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Towns & Parishes



"The County of MERIONETH is 108 Miles in Circumference, contains about 500,000 Acres, & divided into 6 Hundreds; in the North are 3 Market Towns, but none of them nor any other Town in this County, are represented in Parliament; has 37 Parishes & about 2590 Houses. The Air is very sharp, the County being full of Mountains, & barren, so extraordinary steep, that Persons may discourse from ye Top of one Mountain and be heard by those that stand on ye other. Here are great Flocks of Sheep, & Goats, Herds of Cattle, Deer, Fowl, Fish of all sorts, cheifly Herring in their Season." [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]



Map showing counties

Click here for 1833 map






Archives and Libraries

Gwynedd Archives Service - Includes Gwynedd Archives' On-line Catalogue service. 

The National Library of Wales

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


A Merionethshire Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians

Gwynedd Family History Society have an online listing of their extensive library of  books


Gwynedd Family History Society have published a selection of Memorial Inscription indexes


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.

There are census transcriptions on the following parish pages;- Barmouth 1901 (Llanaber); Betws Gwerfil Goch 1851,1871,1891 ; Corwen 1851, 1871, 1891 ; Dinas Mawddwy 1851 ( Mallwyd );  Dolgellau 1871, 1891,1901; Gwyddelwern 1851, 1871, 1891 ; Llandanwg 1851 ; Llandderfel 1851, 1871, 1891; Llanddwywe 1841; Llandrillo 1851,1871,1891; Llanelltyd 1841, 1851, 1871, 1891; Llanfachreth 1891; Llanfair 1851 ; Llanfor 1851, 1871, 1891 ; Llangar 1851, 1871, 1891 ; Llangower 1851, 1871, 1891; Llansaintffraid-Glyn-Dyfrdwy 1851, 1871, 1891 ; Llanuwchllyn 1851, 1871, 1891; Llanycil 1851, 1871, 1891; Llanymowddwy 1901; Trawsfynydd 1841, 1851.

Gwynedd Family History Society have published a selection of census indexes

Church History

Welsh Chapels & Churches  

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

Merionethshire Church plans online

Gwynedd Family History Society  have a map of the ecclesiastical parishes of Merionethshire (Publications) on which there are links to photographs of some parish churches.

Church Records

Joyce Hinde has supplied a list of Parish Registers held at Merioneth Record Office.

Parish register copies (Merionethshire) in the library of the Society of Genealogists.

Gwynedd Family History Society have published a selection of Baptism and Marriage Indexes

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 in Wales between 1616 and 1837.

Listings of (present-day) Clerics, Benefices, and parishes  of the Dioceses of Bangor and St Asaph

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

Civil Registration

Brett Langston has provided details of the Registration Districts in Merionethshire for the period 1837 to 1930.

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

North Wales BMD  Births, Marriages and Deaths on the internet. Clwyd and Gwynedd Family History Societies, and Montgomeryshire Genealogical Society are collaborating with the local Registration Services to make the indexes to these records freely searchable via the Internet. Although the indexes are not yet complete for all years and districts, it is hoped that the database will eventually cover all North Wales births, marriages and deaths for the years 1837 to 1950.

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.

Description and Travel

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"

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.

Merionethshire - on wikipedia

Emigration and Immigration

On Caryl Williams's site - Passenger list for the ship 'Higginson' sailing from Caernarfonshire with 141 Welsh Emigrants on board and arriving in New York May 18th 1850. Most of these 141 passengers were Welsh people from Merionethshire and the County of Anglesey, six were English. The Ship left Caernarfon on April 9th with 141 passengers and arrived at New York with the same number.


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 the alphabetical gazetteer 
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."


Online Welsh Names Directory by Graham Jaunay

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

See the All Wales Lookup Exchange gateway page to see whether there is a current Lookup Exchange for this county

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

Timeline of genealogically interesting dates by Gareth Hicks

Researchers may be interested in the Merionethshire GenWeb pages.


GenP genealogy program have a Timeline of the county of Merioneth

Gwynedd Family History Society  have a history of Wales feature on their site (Publications)

Castles Wales site - Medieval Gwynedd and The Early Welsh Kingdoms, Gwynedd


Map of Merionethshire in 1833  - Copied from the original in "A Topographical Dictionary of Wales" by Samuel Lewis 1833

Gwynedd Family History Society  have a diagram of the ecclesiastical parishes of Merionethshire (under Publications)  - with some links to photographs of parish churches

Welsh county maps by Samuel Lewis and published in 1833

Merchant Marine

Gwynedd Maritime database

Survey of 20th century Welsh Seafarers for North-West Wales Papers - details of extant records on Archives Network Wales          "The Welsh Seafarers for North-West Wales project recorded the careers of twentieth century seafarers. Forms were distributed via the Caernarfon, Dolgellau and Anglesey Record Offices, with help from local maritime museums and individuals"

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.

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.


Gwynedd Archive Services have a substantial collection of the following publications;

Yr Arweinydd

Baner ac Amserau Cymru

Caernarfon & Denbigh Herald

Caernarfon - Llyn Chronicle

Cambrian News

Y Cymro

Y Dydd

Y Ddraig Goch

Eco'r Wyddfa

Y Genedl Gymreig


Yr Herald Gymraeg

Illustrated London News

Llais Ogwan

North Wales Chronicle

North Wales Weekly News

Y Rhedegydd

Y Tyst

Yr Udgorn



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

People's Collection Wales - Working Lives, mines and quarries

Slatesite - history, communities, photographs etc

Peak District Mines Historical Society Ltd - Merionethshire's Mining Industry in 1896, a list of metalliferous mines
From the Tables compiled by C. Le Neve Foster, H.M. Inspector for the North Wales District in his Report for 1896 

The manganese mines of Merionethshire "Manganese ore was mined in two main areas of the former county of Merionethshire: in the uplands east of Harlech and Barmouth, and in the east of the county in the Arenig area between Trawsfynydd and Bala. In addition, there were a few mines in the north of the county on the southern slopes of Moelwyn Bach and some trials in the area to the south of the Mawddach."

Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc.

The Workhouse  - on Peter Higginbotham's site


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

Day Schools in Merionethshire 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



TOWNS AND PARISHES - see Alphabetical Listing

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[Last updated:   16 Jan 2014  -  Gareth Hicks]

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