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Family and Local History

Starting your family tree has never been easier at Vale of Glamorgan libraries.


Thanks to the BBC genealogy series "Who Do You Think You Are?" researching your family history is more popular than ever, but it can be a lengthy and costly business. Now the Vale of Glamorgan Libraries can help. We offer free access to and

family history


  •  Census

    The following census transcripts are available in bound form:

    1841 Parishes of Barry, Porthkerry and Cadoxton-juxta-Barry

    1841 Dinas Powys

    1851 Parishes of Cadoxton-juxta-Barry, Porthkerry, Barry and Merthyr Dyfan

    1851 Dinas Powys

    1861 Parishes of Cadoxton-juxta-Barry and Merthyr Dyfan

    1861 Dinas Powys

    1871 Cadoxton-juxta-Barry, Barry, Merthyr Dyfan and Highlight

    1871 Dinas Powys

    1881 Cadoxton and Sully, Penmark and Porthkerry, St Athan and Gileston, Barry, Merthyr Dyfan and Highlight

    1881 Dinas Powys

    1891 Barry Names Index

    1891 Penarth and district

    1891 Dinas Powys

    The following census transcripts are available on microfiche:

    1851 HO 107/2456 Llantrisant, Glamorgan (includes Barry) index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2455 Cardiff, Glamorgan index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2461 Bridgend, Glamorgan index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2462 Margam, Glamorgan index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2481 Cardigan, Dyfed index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2458 Merthyr Tydfil Lower index and transcript

    1851 HO 107/2459 Merthyr Tydfil Upper index and transcript

    1881 Glamorganshire (arranged under five headings)

    1881 RG 11/5367, 5368, 5369, 5370 Gower, Glamorgan

    1891 RG 12/4402, 4403 Cardiff (includes Penarth area)

    1891 RG12/4405, 4406, 4407, 4408 Cardiff (includes Barry, Cadoxton and east Vale villages, also shipping schedules)

    1891 Class list for all 1891 census returns

    The following census transcripts are currently unavailable - at binding

    1871 Llantwit Fardre Street Index

    1871 Llantrisant Street Index

    1891 RG12/4405, 4406, 4407, 4408 Index to Barry area

    1891 Merthyr Tydfil Street Index

    1891 Bridgend Street Index

    1891 Swansea Street Index

    1891 Cardiff Street Index

    1901 Barry Street Index

    1901 Penarth Street Index


    Census information is also available online. Library members can freely search and access scans of original census documents on the Internet PCs at any Vale of Glamorgan Library at (Library Edition) and


    The ONS website for the 2021 census provides summaries and reports which can be downloaded in printable formats.

  • Indexes to Parish Registers and Monumental Inscriptions

    Bound volumes (transcribed by the Glamorgan Family History Society)

    Before visiting the library to view these items we suggest you phone to check they cover the years you require:


    St Cadoc's Church, Cadoxton ("Old Village") (PR, MI)

    Philadelphia Baptist Chapel, Cadoxton (MI)

    St Nicholas, Barry (PR, MI)

    Merthyr Dyfan Church, Barry (PR, MI)

    St Tathan Church, St Athan (PR)

    St Mary's Church, Penmark (MI)

    St Illtyd's Church, Llantwit Major (PR, MI)

    St Dochdwy's Church, Llandough-juxta-Penarth (MI)

    St Michael and All Angels, Michaelston-le-Pit (MI)

    St Cadoc's Church, Llancarfan (PR)

    St John's Church, Sully (PR, MI)

    Bryntirion Calvinistic Methodist Church, Llantwit Fardre (MI)

    Pisgah Welsh Baptist Chapel, Kenfig Hill (MI)

    St Michael, Flemingston (PR)


    St Nicholas, Barry(MI), St Dyfan, Merthyr Dyfan (PR, MI) & St Curig, Porthkerry(PR, MI)

    St Mary, Carmel & Zoar Chapels, Bonvilston (MI)

    St Cadoc & Philadelphia Baptist, Cadoxton-juxta-Barry (MI)

    St Peter, Cogan (PR) & St Lawrence, Lavernock (PR)

    St Michael, Colwinston (MI)

    Parish Church of Holy Cross (PR, MI) & Ramoth Chapel (MI), Cowbridge

    Parish Church of St Andrews Major, Dinas Powys (PR, MI)

    St Brice & Bethesda'r Fro URC, Eglwys Brewis (MI)

    St Michael, Ewenny (PR, MI)

