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The Walsh Surname - Exploring Walsh Connections in Wales
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Exploring Walsh Connections in Wales

Possible Walsh Associations

Two possible brothers(?) came from Wales during the Cambro-Norman Invasion of Ireland. One was Phillipo scilicet Gualensi, aka "Philip the Welshman", whose descendants are said to have settled in county Kilkenny, and the other was David Agmonine Walensis non Cognomine, natione Kambrensis non Cognatione, aka "David the Welshmen", whose descendants are claimed to have settled in county Dublin. Both are said to have received grants as a result of their achievements in battle and their relationship to the Cambro-Norman invaders. One unproven tradition mentions they were provided titles by Henry II: David as Baron of Carrickmaine (Carrickmines), and Philip as Baron of Shancahir (Oldcourt).

From their Celtic roots in Wales they were known as le Waleys, Wallensis (&c.) and many speculate their origins in the Pembrokeshire region of South Wales where other early Cambro-Norman adventurers in Ireland had originated, such as the Barrys, Barretts, Carews, and Roches.

Many have speculated about the ancestors (and descendants) of Philip and David, but confirmatory records are either missing or unclear. Giraldus Cambrensis in his contemporary history, The Conquest of Ireland, mentions David as the nephew of Reimund (Raymond 'le Gros' fitz William fitz Gerald). William Camden (Britannia; 1789) alludes to Philip and David as blood relatives of the FitzGeralds, Fitz-Stephens, De Cogans, De Barris, as well as Gruffydd ap Rhys, Prince of South Wales. Some have suggested that Philip and David were nephews of Robert FitzStephen, as well as descended from Rhys ap Tewdwr. If this may be the case, their connection may derive from a Welsh woman named "Nesta", who was a common ancestor of many leaders in the early Cambro-Norman incursion into Ireland.

A footnote in one translation of the Welsh text "Brut y Tywysogion" (The Chronicle of the Princes), compiled at the Welsh monastery of Strata Florida around 1300 alludes that William Hay 'Wallensis', son of Nesta and ?? de Hay/Hait, was perhaps the father, or grandfather, of the Philip and David (mentioned above). William Hay held St. Clare (in Wales) around the year 1130, and was found campaigning with William and Maurice FitzGerald in Carmarthen in 1137. The 'Brut' begins in 681, with the death of Cadwalader (son of the famous Cadwallon) and ends with the death of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, brother to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd (the Last Prince) in 1282.

In an attempt to learn more about possible associations, and potential relationship of the two Welshmen mentioned above, the following outlines some of the leaders and participants in the Cambro-Norman Invasion of Ireland.

Cambro-Norman Invasion: The Invitation and the Invaders

Dermot MacMurrough, after being defeated in 1166 by Rory O'Connor, King of Connacht and his ally, Tiernan O'Rourke, ruler of Breifne, fled to England for help in regaining his territory in Leinster. Dermot, meeting with Henry II, was eventually aided by Strongbow (Richard de Clare) who provided manpower for a failed invasion led by Dermot in 1167/68. At Strongbow's direction, the next invasion was led by Robert FitzStephen in association with Dermot. This attempt succeeded in May, 1169.

Robert FitzStephen led this mercenary party into Ireland, with his step-brother Maurice FitzGerald. Robert and Maurice embarked with a small body of soldiers in two ships a year prior to Strongbow's arrival in Ireland. In concert with the Irish of Leinster, they first captured Wexford, with which lordship Maurice was eventually invested.
Further Reference: Medieval Sourcebook.

Strongbow next directed another invasion force led by Raymond "Le Gros" de Carew, a nephew of Maurice FitzGerald. Raymond successfully established himself on the Wexford coast after defeating a group of Irish chieftains from Ossory and Idrone.

Surprised by these victories O'Connor and his allies granted Dermot all of the lands of Southern Leinster, under the agreement that the Cambro-Norman mercenaries would be sent home.

