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A gazetteer is a dictionary of place-names. Gazetteers describe towns, villages, parishes, counties, rivers, mountains, population, and other geographical features. The place-names are usually in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Use a gazetteer to look up the name of the place where your family lived and to determine the civil and church jurisdictions over those places. You will need to find the parish name to continue your research. A sample gazetteer entry might be "Llanfihangel-Abercowin, a village and a parish in the district and county of Carmarthen. There are chapels for Calvinist Methodists and Wesleyans."  
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[[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Wales]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] Gazetters
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A '''gazetteer''' is a dictionary of place-names. Gazetteers describe towns, villages, parishes, counties, rivers, mountains, population, and other geographical features. The place-names are usually in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Use a gazetteer to look up the name of the place where your family lived and to determine the civil and church jurisdictions over those places. You will need to find the parish name to continue your research. A sample gazetteer entry might be "Llanfihangel-Abercowin, a village and a parish in the district and county of Carmarthen. There are chapels for Calvinist Methodists and Wesleyans."  
  
 
The same place-name can be used many times in various parts of Wales. A gazetteer can help you identify the most common spellings and the counties that have a place by that name.  
 
The same place-name can be used many times in various parts of Wales. A gazetteer can help you identify the most common spellings and the counties that have a place by that name.  
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Because many people in the same parish had the same name (such as John Thomas), the Welsh often used farm names or birthplaces to identify themselves (John Thomas of Pen-y-Benglog). Farm names, small hamlets, manors, and estates may not be listed in gazetteers. Be aware that many farms have the same names. If the farm name is unusual, the National Library of Wales can help you identify the place. It may be possible for you to find the farm name using other sources such as land tax records, tithe apportionments, or various Ordnance Survey maps. The following gazetteer has information for Wales and England that does list some farm names. Remember that the spelling you have may be a variant of the one in the gazetteer. See:  
 
Because many people in the same parish had the same name (such as John Thomas), the Welsh often used farm names or birthplaces to identify themselves (John Thomas of Pen-y-Benglog). Farm names, small hamlets, manors, and estates may not be listed in gazetteers. Be aware that many farms have the same names. If the farm name is unusual, the National Library of Wales can help you identify the place. It may be possible for you to find the farm name using other sources such as land tax records, tithe apportionments, or various Ordnance Survey maps. The following gazetteer has information for Wales and England that does list some farm names. Remember that the spelling you have may be a variant of the one in the gazetteer. See:  
  
*"The Ordnance Survey." ''Ordnance Gazetteer of Great Britain: All Names from the 1:50 000 Landranger Map Series.'' Great Britain: Macmillan, 1992. (FHL book 942 E5o 1992.)
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*"The Ordnance Survey." ''Ordnance Gazetteer of Great Britain: All Names from the 1:50 000 Landranger Map Series.'' Great Britain: Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library {{FHL|942 E5o|disp=book 942 E5o 1992}}.)
  
 
=== Place-Name Problems  ===
 
=== Place-Name Problems  ===
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*Welsh place-names can easily be confused with personal names and other words. For example, ''Tachwedd'' is Welsh for November. This word could easily be misconstrued as a personal name or place-name.  
 
*Welsh place-names can easily be confused with personal names and other words. For example, ''Tachwedd'' is Welsh for November. This word could easily be misconstrued as a personal name or place-name.  
*Welsh place-names are often descriptive. Many begin with ''Aber'' (meaning "estuary" or "mouth of a river") or Llan (meaning "a church enclosure").  
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*Welsh place-names are often descriptive. Many begin with ''Aber'' (meaning "estuary" or "confluence of a river") or Llan (meaning "a church enclosure").  
 
*Many place-names are common to two or more counties. ''Dyffryn'' is found in every county; it means ''valley''.  
 
*Many place-names are common to two or more counties. ''Dyffryn'' is found in every county; it means ''valley''.  
 
*Places are often known by different names at the same time. For example, in Breconshire the parish of ''Ty'r yr Abad'' is also known as ''New Church'', ''Llandulas'' and ''Aberdulas''.  
 
*Places are often known by different names at the same time. For example, in Breconshire the parish of ''Ty'r yr Abad'' is also known as ''New Church'', ''Llandulas'' and ''Aberdulas''.  
 
*Records may not always use the same name to refer to the same place. For example, a couple living at ''Peterwell'', Carmarthenshire had their place of residence listed as ''Peterwell'' in some entries and as ''Ffynnon Bedr'' (the Welsh equivalent of Peterwell) in others.  
 
