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& Parishes

CARMARTHENSHIRE [SIR CAERFYRDDIN]

"The County of CARMARTHEN is 108 Miles in Circumference, contains about 700000 Acres, is divided into 6 Hundreds, in which are 8 Market Towns, 87 Parishes, and about 5352 Houses. The Air is generally very good, wholesome & mild, and ye Soil not so Mountainous and steep as in other Countys, here being Levels & plains, loaded with corn, & affording excellent Pasturage, having several pleasant & rich Meadows. Cheif commodities are Corn, Cattle, Salmon, of ye large size Wood, Pit-Coal, & ye best Lead." [From Emanuel Bowen's Britannia Depicta, 1720.]

 

INFORMATION RELATED TO ALL OF CARMARTHENSHIRE

Small map of Carmarthenshire

Click here for 1821 Map 

 

 

 

 

 

Archives and Libraries

The National Library of Wales. The major repository of information relevant to Welsh genealogy, such as Bishop's Transcripts of Parish Registers, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, Nonconformist Records, Probate Records, Tithe Maps and Apportionment Schedules, Legal and Administrative Records, Estate Records and Personal Papers, Pedigree Books, Newspapers, etc.

See this Genuki listing of Documents relating to Carmarthenshire at the National Library of Wales.

The Record Office is the Carmarthenshire Archive Service. There is a summary description provided to GENUKI of the Archive's holdings

The National Archives has details of many archive repositories in the UK with links to their web sites, if any.

Carmarthen Public Library (St Peter's Street, Carmarthen, Dyfed SA31 1LN) has an extensive local studies collection, and has produced a detailed index to the Carmarthen Journal for 1800-1910.

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

The Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)
Apart from their online Archive Catalogue there is the ;
Chapels database; The computerised database will eventually list all known nonconformist chapels in Wales. This initial list covers the pre-1974 county of Cardiganshire; further counties will be added as and when the database for these areas is completed. The record lists basic information about each chapel together with key dates.

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Bibliography

A Carmarthenshire Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians

Business and Commerce Records

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

Cemeteries

Graveyard Welsh - a guide to interpreting Memorial Inscriptions.

M.I. Surveys of a number of non-conformist burial grounds are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.

Census

The UK BMD web site offers links to over 400 web sites that provide on-line information for UK births, marriages and deaths and censuses.

Carmarthen Archives holds copies of all the Census Returns for the County on microfilm and also has the 1881 CD version for England & Wales.

Church History

Welsh Chapels & Churches

You may also find it worthwhile searching in the GENUKI church database.

The Presbyterian Church of Wales site  has a pdf file showing lists of CM chapels still open (with addresses) in each county (under Documents/General Info/Churches and Secretaries). This data has been noted on each chapel entry within these parish pages so it is implied that a chapel is closed if not said to be open in 2006

Various church and chapel photographs can be viewed on Dyfed FHS

Parishes of Dyfed. This section of the Dyfed FHS site lists the parishes, churches, and chapels, within the three counties of Dyfed. It contains all those currently identified, by the National Library of Wales, where the location of registers is known. Each entry gives the OS National Grid Reference and name of the church or chapel, if known, (religious denomination), parish, county code and (page name).

Some Holy Wells of South Carmarthenshire by Kemmis Buckley, MBE, DL, MA. A talk given to the Llanelli Art Society on 3rd February 1971

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Church Records

On the individual parish pages are details of non-conformist chapels in each parish. The data shown there is based on various sources but principally these

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

A large number - well over 50% by the mid-nineteenth century - of people in Carmarthenshire attended Nonconformist chapels, rather than the established church. Thus, except for marriages which prior to 1837 had to take place in the parish church, references to them are more likely to be found in nonconformist than in parish church records. Many of these have been deposited at the PRO (and filmed by the LDS), others are still to be found with the chapels or other libraries or archives.

Virtually all completed parish registers have been deposited in either the Carmarthenshire Record Office or the National Library of Wales. Bishop's Transcripts and Marriage Licenses are held at the National Library of Wales - and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Many Parish register indexes, and indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.  From 7/2001 these now include

National Library of Wales     Manuscripts and Records. An online searchable index of Marriage Bonds and Allegations.It contains details of some 90,000 marriages by licence which took place inWales between 1616 and 1837.

Listings of (present-day) Clerics, Benefices, and parishes of the Diocese of St Davids.

