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5 unique record collections for tracing Welsh family roots

2-3 minute read

By Niall Cullen

6 May 2022
Welsh ancestry

Do your ancestors hail from Wales? Delving into these lesser-known records may help you unlock clues to your amazing past.

You'll find millions of Welsh family records on Findmypast. Our censuses, newspapers, and parish records all cover the length and breadth of Wales' cities, towns, and valleys. Not to mention the comprehensive take on the country you get from the 1939 Register. But what about the more obscure collections you may have overlooked in your quest to find Welsh relatives?

We've poked around in our vast archive of record collections to bring you some of the Welsh sets you may have missed. If there's an elusive ancestor from Wales that you can't quite pin down, these resources are worth a look.

The beauty of this collection is that it is updated regularly with more records, giving you even more chances of finding Welsh ancestors. The cemetery records can reveal important genealogical details about your ancestors, as recorded on their headstones.

Welsh cemetery records

Copyright BillionGraves 2012.

Each entry contains a link to an image of the burial plot and GPS details if you want to make a day of it and go to Wales to visit your relative's final resting place.

Workhouse records usually contain exquisite detail about your ancestors and this collection is no different. You could discover Monmouthshire ancestors who fell on hard times in transcripts and scanned images of the original records.

The transcript will tell you the basic and most important information but be sure to also check the image for extra clues. And if your ancestral homestead is outside Monmouthshire, our workhouse deaths from Pontypool may also be of interest.

These military records document local Swansea recruits who signed up to the 14th (Service) Battalion, Welsh Regiment at the start of the First World War. In them, you can uncover your ancestor's service number, rank, next of kin details, and more. By 1918, over 600 of the Swansea Pals had lost their lives in battle. Was your relative among them?

Discover details of your family member's school-going days in Wales with these unique records. Over 23,000 pupil admissions are included, covering 11 different schools in the Glamorganshire region.

Discover 50 Welsh notable names across the the UK in the 1921 Census

View this map full screen

The records reveal important details for your family tree, including your relative's father's name and any previous schools they attended. Plus, if your ancestor was evacuated to the area during the Second World War (some 33,00 children were), you may find them listed here.

These records span across the diocese of Bangor, Hawarden, Llandaff, St. Asaph's, and St. David's. Prior to 1858, all wills were proved in the Anglican Ecclesiastical courts.

A snippet from the Wales Probate Abstracts.

A snippet from the Wales Probate Abstracts. View this record here.

These records can tell you the testator's name and residence, the date of the will, often relationships to other family members and sometimes the executor of the will.

These records will also have a handy index at the start of each book, meaning you can locate your ancestor easier.

The index at the start of the book

The index at the start of the book. View this page here.

Has understanding your Welsh past helped shape your present and future? We love hearing about your family discoveries. Use #FindmypastFeatured on social media to share your stories.