Pembrokeshire, Wales Genealogy

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Wales Gotoarrow.png Pembrokeshire

Historic Pembrokeshire

Historic Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire (Welsh: Sir Benfro or Penfro) was one of the thirteen historic counties of Wales. It was a maritime county, bounded to the west by the Irish Sea, to the east by Carmarthenshire, and to the north by Cardiganshire.

The administrative county of Pembrokeshire, with an elected county council, was created in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888. The county was governed by an elected county council, who took over the functions of the Quarter Sessions courts. The county was based on the ancient Welsh kingdom of Dyfed. The county town was Haverfordwest. St. David's cathedral lay in the west of the county. Pembrokshire had the longest coastline, and the most islands, of any of the Welsh counties.

The county was founded as a county palatine in 1138, under the first Earl of Pembroke. It has traditionally been split between its mainly English-speaking south (known as "Little England beyond Wales") and its mainly Welsh-speaking north, along an imaginary line known as the Landsker.

Following the Act of Union between Wales and England in 1536, the county was divided into hundreds of Cilgerran, Cemais, Dewisland, Roose, Castlemartin, Narbeth and Daugleddau.

Chapman Code: PEM

1974-1996 Dyfed

Dyfed 1974-1996
Under the Local Government Act 1972, the county and administrative county of Pembrokeshire were abolished, for both local government and ceremonial purposes, on April 1, 1974. Pembrokeshire became two districts, South Pembrokeshire and Preseli, of the newly formed county of Dyfed, which covered the whole of west Wales. Carmarthen became the county town of Dyfed.

Modern Pembrokeshire

Modern Pembrokeshire

Following further local government reorganisation, the county of Dyfed was abolished on April 1, 1996 and the present-day county of Pembrokeshire was created. It's boundaries were the same as the ancient county of Pembrokeshire although in 2003, the community of Clunderwen was transferred from neighbouring Carmarthenshire into Pembrokeshire. The county town is Haverfordwest.



  • Hamlet: is a small village or collection of houses in a parish. It has no separate jurisdiction or administrative functions.
  • Township: is an ancient jurisdiction in Wales and parishes were formed from them as the Normans, over several hundred years, conquered Wales. Townships are divisions of a parish. They were units of local administration and levied a separate poor rate and appointed a constable.
  • 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: is a subdivision of a diocese with proscribed boundaries. It is presided over by an archdeacon. An Archdeaconry is composed of parishes.
  • Diocese: Represents an area of land with designated boundaries, whose population is presided over by a Bishop. Diocese vary in size, and are usually divided into one or more archdeaconries.
  • County: Administratively, the county is the next jurisdiction below the national government. There were thirteen historic counties in Wales before 1974. The authority and responsibilities of the county are varied and diverse.

Did You Know?

  • The bluestones used in the construction of Stonehenge were cut from the Preseli Hills in north Pembrokeshire.
  • The filming of Dylan Thomas' play Under Milk Wood took place in Lower Town, Fishguard.

Useful websites

more Pembrokeshire websites...