Awbrey Family History

Good to hear from you, I attach two relevant genealogies. Stuart and I are also descended from Morgan Awbrey Hen, (born 1389), Lord of Brecon. His son Jenkin ap Morgan was married to Gwenllian ferch Owain, another marriage into the line of Bleddyn ap Maenarch, Prince of Brycheiniog, from whom you are descended through the marriage of Tomos Awbrey Cwnstabl Coch (born 1299) with Nest ferch Owain Gethin (born 1304). Jenkin ap Morgan had sons Hopkin ap Jenkin and Richard ap Jenkin. Dr. William Awbrey was descended from Hopkin ap Jenkin as shown. Stuart and I are descended from Richard ap Jenkin. Hopkin was married to Gwellian ferch John, descended from Sir Dafydd Gam, who was descended again from Prince Bleddyn ap Maenarch, as shown in the attached. So the Princely families and Norman Families were often intermarried for property and prestige. I descend from Awbrey, Havard and Gunter, who were often intermarried with the Princely Families and other Norman Families. They were all arranged marriages. John Aubrey, author of “Brief Lives” was descended as shown from Dr. William Awbrey, a favourite of our ancestral cousin Elizabeth 1st Tudor, who granted him a lot of land. Elizabeth 1st Tudor was descended as shown form our own ancestor Tewdwr (or Tudur) Mawr, Brenin Deau Cymru. The lines are attached for ease of reference. I will look up Sir William Awbrey to see how he descends and find what children he had.

In a message dated 16/05/2017 18:06:57 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

Thank you for the info. The photos are wonderful to see. Both you and Myron have provided much to consider.

There is much to discuss with you. We are leaving for Switzerland on the 18th returning on June 3. I will have access to email but no access to my files.

Some of what you have written about the Awbreys and Goughs in Ystradgynlais I had read in James Burton’s Palleg – Tribal Lands, Manors & Farm Estates.

A distant cousin provided copies of pages 337-48 from Limbus Partrum Morganiae et Glamorganiae. Are those the only pages referencing Awbreys?

On the page at is the statement “You may well be aware that three Awbrey brothers went from there to the US.” Do you have any documentation on these individuals? Those of us involved with our emigrant history in the U.S. have only supposition to go on. We know that Sir William Awbrey had sons named Henry, John and Thomas (as well as other children) as stated in his will. There are records of those three arriving in Virginia in the 1650s to 1660s. But, we have no documentation. However, there is much circumstantial evidence of the relationship. Henry and John became well established quickly in Virginia. Thomas “disappeared.” It is assumed he went back to the UK. I descend from John.

Christ College: Some of the photos I took last September are on the page at|Christ This is a more complete story than on the link sent in my first email. Note there are 2 Awbrey gravestones in Awbrey Chapel. Felicity advised Awbrey Chapel is in the process of becoming a chapel once again instead of the vestry. I have additional photos if you are interested.

Morgan Awbrey Hen, 1389, is my 13th great grandfather. Dr. William Aubrey, 1529-95 is my 9th great grandfather. I have Dr. Williams’ will and a document of the Inquisition on his estate. I use a lady genealogist in Bristol to translate old English to modern English. She did his will, as well as others, for me. I am trying to understand the Inquisition document, but there are terms of which the meaning is not clear. One thing is clear, he had control of great many properties.

Jon Awbrey’s book: Jon is the publisher of a small city newspaper in west central Texas. We are in contact via email and I have visited him once. Unfortunately, he answers questions from memory as he does not have ready access to his research. Jon self-published the book and copies are no longer available. He no longer has interest in the book and has told me I can do with it whatever I want. I have it the book in PDF form which will be sent to you after returning from the trip. Some explanation is needed.

Dr. William is in part the inspiration for the name of Jon’s book – Aubrey/Awbrey – Dominion and Decline. Dr. William was wealthy and influential. Hence, “dominion.” The brothers Henry and John, and John’s son Francis, within a few years controlled over 40,000 acres of land in northern Virginia. Again, “dominion.” In both cases, within two generations, nearly all the wealth was gone – “decline.”

