In 1538, Thomas Cromwell ordered that every parish should keep a record of every baptism, marriage and burial. The details that are included within the registers vary from parish to parish and from clerk to clerk and many registers from the early period have not survived. The original registers are now held with the county archive offices. For dates of surviving parish registers see Cofrestri Plwyf Cymru/Parish Registers of Wales eds. C J Williams and J Watts-Williams (NLW, Aberystwyth, 2000).
- Over 500 parishes on microfilm on open access in the South Reading Room.
- Free online access through Findmypast and Ancestry Library within the Library building to all Welsh parish registers.
- Transcripts and indexes of numerous parish registers have been created by county family history societies, check the online catalogue
From 1598 to around 1860, the bishop sent transcripts of all parish registers to the registrar of the diocese. Not many early transcripts before 1660 have survived from Welsh parishes. For dates of surviving bishop's transcripts see Cofrestri Plwyf Cymru/Parish Registers of Wales eds. C J Williams and J Watts-Williams (NLW, Aberystwyth, 2000).
- Parishes in the Diocese of Bangor and Llandaff available on microfiche on open access in the South Reading Room
- Original records for the parishes in the dioceses of St Asaph, St David's, Swansea and Brecon by request through the online catalogue
The marriage bonds enabled a marriage licence to be issued without having to proclaim banns in church on three successive Sundays prior to the marriage. The bonds give interesting details about the two parties including names, dates, location, age and the groom's profession. Only the marriage bonds and affidavits to 1837 have been indexed, but later records are available well in to the 20th century.
- Pre-1837 index through the online catalogue
- Post-1837 no index available, but a box for the required year can be requested through the online catalogue