Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales Genealogy

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Plas Newydd

Llangollen is a small town and ecclesiastical parish in Denbighshire, Wales, situated on the banks of the River Dee and on the edge of the Berwyn mountains.

History[edit | edit source]

Llangollen takes its name from St. Collen, a 7th century monk who founded a church besides the river here. St Collen is said to have arrived in Llangollen by coracle. It is thought that this St. Collen may also have connections in both St. Collen, in Cornwall and Langolen, in Brittany.

Standing high above the town to the north is Castell Dinas Brân, the former stronghold of the Princes of Powys.

Glyn y Groes

Valle Crucis (Welsh: Glyn y Groes) Abbey was established in nearby Llangwestl in about 1201, under the patronage of Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor of Castell Dinas Brân.

The bridge across the River Dee in the centre of at Llangollen was built in about 1345 by John Trevor, of nearby Trevor Hall.

On the outskirts of the town is Plas Newydd, where The Honourable Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler, the Ladies of Llangollen lived.

Llangollen was an important coaching stop for the mail coach on the old mail route along the A5 road from London to Holyhead.

The ancient parish of Llangollen was divided into three treanau ("trean" being the Welsh for "third"):

  • Llangollen Traean contained the townships of Bachau, Cysylltau, Llangollen Abad, Llangollen Fawr, Llangollen Fechan, Feifod, Pengwern and Rhisgog.
  • Trefor Traean contained the townships of Cilmediw, Dinbren, Eglwysegl, Trefor Isaf and Trefor Uchaf.
  • Glyn Traean contained the townships of Cilcochwyn, Crogeniddon, Crogenwladus, Erwallo, Hafodgynfor, Nantygwryd, Pennant and Talygarth.

Llangollen was predominantly a farming and agricultural area. Most of the farms in the hills around the town would have been involved in sheep farming and weaving was an important cottage industry in the area for centuries. Several factories were later built along the banks of the River Dee where both wool and cotton were processed. Today Llangollen relies heavily on the tourist industry.

The Ellesmere Canal was intended to connect the coal mines and ironworks at Ruabon and Wrexham to the canal network and then to the sea via the River Mersey and the River Severn. A feeder branch to Llangollen) was constructed from the canal at Trevor to tap water from the River Dee at Llantysilio (at the weir called "Horseshoe Falls"). This canal eventually became part of the Shropshire Union System. The Llangollen Canal today is a major tourist attraction.

The railway had been extended from Ruabon, via Acrefair and Trevor, to reach Llangollen by 1865. Eventually the completed Ruabon-Barmouth line later became part of the Great Western Railway but, one hundred year later, the line was closed in 1964. However, part of the line was later restored and now operates as the Llangollen Railway, another important local tourist attraction.

The town of Llangollen is world-famous for its annual International Eisteddfod, held in July.

Llangollen Parish
County bef 1974 add here
County 1 Apr 1974-31 Mar 1996 add here
County 1 Apr 1996 - add here
Civ Reg District Corwen (1881)
Reg Sub-district Llangollen (1881)
Probate Court add here
Diocese add here
Rural Deanery add here
Chapelry add here
Poor Law Union Corwen
Hundred Chirk
Province add here
Hamlets add here

Administration[edit | edit source]

Years County
pre 1536 Powys Fadog
1536 - 31 March 1974 Denbighshire
1 April 1974 - 31 March 1996 Clwyd
from 1 April 1996, Denbighshire

Records[edit | edit source]

Civil Records[edit | edit source]

Births, marriages and deaths in Llangollen are recorded in the GRO indexes as:

Years Sub-district District Volumes
1 Jul 1837 - 20 Sep 1935 Llangollen Corwen XXVII (1837-1851)
11b (1852-1935)
1 Oct 1935 - 1974 Llangollen Wrexham 11b (1935-1946)
8A (1946-74)


  • Births & Deaths: The births and deaths registers covering Llangollen are held at the Wrexham Register Office.
  • Marriages: All the "civil" marriage registers covering the Llangollen area are held at Wrexham Register Office. However, church marriage registers and "authorised person" marriage registers are held at the Register Office of the post-1996 county in which the church or chapel was situated, generally the Denbighshire South Registry Office at Ruthin.

There are a few exceptions to these guidelines!

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The following Parish Registers have been deposited at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth:

Baptisms 1623 - 1964
Marriages: 1587 - 1986
Burials 1597 - 1971

Nonconformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

The following registers are available on the IGI:

Chapel Dates Batch Number
Glanyrafon Congregational, Llangollen 1811-1837 C101691
Penybryn with Glyndyfrdwy Baptist 1815-1861 C102531
Pontcysyllte Calvinistic Methodist 1825-1837 C101371
Rehoboth & Berllan Calvinistic Methodist 1805-1837 C101351
Wesleyan 1812-1837 C101701

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

The parish of Llangollen formed part of the Corwen Registrar's District.

Year Parts
1841 HO107/1400-12 folios 16 to 44
1851 HO107/2509 folios 387 to 590
1861 RG9/4312 folios 20 to end
RG9/4313 folio 40
some parts are missing
1871 RG10/5682 folios 54 to end
RG10/5684 folio 8
1881 RG11/5540 folios 50 to end
RG11/5541 folio 93
1891 RG12/4637 folios 42 to end
RG12/4638 folio 118

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Poor Law Union Records[edit | edit source]

The parish of Llangollen formed part of the Corwen Union, which was created on 13 December 1836. The workhouse was built at Corwen but not completed until April 1840. The records for the Corwen Union are held at the Meirionydd Record Office in Dolgellau.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]