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The two following tables provide basic information about the major administrative regions of Wales. There are different systems of administration in the UK, and the administrative units bear different names: county, region, and district. In addition, large-scale reorganisations of local authorities occurred in the early and mid 1970s, resulting in new counties, the "disappearance" of old counties, adjustments to county boundaries, and so on. For many family history purposes, it is the "old" administrative regions which are relevant. However, a knowledge of the present arrangements is also needed, so that the records you need can be found.
Also, these are administrative regions, whereas for many purposes the old counties continue to have an existence, at least in the minds of people who disagreed with the changes.
The tables include the following information:
- full name of region;
- a recognised abbreviation of the full name;
- the Chapman County Code (CCC). This is a unique three-letter code identifying the region, and used extensively by family historians when recording and exchanging place information;
- the administrative centre of the modern region;
- notes, shown as 1 2 3 etc.
Following legislation passed in 1972, and the report of the Local Government Boundaries Commission, new county names and boundaries came into effect in Wales from 1st April 1974.
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Table 1: Counties (before April 1974)
County Abbreviation CCC Anglesey 1 n\a AGY Breconshire 2 n\a BRE Caernarvonshire n\a CAE Cardiganshire Cards CGN Carmarthenshire n\a CMN Denbighshire n\a DEN Flintshire n\a FLN Glamorgan Glam GLA Merionethshire n\a MER Monmouthshire Mon MON Montgomeryshire Mont MGY Pembrokeshire n\a PEM Radnorshire n\a RAD
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Table 2: Counties (after April 1974)
County CCC Administrative Centre Clwyd CWD Mold Dyfed DFD Carmarthen Gwent GNT Cwmbran Gwynedd 1 GWN Caernarfon Mid Glamorgan MGM Swansea Powys POW Llandrindod Wells South Glamorgan SGM Swansea West Glamorgan WGM Swansea
1 In April 1974, the island of Anglesey became part of Gwynedd.
2 Also known as "Brecknockshire".
County and Unitary Authority Boundaries after April 1996