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Welshmen at the siege of Caerphilly Castle in 1327 
By 1327, King Edward II's favourite Piers Gaveston was long dead. The Despensers had the ear of the King and he was "as wax to be moulded to their image". The Queen and certain barons desired his replacement. Caerphilly Castle, a Despenser stronghold, was besieged by the Queen's forces which included 400 Welsh footmen. The castle was too strong to be reduced and the defenders were only persuaded to surrender, with the promise of a free pardon, in March of that year. 

After the surrender, a list was made of the names of the men who took part in the siege. The manuscript offers a fascinating glimpse at the names of the past. I reproduce below the names of a contingent under the command of a vintener (a twenty-man) and have added occasional notes. You will notice that most of the names are of the "ap" or "son of" variety but several are descriptive. The scribe, although he would have been more familiar with Latin and French, made a very good job of writing out these old Welsh names. 

 
 
From an old document Welsh spelling Notes & English versions
Lewelin ap Howel Vauhan 
(Vintener)
Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan Llywelyn, son of Hywel the Younger.
Lewelin ap Gronou ap Howel Llywelyn ap Goronwy ap Hywel  ap Hywel would became the surname Powell.
Jeuan Bruel Ieuan ? Ieuan would become Evan and lead to the surname Evans.
Traharn Gethin Trahaearn Gethin Gethin = swarthy, dark.
Madok Vaur Madog Fawr "Big Madog"
Madok ap David Madog ap Dafydd Madog giving us surnames like Maddox and Maddocks.
Jereward Wachan Iorwerth Fychan Iorwerth the younger.
Edward Vaughan in English.
Traharn With Trahearn Chwith Chwith = left handed.
David Bersone  Dafydd Person - to become a mysterious name David of the Parsonage
David ap Jereward Dafydd ap Iorwerth Might become "David Edwards"...
Jereward Vauhan Iorwerth Fychan or "Edward Vaughan".
Cnokha A familiar or slang term for a bowman. Compare with the Middle English "nock", a notch at each end of the bow or a notch at the end of the arrow. Thanks to Ms. S Pritchard of California for pointing this out.
Gronou ap Jereward Goronwy ap Iorwerth
David Whidouth Dafydd (?)
Jeuan Whidouth Ieuan (?)
David Gouth Dafydd Goch Goch = red haired. To become the surname "Gough" or "Goff".
Jereward ap Eynon Iorwerth ap Einion Einion resulting in surnames like Beynon or Onion.
Lewelin ap Madok Llywelyn ap Madog Madog was popular at this time but did not survive to become a very common surname in Wales.
Jereward ap Madok Iorwerth ap Madog
 
 John Weston / Data Wales, 1996-2002

 Welsh surnames, a short note  /  Mysterious names from Wales

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