Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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ELLIS family, of Bron y Foel and Ystumllyn , Ynyscynhaearn, Caerns.

This family, the name of which is alphabetized here, for the sake of convenience, under Ellis , produced some well-known members before Owen Ellis (d. 1622 — see below) 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, Cards. , afterwards earls of Lisburne (see Vaughan of Trawsgoed ), Iorwerth , ancestor of the Evans family of Tan-y-bwlch , Maentwrog ; Ieuan , brother of Sir Hywel y Fwyall (below) , was ancestor of the Madryn family .

HYWEL AP , of Bron y Foel , whose wife was Gwenllian , daughter of Gruffydd ap Ednyfed Fychan , had a son, GRUFFYDD AP , who, by his wife Angharad , was the father of EINION AP , sheriff of Caernarvonshire 1354-6 , and Sir Hywel y Fwyall (q.v. as Hywel ap Gruffydd ) . Einion ap Gruffydd was succeeded by IEUAN AB ( sheriff 1389 ), Ieuan by HYWEL VYCHAN , HYWEL by RHYS AP . Rhys ap Hywel , of Bron y Foel , was followed by HYWEL AP (see Hist. of the Gwydir Family ), and this Hywel ap Rhys by RHYS AP , who in turn was followed by THOMAS AP , who inherited, through his mother, extensive lands in Hopesland, Flints. , which, however, he sold. CADWALDR AP , his son was succeeded by ELLIS AP , of Ystumllyn (d. 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 (d. 1622 — see the elegy composed by Gruffydd Phylip ), through whom the line was continued, and, among other children, Griffith Ellis . GRIFFITH ELLIS (d. 1667 ), whose wife was Margaret (d. 1667 ), daughter of Ellis Wynn ap Robert , Rhwng-y-ddwyryd . Griffith and Margaret Ellis were the parents of Thomas Ellis (d. 1673 ) (q.v.) , rector of Dolgelley , and John Ellis (d. 15 Oct. 1693 ), chancellor of S. 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 (d. 1631 ), of Ystumllyn , and Robert Ellis (d. 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 (d. 1712 ), his heiress, whose husband was GRIFFITH WYNN (d. 1719 ), of Penŷberth , sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1676 , the estate going eventually to Margaret 's third son, HUMPHREY WYNN (d. 1724 ), vicar of Bosbury, Herefords. The estate became eventually ( 1837 ) the property of Rowland Jones (q.v.) , 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 (see the article on them) — 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 d. in 1691 , grandson of Owen Ellis I . There are many englynion eulogizing Marged Ellis (i.e. Margaret Wynn ), who d. in 1667 , the wife of Griffith Ellis ; Gruffydd Phylip d. 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 .


  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 264;
  • ‘Phylipiaid Ardudwy’ in Y Cymmrodor , xlii;
  • J. H. Davies (ed.), Caniadau yn y Mesurau Rhyddion, gyda rhagymadrodd ar godiad a datblygiad barddoniaeth rydd yn y Gymraeg (1905) (‘Cymdeithas Llên’ series);
  • E. Breese , Kalendars of Gwynedd … (1873) .


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959