(Related to the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire areas in Wales)

Welsh Dragon

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This is an to attempt to understand where some of the history of this area came from and what my Picton ancestors viewed, felt, and experienced. It is believed that the Pictons and their descendants have lived here for the last 800 years either near Picton Castle or within view of the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire or in Carmarthenshire until the present time.

This is a journey into time where my Picton ancestors lived such as the farms and towns. An additional comment: If the Picton's have been here 100's of years, then through there Welsh ancient ancestors including there wives, I ask why not 1000's. The 5,500 year old burial chambers had to to built by someone. The blue stones for Stonehenge were mined in this area by whom. The Demetae Tribe is the name of the Celtic tribe of people who lived in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire about 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. They built the Celtic hill top forts. There are remains of a 2,500 year old Iron age hill top fort that exist in this area. We visited the Iron age hill top fort called Castell Henllys near Nevern, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

A man was out metal detecting in 2018 and found a 3,500 year old Celtic Chief chariot and other items in the South part of Pembrokeshire with an estimated value of over a million pounds. A 2018 article and a 2019 article. I would think the odds that the Picton ancestors are descendant from this unknown Celtic Chief are very high.

Pembrokeshire has the Landsker line representing a cultural, linguistic and genetic divide all in one small corner of the country. South of the line is traditionally called 'little England beyond Wales, and at one time Irish was spoken there when the Deisi tribe from Ireland (Co. Meath) settled there and mixed with the Welsh from the 4th century. Between 550 AD and 750 AD the plague occurred in most areas of Europe and half the population died from the plague. This also caused a lot of the land to return to an untamed wilderness.

Remains exist of a Roman Fort at Wiston and a Roman Road that ran by Wiston. Some think that the warlord Wizo the Flemming in the 1100"s built Wiston Castle at that location because a Roman Fort had existed at that location before. Wiston is only about three miles from Picton Castle. Could a Roman Fort have been where Picton Castle is now and that is the reason Picton Castle was placed at that location? Maybe no one has looked or the evidence may have disappeared over time. Examples of Ogham writing (which reads right to left) made over a 1000 years ago still exist at St Brynach's Church at Nevern. Look who our ancestors blood could contain. We most likely have ancestors who descendant from the Demetae Tribe, the Romans, the Irish when they invaded, the Vikings, the Normans, the Flemish from Flanders and the English all mixed up into one mixing pot of ancestors.

There is a Roman Gold Mine that has been in Carmarthenshire for an estimated 3,000 years. First the native Welsh people mined gold, then the Romans came 2,000 years ago and mined gold for 500 years, and finally in the 1800's and early 1900's gold was mined. Some say the reason the Romans invaded Great Britain was to obtain the gold they heard was at this gold mine. To travel to the old Roman gold mine, we took the highway from St. Clear to Carmarthen, then North to Plumsaint (not very far). The Dolaucothi Gold Mine is near the town of Plumsaint and has Roman Gold Mine Tours.

Stone head of a hammermill used by the Romans

Kathryn Picton


Picton Castle sits on what many say is one of the greatest natural sea harbors in the world and is ranked by some as one of the top one or two natural sea harbors in the world. It is called the Milford Haven Waterway. Milford Haven Waterway consists of two rivers with the names East and West Cleddau which run together at Picton Point with Picton Castle siting above forming what we now call the River Daugleddau which exits to the sea at the port of the town of Milford Haven. This nature harbor of Milford Haven Waterway has given many sailing ships safety and protection for centuries if not thousands of years but Picton Castle sits at the head of it all. Notice that there is water below Picton Castle. Could the water and location on what is now called Picton Point be the reason Picton Castle was built at this location? The original Picton Castle may have been built of wood around 1100 AD and the current stone structure built in the 1300's. It is believed that it is still lived in by people descendent from a Picton called William Picton. The earliest existing reference to the Picton Castle is a deed now in the Library of St. David's Cathedral. The Picton Castle was featured in "Ripleys, Believe It Or Not" during the 1960's. It showed a picture of the castle. The write-up stated that the castle had been occupied by the same Picton descendants for over 800 years. They said this is the longest known home that has been lived in by one family in the world. Picton Castle is one of the best preserved castles. All other castles in the area are in various stages of ruin. I attended a fabulous dinner in this castle in 2015. Castle existence credit must be given to one family who owned this castle starting with the ancestors of William Picton. I look at Picton Castle existence as a gift to the world.

