Baptism of Elizabeth John, 19th June 1735

I notice that the Latin is Elisabetha filia adullerat Gwenlliane John, Elizabeth, adulterate daughter of Gwenllian John – very severe. So through no fault of her own, she had a disadvantage in life. There is a scientific way of investigating the matter. Elizabeth would have inherited an X chromosome from Christopher Portrey, and the X chromosome is passed down from mother to daughter unchanged and may be carried today by the relevant female descendant. Christopher Portrey would have inherited this X chromsome from his mother, Frances Pryce, and she would have passed it down daughter to daughter in a different line, adn it may have survived in another living female descendant. It should be the same in both. This is because a female inherits an X chromosome from each parent. A male inherits a Y chromosome from his father and an X chromosome from his mother. So a Y chromosome is passed down unchanged from father to son to son indefinitely, and an X chromosome from mother to daughter to daughter indefinitely. However, the documentary evidence we have accumulated points overwhelmingly to Elizabeth being the daughter of Christopher Portrey, who did look after her at Ynys Cedwyn House while he was alive. She was then looked after by Richard Portrey, as the court case shows. This would not have happened if she were a maid servant unrelated to the family. I think that Gwenlliane is meant to be “of Gwenlliana”. It should be “Gwenllianae” as in Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. It sounds much better in Welsh, Elsbeth ferch naturiol Gwenllian.

Sent: 15/08/2012 18:03:45 GMT Standard Time
Subj: Baptism of Elizabeth John

I was checking up the Bishop’s Transcripts of Ystradgynlais that you will recall I went to view and photograph at the Mormon church in Swansea in March of this year, and I luckily found the baptism of Elizabeth, the daughter of Gwenlliane John. I attach it for you. I will have to check up now to see whether the original entry in the baptism register matches this provocative wording.

Stuart Davies

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