Canadians of Welsh background trace their ancestral origins to Wales, a small country located along the western shore of Britain. Its population is 2.7 million, of whom nearly 19 percent were Welsh-speaking in 1991. The Welsh people evolved from a fusion of the indigenous Neolithic inhabitants of Britain with Celtic and subsequent peoples who arrived from mainland Europe after 500 b.c.e. Welsh is a Celtic language, most closely related to Cornish in the British Isles and to Breton in France.
Wales, like most of Celtic Britain, was conquered by the Romans in the first century c.e The Roman presence for the next four centuries brought Wales within a wider European political and cultural realm, and the impact of the Roman occupation on the landscape and culture of Wales itself was profound. The Anglo-Saxon invaders who succeeded the Romans referred to the romanized and partly Christian inhabitants of west Britain as the Weleas (foreigners). The Welsh called themselves Y Cymry (fellow Welsh), their country Cymru (Wales), and their language Cymraeg (Welsh).
Constant friction caused by Saxon incursions into Wales and Welsh raids into lowland England led to the construction of a massive earthwork military frontier by Offa, the king of Mercia, during the last decades of the eighth century. Known as Offa’s Dyke, it became the basis for much of the subsequent national boundary separating England from Wales. After their invasion of Britain, the Normans conquered coastal Wales and the Welsh border areas during the last decades of the eleventh century and eventually sought to incorporate Celtic Christianity into the framework of European Catholicism.
For nearly two more centuries, the Welsh undertook sporadic resistance to foreign rule. These efforts culminated during the reign of Llywelyn, the last indigenous Prince of Wales, who tried to resist amalgamation with England. He was defeated, however, by King Edward I of England, who in 1282 conquered the country and two decades later invested his son, the future Edward II, as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon castle. Since then the formerly close connection between Wales and mainland Europe has been overshadowed by its incorporation into England. English rule developed into a form of shared power following the Acts of Union of 1536 and 1542. A county system of administration was established and English law was extended to Wales through a system of county sheriffs and justices of the peace.
The Acts of Union expelled the Welsh language from official public life and required that all official transactions should henceforth be conducted only in English. England did, however, authorize a translation of the New Testament (1536) and the Book of Common Prayer (1567) into Welsh in order to protect Protestantism among the Welsh population against Roman Catholic incursions at home and from Ireland. A critical milestone in the maintenance of a distinct Welsh identity was the translation and distribution to each parish of the entire Bible, completed under Bishop William Morgan in 1588. Morgan’s translation in a modern, standardized, and highly elegant version of Welsh encouraged scholarship and publication of related literature, and it established the basis upon which a national network of church-sponsored agencies fostered the emergence of a literate and culturally sophisticated population.
It was during the great age of nonconformist dissent (a label embracing all the religious groups that dissented from the established state church, the Church of England), lasting from the mid-eighteenth century to the period of liberal radicalism at the turn of the twentieth century, that the values associated with modern Welsh political culture were formed. It was also during this era, in particular during the period 1840 to 1913, that industrialization and urbanization reached Wales, transforming it into one of Britain’s leading producers of coal, slate, iron, and steel, as well as tin plate and chemical products.
Along with industrialization came the anglicization of Wales, hastened by the steady out-migration of people from the Welsh-speaking heartland of the country and the destruction of the traditional agricultural economy of rural counties. The demographic composition of Wales changed, since, aside from Welsh rural dwellers, the slate and coalfield regions attracted an influx of non-Welsh immigrants from England and Ireland. Although relatively fewer Welsh than other Celtic peoples from Britain emigrated abroad, those who did go to places like Canada in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were skilled workers able to adapt easily to a society undergoing rapid industrialization.
At present, Wales is both a constituent part of the United Kingdom and a relatively well-integrated region of the European Union. It has a strong sense of national identity that has been bolstered by a recent revival of the Welsh language. In the course of the past two decades, Wales’s economic base, which was traditionally centred on heavy industry, has been transformed by a burgeoning service sector and newer high-technology industries that are largely European, American, and Japanese in origin. Although having less than 6 percent of the United Kingdom’s population, Wales has in the past decade been able to attract more than 20 percent of the country’s internal investment. Despite such economic successes, Wales is still experiencing difficult social and economic problems as well as a relatively high out-migration of its population to neighbouring parts of the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
The migration of the Welsh to Canada did not occur on a large scale until the twentieth century. Before then, the Welsh presence in Canada was limited primarily to explorers, government officials, a few short-lived settlements, and a small number of individual immigrants.
From the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Welsh seamen, through their financial backers in Bristol and the West Country, played an important role in exploiting the natural resources of Newfoundland and the Grand Banks and in searching for a northwest passage through the Arctic Sea. In 1612 Thomas Button of St Lythans, Glamorgan, was commissioned by Henry, Prince of Wales, and a private company to find a passage through the Arctic to the Far East. His first journey in command of the Resolution and the Discovery, in April 1612 and September 1613, led to the mapping of the west coast of Hudson Bay and the Nelson River region, which he named New Wales. In his subsequent voyages, 1615– 16, he named Jones Sound (after Thomas Jones, lord mayor of London). Thomas James of Llanfetherin, Abergavenny, made extensive surveys of Hudson Bay and named one of the principal rivers, the Severn, after a river in his native Wales. He was the first European to explore the south coast of the Bay, and the subsidiary James Bay was named after him. Early maritime descriptions of Newfoundland and detailed accounts of the English fishery along the coast and on the Grand Banks were provided by Lewis Roberts, of Beaumaris, Anglesey, in The Merchants and Mappe of Commerce (1638).
None of these early contacts resulted in permanent settlement. However, in 1610 private interests in London obtained a large colonization grant in Newfoundland from King James I and in 1617 a Welsh settlement was founded by Sir William Vaughan at Cambriol, south of the present-day St John’s on the east side of Avalon peninsula. This colony came close to collapse in 1619 and, despite being replenished by subsequent Welsh settlers, was abandoned in 1636. A second Newfoundland settlement, organized by Edward Wynne on behalf of Lord Baltimore between 1621 and 1626, fared little better. Wynne established a colony of twelve Welshmen at Ferryland in August 1621. A year later, a new group of thirty-two people (including seven women), largely from England, arrived under the command of Captain Daniel Powell. Their favourable reports led to Calvert having his grant confirmed and enlarged by royal charter in 1623. Known as Avalon, this colony survived, though its Welsh character was gradually overwhelmed by the arrival of English settlers.
