Hello Debra. I can give you some general information on the early Poles in England.
There were two families in England whose names became Pole, and they were not related. One family was of Norman origin, and they were named de la Pole before coming to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The name was probably based on their place of residence - near a pool. The name later became simply Poole, or Pole, when later generations dropped the "de la." That family became prominent in England as the Dukes of Suffolk.
And then there was another family, descendants of the Princes of Powys in Wales, whose ancestral home was near Welshpool. The original Welsh name for Welshpool was Trallwng, which means "marshy hollow." The town was called Pool in English before the name became Welshpool; it is still called Pool by the local people. Some kind of fortification, almost certainly wooden, was built near Welshpool, in the middle of a pool, which served as a moat, by the Princes of Powys as early as the tenth century. It was called Pool Castle because of its location.
The princes built a new castle on a well-situated height beteen c.1200 and c.1275. This fortress was sometimes called "Castle Coch," or "Red Castle," because of its distinctive red stone; but most people simply transferred the name of the original fortress to the new one, and it also became known as Pool Castle.
In 1286, four years after the conquest of Wales by King Edward I, Owain ap Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn, last hereditary Prince of Powys, was forced to surrender his royal title and all his lands to the English crown. In exchange he received his lands back as a royal grant, and he was given the title Baron de la Pole (i.e. of Pool Castle); thus the family name became de la Pole. In time the "de la" was dropped, and this family's name also became simply Pole.
The name of Pool Castle also changed over time. It is now known as Powys Castle (or Powis Castle) and still stands near Welshpool, one of the most beautiful and well preserved in all of Wales.
Your Owain ap Griffin de la Pole, born in 1257, was almost certainly related to that last hereditary Prince of Powys, perhaps even his son. I might even have some information on that relationship somewhere in my files, but it is not readily at hand.
My family is not directly descended from the Welsh Poles, but one of my families was closely related to Marmaduke Coate, who married Ann Pole. Marmaduke and Ann came to America from Somerset, England, in 1713 and died in 1729 and 1730, respectively, in Burlington, New Jersey.
Because of that connection, my family once believed that we were descended from Marmaduke Coate and his wife, Ann Pole. As a result I have done extensive research on the family of Ann Pole.
Ann Pole and her brother, Thomas, who also came to America, were almost certainly direct descendants of Sir Richard Pole and his wife, Margaret Plantagenet, Countess of Salisbury and famed as "the last of the Plantagenets." This tradition of descent has been confirmed in America among descendants of both the Coate and Pole families. I have worked for many years trying to either prove or disprove this tradition. I have never been able to prove it conclusively, but more than ten years of research has uncovered much evidence to support the tradition and not a single bit of evidence to dispute it. Therefore, I now firmly believe the tradition to be true.
Sir Richard Pole is said to have descended from the Princes of Powis, and that is almost certainly true; otherwise, Margaret Plantagenet, niece of Kings Edward IV and Richard III, would never have been allowed to marry him!
I published a book, entitled "Moran Exodus From Offaly" in 1995, which contains a chapter on the Pole family, and another on the Plantagenets. The book has been placed in numerous genealogical libraries, including the LDS Library in Salt Lake City, where it has also been filmed, making it available for review on microfilm at any Mormon Church library.
I would urge you to locate a copy of this book for review. I think it might be of interest to you. It includes a picture of Powis Castle. Also, if you should decide that you would like to have a copy of the book, it is still available. It may be ordered directly from me at 2114 Sieber Drive, Houston, TX 77017. The price is $75.00, including packaging and shipping.
Good luck on your further research. I hope some of this will be helpful.
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