ABER DAR, in the Cwmwd of Meisgyn, Cantref of Penythen (now called the Hundred of Miskin), Co. of GLAMORGAN, South Wales: a Curacy, not in charge, to the Vicarage of Llan Trisaint: Patron, The Vicar of Llan Trisaint: Church dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The Resident Population of this Parish, in 1801, was 1486. The Money raised by the Parish Rates, in 1803, was £436..12..7 1/2, at 13s. 11 1/4d. in the pound. It is 4 m. S.W. from Merthyr Tudfyl. The Fairs are holden on the 19th of April, Whitsun Monday, and 14th of November. This Parish contains about 2000 acres of cultivated land, and about 2000 acres which are uncultivated. Here are extensive Iron works, belonging to Messrs. Tappenton and Co., and Messrs. Scales and Co. According to the Diocesan Report, in 1809, the yearly value of this Benefice, arising from Stipend, and Augmentation, was £34..13. The Rev. EDWARD EVAN, an eminent dissenting preacher, philosopher, and poet, was a native of this place; and was one of the few who, according to Mr. Owen, being initiated into the Bardic mysteries, have helped to preserve the institution to the present time. He died on the 21st of June, 1798, being the day fixed for him to meet the other Bards of the Chair of Glamorgan. JEUAN DDU AB DAFYDD AB OWAIN, an eminent poet, was also a native of Aber Dar; and flourished from about the year 1440 to 1480. He was a gentleman of a large estate: and a great patron of the Bards, whose various acts of munificence are still traditionally told in the neighborhood where he resided.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, London, 1811.



Archives & Libraries



Here is a substantial reading list of books which relate to Glamorgan, either county or parish.

Also see A Bibliography of the History of the Cynon Valley compiled by Steven Graham and Geoffrey Evans. Published by RCT Libraries-  2013

References to the town of Aberdare at


Business & Commerce Records

  • Aberdare & Aberaman Consumers Gas Co, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1845-1947: minute books, agendas, registers, managers' reports, ledgers, invoice and wages books, correspondents.
    [Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff - Reference: D/D Ga/A]
  • Aberdare Canal Navigation, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1793-1961: minute, share transfer and account books, shareholders registers, deeds, plans, papers relating to liquidation.
    [Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff - Reference: D/DB Ca/1-94]
  • Aberdare & District Co-Operative Society Ltd, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1871-1935: minute books and misc papers. [University of Swansea Library - Reference: SWCC]
    1901: Cwmaman branch ledger. [Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff]
  • Aberdare Railway Co., Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1845-1902: minutes & reports, ledger, registers, list of shareholders, letter books
    [Public Record Office, Kew, London - Reference: RAIL 2]
  • Aberdare Trades and Labour Council, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1907-68: minutes, correspondents and financial records
    [University of Swansea Library - Reference SWCC]
  • Aberdare Valley Railway Co., Cardiff, Glamorgan
    1855-64: minutes, ledger, cash book, expenditure and receipts books
    [Public Record Office, Kew, London - Reference: RAIL 3]
  • Aberdare Waterworks Co., Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1857-67: minute book
    [Glamorgan Record Office]
  • JT Jones, printer and publisher
    1827-1905: account books, lists of subscribers, registers of adverts, corresp, etc, Aberdare and Carnarvon [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records - Reference: NLW MSS 3321-63]


The Glamorgan Family History Society have produced a set of microfiche containing Monumental Inscriptions for the following burial grounds :-

  • St. John the Baptist

 A newspaper article from the South Wales Echo, titled, 'Ancient twin chapels likely to go', in reference to Aberdare's old cemetery, Aberdare, 13 June 1980   - on the People's Collection Wales site



The Glamorgan Family History Society have produced a set of microfiche containing an enumerated transcription and a personal name index. These are available for the years :

  • 1841 - (included in with Merthyr Tydfil)
  • 1851 - HO107/2460


There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History

Chapels Database  - a  list of all known non-conformist chapels or other non-Anglican religions in the parish

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for photographs of various churches/chapels in this parish

  • St Mairs Church, Seymour St, Aberdare - details on the RCT Heritage Trail site.   "St Mair's Church was built for the Welsh speaking Anglican congregation of Aberdare Parish. The foundation stone was laid on July 2nd 1863...................."   The Church was demolished in 1964, the site redeveloped and St Mair's Social Centre opened in 1969.

