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If you are unable to find your ancestors in the parish records, it may be worthwhile looking at the records of the nonconformist chapels.

Following Hardwicke's Act of 1753, all marriages between 1754 and 1837, (except for the Quakers and the Jews) had to take place within the established church - even if they were of nonconformist denomination. There was no enforcement on baptisms, therefore most nonconformist baptisms will not appear in the parish records.

Amongst nonconformist records, there are:

  • Baptism, marriage and burial registers
  • Manuscript lists of members
  • Contribution books of individual chapels
  • Printed annual reports from 1880
  • Denominational periodicals

Unfortunately, chapel records have not been as safely and conscientiously stored as the records of the established church; therefore it's unusual to find any register before the 19th century. For surviving registers see Cofrestri Anghydffurfiol Cymru/Nonconformist Registers of Wales ed Dafydd Ifans (NLW, Aberystwyth, 1994).


  • CAPELI database available in the South Reading Room only
  • Through the Main Catalogue
  • Pre-1837 registers held at The National Archives in Kew on microfilm on open access in the South Reading Room.