For most of the eighteenth century, individuals in the colonial service, rather than actual settlements, typified the Welsh connection with Canada. These included Richard Philipps, governor of Nova Scotia (1717–49); Jenkin Williams, solicitor general of Quebec (1782–93) and a judge on that province’s Court of King’s Bench (1794– 1812); and William Dummer Powell, chief justice (1816– 25) of Upper Canada (Ontario) and a member of the colony’s Executive Council (1808–25). Not to be forgotten, too, is Elizabeth Posthuma Gwillim, wife of John Graves Simcoe, the first lieutenant governor of Upper Canada (1791–96). Her watercolour sketches, as well as diaries and letters, provide an intimate glimpse into early Upper Canada.
After the American Revolutionary War, the influx of Loyalists and disbanded soldiers into the Maritimes included a group of Welshmen under Colonel John Thomas who landed at Port Roseway (Shelburne) in 1783–84 and settled at Cape Negro, Sambro, Guysborough, and Port Clyde; their descendants still inhabit various parts of Shelburne County in Nova Scotia. In the 1790s there was increased emigration from Wales to North America, prompted by a combination of desperately poor agricultural conditions, over-population, and political repression. Few went to British North America, however; those Welsh who eventually did settle in Canada were “late Loyalists” from the newly independent United States. Among the factors that inhibited Welsh immigration to Canada prior to the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 were the general political and economic disorder caused by the wars themselves, the expense involved in migrating, the inability of most Welsh-speakers to negotiate their passage with English-speaking entrepreneurs and ship captains, the restrictions placed on the migration of skilled craftsmen, and – in contrast to the situation in the United States – the absence of established Welsh communities in British North America.
The first Welsh settlements to be established in ninteenth-century Canada were organized after the Na– poleonic Wars and reflected the new interest in migration sparked by the post-war economic depression. In 1818 twelve settlers from Cardigan and Carmarthen founded New Cambria (near Shelburne) in Nova Scotia, and, in 1819, 183 settlers formed the Cardigan settlement in New Brunswick. The Cardigan settlement, Baptist in religious complexion, maintained its Welsh culture and its faith; however, its church never numbered more than fifty members, and over the next few decades the community’s size was reduced by out-migration to the United States. By contrast, the New Cambria settlement was mainly Anglican in its denominational affiliation. Keen to assimilate into the mainstream society of Shelburne County, it soon dissipated into a collection of individuals, some of whom sought a better life south of the border. In time the settlement became known as Welshtown and its numbers were occasionally swelled by Welsh migrants redirected there from Halifax.
Among the earliest Welsh settlers attracted to Upper Canada was John Mathews of Llansamlet (Swansea), who in 1821 obtained a grant of two hundred acres in Southwold Township, northwest of the present city of London, and promptly began recruiting colonists from Wales. By 1851 the community had about 350 settlers – all Methodists – but it never expanded beyond this figure. Being without a minister of their own faith, the settlers joined the First Lobo Baptist Church and in 1834 formed themselves into the first London Baptist Church. After the departure of their first minister, William Rowland, in 1872 a third of the first-generation migrants left Upper Canada, mainly for the American mid-west, and a slightly higher proportion of the next generation migrated to the Canadian prairies, the Pacific coast of the United States, and various cities.
In 1827 Welsh miners, under the auspices of the General Mining Association, came to Nova Scotia to develop coal deposits at Eureka, Londonderry, and Nictaux, and the opening of the Acadia Iron Works in 1849 initiated a fresh wave of skilled Welsh operators of blast furnaces and iron smelters. Yet these new arrivals were the exception rather than the rule. For the Welsh, as for the English, interest in emigration diminished in the wake of Britain’s economic recovery during the 1820s. It did not revive until the 1840s, a decade of increasing social and political unrest. By then, however, the tiny Canadian colonies had failed or been forgotten and so most of the emigrants went to the United States, where more substantial Welsh settlements had been established as early as the 1790s.
Later, in the 1870s, conditions were more propitious for emigration to Canada. The worldwide depression of that decade led to deteriorating economic conditions in Welsh towns on the iron belt and northern coal outcrop, such as Merthyr Tydfil, and, following a series of lockouts and strikes in 1875, widespread famine and destitution prevailed. At the same time, rural areas were hard hit by an agricultural depression that had begun in 1874, the result of poor crops, low prices, and American competition. In these circumstances, many Welsh were tempted by employment opportunities in Manitoba and the “Great North West,” which had been opened up by the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1881–85.
The Canadian and provincial governments, and also the Allan shipping line, vigorously promoted the attractions of a better life for all in Canada. Their efforts included newspaper advertisements in both Welsh and English documenting assisted passages, land grants, better wage rates, and employment opportunities, as well as full-coloured maps and books about Canada that were distributed to local schools, town libraries, and religious institutions. From 1865, the major emigration services operated in England by shipping firms had offered a weekly service to Canada; in the busy season, two vessels were despatched per week to Canada. In the 1870s the South Wales Atlantic Stream Ship Company began serving the emigrants from South Wales by operating a service from Cardiff.
In order to direct migrants to particular areas, the Canadian government subsidized ship fares. In 1873 it contributed about £3 per head to encourage Welsh miners, agricultural labourers, navvies, mechanics, female domestics, and others to work in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. From 1874 it regularized such arrangements with one shipping company, the Allan line, which operated as a semi-official emigration agency, so as to attract mechanics and labourers to Ontario. Domestic servants were required everywhere and “respectable emigrants” were given loans by the Women’s Emigration Society at 5 percent interest. Another incentive to prospective Welsh emigrants was Dominion legislation in 1872 that offered sixty-five hectares of western land free to adults, a policy that by the 1880s had proved successful in attracting Welsh farmers to Manitoba and prairies. Thereafter the Canadian Pacific Railway assisted western colonization by providing farms for sale along its routes at low prices. Starting in 1869, provincial governments also offered generous land grants.
Despite all such efforts, Welsh emigration to Canada was inconsiderable in the 1870s and in the next decade there was little reason to emigrate to any destination, since Wales itself provided employment in its rapidly expanding coalfields. Only two enduring Welsh settlements were established in the late 1890s and early 1900s, an era of massive emigration from other parts of the British Isles. One consisted of Welsh migrants from the United States and the other was composed of Welsh who had first settled in Argentina; both drew only minimally on emigration from Wales.
