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"The County of is 108 Miles in Circumference, contains about 700000 Acres, is divided into 6 Hundreds, in which are 8 Market Towns, 87 Parishes, and about 5352 Houses. The Air is generally very good, wholesome & mild, and ye Soil not so Mountainous and steep as in other Countys, here being Levels & plains, loaded with corn, & affording excellent Pasturage, having several pleasant & rich Meadows. Cheif commodities are Corn, Cattle, Salmon, of ye large size Wood, Pit-Coal, & ye best Lead." [From Emanuel Bowen's Britannia Depicta, 1720.]

Archives and Libraries

The National Library of Wales (link is external). The major repository of information relevant to Welsh genealogy, such as Bishop's Transcripts of Parish Registers, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, Nonconformist Records, Probate Records, Tithe Maps and Apportionment Schedules, Legal and Administrative Records, Estate Records and Personal Papers, Pedigree Books, Newspapers, etc.

See this Genuki listing of Documents relating to Carmarthenshire at the National Library of Wales.

The Record Office is the Carmarthenshire Archive Service in Carmarthen. This has been closed since 2014, for more information see the National Archives (link is external)

The National Archives has details of many archive repositories (link is external) in the UK with links to their web sites, if any.

Carmarthen Public Library (St Peter's Street, Carmarthen, Dyfed SA31 1LN) has an extensive local studies collection, and has produced a detailed index to the Carmarthen Journal for 1800-1910.

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Carmarthen Museum     
    "....... the items described below form only a small part of the entire Carmarthen Museum archive.
    The first deposit contains: industrial papers including colliery account books for the Stradey, Brondiny and Pool (Pwll) Collieries, Carmarthenshire 1819-1834 and a copy of Begelly (Pembrokeshire) Colliery Accounts 1821-1822 and 1831; deeds and documents including mineral leases for lands in Llanelli, Llannon and Pembrey parishes 1824-1834. The second deposit contains: papers relating to industry, trade and transport including Cwmmawr Colliery Accounts 1837-1838; deeds and documents concerning lands in Llandilofawr and Llandybie parishes 1792-1856 and Articles of Association: Mydrim Mining Company 1860."
  • Museum collection of Carmarthenshire documents  1281-1989 (accumulated [early 20th century]-1989)
    "Records, deeds and documents collected by Carmarthen Antiquarian Society, 1281-1989, mainly relating to Carmarthen and Carmarthenshire, including Carmarthen borough records, 1400-1938; Corporation orders, 1569-1627; records relating to the police, 1856-1877; records relating to the Poor Law in Carmarthen, 1836-1916; legal documents, 1634-1950; industrial papers, 1800-1953; ........................................."

The Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales (link is external) (RCAHMW)
Apart from their online Archive Catalogue there is the ;
Chapels database; The computerised database will eventually list all known nonconformist chapels in Wales. This initial list covers the pre-1974 county of Cardiganshire; further counties will be added as and when the database for these areas is completed. The record lists basic information about each chapel together with key dates.


A Carmarthenshire Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians

Business and Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Record Office Business Survey Documents   "In 1977-1978, Carmarthenshire Record Office carried out a survey of businesses in Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire, producing synopses of their history and survey lists of their records."


Graveyard Welsh (link is external) - a guide to interpreting Memorial Inscriptions.

M.I. Surveys of a number of non-conformist burial grounds (link is external) are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.


The UK BMD (link is external) web site offers links to over 400 web sites that provide on-line information for UK births, marriages and deaths and censuses.

Carmarthen Archives holds copies of all the Census Returns for the County on microfilm and also has the 1881 CD version for England & Wales.