There is another book on the Aubrey/Awbrey family published in 1966 which is mostly about American Awbreys. I have it in PDF if you would like to see it.

Brecon Cathedral: When visiting there in 2014, we viewed the crypt of Walter and Christina Awbrey, dated, possibly, 1312. The vicar gave us a printout to read, Found out later it was taken from the Theophilus Jones book. We saw a plaque high on the wall by an entrance door dedicated in memory of an Awbrey who died as the result of imprisonment by Spain. This last visit, we found plaques in the floor of Havard Chapel for several Awbreys. Do you have idea how Walter and Christina fit into the pedigree?

My story: I had followed my wife’s research on her families – Martin, Dooley and Michot – for several years. We went to several Martin family reunions and even to Gien, France where we found good information on her great, great grandfather Jules Michot, a member of France’s first General Assembly. Another research trip was being planned in 2014 to Bristol when I decided it was time for me to get involved with Awbrey family research. Discovered it wasn’t that far to Wales from Bristol, so we carved out four days from Bristol and went there.

I knew very little about the Awbrey history at that time, but did manage to visit Abercynrig and Brecon Cathedral. We walked onto Christ College, but there was no one to talk to and I did not know what to look for. Last September I was better prepared.

Upon arriving in Brecon, we immediately went to Buckingham Place on Glamorgan Street, just across the River Usk from Christ College. While taking photos of the house a gentleman walked up and offered assistance. I told him we were taking photos of a house built in the mid-1500s by my 9th great grandfather Dr. William Aubrey. He was taken aback and stated he was reading a book about an Aubrey. The book was John Aubrey, My Own Life by Ruth Scurr. A very interesting book written as if John Aubrey, FRS had written an autobiography using his own words.

The gentleman turned out to be the chairman of the Brecknock Society and Museum Friends, Dr. John Gibbs. He took us to a nearby house owned by his daughter where we had a nice talk. Later, he took us, including my recently arrived cousin and husband, who live in Harpenden, to see a house in Crickhowell where his niece lives. The house was owned in the 1600s by a lawyer that John Aubrey used when he unsuccessfully sued his cousins to gain some properties previously owned by his great grandfather, Dr. William. John Aubrey is my 2nd cousin, 8 times removed. Good grief!

I have collected a large amount of material which hasn’t been researched thoroughly. There is an article about the mercers in Brecon in the 1600s featuring an Awbrey and a Vaughan. I have found much material on the National Library of Wales web site. One I want to spend more time with is a series of articles published in the Brecon newspaper in the 1800s titled “Brecon, 50 Years Ago.” It mentions several Awbreys.

Well, that is enough, most likely too much.

Again, thanks for your assistance.

Stuart Awbrey

Cc: Myron Evans <>
Subject: Re: Awbrey Family History

Apologies for the delay in replying to you, but I wanted to collect some photos to send you which are related to the Awbrey family of the Swansea Valley. I will endeavour to help you with respect to any questions that you may have, but the Awbrey family is spread over such a wide area in Wales that there are many aspects of it that I have not touched at all.

I note that you have visited Christ College in Brecon. Apart from the Awbrey connection, I had two uncles who went to school there and there were other cousins to both Myron and myself who were pupils there around the beginning of the 20th century. In fact I first contacted Felicity Kilpatrick, the school archivist, to provide details with respect to WW1 serving old boys. I subsequently went on a tour of the school with her and others. It should be the primary place to visit for anybody interested in the Awbrey connection, albeit that it is but a shadow of what the friary must have been like prior to the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. One hesitates to guess what it was like in all its finery after Roger Thomas etc have done such extensive damage. Did you manage to get any photos of the Awbrey chapel? I am not sure that it necessarily deserves such a title as it, apart from now being the vestry, has little related to the Awbrey family other than the grave slab of Thomas Awbrey which is in any case of a 17th century date.

