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"PEN-BREY, otherwise PEMBREY (PEN-BRE), a parish in the hundred of KIDWELLY, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (S.S.E.) from Kidwelly, contains 2645 inhabitants . . . The name of this place, signifying literally the head of a hill or promontory, is derived from its situation at the extremity of a mountainous ridge, beyond which a low promontory extends into the bay of Carmarthen. . . The substrata abound with mineral wealth, this district being thought to be the richest in South Wales in both bituminous and hard coal, both being worked to a very great extent. The quality of the soft coal is peculiarly adapted to the production of gas, the working of iron, and other manufacturing purposes; and vast quantities of both sorts are exported to various parts of the kingdom. . . a capacious harbour was constructed in 1819. . . This part of the coast is of difficult navigation, and to sailors unacquainted of it the most fatal on the shores of the Bristol Channel." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]

Business and Commerce Records

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

Church History

PEMBREY, St. Illtyd   1910-1912   - on the Church plans online site

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

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


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


Hughes, John Llewelyn. Hanes Capel Clement a Rehoboth ger Llanelli, yn nghyda chryn lawer o hanes Jerusalem, Carmel a Seion, Penbre, hefyd crynhodeb o hanes y Parchn Thomas Clement, David Davies, Rehoboth; Evan Davies, Carmel, Henry Evans, Burry Port, ac ereill (Llandeilo, 1907), 52p.

Jones, Herman. Hanes eglwys Annibynnol Jerusalem, Burry Port, 1812-1962 (Llanelli, 1962), 80p.

Nicholson, John A. Pembrey's Welsh Wesleyanism: Ebenezer, 1833-1858, Hermon 1858. [Pembrey]: John A. Nicholson, 1989. 46p: ill, maps; 22cm.

Nicholson, John A. St. Illtyd's Church, Pembrey: a brief history and guide. Pembrey: St. Illtyd's Church, [1989] [7]p: plans; 21cm.

Roberts, E. and Pertwee, H.A. St. Illtyd's Church, Pembrey: its history and its architecture, Swansea, C. E. Willing (1898).

Williams, Wyndham H. Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru Bethel Penbre: hanes yr eglwys. [Penbre]: [Eglwys Bresbyteraidd Cymru, Bethel Penbre], [1977] 55p: ill, ports; 22cm.

Williams, W. Braslun o Hanes Bethlehem, Pwll, Llanelli [ A Brief History of Bethlehem, Pool, Llanelli].Llanelli, 1934 [LDS GS 942.95/L1 K2b]. The translation by Ivor Griffiths is available for purchase, see Gareth's Help Page

Church Records

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

Parish registers: Christenings (1700-1958) and Llandyry (1904-57), Marriages (1700-1964), Banns (1823-1973) and Burials (1700-1965)  and Llandyry (1904-86) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Copy ts PR C (1701-71) M (1701-54) B (1701-71) and ts PR index C (1772-1833) M (1700-1894) B (1800-1900) at Carm.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1716, 1718, 1721-2, 1724-5, 1727, 1743-74, 1776-1800, 1802-83) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 19 - Carnwallon Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

An index to Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1701-1771  is available on microfiche from DFHS

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Burry Port/Porthtywyn [formed out of Pembrey]
Christenings (1903-79) Pwll (1904-76) Marriages (1902-76) are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Nonconformist Chapels:


Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey Parish Church registers: selected entries from 1701 to 1900, Pembrey Parish Church, Carmarthen, n.d.

Parish Church photograph and basic information from Dyfed FHS.

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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;

Places, villages, farms etc within Pembrey  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)


Pigot & Co. South Wales Directory for 1844. Here are Extracts relating to Llanelli with Loughor, Pembrey, Burry Port and Neighbourhoods


Carmarthenshire Families


Evans, Margaret. PHILLIPS of Pembrey. Dyfed FHS journal (3/288)  The rise and fall of the Iron Industry, in the UK and USA, and its affect on a Welsh migrant family.

Hughes, John.  The Dunns of Dyfatty.   Dyfed FHS journal vol 9/1, Dec 2005.


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


Craig, R S & Robert P. Jones &  & M V Symons. The Industrial and Maritime History of Llanelli and Bury Port 1750-2000. Llanelli 2002

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

Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey and Burry Port, Their Harbour, Shipwrecks and Looters, Llanelli Borough Council (n.d.) 171 p. [ISBN 0 906821 04 5]

Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey and Burry Port: Aspects of Their History. Book One, Llanelli, Wales, Llanelli Borough Council (1993) 145 p. [The main coverage is of: (i) the census returns for 1841, 1851 and 1861, with notes on selected people and places, (ii) the Ashburnham Family, and (iii) the various schools. Illustrated with maps and photographs, and provided with detailed source references.]

Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey and Burry Port: A historical miscellany: Book Two, Llanelli, Llanelli Borough Council (1994) 135 p. [Includes a lengthy account of the Burry Port and Gwendraeth Valley Railway, and brief chapters relating to various local 19th century industrial organizations and industrialists, and on Field Names, Tithes, the 1871 Census, and the Rev. Thomas Evans (Vicar of Pembrey, 1817-1838).]

Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey and Burry Port: Further historical glimpses: Book Three, Llanelli, Llanelli Borough Council? (1996).

Nicholson, J.A. Pembrey and Burry Port: Some historical events and recollections: Book Four, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire County Council (1994) 187 p.

Thomas, R.G. Pembrey Parish - Early Industrial Efforts, Trans. Carms. Antiq., vol. 20, no. Part XLIX, (1929) pp.39.

Williams, R J. Meat Poisoning at Burry Port: 1893. Dyfed FHS Journal Vol 8/5 April 2004.

Four articles on Pembrey Parish, from South & West Wales Magazine: "Ashburnham Estate of Pembrey Parish", "Larger Homes of Pembrey Parish", "Pembrey Village & The Boars Head", and "Early 19th Century Pembrey Parish".

Documents at the National Library of Wales:

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Land and Property

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

Documents at the National Library of Wales:


Merchant Marine

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

Nicholson, J.A.. Pembrey and Burry Port, Their Harbour, Shipwrecks and Looters, Llanelli Borough Council, n.d., 171 p. ISBN 0 906821 04 5.

Burry Estuary Wrecks 1868, from P.H.Rees, Gower Shipwrecks - South & West Wales Magazine.


Trimsaran Colliery  Washery on the Welsh Coal Mines site

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


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[Gareth Hicks  23 Dec 2012]

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