The Dyfed FHS has indexed all marriages for the period 1812-1837, and provides a postal lookup service. Published copies of the index, in sets of parishes grouped by hundreds, are available.

Family Search UK/Ireland - Historical Record Collections 
IGI Batch Numbers - Hugh Wallis's site  and Archer Software's site  

Parish Register Copies for Carmarthenshire in the Library of the Society of Genealogists.

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Civil Registration

The UK BMD web site offers links to over 400 web sites that provide on-line information for UK births, marriages and deaths and censuses.

Detailed listing, by Brett Langston, of the places covered by the old and current Carmarthenshire Registration districts.

Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar at the following District Register Offices:

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Court Records

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

Description and Travel

Here is a simple index relating to parish maps copied from  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.).  

Dyfed FHS has an online database of towns in Dyfed, includes trade directory descriptions and photographs

A Vision of Britain Through Time. "This site contains information about your home area from the 2001 census -- and from every earlier British census back to 1801. It can present this information both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time in your area. It truly offers a Vision of Britain through time"

Principal Markets and Fairs in South Wales. Extracted from Kelly's Directory South Wales 1910

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516. The Gazetteer compiled by Dr Samantha Letters is a catalogue of markets and fairs in medieval England and Wales. This is the first comprehensive national survey.

A Description of the county of Carmarthenshire from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

Carmarthenshire's Administrative Structure, from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).

Carmarthenshire - on wikipedia

Carmarthenshire County Council

Directories

Pigot & Co. South Wales directory for 1830. CD published by (Archive CD Books). The Carmarthenshire related entries as follows have been extracted and can be seen on the relevant parish pages of Genuki;

Pigot & Co. South Wales directory for 1844. CD published by (Archive CD Books). The Carmarthenshire related entries as follows have been extracted and can be seen on the relevant parish pages of Genuki;

Dyfed FHS has an online database of Pigot's 1830 Directory South Wales relating to the Dyfed counties only.

Gazetteers

Search the GENUKI Gazetteer.

Tallis's Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales, published in 1860 in six vols, editor E. L. Blanchard.  See Welsh Family History Archive for all the excellent county maps (showing the hundreds) and those sections of the alphabetical gazetteer that have been uploaded to date.
From the preface;
"In the following pages will be found fully described the past history and present aspect of every place of any significance in England and Wales, forming a work of permanent importance to the commercial world, of ready service to the tourist of the day, and of constant interest to the general reader, who may derive from this source a large supply of entertainment, as well as of information for the amusement and instruction of a leisure hour."

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Genealogy

Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire Wills - a selection of will transcriptions

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

Wales Lookup Exchange

Here are details of the Genealogy Mailing Lists serving the Welsh counties

Carmarthenshire Families Project

Timeline of genealogically interesting dates by Gareth Hicks

John Ball's Welsh Family History Archive provides some very useful material and links for those with Welsh ancestry.

Online Welsh Names Directoryby Graham Jaunay

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History

The Black Book of Carmarthen The history of one of the earliest surviving manuscripts written solely in the Welsh language, thought by modern scholars to be the work of a single scribe writing at different periods of his life before and about the year 1250.

See Not everyone knows this..  for  random historical snippets on various CMN parishes

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Land and Property

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

Maps

See here to view a 'sketch map' indicating the position and relative size of each parish within its  hundred

Dyfed FHS has an early 20th century OS map of Dyfed

Map of Carmarthenshire from the Report of the Boundary Commissioners for England and Wales. Printed by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1885.

Map of Carmarthenshire in 1821.

Welsh county maps by Samuel Lewis and published in 1833

Merchant Marine

Lighthouse Personnel in England and Wales and the Channel Islands 1841-1910. Includes;- Table of  Keepers; Table of Stations by county; Location map of the lighthouse sites.

There is a card index of "Shipping" at Carmarthen Archives, mainly details of ships but some owners and masters.

There is a card index of   Carmarthen  Journal articles under "Ports" and "Shipping" at Carmarthen Reference Library.

Volume 21of Transactions of the Carmarthen Antiquarian Society  could be useful for researching  shipping.

Welsh Mariners  by Dr Reg Davies---includes a searchable database of over 17,000 Welsh born (or Wales resident) Master mariners, mates and engineers who held certificates of competency or service; in practice it is an index of men active from 1850 to 1945 in the merchant navy.

