daughter's marriage as the writer of this memorial seems to think. Further on we will give a letter from Rowland Ellis to his son-in-law. Doubtless he was very desirous of having her return to the Quaker Faith as appears by the efforts he made to induce her to come back, but he appears to have regarded Mr. Jobn-
ston with respect.
In the year 1696 Hugh Roberts visited Wales from Pennsylvania on religious service. He, during his visit there,
doubtless, at the desire of his valuable friend, her father, called twice to see this strayed, rebellious child and her husband. In the year 1697 Rowland Ellis came to Pennsylvania with his remaining family, and settled at Plymouth(10). Soon after his arrival William Ellis, a minister from England, paid a religious visit in America. With this Friend Rowland Ellis had had deep religious fellowship, and after his return to his native country, Rowland wrote him the following letter. It shows the anxious desire of a father panting for the well-being of a disobedient yet still well-beloved child :
10.This is a mistake for Bryn Mawr. He did not go to Plymouth until after he sold the Merion Plantation.
THE 28TH OF THE FIRST-MONTH, 1699.
My Muck Esteemed Friend, William Ellis :
If these lines come to thy hands, thou mayst understand What often hath been in my mind to tell thee, that if ever it come before thee to visit Friends in Wales, I desire this kindness of thee, partly for thy name's Sake, but rather upon Truth's account, when at Dôlgelly meeting, in Merionethshire, in North Wales, to inquire for my daughter, if she be then alive, and for her husband, who is a priest. If thou kindest thyself free, and anything inclined thereto, knock at his door, and see whether she is quite dead, or Slumbering among the dead. I do believe a living invitation may call home a strayed sheep, though gone far into the wilderness, and there, it may be, fast entangled in briars, and bound up in strong chains. If there is any breath left in her, she may answer, though in a land of darkness, and under the shadow of death. The good Shepherd takes great pains to unloose the lost sheep from their bonds and entanglements, and David-like, killing the lion, and delivering the lamb out of his mouth to bring the same to their right mind, to know the Shepherd's tents. Well , my friend! I believe some have done things of this nature ; and who can tell, if it come before thee, but thou mayst, through the power of God, be instrumental to open their eyes ; they both are very kind to Friends. Our friend, Hugh Roberts, hath twice visited them, they being sick ; her husband took it very kindly. So, with my dear love unto thee, I remain thy friend
Being a man of good natural ability, a sufficient education, and comfortable estate, his neighbors soon brought him into public life. In 1700 he was elected to represent Philadelphia county in the Assemby of the Province, a service for which he was well qualified. . His public labors were not allowed to interfere with his domestic duties. He was earnestly concerned for the proper education of his children, and sought by timely instruction, and righteous restraint, to inculcate the principles of Truth, and to repress the practice of error. He was often concerned to have religious opportunities in his family, in which he hoped and prayed that his children might be drawn to wait upon God for themselves, and become acquainted with the teachings and leadings of the Holy Spirit. To some of his children, if not all, his labors were blessed, and they long survived him, bright, shining ex-
amples of true Christian virtue, of strong minds, bowing under the Cross of Christ.
His friends testify that he was of 'a sound judgment, ready and willing to assist his neighbors and Friends,' when his aid and advice was desired. '' He was zealous for supporting our Christian discipline, and exemplary in conducting himself agreeable therewith, sometimes saying, ' If the hedge of discipline was not kept up, the labour of the husbandman would be laid waste.' Thus he lived in love and usefulness till he had entered his eightieth year. His children were married ; his beloved wife, Margaret, had been just removed from him by death, and, doubtless, he had experienced many other striplings, but he was green and cheerful in spirit, getting out to his re
ligious meetings. He was, and it probably was his last visit to Philadelphia, at the Quarterly Meeting held there in Fifth-month 31st, and Sixth-month 2d, 1731. In the Sixth-month he attended his own monthly meeting, held at Gwynedd, and whilst in it was taken unwell. Being conveyed to the house of John Evans, the husband of his beloved daughter, Ellen, he said to several friends, who had gathered round him, "I am glad I was here to-day, for I had a lively meeting, and though I now feel much weakness, and the infirmities attending my advancing age, yet I can say, Truth is as dear and as sweet as ever.'
Another remark he made was, 'Satan sometimes lies in wait like a roaring lion to devour me, but I find he is chained by a secret hand, which limits his power, so that he cannot harm me.'
He died at the house of his son-in-law, about the beginning of the Seventh-month, 1731, and his body was interred in Friends' burying ground at Plymouth.''
