Welsh Nonconformist Records
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Welsh Nonconformist Records

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  • Dan Jones Awakens Wales by Clark Kelly Price of Thayne, Star Valley Wyoming, in “Welsh Festival Marriott Center Program” March 6, 1993.

Welsh Nonconformist Records Welsh Nonconformist Records Presentation Transcript

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  • Welsh Nonconformist Records By Darris G. Williams, AG
  • Nonconformists
  • Nonconformity
    • Nonconformity had the greatest influence on the spiritual and social life of Wales
    • By the mid nineteenth century 80% of the population were nonconformists
    • Before 1689 and the Toleration Act nonconformity was illegal so few records were kept
    • The church was unable to cater to the spiritual needs and growth of the population
    • Nonconformity offered religion in the Welsh language
  • Nonconformity
    • High incidence of nonconformity
  • Growth of Welsh Nonconformity 2927 993 171 105 110 Chapels 1861 1816 1775 1742 1716 Year
    • Many records have not been deposited. About 5,500 chapels existed in Wales but less than thirty per cent of the registers have been deposited at a record office
  • Fate of Nonconformist Records
    • No record made
    • Records may have been lost
    • The records may still be with the chapel
    • Families traveled a considerable distance to worship & may not appear where you expect!!!
  • Nonconformity
    • Types of chapel records
    • Birth/baptismal register
    • Marriage register
    • Burial register
    • Membership lists
    • Accounts
    • Minute books
  • Nonconformity
    • More chapel records
    • Transfer registers
    • Pew rent books
    • Sunday school records
    • Lists of society members, Band of Hope & Temperance League
    • Monumental inscriptions
  • Nonconformity
    • More chapel records
    • Chapel histories
    • Personal accounts of the chapel’s early history
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  • Strategies for Success
    • Identify the chapels in the area where your ancestors lived using the 1851religious census and the six inch to one mile scale Ordnance Survey maps http://www.old-maps.co.uk /
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  • Strategies for Success
    • Utilize chapel records other than the registers of birth, marriage, and death/burial
    • Request a search in Capeli Cymru for other chapel records when registers of birth marriage and death/burial are not available. National Library of Wales enquiries: [email_address]
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  • Strategies for Success
    • Search the National Burial Index compact disc. This database
    • includes 265 thousand entries for Wales (Glamorganshire,
    • Cardiganshire, Radnorshire, Monmouthshire, and
    • Montgomeryshire)
    • Search for burials at the parish church. Nonconformist chapels
    • seldom had their own burial ground before 1800
    • Search monumental inscriptions
  • Strategies for Success
    • Search records within a fifteen mile radius of where your ancestors lived.
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  • Strategies for Success
    • Utilize histories about the:
      • Chapel
      • Area
      • Denomination
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  • Baran Chapel Monumental Inscriptions
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  • Strategies for Success
    • Search the Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register
    • of Archives web site for information on recently deposited
    • records. Do a “Place Name”search
    • http:// www.nra.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra /
  • IGI
  • The International Genealogical Index for Wales
    • Pre 1813 extractions are based on the assumption
    • that everyone used patronymics.
    • Post 1812 extractions are based on the
    • assumption that no one used patronymics.
    • A small percentage of church and chapel records
    • have been extracted.
  • Analysis of Extracted Welsh Records
    • There are about 1,200 parish churches in Wales
    • There were about 5,500 nonconformist chapels in Wales
    • There should be about 6,700 registers of church/chapel records for Wales
    • About 1,408 registers have been extracted for Wales (based on findings for Glamorgan)
  • Analysis of Extracted Welsh Records
    • Conclusion
    • Less than 21% of the church and chapel records
    • for Wales have been extracted for the IGI
  • The International Genealogical Index for Wales
    • Strategies for success
    • Search by given name for christenings before 1813
    • Search by surname for christenings after 1812
    • Use the IGI as a starting point but never expect it to
    • represent a high percentage of the population
    • Always examine the original record
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