Religion

What records can I find at Denbighshire Archives?

Parish records

Denbighshire Archives is a statutory place of deposit for Church in Wales records.

Denbighshire Archives holds parish records for Alyn, Dee Valley, Denbigh, Dyffryn Clwyd, St Asaph, and Wrexham Deaneries. Parish records often consist of parish registers, churchwarden accounts, faculties, vestry minutes, and various other records including records relating to church buildings, war memorials, charities, tithes and church societies to name a few.

You can search for an individual parish using the online catalogue at the top of this page.

Diocesan records

Denbighshire Archives does not hold records for St Asaph Diocese. These can be found at The National Library of Wales and Flintshire Record Office.

Bishop’s transcripts

Bishop’s Transcripts are copies of parish registers sent annually to the bishop. For most parishes, we have microfilms of returns from the 1660s to the 1850s. The bishop’s transcripts are a useful source where the parish registers themselves are missing. We also hold the bishop’s transcripts from the St Asaph diocese on microfilm.

Nonconformist records

Non-conformists were members of a religious body such as a chapel, who were separate from the established Church, i.e. the Church in Wales. They were also known as ‘Dissenters’. There are many different denominations of Non-Anglican protestant churches, including Quakers, Methodists, Congregationalists, Independent, Presbyterian and Baptists.

Unfortunately, chapel records have not been deposited with the same consistency as the records of the established church; therefore it’s unusual to find any register before the 19th century. Some have been retained by the chapel itself; some are held at the National Library of Wales; and others are held at The National Archives in Kew.

You can see a list of chapel registers we hold here. [pdf copy]

We hold records of the North Wales Area Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) which includes areas of Bangor, Colwyn Bay, Holyhead, Llangollen, Mold, Oswestry, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Ruthin and Wrexham.

Search for nonconformist records on our catalogue at the top of this page.

Roman Catholic records

Denbighshire Archives does not hold records of local Roman Catholic Churches. If you are looking for records of a particular church please contact the church directly.

What language were the records written?

Most of these records, with the exception of some non-conformist records, are in English. Nonconformist chapel records are sometimes in Welsh and some early parish records are recorded in Latin.

It is our policy to catalogue records in the language they were originally written.

How can I access these records?

Parish registers for Denbighshire (and all of Wales) are available through a paid subscription to Findmypast.co.uk. You can access this site for free in the searchroom by booking a PC.

If you want to view bishop’s transcripts or parish registers on microfilm, you will need to book a microfilm reader. Original parish registers are not available to view in the searchroom except in very exceptional cases or where a microfilm copy is unavailable.

What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

Flintshire Record Office

Flintshire Record Office holds parish records for Mold, Holywell and Hawarden Deaneries.

Some St Asaph Diocesan records are held by Flintshire Record Office.

Conwy Archive Service

Conwy Archive Service holds parish records for Llanrhos Deanery which were transferred from Denbighshire Archives in 2009.

The National Archives, Kew

Large numbers of nonconformist registers were collected by the General Register Office in 1837, when civil registration began, and again in 1857. Many of these are now kept at The National Archives.

The National Library of Wales

Diocesan records are held by The National Library of Wales. This includes Bishops transcripts