After the advance parties had established themselves in Wexford, and after the unsatisfied Dermot MacMurrough asked him to expedite his arrival, Strongbow was the next to arrive with troops to aid Dermot.

Richard FitzGilbert de Clare aka Strongbow (b. c. 1130--d. April 20, 1176, Dublin, Ire.), was the son of Gilbert FitzGilbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, who succeeded to his father's estates in southern Wales in 1148/49. Pembroke had evidently lost these lands before 1168; it was probably in that year that he agreed to aid Dermot MacMurrough. King Henry II of England (reigned 1154-89) granted Strongbow permission to go to Ireland, and on Aug. 23, 1170, the earl landed near Waterford. Waterford and Dublin quickly fell to the Cambro-Normans. As reimbursement for Strongbow's assistance, Dermot gave his daughter Aoife (Eva)'s hand in marriage, assuring Strongbow a right to lands in Leinster.

After the death of MacMurrough in May 1171, Strongbow was besieged in Dublin by the Irish 'High King' Rory O'Connor, but in September his forces broke out and routed Rory's army. In order to prevent Strongbow from setting himself up as an independent ruler, Henry II had him acknowledge royal authority over his conquests in Leinster. Strongbow helped the king suppress a rebellion in Normandy in 1173-74, and in return Henry granted him custody of Wexford, Waterford, and Dublin. By the time Strongbow died, all Ireland had been committed to his care, but within Ireland his supremacy was recognized only in Leinster.

For further historical reference on the invasion, see The Cambro-Norman Reaction: The Invasion of Ireland, as well as the Norman invasion cited at Ireland's History in Maps.

Lineages of the Invaders

Robert FitzStephen was the son Stephen the Castellan, Constable of Cardigan castle, and his wife Nest (or Nesta), Princess of Deheubarth. Robert's step-brother on his father's side was named William 'Walensis', whose parents were Stephen and another wife named Hay. Robert had two sons, Ralph FitzStephen (d 1182) and Meredith (Maredudd) FitzStephen. A possible third son was named Geoffrey.
Robert FitzStephen is mentioned as a "dear relative" (possibly an uncle) in the lore of the Walsh of the Mountain family in county Kilkenny (The Lament for John MacWalter Walsh, J.C. Walsh). Could Robert's brother, William 'Walensis', be more than a possible uncle? A Geoffrey FitzRobert was an early grantee in the barony of Kells in Ossory (co. Kilkenny), an area of later Walsh land holdings including Castlehale in the south east corner.

Maurice FitzGerald was a native of the colony of Pembroke in Wales and was the son of Gerald fitz Walter [de Windsor] and Nesta. He was Lord of Lanstephen and Maynooth, and constable of Pembroke from about 1097 onwards, whose castle was at Carew. This Gerald was the son of a Norman who had come over in 1066 with King William. From Maurice�s brother William descend the Carew family while from his other brother David, bishop of St Davids in Wales, come the FitzGeralds, barons of Brownsford in County Kilkenny, and lords of Gurteen. Maurice himself had six sons, all of whom obtained lands in Ireland. Four of these left descendants: Thomas, ancestor of the Geraldines of Desmond; Gerald, ancestor of the Kildare Geraldines; Maurice, ancestor of the Geraldine barons of Burnchurch in County Kilkenny, some of whose descendants styled themselves Barron; and Robert who settled on lands in County Kerry and whose great-grandson Maurice was the ancestor of the Kerry FitzMaurices. One of the early FitzMaurices was Piers, ancestor of the Kerry Pierses.
Maurice's grandson John FitzThomas FitzGerald married the daughter of Thomas FitzAnthony, Lord of Decies and Desmond (and referred to as Walsh in Egan's History of Waterford). Thomas settled at what is now Thomastown, County Kilkenny, again near later land holdings of the Walsh families.