The completion of the CPR in 1885 permitted the establishment of the Wood River community near Ponoka, Alberta. Its earliest inhabitants in the period 1901–7 were Welsh-American farmers such as Caradoc Morris from Nebraska, John Jenkins from Kansas, R.C. Jones from Minnesota, and H.F. Davies from Washington. By 1905 the settlers who had come directly from Wales found that it was difficult and expensive to put down roots in the farming community because most of the land had already been allotted. In 1902 a Sunday school was started, and by 1910 the residents, then numbering 125, had established a Methodist church at the neighbouring district of Magic, formed a soccer team, and initiated an annual cultural festival known as an eisteddfod (plural: eisteddfodau) to nurture the arts, poetry, music, and handicraft skills. A second church, at Wood River, was built in 1914, and the church at Magic was replaced by a new structure – called Seion Church – in 1916. Two years later the Wood River Community Hall was erected. Today the town’s Welsh character is maintained through an annual singing festival known as Gymanfa (plural: Gymanfaoedd) Ganu and the Ponoka Welsh Society, whose events typify Welsh societies throughout Canada. Its members celebrate Wales’s patron saint by hosting the St David’s Day banquet on 1 March; they also hold a festival around Easter, combine worship and a Gymanfa Ganu on the second Sunday of August, and host a communal Christmas party.
The second Welsh settlement was at Saltcoats, in what soon was to become the province of Saskatchewan. Canadian agents in Wales advertising the attractions of the “Last Best West” arranged a visit to the prairies in 1899 by three prominent Welshmen – David Lloyd George, MP and future British prime minister, W.J. Rees, a justice of the peace and leading political figure in Swansea, and W. Llewellyn Williams of Cardiff. Their favourable report was widely circulated, but rather than luring migrants from Wales it played an important role in attracting settlers from the Patagonia region of South America, where an earlier Welsh colony had been established by the visionary nationalist the Reverend Michael. D. Jones in 1865. Between 1899 and 1901 the Cardiff immigration agent and officials in Ottawa and Winnipeg sought to promote re-migration from Patagonia to Canada. In 1901 a delegation was sent to Argentina’s Chubut valley to collect accurate information for the Canadian government and to assess how many might be prepared to move to western Canada. Sir J.D. Llewellyn, chairman of the Welsh Patagonia Committee, established a colonization fund and the Canadian government promised a subsidy of £1 per head as well as negotiating a reduced CPR fare for the trip from Quebec to Saltcoats.
By now some of the Welsh colonists in Argentina were eager to leave. Most, unable to obtain land of their own, were leading a miserable existence as renters and farm labourers, and two severe floods had exacerbated their economic hardships. Thus, on 14 May 1902, 234 settlers left Argentina aboard the Orissa for Liverpool, England. Of these, 208 then proceeded to Canada, arriving by rail in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan, in late June; the remainder stayed briefly in Wales before sailing to Quebec aboard the Numidian. The party as a whole comprised 44 families; 112 were children under the age of 16, and there were several unmarried adults. Only two of the families had been in Argentina since 1865; most had emigrated from Britain in 1886. The colonists soon satisfied the requirements of the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 for the grant of title to a homestead, namely a ten-dollar registration fee, the construction of a habitable dwelling, three years’ residence, and evidence of cultivation or stock raising.
The Welsh settlement and first school district in the future Saskatchewan was known as Llewellyn in honour of Sir Dillwyn Llewellyn, who had headed the re-settlement committee. In January and October 1904 Glendwyr/Glyndwr and St David’s school districts were formed. The next years saw the creation of an active social network based on churches. Anglicans, constituting a minority of the settlers, worshipped at St Asaph Church (1905) in Llewellyn and at St David’s (1911) at Bangor. Methodists, the majority, had erected Bethel Chapel at Llewellyn by 1910 and Seion at Bangor by 1911. In 1912 the Welsh Presbyterian Church of America, which had supported the Saltcoats settlement as a mission field, sent it a Welsh-speaking minister and services were conducted in Welsh until the early 1930s.
Cultural activities included singing festivals and eisteddfodau, a tradition that lasted until 1938. The first generation was fluent in both Welsh and Spanish, but during the inter-war years the shift to English proceeded rapidly and group cohesion declined. Outside the home the only domain where an element of Welshness could be maintained was the church, but ultimately this institution was unable to sustain the community’s Welsh culture. The nonconformist Bethel and Seion chapels had originally entered into association with the Welsh Presbyterian Union of the United States, but they joined the United Church of Canada in 1933 and after 1936 Welsh services ceased.
Like most Welsh diaspora settlements (except for Y Wladfa in Argentina, which still survives), the Saskatchewan venture failed as a cultural entity within one generation. Intermarriage, the failure to construct enduring institutions, and the lack of subsequent migrants all served to weaken the Welsh hold on the land, so that today only vestigial elements in the landscape and community remain as testimony to an earlier vitality and vision. However, in economic terms the Saltcoats venture – and the Wood River one too – were successful and confirmed the wisdom of the settlers’ decision to seek a new life in a new country.
It is impossible to say exactly how many Welsh immigrated to Canada in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because in censuses the Welsh were included in the category “English.” Another reason why the Welsh are difficult to find in statistical data is that many migrants departed from English ports and had often been working in English cities with large Welsh communities, such as London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool. Consequently, they entered Canada as “English.” Several prominent Welsh Canadians were nurtured in these industrial communities. Also, as a result of mixed-marriages, many family
Table 1. Welsh immigrants admitted to Canada, 1900–90
1900-10 15,565 1911-20 8,354 1921-30 14,354 1931-40 685 1941-50 4,110 1951-60 9,041 1961-70 6,648 1971-80 5,094 1 1981-90 3,016 Total 67,375
Source: Calculated by the author from Department of Citizenship and Immigration data, Statistics, Ottawa
1. The British category for 1966–74 is not disaggregated by country of birth. These represent only partial figures and thus the total should be read as a low estimate of Welsh immigration.
groups were recorded as English, as were the overwhelming majority of the 80,000 British children who came as labourers and domestic servants between 1869 and 1924. Finally, at a time when Welsh national consciousness was weaker than it is today, many preferred to be recorded as English for a variety of social, political, and occupational reasons.
