Tag Archives: Mimosa

Troed-y-rhiw & Patagonia

Those attending last Thursday’s meeting of Troed-y-rhiw Local History Forum were treated to an extremely interesting and enjoyable talk given by E. Wyn James. The content of the talk included:-

  1. 153 Welsh emigrants departed from Liverpool in 1865 on an aging clipper called the Mimosa in search of a place where they would be free to speak their own language, practice their religion and preserve a culture that they felt was under threat at home.
  2. After an arduous eight-week sea voyage these pioneers landed on the coast of Patagonia in southern Argentina.
  3. Amongst their number were Aaron Jenkins and his wife Rachel who had been members of Saron Chapel in Troed-y-rhiw and were to become prominent in the new community. They brought with them their children one of whom had been born at sea but, sadly, died quite soon after landing while another had not survived the journey.
  4. The settlers were to suffer many hardships while they were establishing what would eventually become a thriving agricultural community.
  5. They received early help from the native Teheulche Indians and, after several crop failures, it was Rachel Jenkins who made the key observation that allowed an effective irrigation system to be developed.
  6. Sadly, Aaron Jenkins was to become the victim of the first murder in the settlement when he was killed by a captured bandit.
  7. Aaron Jenkins’ son Richard Jenkins, who had been born in Troed-y-rhiw, would later become one of the leaders of the community.
  8. Although, over the years, some members of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia were to return to Wales or translocated to other places including Canada, overall the inward flow of Welsh immigrants continued up to the time of the First World War.
  9. The last wave of settlers included members of the Day family of Troed-y-rhiw. Descendants of the Patagonian and Troed-y-rhiw branches of this family are in contact today.
  10. The Welsh-Argentine community is centred on Gaiman, Trelew and Trevelin  in the Chubut province of Patagonia. It has been estimated that the population of this region is now 150,000 with 50,000 able to claim Welsh ancestry around 5,000 of whom are Welsh speakers.
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A link from Troedyrhiw to Patagonia

 

During last Saturday’s Volunteer Day in the historic Saron Graveyard, Troedyrhiw we were surprised but extremely pleased to receive visitors from Patagonia who had come looking for a family grave.

Victor Griffiths and his friend Myriam are from the small town of Gaiman in the Chubut valley of southern Argentina. It was in this region that Welsh settlers established a colony following a first arrival in 1865 and Victor is able to trace his ancestry back to a time which came just after this earliest period.

Those family members left behind in Wales included the Days of Troedyrhiw and Victor was very pleased to be shown the grave of Mary and Arthur William Day. Fortunately John Day, the one member of this family that still lives in the village, has been an enthusiastic supporter of this project from its beginning and one of our group was able to take Victor and Myriam to meet him for only the second time. This was, understandably, a very warm reunion.

Friends of Saron intend to remain in contact with Victor Griffiths with a view towards obtaining more information about his family history and its links with Troedyrhiw.

For more about the Welsh colony in Patagonia visit www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29611380 to find out about some of the impressions which a visit to the Chubut valley left on Professor E. Wyn James who, as many will know, hails from Troedyrhiw.