Beginning Welsh ResearchEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

 

Contents

Beginning Research

Back to Wales

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy: 'Welsh Research' 

If you'd like an in depth study of Welsh Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy was held January 23-27, 2012 with Darris Williams, AG as the Welsh Research course coordinator.  This course may not be offered again for several years.  Thus, it is a huge opportunity for those with Welsh research to break down their brick walls.  The above link will take you to a website with information about the Welsh Research course and other links to Welsh Research.

Darris has spent twenty-eight years digging into his Welsh roots. In that time he has had two unique opportunities to learn from pioneers in the field. In the Welsh Research track you will learn about the best records and strategies to get the most from your research efforts. After each day of training you will be able to walk a short distance to the greatest centralized collection of Welsh family history records in the world. Three reasons not to miss next year:

1. The classes covered: Common topics such as census, church, civil registration and probate records will be covered as you should expect. Additional, more advanced, topics like migration, surnames (there are only a few so that should be easy, right!), the poor, land records, and records from the court of Great Sessions will provide additional leads for resolving many of the brick walls in your Welsh research. The case study at the end of the week will show how various records and research strategies enable a more complete view of the life of your Welsh ancestors.

2. The instructors. Six instructors provided more than twenty hours of insight for better research success. Half of the instructors live in Wales and the other half are based in Salt Lake City. Their combined expertise will open doors on both sides of the pond for breaking down the brick walls in your Welsh family history.

3. The experience can be followed at the above link.. The Salt Lake Institute is not the start of your journey into Welsh family history and it will not be the end. The people you meet and the time spent learning together will be the beginning of a new phase in your research. You will obtain information, contacts and resources that will help you move forward in new and exciting ways.

To follow this course, please visit the official website for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:Welsh Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Wales

Wales, How to Find a Place Name

Introduction

Events in the lives of your ancestors, such as births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths, were recorded at the places where they occurred. In most cases, you need to know where an event took place in order to find a record of it. If you don't know the place, you may be able to find that information in sources readily available to you. This guide suggests sources that may help you identify place-names.

What You Are Looking For

You are looking for the name of the place where an event in the life of one of your ancestors occurred. Follow these 8 steps to find sources that will help you identify a place-name.

Step 1. Identifying Place Names

Gather information from home and family sources. Many sources for identifying place-names may be found in your own home or in the home of a family member. These sources may include:
•Letters • Journals and diaries •Scrapbooks •Family Bibles •Birth, baptism, marriage, or death certificates •Photographs •School records •Military records •Naturalization papers •Obituaries and funeral cards •Newspaper articles •Deeds •Pension records •Tax records •Wills and other probate records •The personal knowledge of older relatives
Any of these sources could supply needed place-names. Gather information from the sources you can find in your home and from relatives.
Wales, How to Find a Place Name*Research Guidance* Version of Data: 03/07/01*2

Step 2. Write the information on forms

Write the information you find on pedigree charts and family group record forms. If you need forms, you may print them from your computer, or you can order a supply online. You can also purchase a program for your home computer that helps you organize your genealogy and allows you to print out these forms. Programs such as Ancestral Quest, RootsMagic, or Legacy Family Tree may be downloaded online.
Not all of the information you collect will fit on pedigree charts and family group record forms. See Tip 1.

Step 3. Decide on a research goal

Once you have gathered information and recorded it on forms and in notes, you can see what information you have and what is missing. You may have dates without places to go with them. Even when a place is identified, you should verify that it is correct. Determine a place name, such as a place of birth, that you would like to find or verify. This is your research goal.

Step 4. Look for compiled research sources

After reviewing home and family sources and selecting a research goal, look for research on your family compiled by others. Someone else may have already identified places where the events in the lives of your ancestors occurred. Compiled research may be found in private and public collections of individuals, libraries, and societies, as well as on the Internet. For more information about finding compiled research sources, see How to Find Compiled Sources.

