Titles and Merit | Tyranny and Worth

I cannot fathom the penchant for titles, especially among Americans. The USA was founded on the premise that all people are created equal and each person has the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And yet, so many Americans search for the ancestral links to titled progenitors.

Living in a small country, next door to the largest generator of titled personages in western Europe, I must express my dismay. The presence of a ‘royal’ line diminishes all those beneath it, makes subjects of people who are rightly citizens. If you live in a country founded on equality and freedom, why do you seek servility and bow to privilege?

Why is it important to you to be related to a person of ‘royal’ lineage? All that means is your ancestor was more bloodthirsty, more devious, more morally reprehensible, more willing to grovel for favor than the next person. Only those who were in the ruler’s favor gained or kept titles. To accomplish that, they, more often than not, had to set aside any personal integrity. Do you truly want to be the progeny of a person who, for the love of privilege, caged a child or imprisioned a toddler (Gwenllian merch Llewelyn) at the behest of his/her king?

Here’s a sobbing fact: anyone claiming ancestral links to titled people is 99.99% certain to be a peasant. If you can trace your ancestry back beyond the first census, there is an overwhelming possibility your ancestor was listed as chattel on an estate.

Thankfully then, there is an excellent chance you do not carry the genes of sycophants at all – unless your ancestor was the victim of a ‘royal’s’ sexual assault.

Give me real people in real circumstances overcoming obstacles and finding love where they least expect it.

By the way, if I am not in Ireland, I will be in total media blackout on 29 April 2011.



Filed under Cymraeg/Welsh Language, Cymreig/Welsh, Cymru/Wales, Hanes Cymru/Welsh History, Rhamant/Romance, Y Cymry/Welsh People

2 responses to “Titles and Merit | Tyranny and Worth

  1. Denise Pattison

    I’ve never understood this either. I even wrote a paper about it in college and my professor couldn’t get the point. When someone tells me they are related to someone with a title, my first thought–liar and you had someone else trace your lineage. There are so many gaps in important papers it’s nearly impossible to go back very far and be accurate.

    One of the first things I learned about census takers in the US–many of them didn’t spell the names as they were supposed to be spelled. Why? Because the person the census taker was talking to didn’t know how to read or write. Add in the different dialects from so many different countries and a last name can get spelled multiple ways.


  2. In Wales, most last names were Anglicized through the years so Gwilym (from Guillem – French) became William and Rhys became Rees, ap Rhys became Price, ab Owain to Bowen etc. Further complicating the issue was the tradition of naming children with the father’s first name as the child’s last, or not having a last name at all.

    Church records, especially those in earlier times, registered the births of estate workers as belonging to the estate – the lord of the manor (pendefig). Unless there are specific names of parents, the registered birth was of a serf, not a relation.

    As I say in the blog, living in a country where the ‘titled’ – regardless of their worth or worthlessness – are privileged, one gets disheartened by the sycophanticism of people born free and unfettered by a class system engrained over millennia.


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