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Help and advice for Cardigan

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"CARDIGAN, a sea-port, borough, market town, and parish, in the lower division of the hundred of TROEDYRAUR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 232 miles (W. by N.) from London, containing 2795 inhabitants. This place, called by the Welsh Aberteivy, from its situation near the mouth of the river Teivy, was probably selected, at a very early period, as an eligible site both for habitation and for commerce, its maritime situation affording a facility of communication with distant parts of the kingdom. Little, however, is known either of its original foundation or of its primitive inhabitants; nor are there either traditionary or authentic records of its history, prior to the conquest of this part of the country by the Normans, who erected a fortress at this place, to defend the passage of the river, and to secure themselves in the possession of the territories which they successively wrested from the native proprietors...." [From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]


Beynon, Daniel Islwyn. Eseia Williams : Aberteifi . Descriptor: Union of Welsh Independents Biography. Named Person: Williams, Eseia, 1889-  Gwasg Ty ar y Graig, 1973

Bayliss, M.J. The Makeigs in Cardigan; The Parkypratt Family . Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 2, 1973.

Baylis, M.J.  A Portrait of Thomas Makeig IV [1772-1838] of Little Scotland and Park Y Pratt. Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society VolV/2, 1965.

Business and Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Davies Brothers (Bonded Stores), records 1800-[1921]
    "The business of Davies Brothers was established around 1800 and sold bonded spirits, wines and beers to licensed premises in the Cardigan area. In 1896 the business was amalgamated with The Swansea Old Brewery and with Messrs R. George & Son of Pembroke to form The Swansea Old Brewery & Davies' (Cardigan) Bonded Stores Ltd., with branches in Swansea, Pembroke and Cardigan........."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Records donated by Idris Mathias largely relating to the Swansea Old Brewery & Davies [Cardigan] Bonded Stores Ltd, Cardigan, 1872-1921.

Held at Ceredigion Archives;

  • C19 and C20 sale posters from the Cardigan and Teivyside press at Cardigan.


Monumental inscriptions for St Mary's Church, Cardigan and Cardigan, Penparcau available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.

Cemetery, Cardigan


The Cardigan town 1851 census index has been published by Dyfed FHS

Cardigan Town & Adjoining Areas.The Free Index Searchable Database on the Cenquest site  contains the whole of the 1871 and 1891 Pembrokeshire census, together with some images and work in progress for other years.The records for Cardigan Town and adjoining areas were included in the Pembrokeshire returns. Full details of places can be seen on site under FAQ.

You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Cardigan area or see them printed on a map.

Church History

St Mary's Church - photograph on Dyfed FHS

See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Mary's Church

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G   Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants. The data comes from a section  'Cardigan Borough. St Mary Parish'

  • St Mary's Parish Church      "There is no Vicarage House nor any Glebe"     Griffith Thomas, Vicar of St Mary's
  • Additional School Room, Cardigan, St Mary parish.     Licensed for public worship March 1850.     " An additional church is very much wanted in this parish in order that Divine Service be conveniently performed both in Welsh and English at the same time...."             Griffith Thomas, Vicar of St Mary's
  • see Chapels database

Parish entry from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Mary
  • Incumbent and Curates; D M Jones (D J Davies)
  • Rural Deanery of Sub Aeron
  • Acreage 2,485 ; Population 2,613

Peregrine, David John Morien. A Brief Historical and General Survey of St. Mary's Parish Church, Cardigan. [With plates.] [The Author:] Cardigan, 1954. 8o. [BM 7823.f.3]

Pritchard, Emily M. Cardigan Priory in the Olden Days ... Illustrated. London, 1904.

Bowen, E.G. The Teifi Valley as a Religious Frontier. Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.

Church Records

See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

Parish Register;
Baptisms 1654-1959. Marriages 1653-1971 [Banns 1823-75]. Burials 1654-1911 NLW/Cer.RO
Typescript copies of PR CMB 1669-97, 1700 NLW
Bishops Transcripts;
1675-6, 1678-83, 1685-6, 1688, 1701, 1799-1801, 1803, 1806-10, 1812-75  NLW

See parish register data and town cemetery data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels; see Chapels database

Description and Travel

The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., byJones, I.G. & Williams, D.   UWP,   Cardiff, 1976.  These statistics for this parish are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

  • Area 2517 acres; Population 1246 males, 1735 [?] females, total 2689 [?]