Church History

Church Plans Online (link is external) - the Lambeth Palace Library holds a database of the Incorporated Church Building Society's images of the plans of various churches (use the onsite search facility)

Welsh Chapels & Churches

The Presbyterian Church of Wales site (link is external)  has a pdf file showing lists of CM chapels still open (with addresses) in each county (under Documents/General Info/Churches and Secretaries). This data has been noted on each chapel entry within these parish pages so it is implied that a chapel is closed if not said to be open in 2006

Various church and chapel photographs can be viewed on Dyfed FHS (link is external)

Parishes of Dyfed. This section of the Dyfed FHS (link is external) site lists the parishes, churches, and chapels, within the three counties of Dyfed. It contains all those currently identified, by the National Library of Wales, where the location of registers is known. Each entry gives the OS National Grid Reference and name of the church or chapel, if known, (religious denomination), parish, county code and (page name).

Some Holy Wells of South Carmarthenshire (link is external) by Kemmis Buckley, MBE, DL, MA. A talk given to the Llanelli Art Society on 3rd February 1971

Church Records

On the individual parish pages are details of non-conformist chapels in each parish. The data shown there is based on various sources but principally these

  • Rawlins, B.J. The Parish Churches and Nonconformist Chapels of Wales: Their Records and where to Find them, Vol. One, Cardigan - Carmarthen - Pembroke.(1987).
  • Coflein (link is external)  - the online database for the National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW) - the national collection of information about the historic environment of Wales

Dyfed FHS (link is external) have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

A large number - well over 50% by the mid-nineteenth century - of people in Carmarthenshire attended Nonconformist chapels, rather than the established church. Thus, except for marriages which prior to 1837 had to take place in the parish church, references to them are more likely to be found in nonconformist than in parish church records. Many of these have been deposited at the PRO (and filmed by the LDS), others are still to be found with the chapels or other libraries or archives.

Virtually all completed parish registers have been deposited in either the Carmarthenshire Record Office or the National Library of Wales. Bishop's Transcripts and Marriage Licenses are held at the National Library of Wales - and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Many Parish register indexes, and indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials (link is external) are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.  From 7/2001 these now include

  • The 'Merlin Indexes', the scope of the latter often equate with the additional items shown under Church Records on the separate parish pages as "Copy ts PR index................".
  • Vaccination records for several parishes

National Library of Wales   An online searchable index of Marriage Bonds and Allegations. It contains details of some 90,000 marriages by licence which took place in Wales between 1616 and 1837. In early 2016 the NLW made changes in its online catalogue and now the only apparent method of finding these bonds is to search the main catalogue (link is external)

Listings of (present-day) Clerics, Benefices, and parishes  (link is external)of the Diocese of St Davids.

The Dyfed FHS has indexed all marriages for the period 1812-1837, and provides a postal lookup service. Published copies of the index, in sets of parishes grouped by hundreds, are available.

Family Search UK/Ireland  (link is external)- Historical Record Collections 
IGI Batch Numbers - Hugh Wallis's site (link is external)  and Archer Software's site (link is external)  

Parish Register Copies for Carmarthenshire (link is external) in the Library of the Society of Genealogists.

Civil Registration

The UK BMD (link is external) web site offers links to over 400 web sites that provide on-line information for UK births, marriages and deaths and censuses.

Detailed listing, by Brett Langston, of the places covered by the old and current Carmarthenshire Registration districts. (link is external)

Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrar at the following District Register Offices:

Court Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Carmarthenshire County Court Book   "Carmarthenshire County Court Book written by Charles Morgan for the years 1783-1793....................."

Description and Travel

Here is a simple index relating to parish maps copied from  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.).  

Dyfed FHS (link is external) has an online database of towns in Dyfed, includes trade directory descriptions and photographs

A Vision of Britain Through Time (link is external). "This site contains information about your home area from the 2001 census -- and from every earlier British census back to 1801. It can present this information both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time in your area. It truly offers a Vision of Britain through time"

Principal Markets and Fairs in South Wales. Extracted from Kelly's Directory South Wales 1910

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 (link is external). The Gazetteer compiled by Dr Samantha Letters is a catalogue of markets and fairs in medieval England and Wales. This is the first comprehensive national survey.

A Description of the county of Carmarthenshire from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

Carmarthenshire's Administrative Structure, from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).

