Genealogies of the Saints

View of Llanrhystud church and hills looking towards the sea..
View of Llanrhystud, Ceredigion.
Photo © David Parsons

Cristiolus yn Lledwigan yMon a Rystvd yNgheredigion
yNehevbarth meibion Howel Vychan ap Howel ap Emyr Llydaw

Cristiolus in Lledwigan in Anglesey, and Rhystud in Ceredigion in Deheubarth, sons of Howel Vychan ap Howel ap Emyr Llydaw

Bonedd y Saint, c.1150–1250

Texts listing the family relationships of saints are unusual in a European context, but characteristic of Irish and Welsh medieval traditions. In this case the saints of Llangristiolus in Anglesey and Llanrhystud south of Aberystwyth are presented as brothers and descendants of the legendary Emyr Llydaw (Emyr of Brittany) whose descendants are also supposed to have included Padarn and Cadfan. Such lists were immensely popular in Wales, and survive in many manuscript copies, often with additions and alterations reflecting the interests and local knowledge of compilers.

Carving on the font at Llangristiolus.
Font, perhaps tenth century, Church of St Cristiolus, Llangristiolus, Anglesey
Photo © Martin Crampin


The material on this page and on those listed below are taken from the exhibition that recently toured Bangor, St Davids, Llantwit Major and Holywell.

Saints in Medieval Wales
Verses to the Saints
Lives of the Saints
Saints in Modern Times