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Family History

Family history research information, guidance and sources


There are many ways you can get started searching your family history. One of the best places to start is by asking older relatives – Older generations of family are a great source of information as are family records such as the family Bible, photograph albums, diaries and relevant newspaper cuttings.


Births, deaths, and marriages only started being recorded by the government in 1837 – this is known as Civil Registration.  To trace your family back to previous centuries you will need to look at Parish Records and Census Returns.


Census returns are detailed returns of all those occupying every house and they are made every 10 yrs.



Parish Register

Parish registers hold records of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, some of which have survived since 1538.


Parish Register


The Vale of Glamorgan Register Office records of all births, deaths and marriages that took place in this district from 1837.




Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

Birth certificates are a good place to begin searching your family tree and if you only have limited information regarding your parents, then you can begin with your own birth certificate.


Marriage certificates can sometimes be even better as they often show not only the couples’ names, but also the names of their fathers and their professions.


All standard birth, death and marriage certificates (full copies of a register entry) are an exact copy of the details recorded in the register.




Standard Birth Certificate:

  • Date and place of birth
  • Child’s full name and sex
  • Names of both parents (if entered in the register)
  • Parent’s address
  • Maiden surname of child’s mother (if applicable)

Marriage Certificate:

  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Names of parties marrying
  • Ages and occupations of parties marrying
  • Address of both parties at the time of the marriage
  • Name, surname and occupation of both their fathers (if entered in the register)

Death Certificate:

  • Date and place of death
  • Maiden surname of a woman (if applicable)
  • Either the age at time of death or date and place of birth
  • Cause of death
  • Last occupation held and address of deceased (if a married or widowed lady, her husband’s name and surname)
  • Name and surname of person who registered the death including their relationship to the deceased