*Records may not always use the same name to refer to the same place. For example, a couple living at ''Peterwell'', Carmarthenshire had their place of residence listed as ''Peterwell'' in some entries and as ''Ffynnon Bedr'' (the Welsh equivalent of Peterwell) in others.  
*Townships, hamlets, farms, and other place- names within a parish are sometimes known by the parish name. The parish of ''Hop''e in Flintshire is called ''Estyn'' in Welsh. Hope contains a hamlet called Estyn and a township called Hope Owen. Each of these names also designate the parish itself.
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*Townships, hamlets, farms, and other place- names within a parish are sometimes known by the parish name.<br>
 
*Welsh place-names may use an English spelling. Conversions occur when letters not in the Welsh alphabet are used in the place-name. For example, in Welsh the 'c' is pronounced like the English 'k', which is not in the Welsh alphabet. Thus, ''Cellan'' is sometimes spelled ''Kellan''.  
 
*Welsh place-names may use an English spelling. Conversions occur when letters not in the Welsh alphabet are used in the place-name. For example, in Welsh the 'c' is pronounced like the English 'k', which is not in the Welsh alphabet. Thus, ''Cellan'' is sometimes spelled ''Kellan''.  
 
*Because Wales uses both English and Welsh place-names, names can be spelled, spoken, and written in many ways.
 
*Because Wales uses both English and Welsh place-names, names can be spelled, spoken, and written in many ways.
 
People unfamiliar with the Welsh language often misspelled place-names, resulting in unusual interpretations such as Murphy Tredwell for Merthyr Tydfil, Happytarley for Abertillery, or Townroost for Llanrwst.
 
  
 
Place-names evolved over time. For example, Ysgeifiog, a parish and village in Flint, has been called Schivaiau, Escynant, Skeynyave, Ysceifoc, and Skifiog.  
 
Place-names evolved over time. For example, Ysgeifiog, a parish and village in Flint, has been called Schivaiau, Escynant, Skeynyave, Ysceifoc, and Skifiog.  
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Many place-names in Wales begin with "Llanfair." Both currently and in the past, these places are simply called Llanfair. This can create considerable confusion in an area where there are many places with names beginning with "Llanfair."  
 
Many place-names in Wales begin with "Llanfair." Both currently and in the past, these places are simply called Llanfair. This can create considerable confusion in an area where there are many places with names beginning with "Llanfair."  
  
Some parishes have both a Welsh name and an English name. For example, the Welsh name for Swansea is Abertawe. This is especially true of Pembrokeshire, Glamorgan, Flintshire, and Monmouthshire. Melville Richard’s Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units lists both the English and the Welsh versions of many place-names.  
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Some parishes have both a Welsh name and an English name. For example, the Welsh name for Swansea is Abertawe. This is especially true of the anglicesed counties of Pembrokeshire, Glamorgan, Flintshire, and Monmouthshire. Melville Richard’s Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units lists both the English and the Welsh versions of many place-names.  
  
 
For a better understanding of Welsh place-names see:  
 
For a better understanding of Welsh place-names see:  
  
*Davies, Dewi. ''Welsh Place-Names and Their Meanings.'' Aberystwyth, Wales: The Cambrian News, 198?. (FHL book 942.9 E2d; film 994051 item 2.)  
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*Davies, Dewi. ''Welsh Place-Names and Their Meanings.'' Aberystwyth, Wales: The Cambrian News, 198?. (Family History Library {{FHL|10406|title-id|disp=book 942.9 E2d; film 994051 item 2.)}}
*Jones, Bedwyr Lewis. "Place-Names." ''In Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research''. ed. by John and Sheila Rowlands. 2nd ed. Wales: Federation of Family History Societies (Publications) Ltd., 1998, pp.76–83. (FHL book 942.9 D27w 1998.)
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*Jones, Bedwyr Lewis. "Place-Names." ''In Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research''. ed. by John and Sheila Rowlands. 2nd ed. Wales: Federation of Family History Societies (Publications) Ltd., 1998, pp.76–83. (Family History Library {{FHL|942.9 D27w|disp=book 942.9 D27w 1998}}.)
  
