Wales study group

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


In January 2008 a group of wiki users started meeting to learn ways to approach research on Welsh ancestors. The group meets every two weeks on Monday at 10 AM mountain daylight time (MDT). We started including broadcasts of the meeting via Skype over the internet. Blaine Crump has joined us from Malad Idaho on two occasions using Skype.

We will begin to make these meetings available by a different method in the near future and will add details here when ready.

Meeting Agendas[edit | edit source]

Topics planned and items discussed. Please add topics for future discussion here:

  • Census Search Strategies for Wales
  • Preparing for a trip to the National Library of Wales
  • Mining and It's Influence on Welsh Families; history of mine development; why did people jump from one mine to another; coal mines of Wales: when did they open, close, accidents; Les Davies; book And they Worked Us to Death (Jackie Crowther)

17 March 2008[edit | edit source]

Attending: Margaret Jones, Jackie Crowther, Donna Moss, Marianne Crump, Joseph Soderborg, Nancy Jones Day, Darris Williams

Wiki demo: looked at the new Wales features

New business/ discussion items:

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

  • Ron Dennis is taking one last tour to Wales this year. Tom Taylor will be going with him and operating the tour in the future.
  • The Mormon History Association conference in Sacramento California this year will include a lecture about Wales by Ron Dennis.
  • The Utah Welsh Society was mentioned and should be described in the wiki.
  • When calling overseas you can use to cut costs.
  • Joseph Soderberg asked about statistical probability as a tool in tracing Welsh ancestors. This topic really could be covered in a full article in the wiki. The bare minimum for a researcher is to know the population of the parish where you are researching for before, during and after the time of your search. Topographical dictionaries and gazetteers are an excellent source. Be sure to include details from The Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis and Topographical Dictionary of the Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle. Online Historical Population Reports may have some useful information.
  • Susan Woods mentioned in an email recently that a teacher from the University of Cardiff is visiting Provo to help Tom Taylor with the Welsh language course at Brigham Young University (BYU).
  • Strategies for alternate census searches on Ancestry was a hot topic. Marianne raised the issue based on a class she is preparing to teach. Several ideas were shared by the group.
  1. Search by the name of the parish where your ancestor lived leaving the person's name out of the search
  2. Search using only the birthplace as a search term. This may give you the chance to find people who migrated away. Remember that the place names can be spelled with lots of creativity.
  3. Use the browse by page option. This gives you the chance to look at each page similar to searching a book or microfilm. Never trust an index to be 100% complete.

Action items: information should be added for the Utah Welsh Society, Mormon History Association conference, and the bug causing the right side portal boxes to drop when viewed in Internet Explorer 6 needs to be fixed. Statistics need to be fleshed out. The Dan Jones emigration guide was mentioned. Apparently Ron Dennis published a facsimile copy. The information from this emigration guide may be good content for the wiki.

31 March 2008[edit | edit source]

Attending: Margaret Jones, Darris Williams

Wiki demo: Useful websites box

Old business:

New business/ discussion items: Prepare for a trip to the National Library of Wales

Action items:

14 April 2008[edit | edit source]

Attending: Jackie Crowther, Donna Moss, Marianne Crump, Joseph Soderborg, Susan Woods, Daniel Bunford-Jones, Lowri Jones, Darris Williams

Wiki demo: looked at the new Wales page features, explained the new page for the Welsh Families Project

New business/ discussion items:

  • Darris showed how to use as an online website marking tool.
  • Marianne brought a facsimile copy of an emigrant's guide written by Dan Jones and translated by Ron Dennis. We hope to add a transcript to the wiki but need to build a page or two that will lead to it and we also need to get permission to reproduce it from Dr. Dennis.
  • Lowri explained some of the differences between the various Welsh language courses available. She teaches at the University of Cardiff where they do not use commercial products such as Rosetta Stone. Marianne will bring a demo disc for Welsh which she obtained from Rosetta Stone. She says it is better to check Ebay for the language course rather than pay the full price for a new program.
  • Joe brought several posters related to emigrant ships' which he has been able to scan and then print onto heavy poster paper.

Action items: Susan pointed out that we should have something pointing to the Welsh Mormon History website developed by Ron Dennis. Jackie took two assignments to insure that additional articles are created for the wiki. Darris will add notes from Tamara Compton about preparing for a research trip.

19 May 2008[edit | edit source]

We had a small group of five new participants and two former attendees. The format of the meeting was a little different. We spent most of our time talking about things to do with specific research questions. One family is researching in Montgomeryshire and the other in Glamorgan. Two other individuals at today's meeting are also researching in the same parish which led to some excited discussion. 

One of the topics discussed was the need to understand the history of a nonconformist chapel and the association between various chapels. Knowing which chapel was formed from another is critical. A page titled Chapel Pedigree was created to illustrate the relationships between various chapels in the Merthyr Tydfil area.

2 June 2008[edit | edit source]

Please list topics you might like to discuss.

23 June 2008[edit | edit source]

no report

7 July 2008[edit | edit source]

Those in attendance: Darris Williams, Laurel Jones, Donna Moss and Jackie Crowther


1.)Patronymics and naming pattern chart is on Darris’ list to do for Wikki Family Search. It will be accessed by going to the portal Wales and in the right hand corner select Research topics and then names, personal.

