Gwyddelwern, Denbighshire Genealogy

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Gwyddelwern churchyard
Gwyddelwern is a village, community and ecclesiastical parish, to the north of Corwen in Denbighshire in Wales. The village is part of the Edeirnion district.

Before 1974 the village was in the historic county of Merionethshire and, between 1974 and 1996 in the Clwyd. In 1974 it became part of the modern county of Denbighshire

The area is predominantly Welsh-speaking.

The name Gwyddelwern translates into English as "alder marsh in the thickets".


The parish church is dedicated to St Beuno and its churchyard is circular, an indication of the age of the site, which possibly dates back to pre-Christian times.

The ancient parish was divided into three divisions, each made up of several townships:

  • Cwm: Maes Gwyn; Maes Gamedd; Bonyronn & Trebach; Meiarth & Aelhaiarn
  • Uwchmynydd: Bodgynfel & Clegir
  • Uwchafon: Cynwyd Fawr; Cynwyd Fechan; Perseithydd & Bodheulog.

The Uwchafon division was detached from the rest of the parish. In 1854 the townships of Cynwyd Fawr, Cynwyd Fechan and Bodheulog were transferred to the parish of Llangar. In 1864 the township of Persaethydd was transferred to the new parish of Llawr y Betws, togther with the townships of Llawr y Betws (from the parish of Llanfor) and Nantffreiar (from the parish of Llandderfel).


Years County
before 31 March 1974 Merionethshire
1 April 1974 - 31 March 1996 Clwyd
from 1 April 1996 Denbighshire


Civil Records

Births, marriages and deaths in Gwyddelwern will be recorded in the GRO indexes as:

Years Sub-district District Volumes
1 Jul 1837 - 30 Sep 1935 Gwyddelwern Corwen XXVII (1837-51)
11b (1852-1935)
1 Oct 1935 - 1974 Corwen Merioneth East 11b (1935-46)
8C (1946-74)

Church Records

  • The original Gwyddelwern Parish Registers, from 1691 to 1936, have been deposited at the National Library in Aberystwyth.
  • The Clwyd Family History Society have published several volumes of the Gwyddelwern parish registers.
  • There are no official records available on the IGI for Gwyddelwern parish.

Nonconformist Church Records

  • Jones, Mrs. D. Elvyern. Friends and Relatives - A Quaker Ancestry. A discussion of the Cadwalader Thomas family and their loyalty to the Quaker faith. Article covers years 1682-1824, in magazine, Hel Achau #14, Winter 1984, pages 11-13, Family History Library 942.93 D25h

Census Records

The parish of Gwyddelwern formed part of the Corwen Registrar's District.

Poor Law Union Records

Gwyddelwern formed part of the Corwen Union which was created on 13 December 1836 and the workhouse was built at Corwen, but not completed until April 1840.

The records for the Corwen Union are held at the Meirionydd Record Office in Dolgellau.