Carmarthenshire - on wikipedia (link is external)

Carmarthenshire County Council (link is external)


Pigot & Co. South Wales directory for 1830. CD published by (Archive CD Books). The Carmarthenshire related entries as follows have been extracted and can be seen on the relevant parish pages of Genuki;

  • Carmarthen
  • Kidwelly
  • Llandilo-fawr
  • Llandovery and Neighbourhood
  • Llanelli and neighbourhood
  • Llangadock
  • Newcastle-In-Emlyn [and Atpar]
  • St Clears, Laugharne and Neighbourhoods

Pigot & Co. South Wales directory for 1844. CD published by (Archive CD Books). The Carmarthenshire related entries as follows have been extracted and can be seen on the relevant parish pages of Genuki;

  • Carmarthen with the village of Abergwilly and Neighbourhoods
  • Kidwelly and Neighbourhood
  • Laugharne and Neighbourhood
  • Llandilo-Fawr
  • Llandovery and Neighbourhood
  • Llanelly with Loughor, Pembrey, Burry Port and Neighbourhoods
  • Llangadock
  • Newcastle-in-Emlyn
  • St Clears and Neighbourhood

Dyfed FHS (link is external) has an online database of Pigot's 1830 Directory South Wales relating to the Dyfed counties only.


Tallis's Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales, published in 1860 in six vols, editor E. L. Blanchard.  See Welsh Family History Archive (link is external) for all the excellent county maps (showing the hundreds) and those sections of the alphabetical gazetteer that have been uploaded to date.
From the preface;
"In the following pages will be found fully described the past history and present aspect of every place of any significance in England and Wales, forming a work of permanent importance to the commercial world, of ready service to the tourist of the day, and of constant interest to the general reader, who may derive from this source a large supply of entertainment, as well as of information for the amusement and instruction of a leisure hour."


Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire Wills - a selection of will transcriptions

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Francis Jones Collection  1679-[1986] (accumulated [1920]-[1986])     "Pedigrees of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire families compiled and copied mainly by Francis Jones, [19th century]-[1986]; plans and maps of Pembrey and Llanegwad parishes and of the Glaspant estate, Cilrhedyn, Carmarthenshire, 1772-[1880]; and printed religious works, 1679-[1836]."

Wales Lookup Exchange (link is external)

Here are details of the Genealogy Mailing Lists serving the Welsh counties

Carmarthenshire Families Project

Timeline of genealogically interesting dates (link is external) by Gareth Hicks

John Ball's Welsh Family History Archive (link is external) provides some very useful material and links for those with Welsh ancestry.

Online Welsh Names Directory (link is external)by Graham Jaunay


The Black Book of Carmarthen (link is external) The history of one of the earliest surviving manuscripts written solely in the Welsh language, thought by modern scholars to be the work of a single scribe writing at different periods of his life before and about the year 1250.

See Not everyone knows this. (link is external).  for  random historical snippets on various CMN parishes