de Carew
Raymond "Le Gros" (d. circa 1188) was the son of William FitzGerald, of Norman ancestry, who in turn was the son of Gerald FitzWalter de Windsor, Constable of Pembroke Castle, and his wife Nest (or Nesta). One of Raymond's brothers included Griffin (Griffyth) FitzWilliam, who was granted lands which included the manor of Knocktopher in Co. Kilkenny, This grant was situated just north of the grant provide to Miles FitzDavid (son of Gerald and Nesta's son David) in the barony of Iverk. Walsh properties, as identified by records of later years, lay on both sides of the boundary between Knocktopher and Iverk baronies.
A couple of references (e.g. Giraldus Cambrensis) allude to a David 'Welsh' as a son of one of Raymond le Gros' sisters, perhaps a possible sister named Isabel? A couple other references (O'Harts Irish Pedigrees; and A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland; Bernard Burke, 1899) suggest there was a Howell (Hoyle) Walsh, son of Philip (the Welshmen), who married a daughter of Raymond 'le Gros'. Another source (Landed Gentry of Ireland; Burke, 1912) claims the same Howell (Hoyle) Walsh was married to a daughter of Griffin (Griffyth) FitzWilliam, a brother of Raymond 'le Gros'.
Further reference - Barony Map of County Kilkenny.

Nesta - mother and grandmother of Cambro-Norman Adventurers in Ireland
In her time Nesta was known as one of the most beautiful woman in Wales. She had a number of husbands and suitors, and children from at least three fathers: Stephen the Castellan, Gerald FitzWalter and Henry I. In Christmas 1108 Owain ap Cadwgan of Cardigan came to visit Gerald and Nesta. He so lusted after her that he, that night, attacked the castle and carried her off and had his way with her. This upset Henry I so much that the incident started a war.

Nesta was of Welsh background. Her father was Rhys ap Tewdwr Mawr, Prince of South Wales (1081-1093). Her brother, Gruffydd ap Rhys, Lord of South Wales was the father Rhys ap Gruffydd, titled the Lord Rhys, of South Wales.

Nesta's ancestral line in south Wales is quite long. Her father was Rhys ap Tewdwr Mawr, son of was Tewdwr Mawr (the Great) ap Cadell. Tewdr Mawr was the son of Cadell ap Einion, son of Einion ap Owain, who in turn was the son of Owain ap Hywel Dha, King of South Wales. Owain was the son of Hywel Dha (the Good) ap Cadell, Prince of Deheubarth, who in turn was the son of Cadell ap Rhodri Mawr, King of South Wales, and so on.

Nesta's association with Henry I, King of England, produced a son named Henry FitzHenry (1103-1157). One of the sons of the latter Henry was Meiler FitzHenry who was also involved in the early Cambro-Norman incursion into Ireland. Meiler married a de Lacy, claimed to be a daughter of Robert de Lacy (d. 1220), and had another son known as Meiler FitzHenry. The elder Meiler (or Meyler) FitzHenry assisted another Welshmen named David (sometimes called Walsh) in becoming rector of Dungarvan and Bishop of Waterford in 1204.
Further reference on Nesta maybe found at : Descendants of Nesta.

Pembroke - Strongbow
As mentioned above, Richard "Strongbow" de Clare directed the initial incursions into Ireland in 1169-70. His ancestry leads back to the Norman Conquest of England and into Normandy, France. Strongbow's Father was Gilbert Strongbow FitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of Pembroke. etc. - 1110 to 1147. The ancestry continues as shown below:

Strongbow's G-Father - Gilbert FitzRichard de Clare, Lord of Clare - 1066 to 1117
GG-Father - Richard FitzGilbert de Clare - 1035 to 1090
GGG-Father - Gilbert of Brionne, Count of Brionne - died 1040
GGGG-Father - Godfrey of Brionne & Eu - died circa 1015
GGGGG-Father - Richard I the Fearless, Duke of Normandy - 933 to 996

Strongbow's son Gilbert de Striguil (or Strigoil) died unmarried, before 1189, and as a minor was never styled earl. The earldom passed with Strongbow's daughter Isabel (1174-1220) to her husband William Marshal, the 4th Earl of Pembroke.
See also The de Clare Family.

