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Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 14 Aug 2009, 17:17
by Megan
A quick hello as well, since I'm fairly new around here. My name is Megan, and my sister and I are trying to take on the task of researching our mother's/grandmother's family tree back ten generations into Wales -- through the women's side of things.
I was in Holyhead when I was younger to visit family there, and while there my sister and I were often told tales about the "Welsh witches" (as my grandmother's sister called them) in our family tree.

Our goal is to fly back (hopefully a year from now, next fall) and backpack around the country while retracing our roots...
But we're a little lost on where to start, since some research ahead of time could really help us out.

I realize going through birth and death records is probably the best way to go, but does anyone know if there's an online version to try and start from? Any help or links would be appreciated... preferably in English as well, since I don't understand a lick of Welsh (sadly :( )
Thank you! :)

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 19 Aug 2009, 09:54
by Kat Lady
Hi Megan! may be a good place to start.

Good luck with the research!

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 19 Aug 2009, 14:13
by Megan
Thank you for the link, I think I've browsed through there before, but it doesn't hurt to check again. :hug:

Otherwise, does anyone else have tales about the "Welsh witches", (I don't know what else to call them, since my grandmother's sister's English vocabulary went only so far, so I don't even know exactly what it was she might be referring to), as the term has always captivated me.

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 19 Aug 2009, 14:22
by Creirwy
obviously it depends how far back you can go and what you have to start from. Going through the census records of 1901 can be a great place to start and work from there. The Public records offices can give you copies of birth/death/marriage certificates, but you'd have to use the office that is in that exact area.

Other than that there are parish records, that you can look at when your here, but unless you know where abouts exactly, you wont know which church to be having a look into. I'd imagine a lot of the records would be in English.

Whilst you'd get a family tree, I dont think you'd get any of the stories you seek. And as usual, stories tend to be specific to villages and valleys rather than a sweeping story of all welsh witches.

Again not much help, as lots of these records are on paper and delicate tomes so its not easy to just scan them across and put everything online. But there is lots here if you email people, get in touch with the offices and be patient in your digging :)

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 19 Aug 2009, 14:42
by bohemian
The websites you need are

tracing maternal lines is tricky though, because the surname changes on marriage and you need to know what the maiden name was - sometimes you can be lucky and find a census form with a brother on it to give you the name, or you may have to order a marriage certificate, which will give you her fathers name

also try googling some of the names with a town or village name - I've traced my fathers family tree recently, there was one bit we were completely stumped on and just out of desperation I googled the name and the address and actually came up with a whole website of another family tree and found out that the male relative in question was taken to the poorhouse and the rest of the family moved in as lodgers with another relative

That'll give you a good start

depending on what subscription you have, you may also be able to look up who is living in the neighbours addresses, and if its the same family today, you could write and ask them if they know anything

Have a play on those websites, it'll all make sense when you're in the middle of it.

I also found, initially on findmypast that I was buying credits for x amount of searches... if you pay for anything, get a 6 month subscription as when you start you follow up a lot of blind leads, and it works out cheaper to be able to look up everything you want for 6 months than to keep buying more credits

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 19 Aug 2009, 14:58
by Megan
Thanks muchly for the links and the advice. I'll have to take a good look at them once I get off work today. :D It's going to be a lot of work, I realize, but at least now I've got somewhere to start. As it happens, I'm going to be visiting my immediate family over the next couple of weeks for my vacation, so I will see how much information my grandmother may remember (since that's probably the best place to start.)

And Creirwy, thanks for the tip on the stories. I still think it would be neat to hear some of the different stories from village to village however! I'll have to write them down if I do manage to hear any on my visit -- once I make it out there again.

Thanks again for everyone's help :hug:

Re: Tracing back a family tree in Wales

Posted: 03 Aug 2013, 00:14
by DarkStone7
At the turn of the century with what was then "the great war" and the neo-pagan tribal people being hunted in the way they were many left for Americal and Canada. I have cousins and relatives scattered across the globe, many of us do. If I can help in anyway let me know will be happy to. ... ecords.htm