Land and Property

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • British Records Association/Carmarthenshire Deeds and Documents 1419-1979    
    "The British Records Association collects records from various sources, mostly London solicitors' offices; most of the parishes in Carmarthenshire are covered, and notable collections cover the Mansell family, Llanfihangel Cil-y-cwm, Llansteffan and Plas Llansteffan, the Church Benefit Society, Lletherllesty/Llethr Llestri, the Lavallin Estate and Berehaven Mines, co Cork, the Puxley family and the Price family of Glangwili."
  • British Records Association/Carmarthenshire Deeds and Documents 2    1650-1940    
    "Deeds and documents relating to properties in Carmarthen, 1797-1904, mainly in King Street and Spilman Street; Llanelli, 1650-1875; Llangadog, [late 19th century]; Llandeilo Fawr, [n.d]; Llansadwrn, 1709-1835; Myddfai, 1734-1751; Llandovery, 1787-[1940]; Llanfynydd, 1817-1857; Trimsaran, 1809; and copy marriage settlement of George Rice and Cecil Talbot, 1756"
  • Cawdor Vaughan Muniments   
    "Deeds of the Golden Grove estate in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire, 1313-1811......................."
  • John Francis Collection 1741-1969 
    "......comprising plans of estates and parishes in Carmarthenshire, 1777-1961, including industrial maps and plans, many relating to collieries, 1772-[mid 20th century]; records of Carmarthenshire Chamber of Agriculture, 1909-1969; deeds relating to Pembrokeshire (A. L. Perkins Muniments), 1741-1950; records relating to the Carmarthenshire Hunt Club, 1876-[1954]..............................."
  • Morris, Lloyd and Griffiths, solicitors, collection of Carmarthenshire deeds 1753-1936    
    "......relating to land in the parishes of Abergwili, Cynwyl, Llangynderyn, Llanllawddog, Llanpumpsaint, Meidrum, St Peters and Tre-lech a'r Betws, in Carmarthenshire and the borough of Carmarthen: papers of the Llysonnen estate, 1822-1894"
  • Trant and Richards, solicitors, collection of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire estates papers and deeds 1544-1935
  • Ungoed-Thomas and King, solicitors, collection of Carmarthenshire deeds and records 1719-1972  
  • Williams and Roberts, solicitors, collection of Carmarthenshire deeds 1726-1978 (accumulated 1923-1978)  
  • T. L. Jones Collection of Carmarthenshire Deeds    "Deeds, 1759-1862, relating to properties in the parishes of Llandingad, Llanfair-ar-y-bryn, Llangadog, Llansadwrn, and Myddfai, and the town of Llandovery; and accounts, 1847-1849, of a Carmarthen draper."


See here to view a 'sketch map' indicating the position and relative size of each parish within its  hundred

Dyfed FHS (link is external) has an early 20th century OS map of Dyfed

Map of Carmarthenshire (link is external) from the Report of the Boundary Commissioners for England and Wales. Printed by Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1885.

Map of Carmarthenshire in 1821.

Welsh county maps by Samuel Lewis (link is external) and published in 1833

Merchant Marine

Lighthouse Personnel in England and Wales and the Channel Islands 1841-1910. Includes;- Table of  Keepers; Table of Stations by county; Location map of the lighthouse sites.

There is a card index of "Shipping" at Carmarthen Archives, mainly details of ships but some owners and masters.

There is a card index of   Carmarthen  Journal articles under "Ports" and "Shipping" at Carmarthen Reference Library.

Volume 21of Transactions of the Carmarthen Antiquarian Society  could be useful for researching  shipping.

Welsh Mariners (link is external)  by Dr Reg Davies---includes a searchable database of over 17,000 Welsh born (or Wales resident) Master mariners, mates and engineers who held certificates of competency or service; in practice it is an index of men active from 1850 to 1945 in the merchant navy.

Swansea Mariners (link is external) by Bryan Richards --- periods 1861 to 1871 and 1890 to 1894, a database of ratings such as un-certificated officers, bosun, able seaman, ordinary seaman, boy, cook, steward, etc in Glamorgan Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire, or from around the world. There are 32,000 detailed entries (9/2006).

Names, Geographical

Place names in south Wales (link is external) - Deric John's growing authoritative collection of place names

Place Names of Dyfed, (link is external) provided by the Dyfed FHS, lists the parishes (plus a small number of other places) in Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, giving for each the name of its hundred, an OS map reference, and the civil registration district.

Here is a listing of Carmarthenshire place names and name variants, with their associated Genuki parish pages.

Here is a database with grid co-ordinates of 10,000 place names from the 1891/1901 censuses for certain parishes in PEM,CMN & GLA(Gower) Place names in Carmarthenshire  which have alternative spellings  - or have changed completely


Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Carmarthenshire Free Post Newspapers 1982-1983  "Carmarthen shire Free Post was published and printed in Swansea and delivered free of charge to homes in the Carmarthen area, from 1982 to July 1983."
  • Celtic News and West Wales Advertiser    "The Celtic News and West Wales General Advertiser, based in Carmarthen published 206 editions between 1923 and 1927."

