Welsh-Americans made a significant impact on the culture of Americans and the history of the United States as can be seen in the following timeline detailing these immigrants to America.
King Offa of Mercia, a region in England, built Offa's Dyke as a boundary between England and Wales, starting the divisions between the two countries.
According to legend Prince Madoc of Gwynedd of Wales discovered America over 300 years before Christopher Columbus. He is said to have landed in Alabama and traveled up the Missouri. Descendents are referred to as 'Madoc Welsh Indians' and some believe their descendents were found in the Mandan tribe of Native American Indians.
King Edward I of England savagely conquered the Welsh and attempted to abolish all traces of their language and culture.
Wales was incorporated with England in the 1586 Act of Union between England and Wales.
The Mayflower Pilgrims landed in America and established the Plymouth Colony. One of the pilgrims was Jane Powys whose name indicates her Welsh heritage.
Immigrants from Wales, particularly those of the Baptist, Methodist, or Quaker religions, undertook the 3000 mile journey to the American colonies in search of a better life and religious freedom.
John Myles (c. 1621-1683), the founder of the first Baptist church in Wales, established a Welsh settlement in the Massachusetts colony.
William Penn established the Pennsylvania colony, which he first called "New Wales". A part of the land, covering 40,000 acres, was settled largely by Welsh-speaking Quakers led by John Roberts who immigrated to escape religious persecution in the homeland.
Over 30,000 Quakers from Wales immigrated to Pennsylvania during the late 1600's. Other early settlers purchased land in the Delaware colony, which they called the Welsh Tract. Many made their way to the New World as indentured servants.
The Transportation Act resulted in Welsh criminals being forcibly transported to America on a 7 year or 14 year convict bond service, depending on the severity of the crime.
Many of the settlers from Wales fought against British tyranny in the American War of Independence (1775–1783).
The Declaration of Independence included signers of Welsh descent such as William Floyd, Lewis Morris, Button Gwinnett, Francis Lewis and Robert Morris.
The year 1816 is known as the 'Poverty Year' or the 'Year Without a Summer'. Freezing temperatures, fog and heavy rains resulted in the failure of wheat, oats, and potato harvests and a terrible famine. Families were forced to travel long distances as refugees, begging for food. Some managed to migrate to the United States
Reverend Samuel Roberts (1800 - 1885 ) acquired land for a colony in Tennessee for his congregation in Llanbrynmair, Powys, Mid Wales. There were legal land disputes and many of the immigrants moved on to Ohio.
Thousands of Welsh coal miners immigrated to the US in the 1850's to work in the anthracite and bituminous coal mines of Pennsylvania. Other Welshmen found employment in the iron and steel industries.
The Panic of 1873 led to 6 year 'Long Depression' that led to civil unrest and strikes and an increase in Anti-immigrant sentiments.
From 1881 - 1920 immigrants from Wales only totaled 53,768 - a very small number compared to the massive influx of immigrants from other countries.
The Welsh Immigration to America decreased those who wanted to emigrate turned to Canada and Australia.
Welsh Immigration to America Timeline
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