2.)Welsh Families Project is the also soon to be on the Wikki site. It will be accessed by going to the Wikki portal Wales front page , then select Featured Contents, the Welsh Families Project and then follow the instructions and link. This is a must for research before 1700 as it traces many of the families from Wales.

3.)Branch Records of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been translated and computerized by Ron Dennis and Carolyn Roberts. These records are not available at the FHL but are thought to be held by Elder Strange in St. Anthony, ID. The FHL does have the collection in the Welsh language but these are in English.


1.) has many digitized records that are available for research.

2.)To post a question on Wikki,, open the page and in the left hand go the navigation, then forums, then British Isles, then Wales. At this point you will have to register and log in. We discussed that using generic names instead of real names may be a smart option. Post your question under threads and answers will be found under post. Views show how many people have looked at your post and replies tell you how many replies you have received.

3.)Glamorgan Family History Society Journal has many articles on the county. The FHL has most of the issues and the index. Genuki may also have the index. Check your county to see if they have a family history society and if the FHL has the publications.

4.)Topographical Dictionary of Wales by Samuel Lewis, published 1845 show parcels, hamlets, townships and villages. This is an excellent source to learn more about your ancestors’ vicinity. Google Book may have this online.

5.)Topographic Dictionary of the Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlise, published 1811 will show the ancient jurisdiction of the parcels, hamlets, townships and villages. The original book is lost but the FHL has a copy of this. It has more detail than Samuel Lewis’ dictionary. Genuki has the county of Glamorgan on its site. The FHL has deposited this film on the US Canada floor.

6.)1841 census records for Wales rounded down the person’s age to the nearest 5. So if a person was 69, he would be listed as 65. The only exception is a person under 18.


Land Ranger series is 1½” to 1 mile – modern

Explorer series is 2½” to 1 mile – modern

1st edition Ordinance Survey is 6” to 1 miles 1860-1890 time period. (Darris has many of these and will bring them to our meeting on Monday, July 14, 2008, 10:00am.)

14 July 2008[edit | edit source]

Attending: Laurel Jones, Darris Williams and Donna Moss. The low attendance enabled us to focus in on the research of two in the group that are researching in the same parish. Some Ordnance Survey six inch to one mile maps were brought in and used to locate residences and the nonconformist chapels nearby. The session was recorded so that the detailed process for looking for relevant nonconformist records can be captured and written in the wiki.

One significant topic discussed was the problem researchers have learning about the different church and government jurisdictions that impact research. There are things like the parish that are pretty basic but when hamlet and township, hundred and diocese are thrown in that really causes confusion.

21 July 08[edit | edit source]

We will test the steps for finding nonconformist ancestors with those who missed the last meeting.

4 August 08[edit | edit source]

Please list topics you might like to discuss.

We talked about helping volunteer writers with questions they have and how to add to a document and get the changes to save.

  • How to navigate the National Library of Wales website to get to a point where you can ask for a search in the Chapels Database.
  • How do I order the six inch to one mile Ordnance Survey, first edition, maps?
  • How do I use spreadsheets to analyze my research findings?
  • Welsh language tutorial programs?
  • On census records where it shows address, how do you read those records and really understand where the address is located? How do I interpret census places and pinpoint where the person actually lived?

18 August 08[edit | edit source]

This meeting is cancelled due to a wiki planning meeting being scheduled for the same time and place. I will investigate the possibility of reserving a location to avoid future conflicts. Is the 10 AM meeting time still preferred or should we move back to 12 noon? The reason we switched to 10 AM was so people attending the meeting could spend the whole afternoon at the Family History Library. I will start sending email messages out again. My email system has been changed and  I need to work out one or two issues. If anyone has not received email for the Wales Study Group in the past contact me to be added. Darris 22:43, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

8 September 08[edit | edit source]

Reminder: How to do a browse search on census records, as well as a Parish search

We worked out how to mark threads in the forum so that an email notification is sent to let individuals know that new information has been added.

Becky Humphries had a manuscript pedigree dated 1905 which had been obtained by a researcher but the source information had been lost over the years. We went to the Welsh Manuscript Pedigrees page in the wiki and used the "Find on this page" option to search for one of the place names at the top of the pedigree. We think the exact manuscript, microfilm number and item number was found for her manuscript. We are waiting for a report on her search at the library.

How to make a request for a list of chapels from ISYS that they have records for? Please include the link.

Welsh Chapels Database Darris 15:49, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

22 September 08[edit | edit source]

Please list topics you might like to discuss.

6 October 08[edit | edit source]

Please list topics you might like to discuss.

23 October 08[edit | edit source]

Three people attended this week. One topic of discussion was the list of nonconformist records listed for Denbighshire. Go to the Denbighshire page and then Featured Content. Other county lists will be added so that researchers can help identify chapels and the availability of records.

An Idea was proposed to create pages with details about the various chapels and meeting houses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is already a list of those places for each county but some research problems could benefit from more details for each branch or meeting house. The next study group meeting will be a working meeting to develop a design for a The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel history page.

6 November 08[edit | edit source]

We will work on plans for adding details about the history and development of a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Wales.

20 November 08[edit | edit source]

Suggest a topic.