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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


[Gareth Hicks : 21 Dec 2012]

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