Cardigan - on Wikipedia

Places, villages, farms etc within Cardigan parish  as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Howard Thomas)

  • Cardigan St Mary's (104); Banc-y-warren, Cae-morgan, Cardigan, Glan-llynan, Llwyn-piod, Llyn-y-felin, New Mill, New Town, Old Castle Farm, Pen-lan, Rockland Farm, Tre-Bared, Tre-cift, Tre-Giby, Ty-hen

Description of the parish of Cardigan from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

Description of Cardigan, Isle of, from Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833

"CARDIGAN (ISLE OF), an extra-parochial district, in the hundred of TROEDYRAUR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 4 1/2 miles (N.) from Cardigan. This is a small island, at the eastern side of the mouth of the river Teivy, and only separated from the main land by a narrow channel: it comprises about forty acres, and yields good pasturage for cattle and sheep, chiefly for the market at Cardigan."

Anon. Cardigan --- town and liberties. Bye-Gones, 1871-3

Cardigan and the Lower Teifi Valley in Old Photographs. Dyfed C.C. Gloucester, 1989. Re-published in 2000 by Budding Books. ISBN 1-84015-157-9. Here is an index  and review by Mary Jane Stephenson.    There is also an index on Ceredigion Library

Kramer, Zia. Cardigan and the River Teifi  (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.

Mathias, Idris. Last of the Mwldan. Gomer, Llandysul. (1 85902 428 9).Gomer catalogue 2002;- "Mwldan lies on the lower side of Cardigan town. Once it was the home of sea captains, sailors, fishermen, foundrymen, poachers, preachers and sailmakers. It was the life and soul of Cardigan, those many years ago. "  So begins this remarkable and moving memoir by Idris Mathias, one who calls himself the last of the Mwldan because he and his family were among the very last to leave their homes in Foundry Court in the slum clearance of 1937.

Peregrine, DJM. Cardigan's Ancient Borough. Ceredigion, Vol II

Price, M R C.    The Whitland and Cardigan Railway.    Oakwood, 1975

Sanders, IJ. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the early fourteenth century. B. Board. Celtic Stud, Vol XV

You can see pictures of Cardigan which are provided by:


Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1830. Here are some Extracts relating to Cardigan

Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are some Extracts relating to Cardigan with the village of St Dogmells and Neighbourhoods

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Cardigan has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.

Ask for a calculation of the distance from Cardigan to another place.


Griffiths, Ralph.A.  The Making of Medieval Cardigan. (NLW's site) Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol XI, No 2, 1990

Harris, Silas M.  Our Lady of Cardigan.   Llawlyfr Cym. Cered. Llundain, Vol VIII (1952/3)

Lewis, W. J. Gateway to Wales : a History of Cardigan . Carmarthen,  1990. Includes over 120 illustrations, and street maps.

Lloyd and Turner. Cardigan. 1794

O'Mahoney, Cathy.  Excavation and Survey at Cardigan Castle  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol X

Peregrine, D J M  Cardigan's ancient borough (NLW's site) Ceredigion Vol II

Roberts, D Hywel E. Almanac y Cymro  (NLW's site)    Ceredigion XII

Sampson, Aylwin Arthur. Aberteifi (Cardigan).  [Buildings,structures.] Welsh/English parallel text. Aberystwyth,Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion,1972

Sanders. I J. The Boroughs of Aberystwyth and Cardigan in the Early Fourteenth Century.     Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, 1954

Those were the days : a history of Cardigan, the locality and its people. Vol.1 & 2. Cardigan : Cardigan & Tivy-Side Advertiser, 1991/92. An online index to Vol 1 only by Gareth Hicks   together with a list of contents of both.  There are also commentaries based on some of the material in the books under Cardigan on Not everyone knows this..    There also is an index on Ceredigion Library

Land and Property

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Kyle Deeds   "Deeds relating to Cardigan and St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire, 1537-1804, predominantly of the property of the Weilshe family, 1563-1676, and the Davies family, 1676-1804; ........."