W. T. - 29.
Rowland Ellis settled first at Bryn Mawr, now Lower Merion, on the six hundred acres of his eleven hundred acre tract, surveyed there. His plantation is now known as 'Harriton',' and the larger home which he built was afterwards the residence of Charles Thomson, Secretary of the Continental Congress. The place adjoins the Taylor College, of Bryn Mawr, on the north, and is now well known as the Morris property.
The following letter was written by Rowald Ellis to his son-in-law, Rev. Richard Johnston, in 1698(11). The plantation described is the 'Harriton'' place, at Bryn Mawr :
11.This letter is now in the possession of Mr. Elias, of Denbighsbire, Wales. See Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, 1894.
As for ye account of our passage I think I have been something large in my last wch I hope came to thy hands, least it came not, we have had a good passage in six weeks time from land to land, none died in ye ship but one old woman, one other woman was brought to bed ; she & her child did very well, so we kept our numbers through the mercy of God. We had our health very well only sea sickness and as for ye country I like it very well ; we had a very cold winter, such another people here cannot remember, hard frost, & deep snow! which continued untill ye beginning of this month ; we bore it I think as well as most ; we had an indifferent good house ; very good & large chimney ; we made fire night & day. Our house lies under ye Cold N. W. wind & just to the South Sun, in a very warm bottom near a stream of very good water. We have cleared about this run abt l0 or 12 Acres for meadow land, very good soil, black mould moist over. I do think for ye most part, if not all ye river will soon overjoy it, which runs through it, it being set thick of [thorn] bryars, & small scrubs ; a man upon a horse could not ride through it. We hope to mow ye next harvest store of hay ; we have as much more such ground for meadow, when we may have to enclose it. Few or none among our countrymen have the like convenience of Meadow land. We have above 6 acres of wheat sown in good order, & an accer & half of ye last summer fallow for Barley. We now begin to clear in order for to sow Oats, if ye Lord gives us life & health, if we can between this & the beginning of May, & about 6 access, & for Indian Corn as much as we can. We are about to enclose with rail fence by ye latter end of spring above do acres. Our Accers of land is 40 Perch in length & 4 in breadth. Our Perch is 16 ft & half, an accre of land containing about 76 Roods at least. Ye Rood whch is ye common measure of land with you near Dôlgelley is 6 yards square, by this thee mayest compute measures together. We have a good soil under a very rough coat ; many things sown bring good increase. Ye country grass is very rough & Course in hand as most things by nature, but as it be naturalized, we hope it will prove better ; yt wh is good for Winter fodder. Our land generally is dry, and some places strong; some places very level, but ours hereaway, little rising grounds, few hills, fine springs, & running streams of as good water as any I saw ; good stately Oaks several sorts of Poplars & great many kinds of trees, also black & white Wallnut, Cipresse, Pine, & Cedar in some places grow plentifully. They begin now to build the houses with Stone, & many with brick, whch may be made in any place here. There is Limestone within, 3 little miles to my house. English hay does very kindly, especially white honey suckle (Dutch Clover ?), where yt take root it mightily increases, & kills all wild roots (as they say) where it so takes. Ye red clover does well. There are but few of the natives now. Not 1 to 10 as was formerly. As madly as there is, are very quiet a new comer may supply himself with horses, cows or sheep, as many as he wants ; good horse £4. with you, may cost £8, more or less, Good Cow here £5 or £6., beef ye last fall 2 1/2 per pound, pork 3d, cheese 7d butter 10d to 1s per pound mutton 5d also, wheat 8s Rye 6sMalt 6s ye bushell. All other things are very dear, accordingly all things, whether foreign or country commodities will fall. We hear of ye peace concluded between England and France. It has been very sickly season here ye last fall & winter; severals died of our Countrymen ; the Lord hath preserved us hitherto. Since I began to write this letter my wife had ye distemper, now she is recovered very well, blessed be God. If I live to receive a few lines from thee when opportunity p'sents, I hope if all things be well to return to the a few other accts how we do. Also of any other things if worth sending and I desire yt none may take occasion by any word yt discovers, nor suppose if I do nor did repent of my coming, for be it far from me from encouraging any to venture ymselves, & what they have, furtherly they live comfortable in their native country to ye danger of ye seas and many more inconvenience yt may happen & on ye other hand discourage any yt hath any real inclinations to transport themselves into ye hands of providence. Some came here might have better staid in their own country, & it is my thought yt great many more would have done better here yt ever they are like to do in their own country.