Distant view of Picton Castle from Landshipping taken in 2015

Milford Haven Map


The Conquest of Ireland was occurring in the 1100's to the 1300's. A lot of fighting was going on just a few miles from Picton Castle including this buildup for the Conquest of Ireland. Notice the involvement of many of the powerful families in Pembrokeshire in conquering Ireland and becoming rich. Godebert of Flanders, de la Roche, de Pendergast, de Clares, de FitzMartin, de FitzGerald, Strongbow (Earl of Pembroke), Gerald de Windsor, William Marshall and Sir John de Wogan are some of the family names of powerful men from Pembrokeshire who went to Ireland. At that moment in time this was now the center of the universe. Also, the occupation of Knight (who very likely would fight and die) was about the only occupation available for the sons of these families.

Another thing to think about, is that the Knights Templar's had a facility located near Picton Castle on the Milford Haven Waterway in this time frame. In France,in 1307 the King of France tried to take over and destroy the Knights Templar's. The Knights Templar's escaped France with 18 ships loaded with treasure and no one knows where the ships went. If the Knights Templar's were smart, they would not hid all the ships at one location. Some think some of the ships went to Scotland and others to Portugal. Considering that the Milford Haven Waterway is one of the largest and best natural harbors in the world with a lot of places to hid, I suggest some of these treasure ships came to Milford Haven Waterway. Could some of this treasure have been hidden here or could it have been used to help finance the invasion of Ireland? The Knights Templar's facility located near Picton Castle may be an indication that such a thing happen. If this did happen, could Picton Castle have been involved in all this? This was all happening around Picton Castle in the 1100's to the 1300's.

Both the Picton and de la Roche families have three fish in their coat of arms and there two castles were 10 to 12 miles apart. Could there be a connection or could both be descendants from related individuals because they both have three fish in there coat of arms?

Both the Picton and de la Roche families have three fish in their coat of arms and there two castles were 10 to 12 miles apart. Could there be a connection or could both be descendants from related individuals because they both have three fish in there coat of arms?

What must have been going on in the minds of people in charge at Picton Castle? How involved were they? What were they doing? Where do the Picton Castle ancestors tie into all this? The Northern branch of Pictons are also descendant from Sir Thomas Philipps of Picton Castle born about 1465. Notice that Philip Picton (founder of the Northern branch of Pictons), the reported brother of William Picton of Picton Castle went to Newport and Nevern and could this be related to all that is happening? Could the fighting going on around Nevern Castle at that time have drawn Philip Picton to Newport because what other occupation did he have and it may have been safer? Sir John Wogan of Picton Castle (the son-in-law of William Picton) was Justiciar of Ireland from 1295 to 1313. This made him the most important person in Ireland.

I understand the climate is wet and it never really gets that cold or hot because of the surrounding sea. I do not think they have to worry about snow staying on the ground for any length of time or having very much hay stored to feed animals in the winter because I think the grass is almost always green.

In Pembrokeshire they both speak Welsh which is a Celtic language and English. All road signs are in Welsh and English. I have the English name for many of the genealogy places I wish to visit, but I have to have it translated to Welsh because that is the name on the map. Example: Monk Mill is Cwnfelin Mynach, Whitechurch is Eglwswen. The place my ancestors came from is in a more Welsh speaking area so people talk to each other often in Welsh. It may be that speaking Welsh was a form of protest against the English. I think the more Welsh that is spoken, the more likely they are to attend non conformist churches which are more likely Baptist. It was a joy to talk to the people in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire because they were always so friendly, kind, helpful and trying to look out for my best interests and I feel this is genetic.

Owen Picton

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Last Modified Febuary 2021

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