The counties of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire are our focus here. The Welsh-speaking communities at the heart of today's Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire are scattered across a verdant landscape. The coastlines of these counties are dotted with coves and bays revealing a proud maritime heritage. Pretty Pembrokeshire with its major towns of Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Milford Haven and Pembroke is known as the 'Little England beyond Wales' thanks to the influence of its Norman conquerors.
You may be descended from families who were religious dissenters, moving from the English-speaking Anglican parish church to non-conformist Welsh-speaking chapels. But do you know your Calvinist Methodists from your Unitarians? Your Congregationalists from your Presbyterians? Quite often a member of a chapel's congregation is not buried in its graveyard, but in another closer to their home. Do you know how to find them?
Welsh names and surnames can also present challenges. Jones is the most frequently occuring surname in Wales. But past records might record Jones as Johns, Jones, or Johnes. Similarly Ieuan ap Dafydd and John Davies could be the same person.
Our local knowledge of the area can help to solve many mysteries. The great industrial town of Newport in Monmouthshire is a very different place to the Newport of Pembrokeshire. What is the difference between Henllan and Henllan Amgoed? (One is in the Teifi valley and the other in Carmarthenshire.)
Monumental Inscriptions and Parish Register Transcripts
We hold limited records associated with the surnames Jones, Thomas, Owens, and Davies for the following chapels and parishes in southern Cardiganshire:
Bettws Evan, St. John's parish church
Blaenporth, St. David's parish church
Cardigan Netpool cemetery
Manordeifi parish church
Troedyraur parish church