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Welsh church records


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Welsh church records are one of the best sources for family history. The information here will help you be more successful in using church records in your genealogy research.

Welsh church records are one of the best sources for family history. The information here will help you be more successful in using church records in your genealogy research.

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  • Holt parish register, image from
  • The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers provides parish maps within North, Central and South Wales and includes colored lines showing the boundaries of each diocese.
  • Llangiwg, Glamorgan parish register, DGS number 425328, image 18
  • Llangiwg Banns register, 1825, DGS number 433537, image 6, page 4.
  • 1750 burials in Llangiwg, Glamorgan showing three people still using the patronymic naming pattern. These burials provide evidence for the two preceding generations. One person, William Morgan John, was old enough to be married and with an estimated span of thirty three years between generations this burial record moves the pedigree back about 100 years.
  • Bishop’s Transcript pre 1813
  • Margaret died at age 29 and Samuel remarried but it would be difficult to prove this with the parish registers only. The burial is on DGS number 425322, image 30,
  • South Wales Pedigrees, FHL microfilm 104353 item 1, page 151 (National Library of Wales reference; CastellGorfod 8).
  • South Wales Pedigrees, FHL microfilm 104353 item 1, page 143 (National Library of Wales reference; CastellGorfod 8).
  • Transcript

    • 1. Welsh Church Records
      Malad Welsh Festival 2011
    • 2. What we will discuss
      What you need to start
      Record supplements/substitutes
      Case study
    • 3. Introduction
    • 4. The parish was the center of the world
      Before 1834 the parish was the both the civil and ecclesiastical center of life.
    • 5. Parish Registers
      Recording christenings, marriages and burials went into effect in 1538.
      There are just over 1,000 ancient parishes (created before 1813) but only 71 survive before 1600.
      Many parishes have no registers before 1754.
    • 6. Key Dates
      1538 Order to begin recording christenings, marriages and burials
      1538 – 1732 expect registers in Latin
      1698 – 1703 some events not registered to avoid taxation
      1752 the first day of the year is changed from 25 March to 1 January
    • 7. Key Dates
      1754 separate, pre-printed forms used to record marriages
      1597 – 1917 Bishop’s transcripts
      1783-1794 Stamp Act taxed all registrations
      1813 printed forms used for christenings & burials
      1837 parishes use the same form for marriages as civil registration
    • 8. Jurisdictions
      Several levels of jurisdiction applied to the area where your ancestor lived.
      The parish and diocese are very important for family history research.
    • 9.
    • 10.
    • 11.
    • 12.
    • 13. What you need to get started
    • 14. What you need to get started
      A place, the parish name is good
      Having the village or farm name is best
      Name of the ancestor
      Reference tools
      Book: Parish Registers of Wales
    • 15. Records
    • 16. Christenings
      Christenings often show:
      child’s given name
      Father’s name
      Mother’s name
      Sometimes included:
      Family residence such as the village, street or farm name
      Father’s occupation
    • 17. Post 1812 parish register
    • 18. Bishop’s Transcript
    • 19.
    • 20. Marriages
    • 21. Marriages
      Get your bearings
      Map of the country
      Map of the county showing all parishes
      Atlas and Index of Parish Registers
      FHL book# 942 E7pa
    • 22. Start with a marriage index
      Search the Family History Library Catalog by doing a place search for the county
      Use the IGI
      Marriage and Census Indexes FHL book# 942 D27gjh
    • 23.
    • 24.
    • 25. Marriages pre 1754
    • 26. Pay close attention to all names
    • 27. Typical post 1753 parish register
    • 28. Details to watch for 1754-1837
    • 29.
    • 30. I’d like to look at a Banns register for 1818 but according to Parish Registers of Wales the records do not exist.
      Note that the BTs start a generation earlier than PRs
    • 31. Banns register
    • 32.
    • 33. Banns register
    • 34. Marriage by license
    • 35.
    • 36.
    • 37.
    • 38.
    • 39.
    • 40.
    • 41.
    • 42.
    • 43.
    • 44.
    • 45.
    • 46.
    • 47. Post 1836 Parish Register
    • 48.
    • 49. Pre 1813 burial (1750)
    • 50. Post 1813 burial
    • 51.
    • 52. Indexes First
    • 53. NBI Coverage for Wales
      Breconshire 5,000
      Cardiganshire 108,000
      Glamorganshire 361,000
      Monmouthshire 9,000
      Montgomeryshire less than 1,000
      Radnorshire 11,000
    • 54. Something to Remember
      The National Burial Index does not include information from monumental inscriptions
    • 55.
    • 56.
    • 57.
    • 58.
    • 59.
    • 60.
    • 61. Post 1812 Burial Register
    • 62.
    • 63.
    • 64.
    • 65.
    • 66. Record Supplements/substitues
    • 67. Record Supplements/Substitutes
      Parish of origin
      Marriage banns, marriage license, settlement examination
      Poor law, church warden accounts, vestry minutes, petty sessions, quarter sessions, probate
      Electoral registers, poor law, rates (tax)
    • 68. Petty Sessions
      Application of Hannah Davies against Charles Roberts
      Defendant appears
      Hannah Davies of the parish of Llangefelachmaketh Oath and saith as follows. I am unmarried .
      On the 28th of January last I was delivered of a male Bastard Child at the said parish of Llangefelach in which parish I now resided. The Defendant Charles Roberts who is now present is the father of that Child. About Eighteen months ago the Defendant was in my Mother’s House with me and Thomas Lewis was then in the next Room. This was about ten oClock at night He then promised to marry me. He had been courting me for about six months previously, and Continued to court me until the month of June last when he went away to Liverpool. He frequently promised to marry me after the occasion I have spoken of During the time he was courting me he came on many occasions to my mother’s House, but I used to meet him generally every Saturday night or Sunday near my mother’s House In about a week after the birth of the Child I desired my Brother William Davies to go…
    • 69. Record Supplements/Substitutes
      Poor quality or missing parish registers and Bishop’s transcripts may be supplemented by monumental inscriptions.
    • 70. Manuscript pedigrees may predate the surviving parish registers.
    • 71.
    • 72. Search Strategies
    • 73. Kill off your ancestor
      Always search both the PRs and BTs
      Census Parish Register Bishop’s Transcript
    • 74. Case Study