Step 5. Analyze what you know about your ancestor

If you are still missing the name of the place where an event in your ancestor's life occurred, you can analyze the facts you do know to help you determine where to look for the missing information. See Tip 2.

Step 6. Look for indexes

Look for indexes to records with broad coverage for Wales or for indexes to records for the specific county where your ancestor lived. Surname indexes to collections of records may provide the names of places where people of your surname lived. You can then look for your ancestor in records of those places. Indexed records may include:
•Civil registration records•Census records•Church records•Burial or cemetery records •Probate records•Tax records•Land records.
Wales, How to Find a Place Name *Research Guidance *Version of Data: 03/07/01* 3

Indexes are available at libraries with genealogical collections, such as the Family History Library. FamilySearch Historical Record Collection for Wales is available by clicking here.
Indexes may also be available online. Some indexes are created by family history societies, private groups, or individuals and may be available for purchase from them. For more information on finding indexes, see Where to Find It (below)

Step 7. Cite your sources

Every time you find new information, cite your source. When you cite a source, you document the information taken from that source. If you need to look at the source again, your documentation will help you find it. If others should consult your research, they will also be able to find the source.
Cite your sources on a research log, and include a library call number when applicable. If it is an original source, make note of where you found it. Your research log will serve as a guide to your research. If possible, make photocopies of your sources, and cite the sources on the copies.

Step 8. Find information about a place

Once you have identified a place, you should find information about it. You should also locate it on a map.

Tips

Tip 1. What should I do with information that does not fit on my genealogy forms?

In addition to names, dates, and places, you will collect additional information about the lives of family members that does not fit on standard genealogy forms, such as:
•Military service •Education•Employment history •Social or economic status •Migration •Participation in community, social, religious, or historical events •Physical description •Other biographical details.
You should keep this additional information as notes. Keep these notes with your records, or include them in the area provided for notes in your genealogy computer program. These notes should also include the source of the information.
Wales, How to Find a Place Name*Research Guidance* Version of Data: 03/07/01* 4

Tip 2. How do I analyze what I know about my ancestor?

You can analyze the facts you know about your ancestor to help determine where to look for missing information. For example, if you are looking for the birthplace of your ancestor, you might ask yourself the following questions:
•What is the earliest known fact about my ancestor?•Where were my ancestor's parents born, married, or buried?•Where were my ancestor's siblings born?•Where was my ancestor married?• Where was my ancestor's spouse born?•Where were my ancestor's children born?•Where did my ancestor die?
You may search the records of the places where any of these events took place to see if you can find birth information for your ancestor.

Where To Find It

The following are suggestions for finding indexes to records that may help you identify placenames:
FamilySearch Historical Record collection is a good place to start. It is updated as more records are made available. Other indexes to selected records of Wales are available on other Internet websites. In addition, many of the family history societies in Wales have Internet websites that contain lists of their publications for sale, including indexes. You can access many of the sites for Wales and some indexes through GENUKI. Others may be available through Cyndislist or at Family History Centers

Most Family History Centers will have at least two indexes which include records of Wales:
•International Genealogical Index--available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It includes information extracted from church records of Wales as well as information submitted by individuals researching their families. You may access the index by clicking this link.
•Ancestral File--available on computer and on the Internet. It contains information submitted by individuals researching their families and can produce pedigree charts and family group records for printing. You may access the file on FamilySearch by clicking on Search above, and then selecting Genealogies. Family History Centers may not have other microfilmed indexes to records of Wales in their collections, but centers can borrow microfilms from the Family History Library. There is a small fee to have a microfilm loaned to a center.