Pembroke - Marshal
Following the death of Strongbow his acquired territory in Ireland and the Earldom at Pembroke was passed to his son-in-law William Marshal. William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, marshal and then regent of England served four English monarchs as a royal adviser and agent and as a warrior of outstanding prowess.

Marshal's father, John (FitzGilbert) the Marshal (d. 1165), fought for the empress Matilda (widow of the German emperor Henry V and daughter of Henry I of England) in her unsuccessful struggle to gain the throne of her cousin King Stephen (reigned 1135-54). After proving his bravery in warfare and in tournaments, Marshal became a guardian (1170) to Prince Henry, eldest son of King Henry II (reigned 1154-89). In 1187, four years after the prince's death, Marshal reentered Henry II's service and fought beside him in France until the king died in 1189.

Upon the accession of Henry's third son, Richard I the Lion-Heart (reigned 1189-99), Marshal married Isabel, the heiress of Richard FitzGilbert (de Clare), Earl of Pembroke, thereby acquiring vast estates in England, Normandy, Wales, and Ireland. Richard I set forth on a crusade in 1190, leaving William Longchamp in charge of the kingdom. In the following year Pembroke joined the opposition that drove Longchamp into exile. While Richard was held captive in Germany (1192-94), Pembroke struggled to prevent the king's brother, John, from seizing power in England.

Upon the death of Richard I in 1199, William Marshal helped John succeed peacefully to the throne; he was formally recognized as Earl of Pembroke. By 1213 he had become the king's closest adviser, and he remained loyal to John during the disputes with the barons that led to the signing of the charter of liberties known as Magna Carta (June 1215). John died during the ensuing civil war with the barons, who had invited Louis of France (later King Louis VIII) to be their king. Designated rector regis et regni ("governor of the king and of the kingdom") for John's son, King Henry III, Pembroke defeated the English barons and French invaders and in September 1217 concluded a treaty with Louis that wisely granted amnesty to the rebellious barons.

William Marshal died in 1219, and was succeeded by his son, William. William the younger served as justiciary of Ireland from 1224 to 1226, in that time removing William de Lacy from his power base at Trim Castle. Young William died in 1231 and was succeeded by his brother Richard Marshal. Richard was killed in Ireland in 1234 in dispute with King Henry III. Among the leading feudatories of Richard Marshal who sided with their lord, and had to pay large fines before they were given back their lands, included Matthew FitzGriffin and Henry Walsh.

The Walsh Arms (in Wales?)

In Owen's list [Nicholas Owen, British Remains, London, 1777] of the arms of ancient Welshmen there are two entries which have a bearing on the origin of the Walshs of Ireland. For instance, the arms he attributes to "Cadogan of Bachan" (or Cadwgan of Bachau) are precisely those borne for centuries by the Walshs of Castle Howell (Hale) in Kilkenny, namely, "Argent, a chevron gules between three pheons sable." The reference makes us none the wiser to who Cadogan may have been. There was a Cadogan ap Cadwalader in Cardigan, Wales in 1151 at the time of Robert FitzStephen. This Cadogan was "claimed" to have brothers referred to as 'le Waleys' and one of them, either Ralph or Richard, was perhaps married to Isabel de Carew who was a sister of Raymond le Gros. The term Bachan may refer to Cantref Bychan, or Cantref Bachan as used by Geraldus Cambrensis in his "Description of Wales" written about 1194. Cantref Bychan was an area of south Wales which was reportedly held by the Lord Rhys (Rhys ap Gruffydd) and the princes of Deheubarth from 1136 to 1158, and again from 1162 to 1282.
In Archaeologia Cambrensis [by John Skinner, 1872], the arms above are described for "Kadwgan of Bachav, whence of Mochnant in Chirk," and are listed under Denbigh (North Wales). Here the arms are listed as "Argent a chevron gules between three pheons' points [conjoined in fess point] sable." In an ancient genealogy published in The history of the princes, the lords marcher, and the ancient nobility of Powys Fadog [v.6, 1187] it suggests that Cadwgan y Saethydd (the Archer) of Monchant bore "argent, a chevron gules, inter three pheons pointed to the centre sable". This Cadwgan is cited (in Welsh genealogy) as a son of Rhirid ab Cadwgan ab Rhirid, the latter Rhirid claimed to be a younger son of Bleddyn ab Cynvyn, Prince of Powys [refer to The history of the princes, the lords marcher, and the ancient nobility of Powys Fadog, and the ancient lords of Arwystli, Cedewen, and Meirionydd, v. 6, 1887]. Very similar arms are also attributed to an ancestor named "Kadwalader ap Gronwy", Lord of Monchant, co. Denbigh, according to various Welsh genealogies, one of these cited as "Argent a chevron gules between three pheons, the two in chief pointing to each other, the one in base point upwards, Sable."
In Notes & queries for Somerset and Dorset [v. 6, 1899], the arms of "Argent, a chevron gules between three pheons sable," cited for Cadwgan Bachew, appear on the south side of a nave in the church at Wyke-Champflower (S. Peter), co. Somerset. These are quartered with Southworth, Lloyd, and Einion Efell. Yet another interpretation of the arms of Cadwgan Bachew suggests the 3 pheon heads with points downwards, suggested in a quartering of arms of Lloyd of Llwynymaen.