In an article styled "Settlers in Merion-Harriton Plantation,'' in the Pennsylvania Magazine if History and Biography, George Vaux thus refers to the place:
"Richard Harrison's second wife, Hannah Norris, was the second daughter of Isaac Norris, and granddaughter of Deputy Governor Thomas Lloyd. She was a most affectionate and pious woman, and a minister in the Society of Friends. Richard Harrison and Hannah Norris were married in Philadelphia in 1737, and soon after he returned with his bride to his residence at Herring Creek. He had, however, promised Hannah Norris prior to the marriages that if, after residing in Maryland one year, she did not like it for a home, he would dispose of his property at Herring Creek and re- move to Pennsylvania. The year's trial did not prove satisfactory to Hannah Harrison, and, in accordance with his promise, her husband made preparations to remove to the vicinity of Philadelphia. In I 719 he purchased, of Rowland Ellis, an estate of seven hundred acres in Merion, about ten miles from Philadelphia, situated on what was in those early times one of the main roads leading out of the city, now known as the O1d Gulf Road. This road passes diagonally through the southern part of the tract, and bounds it on the southwest side throughout most of its length. The ancient elevon- and twelve-mile-stone, marking the distance from the old Court-House at Second and Market Streets, yet remain on the premises. The mansion-house, still standing, was erected by the former owner, Rowland Ellis(12), in 1704(13). It is said that all the stone, sand, and other similar materials used in its construction were carried on panniers.
This house, afterwards the residence of Rlchard Harrison's son-in-law Charles Thomson, is built of pointed stone, two stories high, with dormer windows above. The main doorway opens into the principal room on the first floor, used as a dining-room in early times, and occupied by Charles Thomson as his study. It was here that the principal part of the work was done on his translation of the Bible from the Septuagint. Until within a few years there was a date-stone in the southwest gable of the house marked 1704 (1714 ?). To this plantation Richard Harrison and his wife removed. He called it Harriton, after his own name, changing only the letter s into t.
The following is an account of the descendants of Rowland Ellis, in Pennsylvania, so far as ascertained and the author desires to express here his obligation to Mr. Howard M. Jenkins, from whose Historical Collections of Gwynedd considerable data concerning the descendants of John Evans was taken(14).
It is claimed by some that Rowland Ellis, Jr., died s. p., and also his brother, Robert, and that Elizabeth and Catherine remained unmarried. In the appendix will be found all the information that the writer could gather upon this point.
12.Harriton is particularly well known as the home of Charles Thomson, and on account of the quaint old cemetery on the grounds "Harriton Family Cemetery is about eighty-five feet long and forty-six feet wide. The entrance is by a flight of stone steps ascending the wall on one side, and a similar flight descending on the other. A grass walk extends across the breadth of the enclosure. Immediately on the left-hand side of this walk are two rows of family groves, in which were interred several generations of the Harrison family. Still farther to the left, and entirely apart from these interments, are a number of stones marking the graves of strangers to the family blood, buried here by permission between l 795 and 1828. On the right of the grass walk are several other rows of graves, many of which are those of slaves employed in the Harrison family. The house servants alone were buried here, the slaves generally being interred in a selected spot in one of the fields. A block of soapstone is built in the front wall of the cemetery, showing inscriptions on both sides. On the exterior side are the words "Harriton Family Cemetery Anno 1719.'' On the interior side is the following inscription : "This stone is opposite the division between two rows of family graves, wherein were interred Richard Harrison (died March 2, 1747): and a number of his descendants. Also Charles Thomson. Secretary of Continental Congress (died Aug. 16. 1824), and Hannah Thomson wife of Chas: Thomson, daughter of Richard Harrison, granddaughter of Isaac Norris, & great-granddaughter of Governor Thomas Lloyd (died Sept. 6, 1807)." In Charles Thomson's time the burial-ground was in full view from the windows of the mansion-house, through a vista cut in the woodland which surrounds it.
13.It is doubtful whether the date was 1704 or 1714. See Appendix.
14.It will be observed that the arms given on the next page and the beginning of the Owen genealogy, whilst those of Trahairn Gôch, the common ancestor of the two families, are yet different from the arms used by the Evans branch of the family. This is explained by the fact that Trahairn Gôch assumed the arms of his paternal grandmother, which were the three dolphins and chevron, instead of using the arms of his grandfather, Rhys Glôf. Some of his descendants also used the dolphins; some the Lion within a bordure, of Rhys Glôf ; whilst others, more correctly, quartered the two shields.