This will be the new site for Monmouthshire Family History. Work has now started on adding pages from the old site at Rootsweb Monmouthshire Family History. Any problems, faults, missing pages etc are purely transitory at the moment, so there’s no need to report them.
“The County of MONMOUTH is 80 Miles in Circumference, contains about 340000 Acres, 6 Hundreds, 7 Market Towns & only one Borough [viz. Monmouth the shire town], 137 Parishes & about 6400 Houses. The Air is healthfull & temperate, the soil is hilly and woody, the Valleys fruitfull, yeilding abundance of Corn and Grass, as the Hills doe Cattle, Sheep & Goats, &c. Cheif Commodities are Corn, Cattle, Sheep, and its Rivers particularly the Uske and the Wye, are full of Salmon and Trout.” [Emanuel Bowen, Britannia Depicta, 1720]
The historic county of Monmouthshire was formed from the Welsh Marches by the Laws in Wales Act 1535. The county borders Gloucestershire to the east, Herefordshire to the northeast, Brecknockshire to the north, and Glamorgan to the west. Between the 16th and 20th centuries there was some ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England, but since 1974 the area has been placed definitively in Wales. The eastern and southern boundaries of the historic county and principal area are the same; however, the western two-fifths of the historic county are now administered by the other unitary authorities of Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Newport. The administrative county of Monmouthshire, and associated Lieutenancy were abolished in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. The area largely became part of the new local government and ceremonial county of Gwent.
The current unitary authority was created on April 1, 1996 as a successor to the district of Monmouth along with the Llanelly community from Blaenau Gwent, both of which were districts of Gwent. The use of the name “Monmouthshire” rather than “Monmouth” for the area was mildly controversial, being supported by the MP for Monmouth, Roger Evans, but being opposed by Paul Murphy, MP for Torfaen (inside the historic county of Monmouthshire but being reconstituted as a separate unitary authority).  By area it covers some 60% of the historic county, but only 20% of the population. The council’s administrative headquarters are at the former Gwent County Hall at Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran — outside of its own jurisdiction in the neighbouring borough of Torfaen. It is the only principal area in Wales administered from outside its boundaries. In comparison to the pre-1974 areas it covers:
- the former boroughs of Abergavenny and Monmouth
- the former urban districts of Chepstow and Usk
- the former rural districts of Abergavenny, Chepstow and Monmouth
- the former rural district of Pontypool, except the community of Llanfrechfa Lower
- the parish of Llanelly from the former Crickhowell Rural District in Brecknockshire
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