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Top free websites to trace your Welsh ancestors

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Whether you've always been aware of your Welsh roots or you have only just discovered clues in the census or family surnames, you’ve found you have ancestors in Wales – so what next?

 

Here are our 3 top free website suggestions to get you on the right genealogical path:

 

1: FamilySearch

FamilySearch is a good website for starting your Welsh research. This is a worldwide resource, mainly of baptisms and marriages from parish registers but increasingly including census entries, and Wales is well represented on it. 

 

Use FamilySearch as a finding aid – there are images for some entries but by no means all – so it’s worth using the site in tandem with pay-per-view subscription site Findmypast, which has digitised images of baptisms, marriage and burials for all the Welsh counties.

This must-visit website has a huge searchable catalogue – the library holds many of the parish registers of Wales – and several sections are of huge relevance to family historians, including Welsh wills prior to 1858 and the fantastic and free Welsh Newspapers Online.

 

The Blue Books of 1847 can also be found here – these books were the result of an inquiry into the state of education in Wales.

 

3: Cynefin: The Tithe Maps of Wales
This is a wonderful ongoing project to digitise and make freely available both tithe maps and schedules and is already proving to be a major resource.

 

• Learn more about your family from Wales with genealogy expert Mary Evans’s full selection of tips and websites in the March issue of Family Tree, out now

 

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