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"WHITECHURCH, or EGLWYSWEN, a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 8 miles (S. by W.) from Cardigan, containing 377 inhabitants. This parish, which is supposed to have derived its name from the white colour of the stone of which the original church was built, is situated in a retired part of the county, at a distance from any turnpike road. It comprises a large tract of enclosed arable and pasture land, a considerable tract of mountainous common, affording pasturage for sheep, and some good turbaries, from which the inhabitants are supplied with fuel. The soil is various, and the inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture: the stone in this part of the country contains a great proportion of quartz, which is found in abundance within the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St. David's, rated in the king's books at £6, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of Thomas Lloyd, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Michael. There are places of worship for Baptists and Independents. John Jones, in 1729, bequeathed rent-charges of £1 and ten shillings respectively to the poor of this parish and that of Llanvair Nantgwyn adjacent. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor amounts to £79.16. " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]

Monumental Inscriptions for this parish are available from the Dyfed Family History Society.


The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by Dyfed Family History Society.

Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:

  • 1841 Census - 0464343
  • 1851 Census - 0104239
  • 1861 Census - 0543246
  • 1871 Census - 0850859
  • 1881 Census - 1342307
  • 1891 Census - 6099652


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Whitechurch area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants

  • Whitechurch [Parish Church]                  Thos Hughes, Informant
  • Penygroes     Ind                  Erected before 1800                        John Picton, Deacon, Maesgwynne, Eglwyswrw
  • Bethabara             Baptist                     Erected in 1826                  John Morris, Minister

Parish entry for Whitechurch in Kemes (otherwise Eglwyswen) with Llanfair Nantgwyn from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).

  • St Michael
  • &
  • St Mary (Llanfair Nantgwyn)
  • Incumbent and Curates; J Jones
  • Rural Deanery of Kemes
  • Acreage 2,519 & 1,694 ; Population 241 & 190

Pen-y Groes gyrfa dwy ganrif, Independent chapel in Eglwys-wen/Whitechapel parish

Rees, Caleb & Stephan. Pen-y-groes Ty Cwrdd Annibynwyr [ Pen-y-groes Independent Meeting House].

Church Records

Parish registers: Christenings (1704-1992), Marriages (1704-53, 1755-9, 1813-1933, 1948-70), Burials (1704-1812, 1814-1992) at NLW with Mf copies at Pem.RO

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1674-5, 1678, 1680, 1683, 1685-90, 1699, 1701-3, 1799-1800, 1803-39, 1844-6, 1851-60, 1863, 1865, 1869-70, 1872-80, 1882, 1885, 1890) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105215.

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Bethabara, Pontyglazier [Baptists, 1826].        Records ; See Cilfowyr/Manordefi parish.      SN14113638      Built 1826, rebuilt 1873, modified 1914.   Still open 1998 Coflein         On Dyfed FHS
  • Pen-y-groes , in Pen-y-groes [Independents, before 1800]. Records ;  1. Baptisms 1817-37 in connection with Hebron in Llanglydwen parish, CMN, at PRO RG4/3773, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 828112, also on 819967, IGI.   2. The church register, 1844-1940 at NLW Ms 689B, and has  been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 830935.    3. Baptisms, marriage, burials 1844-56 at NLW 11691E. See Hebron/Llanglydwen parish,CMN.   4.Baptisms and burials 1785-1824 in connection with Glandwr/Llanfyrnach at PRO RG4/3915, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 813551                  On Dyfed FHS                       Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    Rees, Thomas & John Thomas.Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches), 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh) copied by Gareth Hicks from the Cd published by Archive CD Books - with translation by Eleri Rowlands

Dyfed FHS have published a series of indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials from Pembrokeshire hundreds for various periods.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Whitechurch which are provided by:

Places, villages, farms etc within Whitechurch parish   as shown on the online parish map from the CD of   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.).  (Extracted by Rosemary St.Leger-May)


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Whitechurch has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


Lewis, E.T. North of the hills; a history of the parishes of Eglwyswen, Eglwyswrw, Llanfair Nantgwyn, Meline, Nevern.  (1973) viii, 309, [6] p., [26] p. of plates. illus., facsims., map, ports. [ISBN: 0902126032]


[Gareth Hicks: 27 Dec 2012]

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN152364 (Lat/Lon: 51.995180, -4.693245), Whitechurch which are provided by: