Welsh emigrants have travelled, and settled, all over the world. In the States at least eight US Presidents had Welsh ancestry, including Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Barak Obama. Celebrities including Hilary Clinton, Bob Hope, Kylie Minogue, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Tom Cruise and Miley Cyrus can also boast Welsh roots. 

To this day there continues to be a strong colony of Welsh-speaking ancestors in the Patagonia region of Argentina, descended from 153 settlers who sailed over on board the Mimosa in 1865. The first Welsh emigrants to America and Canada were as early as the 1600s.

Why not discover key keepers of information and genealogy tours to help you research your Welsh family history? You never know, you could even be a descendant of a Welsh prince! 

Getting started in the search for Welsh ancestors

If you’re at the start of your genealogy journey, the National Library of Wales in the beautiful seaside town of Aberystwyth has a family history section, with information on how to start your search. The library also lists independent researchers, and provides details of how to arrange to a visit to the library and how to book an information session.

The Family History Directory has a list of online records about Welsh Family History Records, to help you find ancestors from Wales. It’s also possible to obtain information from local library services. Whilst you're there there's plenty more to keep you busy in Aberystwyth too! 

Llun o du allan i Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Mid Wales


Welsh family history societies

The Association of Family History Societies of Wales is a grouping of the many Family History Societies across Wales which can be a great source of information. The society co-ordinates and supports all the activities of the many family history societies across Wales, and promote the study of family history. Your search may lead you to the one of the array of fascinating archives dotted across our many towns and cities. 

Take a Welsh genealogy tour

Taking a family history tour in Wales provides an amazing opportunity to research your Celtic heritage and discover your Welsh ancestors. Wales Beckons can help you trace your family history as part of their ancestry tours by putting you in touch with their experienced genealogist partner. They can also help to make the most of your visit by arranging stays and memorable sight-seeing trips in the parts of Wales that interest you and your family most.

Shan’s Wales Tours builds bespoke itineraries as part of the genealogy tour, balancing an opportunity to spend time researching and walking in the footsteps of your ancestors, whilst also offering sightseeing tours to some of Wales' top tourist spots. 

Boutique Tours of North Wales offer tailor-made genealogy and ancestral tours around North Wales, and can provide help with your research by accessing local registers and records in advance of your visit.

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

National Library of Wales

dam and resevoir.
Wales Beckons Ltd, Tour Operator

Wales Beckons Ltd

Aerial view of a harbour, two beaches and pastel coloured houses.

Learn about your past in a museum

You can gain an insight into the rich heritage and culture of Wales by visiting our seven National Museums, as well as the many small, specialist museums, that tell the tales of our people, places and history. 

At St Fagans National Museum of History on the outskirts of Cardiff, you can explore all aspects of how your Welsh ancestors lived, worked and spent their leisure time. Over 50 historic buildings from all over Wales and from different historical periods have been re-built at the museum, including houses where miners used to live, a Victorian school, a chapel, a farm and Workmen's Institute. 

Exterior of the Oakdale Workmen's Institute at St Fagans.
A family of three looking in museum cabinets.

St Fagans National Museum History, Cardiff, South Wales

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