The 1871 census, which was the first to distinguish between English and Welsh ancestry, revealed that the Welsh comprised only 7,800 persons, or 1.3 percent of the country’s total population. Most lived in eastern Ontario and were descended from Loyalists and other immigrants of Welsh background from the United States. Family connections were important for the few distinctive Welsh settlements, such as the one in London Township, but the overwhelming majority of Welsh had come as individual settlers.
The peak migration period for Welsh emigration to Canada was 1901–5, when 16,624 came. A second surge occurred between 1923–30 and was a direct result of World War I, which disrupted traditional working patterns in both rural and industrial areas of Wales, and of a post-war agricultural depression that continued until the late 1930s. Rural depopulation left an ageing population in the countryside, and in every year of the late 1920s and the 1930s deaths exceeded births in the heartland counties of Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Merionethshire, and Cardiganshire. To make matters worse, the collapse of heavy industry in the south Wales coalfields resulted in a male unemployment rate of 43 percent by August 1932. Out-migration was the only logical answer to mass starvation and so, between 1925 and 1939, 390,000 people left Wales, mainly for England and the colonies. A tenth of these settled in Canada in the decade before 1930.
A third surge in Welsh migration to Canada followed the end of World War II, with 3,011 Welsh emigrants settling in Canada in 1946–48, and another high point was 1956–57, when 3,531 relocated to Canada. The low point occurred during World War I: there were only 40 arrivals in 1917 and 56 in 1918. Other lean years were 1934–44, when an average of 60 Welsh per annum immigrated to Canada. Not all Welsh migrants entered Canada directly from the United Kingdom. During the period 1946–65, for example, when Canada registered 18,713 Welsh-born migrants, 2,362 had formally been living in the United States.
As noted in the table on page 1328, the official statistics on Welsh immigrants err on the low side. To arrive at a more accurate estimate of the size of the Welsh population in Canada, additional data on ethnic origin need to be considered. Since 1961, Welsh immigration has been maintained as a small proportion of total British immigration. However, the number of those claiming Welsh descent fell from 143,942 in 1961 to only 74,415 in 1971 because in the latter year many of Welsh descent were recorded as British. In 1981 a mere 46,620 (0.2 percent of the country’s population) were recorded as Welsh, the criterion being descent from the male line.
This criterion changed in 1991 to a self-declaration of ethnic origin, and the result was that 197,855 individuals were recorded as being of Welsh origin (28,190 were of wholly Welsh ancestry, 169,665 of partial Welsh ancestry). Those who gave Welsh as their only ethnic origin – 0.073 percent of the population – were concentrated in Ontario (11,255), British Columbia (7,005), and Alberta (4,725), and the cities with the largest concentrations of Welsh were, in order, Toronto (3,695 single origin, 20,565 multiple origin); Vancouver (3,080 and 18,840); Edmonton (1,495 and 9,520);, Calgary (1,545 and 8,640); Ottawa/Hull (875 and 6,700); Winnipeg (790 and 5,420), and Hamilton (985 and 4,490). All these figures are probably also too low, since to this day many of Welsh descent in Canada describe themselves as English or British in answer to questions about their national origin.
It is conventionally argued that the Welsh contribution to Canada was primarily religious, cultural, and literary in nature, but this view merely reflects British stereotypes about the Welsh within the United Kingdom. In fact, the Welsh in Canada were well represented in politics, business, mining, engineering, the military, public administration, and education (especially universities).
Until the late nineteenth century most Welsh migrants settled as individual farmers, construction workers, tradespeople, and miners. Many of those who came to work the mineral deposits of British Columbia were single men or men who had left their families at home, and it was among the Cariboo miners that Canada’s first Welsh society, the Cymmrodorion Society of Victoria, was formed in the 1860s. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century Welsh miners, slate quarrymen, and engineering workers helped develop primary industries and extend the railway system; for example, hundreds of Welsh quarry and tin-plate workers in the early 1880s worked on the building of the CPR line through British Columbia’s Crow’s Nest Pass. This trend continued in the first decades of the twentieth century, when skilled industrial workers from Wales – particularly those involved in iron, steel, and tin-plate production – settled in Ontario and British Columbia. Many had gained experience in other countries, such as the United States, South Africa, Australia, Russia, or South America.
During these years of rapid industrialization, the ranks of the unskilled were primarily filled by French Canadians and immigrants from Ireland and east-central Europe; many of the newly arrived Welsh held supervisory positions. This was especially true in the gold-mining operations around Nelson and Rover Creek, British Columbia, and later in Dawson City, Yukon; in the coal mines centred around Fernie, British Columbia; and in the nickel, copper, and iron industries of the Canadian Shield. Finally, a number of Welsh, both immigrants and Canadian-born, were trade unionists. The most celebrated was Arthur Evans. Born in Toronto of a Welsh father, Evans led unemployed workers in British Columbia’s relief camps on the famous On-to-Ottawa Trek in 1935. Later, Evans continued his union activities and, under his leadership, the mines at Trail, British Columbia, were unionized in 1936.
Economically, the Welsh have been prominent disproportionately to their numbers, taking advantage of the opportunities of a less class-ridden society than the one they had left. Most Welsh-Canadians who rose to national prominence started from very humble beginnings. The best-known Welsh entrepreneur was James Miller Williams, described as “the father of the oil industry in North America, perhaps even the world.” Born of Welsh-American parents in Camden, New Jersey, he migrated to the Welsh settlement at London, Ontario, at the age of twenty-two and became involved in railway-coach construction. Having discovered oil in Lambton County, he built a refinery at Oil Springs in 1857 and, through a production centre at Petrolia and the Canadian Oil Company that he founded in Hamilton in 1860, he developed and controlled Ontario’s oil, kerosene, and chemical-refinery industry.
Another key figure in the development of industry was Jonathan Rogers of Wales, who arrived in Vancouver in 1887, also aged twenty-two, on the inaugural transcontinental train. His entrepreneurial talents led to his appointment as president of the city’s Board of Trade and chairman of the Park Board as well as to his election as alderman. He also nurtured the city’s artistic life as a founder of the Vancouver Art Gallery, to which he loaned several pictures. Many of the city parks owe their existence to him and one is named after him. Within the Welsh community, he helped establish Cambrian Hall, the only Welsh hall in North America. In his will Rogers left over $250,000 to the University of British Columbia and to other public organizations of his adopted city.