Dyfed newspapers - on  Dyfed FHS (link is external)  there is a list of the locations that hold copies of known publications

Tivy-Side Advertiser (link is external)    Email; (link sends e-mail)


1756 War Office Billeting Return - transcribed by Jon Mein from material held at TNA (WO 30/49), the transcription covers Tenby, Haverfordwest, Landilo and Carmarthen districts  - the Return  lists all "pubs" (inns, ale-houses etc) able to accommodate men and horses.

The Coal House Project (link is external) - on BBC Wales. Use the Browse by Place button to home in on particular mines/areas

Victorian Professional Photographers in Wales 1850-1925 - a county based database compiled by Mari Alderman, includes sources and a bibliography

Here is the Wales section from Outline Map of the Mining Districts of the UK from the Childrens' Employment Commission Report of 1842. The shaded areas denote the Coal and Iron Mining Districts.
Copied from the CD published by Archive CD Books

A List of Mines in Pembrokeshire (link is external) and the adjoining parts of Carmarthen and Ceredigion. Introduction.

Apprentices from Dyfed in Bristol in the C17 & C18. Fiche for sale from Dyfed FHS (link is external).

Lists of magistrates and police officials in the county of Carmarthenshire  - extracted from Kelly's Directory of South Wales 1923 (published on CD by Archive CD Books)

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Poverty and the insecurity of life in rural Carmarthenshire, South Wales, 1780s-1830s; a paper by Gail Thomas.    (This is a Word doc file, 183kb) The Workhouse (link is external)  - on Peter Higginbotham's site

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

  • Poor Law Union records of Carmarthenshire 1836-1990

Probate Records

Carmarthenshire Wills - a selection of will transcriptions

Pre-1857 wills are likely to be found either among the records of the Episcopal Consistory Court of St. David's: Archdeaconry of Carmarthen (held at the National Library of Wales), or in the records of of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (held at the Public Record Office).

    Public Records

    Agricultural Statistics  in 1908 for the counties of Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Glamorgan as shown in Kelly's Directory for South Wales, 1910

    Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales (link is external) for the following;

    • Carmarthenshire Community Council records [c. 1945]-1978 (accumulated 1974-1978)  
    • Carmarthenshire County Council records 1837-1997 (accumulated 1888-1974)
    • Dyfed County Council records  1753-2000 (mainly 1974-1996)  "Dyfed was the former county of south west Wales, created in 1974, covering the earlier counties of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire. ........ In 1996 it was abolished, and the area was divided between the unitary authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire....."
    • Dyfed Rural Council Records 1954-1985 (accumulated 1974-1985)  
    • Turnpike Trusts and County Roads Board records 1763-1903
      "............. In Carmarthenshire the first trust, known as the Main Trust, was set up in 1763 to improve the important east-west road traversing the county......"


    The Blue Books of 1847. (link is external)  An inquiry into the state of education in Wales - on the NLW's Digital Mirror site

    Day Schools in Carmarthenshire in 1847. This database consists of day schools which existed in 1847 included here within an alphabetical list of parishes 
    It contains the names and types of day schools listed in the Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales published in 1847

    Dyfed FHS (link is external) has an online database of Schools and Colleges in the Dyfed counties, many with photographs

    Alumni Oxonienses 1715 - 1886. (link is external) This extract of Dyfed students from a reproduction on CD of the four volumes of Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886 published by the(Archive CD Books)Project. Extracted and transcribed for the Dyfed FHS by Jonathan Pike. All references to the Dyfed students have been included plus individuals who are known to be connected to Dyfed familes.


    Dyfed FHS (link is external) covers the old counties of Carmarthenshire, Cardiganshire and Pembrokeshire. It has several branches, including one in London. It publishes a regular journal for members.
    Also has a Research Centre at the Women's Institute, 11 St. Peters Street, Carmarthen. (centre*at*

    The Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society (link is external): ".... founded in 1905 and is one of the foremost County antiquarian societies in Wales. From its inception the founding members saw a need to record, publish and collect all things relating to the history, antiquity and natural history of 'Carmarthenshire in particular, and West Wales in general' ".
    Here is a separate page with contents listings and several complete articles