If an index is not available in microfilm, you may request a photocopy of an index page from the Family History Library. You should complete a Request for Photocopies form, which is available at all Family History Centers. Complete the section of the form for books, and include the library call number for the index that you obtained from the catalog. Send the form and the payment to the library. Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world.
See Family History Centers for the address and phone number of the center nearest you.
Wales, How to Find a Place Name*Research Guidance*Version of Data: 03/07/01*5

Family History Library

The Family History Library has a large collection of indexes to records of Wales that could help you identify place-names. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person. For a list of the library's holdings, click on FamilySearch Catalog above. Select the Places Search. Check on both the country and county levels, and look for topics with Indexes as subtopics. When looking at the catalog entry for a specific index, checked to see if it is available in microfilm and can be sent to a Family History Center.
For more information about contacting or visiting the library or a Family History Center, click on Family History Library System above.


Wales, How to Find Compiled Sources

Compiled Research

When you begin family history research for one of your ancestors, you should begin by looking for compiled research. Compiled research sources contain names of individuals for whom data has been transcribed, indexed, or collected. These sources were created by individuals, groups, societies, universities, archives, and commercial businesses. Determining what research has already been done by others, including your own family members can:
*Save you valuable research time.* Help you find information in original records more quickly.*Help you avoid unnecessary duplication of work.*Provide clues for further research.*

What You Are Looking For?

You are looking for compiled sources which may give information on your ancestors. The information you find varies from record to record. These records may include:
•Names of children, spouse, parents, siblings, and other family members.*Birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information.*Dates of other important events, such as immigration or land purchases.*Age at the time of dated events *Place or street of residence.*Occupations.*Schools attended.*Military service.*Religious affiliations.*Countries, counties, or places of origin.*Other biographical data.

7 Steps to help

These 7 steps will help you find and use compiled sources.

Step 1. Identify compiled sources.

Identify as many compiled sources as possible. They can include:
•Published family histories.
• Unpublished manuscript histories.
•Local histories.
•Computer databases and surname listings.
•Compiled pedigrees.
•Biographies.
•Record collections.
•Indexes to original records (such as censuses, marriages, and monumental inscriptions).
•Registries for research exchange (help you find other individuals who may be researching the
same family as you).
•Surname or one-name lists (help you find other individuals researching a particular surname).
To find examples of compiled sources, see the publications listed in Where To Find It.

Step 2. Locate compiled sources

You can find compiled sources through:
• The Internet.
•Family History Centers.
•The Family History Library.
•Archives and Libraries.
•Societies (family history, county, regional, and national).

Step 3. Decide which compiled sources to search

Search compiled sources that:
•Deal with your specific family name.
• Cover your specific place of interest.
•Cover a range of years during your ancestor's lifetime.

Step 4. Search compiled sources

Compiled sources are often indexed or alphabetically arranged. Search for your ancestors in the compiled sources you have found. In addition to your direct-line ancestors, search for their family members, relatives, or in-laws. Information about other relatives may give you clues to information about your direct-line ancestors.

Step 5. Copy and document the information in your researchnotes

Copy the information from the record exactly as it was given onto the family group sheets and pedigree chart for your ancestor. Be sure to record the source of the information onto a research log. You may want to make a photocopy of the record for future use. To learn how to keep good notes, see Note taking & keeping for genealogists.

Step 6. Analyze and use the information found in compiled sources

Compare any information you found in compiled sources with knowledge you already have about your ancestor. Does it:
•Conflict with what you know? (If the information conflicts, use other sources to verify it.)
•Support what you know?
•Add to what you know?
Wales, How to Find Compiled Sources* Research Guidance*Version of Data: 03/06/01 *3
Then ask yourself:
•Did the source have the information I wanted?
•Is this information accurate?
•Does this information suggest other sources to search?

