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Welsh ancestry

5 unique record collections for tracing Welsh family roots

Picture of Niall Cullen - Senior Content Strategist
Niall Cullen
18 February 2020

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?

Search Welsh records

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. 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.

The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) may not be the first resource you think of when considering your Welsh family history but ignore it at your peril. Here's why. Thousands of entries in PERSI (many containing original images) relate to Wales and you can filter the collection by country to get to them quickly and easily.

Wales genealogy books

Collections Historical And Archaeological Relating To Montgomeryshire And Its Borders, just one of the Welsh publications you'll find in PERSI

Expect family pedigrees, biographies, military records, and much more from PERSI. The only online version of PERSI is found at Findmypast and it is updated regularly with additional indexes and images.

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.