Dating back to the 17th century it is believed that the Quakers were the fore fathers of Welsh emigration to the USA, settling originally in Pennsylvania and later establishing a colony that is known today as Cambria County.
However, it was later in the 19th century when emigration accelerated significantly with many of the settlers seeking employment opportunities in the coal mining regions of Ohio and Pennsylvania and the slate quarries of New York and Vermont. The rich farmlands of Midwest States Minnesota and Kansas also attracted Welsh farmers and land workers and in the Southern State of Tennessee there is a reported high proportion of residents thought to be of Welsh ancestry particularly in the industrial city of Knoxville.
It is also interesting to note the influence of Welsh culture in the USA . Chicago for example is home to the Tafia Welsh Society, the Welsh Womens Club of Illinois and the Cambrian Benevolent Society. In Los Angeles, the St.David’s Day Festival, and in Portland, the West Coast Eisteddfod are both annual events and the National Welsh Gymanfa Ganu Association also holds the annual National Festival of Wales in various locations throughout the country, offering seminars on a variety of cultural interests and show casing welsh goods and products.
According to the 2008 US Census it was estimated that over 2 million Americans citizens are of Welsh descent and that 3.8% of the population boast a Welsh surname- not to mention a possible famous family relative such as Abraham Lincoln or Bettie Davis!!!
So if you are trying to trace your ancestry, you need to gather and collate as much information as you can about your family such as;
- Their full name
- Dates of Birth
- Town or City of Birth or Residence
- Marital Status
- Known Occupation
Speak to your family and other relatives and friends as they may be able to furnish you with important factual details and fill in any missing gaps!
Once you have sufficient information to start your search it’s worth while checking out the following official record sources for additional data, and also for confirmation of the details you already have;
- Births, Deaths and Marriage Records
- Census Report Records
- Parish Records
- Historical Records
There are also excellent Ancestry and Genealogy search sites available on the internet such as;
- Genes Reunited
Research the site that best suits your requirements and do bear in mind that the free sites will only provide you with basic information. For best results we recommend that you choose a professional and well established site that best suits your budget and although a fee will be incurred, many offer a free trial period so you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving them a try.