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Independent chapels in Wales

An analysis relating to extant records

 

This simplistic  (very) analysis is intended to indicate the approximate proportion of Independent chapels in Wales that have extant records deposited in public repositories - in each county.
Some of the sources used here are dated and are known to be 'out of date'   -  but are the only easily accessible sources available to me.
It will be noted that Source 1 was published in 1871+  - and will therefore not include chapels formed after that date.

As a comparison of sources, similar data has also been compiled for CGN only -  from Source 3.
Source 3 is said to include all chapels in  the Religious Census of 1851, plus any others which were included in Source1.

Conclusion

Of course, the overall figures only confirm what we all knew already, that our non-conformist ancestors didn't much believe in  preserving their records for their descendants in the role of future family historians.
The 'preservation average' is 42%, the separate counties ranging from 30% for RAD to 66% for DEN, I leave  readers to draw  their own conclusions from this disparity.

As a matter of additional interest, Source 2 has a note which says;
"During the 1980s an index was compiled ............ of all non-conformist causes which had ever existed in Wales ...................over 5500 chapels were listed but of these only 1350 had transferred their registers to a public repository".
This equates with an overall 24% preservation rate which is significantly worse than the average of 42% arrived at below for Independents - which implies that other non-conformist causes fared even worse in this regard.

The CGN based comparison of sources is close enough in terms of actual numbers, the % disparity is not really significant given the smallness of the numbers.

(Gareth Hicks - June 2008)

 

Sources

  1. Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru. (History of the Welsh Independent Churches); By Thomas Rees & John Thomas; 4 volumes (published 1871+)
  2. Nonconformist Registers of Wales, NLW 1994 - this is a county based list of chapels with extant records in the public domain
  3. The Parish Churches and Nonconformist Chapels of Wales: Their Records and where to Find them; Vol. One, Cardigan - Carmarthen - Pembroke.  By B.J. Rawlins, 1987

Key to Table

  1. County
  2. Total number of chapels in source 1
  3. Total number of Ind. chapels in source 2 with extant records
  4. Percentage of chapels with extant records by comparing columns 2 & 3
  5. Total number of Ind. chapels in source 3 under CGN
  6. Total number of chapels in source 3 with extant records
  7. Percentage  of chapels with extant records in CGN by comparing  columns 5 & 6

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sir Fon   [Anglesey]

38

 14

 37%

 

 

 

Sir Frycheiniog (Breconshire]

39

 20

 51%

 

 

 

Sir Gaernarfon   [Caernarfonshire]

83

 30

 36%

 

 

 

Sir Aberteifi [Cardiganshire]

56

 22

 39%

 53

25

47%

Sir Gaerfyrddin [Carmarthenshire]

92

 44

 48%

 

 

 

Sir Ddynbich [Denbighshire]

44

 29

 66%

 

 

 

Sir Flint [Flintshire]

34

 18

 53%

 

 

 

Sir Forganwg [ Glamorgan]

182

 62

 34%

 

 

 

Sir Feirionydd [Merionethshire]

49

 17

 35%

 

 

 

Sir Fynwy [Monmouthshire]

65

 31

 48%

 

 

 

Sir Drefaldwyn [Montgomeryshire]

55

 19

 35%

 

 

 

Sir Benfro [Pembrokeshire]

65

 32

 49%

 

 

 

Sir Faesyfed [Radnorshire]

10

 3

 30%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

812

341

 

 

 

 

Average

 

 

42%

 

 

 

 

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