Place:Michaelston super Avan, Glamorgan, Wales

NameMichaelston super Avan
Alt namesLlanfihangel ynys Afansource: Welsh equivalent
Lower Michaelstonesource: Family History Library Catalog
Upper Michaelstonesource: Family History Library Catalog
Cwmafansource: settlement in parish
Cwmavonsource: variation in spelling
Pontrhydyfensource: settlement in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.613°N 3.762°W
Located inGlamorgan, Wales     ( - 1974)
Also located inWest Glamorgan, Wales     (1974 - 1996)
Neath Port Talbot, Wales     (1996 - )
See alsoNeath Hundred, Glamorgan, Waleshundred in which it was situated
Neath Rural, Glamorgan, Walesrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Aberavon, Glamorgan, Walesneighbouring parish which absorbed Lower Michaelstone in 1921
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

Michaelston super Avan should not to be confused with any of the following places:

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Michaelston super Avan from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"MICHAELSTONE-SUPER-AVON, a village and a parish in Neath [registration] district, Glamorgan. The village stands on the river Avon, 1½ mile NE of Port Talbot [railway] station, and 4½ SE by S of Neath; and is a considerable but much scattered place. The parish consists of the hamlets of Lower Michaelstone and Upper Michaelstone; part of the former of which is within the borough of Aberavon. Post town: Taibach. Acres of Lower [Michaelstone]: 915. Real property: £7,344; of which £277 are in mines, and £50 in gas-works. Population: 5,323. Houses: 951. Population of the part within Aberavon borough: 1,647. Acres of [Upper Michaelstone]: 4,120. Real property: £776. Population: 861. Houses: 172. The property is not much divided. The surface is hilly; and the rocks include coal, iron ore, and fireclay. Some of the inhabitants are employed in tin works, collieries, and other works. The living is a vicarage, united with a chapelry of All Saints, in the diocese of Llandaff. Value: £120. Patron: the English Copper Company. The church is good."

The Welsh equivalent of the parish name is Llanfihangel ynys Afan. As Wilson states it contained the two settlements of Lower Michaelston and Upper Michaelston, both of which were civil parishes. Lower Michaelston was absorbed into Aberavon in 1921. Michaelstone also contained the villages of Cwmafan (or Cwmavon) and Pontrhydyfen which can be found on a modern map or atlas east of Baglan. (Cwmafan and Pontrhydyfen may be Lower Michaelstone and Upper Michaelston under different names.) Cwmafan and Pontrhydyfen are also covered in Wikipedia, but with no reference to the parish in which they were (or are?) located.

Richard Burton (1925-1984) was born in Pontrhydyfen.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI on Glamorgan Lots of leads to other sources and descriptions of former parishes.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Glamorgan has recently been updated (early 2016) and looks remarkably like Wikipedia. Their map "Glamorgan Parish Map.jpg" enlarges to show all the original parishes. The sub-section "Parishes of Historic Glamorgan" lists all the parishes of Glamorgan and the newer preserved counties and principal areas in both English and Welsh. (Currently this website is still under construction.)


The first three maps are provided by A Vision of Britain through Time

These maps were found on Wikimedia Commons

These maps of Glamorgan post-1974 were found on another site and are very useful for sorting out the up-to-date geography of the area