Friday, November 05, 2010

Parish registers of Wales to go online for first time

The following is from FindMyPast.

*       8,000,000 records to be indexed in two years
*       Records date back to the 16th century

Family history website is making available online for the very first time fully searchable indexes and images of the parish registers of Wales. The project is taking place with the permission of the Church in Wales and Welsh Archive Services and is working with FamilySearch International, the world's largest repository of genealogical records, to digitise the records.

Around 893,000 images containing 8,000,000 baptisms, marriages and burials from across Wales will be filmed by FamilySearch and transcribed by  Some of the records date back to the sixteenth century, making it possible to find Welsh ancestors as far back as the 1500s. The records contain entries in English and Latin.

The records will be made available over the next two years at with an index search available on Free access to the images on will be made available through all Archive Services in Wales*.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at, said: "It is fantastic that we will be able to make these records available to search online for the very first time. By making these records available family history researchers, old and new, can discover more about their ancestors and where they lived. We are looking forward to working with Welsh Archive Services and FamilySearch on such an important project for Welsh ancestry research."

David Rencher, FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, added "Genealogical research in Wales has been very difficult for years and the opening of this amount of data for baptisms, marriages and burials will be a tremendous resource for those with Welsh ancestry. We commend all of those who have worked so diligently to make this happen and in such a dramatic fashion."

Catherine Richards, the County Archivist at Powys and Chair of the Welsh County Archivists' Group commented: "We are very excited to work with and FamilySearch to make our parish registers available online.  Making our records accessible to as wide an audience as possible is one of the main objectives of Archive Services across Wales.  Records of baptisms, marriages and burials are a major resource for family historians and can reveal fascinating and surprising secrets back through the generations." was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

For more information log on to

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today. has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

In April 2007,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives' contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

About Welsh Archive Services/Gwasanaethau Archifau Cymru

The Welsh Archive Services include: National Library of Wales; Anglesey Archives Service; Carmarthenshire Archive Service; Ceredigion Archives; Conwy Archive Service; Denbighshire Archives; Flintshire Record Office; Glamorgan Archives; Gwent Record Office; Gwynedd Archives Service; Pembrokeshire Record Office; Powys County Archives Office; West Glamorgan Archive Service; and Wrexham Archives Service.

Local authorities in Wales have an archive service holding the historical records of local government, the records of landed estates, churches and chapels, industry and business, trade unions, local societies and private individuals. The National Library of Wales holds archives of national and international significance.  Each archive service has a searchroom where records can be consulted free of charge.

Further information about their services and the records they hold can be seen at

About FamilySearch
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organisation in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide and operates over 4,500 family history centres in 70 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

1 comment:

Henry Mantell said...

Thanks Renee We are excited to be able to plan for eventual publication of these historical records on FamilySearch and we will be working to build the FamilySearch wiki to support the eventual publication. The challenges of publishing Welsh records not least the patronymic names are considerable and we look forward to Welsh contributors to FamilySearch wiki assisting in that regard.