    St Michael, Flemingston (PR, MI) & St Catwg, Llanmaes (MI)

    Maendy Congregational, Llanblethian (MI)

    St John the Baptist, Llanblethian (MI)

    St Cadoc, Llancarfan (PR, MI) & Bethlehem Baptist & St Bleiddian, St Lythans (PR, MI)

    St Dochdwy, Llandough-juxta-Penarth (PR, MI)

    St Canna, Llangan (PR, MI) & Saron Chapel, Treoes (MI)

    St Senwyr, Llansannor (PR, MI)

    St Illtud, Llantrithyd (MI)

    Llantwit Major: St Illtyd's (PR, MI), War Memorial, Bethel Baptist, Ebenezer Congregational, Tabernacle Calvinistic Methodist (MIs)

    Llantwit ajor Civic Cemetery (MIs)

    St Illtyd's Church, Llantrisant (MI)

    St Cynwyd, Llangynwyd (MI)

    Holy Trinity, Marcross (PR, MI) & Parish Church of St Donat, St Donats (PR, MI)

    St Mary Magdalene, Monknash (PR, MI)

    St Augustine's, Penarth (PR, MI)

    St Cadoc, Pendoylan (PR)

    St Brynach (PR, MI) & Craig Penllyn Presb., Penllyn/Llanfrynach (MI)

    St Mary Church, Penmark (PR, MI)

    Croes-y-Parc Baptist Chapel, Peterston-super-Ely (MI)

    St Peter, Peterston-super-Ely (PR, MI)

    St Bridget's, St Bride's Major (PR, MI)

    St Bride (PR, MI) & Ebenezer Congregational, St Brides-super-Ely (MI)

    Parish Churches of St George (PR, MI) and St Nicholas (PR, MI)

    Parish Church of St Hilary (PR, MI), Church of the Annunciation, St Mary Church (PR, MI)

    Parish Church of St Mary, St Mary Hill (PR, MI)

    St Lawrence, Lavernock and St John, Sully (PR, MI)

    St Tathan's Church, St Athan (PR, MI) and St Giles, Gileston (MI)

    St Donat, Welsh St Donat's (PR, MI), St Owain, Ystradowen (PR, MI)

    St Mary (PR, MI), Twyn-yr-Odyn & Zoar, Wenvoe (MI)

    St James (PR, MI) & Wick Baptist/Unitarian, Wick (MI)

    St Sennan's Church, Bedwellty, Mon. (MI)

    St Giles, Gileston (PR) & St Brewis, Eglwys Brewis (PR)

    St James, Leckwith (PR) & St Michael, Michaelston-le-Pit (PR)

    St Blethian, Llanblethian (PR)

    St Dochdwy, Llandough-juxta-Cowbridge (PR)

    Below records are currently unavailable - at binding

    St Baruc's, Barry Island Baptisms 1910-1971

    St Baruc's, Barry Island Marriages 1919-1971

  • Local Newspapers

    The following local newspapers are held at Barry and Penarth Libraries. Many are on microfilm and they may be viewed on a reader printer. Some of the bound volumes are in an extremely fragile condition and may not be available for use. Occasionally there are missing issues or years.


    Barry Library:

    Barry Advertiser & Gazette (& Cinema Review), 1921-1933   (microfilm)

    Barry & District News, 1926-1939, 1941, 1943, 1945, 1947-1950   (microfilm)Barry & District News, 1942, 1946,1951-1958, 1960-1974, 1976-1981   (bound volumes)

    Barry & District News, 1982-1983  (microfilm)

    Barry & District News, 1984  (bound volume) 

    Barry & District News, 1985-June 2010 (microfilm)

    Barry & District News, July 2010-Present (paper copy)

    Barry & Cadoxton Journal, 1888-1891   (microfilm)

    Barry Dock News, 1889-1892   (microfilm)

    Barry Dock News, 1894-1925   (microfilm)

    Barry Herald, 1896-1962   (microfilm) 

    Barry Times, 1962-1964   (microfilm)

    Barry Post, 1993-1999 (bound volumes)

    Barry Post, 1994-2008 [discontinued thereafter] (microfilm)

    Bridgend Chronicle Sept 1857- March 1894 (microfilm)

    Cardiff and South Wales Advertiser May-June 1924   (microfilm)

    Cardiff Independent Oct-Nov 1875   (microfilm)

    Cardiff, Swansea & Newport Shipping & Mercantile Gazette  1886-1887, 1889, 1892, 1894, 1896-1911 (microfilm)

