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Chart of Significant Welsh History Dates  The Welsh in North America The Welsh in PatagoniaS
Welsh History Links A Welsh History Bibliography  

If you know the source for this chart, let me know so that I can give credit… I downloaded it in 1995.


The Celts settle in Wales.
43 A.D. Troops of Roman Emperor Claudius invade Britain. It takes 35 years to fully conquer Wales. (78 A.D.)
350 Irish raiders make permanent settlements in Southwest Wales.
410 Four hundred years of occupation end for Britain as the Romans leave. Saxon invaders seize the opportunity and start invading. Waves of Saxons descend upon Britain. 
500 The Saxons are defeated at Mount Badon. One of King Arthur's twelve battles. Supposed rule of King Arthur for 45 plus years. This is also the period of Saints. Celtic saints set up sites throughout Wales teaching Christianity. In the east of Britain, the Saxons remain pagan. 
784 Offa of Mercia, a powerful Saxon king, builds Offa's Dyke, marking Wales's eastern boundary. The Dyke is not a fortified one, but a permanent boundary line. 
878 The most notable Welsh figure before the arrival of the Normans is slain. Rhodri Mawr was the first Welsh ruler to unite the Welsh tribes and kingdoms under one rule. During his reign, the Vikings increase their raids. 
927 Welsh kings formally submit to the English as over-king. 
1039 The last of the Welsh high-kings, Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, assumes the throne. His short, 20 plus years, rule brings unity to Wales. 
1063 The English, under future king Earl Harold, drive their army into Wales. His own men kill Gruffydd ap Llywelyn and relatives and England's ascendancy is reaffirmed.
1066 At the Battle of Hastings King Harold is killed. The Norman conquest of England is assured. Marcher Lords are established along the Welsh borders. 
1141 Henry the First dies and Wales experiences resurgence under the two Llywelyns of Gwynedd. Wales moves toward unity as their territory is reclaimed and the culture flourishes. 
1215 The Magna Carta signed. Welsh lands taken unjustly are restored and some Welsh laws return. 
1267 Llywelyn II with the Treaty of Montgomery is recognized as Prince of Wales, with overlordship of all other Welsh Princes and Barons. 
1282 Llwyelyn II is killed in battle and Wales's resurgence comes to an end. Wales falls beneath Edward the First's advances. Wales becomes an English principality under the Statute of Rhuddlan. In the future, the eldest son of the English king is designated Prince of Wales. The building of castles in Wales is started by Edward I. 
1301 At Caernarvon Castle Edward's son is invested as the Prince of Wales. 
1349 The Plague, or Black Death, sweeps through Wales, leaving up to 40 percent of the population dead. 
1400 Owain Glyndwr, with the whole of Wales behind him, leads a revolt against England. 
1410 Owain Glyndwr's short rebellion ends as he disappears. Henry IV and his son suppress the rebellion. Defeat means second class citizenship for the Welsh and humiliation. 
1455 The War of Roses starts in England as the Yorks and Lancastrians fight for the throne. 
1485 Henry Tudor, of Welsh descent, wins the Battle of Bosworth and becomes the first Welsh King of England. This marks the end of the War of Roses and establishes the Welsh lineage to the English throne. 
1536 Henry VIII enacts the first Act of Union which completes the political and legal union of England and Wales. Wales falls under the English shire system and the first dissolution of the monasteries begins. 
1588 The Bible is published in Welsh. One of the most important events to continue the language. 
1642 Civil War breaks out in England and is welcomed in Wales. 
1660 Charles II is restored and Wales rejoices. The Bardic Order starts its decay, suffering from a loss of patronage and the influence of the new Humanism. 
1718 Books printed in Welsh flourish as printing presses are introduced in Wales. 
1735 The Methodist Revival begins. 
1795 South Wales becomes the Iron Industries strong hold. 
1811 Wales becomes a "non-conformist nation" as the Methodists break with the Church of England. 
1815 European peace after the Napoleonic Wars bring Welsh farming to a point of crisis. Soaring population adds to the discontent. 
1831 The Merthyr uprising. Debtors Court is ransacked by debt stricken workers. The town is raided of sequestered goods and troops are brought in, leaving two dozen towns people dead. For the next ten years Welsh miners stage "Scotch Cattle" raids taking action against blacklegs. 
1839 High toll taxes lead to the first of the Rebecca Riots. Turnpikes are smashed in the rural areas. 
1843 In his famous "Letter to the Welsh People", Hugh Owen calls for all Welsh to take action to further the cause of education. He sees it as an essential pre-requisite to Welsh prosperity. 
1850's Rapid development of coal mining in the Rhondda valley. South Wales coal fields become one of the most important in the world. Cardiff's port is busy. 
1868 Liberal political supremacy is established. The Liberals hold 21 Welsh seats. 
1872 The University College at Aberystwyth is founded. Soon colleges are founded at Bangor, Cardiff, and Swansea. 
1881 "Dry Sunday" is adopted in Wales. Pubs stay shut. 
1891 The "Tithe War" leads to the Tithe Act that transfers payments of tithes to the Anglican Church from resentful non-conformist tenants to the landlords. 
1906 Liberals sweep the General Election. 
1908 Lloyd George is made Chancellor of the Exchecquer. 