Various items   - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Calvaria Chapel, Aberdare
  • Bethania Chapel, Aberdare
  • A view of Aberdare church with a couple and their dog in the foreground. Mountains are in the background and two gravestones are on the periphery.
  • Sketch of Aberdare Church by one of the Bacon Sisters, 19th century

Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on  FreeReg for St John's

The church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is in the Benefice of Aberdare, and Diocese of Llandaff. Details of the present incumbent of this benefice can be found at the Church in Wales website. The church can be found at grid reference SO000026.

A transcription of the registers is available from the Glamorgan Family History Society for the years: Baptisms, 1734-1900, Marriages, 1717-1837, Burials, 1734-1924. Visit their website for information on how to purchase these fiche.

Anglican Parish Registers Held at the Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
BaptismsMarriagesBurialsBannsBishops Transcripts
1734-19171734-1753, 1769-19371734-1916-1717, 1724-1837

Modern Parishes & Chapels of Ease :-

Non Conformist Registers Deposited
ChapelBaptismsMarriagesBurialsOS Map RefDeposited/
Carmel Baptist, Monk Street1806-1837-1814-1837SO 00160251PRO
Bethania, Calvinistic Methodist-1914-1958, 1960-1969, 1975-1983-SO 00210248NLW
Nazareth, Calvinistic Methodist1940-1969-1952-1970SO 00530273NLW

Salem Congregational






Sion, Wesleyan1857-1968--SO 00310240NLW
Sion, Wesleyan*
*not on WGAS online list
1966-1968--SO 00310240WGAS

GRO - Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
NLW - National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
WGAS - West Glamorgan Archive Service
PRO - Public Record Office, London

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Aberdare Ecclesiastical Parish records     "Aberdare Ecclesiastical Parish records including registers for churches of St John and St Elvan of baptisms, 1734-1910; marriages, 1769-1937; burials, 1734-1946; records relating to: churchwardens, 1900-1939; property, 1869-1939; endowments and finance, 1894-1915; correspondence, 1881-1940; St Elvans church, 1862-1936; miscellaneous, 1854-1935; St Johns church, 1864-1938; St John the Evangelist, Robertstown, 1886-1912; St Mary Magdalene, Cwmbach, 1906-1914; St Marys Welsh Church, Maesydref, 1894-1936; St Matthews Mission Church, Abernant, 1885-1900; church affairs, 1901-1940; church organisations, 1892-1935; charities, 1884-1928; education, 1895-1920"

A set of fiche have been produced by the Glamorgan Family History Society covering registers of some Aberdare Chapels, for the period 1788-1951 (baptisms) and 1809-1836 (burials).     "..... records including registers of baptisms, 1854-1975; marriages, 1854-1953; burials, 1855-1942"

The following Religious Institutions are covered in the Mormon International Genealogical Index (IGI) :-

  • Aberdare, Carmel Particular Baptist - Births 1806-1837
  • Aberdare, Salem and Ebenezer and Nebo Independent - Christenings, 1806-1837

Description & Travel

Aberdare online  - the site for Cynon Valley and Rhondda Cynon Taff

Aberdare Canal -  on the RCT Library Service site

Aberdare Canal - on wikipedia

Aberdare - on the Rhondda Cynon Taf Libraries Heritage Trail site

Aberdare - on Wikipedia

Aberdare Conservation Area - on RCT site

Various landscapes   - on the People's Collection Wales site

You can see pictures of Aberdare which are provided by:



The transcription of the section for Aberdare from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.

Description of parish from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.



Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Williams Family of Pantygerddinen, Aberdare, papers      "Records of the Williams family of Pantygerddinen, Aberdare, [c. 1826]-[c. 1920], consists of: Aberdare parish records, 1853-[c. 1865]; miscellaneous papers found loose in the volume, includes, papers concerning poetry [c. 1826]-1864, miscellanea, [c. 1860]-[c. 1920]; and deeds of property in Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil, 1868-1911."

