Pierce Genealogy

three nags
Sable three nags' heads erased, argent (Brochwel Ysgythrog)

This Pierce Welsh genealogy is based on my research and the use of Bartrum's Welsh pedigrees to explore the earlier generations. The tribe of Gwenys is descended from Brochwel Ysgythrog, king of Powys in the sixth century. The arms attibuted to Brochwel are the three nags pictured. Lloyd Piers, first cousin of Thomas of Virginia, adopted these arms from his mother who was heiress of Griffith Lloyd. Here is a flag from a St. David's day parade that shows these arms [By Gareth James, CC BY‑SA 2.0].

Capt William Peirce and Thomas Pierce who both lived on Mulberry Island in Virginia are generally considered to be related, although exactly how is not known. I have not been able to find that they were related through the Piers family, although they could have been. Most likely William Peirce's grandfather Piers Reynold of Welshpool, who living in 1535 had connections with Shrewsbury merchants, may have been related to the family of William Peers, Mercer of Shrewsbury, and who was grandfather of Thomas of Virginia. More details of my reasearch are in a manuscript The Possible Welsh Ancestry of Captain William Peirce.

Genealogy of Reynold ap David ap Griffith of Burgedin

William Peirce's great-grandmother Margaret vch David named her sister Mally in her Welshpool will dated 1540. Reynold ap David ap Griffith was her will administrator and was also the subject of a chancery case concerning property owned by Maly ap [sic] David. The use of the 'ap' in a woman's Welsh name seems odd, but was evidently not unusual. The exact meaning is unclear. Since Maly was an unusual name and Reynold ap David ap Griffith appeared in both the will and chancery case, then almost certainly Maly was the sister mentioned in the will. The chancery case of Maly named Reynold ap David ap Griffithe and his brother Roger as her 'nyghe kynsman'. The page from Bartrum has the genealogy of Reynold and Roger of Burgedin.

The 1546 subsidy list for the hundred of Pole lists for the village of Burgedin Reynald ap David ap Gruffid, Roger ap David ap Gruffid, David ap Gruffid, and Hugh ap David ap Ieuan ap Dio. Since the father of Reynald ap David was still living it is less likely that he was the father of Margaret and Maly, since as the chancery case showed she owned land and she probably would not have inherited from her father if he was still living. Possibly Hugh ap David ap Ieuan ap Dio was the brother of Margaret and Maly, since a later chancery case showed that Margarets's grandson disputed land that had been owned by Ieuan ap Dio in the village of Trewern.

The chancery case concerning the property owned in Burgedin by Maly did not indicate that it was a widow's life portion or that it was jointly held with a living or deceased husband or that she was married or a widow. She may have been unmarried. Also, searching in the genealogies did not show any ways she might have been related to Reynold ap David by marriage and it seems more likely she was related by common ancestry. The will of Margaret vch David mentioned a neice named Margaret who has been placed as a child of Hugh ap David, but without any proof he had a daughter Margaret.

Gwenwys tribe

The Bartrun genealogies show that the mother of Reynold ap David and Roger ap David was named Marsli vch David Goch. Perhaps the best explanation that Reynold ap David and Roger ap David were near kin of Margaret and Maly was that Marsli vch David Goch was their aunt. The name Marsli is a dimunitve of Margaret, so if so Margaret vch David may have been named after her aunt.

The records show that it is less likely that Margaret and Maly were sisters of Reynold ap David, or that Margaret and Maly's father was related to Reynold ap David or that the relation was by marriage. These possiblities can not be positively excluded but seem less likely. Hence, the most likely way Roger and Reynold ap David were near kinsman was that the mother of Margaret and Maly was the sister of either David ap Griffith or Marsli verch David Goch. In addition to the possible naming of Margaret for her aunt assigning their mother as the sister of Marsli ap David Goch shows how Captain William Peirce and Thomas Pierce would have been distantly related through the marriage of Thomas's uncle Edward to Elizabeth Lloyd. For these reasons this connection is considered the best explanation.

Gwenwys tribe with Pierce's