Virginia W. Kelly <vkelly(a)mindspring.com> wrote:
Can anyone tell me where i might purchase a good old map of Wales circa
I am ashamed to always ask other people where a place is and if I had a
good map perhaps I wouldn't have to interupt your good work so much and
could look it up for myself.
I don't think there is any one map which will solve your problems.
A map of the whole of Wales will lack sufficient detail to show most of
the places you'll be looking for.
One of your essential requirements is a good gazetteer of place-names -
an alphabetical list giving the correct spelling of the name, and giving
its coordinates so you can locate it on a map. On-line searchable
gazetteers rarely do the job because they require you to type in the
exact spelling. When you're using 19th century sources, the spellings of
Welsh place-names are rarely the same as are used today.
A good road atlas of Great Britain, in the form of a book, will include
a gazetteer, but its scale (often 3 or 4 miles to the inch) will be too
small to show many of the places you'll be seeking - and it won't
include the names of parishes.
A useful and comprehensive gazetteer is "A Gazetteer of Welsh
Place-Names", by Elwyn DAVIES, third edition published in 1967 by the
University of Wales Press, Cardiff. ISBN 0-7083-1038-9 It was last
reprinted in 1996 in softback. However this is purely a gazetteer; it
includes no maps, but quotes the coordinates (called grid references)
used on all modern UK Ordnance Survey maps.
My advice is to use a combination of the following:
1. A good road atlas of Great Britain.
2. The gazetteer by Davies mentioned above.
3. Appropriate Ordnance Survey large scale maps (Landranger and Explorer
or Outdoor Leisure series) of the specific parts of Wales in which your
interested. Small sections of Landranger maps are accessible on-line at
which you can search by inputting the grid
reference obtained from Davies.
4. Possibly a Victorian Ordnance Survey "First Edition" facsimile
(authentic copies of detailed 1 inch to 1 mile maps originally published
in the 19th century, based on surveys undertaken in the 1820s and 1830s.
But be warned, the place-names are difficult to read on these old maps.
5. 19th century large scale (6 inches to 1 mile) maps available on-line
This website includes a searchable
gazetteer, but you need exact spelling. If you can find the place you
want, the detail is fantastic.
6. A computer program called PARLOC (Parish Locator). The program
enables you to locate any one of nearly 15,000 UK parishes. The list
includes the grid reference for each parish, so you can locate it on the
appropriate Ordnance Survey map. It will also produce a list of the
parishes in a named county or inside a given radius of any named parish.
The parishes listed are those in existence during the period from the
mid 1500s to about 1837 when civil registration started. You can
download this freeware program from
It's only suitable for
computers using Microsoft Windows operating system.
You'll find a lot more advice on maps, including some on-line mail-order
suppliers, on the "Maps of Wales" page on my website.
Select "Maps of Wales" from the "Short Cuts" link at the top of my
"Welsh Family History Archive" homepage at the URL under my signature
You may decide that asking for help from Listers is an easier option,
but exploring Wales for yourself, using the resources above, will
provide you with a much better grasp of the terrain in which your
John Ball, South Wales, UK
Welsh Family History Archive: http://home.clara.net/wfha/wales/index.htm
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