In the newspaper and media industry John W. James, who was born in Wales and immigrated to Canada in the 1850s, published several Ontario newspapers, including the British Ensign at Port Hope, the Newcastle Gazette, and the Watchman; afterwards, he managed the Niagara Frontier at Tonawanda, New York, and in nearby Ontario the People’s Press and the Telegraph at Welland and the Hamilton Times. He was also active in the Typographical Union. A generation later William Rupert Davies, also born in Wales, published newspapers in Thamesville and Renfrew, Ontario, from 1908 to 1925 before buying the British Whig in Kingston, which he merged with the Daily Standard in 1926. The following decade Davies bought the Peterborough Examiner and the radio and television stations in Kingston and Peterborough. President of Canadian Press and director of the Canadian Daily Newspaper Publishers Association, he was appointed in 1942 to the Senate and died in 1967.
Another example of Welsh professional success was Leonard Walter Brockington, a graduate of the University of Wales who immigrated to Canada in 1912 and became a prominent Calgary lawyer. From 1936 to 1939 he was the first chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and during the World War II was a speech writer for Prime Minister Mackenzie King as well as an adviser to the British government. From 1949 to 1956 he was the rector of Queen’s University, and before his death in 1966 he held a number of other posts, including that of Canadian representative to the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
After World War II Welsh migrants to Canada sought employment as teachers, nurses and doctors, scientists, and business people; many, especially accountants and investment specialists, came as representatives of British multinational corporations. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s there was a significant increase in the number of Welsh academics who immigrated to Canada, attracted by the expansion of the country’s universities.
Strong British-Canadian economic links ensure that there is a constant exchange of personnel, ideas, and capital between Wales and Canada. Welsh Development International is responsible for attracting Canadian investment to Wales to build upon the well-established commercial presence in that country of such companies as Alcan, Polysource Industries, Mitel, and Newbridge Networks. Today, because of the emphasis of immigration policies, most Welsh migrants to Canada are well educated and highly skilled, recruited in many cases by companies with Canadian-British links. Both Wales and Ontario are partners in the European Union’s “Four Motors” regional development program, which encourages constant interaction between Canadian and British/ European engineering and scientific projects.
Since the Reformation Wales has been an overwhelmingly Protestant society with the established Church of England in a dominant position. Alongside the Church of England, and increasingly powerful as time went on, were the dissenting denominations, which were inspired by similar reforming movements in England and which had their strongest appeal along the borderlands and in the southern coastal districts. The most profound indigenous Welsh religious awakening was the Methodist revival of the eighteenth century, which in turn led to a reinvigoration of the charity school movement through the vehicle of Griffith Jones’s “circulating schools.” The itinerant teachers of these schools provided instruction in Welsh, and, in conjunction with the next generation’s Welsh-language Sunday schools, had a significant impact both on teaching the masses how to read and write and in laying the foundations for national consciousness as Wales sought to differentiate itself from England.
Following industrialization, it was nonconformist leaders who shaped the contours of modern Wales, establishing such major national institutions as the University of Wales, the National Museum of Wales, and the National Library of Wales. The apogee of the nonconformist challenge to the religious status quo was the disestablishment in 1920 of the Church of England and its replacement by a separate Welsh version of the Anglican communion, known as the Church in Wales. Although Wales has become increasingly secular since World War II and is now far more pluralistic in its religious complexion, the social values of nonconformity have had a huge influence on Welsh education, family life, work practices, national institutions, and political development.
No comprehensive analysis of the religious affiliation of Welsh settlers in early Canada has been done, but it appears that most Welsh were affiliated to the Church of England and to various Presbyterian denominations. In time, other denominations – Baptists, Congregationalists, and Wesleyan Methodists – also took root and were strengthened by the influx of new immigrants, especially at the beginning of the twentieth century. Smaller denominations such as the Salvation Army, the Open Brethren (branch of Plymouth Brethren), and the Unitarians were also represented among Welsh. From World War I onwards Welsh-Canadian Baptists, Congregationalists, and Methodists (the latter two as part of the United Church of Canada after 1925) were particularly active in a variety of social reform movements.
Welsh Christians also played an important role in proselytizing Canada’s native peoples. Among them was the Anglican minister David Thomas Jones, who ministered to the Indians and Metis of the Red River colony in the period 1823–38. Another was English-born James Evans, a Wesleyan missionary to the Canadian west who in 1836 devised a syllabic form of writing for Ojibwa and in 1840 a similar alphabet for Cree. He translated and printed many Christian hymns, prayer books, and religious publications in these new literary languages. Perhaps the most famous missionary was Peter Jones, known to the native peoples as Kahkewaquonaby (Sacred Feathers). His father was a Welsh surveyor and his mother an Ojibwa woman. After his conversion to Christianity in 1823 Jones became the first native Methodist missionary to the Ojibwa and, with his brother John, translated the Scriptures into Ojibwa. Farther west was another English-born Welshman, the Reverend Ephraim Evans, who led a group of Methodist missionaries to work among the native peoples of British Columbia in February 1859.
Many Welsh clergy belonged to the Anglican Church and were influential in shaping its character and direction in Canada. Most served as parish priests and were strong supporters of Anglican missionary work in the nineteenth century through the Church Missionary Society and the Colonial and Continental Church Society. In 1905 the formation of the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada continued this evangelical outreach and, under its auspices, Welsh-Canadian clergy became more active in educational and social-welfare issues. Among the Welsh Anglicans who assumed leadership roles in their church were Derwyn T. Owen, primate of Canada from 1934 to 1946; David Williams, the fourth Bishop of Huron (Ontario) from 1905 and the first archbishop of Huron and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario in 1926; and John Plummer Derwent Llwyd, appointed vice-provost of Trinity College, University of Toronto, in 1905 and dean of Nova Scotia in 1912, who typified those Welsh clergy who played an important part in the establishment and support of Canadian schools, colleges, and universities.
Welsh members of the Anglican Church in Canada worshipped almost exclusively in English. In contrast, many of the early settlements grew up around Welsh-language Methodist or Baptist chapels. Aside from their religious services, these chapels continued the Welsh traditions of Cymanfaoedd Ganu (singing festivals), Eisteddfodau Y Seiat (fellowship meetings where both religious and secular topics were addressed), and Yr Ysgol Sul (Sunday Bible school, which taught many settlers to read and write).
