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Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Origins and Genealogy of the Williams Family

For the information on this post I used a Jstor article which had been published by the Old Dublin Society and which was very kindly sent on to me by a staff member in the RDS recently. The article was 'Some Notes on Charles Wye Williams, His Family, Their Life and Times' writted by Hazel Smyth and published in the Dublin Historical Record in 1996.
I also used information stumbled upon while browsing online, in particular a Victorian genealogical study named 'A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland' by Sir Bernard Burke.

Our maternal great-great-great grandfather was a John Williams whose son, Richard Williams, lived for some years in 17 Eden Quay which was the headquarters of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company.  The CDSPCo had been founded by Charles Wye Williams and his older brother, Richard Williams, both the sons of Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland.  I've been trying for some time to link our Richard Williams of Eden Quay to the founders of the CDSPCo and I believe I've now figured out the correct genealogy of the family.

 Our great-great-great grandfather, John Jeffery Williams (1770 - 1815)  was the son of Hutchins Williams who was the son of Richard and Mary Williams of Leighton Buzzard.  Hutchins was the brother of Thomas Williams of the Bank of Ireland.   The Mormon LDS website records the births of the children of Richard and Mary Williams of Leighton Buzzard as follows:
  • Hutchins Williams born 26th December 1740 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • John Williams born 29th September 1742 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • William Williams born 31st March 1746 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • Thomas Williams born 30th December 1747 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • Richard Williams born 29th December 1749 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • Mary Williams born 12th September 1751 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • Watkin William Williams born 28th December 1753 in Leighton Buzzard.
  • Watkin Win Williams born 1761 in Leighton Buzzard.
The first Watkin may have died young and the second was named after his dead sibling. The inclusion of the name 'Win' which is definitely a misspelling of 'Wynn' is significant because of the common recurrence of the name with the 'Williams' name in the genealogies of North Wales.  It makes me wonder was the 'Wye' of Charles Wye Williams actually supposed to be 'Wynn'?
At what date did the Williams family of Leighton Buzzard make the move to Dublin? Did the parents, Richard Williams and Mary Hutchins, accompany their offspring to Ireland, or did the Williams brothers head to Dublin as adults later? 
By 1783, Thomas Williams was working for the Bank of Ireland. His sons, Richard and Charles Wye, founded the CDSPCo in the early 1820's.   In 1827 the CDSPCo took over the rival Liverpool and Dublin Steam Navigation Company.  Voting took place on the 15th December 1827 to decide on extra trustees - the following is a list of voters with the amount of stock each held:
  • Richard Williams  £8700   (Older brother of Charles Wye Williams.)
  • Thomas Williams of Sackville Street  £200  (Of the younger generation - cousin of Charles Wye W.)
  • Charles Wye Williams  £8000
  • John D. Williams  £300  (Another cousin, John Dignam Williams. Died in the 1850s. Was of Eustace Street.)
  • Richard Palmer  £500  (A relation of Richard's wife, Anne Palmer?)
  • Thomas Williams of Hampton Lodge 5000  (Of the Bank of Ireland, Charles Wye W's father.)
  • Hutchins Thomas Williams  4400   (The elder brother of Thomas Williams?)
  • William Williams  200   (Another brother of Thomas Williams, or the son of his brother William. Was of College Green, Dublin.)
  • By Proxy: Peter Williams  400
  • Thomas Gibbons  2400
  • George Carleton  300
(The above list was transcribed from the records in the Custom House by my second cousin Jane Williams.)

Thomas Williams' son, Richard, who founded the CDSPCo with his brother, Charles Wye, was buried in St. Andrews Church before being re-interred in Mount Jerome Cemetery.  Inscribed on the vault is the following:
   'Richard Williams descended from Griffith Williams, 1st Baronet Penrhyn (1661).'

It is known that his grandfather, Richard Williams of Leighton Buzzard, had a coat of arms which showed him to be of the ancient family of Williams of Penrhyn, Cochwillan and Meillionydd near Carnarvon, North Wales.
It is stated that Richard Williams of Leighton Buzzard was born in Carnarvon on July 17th 1719 .

The genealogy of this family is complex and bewildering. Griffith Williams, the first baronet Penrhyn, descended from William Williams Esq. of Cochwillan who was sometimes called William WYNN Williams, the MP for Carnarvon in 1571. His wife was Dorothy, the daughter of William Gruffydd (or Griffith), who was the Knight of Penrhyn. 

(Gruffydd Williams, or Griffith in English, the 1st Baronet Penrhyn, succeeded to the estates of Cochwillan and Penrhyn which were left to him by his uncle, the Archbishop of York. He was the Sheriff of Carnarvonshire in 1651 and 1662; he was created a Baronet of England on 17th June 1661.  By his marriage to Gwen, the daughter of Hugh Dodwrda Esq., of Carnarvonshire, he had 12 surviving children and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Robert Williams. )

Now it gets really interesting.  The Williams family of Cochwillan, the Williams of Meillionydd, the Williams-Bulkeley family of Penrhyn  and the Griffiths family of Penrhyn (amongst other North Wales families) descend directly from  a Welsh nobleman named Sir Tudor ap Ednyfed Vychan who was married to Adlais, the granddaughter of Griffith ap Cynan, the King of North Wales. 
This Ednyfed Vychan later married a second woman, Gwenllian, the daughter of Rhys ap Griffith, a Lord of South Wales.  Their grandson was Tudor ap Grono of Penmynedd, who built the priory at Bangor and did homage for his lands to Edward I at Chester.
 Tudor's great-great- grandson, Sir Owen Tudor, married Catherine de Valois, the youngest daughter of Charles VI, the King of France. Catherine was the widow of Henry V of England, and the mother of Henry VI.
Catherine and Sir Owen Tudor, who was beheaded in 1461 for his role in the Wars of the Roses, had a son, Edmund Tudor, who was created the Earl of Richmond in 1452 by Henry VI.  Edmund married Lady Margaret Beaufort, the daughter and heir of John, Duke of Somerset and died in 1456, leaving an only son, Henry VII who was the King of England and the founder of the royal house of Tudor.

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