 
See also: [[Welsh Place Name Elements|'''Welsh Place Name Elements''']]  
 
See also: [[Welsh Place Name Elements|'''Welsh Place Name Elements''']]  
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Because Welsh place-names can have many different spellings, one gazetteer is used by the Family History Library as the standard for spellings. All Welsh places are listed in the Family History Library Catalog by the spellings shown in:  
 
Because Welsh place-names can have many different spellings, one gazetteer is used by the Family History Library as the standard for spellings. All Welsh places are listed in the Family History Library Catalog by the spellings shown in:  
  
Richards, Melville. ''Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units: Medieval and Modern.'' Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales, 1969. (FHL book 942.9 E5w; fiche 6026396.) This work lists medieval, early modern, and modern jurisdictions, such as urban district councils and urban sanitary districts. These were formed from earlier jurisdictions, such as parishes, townships, and hamlets.  
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Richards, Melville. ''Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units: Medieval and Modern.'' Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales, 1969. (Family History Library {{FHL|315782|title-id|disp=book 942.9 E5w; fiche 6026396}}.) This work lists medieval, early modern, and modern jurisdictions, such as urban district councils and urban sanitary districts. These were formed from earlier jurisdictions, such as parishes, townships, and hamlets.  
  
 
=== Other Welsh Gazetteers  ===
 
=== Other Welsh Gazetteers  ===
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The most reliable and extensive Welsh gazetteer is the one by Melville Richards (mentioned previously). Others are:  
 
The most reliable and extensive Welsh gazetteer is the one by Melville Richards (mentioned previously). Others are:  
  
*Elwyn Davies, ed. ''Rhestr O Enwau Lleoedd (A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names).'' Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press, 1967. (FHL book 942.9 E5b.) This gazetteer has a useful list of place-names. It also contains a Welsh/English glossary of terms relating to places, a mutation table, and a pronunciation guide.  
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*Elwyn Davies, ed. ''Rhestr O Enwau Lleoedd (A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names).'' Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press, 1967. (Family History Library {{FHL|80883|title-id|disp=book 942.9 E5.)}} This gazetteer has a useful list of place-names. It also contains a Welsh/English glossary of terms relating to places, a mutation table, and a pronunciation guide.  
*Hill, Ellen, and Del Ora Guymon Cook. ''A Gazetteer of Wales''. 5 vol. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1953. (FHL book 942.9 E5g; film 823795.) This gazetteer incorporates all places listed in Bartholomew’s Gazetteer, Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary, Crockford’s Clerical Directory, The Parish Register Abstract, and Burke’s Key to the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales.  
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*Hill, Ellen, and Del Ora Guymon Cook. ''A Gazetteer of Wales''. 5 vol. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1953. (Family History Library {{FHL|281780|title-id|disp=book 942.9 E5g; film 823795}}.) This gazetteer incorporates all places listed in Bartholomew’s Gazetteer, Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary, Crockford’s Clerical Directory, The Parish Register Abstract, and Burke’s Key to the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales.  
*Lewis, Samuel. ''Topographical Dictionary of Wales''. 2 vols. London, England: S. Lewis, 1833. (FHL book 942.9 E5l; film 599780 item 2–3; fiche 6026723.) While many gentlemen’s seats (landed families’ residences), lakes, mountains, and other places are included, they are mentioned under the parish or town in which they are located.  
+
*Lewis, Samuel. ''[http://www.british-history.ac.uk/catalogue.aspx?type=4&gid=76 Topographical Dictionary of Wales]''. 2 vols. London, England: S. Lewis, 1833. (Family History Library {{FHL|276646|title-id|disp=book 942.9 E5l; film 599780 item 2–3; fiche 6026723}}.) While many gentlemen’s seats (landed families’ residences), lakes, mountains, and other places are included, they are mentioned under the parish or town in which they are located.  
*''Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland.'' 6 vols. London, England: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1894–8. (FHL book 942 E5ca; films 599360–1 and 924936.) This work gives parish names and descriptions.
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*''Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland.'' 6 vols. London, England: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1894–8. (Family History Library {{FHL|942 E5ca|disp=book 942 E5ca; films 599360–1 and 924936}}.) This work gives parish names and descriptions.<ref>The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ''Research Outline: Wales'' (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 2000), 34-36.</ref>
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*Wilson, John M. ''[[The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales]]''. Six Volumes. Edinburgh, Scotland: A. Fullerton, 1870. (FHL book 942 E5i; films 897325–7; fiche 6020308–36. BYU Harold B Lee Library book '''DA 640 .W555x 1872 vol.1''')
  
