Welsh societies and organizations may have valuable genealogical information. They can be set up to cover a region, a county, or a portion of a county. Most publish helpful journals, transcripts, and compiled genealogies. They may have ongoing projects such as creating indexes or transcribing records. Some publish queries about Welsh ancestors or maintain lists of members’ research interests.
You may want to join one of these societies and support its efforts. This section discusses only Welsh and some English societies, but do not overlook societies in the country your ancestors may have emigrated to.
See the "Periodicals" section of this outline for more information about the journals and newsletters published by Welsh societies.
Family History Societies
Membership in family history societies is open to anyone. As a member you can receive the society’s journal and have access to the indexes it produces. In addition, most societies regularly produce a "directory of member interests." This useful tool can put you in touch with other people interested in tracing the same lines. Some members may be willing to do limited research for other members, particularly those who do not have access to records. Some Welsh societies will publish letters of inquiry in their journals, but they may expect the writer to join or pay a small fee.
To join a society, write to the secretary of that society for an application. Return the application with the amount required to join. Most societies have reasonable membership fees. You can normally find the membership fees and the society’s address in the journal it produces. Many societies have Web sites which include information about becoming a member. You may locate Web sites for societies through the GENUKI website at:
Association of Family History Societies of Wales
The Welsh family history societies formed the Association of Family History Societies of Wales in 1981. The function of this association is to encourage the study of Welsh family history and to publish helpful works for the Welsh genealogist. The association works with the Federation of Family History Societies mentioned below, in promoting genealogy and family history worldwide.
Some Welsh societies are:
- Gwent Family History Society
- Glamorgan Family History Society
- Powys Family History Society
- Clwyd Family History Society
- Gwynedd Family History Society
- Dyfed Family History Society
- Cardiganshire Family History Society
- The Federation of Family History Societies
The Federation of Family History Societies serves as the coordinating body for the local family history societies. It supports and encourages genealogy and family history among its member societies. With its journal, Family History News and Digest (see the "Periodicals" section of this outline), the Federation helps keep individual societies informed of what others are doing. For information about this organization, write to:
Federation of Family History Societies
c/o The Benson Room
Birmingham and Midland Institute
Birmingham B3 3BS
Information is also accessible through the GENUKI website at:
Local History Societies
There are many organized groups that study and publish journals on local history. The British Association for Local History is a coordinating organization for many local history groups. You may write for information about this association to:
- British Association for Local History
Chichester, Sussex PO20 6BQ
The following periodical contains scholarly articles on local history, book reviews, and notes:
- The Local Historian. London, England: National Council for Social Service, 1952–68. (FHL 942 B2ah; films 0973337–8.) This periodical was formerly called the Amateur Historian.
Addresses for local history societies in Wales are found in the following:
- Henderson, S. P. A., and A .J. W. Henderson,eds.Directory of British Associations & Associations in Ireland. 13th ed. Beckenham, Kent, England: CBD Research Ltd., 1996. (FHL book 942 E4hd.)
- Pinhorn, Malcolm, ed. Historical, Archaeological and Kindred Societies in the United Kingdom: A List. Isle of Wight, England: Pinhorns, 1986. (FHL book 942 C4h; computer number 0370075.)
Some organizations gather information about all individuals with a particular surname. If you are interested in such an organization, contact:
- Guild of One-Name Studies
14 Charterhouse Buildings
Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA
A published list of one-name studies is:
- Register of One-Name Studies1997. 13th ed. London, England: Guild ofOne-Name Studies, 1997. (FHL book 942 D24re 1997.)
- Friends of the National Library of Wales
- Capel: The Chapels Heritage Society
- North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History This association is dedicated to advancing Welsh studies. They hold a biennial conference in North America.
Locating Records at the Family History Library
Society publications are referenced in the Author/Title Search of the Family History Library Catalog under the society name. They are also listed in the Place Search under:
WALES - SOCIETIES
WALES, [COUNTY] - SOCIETIES
WALES - GENEALOGY
WALES, [COUNTY] - GENEALOGY
ENGLAND - SOCIETIES
ENGLAND - GENEALOGY
Copies of some records gathered by societies are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under the record type. For example, cemetery transcripts done by a local family history society are listed in the Place Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
WALES, [COUNTY], [PARISH] - CEMETERIES
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Research Outline: Wales (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 2000), 61-63.