Historical Geography

Some of the hamlets, towns and villages within this parish



Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Canon Street, Aberdare c1905  
  • Victoria Square, Aberdare c1905
  • Aberdare from Abernant, 14 February 1865
  • Report of an inquiry into the water supply and sanitary condition of Aberdare, 1853
  • 500 rabbits to feed the children during the 1910 coal strike, Aberdare
  • Ticket to attend tea following the unveiling of the Caradog's memorial, Aberdare, 1920
  • Unveiling of 'Caradog's statue, Victoria Square, Aberdare, 20 July 1920
  • Council water cart outside St Mair's Church, Aberdare, 19th century
  • Sketch of Aberdare by one of the Bacon Sisters, 19th century
  • Sketch of Aberdare from Gadlys, by one of the Bacon Sisters, 19th century
  • Sketch of bridge on the road to Aberdare by one of the Bacon Sisters, 19th century
  • Sketch of bridge over the Aman on the Aberdare Road, by one of the Bacon Sisters, 19th century

Land & Property

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Dyffryn Estate, Aberdare records  1615-1940     "In 1749 William Bruce (1705-68) of Llanblethian, Glamorgan, navy agent and banker, bought the Dyffryn estate in Aberdare from John Jones. His son, the Rev. Thomas Bruce (d 1790) of Llanblethian and Dyffryn, was succeeded by his sister Margaret (d 1809) the wife of John Knight (d 1799) of Llanblethian and Barnstaple in Devon. Their son John Knight (1784-1872) assumed the additional surname Bruce in 1805 on succeeding to his uncle's Aberdare estate, and the surname Pryce in 1837 on succeeding to his cousin Frances Ann Grey's Dyffryn estate in the parish of St Nicholas. ............................"


This diagram shows the position of this parish within the county of Glamorgan - click on this to see a full size diagram of the county



Parish map (Kain/Oliver)

Various items   - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • A plan of the parish of Aberdare in the County of Glamorgan 
  • Maps of the Glamorganshire and Aberdare Canals, 1884 

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SO003027 (Lat/Lon: 51.714215, -3.444857), Aberdare which are provided by:


Medical Records

The People's Collection Wales site has material for Aberdare, use the onsite search box


Military History

Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • An article from the Aberdare Leader about the death of Alfred Jones from Aberdare during The First World War.  
  • Belgium refugees  with Mr & Mrs Phillips (caretakers) outside Siloa Chapel, Aberdare, 1914-18

Names, Geographical

Cynon Valley Place-Names  by Deric John 1998. An insight into the meanings and derivations of the place-names of the Cynon valley.The index from the book is reproduced here

Places, villages, farms etc within Aberdare 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 John Ball)

  • Aberdare [68] - Aberaman, Aberaman House, Abercwmboi, Abercwmboi Colliery, Aberdare, Aber-nant, Bedwlwyn, Berw Ddu, Blaen-Aman-fawr, Blaencwmboi, Blaenaman Fach, Blaengwawr, Blaen-nant-y-groes, Brick Works, Bryn Du, Bwllfa Dare Colliery, Capcoch, Castell Nos, Castell y Mawn, Cefn-pennar, Cefn-pennar-uchaf, Cefn Rhos-Gwawr, Craig Bedwlwyn, Craig Rhiw-ddu, Cwm Ynys-mintan, Cwmaman, Cwmbach, Cwmdare, Cwmdare Colliery, Cwmdu, Cwm-pennar, Dyffryn House, Fedw-hir, Ffynnon-y-gog, Gadlys, Gamlyn, Garn Wen, Gelli-ddu-fach, Gelli-ddu-fawr, Golf Course, Grey's Place, Gwersyll, Hafod Wen, Llech Sychryd, Lluestai-llwydion, Lwydcoed Station, Neuadd-y-Wenallt, Pen-rhiw-llech, Penywaun Inn, Rifle Range, Roberts Town, Ropeway, Tir Howel-ap-Ifor, Trecynon, Tre-Gibbon, Troed-rhiw-llech Foel, Twyn Ddisgwylfa, Twyn Rhondda-fach, Twyn-y-Briddallt, Ty-gwyn, Viaduct, Water Works, Waun Row, Ysgubor-wen House


  • Aberdare Times, newspaper, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1876-1902: register of advertisements received, material sent for publication
    [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records]


Aberdare Times April 6 1861   - on the People's Collection Wales site

Newspaper extracts



 Various items  - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • 1910 Strike Relief Committee, probably Aberdare  
  • Aberdare Fire Brigade, early 20th century
  • Families of Aberdare miners taking coal from tips during 1910 coal strike


Local Collieries not shown anywhere else on this site;


Politics & Government

  • Aberdare Independent Labour Party, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    • 1895-1908: list of officers, subscriptions and committees
      [Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff]
    • 1901-06: minutes
      [Aberdare Central Library]
  • Aberdare Ward Labour Party, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1933-63: ward minute books, correspondents and papers
    [University of Swansea Library, Swansea - Reference SWCC]


Programme for a banquet in Aberdare in honour of Keir Hardie, 1901   - on the People's Collection Wales site


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Notice confirming the election of Mr S. N. Stephens as a Guardian of the Poor for the Parish of Aberdare, 29 March 1919   - on the People's Collection Wales site



The Population of Aberdare was as follows, and a more detailed breakdown is available.

