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DENBIGHSHIRE

"The County of DENBIGH is 116 Miles in Circumference, contains about 410000 Acres. Tis divided into 12 Hundreds in which are contained 4 Market Towns & only one Borough Town [viz. Denbigh], 57 Parishes & about 6398 Houses. The Air is good but sharp, & ye soil Hilly, intermixed with fruitfull valleys, that of Clwyd is the Cheif, well inhabited by Gentry. The Western parts are healthy but improved with ye Ashes of Turf. Here is plenty of Rye or Corn, Goats & Sheep, & good quantity of Lead Oar in several parts of this County"  [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]

INFORMATION RELATED TO ALL OF DENBIGHSHIRE

Map showing counties

Click here for 1833 Map
 Copied from the original in "A Topographical Dictionary of Wales" by Samuel Lewis 1833

The historic county of Denbighshire was abolished in the controversial re-organisation of 1974, and was absorbed into the newly created county of Clwyd.
Ironically, the county of Clwyd was itself abolished on 31st March 1996, after a brief existence of twenty-two years. At the same time, four new "unitary" authorities were created. These were given the names: Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham County Borough and Conwy County Borough.
It is important to realise that the boundaries of the "new" Denbighshire and Flintshire are considerably different from those of the historic counties of the same names.
Fortunately, family historians have been little affected by these changes; because throughout the short lifetime of the county of Clwyd, records for historic Denbighshire remained at the Ruthin branch of the Clwyd Record Office, while records for historic Flintshire remained at the Hawarden branch. These two offices have now become the county Record Offices for "new" Denbighshire and "new" Flintshire respectively. The County Archivists have stated that they do not expect that there will be any major movement of records between the two Record Offices.

In these GENUKI pages, all references to Denbighshire (unless specifically stated otherwise) apply to the historic (pre-1974) county - i.e. Chapman County Code DEN.

 

Archives and Libraries

Denbighshire Record Office,
Ruthin Gaol,
46 Clwyd Street,
Ruthin,
Denbighshire.
LL15 1HP.
Tel: 01824 708250
E-mail: archives@denbighshire.gov.uk

Some records relating to Denbighshire may also be found at the following locations:

Flintshire Record Office
/ Archifdy Sir y Fflint
The Old Rectory,
Hawarden,
Flintshire.
CH5 3NR
Tel: 01244 532364
E-mail: archives@flintshire.gov.uk
A.N. Palmer Centre for Local Studies and Archives,
Wrexham Museum,
Regent Street,
Wrexham.
LL11 1RB.
Tel: 01978 297480
E-mail: localstudies@wrexham.gov.uk
Opening times: Mon, Wed- Fri 10-5; Tues 10-7; Sat 10.30-3.

Conwy Archive Access Point,
Llandudno Library,
Mostyn Street,
Llandudno,
Conwy.
LL30 2RS
Tel: 01492 574010/20
E-mail: llyfr.lib.llandudno@conwy.gov.uk

Conwy Archive Access Point,
Colwyn Bay Library,
Woodland Road West,
Colwyn Bay,
Conwy.
LL29 7DH
Tel: 01492 577 510
E-mail: llyfr.lib.baecolwynbay@conwy.gov.uk

National Library of Wales,
Department of Manuscripts and Records,
Aberystwyth,
Ceredigion.
SY23 3BU
Tel: 01970 632800
Email: ymh.lc@llgc.org.uk
 
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Bibliography

Denbighshire - Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians.

Census

Denbighshire Record Office holds microfilms of the original census returns for the whole of the former county of Clwyd (which includes "historic" Denbighshire), and for some adjoining areas, from 1841 to 1901. There are occasional gaps, particularly in 1861. For a few parishes, lists of names which were made in connection with the census returns prior to 1841 have survived, and have been deposited in the Record Office.
Members of Clwyd FHS participated in the 1881 Census project - in fact, the first counties to be published were Denbighshire and Flintshire, in 1991. Copies of the 1881 microfiche for Denbighshire and Flintshire are held at Denbighshire Record Office, and at many LDS Centres.

