Madogs of Wales

The Maddox/Maddock family is of Welsh descent. The family name then was Madog.  To understand our history, we must dig into the unfamiliar history, culture, and language of Wales and Welsh, its living Celtic language. Wales is a colorful principality of Great Britain with a rich and ancient history--of Druids, Romans and Norsemen, kings castles, and conquerors, and a few incredible legends, including the claim that Madog was in America 322 years before Columbus!  Our ancestors were in the middle of it all--the Madogs of Wales.  This family has a lineage spanning back 30 more generations to 500 A.D.!

The Maddox family of Maryland (and probably the others) derives its descent from the Madog family of Llanfynach, Wales. This family, its name later spelled Madoc, or Maddock, previous to the fall of Charles II, held the lordships of Llanfynach, Scethrog, Llangorse and several smaller ones.  Thomas Nicholas in "Annals of the County & Country Families of Wales," wrote the following account of the Madog family of Wales:



Above: Usk River; below: a tiny village near Brecon in the Powys province of Wales.
"At Maesmawr, Llanfynach, a short distance from the town  Brecon on the Usk River, there lived for many generations, onofe of the bravest families in Brycheiniog. It seems probable that they were on the land  before William the Conqueror was born; they were there when Newmarch came by authority of Rufus, to steal the land of Brychan from the Welsh. 

The convulsion which then shook the Brycheiniog world to its foundation was not able to dislodge the Madogs from their paternal inheritance.  In the parish of Llanfynach, Newmarch found them; in the same parish 300 years after, his tyranical successor found them - neither force of arms expelled them nor feudal law invalidated their inheritance!

Thomas ap Jenkin Madog was the Brycheiniog who refused to yield his lands upon which his forefathers had for generations dwelt - refused to acknowledge any other paramount authority in that country excepting the King of England only. The King subsequently decided in his favor. ('ap' means "son of".)

 

The Madogs of Llanfynach, Maesmawr, were of the line of Gwgan, second s/o Moreiddig Warwyn. Moreiddig who was said in legend to have been born with a snake about his neck; therefore, he changed his coat of arms to`three boies, heads couped at ye shoulders, full-faced, proper, ermine or about the neck of each, a snake.'

The son of Gwgan Howel displayed the boldness of his house by marrying a daughter of the Norman, Birchill; his example followed by his son, Traharne Dal [the tall], for he became son-in-law of Phillip Walbeoff, Lord of Llanhamlach, and by his grandson, Madog ap Traharne, who took to wife the daughter of Richard Bois.

After this, for several generations, the British blood of Maesmawr was reinvigorated by Welsh alliances. Among the most distinguished was the marriage of JOHN ap HOWEL ap MADOG of Aesmawr, who was steward of  'ye Duke of Buckingham, Lord of Brecknock,' to Mallt, daughter of Sir Howel Y Fywall, the North Wales warrior who was so good with his battle ax at the battle of Cressy, Edward III gave him a knighthood with a pension and a daily mass to be served before his battle ax."

Webmaster's Note:  A British researcher has some problems with the account of Maddox family author Perry, whose Welsh lineage is extensively cited on this site, (and whose account is written above.)   Click here for his views.

Shall we take a little trip over?

Larry Maddox, of Liberty Missouri, has visited Wales several times in search of Maddox /Madoc roots. He found them in tiny churches nestled in the countryside of southernWales.   Larry brings you a new photo tour and description of a recent trip.  Can't go there yourself?  Click to his South Wales Search for Maddox to travel along with him!   Lots of web graphics, but worth it...see the earliest Maddox  pictures, circa 1600!

Life in the 1500's.  Not very many years before our kin managed to leave Europe, we get clues that life then was very difficult, indeed.  Other histories bear this out, but we have some unsubstantiated items for your amusement about life of our ancestors.  Check this out!

If you're so inclined, let's take you to some Wales websites and a study of Medieval history and its spectacular castles.  Gee Toto, we'll not be in America anymore!

FIRST, BOOKMARK this page so you can get back!

Credits for this section to researchers:  Dot Bishop (Georgia), Glenda Maddox Newton (Pensacola, FL), Pat Doster (North Carolina), Larry Maddox (Liberty MO)