Some gazetteers are available for a single county such as Pembrokeshire for an even smaller places such as Dinas Powys hundred. Gazetteers and similar place–name guides are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:  
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Some gazetteers are available for a single county such as Pembrokeshire, or for even smaller places such as Dinas Powys hundred. Gazetteers and similar place–name guides are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:
  
GREAT BRITAIN - GAZETTEERS
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=== Helpful online Welsh gazetteers: ===
  
WALES - GAZETTEERS
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*A Vision of Britain- www.visionofbritain.org.uk
 +
*Google: Archif Melville Richards - place-name database
 +
&nbsp;&nbsp;See Welsh Administrative and Terriorial Units above<br>&nbsp;&nbsp; Includes Richards' volumnious notes not published in his book,
  
WALES, [COUNTY] - GAZETTEERS  
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;WALES - GAZETTEERS
  
WALES - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
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;WALES, [COUNTY] - GAZETTEERS
  
WALES, [COUNTY] - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL  
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;WALES - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
  
=== Web Sites ===
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;WALES, [COUNTY] - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
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 +
;GREAT BRITAIN - GAZETTEERS
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=== External Links ===
  
 
*http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Gazetteers.html  
 
*http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Gazetteers.html  
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*[http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject: "Wales - Gazetteers" http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22Wales%20--%20Gazetteers%22]
 
*[http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject: "Wales - Gazetteers" http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=subject%3A%22Wales%20--%20Gazetteers%22]
  
<br> [[Portal:Wales|Return to Portal:Wales page]] <br>
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== Sources  ==
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 +
<references />  
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{{Place|Wales}}
  
[[Category:Wales]]
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[[Category:Wales|Gazetteers]]

Latest revision as of 13:39, 7 February 2012

Gotoarrow.png Wales Gotoarrow.png Gazetters

A gazetteer is a dictionary of place-names. Gazetteers describe towns, villages, parishes, counties, rivers, mountains, population, and other geographical features. The place-names are usually in alphabetical order, similar to a dictionary. Use a gazetteer to look up the name of the place where your family lived and to determine the civil and church jurisdictions over those places. You will need to find the parish name to continue your research. A sample gazetteer entry might be "Llanfihangel-Abercowin, a village and a parish in the district and county of Carmarthen. There are chapels for Calvinist Methodists and Wesleyans."

The same place-name can be used many times in various parts of Wales. A gazetteer can help you identify the most common spellings and the counties that have a place by that name.

Spellings vary widely in Welsh place-names. Check several gazetteers under each probable spelling. For more information on place-names, see "Place-Name Problems" in this section.

Because many people in the same parish had the same name (such as John Thomas), the Welsh often used farm names or birthplaces to identify themselves (John Thomas of Pen-y-Benglog). Farm names, small hamlets, manors, and estates may not be listed in gazetteers. Be aware that many farms have the same names. If the farm name is unusual, the National Library of Wales can help you identify the place. It may be possible for you to find the farm name using other sources such as land tax records, tithe apportionments, or various Ordnance Survey maps. The following gazetteer has information for Wales and England that does list some farm names. Remember that the spelling you have may be a variant of the one in the gazetteer. See:

  • "The Ordnance Survey." Ordnance Gazetteer of Great Britain: All Names from the 1:50 000 Landranger Map Series. Great Britain: Macmillan, 1992. (Family History Library book 942 E5o 1992.)

Contents

Place-Name Problems

Many place-name problems occur because:

  • Welsh place-names can easily be confused with personal names and other words. For example, Tachwedd is Welsh for November. This word could easily be misconstrued as a personal name or place-name.
  • Welsh place-names are often descriptive. Many begin with Aber (meaning "estuary" or "confluence of a river") or Llan (meaning "a church enclosure").
  • Many place-names are common to two or more counties. Dyffryn is found in every county; it means valley.
  • Places are often known by different names at the same time. For example, in Breconshire the parish of Ty'r yr Abad is also known as New Church, Llandulas and Aberdulas.
  • Records may not always use the same name to refer to the same place. For example, a couple living at Peterwell, Carmarthenshire had their place of residence listed as Peterwell in some entries and as Ffynnon Bedr (the Welsh equivalent of Peterwell) in others.
  • Townships, hamlets, farms, and other place- names within a parish are sometimes known by the parish name.
  • Welsh place-names may use an English spelling. Conversions occur when letters not in the Welsh alphabet are used in the place-name. For example, in Welsh the 'c' is pronounced like the English 'k', which is not in the Welsh alphabet. Thus, Cellan is sometimes spelled Kellan.
  • Because Wales uses both English and Welsh place-names, names can be spelled, spoken, and written in many ways.