The Welsh in North America

Columbus, Ohio. Columbus had many very early settlers from both North and South Wales. The Welsh established Welsh Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations. Early Columbus had both Eisteddfod and Gymanfa celebrations on a regular basis. However, as the Welsh became more Americanized, much of this died out. A revival for the Gymanfa emerged in the Old Welsh Singing Society in the 40's. This has grown into the Welsh Society of Central Ohio. This is a very strong organization, the host of the 1998 National Gymanfa Ganu. It is the parent organization for this site. One interesting anecdote about the strength of the Welsh in the 1800's is the formation of the Franklin County Library. George Pugh approached Andrew Carnegie to seek funds for a library in Columbus. At first he was denied, but Mr. Pugh plead with Andrew Carnegie (a Scotsman) in Welsh and Mr. Carnegie was so impressed that he donated the funds.

Radnor, Ohio. Radnor is located in Delaware County, about 25 miles north of Columbus. It was settled in 1803, the same year that Ohio was admitted into the Union. In 1802, a young Welshman, David Pugh, came from Skreen Farm in the Parish of Lllandeilo Graban, on the Wye River, just a few miles from Hay on Wye. He sailed to Baltimore, where he met the minister of a Welsh Church, Samuel Jones. Dr. Jones had been given 20 thousand acres of land in the Virginia Military Lands for his service in the American Revolution. After learning English, David set out for the West. Traveling the old Zane Trace he turned North along the Scioto River, from Franklinton (now Columbus), and arrived at Dr. Jones's land. He surveyed it and laid out a town he named "New Delhi". He invited Henry Perry from North Wales with his two sons to settle and develop the community. He then returned to Philadelphia where Dr. Jones gave him 2,000 acres in payment for surveying and setting up the sale of his lands. David then returned to Wales where he arranged for his sisters and their husbands (John and Hannah Pugh Phillips, and David and Mary Pugh Penry) to return to the Ohio. Upon arrival, Henry Perry decided to move on further west. David Penry renamed the community Radnor in honor of his wife's old homeland. (David was from Gwenddwr Parish in Breconshire.) In the next few years, friends and relatives arrived from Wales (about 25 families). David Pugh went back to Philadephia in 1809 and married a young Irish girl he had met earlier, Jane Murphy. They returned to the Ohio in 1811, but did not return to Radnor. Instead they settled on Blacklick Creek in Franklin County. They became one of the most prominent and wealthy families in Columbus. His grandson George became Franklin County Auditor and Probate Court Judge, and in his capacity as President of the Ohio Agricultural Society, secured the site for the Ohio State Fairgrounds. He built roads and owned a series of tollgates and taverns along the old National Road (now U.S. 40). Back in Radnor, immigration ceased because of the war of 1812 and reopened in 1818, after which most of the immigrants came from North Wales. The town continued with an emphasis on farming, which it continues today. It is a quiet little town, with 27 homes on the National Register thanks to the efforts of the Radnor Heritage Society. A museum is opening this summer in the township hall and many old artifacts from the Welsh community will be on display. Evidence of the Welsh heritage is evident in the Old Welsh Congregational and Baptist Churches and the Welsh style graveyard on the hill in the center of town, where many tombstones are in Welsh. Unfortunately the Welsh tongue is no longer heard.

