Our Household History

My name is Ségnat, ( pronounced SHAY-nat) ingen Fháeláin.   I am an Irish Celt , however I am most recently found on Penrhyn Llŷn in the kingdom of Gwynedd, with my husband, Morcant (pronounced mor-GANT) Hir.   My father Fáelán was a flaith of the Laigan king, who sent him across the Môr Iwerddon (Irish Sea) with his family to colonize this place after the Romans departed.  

My mother’s ancestors were of the druid caste and she was fostered by learned people. She frequently hosted pilgrims who travelled through Penrhyn Llŷn on their way to Ynys Môn (Anglesley) and  Ynys Enlli (Bardsey Island). They enjoyed our hospitality during their travels; bringing my mother news of her tuath and thrilling me with tales of love, war and brave chieftains.

 As she could find no appropriate fosterage for me in our new home, I received my education from her.   
She was a fine healer and passed that knowledge on to me.  

My husband's  grandfather and father were Gododdin (Votadini to the Romans) Picts who traveled here under the leadership of Cunedda Wledig.   Morcant’s grandmother was his grandfather's Irish mistress which is ironic; given that he was sent to drive the Irish from Llŷn.  This matter's little in Gwynedd.  Here the law grants equal accession rights to both legitimate and illegitimate offspring.

It was my mother who arranged for me to wed my husband through her connections with his grandmother.   She was dying and I believe this was her attempt to protect me from the coming unrest.  I think perhaps she feared for my safety if I returned to Ireland with my father whose position was treacherous.   We were married shortly before she died and my father returned to Ireland, and to his death. 

About Gwynedd 

Located in northwest Wales in the former British territories of the Deceangli and Ordovices. A group of Votadini Picts (nominal Britons from the Pictish border area of the Venicones) under Cunedda Wledig were transferred by Magnus Maximus to secure Western Britain from Irish raiders, moving from the Manau Goutodin kingdom. In Wales, Cunedda governed most of the north (hence 'King of North Wales'). His father and grandfather bore Roman names and in true Celtic fashion, Cunedda could trace his lineage back to Beli Mawr.

Following that Celtic tradition, upon Cunedda's death the territory under his control was divided between his sons. Most of these were 'regained' by the main Gywneddian kingdom within a generation or two. Ceredigion, along the upper west coast of Wales, remained independent for much longer.

 The name of Gwynedd either derives from the Latin Venedotia, or more probably from Cunedda (=Weneda =Gwynedd).

British women enjoyed a high status that is rare in any society before the modern age. They were the equals of men not only in the home, but also in government and war. Some Britons were regularly ruled by queens, and the matrilineal descent of kings was a very strong feature of Pictish rule of the far north of Britain, where each king was chosen through his relationship with his mother, not his father. The Manau Gododdin who moved to north Wales also practised this form of inheritance until the ninth century, reflecting their northern heritage. It was probably Gwriad ap Elidyr, the heir of South Rheged who ended this practice thanks to his very different heritage.

Story References: 

Documentation for Names 

Morcant  (pronounced mor-GANT)   
Period:          5th-6th  Century
Location:     Gywenedd (Wales)
Parentage:   Father - Gododdin Pict
                         Mother - Irish

Morcant's Father’s Name

The use of Morcant as a personal name from 500-1000  is documented here: 

Hir ,used as a Welch byname, is mentioned in the article, “A Simple Guide to Constructing13th Century Welsh Names”  by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn, however a list of kings of Gwynedd  mentions Maelgwyn Gwynedd (Maglocunus) Hir  (c517 – 549)  and   Rhun Hir (Rhun the Tall) (c.547-c.580), which  indicates that this byname was used in the early 6th Century.

 Ségnat ( pronounced SHAY-nat)  ingen Fháeláin
Period:          5th-6th  Century
Location:      Gywenedd (Wales)
Parentage:   Irish

" Ségnat " is found on p. 164 of  [Ó Corrain and Maguire, 1981]

Fáelán is found on p. 92 of  [Ó Corrain and Maguire, 1981] under the heading of Fáelán: Foalán" meaning "wolf".

The lenited spelling “Fháeláin” is found here: http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnnalsIndex/Masculine/Faelan.shtml

It is only known  after 700 AD.  It has been suggested to me by Domhnall na Moicheirghe of the kingdom of Lochac, that I go with the oldest known lenited form although I believe it might be more appropriate to use the punctum delens due to the time period of my persona.  According to the article,  “ The Spelling of Lenited Consonants in Gaelic”,  the “h” would not have been used until after 1200 AD,  but the author did state that by the 6th century  F was being lenited by use of punctum delens over the letter.  (Krossa)   The SCA does not use the punctum delens, though, so I will use the oldest form available.

Donnchadh Corrain, Fidelma Maguire. Gaelic Personal Names. Dublin: Academy Press, 1981.

Flamme, François la. "Gaelic (Irish, Manx, Scottish)." Collected Precedents of the SCA (2003, December):http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/precedents/CompiledNamePrecedents/Gaelic.html

Krossa, Sharon. "The Spelling of Lenited Consonants in Gaelic." Medieval Scotland (2003): http://medievalscotland.org/scotlang/lenition.shtml.

Author's Notes: 
This is a very rough draft  ( I still haven't named my bard because my son hasn't picked his name and he wants to be his namesake) and I am sure I will be updating it as I go over more sources.  We've only just started putting this together.  Nothing is set in stone, I've already had to change up  my husband's  name to avoid mixing Irish and Welsh, in this instance.  
If you catch any of the many glaring errors I am sure this contains, please leave a comment or e-mail me.