Step 7. Verify information from compiled sources with other records

When you obtain information from compiled sources, you must verify the information by searching original records.
Where to Find It Internet Sources
FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
Many compiled sources are available on the Internet. You can search for compiled sources through FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. FamilySearch Internet can search online records and other web sites to see if they contain the information you need. To look for compiled sources through FamilySearch Internet, go to Search for Ancestors, and use either the All Resources or Web Sites search option.
Web sites
The following are examples of Web sites that provide compiled sources that are searchable by surname:
•Internet FamilyFinder.
Ancestry.com (fee required).
•GenSeeker.
Links to Websites
Many websites do not provide names and dates but link to sites that do. Examples of these are:
CyndisList.
GENUKI (Genealogy in the United Kingdom and Ireland).
• GenDex.
• British Isles GenWeb.
• Genealogy SiteFinder.
Family History Centers have some computer databases of compiled sources. In addition, a Family History Center may have some compiled sources for local families. Family History Centers can also borrow microfilms and microfiche of compiled sources from the Family History Library.
The Library charges a small fee to loan microfilm or microfiche to a Family History Center.
If a compiled source is not available on microfilm, you may request a photocopy from the Family History Library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is available at Family History Centers. Complete the form with the library call number for the source.
Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library. Note that many published sources are
copyrighted and cannot be photocopied in their entirety.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has one of the world's largest collections of compiled research sources. These include:
•International Genealogical Index--available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It includes information extracted from civil registration and church records of Ireland. You may access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting International Genealogical Index.
•Ancestral File--available on microfiche, on computer, and on the Internet. It includes information submitted by individuals researching their Irish ancestry. You may access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors above and then selecting Ancestral File.
•Pedigree Resource File--index only, available on the Internet. The files are on CD and may be purchased online. You may access the index here by clicking on Search for Ancestors
above and then selecting the Pedigree Resource File.
•British Isles Vital Records Index--available on CD at the library and many Family History Centers. It can also be purchased online.
•Index to the 1881 census of Wales--available on fiche and CD at the library and Family
History Centers. It can also be purchased online.
FamilySearch Catalog, Surname Search--lists published family histories. You may
access the catalog here by clicking on FamilySearch Catalog above and then selecting Surname Search. Search for your surname of interest.
There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
Sources for Previous Research in the British Isles lists and discusses major compiled sources available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and
libraries.
For information about contacting or visiting the library, click on Family History Library System above.
Archives and Libraries Compiled sources are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major archives and libraries are:
Wales
•National Library of Wales.
•County record offices.
Great Britain
•The British Library.
•The Family Records Centre.
• Public Record Office.
• Society of Genealogists.
Wales, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 03/06/01 5
Australia and New Zealand
•National Archives of Australia.
•National Archives of New Zealand.
•National Library of New Zealand.
United States and Canada
•The National Archives (U.S.), with regional branches throughout the country.
•The Newberry Library.
•The Library of Congress.
•The New England Historic and Genealogical Society Library.
•The National Archives of Canada.
You can find addresses for archives and libraries at The UK National Archives.
Contact an archive or library before you visit to find out what compiled sources are available. Lists of the holdings of some archives and libraries are included in:
•National Register of Archives.
•National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).
Societies
Family history and genealogical societies extract and index many records and have collections of research done by their members and others. Family history societies represent each county in Wales. Many provide indexes and publish journals and periodicals that include compiled research.
The Federation of Family History Societies provides coordination between these county societies and lists addresses for each. The Federation also provides publications concerning research and
records that are available for purchase and may be found in some libraries. Examples of these are:
•Specialist Indexes for Family Historians.
•Marriage and Census Indexes for Family Historians.
Other societies you may wish to contact are:
•One-name societies.
•Record societies.
For more information on searching compiled sources, see Has It Been Done Before?

