"The County of RADNOR is 90 Miles in Circumference, contains about 310000 Acres, divided into 6 Hundreds in which are 4 Market Towns & only one Radnor ye County Town privileged with sending 1 member to Parliament like ye rest of ye Welsh Boroughs, 52 Parishes & about 3158 Houses. The Air is sharp, the Soil barren & mountainous, abounding in Woods, Rivers & Moors, intermixed with some fruitfull Valleys. Its cheif Commodities are Cheese & Horses." [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]

"RADNORSHIRE, (or Radnor), an inland county of South Wales, lying between 52° 2' and 52° 33' N. lat., and between 2° 57 and 3° 45' W. long. It is bounded on the N. by county Montgomery, on the E. by counties Salop and Hereford, and on the S. and W. by counties Brecon and Cardigan. Its greatest length from E. to W. is 32 miles, and its greatest breadth from N. to S. about 28 miles. The area is 429 square miles, or 272,128 statute acres, of which about one-third is enclosed, and the remainder mountain, common land, bogs, and moorland. Of the enclosed portion only one-fourth is under the plough. The general aspect of this county is mountainous, bleak, and dreary, with the exception of the south-eastern districts, which are comparatively level, and producing good crops of corn. ...More" [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]


Archives and Libraries

Powys Archives
Provide a series of  Local Studies Notes with Sources for Family History and a  Guide to Holdings

Libraries and Museums in Powys 

Hereford Archive Services holds Hereford diocesan and parish records (bishops' transcripts, probate and tithe records and parish registers) for various parishes on the Radnorshire/Herefordshire border.

The National Library of Wales. Aberystwyth. The major repository of information relevant to Welsh genealogy, such as Bishop's Transcripts of Parish Registers, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, Nonconformist Records, Probate Records, Tithe Maps and Apportionment Schedules, Legal and Administrative Records, Estate Records and Personal Papers, Pedigree Books, Newspapers, etc.

Llandrindod Wells Library
Cefnllys Lane, Llandrindod Wells, Powys, LD1 5LD
Telephone: +44 (0) 1597 826870. The library hold copies of most Radnorshire Census Returns 1841 to 1901.

Powys Museum Service

The National Archives has details of many archive repositories in the UK with links to their web sites, if any.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)
Apart from their online Archive Catalogue there is the Chapels database which will eventually list all known nonconformist chapels in Wales.



A Radnorshire Bibliography - Books of General Interest for Family Historians



MIs held at Powys Archives 

Graveyard Welsh - a guide to interpreting Memorial Inscriptions.



Llandrindod Wells Library have copies of 1841 - 1901 census returns for all of Radnorshire, as have Powys Archives

The UK BMD web site "provides 2556 links to websites that offer on-line transcriptions of UK births, marriages, deaths and censuses. A wide range of other indexes and transcriptions are also available for most counties, these may include parish records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc..."

Carry out initial searches on all censuses 1841-1911  on  LDS Family Search  - using basic data supplied by Find My Past (subscription site) and all follow up searches are directed there


Church History

Church Plans Online - the Lambeth Palace Library holds a database of the Incorporated Church Building Society's images of the plans of various churches (use the onsite search facility)

Welsh Chapels & Churches

Radnorshire Churches Survey on the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust site


Church Records

Detailed information on deposited registers and transcripts is given on the Powys Archives page Radnorshire Parish Registers

See here for a breakdown of Radnorshire hundreds into parishes

England & Wales Hardwicke Marriage Index Marriages 1754 - 1837 on Tinstaafl Transcripts  - Work in progress

National Library of Wales   An online searchable index of Marriage Bonds and Allegations. It contains details of some 90,000 marriages by licence which took place in Wales between 1616 and 1837. In early 2016 the NLW made changes in its online catalogue and now the only apparent method of finding these bonds is to search the main catalogue

Listings of (present-day) Clerics, Benefices, and parishes  of the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon.
Also the Diocese of Hereford

Family Search UK/Ireland - Historical Record Collections 
IGI Batch Numbers - Hugh Wallis's site  and Archer Software's site  


Civil Registration

Brett Langston has provided details of the Registration Districts in Radnorshire for the period 1837 to 1930.

The UK BMD web site "provides 2556 links to websites that offer on-line transcriptions of UK births, marriages, deaths and censuses. A wide range of other indexes and transcriptions are also available for most counties, these may include parish records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc..."


Court Records

The Act of 1543 established the courts of Great Sessions in Wales, equivalent to the English Assizes, which continued until 1830 when they were abolished. Records for the Great Sessions are held at the National Library of Wales.

Powys Archives hold records pertaining to Radnorshire Quarter Sessions which were established by the same Act although records do not begin until the late seventeenth century. See also their Petty Sessions listing


Description and Travel

Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R., Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. Colchester, Essex: History Data Service, UK Data Archive [distributor], 17 May 2001. SN: 4348.   Here is a gazetteer/finding aid plus a set of overview maps to accurately identify the position of parishes within the county

A Vision of Britain Through Time. "This site contains information about your home area from the 2001 census -- and from every earlier British census back to 1801. It can present this information both as maps of the whole country and as graphs showing change over time in your area. It truly offers a Vision of Britain through time"

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516. The Gazetteer compiled by Dr Samantha Letters is a catalogue of markets and fairs in medieval England and Wales. This is the first comprehensive national survey.

Powys tourism site

Radnorshire - on wikipedia



There is a listing of trade directories held at Powys Archives



The section of The National Gazetteer (1868) relating to Radnorshire - transcribed by Colin Hinson.

Tallis's Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales, published in 1860 in six vols, editor E. L. Blanchard.  
See Welsh Family History Archive for all the excellent county maps (showing the hundreds) and the alphabetical gazetteer 
From the preface;
"In the following pages will be found fully described the past history and present aspect of every place of any significance in England and Wales, forming a work of permanent importance to the commercial world, of ready service to the tourist of the day, and of constant interest to the general reader, who may derive from this source a large supply of entertainment, as well as of information for the amusement and instruction of a leisure hour."



Welsh Surname List - an all Wales surnames list provided by John Ball on his Welsh Family History Archive site.

John Ball's Welsh Family History Archive provides some very useful material and links for those with Welsh ancestry.

Timeline of genealogically interesting dates by Gareth Hicks

Here are details of the Genealogy Mailing Lists serving the Welsh counties

WorldGenWeb Project - Radnorshire



Victorian Professional Photographers in Wales 1850-1925 - a county based database compiled by Mari Alderman, includes sources and a bibliography

Powys - A Day in the Life - Water Corn Mills in Radnorshire



Chronicl Powys  is the Powys Family History Society journal


Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

The Workhouse  - on Peter Higginbotham's site



The Blue Books of 1847.   An inquiry into the state of education in Wales - on the NLW's Digital Mirror site

Day Schools in Radnorshire in 1847. This database consists of day schools which existed in 1847 included here within an alphabetical list of parishes 
It contains the names and types of day schools listed in the Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of Education in Wales published in 1847



Powys Family History Society

The Radnorshire Society - publishes an annual volume of Transactions which contains scholarly articles on local history topics, book reviews, and society notes. It was first published in 1931 and continues. On Welsh Journals Online.