Abersychan and Garndiffaith Local History Group

Family History

Tracing your Family History

Many people contact us about this topic and we are happy to help where we can.

Obviously, this takes up a lot of time and we cannot spend too much effort on this, but we have members who have researched records of the churches, schools, local newspapers and other organisations within our area. Their links are given below.

We will also carry out brief checks on the following when we visit the libraries and records offices for our own research:

  • National Census - the National census in Great Britain started in 1801 when the government wanted to know how many people we had to fight the Napoleonic Wars, and they have taken place every ten years since - except in 1941 when we were rather busy fighting yet another war. No records relating to family history survived until 1841and prior to this the best source is parish records. A census must be 100 years old before personal details are released, so the latest one available is that of 1901.
  • Electoral Rolls - these are useful for for the period after 1901, though not as informative as the Census Records.

These are the only checks we will carry out but we will advise you where to look if we know. The information below will lead you to the most likely source of finding any of your ancestors from our area.

EGGRA ( East Gwent Genealogy Research Agency )

For the past ten years Richard Roynon of Talywain and Warren Lewis of Pontypool, have put together their skills in genealogy and local history, to create the above named agency.

Their main purpose was to gather as much information from the Parish and Non Conformist Registers of the Eastern Valley and place them on computer database to provide help for those seeking their family roots. This has virtually meant that every conceivable record has been sought and recorded.

These indexes combined with the Free Press of Monmouthshire, Births, Marriages and Deaths from 1859-1939, accompanied by school admission records, local cemetery records that include, Panteg, Blaenavon and Llantarnam, Census, military indexes, International Genealogical Index (IGI 1992 Edition) for the whole of Wales, Lancashire, Cheshire and Ireland and other indexed material. Llanfrechfa Upper should be available by March.

To complement the above material and provide information on areas that border our valley, they have transcribed the following archives of baptism, marriage and burial:- Monkswood, Aberystruth, Llanwenarth and New Tredegar. Nantyglo is well under way and should be finished by early February.

The total number of named persons on these indexes exceeds 800,000. This figure does not include any of the IGI references mentioned above or the 1881 Census for the United Kingdom. The earliest records they hold date from 1650 up to 2001.

They can provide you with a Family Tree of your ancestors accompanied with a full genealogical report of any schools attended, obituaries, inquests, and misdemeanours or wills, that they come across in there research.

They do not charge any set fee or hourly rate for any searches undertaken. All they ask is that you make a donation for the amount of material provided by them, to cover expenses and include a small amount for the Friends of Varteg Graveyard. This trust was set up to improve the access for visitors and maintain this historic graveyard in the best interests of the community. Unfortunately the graveyard was vandalised in 2002 to the tune of nearly £100,00 and is in need of whatever donations the public are willing to give, large or small.

The contact for the above agency is rroynon@aol.com. For more information visit the EGRRA website.

Last Modified on: 05-12-2018