Held at the NLW ;

  • Deeds donated by Mrs M. Kyle, largely relating to the Cardigan area, C16-C17, and the Swansea area, C19.

James, Terrence.  Excavations at Woolworths, Cardigan  (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol IX

Maynard, David.  Excavations at Cardigan: Volk's Bakery 1975 (NLW's site)   Ceredigion Vol VII


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN175461 (Lat/Lon: 52.083057, -4.664962), Cardigan which are provided by:

Merchant Marine

The People's Collection Wales site has material for this parish, use the onsite search box

Records for the port of Cardigan are held at Pembrokeshire Archives.

The Port book of the Port of Cardigan in Elizabethan and Stuart Times . Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society Transactions.  Vols. VII 1930,   &   IX  1933

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Shipping registers for Cardigan and Pembrokeshire  1824-1992    "The Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen was established by the Merchant Shipping Act 1872, when the Registrar General of Seamen took over responsibility for returns relating to the registration of ships from the Board of Customs' Chief Registrar of Shipping. In Pembrokeshire, the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen recorded merchant ships registered at the port of Cardigan and at the port of Milford Haven......"


Ceredigion Library have online indexes of biographies from the Cardigan & Tivyside Advertiser 1866-1980

Politics and Government

Edwards, Philip S.   The mysterious parliamentary election at Cardigan boroughs in 1547   (NLW's site)    Welsh History Review 8

Lloyd-Johnes, H.J. The Cardigan Boroughs Election, 1774 (NLW's site)   Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VII, No 1, 1972.

Thomas, Peter D.G. C18 Elections in the Cardigan Boroughs Constituency (NLW's site)    Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol V, No 4, 1967.

Thomas, Peter D.G. The Cardigan Boroughs Election of 1741  (NLW's site)  Ceredigion : Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol VI, No 1, 1968.
"The legislation of Henry VIII creating the borough constituencies of Wales was a masterpiece of vagueness......... the presumed intention that the borough groupings were to consist of all the 'ancient boroughs' of each county was rarely, if ever, fulfilled...........In Cardiganshire the ancient boroughs were Aberystwyth, Adpar, Cardigan, Lampeter, Llanddewibrefi, and Tregaron........ Evidence (from 1604) of the early composition of the Parliamentary constituency ... shows that Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Tregaron, Trefilan, Lampeter and Adpar had then comprised the the late 17th century Trefilan had disappeared from the list......"

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Cardiganshire Board of Guardians Records  1834-1936
    "Records relating to the Cardiganshire Board of Guardians, including Cardigan Union, 1834-1935; Newcastle Emlyn Union, 1916-1925; Lampeter Union, 1871-1930; Tregaron Union, 1912-1929; Aberayron Union, 1854-1922; and Aberystwyth Union, 1878-1936."
  • Cardigan Poor Law Union, records 1840-1948

Public Records

Held at the NLW ;

  • Cardigan Borough Order Books, 1653-1907

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Cardigan Borough Council Records 1768-1974 (accumulated 1858-1974)
  • Cardigan Rural District Council 1923-1934


Here is an extract from The Reports of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the state of Education in Wales. 1847

Roberts, D Hywel E.  Sefydlu ysgol ganolraddol yn Aberteifi, 1890-98   (NLW's  site)   Ceredigion XIII

Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi : canmlwyddiant ; 1898-1998 (Cardigan Secondary School ; centenary ; 1898-1998). Aberteifi : Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, 1998

Social life and Customs

Held at the NLW ;
-Records of Gwyl Fawr Aberteifi, 1952-90.

Aberteifi, y dref (Cardigan, the town). Cyngor Sir Dyfed, Adran Llyfrgell,Carmarthen, 1976. Social life and customs 1610-ca 1910

Baylis, M J.  A most united fraternity    (NLW's site)     Ceredigion Vol VII   (The Society of Sea Serjeants meets in Cardigan in 1761)

[Gareth Hicks: 4 Nov 2013]