• +44 (0)1656 728531
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Final Resting Places


A frequently asked question is “Where were our ancestors buried?”    For ancestors dying in the 18th and early 19th centuries the first place to look is the church,  which was then the centre of the village community.

Glamorgan Family History Society has now recorded and indexed almost all of the gravestones in the ancient (pre 1813) churches, and the burial registers have been indexed for 90% of the churches.

Only a small number of people had a headstone but it is always worth looking because if found, they might record other members of the family who died out of the area.

The smallest churchyard we have recorded had 9 stones and the largest nearly 4000.

With the growth of nonconformity and increase in the population the search becomes more difficult.  Hundreds of chapels were built in Glamorgan many with burial grounds. If no burial ground was attached to the chapel, bodies may have been buried in the Anglican churchyard or may have been transported many miles to a burial ground of the deceased's denomination.

As people moved to the urban areas, new churches were built but many of these had no burial ground, through shortage of land, and so people were buried in public cemeteries.

Various Burial Acts after 1853 authorised local authorities to build and maintain cemeteries. Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff was the first in Glamorgan and one of the largest in the United Kingdom.

Most cemeteries and crematoria are administered by the new unitary authorities, but some are still maintained by community or town councils.

In some cases a charge is made for viewing or for staff to search the cemetery burial registers. A specific appointment for viewing may be necessary, in some cases the Sexton may be the only person who can show you the position of the grave, and he does have other duties to perform.

Many old records are being computerised - depending on finances and staff. It is always worth enquiring if this is being done. We have added this information where known.

Over the years there have been many boundary changes. Before 1974 Glamorgan was one County, but the Local Government Act of 1972 divided it into Mid, South and West Glamorgan.

The last boundary changes in 1996 again changed the face of Glamorgan and replaced the three old counties with 8 unitary authorities.

For ease of accessing the cemeteries in particular, the sections have been divided into the eight new unitary authorities.



The 8 Unitary Authorities are:-

  1. Bridgend County Borough Council
  2. Caerphilly County Borough Council
  3. City and County of Cardiff
  4. Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
  5. Neath and Port Talbot County Borough Council
  6. Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council
  7. City and County of Swansea
  8. Vale of Glamorgan County Borough Council

Most councils now charge for searches although some also have online indexes, eg Barry Town Council.

The approximate of death should be discovered before contacting the Councils from websites such as www.freebmd.org.uk.

The date the Cemetery or Crematorium opened is given.  

Our Municipal Cemeteries Master Index is now available for members to search - Municipal Cemeteries Master Index.

Many Councils have downloadable plans of the cemeteries on their websites.




Listed are the churches and chapels in each Authority which have been recorded by GFHS. These are also available to purchase from the Society as fiche, booklets or CDs.

Each publication includes a numbered plan of the yard, full transcription of the memorial stone and a complete index of all the deceased named on the stones.

The lists show the number of people recorded in each graveyard and the denomination of the chapels.

Records in UPPER CASE refer to cemeteries.

The full list can be downloaded here.

Master Indexes to the burial yards transcribed by our volunteers are now available for our members to search:  Memorial Inscriptions Master Index (Parishes)

Our publications such as parish register baptism, marriage and burial indexes, memorial inscriptions transcription etc can be purchased from:

Glamorgan FHS Publications, Aberkenfig Resource Centre, c/o Welfare Hall, Hope Avenue,, Aberkenfig, CF32 9PR.