Other references to Cantref Bychan include the Castle of Cantref Bychan, or 'chastell y Cantref Bychan', an earlier name for Llandovery (aka Llanymddyfri in Carmarthen) Castle which was constructed by the Norman marcher lord Richard Fitzpons beginning around 1116. Circa 1136 Hywel ap Maredudd ap Rhydderch, a Welsh noble is noted to have expelled the Anglo-Norman Fitzpons (Clifford) family from Cantref Bychan. After the Normans retook the castle, Lord Rhys ap Gruffydd is cited to have taken it back circa 1162. In 1171 King Henry II, on his way to Ireland, confirmed Lord Rhys in possesion of Cantref Bychan, Ceredigion and Emly despite the respective claims of the de Clare and Clifford families and William fitz Gerald, lord of Carew. In 1216 the Treaty of Aberdyfi (Aberdovey) confirms Rhys Gryg as Lord of Cantref Bychan and Cantref Mawr; the lands of the Towy (Tywi) valley. The river Tywi was an important boundary of great antiquity, separating Cantref Mawr on the north bank from Cantref Bychan (specifically Cwmwd Iscennen) and Cantref Cydweli on the south bank. Cydweli had been in Anglo-Norman hands since c.1110 but Iscennen, as well as Cantref Mawr, remained nominally independent in the hands of the Welsh, unlike the rest of Cantref Bychan, until 1284 (source: Rees, 1932). Carreg Cennen, at the head of Welsh Cantref Bychan (the commote of Is-cennen) was originally a castle site of the Princes of Deheubarth.

Cantref Bychan, anciently part of the gwlad of Ystrad Tywi, or the kingdom of the Towy Valley, is in the northeast corner of Carmarthen, and quite close to Denbigh, which included the cantreds of Rhos and Ryfoniog. Also nearby in Cardigan is Ystrad Flur (Strata Florida). Nicholas Owen [in his British Remains] gives as the arms of "Cadwgan of Ustrad Flur" (descendants were Cardiganshire men), "Azure, a lion rampant argent," the arms of the Walsh of Carrickmines, except the latter, as a mark of "difference," are "debruised by a fess per pale of the second and gules." Owen cites the same arms of "Azure, a lion rampant argent," for "Cadwgan ap Grono" whose descendants were men of Strata Florida.
The first abbey of Strata Florida was founded by the Cambro-Norman Robert fitz Stephen in 1164 for the Cistercians, but by the next year came under the support of the prince of Deheubarth, Rhys ap Gruffudd. Cadogan of Ustrad Flur may refer to Cadwgan ap Bleddyn, Lord Nannau and Prince of Powys, born in Cardigan, Wales about 1080, died in 1110/1111. Cadwgan reportedly had a banner with a "a lion rampant" prominently displayed on it. His son, Owain, abducted the beautiful Nesta.

