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Nesta (Verch Rhys) ferch Rhys ap Tewdr (1073 - aft. 1136)

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Nesta "Helen of Wales" ferch Rhys ap Tewdr [uncertain] formerly Verch Rhys aka Dinefwr
Born in Dinefwr Castle, Carmarthenshire, Wales, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died after in Caernarfonshire, Walesmap
Verch_Rhys-5 created 29 Nov 2013 | Last modified
This page has been accessed 1,271 times.

Categories: Cymru 742-1535.

Nesta ferch Rhys ap Tewdwr.[1]


Nest ferch Rhys ap Tewdwr of Wales, was born about 1085. "Rhys ap Tewdwr was a direct descendant of Hywel Dda, and he assumed his birthright as king of Deheubarth in 1079. About 1080, he married Gwladys ferch Rhiwallon ap Cynfyn,[2] a niece of Bleddyn ap Cynfyn and first-cousin of Cadwgan ap Bleddyn."[1]

Nest married Gerald of Pembroke about 1100, and they had at least four children: sons William, Maurice , and David FitzGerald and a daughter, Angharad, wife of William of Manorbier.[2]

Was born at Wales, Carmarthenshire, Llandyfeisant, Dynevor. Daughter of Rhys Ap Tewdwr (King of Dyfed in South Wales) and Gwladys ap Cynfyn.

Nesta (Princess of Deheubarth) was known as the most beautiful woman in Wales. She had many lovers.

In 1090 Nesta was sent to the court of Henry I as a hostage for the good conduct of her people. Henry I, attracted by her good looks, she had a male child Henry ‘ filius regis’ from him, and thus started the FitzHenry line. After years of peace she was returned to Geraldus and her people.

Nest returned home to find the kingdom of Dyfed under Norman tutelage. The Norman's were colonizing the former kingdom of Dyfed and establishing a colony of Flemish soldiers intermixed with English settlers in what is now Pembroke.

On Christmas 1108 Owain ap Cadwgan of Cardigan a cousin, came to visit Gerald and Nesta. He so lusted after her that he, that night, attacked the castle. According to the Brut y Tywysogion, Owain and his men infiltrated the couple's home (assumed by historians to be either Cilgerran Castle or Little Cenarch) and set fire to the buildings. When Gerald was woken by the noise, Nest advised him to escape by climbing out through the privy hole. Owain then seized Nest and her children. However, some sources suggest that she went with him willingly. After the "abduction", Owain ap Cadwgan carried her off and she had a male child from him Robert FitzStephen , thus starting the FitzStephens line.

This upset Henry I so much that the incident started a war. Gerald's influence was such that Owain and his father soon lost much of their territory of Powys as a result of Owain's actions. Owain himself was obliged to go into exile in Ireland. When he returned, in 1116, Gerald hunted him down and killed him. The "Annals of Cambria" record 1116 as the date of Owain's death.

The date of her death is unknown, but she lived until well after 1136."[2]


  1. #Wolcott
  2. 2.0 2.1 #DWB

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No known carriers of Nesta's mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test.

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On 30 Nov 2013 at 13:01 GMT Roger Travis Jr. wrote:

Hi; what are the sources for this profile?

Nesta is 25 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 24 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 31 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 23 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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