Place-names evolved over time. For example, Ysgeifiog, a parish and village in Flint, has been called Schivaiau, Escynant, Skeynyave, Ysceifoc, and Skifiog.

Many place-names in Wales begin with "Llanfair." Both currently and in the past, these places are simply called Llanfair. This can create considerable confusion in an area where there are many places with names beginning with "Llanfair."

Some parishes have both a Welsh name and an English name. For example, the Welsh name for Swansea is Abertawe. This is especially true of the anglicesed counties of Pembrokeshire, Glamorgan, Flintshire, and Monmouthshire. Melville Richard’s Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units lists both the English and the Welsh versions of many place-names.

For a better understanding of Welsh place-names see:

  • Davies, Dewi. Welsh Place-Names and Their Meanings. Aberystwyth, Wales: The Cambrian News, 198?. (Family History Library book 942.9 E2d; film 994051 item 2.)
  • Jones, Bedwyr Lewis. "Place-Names." In Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. ed. by John and Sheila Rowlands. 2nd ed. Wales: Federation of Family History Societies (Publications) Ltd., 1998, pp.76–83. (Family History Library book 942.9 D27w 1998.)

See also: Welsh Place Name Elements

Finding Place-Names in the Family History Library Catalog

Place-names in the Family History Library Catalog are listed under the names and counties used before 1974. To find the county under which a town or parish is listed in the catalog, use the "see" references on the first microfiche of the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog for Wales or the Locality Browse on the compact disc version of the Family History Library Catalog.

Because Welsh place-names can have many different spellings, one gazetteer is used by the Family History Library as the standard for spellings. All Welsh places are listed in the Family History Library Catalog by the spellings shown in:

Richards, Melville. Welsh Administrative and Territorial Units: Medieval and Modern. Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales, 1969. (Family History Library book 942.9 E5w; fiche 6026396.) This work lists medieval, early modern, and modern jurisdictions, such as urban district councils and urban sanitary districts. These were formed from earlier jurisdictions, such as parishes, townships, and hamlets.

Other Welsh Gazetteers

The most reliable and extensive Welsh gazetteer is the one by Melville Richards (mentioned previously). Others are:

  • Elwyn Davies, ed. Rhestr O Enwau Lleoedd (A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names). Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press, 1967. (Family History Library book 942.9 E5.) This gazetteer has a useful list of place-names. It also contains a Welsh/English glossary of terms relating to places, a mutation table, and a pronunciation guide.
  • Hill, Ellen, and Del Ora Guymon Cook. A Gazetteer of Wales. 5 vol. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1953. (Family History Library book 942.9 E5g; film 823795.) This gazetteer incorporates all places listed in Bartholomew’s Gazetteer, Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary, Crockford’s Clerical Directory, The Parish Register Abstract, and Burke’s Key to the Ancient Parishes of England and Wales.
  • Lewis, Samuel. Topographical Dictionary of Wales. 2 vols. London, England: S. Lewis, 1833. (Family History Library book 942.9 E5l; film 599780 item 2–3; fiche 6026723.) While many gentlemen’s seats (landed families’ residences), lakes, mountains, and other places are included, they are mentioned under the parish or town in which they are located.
  • Cassell’s Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland. 6 vols. London, England: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1894–8. (Family History Library book 942 E5ca; films 599360–1 and 924936.) This work gives parish names and descriptions.[1]
  • Wilson, John M. The Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. Six Volumes. Edinburgh, Scotland: A. Fullerton, 1870. (FHL book 942 E5i; films 897325–7; fiche 6020308–36. BYU Harold B Lee Library book DA 640 .W555x 1872 vol.1)

Some gazetteers are available for a single county such as Pembrokeshire, or for even smaller places such as Dinas Powys hundred. Gazetteers and similar place–name guides are found in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:

Helpful online Welsh gazetteers:

  • A Vision of Britain- www.visionofbritain.org.uk
  • Google: Archif Melville Richards - place-name database

  See Welsh Administrative and Terriorial Units above
   Includes Richards' volumnious notes not published in his book,

WALES - GAZETTEERS
WALES, [COUNTY] - GAZETTEERS
WALES - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
WALES, [COUNTY] - NAMES, GEOGRAPHICAL
GREAT BRITAIN - GAZETTEERS

External Links

Sources

  1. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Research Outline: Wales (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 2000), 34-36.

 

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