Tracing your Family Tree at Ceredigion Archives
THE MAIN SOURCES FOR FAMILY HISTORY IN CEREDIGION
BIRTH, MARRIAGE AND DEATH CERTIFICATES
From 1837, all births, marriages and deaths had to be registered with the civil authorities. Certificates can be obtained from:
The General Register Office
P.O. Box 2
Tel. no.: 0870 2437788
You can also order certificates online at the following web site: http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
Certificates for Cardiganshire can also be obtained from the three local registrars at:
Aberystwyth SY23 3UE
Tel. no.: 01970 633580
21 High Street
Tel. no.: 01570 422558
Tel. no.: 01239 612684
The Registrars are willing to answer specific enquiries – you should supply them with as much information as possible to aid their search. Those wanting to obtain certificates or information should note that not all offices are open every day. Please phone to make an appointment!
Indexes to the certificates are available free of charge on-line at http://www.freebmd.org.uk/, although the process of transcribing them is not complete. You can also search these indexes on the Ancestry website; this is free in Welsh Archives and libraries, but is a subscription service if accessed at home.
PARISH REGISTERS OF BAPTISM, MARRIAGE AND BURIAL
Original parish registers for the old county of Cardiganshire are kept in the County Archives of Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, depending in which Rural Deanery a parish was situated. Original volumes are no longer produced for consultation. Microfilm copies of all the Cardiganshire parish registers can be consulted at both the Ceredigion Archives and the National Library of Wales. Ceredigion Archives also hold a number of indexed transcripts of baptisms, marriages and burials for the county.
Copies of pre 1837 registers should be held at the National Archives, Kew, London. Information relating to these registers can be viewed on their website at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
These records can be consulted at Ceredigion Archives on microfilm.
Some later non-parochial registers can be consulted at the National Library of Wales, particularly those relating to the Calvinist Methodist chapels of the county. A list of the non-parochial registers they hold has been published. A copy of Nonconformist Registers of Wales is available at Ceredigion Archives.
Ceredigion Archives hold microfilm copies of the Cardiganshire census from 1841 to 1901 along with a microfiche copy of the 1901 census. Every GB census from 1841 – 1911 is available free online at Ceredigion Archives, and in libraries throughout the county, through the generosity of the Welsh Assembly Government.
In 1841 the enumerators were told to record the ages of those over 15 to the nearest five years and people had to state only whether they were born in the county which they resided. From 1851 the returns give the name, age, place of birth and occupation of residents of the property, as well as his/her relationship to the head of the household. The 1891 and 1901 census records whether a person spoke English only, Welsh only, or both. The 1911 census gives details of family size, and the length of marriages.
Available for consultation on the open shelves in the search room of Ceredigion Archives are transcripts and indexes of the Census for Aberystwyth 1841-1891 and the North Cardiganshire rural districts 1841-1881, Lampeter 1851, Llanwennog 1841, Llanfihangel Ystrad 1841, and Llanddewi Brefi 1841. We also hold transcripts of the censuses for Llansanffraid 1841-1871, Ysbyty Ystwyth 1851, and Llanilar 1871.
We hold a number of volumes of monumental inscriptions for Cardiganshire –covering a significant proportion of the county. These are lists and indexes of the grave stones in chapels and churches and provide details of names, ages, dates of death and where they were living.
LAND VALUATION ACT 1910 SCHEDULE
The Land Valuation Act 1910 schedules, also referred to as the Lloyd George census was a survey which was undertaken in 1910 to assess the rateable value of property and land in the country. Ceredigion Archives hold the schedules for Cardiganshire that give us details of the occupiers and owners of land and property, its location, the amount of land in question and also its value. The schedules do provide a map reference. We hold a few of these maps, although most are housed in the National Library of Wales.
Log books of individual schools may mention pupils by name, but more likely to be useful are the registers of admission, progress and withdrawal, which notes the date of birth (or age) of a pupil, the date he or she entered school, the name and address of the parent or guardian and the date of leaving school. Both these records are held at the Archives. Please note that admission registers and log books are closed for 100 years.
These can contain notices of births, marriages and deaths, and occasionally longer and more detailed reports of weddings, funerals, anniversaries and obituaries. The Archives has a complete set of issues of the Cardigan and Tivyside Advertiser from 1866, indexed to 1980, mostly by place name and subject, rather than by personal names. We hold the following copies of the Cambrian News: 1871-3, 1880, 1882-5, 1887-9, 1891-4, 1896-9, 1900-4, 1905-8. 1910-1, 1916, 1918, 1923-4, 1953, 1964, 1970-date, with some issues missing.
Copies of will relating to the Diocese of St. Davids, of which Cardiganshire is a part can be obtained from the National Library of Wales, and there are online copies of wills which may viewed on their website at www.llgc.org.uk. Indexes of these wills are available at Ceredigion Archives, covering the period 1556-1858.
However, some wills in this period were proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. These are held by the National Archives, Kew, London and are available on their online site.
You can consult the indexes free of charge but there is a fee for viewing the original document online. Wills from 1384-1858 are available on this site.
In 1858 a secular Court of Probate was created and the proving of wills was no longer under the jurisdiction of the church. Information relating to post 1858 wills can be obtained from the Court Service. The only place where there is a complete set of calendars [from 1858] available for public inspection is First Avenue House in London. Most District Probate Registries have calendars covering at least the last fifty years. More information can be obtained from the Court Service website at: http://www.courtservice.gov.uk/cms/wills.htm
Copies of the Electoral Registers are available at Ceredigion Archives. These list those entitled to vote and give details of their names and addresses. We hold various copies for the second half of the 20th century and also have a complete set for 1918 and 1945. We do have some sporadic coverage for earlier years but they are mainly for specific electoral districts in the county. More details regarding this can be obtained from our catalogues.
BOARDS OF GUARDIANS RECORDS
This is a large collection of records relating to the relief of the poor following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834. Family historians may find details of interest in the minute books, or more likely in the relief lists of those who entered the workhouse or were in receipt of casual assistance.
If you require any further information please contact us.
Ceredigion Archives - 40 years of preserving the past for the future - and counting