GuidedResearch:Why Can't I Find the Record - Wales Civil Registration Births

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Wales Civil Births - What else you can try

This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find civil birth information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the Wales Civil Registration page. If researching before 1837, see the Wales Guided Research page.

Additional records


Additional Databases and Online Resources

Substitute records


Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for birth events may not have been created at the time of the birth. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.

Use these substitute records to locate birth information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Census Records
Wales Census FS Collections
Census records from 1841 onward give the age and birthplace of the recorded individuals, allowing researchers to discover birth places and calculate birth years. The 1911 census lists the number of children (alive and deceased) born to the couple.
Church of England Records
Wales Church of England
Guided Research
By 1851, 20% of the Welsh population belonged to the Church of England. Baptism records provide the child's name, parents, baptism date, and, occasionally, birth date. Go to Wales Church of England Guided Research and choose a county.
Nonconformist Records
Wales Nonconformist
Guided Research
By 1851, 80% of the Welsh population was nonconformist. Baptism records provide the child's name, parents, baptism date, and, occasionally, birth date. Go to Wales Nonconformist Guided Research and search for birth information.
Cemetery Records
See Wiki page
Cemetery records may indicate the birth date or age at death, allowing the researcher to calculate approximate birth year.
See Wiki page
May contain birth and death notices and even obituaries. Death notices and obituaries may list the deceased's birth date or age.
Military Records
See Wiki page
Military records, after 1707, may include the birth place and age of the individual, allowing researchers to calculate the approximate birth year.

Improve searching


Tips for finding births

Successfully finding birth records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate birth date or parent's names if known.
  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search parents. Search for the parents, if known, as the child's first name may not be on the birth record.
  • Search given name. Search by given name (leave out the last name) with the approximate date and place of birth.
  • Know county. Because of the abundance of common names, knowing the county is important to narrow down the search. See Finding the Wales County or Parish of Origin to learn how.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.

Why the record may not exist


Records Start
Mandatory birth registration started in 1837. However, universal compliance did not occur until 1866. Before 1837, births and baptisms can be found in church records (mainly nonconformist records). Although the oldest baptism records date to 1538, most churches did not start recording baptisms until the 1600s.

Records Published

Records Destroyed
Civil registration records are generally complete.