Unlike Scottish or English nonconformist congregations, Welsh chapels, motivated partly by a desire to maintain the Welsh language, sought and acquired a fair degree of autonomy from larger denominational structures. During the first two generations of settlement, from about 1860 to 1914, the autonomy of the Welsh chapels helped to strengthen Welsh community life, but as the numbers of Welsh-speaking immigrants declined, the chapels were required either to become bilingual or to serve as the nucleus of expanded English-speaking congregations. Nevertheless, it was nonconformist ministers who formed the core of the Welsh cultural intelligentsia in Canada for well over a century. They were the prime movers in the establishment of Welsh newspapers, journals, choirs, and St David’s societies across the country.
Few of the Welsh chapels survive. The exception and best known is the Dewi Sant United Welsh Church, on Melrose Avenue in Toronto, whose ministers and congregation have played a central part in the Welsh life of the city. In 1909, two years after the establishment of the St David’s Society of Toronto, Welsh Christians formed their own chapel (then known as the Capel Dewi Sant) and affiliated to the Welsh Presbyterian Church of America, which financially supported the fledging congregation in its early years. By 1924 the membership of the chapel had grown to 160 (with 24 Sunday school children). Most members lived in tightly clustered Welsh communities around Pembroke, Ontario, Sherbourne, Parliament, Jarvis, and Carleton streets in downtown Toronto.
In June 1925 the creation of the United Church of Canada sparked an intense debate among members of Toronto’s Welsh church, with many seeing the new denomination as an alternative to dependence upon the Welsh Presbyterian Church of America. In 1928 the Reverend William Davies successfully negotiated the entry of the Toronto Welsh church into the United Church. Membership of the Dewi Sant United Welsh Church, as it became known, declined during the Depression of the 1930s but recovered after World War II. As a result of the leadership of successive Welsh pastors from 1945 to the present day – Heddwyn Williams, Humphreys Jones, Elwyn Hughes, and Caerwyn Davies (present incumbent) – the church became a vibrant centre of Christian witness. Today most services are held in English, although a Welsh-language Sunday evening service is still held each month. The congregation is comprised of 150 second- and third-generation Welsh Canadians.
In the nineteenth century people of Welsh origin in North America subscribed to continental, rather than national, newspapers. There was a short-lived Welsh paper in British Columbia in the nineteenth century, but most Canadian ventures floundered for lack of a mass readership. Typical was the Welsh Pioneer (Winnipeg, 1910–11). The oldest and most popular Welsh newspaper read in Canada is Y Drych (The Mirror; New York, 1851– ). Begun by John Morgan Jones, it was published in Welsh until 1941 and served as one of the principal means by which Welsh immigrants in North America kept in touch with one another and with events in Britain. It was also an influential force in encouraging migration both from Wales and from the United States to Canada, especially to the prairies (Alberta’s Wood River settlement in particular). Today it is published in English with an occasional article in Welsh and a page devoted to improving Welsh-language skills. It transmits news from the many Welsh societies in North America and reports on community activities both on this continent and in Wales itself. More recently, another U.S.-based Welsh newspaper has become popular among Welsh Canadians. Ninnau (We Also; New York, 1975– ) was established by a Welsh couple who had immigrated to the United States in 1960 from the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, Argentina. The paper is not exclusively Welsh in its focus; it also includes material on Celtic themes in general.
Newspapers, notwithstanding their great value in sustaining ethnic identity, cannot substitute for the face-to-face contact provided by community organizations. The three most popular cultural institutions brought by the Welsh to Canada are Cymdeithas Dewi Sant (St David’s Society), eisteddfodau, and Cymanfaoedd Ganu (communal hymn singing).
Most Canadian cities and large towns have or have had a St David’s Society, which organizes social activities throughout the year that culminate in a banquet on St David’s Day and a children’s party at Christmas. Unaffiliated to any church, the St David’s societies bring together all people of Welsh extraction to arrange cultural exchanges between Canada and Wales, social outings, and visits from the homeland of sport teams, choirs, and speakers. The eisteddfodau, a legacy of the late-eighteenth-century revival of Welsh culture, evolved in Wales into a national festival for literary and musical competition. Bilingual eisteddfodau were popular in Canada at the turn of the century, but, because of the decline of the Welsh language, interest in them has declined recently.
By contrast, the tradition of Cymanfaoedd Ganu is still flourishing. In Wales, the religious-singing festivals known as Gymanfaoedd – featuring an oratorio as well as a selection of old and new hymns – were long held by individual chapels. Larger versions of the Gymanfa are organized in North America by the National Gymanfa Ganu Association (NGGA). The first NGGA Gymanfa was held in 1929 at the First Presbyterian Church, Goat Island, Niagara Falls, and attracted over 2,400 people from Rochester, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Toronto, and London. These cities and their surrounding regions have remained the core areas of support for the festivals. The NGGA Gymanfa has been held in Canada several times, for example, in Toronto in 1959 (attracting 3,200 people), 1967, and 1973 and in Victoria in 1990 and 1991.
By the late 1970s the emergence of other forms of entertainment and increasing intermarriage resulted in many previously vibrant Welsh societies losing support, particularly among those with young families. To halt this trend, and also to attract the NGGA to Toronto, the Ontario Gymanfa Ganu Association was organized in 1957. It held its first festival in Niagara Falls in April 1961 and in subsequent years it has visited many of the larger centres of the province.
A typical Gymanfa Ganu is held over a weekend and includes a Noson Lawen (a night of entertainment and folk dancing) as well as a meeting, a Awr y Plant (an hour-long session for children designed to teach them Welsh music, poetry, and literature), and a formal banquet and dance. All these activities culminate with the Gymanfa Ganu itself, which usually is presided over by a preacher and a musical director from Wales. Both in Canada and in the United States, the Gymanfa Ganu is one of the most vibrant and visible cultural manifestations of the Welsh presence, analogous to the Royal National Eisteddfodau in Wales.
Welsh musicians have had a significant impact on Canada. Edmonton’s musical life, for example, owes much to the inspiration of William John Hendra, a stonemason and viola-player who immigrated to the city in 1906 and soon immersed himself into its musical life, including among his many achievements the creation of the Edmonton Welsh Male Chorus. Another choir, the Wales-based Welsh Imperial Singers, directed by R.F. Davies, gave thousands of concerts in almost 600 towns and cities throughout North America between 1926 and 1939. In the 1920s especially, these concerts strengthened the ethnic identity of many Welsh Canadians and led to an increase in the membership of Welsh societies.