Church History

Welsh Chapels & Churches

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

 

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Church Records

Historically, the (Anglican) Church in Wales was an integral part of the Church of England - i.e. the "Established" Church. Its influence declined during the nineteenth century, when a considerable proportion of the people of Wales - perhaps more than half - became adherents of the various nonconformist denominations; and eventually, in 1920, following many decades of religious and political debate, and intermittent civil disturbances, the Church in Wales ( not"Church ofWales") was disestablished and disendowed - i.e. it ceased to be the "State" or "Established" Church.

Because of this, the Parochial Registers and Records Measure of 1978, regarding the care of parish records of the Church of England, does not apply to Wales.

However - in 1944, the Representative Body of the Church in Wales showed considerable foresight, by making an agreement with the National Library of Wales whereby various Church records would be deposited in the Library; and in 1976, the Representative Body reached an agreement with the majority of the Welsh counties, which designated the county Record Offices as additional suitable repositories. The Archbishop of Wales issued instructions as to which records should be deposited, and appointed Diocesan Advisors to ensure that his instructions were followed. Virtually all parish registers for Denbighshire (with the obvious exception of those in current use), together with various other records, have now been deposited in Denbighshire Record Office and/or the National Library of Wales.

Members of the public are not normally allowed to handle the original registers. The policy of the Denbighshire Record Office is to microfilm the registers on receipt; and members of the public are expected to use copies of these microfilms, rather than the original registers, in the Record Office searchrooms.

Clwyd FHS has published full transcriptions, with indexes, of all the parish registers of Denbighshire, up to 1812 (and in a few cases, up to 1837 and beyond). Copies of all the transcribed parish registers published by Clwyd FHS are available for study at the Denbighshire Record Office.

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

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Civil Registration

Here is detailed information about the "historic" Registration Districts for Denbighshire, which came into being on 1 July 1837.

Here are the addresses, telephone numbers, opening hours, etc. of the present-day Registration Districts which cover north-east Wales.

North Wales BMD is an on-going project which aims to provide an easy search facility via the Internet for births, marriages and deaths recorded in the North Wales Register Offices between 1837 and 1950; and to enable researchers to order copies of the certificates from the local Register Offices.

See also the Parish pages - there is Civil Registration information on each Parish page.

For searching "further afield", Brett Langston has provided details of all the Registration Districts of England and Wales, from 1837 to 1946

Barbara Dixon (who is a Superintendent Registrar) has compiled an excellent Tutorial about Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates in England and Wales.
(Note - you will leave the "GENUKI environment" when you link to this Tutorial).

Description and Travel

Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

Denbighshire - on wikipedia

Denbighshire - on the Open Directory Project

Denbighshire County Council

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Directories

Denbighshire Record Office has photocopies and microfiche of more than twenty local directories, from 1822 to 1936.
Over 33,000 names of persons listed as living in the former county of Clwyd (which of course includes Denbighshire) have been indexed in the general index of persons.
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Gazetteers

Search the GENUKI Gazetteer.

Genealogy

Graham Jaunay's Welsh Names Research Directory covers this county.

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

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

Timeline of genealogically interesting dates by Gareth Hicks

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Maps

Denbighshire Record Office has a computerised catalogue of estate maps, from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth century, which is available for reference in the search room. It includes over 900 entries. Separate lists and indexes of tithe and enclosure maps are available.

