I've posted a couple of times about the family of King John's illegitimate daughter Joan, who married Llywelyn Fawr. This post concerns their most obscure child, Susanna.
Susanna was possibly the youngest of Llywelyn and Joan's three daughters together (for evidence that Elen and Gwladys were Joan's daughters, see this post
). She had one known full-brother, Dafydd, and several half-brothers.
In 1228, Susanna was in England in the custody of her uncle, King Henry III, who granted guardianship of her to Nicholas de Verdun and his wife Clemence le Boteler. Clemence was almost surely Susanna's maternal grandmother, the mother of Joan. In 1229, Susanna's siblings Dafydd and Gwladys visited Henry III's court, and it's entirely possible she saw them both there.
Malcolm, earl of Fife, died in 1228, leaving as his heir his nephew, Malcolm. This younger Malcolm was now a ward of the Scots king Alexander II. Now, Alexander II was married to Joan, the legitimate sister of Henry III and Joan of Wales, and his relations with the English court during this period were fairly warm. Possibly it was Henry III who hit upon the idea of marrying his niece Susanna to this young earl of Scotland.
Susanna's sister Elen had married the Scots princeling John le Scot, earl of Huntington, in 1222. Therefore, Susanna's family already had strong ties to the premier families of Scotland. Susanna was sent to Scotland to marry Malcolm, which she did about 1230, and anyway certainly before 1237, when a document mentions "Maurice, servant of the countess of Fife"). Together, Susanna and Malcolm had two sons, Colban and Macduff.
There has been some confusion over this point, so I will try to make it clear as possible. Susanna predeceased Malcolm. He then remarried to a woman named Ellen, evidently quite a bit younger than him. When Malcolm died in 1266, his widow Ellen then remarried to Donald, earl of Mar, by whom she had five children. Elen was still alive as of 1295.
Evidently, some exciteable historians and genealogists didn't pay attention to the chronology and thought that if Malcolm married Llywelyn's daughter, and Donald married Malcolm's widow, then the two women had to be identical! Except that obviously its a little hard for a woman who first married before 1237 to be producing a litter of children by a second husband after 1266, then survive to 1295! Susanna and Ellen are two seperate people and should not be confused. There was only one Elen ferch Llywelyn Fawr, and she married John le Scot and Robert de Quincy. The Ellen who remarried to Donald of Mar was NOT a member of Llywelyn Fawr's family.