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"MERTHYR, a parish, in the lower division of the hundred of ELVET, union and county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 4 miles (W.) from Carmarthen; containing 295 inhabitants. This parish is situated in the south-western portion of the county, and is intersected on the west by the river Cywin, which falls into the Tâf at Llangvihangel-Abercowin; and on the south by the turnpike-road leading from Carmarthen to St. Clear's. . . The church, dedicated to St. Martin, is a small plain building, undistinguished by any architectural details. There are places for worship for Presbyterians, and a class of dissenters who assume no particular denomination; and a school-room has been built for the instruction of the poor. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]

Church History

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

  • No return for the parish church
  • Henffwlch     Calvineth Trefnythion (ie. CM)                  David John
  • Cana   Ind        Erected in 1819       David Phillips, Minister

Griffiths, G. Milwyn. A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710   National Library of Wales journal. 1974, Summer Vol XVIII/3. Includes the parish of Merthyr

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

  • St Martin
  • Incumbent and Curates; J M Evans
  • Rural Deanery of  Carmarthen
  • Acreage 3,076 ; Population  196

Church Records

Dyfed FHS have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

Parish registers: Christenings and Burials (1681-1980) and Marriages (1681-1970) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Copy ts PR index CB (1813-75) M (1686-1875) at Carm.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1672-3, 1677-9, 1682, 1686, 1690-1, 1694-9, 1702-3, 1707-8, 1711, 1713, 1715-18, 1723-36, 1738-1800, 1802-39, 1841-2) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

An Index to Christenings (1813-1875), Marriages (1686-1875) and Burials (1813-1875) is available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.

Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 15 - Elvet Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Henfwlch (Calvinistic Methodist, 1851), Henfwlch             Records with those of Water Street, Carmarthen                     SN3824        Coflein
  • Cana (Independent, c1815), Passby            Annual report 1958-9 NLW, history (compiled 1849) Carmarthenshire R.O.            On Dyfed FHS                  Cana Ind chapel, Bancyfelin - Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    Rees, Thomas & John Thomas. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Gareth Hicks (Dec 2008)

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Merthyr which are provided by:

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 2218 acres; Population 139 males, 177 females, total 316

Places, villages, farms etc within Merthyr  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)

  • Merthyr (70); Berth-lwyd; Bwlch; Cefn-mystrich; Cwm; Cwm-du-hen; Derllys Court; Ffynnon-wen; Llech-lwyd; Merthyr; Merthyr-fach; Nant Cynnen; Nant-y-ci; Parc-y-berllan; Ty-newydd

Historical Geography

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


Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). A History of Carmarthenshire (2 vols.), Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939). Extracts from this book can be accessed on some parish pages, see here for this parish


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN352208 (Lat/Lon: 51.861342, -4.394741), Merthyr which are provided by:

[Gareth Hicks : 21 Dec 2012]