1841 - 6,4711851 - 14,9991861 - 32,2991871 - 37,7741881 - 35,5331891 - 40,917

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Aberdare Burial Board records 1857-1903  
  • Aberdare Civil Parish records  1819-1904    "Records of Aberdare Civil Parish including tithe plan and apportionment, 1847; vestry minutes books, 1819-1904; assistant overseers' rate books, 1844-1849; church rate book, 1840-1842; surveyors' account (Cefnpennar), 1832-1844"  
  • Aberdare Coroner's records   "Post mortem reports and inquests, 1973-1983"  
  • Aberdare Local Board of Health       "Records of the Aberdare Local Board of Health, 1854-1901, consisting of: minutes, 1854-1894; committee minutes, 1866-1900 (including committee minutes for Aberdare Urban District Council, 1895-1900); ledgers, 1875-1878; letter books, 1866-1894; waterworks company balance sheets, 1858-1872; and the journal used by the Inspector of Canal Boats, 1890-1901"     
  • Aberdare Urban District Council records  1894-1974  
  • Cynon Valley Borough Council records   1974-1996    "Cynon Valley Borough Council was formed in 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972. It comprised Aberdare and Mountain Ash Urban Districts and parts of Neath Rural District, in Glamorgan, and Penderyn in Vaynor and Penderyn Rural District, formerly in Breconshire. ................. In 1996, the council was replaced by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council as unitary authority."  
  • Miskin Higher Petty Sessional Division records  1853-1962     "Petty Sessions divisions were established based on the groups of parishes known as hundreds.................. In Glamorgan, the hundred of Miskin was covered by two divisions, Miskin Higher and Lower. Miskin Higher covered Aberdare, Abercynon, and Mountain Ash"   
  • Wales Gas Board records      Include ".......... Aberdare Gas Undertaking, 1845-1949.........."

Religion & Religious Life

  • Aberdare District Baptist Choral Union, Aberdare, Glamorgan
    1889-1934: records [National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records]


Aberdare Boys' Grammar School - a history,  1896-1978

Aberdare Girls' Grammar School  

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Aberdare (and Mountain Ash) Division Primary/Elementary school records      19th century-20th century        "Aberdare (and Mountain Ash) Division Primary/Elementary school records including log books and admission records relating to Aberaman schools, 1866-1939; Caradog Town school, 1921-1964; Aberdare Higher Standard school, 1890-1932; Aberdare Juvenile Unemployment Centre, 1927-1941; Open Air school for Physically and Mentally Disabled Children, 1914-1950; St. Fagans National school Trecynon, 1863-1963; Aberdare Town schools, 1875-1963; Duke street and Cwmdare Infants schools, 1869-1883; Abernant schools, 1892-1967; Aman schools, 1894-1960; Blaengwawr school, 1880-1969; Capcoch schools, 1872-1938; Cwmaman and Hirwaun War Nursery, 1943-1944; Cwmaman and Glynhafod schools, 1869-1987; Cwm-bach schools, 1868-1950; Cwmdare schools, 1864-1949; Hirwaun school, 1876-1949; Llwydcoed school, 1878-1934; Parc schools, 1865-1951; Pen-y-waun schools, 1897-1983; Robertstown school, 1972-1929; Ynyslwyd school, 1904-1953"
  • Aberdare School Board records      "Aberdare School Board records comprising of minute books, 1872-1886; school returns, 1879-1923; report and letter books, 1878-1903; ledgers and accounts, 1872-1903; cash books, 1881-1901; ...................................."  
  • Aberdare Mardy House (Church in Wales) Senior/Secondary Modern School records       "......... comprising of logbooks, 1930-1969"
  • Pantglas Senior/Secondary school, Aberdare records     "Pantglas school was a senior mixed school until 1952 when it became Pantglas Secondary school............."      "   .... records comprising of log book, 1940-1966"

Social Life & Customs

Various items   - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Aberdare Association Football Club, 1899-1900
  • Aberdare Thursday AFC, 1908-09 & 1909-10
  • Aberdare Crescents AFC, 1906-07
  • Cosy Cinema, Market Street, Aberdare, 1932
  • Aberdare Thursday Rugby Football Club, 1901-02