Caernarvon Union Records

Scope and Content

Records of the Caernarvon Union, 1842-1946, comprising records of the Clerk to the Guardians, 1881-1931; Workhouse Master's records, 1842-1946; Relieving Officer's records, 1887-1940; records relating to births, marriages and deaths, 1871-1941; vaccination registers, 1853-1933; and assessment records, 1865-1921.

Administrative / Biographical History

Until the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834, relief of the poor was the responsibility of the parish. Following the Act, parishes were grouped into Unions which were charged to provide a workhouse for the relief of the able-bodied poor. The Caernarvon Union was formed in 1837 and operated in 16 constituent parishes; Betws Garmon, Clynnog, Llanbeblig, Llanberis, Llanddeniolen, Llanllyfni, Llandwrog, Llanfaglan, Llanfair-is-Gaer, Llanrug, Llanwnda, in Caernarfonshire, and Llanfair-y-Cwmwd, Llangaffo, Llangeinwen, Llanidan and Newborough, in Anglesey. The Board of Guardians responsible for the Union had other duties from time to time, including the registration of births, marriages and deaths, vaccinations, assessments of rates, sanitation, school attendance and infant life protection. By the time of the Local Government Act 1929, Unions were abolished and their duties transferred to County Councils, responsibility for the poor being transferred to the Public Assistance Committee until 1948.


Arranged into the following: Clerk to the Guardians; Workhouse Master; Relieving Officer; and Non-Poor-Law duties devolving upon the Guardians.

Access Information

No restrictions

Acquisition Information

Source not recorded


Compiled by Richard Burman for the ANW project. The following sources were used to compile this description: Caernarfon Record Office, Caernarvon Union records, catalogue; The History of Poor Law website (, viewed 8 July 2004.

Other Finding Aids

Hard copies of the catalogue are available in Caernarfon Record Office and the National Library of Wales.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records deposited at Caernarfon Record Office have been retained.


Accruals are not expected

Related Material

Related records are Caernarfon Record Office, XG2/ADD. Further records of the Caernarfon Union are Anglesey Record Office, WG.