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"LLANAVAN (LLAN-AVAN), a parish in the upper division of the hundred of ILAR, county of CARDIGAN, SOUTH WALES, 8 miles (S. E.) from Aberystwith, containing 384 inhabitants. This parish, which derives its name from the dedication of its church to St. Avan, is pleasantly situated on the river Ystwith, which at this place forms a fine bold curve, and is enriched on both its banks with pleasingly varied and highly picturesque scenery : a neat modern stone bridge has been erected over this river. Within the parish is Cross Wood, the seat of the Earl of Lisburne, a neat mansion, pleasantly situated in grounds which are tastefully laid out..........."
[From Samuel Lewis's A Topographical Dictionary of Wales 1833]


The Benjamin Indexes
These are held at Ceredigion Archives who are prepared to carry out a reasonable search , they are transcripts (& indexes) of the census for Aberystwyth and North Cardiganshire, prepared by the late Mr.Benjamin, and deposited at various locations including that office. They are very good transcripts, and represent a massive amount of work - inevitably there are a few small mistakes, but they are generally useful and accurate. They cover the period 1841-1881 and include the parishes of Llanbadarn Fawr, Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, Llanfihangel Geneu'r-glyn, Llancynfelyn, (bits of ) Llanbadarn y Creuddyn, Lanychaearn, Llanafan and others.
Also, the 1891 census for Aberystwyth only has been transcribed by William Howells, the County Librarian, and is also available at Ceredigion Archives .


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Llanafan area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

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

  • Llanafan Parish Church    No informant's name
  • See also chapels below

Parish entry for Llanafan-y-Trawscoed with Llanwnnws (Gwnnws)from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Afan
  • &
  • St Gwnnws (Llanwnnws)
  • Incumbent and Curates; D A Thomas
  • Rural Deanery of Llanbadarn Fawr
  • Acreage2,610 & 9,414; Population 738

Church Records

See Notes on Church/Chapel Records page

Parish Register;
Baptisms 1751, 1772, 1774, 1780-1988.  Marriages 1767-72, 1774-9, 1781, 1784-5, 1790, 1792-4, 1796-1800, 1815-1988 [Banns 1823-5, 1838].  Burials 1772-3, 1775, 1782-1993  NLW with some dates at Cer.RO
Bishops Transcripts;
1811, 1813, 1815, 1818, 1820-78 NLW

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

I.G.I; Baptisms 1811-75

Nonconformist Chapels;

  • Capel Afan Welsh CM chapel, Llanafan       SN68387192        Started 1787, built 1808, rebuilt/modified 1855/6.      Records; 1. births and bapts 1822-37  PRO & in IGI         2.  records 1859-1981  NLW           Still open 1998               Combined sources;   (The Chapels Recording Project in Wales )   &   (Rawlins book - see Notes on Church/Chapel Records page )
  • Chapel Avan CM   Erected c 1808   John Davies. John Hughes, Elders                (1851 census - see above)
  • Capel Afan CM chapel       Bapts 1822-37 PRO     (Nonconformist Registers of Wales  - see Notes on Church/Chapel Records page)
  • Cardiganshire Family History Society - Index to deaths and burials in Cardiganshire from non-conformist records is available on fiche. Check details on their site, for this parish includes ; Capel Afan (Cal.Meth., 1907-1959).
  • Davies, William L. Cof-lyfr Capel Afan, Gogledd Aberteifi. Cylch. Cymd. Hanes Meth. Calf, Vol XI
  • Capel Afan CM chapel - still open in 2006

Index to Burials from Parish Registers 1813-1837 available for purchase from  Cardiganshire Family History Society Volume 2: Ilar (Upper) Hundred . Parishes covered: Eglwys Newydd, Gwnnws, Llanafan, Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn, Llanilar, Lledrod, Rhostïe, Ysbyty Ystwyth, Ystrad Meurig

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Llanafan which are provided by:

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

  • Area 2588 acres; Population 198 males, 221 females, total 419

Places, villages, farms etc within Llanafan Odwyn 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 Gareth Hicks)

  • Llanafan (33); Aerial Ropeway; Afon Ystwyth; Banc Llanafan; Bryn-glas; Castell Brogwynion; Cefn Blewog; Crosswood Park; Llanafan (village); Llwyn Gogau; Maen Arthur; Maen Arthur Wood; Pen-y-Bryn; Wenallt

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

Kelly's Directory South Wales 1895

Historical Geography

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


Meyrick, Sir Samuel Rush.(1783-1848) The History and Antiquities of the county of Cardigan. Collected from the few remaining documents which have escaped the ravages of time, as well as from actual observation. Longman: London ,1810. The history and antiquities of the County of Cardigan ... to which are now added a parliamentary history, list of High Sheriffs, some notes on the present county families, &c., &c. repr. Brecon: 1907. This 1907 print  has now been reprinted. The section relating to this parish is on pages 273/6; the last 4 church incumbents were ---Stokes of Pembrokeshire, 1750 Edward Griffiths of Carmarthenshire, 1780 Thomas Davies of Pant y fedwen, 1800 David Jones of Grogwynion. Section on Crosswood (Trawscoed).

Morgan, Gerald. A Welsh House and its Family : the Vaughans of Trawsgoed [Crosswood].1999.A study of the largest landowners in Cardiganshire, from the C14 to C20. The Trawsgoed estate extended over 22 Cardiganshire parishes, including Llanafan. This book is necessary reading for anyone researching in Llanafan as it contains much descriptive matter about the parish, church , other buildings and its inhabitants. The book is listed in Gomer, Llandysul's 2002 Catalogue, 1 85902 472 6.  

Morgan, Gerald. The Trawsgoed Inheritance. Ceredigion [new paper back format] : Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society, Vol 2, No 1, 1993

Morgan, Gerald. Writing an Estate and Family History: The Vaughans of Trawsgoed. Second Stages in Researching Welsh Ancestry. Edited by John & Sheila Rowlands. FFHS, 1999

Land and Property

At the NLW are ;

  • Crosswood Deeds, estate and family records 1527-1939 of Vaughan of Trawsgoed, later Earls of Lisburne. These deeds are calendered in Green, F. Calendar of Deeds and Documents Vol II; The Crosswood Deeds. Aberystwyth, 1927
  • Plas Llangoedmore, estate records relating to Vaughan of Trawsgoed.
  • The Roberts and Evans collection [ solicitors of Aberystwyth] includes Trawsgoed C18-C20.

Green F (ed) CALENDAR OF DEEDS AND DOCUMENTS of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Vol 2 THE CROSSWOOD DEEDS, 1927, Crosswood Estate in Cardiganshire

Howells, J M. Crosswood Estate, 1547-1947 (NLW's site) Ceredigion, Vol III

Jenkins, Dafydd. Trawscoed. Llawlyfr Cym. Cered. Llundain, Vol VI (1950-1)

Morgan, Gerald.  The Trawscoed Inheritance   (NLW's site)  Ceredigion XII

Thomas, Peter D G.  Two Vaughan Brothers of Trawsgoed: the first Earl of Lisburne and Lieutenant-General Sir John Vaughan  (NLW's site) Ceredigion XIV


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN686724 (Lat/Lon: 52.333874, -3.929932), Llanafan which are provided by:

Public Records

Parochial records at the NLW ;

  • Vestry Minute Books 1859-1887 & 1887-1904
  • Churchwardens' Accounts 1888-1899
  • There are also many C20 parochial records held at the NLW for this parish.

This page has been partly compiled from material previously published in their journal
by kind permission of Cardiganshire Family History Society

[Gareth Hicks:  11 Dec 2012]