"The County of MONMOUTH is 80 Miles in Circumference, contains about 340000 Acres, 6 Hundreds, 7 Market Towns & only one Borough [viz. Monmouth the shire town], 137 Parishes & about 6400 Houses. The Air is healthfull & temperate, the soil is hilly and woody, the Valleys fruitfull, yeilding abundance of Corn and Grass, as the Hills doe Cattle, Sheep & Goats, &c. Cheif Commodities are Corn, Cattle, Sheep, and its Rivers particularly the Uske and the Wye, are full of Salmon and Trout." [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]
Wiles, Eric. Publications of the Caerleon Antiquarian Association, later Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Association, now Monmouthshire Antiquarian Association. Monmouthshire Antiquary 13 (1997), p.59-66.
Note: Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained locally only from the Register Office for the District in which they were issued - or if the District no longer exists, the Office to which its registers have been moved.
The Prison Service Museum near Rugby houses HM Prison Service's historical collection of exhibits, illustrating the history of imprisonment from medieval times to the present day. Housed in a converted stable block, the museum contains reconstructions of Victorian prison architecture, and exhibits include the last set of Gibbet Irons used in England. Smaller items include bone carvings and paintings made by prisoners in their cells, and a nineteenth century sampler embroidered by a female prisoner from her own hair
Admission to the museum is by appointment only, please contact:-
HM Prison Service Museum,
There are many directories published for a range of years, these below are a small selection;
Kelly's directory of Monmouthshire and principal towns and places in south Wales. London : Kelly, 1884.
Pigot & Co. Directory of Monmouthshire. 1844
Slater's (late Pigot & Co.) royal national and commercial directory and topography of the counties of Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire and North and South Wales, and a classified directory of the town of Liverpool. Manchester, London, 1858.
The transcription of the section for Miscellaneous Places from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson. Included here are the descriptions of major topological features (rivers, hills &c.) and a descriptions of the county hundred divisions.
A Vision of Britain Through Time - information about your home area from the 2001 census, and from each British census back to 1801. Presented both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time.
The Francis Frith Collection - a collection of over 700,000 photographs of the UK, Europe and the Middle East taken by the Victorian photographer Francis Frith.
A digital library of medieval and modern sources of the history of the British Isles - British History Online. Notable souces include Journals of the House of Commons and House of Lords, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae, and the Victoria County History.
An Encyclopaedia of British History: 1700-1950 - useful for seeing local events against a national perspective. Scroll down the introductory page on this site to see topics - Monarchy, Child Labour, The Railways, &c.
The Domesday Book site - "to enable visitors to find out the history of the Domesday Book and to give an insight into life at the time of its compilation". Note this site does not provide the original text, but does include a list settlements existing in 1086. Listed with Gloucestershire are Caerleon, Caerwent, Caldicot, Chepstow, Llanvair-Discoed and Portskewett.
Pat Johnson has a large collection of original Family Deeds. Abstracts, with name and parish indexes are provided onsite, with transcriptions of the full documents available for a modest fee. In addtion, the original deed may also be available for purchase if required.
Mike Durtnall is providing a country-wide collection of Historical Manuscripts Pages recording details of deeds that have been offered for sale on eBay and in auction catalogues. In most cases whereabouts of the documents will be unknown, but sufficient details of the property involved and of buyers, sellers, mortages, &c. is provided to make them a useful research tool.
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
Access to various satellite map sites (Google, MS Live, &c.) via the convenient front end of Flash Earth.
The above Genmaps Links pages lists Great Britain - Medieval Maps, which in turn provides several maps including an intriguing Ecclesiastical Map of the British Isles in the Middle Ages, which shows the principal Monasteries, demonstrating some of the earliest centres of habitation and influence.
Detailed Maps of the area you may be interested in Monmouthshire are viewable at the UK Street Map Page. The site provides a most useful service, with superb address searching and street map facilities for anywhere in mainland Great Britain.
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.
A comprehensive site featuring Castles and Fortifications - CastleUK.net
Information about Castles in Monmouthshire may also be found on the Castle Wales website.
The Age of Nelson - a website providing general information about the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, and specifically searchable databases of those present at Trafalgar (and more) and of all Commissioned Naval Officers 1787-1822.
Names from Musters of the Monmouthshire Militia 1781-82 are available for purchase on floppy disk or microfiche through Family History Indexes (the link to Militia Musters is part way down the page).
The Royal Regiment of Wales was formed in 1969 by the amalgamation of two of Wales' most famous and distinguished regiments, namely The South Wales Borderers (24th Foot) and The Welch Regiment (41st/69th Foot).
The Cambrian Index online. The Cambrian was the first English-language newspaper published in Wales and editions cover 1804-1930. Swansea Library provide a searchable index to articles. Added 24 Oct 2005.
Coalfield Web Materials. University of Wales, Swansea. ".......... aims to improve lifelong learning opportunities by stimulating in the local history and cultural heritage of South Wales. It offers digital versions of original documentary and audiovisual material relating to the history and development of the South Wales Coalfield......" Here are direct links to sections of the site;
The Miners' Next Step and the General Strike of 1926 .... "The Great Unrest is the term used to describe the years between 1908 and 1914 when Wales, and indeed Britain, saw many industrial conflicts such as the Cambrian Combine Strike, the Tonypandy Riots as well as a number of Suffragette protests."
Mother Bedford - "a website devoted primarily to the history of Old-Bedford County, Pennsylvania during the American Revolutionary War period" - a fascinating site including items of general historical interest eg:
South Wales Record Society - "The society was set up in 1982 with the aim of publishing a regular series of books and other works on the history of South Wales and particularly Glamorgan and Gwent."
Gwent Local History Council. Publishes a twice-yearly English-language local history journal containing articles on historical topics, with references, book reviews, notes and news. Its issues are numbered to run on from its predecessor, Presenting Monmouthshire, starting at no. 41. On Welsh Journals Online
The E 179 Database (on the National Archives website) contains detailed information about over 26,000 documents relating to the taxation of lay people in England and Wales between c.1200 and c.1700. These documents are likely to contain many names.
Monmouthshire is maintained by Gareth Hicks with help and information provided by a number of other volunteers.