Today, one of Canada’s most prominent choral groups is the Canadian Orpheus Male Choir of Hamilton, Ontario, founded by the Welsh-born musical conductor Lyn Harry in 1977. The predominance of Welsh music in its repertoire has made the Orpheus a showcase for Celtic talent and culture in Canada. Similar choral societies exist in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, and London, Ontario; the latter’s Cantorion Cymraeg Canada (Canadian Welsh Singers) made a successful tour of Wales in 1995. Several Welsh societies initiate musical exchanges with “sister” choirs in Wales who tour Canada and appear at such events as the Ontario Welsh Festival, a week-long celebration of Welsh culture that began in 1962 and is usually held on a university campus.
Apart from the St David’s societies, Welsh social groups exist in most large urban centres and many smaller communities. The most significant are in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. The newest is in Charlottetown. It was started in 1991 and now has forty-five members, fifteen of whom were born in Wales. They meet once a month for singing, reading, and learning more about the Welsh-Canadian heritage. Such societies are the backbone of Welsh community life in Canada and help to generate interest when a large cultural festival or visiting choir or soloist from Wales is being hosted. In many communities Welsh culture and language are taught in association with the local Welsh Society.
Several of the Welsh have contributed to Canadian cultural and intellectual life more generally. Three Welsh-born Canadians stand out in the world of Canadian academe: the mycologist Stanley John Hughes, the oceanographer George Lawson Pickard, and the philosopher George Sidney Brett. In painting, prominent Welsh-Canadian artists are Robert Harris, best known for his painting “The Fathers of Confederation”; Edmund Montague Morris, who specialized in Amerindian portraits; and Walter Phillips, who became famous in the period 1910–20 for his landscapes of the Rocky Mountains.
In literature, two names tower over the rest: the poet Charles George Douglas Roberts and Robertson Davies, who, prior to his death in 1996, gained international renown for the Deptford Trilogy (1970–75), The Rebel Angels (1981) and many other novels. While Welsh themes per se are generally absent from Davies’s works, the poetry of the Welsh-born Beryl Baigent is inspired to a large degree by her native homeland. Whether writing about male-female relationships or Celtic mysticism, Baigent shows herself to be deeply influenced by memories of her Welsh childhood. One work in particular, Hiraeth: In Search of Celtic Origins (1994), captures the mood of many Welsh Canadians who seek to preserve their heritage.
Rugby football is the leading sport in Wales and rugby talent has been exported to many countries, including Canada. Gareth Rees, whose parents emigrated from Wales, is currently captain of the Canadian national team. More representative are the myriad of unsung Welsh-Canadian sports coaches and organizers at the community level. Typical is George Jones of Brantford, who, after immigrating to Canada in 1948, started a rugby club in Brantford, Ontario, “to express his Welshness.” This led to the establishment in 1950 of the six-team Ontario Rugby Union, an annual St David’s Day Dinner, and the Brantford and District Welsh Club, which has branches in Hamilton, Cambridge, and Brantford. The 1969 matches between the Brantford Harlequins and the clubs of the West Wales Rugby Union were the first of many such Canadian-Welsh rugby events. These matches have been essential in popularizing rugby in Canadian high schools, and the results were evident when Canada beat Wales in an international championship game in Cardiff in 1993.
Welsh language, literature, and history figure as part of broader Celtic studies courses and programs in Canadian universities, including St Michael’s College of the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa. There are also a number of educational organizations that seek to stimulate Welsh ethnic consciousness. For example, the Cymdeithas Madog (North American Welsh Studies Association), founded in 1983, holds an annual summer school that offers language classes, folk singing, noson lawen, and an eisteddfod. An average of 60 to 100 people attend the summer school, which has been held in recent years at Carleton University, Ottawa (1993), and in Baltimore, Maryland (1994). A similar event is Welsh Heritage Week, held in July each year in a different location and sponsored by the Cymdeithas Gymreig y Delyn, Gogledd America (The Welsh Harp Society of North America), the British Council, and the National Welsh-American Foundation.
Notwithstanding such signs of vitality, Welsh culture is struggling to survive in contemporary Canada. The most striking evidence of its endangered state is the decline of the Welsh language. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, language had distinguished Welsh migrants from other British settlers in Canada. Such is no longer the case. In the 1991 census only 2,070 people declared Welsh to be their first language; of these, 1,580 said that it was their only first language, and 490 said that they spoke it as well as other languages. This compares with 2,055 Welsh-speakers in 1976. The overwhelming majority of the 2,070 Canadians with Welsh as a first language in 1991 lived in Ontario (860), British Columbia (545), and Alberta (325). Only 210 people throughout all of Canada declared Welsh to be the language that they spoke at home.
The decline of the Welsh language in Canada has been accompanied, not surprisingly, by the decline of Welsh ethnic distinctiveness. Most Welsh Canadians in the twentieth century have celebrated not their specific Welsh national heritage but their general British civil heritage. In consequence, the majority of Welsh Canadians have never been closely associated with particular expressions of Welshness in Canada. Today, Canadian-born Welsh are part of the English-speaking mainstream, and even the vast majority of recent immigrants do not join Welsh societies. By the late twentieth century, the maintenance of ‘Welshness’ had become, for most, a private and individual affair.
There are many reasons for the decline of the Welsh language and its associated culture. In the first place, the Welsh language was long closely identified with various religious organizations, and, once these organizations began to lose popular support, acculturation into the English-speaking mainstream quickly followed. It may also be argued that religious factionalism was one reason for the decline of Welsh ethnic identity, especially within the Alberta settlements. Though religious nonconformity helped shape Welsh national identity, especially in the nineteenth century, in small emigrant communities factionalism not only prevented the establishment of strong churches but also, over the long term, brought Welsh Anglicans, Methodists, and Presbyterians into communion with English, Scots, and Irish Canadians.
Other forces, too, have facilitated assimilation. As persons of British descent, the Welsh have not experienced any structural impediment to full participation in contemporary Canadian life, and so in their case assimilation has been a painless and virtually automatic process. The Welsh have taken full advantage of this situation and indeed have long been a small part of a hegemonic majority. At the same time, as with other immigrants groups, intermarriage between Welsh and other Canadians has undermined group cohesion, while geographical and occupational mobility has militated against the maintenance of settled ethnic communities. Finally, the relative decline in the rate of Welsh emigration has weakened Welsh communities.