    Cardiff Times and South Wales Weekly News 1876-1913   (microfilm)

    Cardiff Times: South Wales, Monmouth and Western Counties Advertiser 1868-1874   (microfilm)

    Cardiff Times, 1857-1877, 1879-1887, 1889-6/1930   (microfilm)

    Chronicle for South and Mid Glamorgan Jan 1898- Aug 1914 (microfilm)

    Barry Gem, 1985-1999 (bound volumes)

    Barry Gem, Apr 1985-Dec 2010 (microfilm)

    Barry Gem, Jan 2011-Present (paper copy)

    Llantwit Major Gem (bound volumes)

    Penarth Chronicle Jan 1890-July 1896   (microfilm)

    Penarth Times 1898-1950 [1901 missing] (microfilm)

    Penarth Times April-June 2000   (microfilm)

    Penarth Observer Oct 1891-Jul 1903 (microfilm)

    South Wales Star, 1891-1894 (microfilm)

    What's On! Barry Advertiser, 1934-1938 (microfilm)

    Penarth Library:

    Penarth Chronicle, 1890-1892, 1894-, 1896   (microfilm)

    Penarth Independent, 1993   (bound volumes)

    Penarth News, 10/1922-10/1929   (bound volumes)

    Penarth Observer, 10/1891-7/1904   (microfilm)

    Penarth Times, 1901, 1909-2003   (microfilm)

    Penarth Times 1922-6/2004

    Cowbridge Library:

    Cowbridge Gem 1983-Present (bound volumes/paper copy) 

    Llantwit Major Gem (current year only - bound volumes 1983-penultimate year are held at Barry Library)


  • Marriages

    Transcribed, (currently unavailable - at binding)

    Vale Marriages, incl. Male and Female Indexes

    Tithe Apportionments

    Transcribed tithe apportionments (currently unavailable - at binding)



    Merthyr Dyfan

    St Athan

    Sully (Barry Island NOT included)

  • Street Directories

    Bound photocopies of originals include:

    Western Mail Barry & District Directory 1897-8, 1906-7, 1909 and 1914

    On microfiche, published by the Glamorgan Family History Society:

    Slater's directory of Cardiff 1882

    Daniel Owen & Co. Cardiff Directory 1891


    The Historical Directories of England and Wales project was undertaken by the University of Leicester. The collection contains 675 trade directories for England and Wales, covering the period 1750 to 1919. Directories can be searched online and the collection is a great way to find people, places and occupations.

  • Cowbridge Local History Society Archive 

    An electronic version of the archive is now available for people to consult at Cowbridge Library. To view the archive you must be a member of the library and able to use the library’s PCs.  If you are not already a member you will need to bring some form of ID showing both your name and address e.g. Driving Licence.  You will also need to complete a “Friends of Cowbridge Local History Society “form and “Acknowledgement of Receipt” form. Only one person at a time can access the archive so please phone ahead and book (01446 773941).

    For more about Cowbridge Local History Society  see their website:






Ancestry claims to world’s largest online library of family history information. It has millions of records from across the world including the UK, Europe, USA and Australia.

All members of the Vale of Glamorgan Library Service can access it for free on our library PCs.


FindMyPast is one of the leading family history and genealogy websites. It has an ever-growing collection of family history records. All members of the Vale of Glamorgan Library Service can access it for free on our library PCs.

NewsPlan Cymru

Newsplan Cymru is a free resource that provides access to a database of Welsh newspapers available in libraries either in paper form or on microfilm. It also provides links to other sites providing information about Newsplan and about other newspapers published in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

glamorgan archives

Glamorgan Archives

Glamorgan Archives hold records relating to the history of Glamorgan and its people, including papers, plans, photographs, personal diaries, council minutes, and local authority and court records.

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The National Library of Wales - Welsh Journals and Newspapers Online 

Welsh Journals Online provides students, teachers and researchers with free online, searchable, access to a  selection of 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century Welsh and Wales-related journals held at The National Library of Wales and partner institutions. These materials cover a very wide range of subject areas, including humanities, social sciences, science and technology. Morgannwg, the journal of the Glamorgan History Society, is available from 1957-2004. Please visit NLW for more information. 

NLW also offers a wide range of electronic resources, ranging from scholarly journals to encyclopedias and newspapers. As a Vale of Glamorgan Library user you can register online to access these resources as long as you live in Wales and have a Welsh postcode.

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The National Archives

The National Archives is the official archive of the UK and holds information from Domesday to present.