If you have ancestors from Wales, our professional genealogists and onsite agents can help with Welsh genealogy research.
Understanding Welsh Genealogy Research
Wales is a part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The main languages are Welsh and English. If you have Welsh ancestry, the methods used for Welsh genealogy research are very similar to tracing English roots.
First you’ll need to determine which county your ancestors came from, and it’s even better if you can find the specific town/village/parish. Keep in mind that county and parish boundaries have changed over time, so you may need to search multiple counties or parishes to find the genealogy records you’re looking for, and it will be helpful to research the history of the area and consult gazetteers so that you know where to look for any given time period. Another thing to keep in mind is that some smaller towns/villages didn’t have their own parish church, so their records would be recorded with a neighboring town that did.
Identifying Your Welsh Ancestors
When conducting Welsh genealogy research, it’s important to realize that many Welsh surnames are very common, so it is helpful to know additional details to help make sure you’ve identified the correct ancestor. This could include occupation, religion, additional family members, etc. When you search the records for the location you’re ancestors lived in, look for all possible matches – don’t just stop when you’ve found one that appears to fit. After you’ve collected all the potential matches, compare details and family members to determine which one is the best candidate to be your ancestor.
Accessing Records for Welsh Genealogy Research
Welsh vital records (births, marriages, deaths) are listed with English records, so they can be found in the same indexes and original copies can be obtained from the General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO). Since civil registration didn’t begin until July 1837, the best genealogical source to identify earlier Welsh ancestors is church records. While some church records have been destroyed or lost over time, those that still exist can provide excellent information for Welsh genealogy research. Prior to 1837 Welsh genealogy can definitely be more tricky, but church records, censuses, military records, court records, and many other records can be used to extend your family lines.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
Our genealogists are experts at finding and putting together all possible clues in order to create the most accurate family history possible as you complete your Welsh genealogy research. We believe in leaving no stone unturned, so we will search all available record sources to find the most (and best!) information possible.