Gomer, Ohio. This little town in Northwest, Ohio has retained its Welsh flavor, especially in the old homes and the Church. Tours are given and and the town is reputed to have a great St. David's Day activity.

Jackson and Gallia Counties Ohio. "Little Cardiganshire" has retained its Welsh heritage, language, customs, and is one of the best known Welsh Communities in the United States. Indeed it is said that if you can't afford a trip to Wales, just visit Oak Hill. Museums, olld Welsh businesses, and culture abound. The Madog Center for Welsh Studies is located at Rio Grande University. Many Welsh are prominent in both the community and throughout the nation. The headquarters of Bob Evans Restaurants in located in Rio Grande.

Venedocia, Ohio. One of the first small Welsh towns to have its own home page. I will say no further. Please visit Venedocia, Ohio Home Page
Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee. A group of miners left Oak Hill, Ohio in the late 1800's when the mines opened around the towns of Soddy and Daisy, Tennessee. Although many of the residents still have the Welsh names, little remains of Welsh Culture. There are of course, many artifacts of the mining industry, but it appears that the settlers pretty much absorbed into the local culture.

Trinidad, Colorado. This information provided by Jim Joseph. Southern Colorado has a town called Trinidad that is famous for being the home, for a time, of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. It also had a small Welsh coal-mining population from Shawnee, Ohio who came West to seek their fortunes in the gold mines west of Colorado Springs in the latter part of the 19th Century. Jim's father remembered Welsh choirs singing sometimes on Saturday night in Shawnee.

Utah.It is estimated that 20 percent of the population of Utah are of Welsh descent. Many of them are there because of the efforts of Captain Dan Jones, of the immigrant ship Brooklyn, who brought shipload after shipload of settlers from Wales to America. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints had great missionary success in Wales in the 1830's and 1840's and many thousands of Welshman immigrated to America and moved West with Brigham Young in the great Mormon Migration beginning in 1847. The world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir began as a Welsh Choir in the Salt Lake Valley. Brigham Young had heard the Welsh immigrants singing the old hymns around their wagons on the trek west and was so impressed that he wanted them to sing at the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. They did so, reforming under the name "Mormon Tabernacle Choir." The LDS Church maintains the Gymanfa tradition. One of the largest Gymanfa Ganu's ever held in North America was at Brigham Young University in 1995, where a statue commemorating Captain Dan Jones was dedicated. Many dignitaries from Wales were in attendance. The LDS church still maintains a strong presence in Wales today. Of course anyone involved in genealogy is indebted to the efforts of the LDS Church whose Family History Centers around the world are a great boon to all, since they are open to the public. The strong influence of the Welsh is evident in the music of the Latter-Day Saints where Cwm Rhondda and many Welsh Hymns are sung on a regular basis. There are a number of Welsh and Celtic Societies active in Utah and Other Intermountain States.  The town of Malad, Idaho was a Welsh Mormon Settlement and the High School is known as the "Malad Dragons" and flies the Welsh Flag as school colors!

The Welsh in Patagonia (coming later)

A Welsh History Biography

Sharon Kay Penman. Ms. Penman writes historical fiction. Her novels of medieval Britain are highly acclaimed. She makes the period from the Norman Conquest through Richard III come alive. She does for history what Tolkien did for fantasy. Her characters leap off the page and the intricate fabric of life in those times is woven into a tapestry of brilliant color. Novels: The Sunne in Splendour, Here be Dragons, Falls the Shadow, The Reckoning, When Christ and His Saints Slept, The Queen's Man, and Cruel as the Grave. Her sympathetic treatment of Richard III has endeared her to members of the Richard III Society


A Brief History of Wales - An excellent historical survey
Owain Glyndwr Society.
Owain Glyndwr
Cymru / Wales - basic facts about Wales and a brief history of the land.
Home Page for the Fishguard Bicentenary A joint collaboration between Fishguard High School and the
University of Cardiff to provide knowledge about the Last Invasion of Britain at Fishguard
Sea Empress Oil Spill- information on the environmental damage and wildlife destruction following Britain's largest oil spill
elsh studies association. North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History is a multidisciplinary association of scholars, teachers and individuals based in North America and dedicated to advancing scholarship