Canadians of Welsh origin exhibit many of the tendencies of long-established immigrant groups. Their public attachment to Wales tends to be more symbolic than real, revolving around choirs, rugby players, and the mysteries and delights of the homeland. Still, many Welsh now recognize that they, too, are one of Canada’s ethnic groups and as such they need to organize themselves effectively if they are to build upon their contributions to the country’s development. Recently there have been increased levels of attendance at festivals, musical events, Welsh-language classes, and the like. This may represent an attempt to capture something of a fast-dwindling heritage or it may reflect a desire to celebrate multiculturalism as a permanent feature of Canadian society. Either way, Canadians of Welsh origin will continue to have a deeply rooted presence in many communities.
The two best volumes on the history of Wales are John Davies, A History of Wales (Oxford, 1993), and K.O. Morgan, Rebirth of a Nation (Oxford, 1981). An account that is especially good on the equivocal role of Wales within the British state is G.A. Williams, When Was Wales? (London, 1985). The most accessible account tracing the fortunes of the Welsh language and its associated culture is Janet Davies, The Welsh Language (Cardiff, Wales, 1993).
A popular and detailed account of the Welsh in Canada is Carol Bennett, In Search of the Red Dragon (Renfrew, Ont., 1985), while David Greenslade’s Welsh Fever (Bridgend, U.K., 1986) provides a region-by-region overview of Welsh activities in North America. The single best academic account is Muriel Chamberlain, ed., The Welsh in Canada (Swansea, U.K., 1986), with particularly insightful essays by W.K. Davies on the history and geography of Welsh settlement and by Peter Thomas on the first Welsh settlements in Canada. Thomas’s monograph, Strangers from a Secret Land: The Voyages of the Brig Albion and the Founding of the First Welsh Settlements in Canada (Cardiff and Toronto, 1986), examines both the conditions influencing the departure of the settlers from West Wales in 1819 and their subsequent struggle with the new land during the first generation. The counterclaims of Cambriol, Newfoundland, to be Canada’s first Welsh settlement are discussed by Gillian Cell, Newfoundland Discovered (London, 1985), and in her contributions to Britain’s Dictionary of National Biography on Lewis Roberts (1985), Sir William Vaughan (1985), and Edward Wynne (1985).
The careers of individual Welsh explorers are traced in A. Davies, “Prince Madoc and the Discovery of America in 1477,” Geographical Journal, vol.150 (1984), 363–72; Gwyn A. Williams, Madoc: The Making of a Myth (London, 1979); and G.A. Williams, The Search for Beulah Land (London, 1980).
The first Welsh settlement near London, Ontario, was the subject of F.T. Rosser, “The Welsh Settlement of Upper Canada” (Ph.D. thesis, University of Western Ontario, 1954), and also of Muriel Chamberlain’s “The Welsh Settlement Near London, Ontario,” Minerva, vol.1, no.1 (1993), 17–22.
The fluctuations in Welsh migration flows are treated as part of more general British population movements in J.R. Burnet and H. Palmer, “Coming Canadians”: An Introduction to a History of Canada’s Peoples (Toronto, 1988). The only detailed treatment of Welsh emigration rates in the nineteenth century is W.R. Johnston, “The Welsh Diaspora: Emigrating around the World in the Late Nineteenth Century,” Llafur: Journal of Welsh Labour History, vol.6, no.2 (1993), 50–74.
The Welsh relocation from Argentina’s Patagonia to Saskatchewan in 1902, together with governmental support for attracting more Welsh settlers to Canada, is covered in L.H. Thomas, “From the Pampas to the Prairies: The Welsh Migration of 1902,” Saskatchewan History, vol.24, no.1 (1971), 1–12, and idem., “Welsh Settlement in Saskatchewan 1902–04,” Western Historical Quarterly, vol.4, no.4 (1973), 435–49. The same episode is covered with more detail on Patagonia in R.O. Jones’s excellent account, “From Wales to Saskatchewan via Patagonia,” in C. Byrne, M. Hamry and P.O. Siadhail, eds., Celtic Languages and Celtic People (Halifax, N.S., 1992), 619–43; and in G.W. MacLennan, “A Contribution to the Ethno-History of Saskatchewan’s Patagonian Welsh Settlement,” Canadian Ethnic Studies, vol.8, no.2, (1975), 57–72.
Good examples of local Welsh-Canadian historical accounts are H.D. Atkinson and E.R. Smith, eds., Land of My Fathers: Shelbourne County Nova Scotia’s Early Welsh Families, 2 vols. (Yarmouth, N.S., 1989); and K. Hughes and G. Jones, eds., From Wales to Wood River and Surrounding Districts (Ponoka, Alta., 1980).
Unpublished documentation may be found in the Glenys James Collection JAM 4/2 at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, which includes taped interviews in both Welsh and English together with The Welsh in Canada: Report Submitted to the Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies (Ottawa, 1974). The National Library of Wales also holds the original account which inspired Peter Thomas’s Strangers from a Secret Land, namely “Hanes ail fordaith y Brig Albion ynghyd a’i mor-deithwyr i’r America Ogleddol yn y Flwyddyn 1819” (The history of the second voyage of the Brig Albion together with its sea passengers to North America in the year 1819; Carmarthen, Wales, 1819).
Within Canada the best archival collection is the Welsh Canadian Papers (Series 83) of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario, which span the period between 1904 and 1978, and include letters, church records, biographical notes on prominent Welsh-Canadian religious figures, music and cultural festivals, and radio broadcasts. A rich, if fragmented, documentary source, it also covers non-Ontario material, such as the St David’s Society of Montreal Papers, the Salem Welsh Presbyterian Church of Montreal records and reports, and constitutions and dealings of Welsh societies across Canada, particularly in Vancouver.
Public libraries and city archives in Calgary, Regina, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ottawa, and London have holdings on the Welsh, and material can also be found at the libraries of the University of Toronto, the University of Manitoba, and Dalhousie University. Details of land holdings and early maps depicting the distribution of Welsh settlers may be consulted in the University of Toronto Map Library (in particular the Toronto, Sudbury, Charlottetown, Cornwall, and Cardigan Bay settlements). The Serge Sauer Map Library of the University of Western Ontario has an outstanding collection of historical maps including documentation on the Welsh in Upper Canada in general and Middlesex County in particular, especially around Denfield, Lobo, and North Dorchester, Ontario. Cf. The Historical Atlas of Middlesex County (Toronto, 1878). Another important source is the Hudson Bay Company Archives in London, England, and at the Provincial Archives of Manitoba.