The blazon, sable, a chevron between three spear heads, argent, is a common bearing among the Welsh (families) of Glamorgan and Brecknock.

The arms of Walsh of Ballykilcavan (Ireland), "Argent, a fesse azure between six martlets sable," seem to be of an origin quite different than the previous two, pointing either to Philip of Wigorn (de Worcester) himself or to Walshs who, for centuries in that district on the eastern border of Wales, bore these arms, and some of whose descendants came to Ireland in official positions in later centuries. However, it looks as though they were in Ireland as early as 1200 A.D. Philip de Worcester was granted land in the south of County Tipperary about the year 1185. The Walshes of Sheldesley and Abberley, Co. Worcester (England) bore similar arms.

Other Reference to Wales

About 1128 Guy de Sancto Wallerico was granted lands in Chepstow, Caerwent, Monmouthshire, south Wales, which may have included
Dinham Castle. The arms of the family 'Welsh' seated at Dinham Castle and at Llanwern down to the early part of the 17th century, as well as those of notable Walshs of England, were the same as the coats of Sancto Wallerico, that is: "Ermine, a bend sable". Guy de Sancto Wallerico left a son Reginald, whose line ended in coheiresses early in the reign of Henry III; but Guy may have had another younger son or sons, from whom perhaps descended a family whose name we find written Le Walleys, Wallens, Walshe, and finally after some other variations of orthography, Welsh. The corruption of Wallerico (Walerie or Waleries) to Walsh is no more strange than many others that could be named. However this may be, two of the family accompanied Strongbow to Ireland in or about 1170; these were David Le Walleys, and Phillip Le Walleys, younger sons of Ralph and brothers of William Le Walleys. It may be right to observe that Dinham, and Llanwern were mesne fees, the former certainly, and probably the latter, at that period held under Strongbow (Gilbert de Clare) as Lord of Chepstow.
It is probable that at one time Dinham was their principal seat, as several of them are found described as of this place, thus Adam de Dinam in the reign of Henry III, Adam Walensis de Dynan in 35 Edward I, Adam de Dinham in the reign of Edward II. William de Dinham, or William le Walsh, in the reign of Edward II and Edward III. Christopher Welsh, esquire, who was High Sheriff of Monmouthshire in 1569 and 1576, was the last of the family who held Dinham and Llanwern, and whose arms are described as ermine, a bend sable.
Source: "Notes on the Ecclesiastical Remains at Runston, Sudbrook, Dinham, and Llan-bedr", by Octavius Morgan and Thomas Wakeman, 1856. Printed for the Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquary Association, by Henry Mullock, Newport.

Footnotes to above:
  • - The le Walshe or Welsh family held lands at Llanwern and Dinham, Monmouthshire, Wales; and at Quedgeley, co. Gloucestershire, by at least the 13th century. They bore the arms of ermine, a bend sable.
  • - Among the witnesses of charter of earl Richard son of earl Gilbert (this was likely Richard Strongbow de Clare) to the monks of St. Mary of Usk (in south Wales), dated perhaps the middle of the 12th century, was William Wallensis. The charter includes four acres of the land of William Wallensis and half the tithe of the {land of) William Wallensis. Among the other witnesses was Reimund son of William son of Gerald (this was likely Raymond le Gros). The content of the grant suggests the land of William Wallensis may have been in Gwent Iscoed (included in what is now Monmouthshire), mentioning such places as Nova Villa (Newport) and the marsh of Magor. [source: Cymmrodorion Record Series, no. 4, pts. 3-4, 1908]
  • - It is worth noting that William Wallensis who occupied unspecified land may have been related to to Raymond le Gross. Orpen (Vol. 1 p. 348) gives David Walensis as Raymond's nephew and has them both at Limerick in October 1175. The family, alternatively known as le Waleys, le Walss and Walsh, were holders of the castle of Dinham, a sub-lordship of Striguil, in 1128 and 1329 (Evans, C.J.O. Monmouthshire: Its History and Topography, pp 286-7). (source: Norman Usk: The Birth of a Town, Andrew Geoffrey Mein, 1986)
  • - Between 1200 and 1210 Philip Walensis and Henry de Sancto Waleric were witnesses to a grant of land in Ely O'Carrol (Ireland) from William de Braose to Adam de Hereford. Among the other witnesses included a Robert Walensis. (source: Ormond Deeds, i. p. 9-10. Original charter in the Register of St. Thomas [Rolls Series])

