Caernarfonshire, Wales Genealogy

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Historic Caernarfonshire

Caernarfonshire (Welsh: Sir Gaernarfon), previously spelt as Caernarvonshire and Carnarvonshire, was one of the thirteen historic counties of Wales. It was a maritime county bounded to the north by the Irish Sea, to the east by Denbighshire, and to the south by Merionethshire. The county was created under the terms of the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284 and included the cantrefi of Llŷn; Arfon; Arllechwedd; and the the commote of Eifionydd, the northern portion of cantref of Dunoding.

The administrative county of Caernarfonshire, with an elected county council, was created in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888.

Motto: Cadernid Gwynedd (English: The strength of Gwynedd)

Chapman Code: CAE

1974-1996 Gwynedd


Under the Local Government Act 1972, the county and administrative county of Caernarfonshire were abolished, for both local government and ceremonial purposes, on April 1, 1974. The whole of Caernarfonshire became part of the newly formed county of Gwynedd, which covered the whole of north-west Wales, and was split into the districts of Dwyfor, Arfon and Aberconwy.

Modern Gwynedd


Following further local government reorganisation, the county of Gwynedd was re-structured, and on April 1, 1996, while the former Caernarfonshire districts of Dwyfor and Arfon remained in Gwynedd, the Aberconwy district became part of the newly formed county borough of Conwy.



  • Hamlet
  • Parish: an area of varying size under the responsibility of a clergyman of the Church of England/Church in Wales
  • Hundred: an administrative subdivision of a county, usually a group of two or more parishes
  • Sub-district: comprised of more than one civil parish
  • Registration District
  • Poor Law Union
  • Archdeaconry
  • Diocese
  • County


See a list of parishes in Caernarfonshire here.

Did you know

  • David Lloyd George, the 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor (January 17, 1863 – March 26, 1945) was the Member of Parliament for Caernarfon and later, British Prime Minister. He is buried beside the Afon Dwyfor in Llanystumdwy.
  • The highest mountain in Wales, Yr Wyddfa, or Snowdon in English, rises to 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level. In 1951 the surrounding area was designated as Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, or the Snowdonia National Park, the first national park in Wales.
  • Many of the scenes in the 1958 film The Inn of the Sixth Happiness were filmed on location in Beddgelert, Capel Curig and Dyffryn Ogwen.

Useful websites

more Caernarfonshire websites ...