Wales, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived

Wales, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived
Guide
Introduction
Once you have identified the name of a place in Wales where your ancestor lived, you should learn more about it. Knowing details about a place will help you find records about your ancestor.
Sources that provide information about places include:
•Gazetteers.
•Topographical dictionaries.
What You Are Looking For The information you find varies from source to source. In these sources you may find information
about:
•Location.
•Jurisdictions.
•Local religions.
•Geographical descriptions.
•Manors or estates.
•Industries and manufacturing.
•Land use.
•Population.
Steps
These 5 steps will help you find information about a place in Wales.
Step 1. Choose a place where your ancestor lived.
Look at the information you have gathered and choose the name of a town or parish where your ancestor lived. If only the county or country is known, go to How To Find a Place-Name.
Step 2. Choose a gazetteer.
Choose a gazetteer to search. The following gazetteers are listed in order of the amount and value of the information they give. These gazetteers are available at the Family History Library.
Other gazetteers may be available at a library near you. You may want to look at more than one
gazetteer to gather details about the place you have chosen.
Wales, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 03/06/01
2
Title Publication Date Features
Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales.
about 1870 Gives location, jurisdictions, geographical description, local religions, local manors or estates, industries and manufacturing, land use, and population.
Lewis'sTopographical Dictionary of
Wales.
1833 and later;
several editions
Same as above.
Hill and Cook's A Gazetteer of
Wales.
1953 Includes information collected from other sources. Briefly gives description, location, jurisdictions, and a reference to the source.
Davies's A Gazetteer of Welsh
Place-Names
1967 This serves as the Welsh locality
authority for the FamilySearch Catalog and gives type, location, and O.S. map grid.
Richards's Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units, Medieval and< Modern.
1969 Briefly gives description, location, and jurisdiction. Includes maps.
Gazetteers and topographical dictionaries are not the only sources for information about placenames.
For more sources, see Tip 1.
Step 3. Obtain a copy of a gazetteer.
You can find gazetteers at:
•Family History Centers.
•The Family History Library.
•Other archives and libraries.
Step 4. Search the gazetteer for the place-name.
Once you have obtained a copy of a gazetteer, look for the name of the place where your ancestor lived. Information in gazetteers is arranged alphabetically by the place-name.
If you cannot find the place in a gazetteer or other place-name source, see Tip 2.
Step 5. Copy the information and note the source.
Copy the information about the place-name onto family group sheets, onto a pedigree chart, and in to your notes. Some of the information may not seem helpful at this time but may be important in future research. You may want to make a photocopy of the information directly from the source.
Be sure to write down the source of the information on a research log, including any library call numbers. Be specific when writing down this information. If you should ever need to look at the
source again, your documentation will show where to find it. If others consult your research, they
will also see where to find the source. Your research log will serve as a guide to your research.
Wales, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 03/06/01
3
Tips
Tip 1. Where else can I find information about a place?
Information about places can also be found in:
•County histories.
•Town or parish histories.
•County directories.
•Descriptive regional guides.
Look for these other types of sources in the FamilySearch Catalog. Go to What to Do Next, select the Catalog, and look for the county, town, or parish, and your topic of choice.
The Internet may also provide sources of information about places in Scotland.
Tip 2. What if I cannot find the place-name in any of the
suggested sources?
You may not find a place-name because it is:
• Misspelled.
•Known by another name.
•Obsolete.
•A farm or other property name.
This source may help you identify and locate your place-name:
•The Ordnance Survey Gazetteer of Great Britain. This is a good source for smaller localities ifthey still exist today. This gazetteer relates to the detailed, large scale Landranger maps published by the Ordnance Survey Office of Great Britain.
Tip 3. How can I find a map showing the place where my ancestor lived?
For information on how to find a map, see How To Find Maps.
Where to Find It
Family History Centers have gazetteers for Wales on microfiche. Other place-name sources may be available on microfiche or microfilm. Centers can purchase microfiche or borrow microfilm from the Family History Library. There is a small fee to have a microfilm sent to a center.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world.
Find a Family History Center near you.
Wales, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 03/06/01
4
Family History Library
The Family History Library has several gazetteers and other place-name sources for Wales in book form as well as on microfilm or microfiche. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
You may request photocopies of pages from a gazetteer or other source from the library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is available at all Family History Centers. Complete the form with the book, film, or fiche number you found in your search
of the FamilySearch Catalog (see What to Do Next). Send the form and the payment to
the Family History Library.
Other Archives and Libraries
Addresses for other archives and libraries can be found at Ready, 'Net, Go. Select Master List of
Archives.


 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 30 July 2014, at 00:02.
  • This page has been accessed 1,494 times.