  • - In Domesday Langridge manor (co. Somerset), with many others, was held of the Bishop of Coutances, by one Azelin or Ascelin. Before long it became the possession of the family of Walsh or le Walles, who also owned Hutton, near Weston-super-Mare (co. Somerset). When Robert FitzHamon conquered Glamorgan, c. 1100, the head of the family seems to have been a follower, as they acquired considerables property there, including Llandough. Here they built a castle, of which some portions still remain, forming part of the present manor-house. Robert Walsh, of Langridge, remembered the Church of Llandough in his will, made 1427. The momumental brass of Gwenlliam Walsh still exists. She was the widow of Walter Morton, Constable of Cardiff Castle, 9 Henry V (abt 1422). [source: Proceedings, by Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, v. 60, 1915]
  • - Walensis or le Waleys of Llandough were descended from men holding of the Earl of Gloucester in 1166. [source: The Development of Welsh Heraldry, v. 1, p. 258]
  • - It has been stated that in 1169 the Lords of Glamorgan joined the attack on Ireland. They included the various descendants of Nest ferch Rhys ap Tewdr the 'queen bee' of the Cambro-Norman swarm.
  • - A family of Waleys or Walsch is of Glamorganshire descent and was long seated at Llandaugh [Llandough] Castle, near St. Mary Church in the Vale of Glamorgan. The castle was described as a 14th century castle with a curtain wall still remaining today, and located at Ordinance Survey Point SS995730.
  • The arms of Walsch / Walshe of Llandough, Glamorgan, and of Langridge and Hutton, Somerset, were ermine a bend gules.
  • - One of the oldest established working farms in the Vale of Glamorgan is Ogmore Farm, although the present farmhouse dates from the 17th Century. A lease of the farm is known to one John Walsh as long ago as 1490.

    Walssh of Cardiff
    In the year 1376 we find the name of William Walssh in a list of Mayors of Cardiff and Constables of the Castle. William is also cited in this List of Officials (from Cardiff Records, Volume V, Chapter XII) as Recievor of Glamorgan and Morganwg. William is also listed in the Minister Accounts for this year, which are financial statements sent up to the Crown from the persons appointed to manage estates which had come into the King's hands on the death of the Lord without heir male, or under certain other circumstances.

    Walsh of Castle Hoel
    The heraldic ordinaries were no doubt of Norman introduction, nevertheless they make their appearance in the arms of ancient Welsh families. Thus, the arms of Adam ap Iorweth (ap Cradoc), called Adam of Gwent, the progenitor of many Monmouthshire families, were argent a bend sable, three pheons argent. This personage was the hereditary seneschal of the Welsh lords of Caerleon at the time when that lordship was made over by its last Welsh lord, who died without male issue, to Marshal Earl of Pembroke in the reign of Henry III. Adam, the seneschal, received from Henry a grant or confirmation of all his father's and grandfather's lands (see Charter Roll, 30 Hen. III, m.7), and probably the Norman ordinary was then introduced into the arms. [Notes and Queries; Published by Oxford University Press, 1868]

    The preceding article was compiled by Dennis J. Walsh, � 2009

    Further Reference:
    Descendants of Nesta.
    Ancient Walsh Family Tree.
    Walsh Coat of Arms.

    Further Reading: Gerald of Wales: The Norman Conquest of Ireland (12th Century).

    Exploring Walsh Connection in Wales

    Monday, 24-Aug-2009 20:28:50 MDT