Swansea Mariners by Bryan Richards --- periods 1861 to 1871 and 1890 to 1894, a database of ratings such as un-certificated officers, bosun, able seaman, ordinary seaman, boy, cook, steward, etc in Glamorgan Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire, or from around the world. There are 32,000 detailed entries (9/2006).

Military History

West Wales War Memorial Project

Names, Geographical

Place names in south Wales - Deric John's growing authoritative collection of place names

Place Names of Dyfed, provided by the Dyfed FHS, lists the parishes (plus a small number of other places) in Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, giving for each the name of its hundred, an OS map reference, and the civil registration district.

Here is a listing of Carmarthenshire place names and name variants, with their associated Genuki parish pages.

Here is a database with grid co-ordinates of 10,000 place names from the 1891/1901 censuses for certain parishes in PEM,CMN & GLA(Gower) Place names in Carmarthenshire  which have alternative spellings  - or have changed completely

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Newspapers

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

Dyfed newspapers - on  Dyfed FHS  there is a list of the locations that hold copies of known publications

Tivy-Side Advertiser    Email; tivy_newsdesk@gwent-wales.co.uk

Occupations

1756 War Office Billeting Return - transcribed by Jon Mein from material held at TNA (WO 30/49), the transcription covers Tenby, Haverfordwest, Landilo and Carmarthen districts  - the Return  lists all "pubs" (inns, ale-houses etc) able to accommodate men and horses.

The Coal House Project - on BBC Wales. Use the Browse by Place button to home in on particular mines/areas

Victorian Professional Photographers in Wales 1850-1925 - a county based database compiled by Mari Alderman, includes sources and a bibliography

Here is the Wales section from Outline Map of the Mining Districts of the UK from the Childrens' Employment Commission Report of 1842. The shaded areas denote the Coal and Iron Mining Districts.
Copied from the CD published by Archive CD Books

A List of Mines in Pembrokeshire and the adjoining parts of Carmarthen and Ceredigion. Introduction.

Apprentices from Dyfed in Bristol in the C17 & C18. Fiche for sale from Dyfed FHS.

Lists of magistrates and police officials in the county of Carmarthenshire  - extracted from Kelly's Directory of South Wales 1923 (published on CD by Archive CD Books)

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Poverty and the insecurity of life in rural Carmarthenshire, South Wales, 1780s-1830s; a paper by Gail Thomas.    (This is a Word doc file, 183kb)

The Workhouse  - on Peter Higginbotham's site

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

Probate Records

Carmarthenshire Wills - a selection of will transcriptions

Pre-1857 wills are likely to be found either among the records of the Episcopal Consistory Court of St. David's: Archdeaconry of Carmarthen (held at the National Library of Wales), or in the records of of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (held at the Public Record Office).

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Public Records

Agricultural Statistics  in 1908 for the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan as shown in Kelly's Directory for South Wales, 1910

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

Schools

The Blue Books of 1847.  An inquiry into the state of education in Wales - on the NLW's Digital Mirror site

Day Schools in Carmarthenshire in 1847. This database consists of day schools which existed in 1847 included here within an alphabetical list of parishes 
It contains the names and types of day schools listed in the Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales published in 1847

Dyfed FHS has an online database of Schools and Colleges in the Dyfed counties, many with photographs

Alumni Oxonienses 1715 - 1886. This extract of Dyfed students from a reproduction on CD of the four volumes of Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 published by the(Archive CD Books)Project. Extracted and transcribed for the Dyfed FHS by Jonathan Pike. All references to the Dyfed students have been included plus individuals who are known to be connected to Dyfed familes.

Social Life and Customs

Poverty and the insecurity of life in rural Carmarthenshire, South Wales, 1780s-1830s; a paper by Gail Thomas.   (This is a Word doc file, 183kb)

Societies

Dyfed FHS covers the old counties of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire. It has several branches, including one in London. It publishes a regular journal for members.
Also has a Research Centre at the Women's Institute, 11 St. Peters Street, Carmarthen. (centre*at*dyfedfhs.org.uk)

The Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society: ".... founded in 1905 and is one of the foremost County antiquarian societies in Wales. From its inception the founding members saw a need to record, publish and collect all things relating to the history, antiquity and natural history of 'Carmarthenshire in particular, and West Wales in general' ".
Here is a separate page with contents listings and several complete articles

INDIVIDUAL TOWNS AND PARISHES - See Alphabetical Listing

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These county pages are maintained by Gareth Hicks with help and information provided by a number of other volunteers.

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(This page was last updated on 16 Jan 2014  - Gareth Hicks)

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