On Clwyd FHS's site there is a diagram showing parish names/positions with links to pages for the parish church

Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

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Military History

Clwyd FHS - War Memorials

Names, Geographical

Clwyd FHS - Local Place Names

Names, Personal

Denbighshire Record Office has a printout of its computer-based general index of persons. The references in this index, in general, point to a further set of lists and / or indexes, which in turn point to the original source.
(Please note - names of persons in parish registers are noti ncluded).
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Newspapers

Daily Post - Denbighshire

Denbighshire Free Press Local Newspapers;
Copies of local newspapers, some dating from the eighteenth century, are available at Denbighshire Record Office; either as original documents or on microfilm (sometimes both).
The newspapers held on microfilm at Denbighshire Record Office include the following :

Name of Newspaper Years covered
Abergele & Pensarn Visitor 1869 - 1903
1909 - 1920
Adams Weekly Courant 1733 - 1793 (incomplete coverage)
Baner ac Amserau Cymru 1857 - 1877
1886 - 1890
Carnarvon (sic) & Denbigh Herald 1831 - 1882
Chester Chronicle 1943 - 1982
Colwyn Bay Weekly News
(became North Wales Weekly News)
1889 - 1970,1981
Denbighshire Free Press 1882 - 1950, 1996
Llangollen Advertiser 1869 - 1886, 1889-1896
North Wales Times 1895 - 1950
Rhos Herald 1894 - 1909
Wrexham Advertiser 1856 - 1880 (not 1864)
Wrexham Guardian 1869 - 1884
Wrexham Leader 1940 - 1945
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Occupations

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

Periodicals

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Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

Poor Law Unions - Clwyd FHS

The Workhouse  - on Peter Higginbotham's site

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 introduced a system of poor relief based on unions of parishes, which were run by boards of guardians. The Civil Registration districts created in 1837 were based on the poor law unions, and full details of the structure of each union in Denbighshire may be seen on the "historic" Registration Districts page.
There were three unions based within Denbighshire, namely Llanrwst, Ruthin and Wrexham; although both Llanrwst and Wrexham included "out of county" parishes. Conversely, a number of Denbighshire parishes were included in "out of county" unions - Conwy, Corwen, Llanfyllin, Oswestry and St. Asaph.
The records of the Ruthin, Llanrwst and Wrexham poor law Unions, from 1837 to 1930, are held at Denbighshire Record Office. Unfortunately, many of the records for the Ruthin union were destroyed prior to the demolition of the Ruthin Workhouse.
The records for Conwy Union are held at Gwynedd (Caernarfon) Record Office, Caernarfon.
The records for Corwen Union are held at Gwynedd (Merioneth) Record Office, Dolgellau.
The records for Llanfyllin Union are held at Powys Record Office, Llandrindod Wells.
The records for Oswestry Union are held at Shropshire Record Office, Shrewsbury.
The records for St. Asaph Union are held at Flintshire Record Office, Hawarden.

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Population

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Probate Records

Denbighshire Record Office has copies of the Calendars of Grants of Probate for England and Wales, from 1858 to 1928.
Most probate records for Denbighshire, for the years prior to 1858, are to be found in the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth. Indexes, and in some cases, copies, are held in Denbighshire Record Office.
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Schools

Denbighshire Record Office holds many records of former British, National, Board and Council schools. Those of most interest to family historians are the admission registers, which were kept from the mid-nineteenth century, giving the names and dates of birth of the pupils, and the names and addresses of the parents. Although a considerable number of these registers have been deposited, some are known to be in private hands.
Many log books have also been deposited. These were required to be kept by head teachers from 1862, and sometimes provide information on individual pupils. (Access may be restricted).
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Societies

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Voting Registers

Denbighshire Record Office holds copies of the Electoral Registers for Denbighshire, some of which date from the early nineteenth century.
When consulting the Electoral Registers, it should be noted that they refer to Urban Districts, Rural Districts and "Civil Parishes", most of which were created during the late Victorian period - and which, in general, no longer exist. In some cases, the names chosen for these administrative units were those of the old "townships"; but as these were somewhat loosely defined, it is advisable to ask the Record Office staff for advice before searching through the Electoral Registers.
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The GENUKI Denbighshire pages are maintained by Gareth Hicks. Help and information has been provided by a number of assistants.

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