The earliest ancestor of this Family Line was Richard Meredith who moved from Wales to Ireland in 1584 as the chaplain of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir John Perrot, and who subsequently became Bishop of Leighlin.His descendants in Ireland were associated primarily with the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Kilkenny. Later branches were established in England and Australia as a result of emigration from Ireland.
Some of his immediate descendants played a significant role in Irish politics in the 17th Century. Both his sons Robert and Thomas were Members of the Irish Parliament and were knighted. Robert served as Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and there is also a single reference to Thomas having done so too. Three of Bishop Meredith's grandchildren were also Irish MPs.
The ancestry of Bishop Richard in Wales is known, thanks to extensive research, particularly that of P.C. Bartrum in his published Welsh Genealogies. His ancestry goes back to a former King of Wales, Rhodri Mawr, who died in the year 878. The lineage of two English Meredith branches can be similarly traced back to Rhodri Mawr.The names of the immediate ancestors of Bishop Meredith illustrate how the Welsh naming patterns (the patronymic system) mean that it would be wrong to assume that all Merediths are be related as descendants of a common ancestor with that surname. His father was called Robert Meredith, and he was the first generation in the family to adopt an English surname. His father was called Maredudd ap Gronwy, and Robert adopted his father's given name as an English-style surname. A similar process took place across Wales at various times over 100 years or so, with other families adopting the Meredith surname from a father or grandfather who had a given name of Maredudd. Some of these Meredith families may have had a common ancestor, but many will not.
The names of specific persons in this Family Line can be found in the Surname Index.
The family history can also be explored through different types of chart:
A Schematic Diagram shows the connections between the various Meredith Family Lines documented on this website, and their possible connections back to Wales.The two types of chart and the schematic diagram can be accessed directly from any page on the website by means of the Charts menu item and its sub-items.