Wales, Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Wales

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Wales, Parish Registers, 1678-2001
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Wales
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1678-2001
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
The National Archives


What Is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of church records from Wales for the years 1678-2001. In its most basic sense, a parish register is a record of religious ordinances performed in the Church of England. Beginning in 1538, every parish priest was required to write down certain information about every baptism (officially termed “christening” in Anglican use), marriage, and burial that took place in his parish over the course of each year.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can these Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as the procedures for keeping parish records evolved considerably over the centuries after 1538. It must also be noted that individual parishes often developed record-keeping traditions unique to themselves.

Baptismal Records Before 1812

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Full name of child
  • Sex of child

Included after 1812

  • Legitimacy of child
  • Full names of parents
  • Residence of parents *Marital status of parents
  • Occupations of parents
  • Names of godparents
  • Names, ages, occupations, and residences of witnesses
  • Name of minister

Marriage Records Before 1754

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Dates of the proclamation of banns
  • Residences of bride and groom

Included after 1754

  • Full names of witnesses
  • Name of minister

Included after 1837

  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Previous marital statuses of bride and groom
  • Full names of parents

Burial Records Before 1812

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse

Included after 1812

  • Age at death
  • Residence of deceased
  • Name of father, esp. if infant
  • Sex of deceased, esp. if infant

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • The approximate date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log. Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.
  • Check for variants of given names and surnames. For much of the period of this collection, spelling was not standardized; pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation. Simple clerical errors were also always possible. Furthermore, individuals were often listed under a middle name.For women, remember that it was not uncommon to revert to a maiden name after the death of a husband.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Wales.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.