The first photo that I attach is of a plaque memorial to Morgan Awbrey [note the spelling] who was of Ynyscedwyn Hall in Ystradgynlais and died in 1648. The original ancient church was demolished and replaced in the 1860s with the present church. Wall plaques were transferred to the new church, albeit that this is the earliest, but none of the marked stone grave slabs from within the old church were moved or at least there are none there now. The last male Awbrey of this descent died in the 1670s, though he had made a very good marriage to one of the Middletons of Middleton Hall in Carmarthenshire [long demolished, but now the site of the
National Botanic Gardens of Wales and with newly discovered extensive water
features of lakes, cascades etc].

The sister of this last Morgan Awbrey [the first born always bore that name in this branch of the
family, presumably named after hen {old in Welsh} Morgan Awbrey, the one time
lord of Brecon] married into the Portrey family and her granddaughter subsequently married into the Gough family of Gloucestershire. My second photo shows a wall plaque from the old church put up by the son of this grand-daughter. The only trouble is that he omits altogether the name or mention of his grandfather. This inscription is quoted by all the post 1800 History Books of Breconshire and thus perpetuates the error.

My third photograph again shows an old plaque now positioned in the new church. It details the Gough family owners of Ynyscedwyn Hall. You will note that the first named bore the surname of Aubrey. This was a requirement of the settlement of the what was in effect the old Awbrey estate. The last male Portrey inheritor of the Awbrey Estate died with no legitimate heirs and prior to his death an agreement was reached by all parties that the Estate would pass on his death to the eldest son of the Gough heirs, on condition that the heirs would take the name of Aubrey to perpetuate the name. This requirement was held to for approx. 60 years after the death of the Portrey before being dropped. The male Gough family inheritors of the estate themselves died out in the 1930s and the house was taken over by the local council. It was eventually developed by them as their council offices. To their disgrace the council decreed in the 1990s that the hall should be demolished and the land used for executive style housing. Youtube contains a series of photos of the hall prior to demolition.

My last photograph is of a plaque placed in the new church just over 50 years ago. It makes reference to my gggggrandmother, albeit that the name is in error. She was married as an Elizabeth Portrey, albeit illegitimate. Myron is also of course descended from her. She married a Morgan Thomas and hence the family name of Morgan through the Welsh patronymic naming system dropped from the next generation onwards.

Much of our Awbrey family history has been researched using Limbus patrum Morganiae et Glamorganiae, by George T Clark, Wyman 1886. Are you familiar at all with it? Is the book by Jon Awbrey, Dominion and Decline to which you refer in your Wikitree link still available for purchase in the US?

Come back to me with any queries you may have reference this email and any other questions you may have.

Stuart Davies

From: EMyrone

Sent: Friday, May 5, 2017 8:26 AM

Subject: Awbrey Family History

Dear Stuart Aubrey,

I am sure that my cousin Stuart Davies will help if he can. He sent the photograph of the House. I attach some Aubrey genealogy back to Thomas Aubrey, the Red Haired Constable (Cwnstabl Coch), born 1299, who married Nest ferch Owain Gethin, born 1304, descended from the Princes as shown. This is where Bartrum stops his line, but it can be pushed back reliably to the de Clare Family and Richard Duke of Normandy, descended from Norse Iarls near Trondheim. You are welcome to use this on Wikitree, or any of the genealogy on The Institute for Ancient Wales Studies in Texas does a lot of good work on the ancient genealogies. Morgan Aubrey Hen, Lord of Brecon (born 1389) was married to Alys ferch Watkin.


Myron Evans

In a message dated 04/05/2017 23:20:37 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

Dear Dr. Evans,

Over the last couple of years, I have read many of your postings regarding our Awbrey family. Once again today, I read the one about Llanelieu – The Awbrey House – Of particular import is the statement “You may well be aware that three Awbrey brothers went from there to the US.” One of those brothers is my emigrant ancestor, John Awbrey. I have been to Brecon twice including visits to Llanelieu Court, Abercynrig and other Awbrey related locations.

Do either you or Stuart Davies (if I recall he also descends from Morgan Awbrey) have the time to answer some questions?

I do a lot of work on WikiTree. My profile is at

Some of my projects are at: and


Stuart Awbrey

Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas



afamilylinesancestryto1,100 BC.pdf


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