ELLIS family, of Bron y Foel and Ystumllyn, Ynyscynhaearn, Caernarfonshire

This family, the name of which is alphabetized here, for the sake of convenience, under Ellis, produced some well-known members before Owen Ellis (died 1622) appears to have stabilized the surname. It claimed descent from Collwyn ap Tangno. To one branch of it belonged Meredydd, ancestor of the Vaughan family of Trawsgoed, Cardiganshire, afterwards earls of Lisburne, Iorwerth, ancestor of the Evans family of Tan-y-bwlch, Maentwrog; Ieuan, brother of Sir Hywel y Fwyall, was ancestor of the Madryn family.

HYWEL AP MEREDYDD, of Bron y Foel, whose wife was Gwenllian, daughter of Gruffydd ap Ednyfed Fychan, had a son, GRUFFYDD AP HYWEL, who, by his wife Angharad, was the father of EINION AP GRUFFYDD, sheriff of Caernarvonshire 1354-6, and Sir Hywel y Fwyall. Einion ap Gruffydd was succeeded by IEUAN AB EINION (sheriff 1389), Ieuan by HYWEL VYCHAN, HYWEL by RHYS AP HYWEL. Rhys ap Hywel, of Bron y Foel, was followed by HYWEL AP RHYS (see The history of the Gwydir family ), and this Hywel ap Rhys by RHYS AP HYWEL, who in turn was followed by THOMAS AP RHYS, who inherited, through his mother, extensive lands in Hopesland, Flintshire, which, however, he sold. CADWALDR AP THOMAS, his son was succeeded by ELLIS AP CADWALADR, of Ystumllyn (died 1597). By his wife, Elin, daughter of Owen Wynn and Elin (Salesbury), Cae'r Melwr, near Llanrwst, Ellis ap Cadwaladr was the father of OWEN ELLIS I (died 1622 - see the elegy composed by Gruffydd Phylip), through whom the line was continued, and, among other children, Griffith Ellis. GRIFFITH ELLIS (died 1667), whose wife was Margaret (died 1667), daughter of Ellis Wynn ap Robert, Rhwng-y-ddwyryd. Griffith and Margaret Ellis were the parents of Thomas Ellis (died 1673), rector of Dolgelley, and John Ellis (died 15 October 1693), chancellor of St Asaph.

Owen Ellis I, by his wife Dorothy, daughter of John Wynn ab Humphrey, Cesail Gyfarch, was the father of a large family, among the children being ELLIS ELLIS (died 1631), of Ystumllyn, and Robert Ellis (died 8 April 1688), groom of the privy chamber to Charles II. Ellis Ellis, whose wife was Mabli, daughter of William Lewis Anwyl, of Parc, Llanfrothen (see the article on that family), was the father of OWEN ELLIS II (will proved 1691), to whom and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of John Bodwrda, Gruffydd Phylip wrote a cywydd priodas (a marriage poem), was the father of MARGARET ELLIS (died 1712), his heiress, whose husband was GRIFFITH WYNN (died 1719), of Penyberth, sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1676, the estate going eventually to Margaret's third son, HUMPHREY WYNN (died 1724), vicar of Bosbury, Herefordshire. The estate became eventually (1837) the property of Rowland Jones, Broom Hall, near Pwllheli, to which house the portrait of Sir Howel y Fwyall also went.

Several poems by Gruffydd Phylip - he was one of the group of Merioneth bards known as Phylipiaid Ardudwy - were written to members of the Ellis family, particularly to Owen Ellis and Marged (i.e. Margaret) Ellis. One poem rejoices on the birth of Owen Ellis II, viz. who died in 1691, grandson of Owen Ellis I. There are many englynion eulogizing Marged Ellis (i.e. Margaret Wynn), who died in 1667, the wife of Griffith Ellis; Gruffydd Phylip died in 1666. One poem by Gruffydd Phylip, in free metre this time, is entitled ' Hiraeth y bardd am Ystumllyn ' (the bard's longing for Ystumllyn). Richard Phylip, uncle of Gruffydd Phylip, wrote an elegy on the death of Owen Ellis I (1622); he had previously (1617) written a to Owen Ellis to ask him to give a rapier and poniard to Owen Poole. John Phylip, Gruffydd Phylip's father, also wrote a eulogizing Owen Ellis I.


Published date: 1959

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