Status of Monmouthshire (General)

by slowhands, proud of his ancient Dean Forest roots, Monday, July 29, 2013, 12:52 (2681 days ago) @ Jefff

Re you eventually finding your ancestor in the Wales Census, despite Usk being in Monmouthshire a supposedly English County;

This could be a can of worms to open up and I do not propose to debate this.

The status of Monmouthshire was very ambiguous esp. from say 1535 up to the 1980's - I remember maps at school showing "England and Monmouthshire" and "Wales". Prior to that the area was very much part of the Welsh Gwent and then the Normans accounted for parts of what we know as Monmouthshire to be in Gloucestershire whilst northern parts were under the administration of Herefordshire.

According to Chris Williams of Swansea University:- Williams, Chris (2011), "The Question of Monmouthshire", in Williams, Sian Rhiannon, The Gwent County History 4, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 348–359

"...The problem with Monmouthshire is that it was located not on, strictly speaking, a national frontier, but within a single political formation. This had been the case since the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1543 which had extended the English system of justice, government and parliamentary representation to the principality of Wales and the March. From the mid-sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century it had not been a matter of very much importance as to whether an England/Wales border could be identified and, if so, where it ran in respect of Monmouthshire. That situation changed in the nineteenth century, as the particular cultural, linguistic and political characteristics of Welsh society emerged as both a problem (for the British state) and as a cause (particularly among Welsh Liberals and nonconformists). Once specific policies (be they considered corrective or emancipating) began to be designed for application to Wales, then the question of Monmouthshire's placement became important."

So it might be emotive but Monmouthshire is in Wales (today) and falls under the Welsh Assembly Government.

So far as family history and this Board is concerned , as I have mentioned before, just be aware that whilst place names stay more or less the same, admin boundaries change periodically and your ancestors may be found in a division of the Census that at that time was labelled "Wales", or a BMD registered in Monmouth, Ross, or Chepstow - they are no less a Forester !

Ἀριστοτέλης A Gloster Boy in the Forest of Dean ><((((*>

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