Heritage Llangwm Project and Roche DNA result

The Llangwm History Society has received a Heritage grant to research the Flemish settlement of South Pembrokeshire and restore St. Jerome’s Church.  The church was built towards the end of the 12th century by Flemish craftsmen and funded by the De la Roche family.

Part of the project involved DNA testing of seven men from the community who could trace an unbroken male line for the last 250 years.  The work was done in association with the Welsh TV Channel S4C and DNA Cymru.  The DNA results are mentioned in episode 4 of the TV program and it can viewed via this link.  The program is in Welsh and you must turn on the English subtitles in the audio section (DNA results are mentioned at the 41 minute mark).

One of the seven men was a Roach and the DNA results indicated that he belongs to the main ancestral lineage in the Roche DNA Project (lineage #1).  DNA Cymru have stated that this result links the Irish and Pembrokeshire families which descend from the original founder, Godebert the Fleming.

Further details of the Heritage Llangwm Project can be found on their website.


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21 Responses to Heritage Llangwm Project and Roche DNA result

  1. Proche195@hotmail.com says:

    So there is no direct Y-connection to this group since the male line died out. Why do we think it matches lineage #1?

    • Roche Lineages says:

      While the hereditary title (Lordship) became extinct in Pembrokeshire in the 14th century, the Roche male lineage did not die out. Up until the 14th century there were 5 to 6 generations and the title was inherited and passed on by the oldest son. The younger sons at each generation would then establish themselves and pass on their Y-DNA to their own sons. This has a multiplier effect and the hereditary title only belongs to one of the many lines that descend from the original founder. The recent Roche DNA result in Pembrokeshire would come from an ancestral line of one of the younger sons.

      The same situation occurred in Ireland. The Lord Viscount Fermoy title became extinct when Ulick Roche died in the 18th century. However the Roche male lineage did not die out. There were approximately 15 to 17 generations up until the 18th century and the younger sons at each generation would then establish themselves and pass on their Y-DNA to their own sons.

      • Proche195@hotmail.com says:

        Do you have a tree for Godebert the Fleming? I’ve seen no evidence of any Ireland connection after the male descendants daughtered out.

        • Roche Lineages says:

          The Heritage Llangwm Project have been working on a family tree and the current version can be found on their website:
          They have David De la Roche (1156 – 1195) as an ancestor of the Pembroke line and Adam (b1160) establishing an Irish line. Both were sons of Rodebert (1126 – 1163). There is also an article by Jim Roache (Roch in Wales and Operation Ireland) which mentions some descendants in Ireland of Richard De la Roche (b1124).

          The Llangwm Project is currently investigating original documents at The British Library, The National Archive at Kew, Lambeth Palace, The National Library of Wales, and the archives held by the St. David’s Diocese and Pembrokeshire County Council.

        • Proche195@hotmail.com says:

          Ok thanks. I’ll watch the progress with great interest.

  2. David Roche says:

    Thank you for that. I am pleased the project is going aheadI hope you have a service on St Roche’s DayBestDavid From: Roche Lineages To: davidroche20@yahoo.co.uk Sent: Sunday, 13 December 2015, 8:10 Subject: [New post] Heritage Llangwm Project and Roche DNA result #yiv3350999532 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3350999532 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3350999532 a.yiv3350999532primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3350999532 a.yiv3350999532primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3350999532 a.yiv3350999532primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3350999532 a.yiv3350999532primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3350999532 WordPress.com | stillnessgate posted: “The Llangwm History Society has received a Heritage grant to research the Flemish settlement of South Pembrokeshire and restore St. Jerome’s Church.  The church was built towards the end of the 12th century by Flemish craftsmen and funded by the De la Roc” | |

  3. Timothy G. Roche says:

    Hello All. I am Timothy Roche of North Carolina. My grandfathers were born in Fermoy, at least to the 3rd or 4th great grandfather going back to the mid 18th century. Records are very difficult in Ireland. We are most anxious to find out if we are descendants of the Pembrokeshire Roche Family of Godebert The Fleming and Adam de la Roche. Initial DNA testing done through Ancestry.com says we are 92% Irish and 4% Great Britian. Can you establish this connection through testing of my DNA? Thank you. I am fascinated by your project.

  4. Roche Lineages says:

    Hello Timothy,
    The type of testing required is the Y-DNA test provided by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). I would recommend the 37 marker test an a minimum. This will provide information on your family paternal line and matches to other Roche families. Details can be found here:

  5. I have being interested in researching all the Roche families back to 1096. In my family tree I’m related to Edward Francis Roche b 1828 and married in 1850 to Dorothy Longfield b 1826. It’s being a good read. I always thought there was warrior’s in my Son’s blood. The reason being that he can do things others can’t and would die trying. Maybe I should get him to check his DNA Lol.

  6. Liz Rawlings says:

    Hi, This is Liz Rawlings of the Heritage Llangwm project. Our research data is building a very interesting family tree especially Rodebert’s line. One of our DNA volunteers has a link with Godebert b. 1096 in Pembrokeshire – he was tested by DNA Cymru and subsequently with FTDNA as we wanted confirmation and additional knowledge. We now have a lot of information to share with anyone who is interested.

  7. Pam Hunt says:

    Hello Everyone, I’m Pam Hunt and have been the leader of the Heritage Llangwm project, which is now nearing it’s 4 year conclusion, although Liz will agree with me that this project will probably not end completely for a long time to come. I do however want to pass on some news. On Saturday 25th March 2017, the Official Flemish Government representative to the UK, Mr Nic Van Der Marliere will be visiting Llangwm to officially switch On “The Talking Tapestry of Langum”. As you probably by now know, this community was Flemish from the early 1100s and although we cannot prove it, evidence strongly points towards Llangwm being the birthplace of the De la Roche Dynasty. We hope to stream this event live on Facebook.

    Also another date for your diaries. Saturday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2017, we will be celebrating a special De la Roche weekend at which descendants of the Roche / Roach clan will be most welcome. Further details will appear here and on the “Heritage Llangwm” Facebook Page. The event includes a re-enactment of the wedding of Lady Joanna and Sir David De la Roche in April 2015, she being a descendant of Adam and he being a descendant of Adam’s brother David. Other events are planned right through this weekend including medieval banquets, medieval re-enactments, falconry, archery, a medieval market and much, much more.

    In the meantime have a lovely Christmas and we hope to meet many of you at the end of April.

    • Timothy G Roche says:

      Hi Pam. I finally have the raw data of my DNA. I would like to send it to you. I wish to determine if my DNA matches the original Roches of Pembrokeshire. I hope your project has been successful. Please tell me the best way to send the info to you. Thank you kindly.

      Tim Roche
      6307 Saddlewood Drive
      Waxhaw, NC 28173



      • Pam Hunt says:

        Hello Tim,

        Good to hear from you. I’ve received it in an email from you. I’ve asked Liz Rawlings to take a look at the results and get back to you. She’s the expert on the DNA.

        I don’t suppose you would like to join us at our special Medieval Weekend, 29th April to 1st May. We are inviting Roches from all over the world to join us for the celebrations. Roch Castle is now a “Boutique Hotel” with fabulous views across Pembrokeshire and the Irish Sea. I know that they are keen to welcome descendants of Godebert The Fleming.

        Best Wishes

        Pam Hunt

  8. Liz Rawlings says:

    Hi everyone,

    Just to put a slight correction from Pam’s Christmas information – the De La Roche wedding of Sir David to Lady Johanna was in 1315. The re-enactment takes place on Saturday 29th April as part of the Medieval weekend. It would be lovely to see you there. Liz

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