Hi Heather and Paul,
It is excellent to see the progress that you two have been making in sifting through the evidence, even if a lot of it remains stubbornly ambiguous.
I think that I can fill in a bit more background about Heather's
... file off the internet re the Salisburies of Lleweni [which] used to be on aol homepage for “dalesman” but the site has since shut down [and which] appears to be a copy of a pedigree type document written in the 19th century
I too have the files from that site, and I think that the Grant Salisbury whom Heather mentions as the source of some other info (Reply 10) was the AOL site owner and the person who made and uploaded the OCR-files from a copy of the book. I have never been in contact with him, but I would imagine that it would worth checking out his current knowledge via that e-mail address.
The book itself is quite an eccentric production -- privately printed, no publication date (probably early 1860s), and unpaginated. An image of the full title page appears at the foot of this post. The man behind the publication was in fact the one who modestly described himself there as the nameless contributor of the "other notes and additions by another descendant of the family". But the authorial voice in much of the text seems to be his. His full name was Enoch Robert Gibbon Salisbury (who is also sometimes seen as "Salusbury" and whom I shall abbreviate to ERGS). At the start of Chapter Nine he fills in some more background about the book's preparation, which shows that the initial materials were gathered by a Salusbury in the USA who apparently died young and whose papers were entrusted to (or otherwise acquired by) ERGS. He then passed them to his brother Stephen, who arranged them further and added more; but then died himself, so passing responsibility for the project back to ERGS. Here is the relevant passage in full:
The preceding narrative had been prepared by a very promising young man, HENRY COTTON SALUSBURY, a lineal descendant of the Lleweni family, through one of the branches that had settled in the United States of America. It came into my hands in a somewhat rough and unfinished state, and was entrusted to one of my brothers -- STEPHEN GIBBON SALISBURY -- for correction. All my papers were placed in his care for this purpose, and he added many facts to the original documents, and would, had his life been spared, have completed, with his usual care and research, the history of the family in a manner that must have added greatly to his credit for learning and scholarly attainments. A great number of the early notes had been written by myself, as the sheets came to me for perusal, and I have added to them, from time to time, when additional information enabled me to do so . . .
ERGS was quite a colourful man, starting out as a clerk in the Chester gas company, but rising to be the manager, then reading for the bar and doing well dealing with private parliamentary bills etc, and briefly serving as Liberal MP for Chester. He took a great interest in local history and accumulated a good library of Welsh material (now mainly at Cardiff University Library, and described here
and -- in more detail -- here
). He also wrote a series of potted biographies of local figures for the Oswestry Advertiser, collected and republished by the Advertiser ca. 1880 as "Border Counties Worthies". There are articles on him in both the DNB and the DWB; here is a link
to the latter. That says that his son became a soldier of fortune in the Balkans and the Congo.
ERGS's Salusbury book is an alternately fascinating and frustrating work. It is infuriating that he does not quote full source refs. more often -- if he did not cite authority more efficiently in court than that, he would have been in bad trouble! I agree with you both that the content has to be treated with great caution, as there are blatant errors. But it does have its rôle as a quarry for clues and ideas, subject to a sceptical eye and corroboration from other more reliable sources.
Postcsript: I ought probably to add for the record that in Chapter Eight ERGS traces his own descent from John, younger brother of the Joshua Salusbury of Denbigh (d.1719) who is a main focus in this thread. One of John's sons, Henry, is said to have gone to London and then to America (and so could perhaps have been the ancestor of the Henry of the USA credited on the title page of the book), while another, David, is stated to have been father to Joseph who in turn was father to ERGS himself.