Evan & Elizabeth Davis
Licking County, Ohio
Granville, Newark and the Welsh Hills
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Land purchaseIn 1801 Theophilus Rees and Thomas Phillips bought 2,000 acres of land between Granville and Newark and later that year Theophilus Rees sent his son, John, there to build a cabin, clear part of the land and sow wheat. By 1802, Rees and his family were ready to move to the and start farming there.
Further information about and can be found in History of the Welsh settlements in Licking County by Isaac Smucker.
The growth of the Welsh community in Licking County
"It is an excellent place for serving-men and workmen: some, who had failed to get enough milk, potatoes, and barley bread in Wales, had their fill and to spare of wheat bread and other fruits."A number of Welsh settlers were attracted to the area in the years that followed. It is estimated that there were about 15 to 20 families living in Licking County in 1817 and by 1843 there are believed to have been almost 800 Welsh settlers in the Welsh Hills. The names of to move to the Welsh Hills were recorded by Isaac Smucker.
He also describes and the characteristics of .
"Newark is a fast-growing town, on the banks of the canal leading from Lake Erie the River Ohio. Many Welsh craftsmen dwell here, and live extremely comfortably."There was plenty of work for the settlers. At that time the town of Newark was developing fast and there was a demand for workers to lay the railroad between Newark and Lake Erie. There was a good living to be made by farmers and craftsmen too, as R. D. Thomas ('Iorthryn Gwynedd') testified when he visited the area in 1851. , p.24 (only available in Welsh), he recorded the information given him by one homesteader, near Newark, about his livestock and crops. He lists the of corn, Indian corn, oats, butter, cheese and good-quality cheese, potatoes, bacon, mutton, beef, poultry and wool. He also noted the for a mason, a carpenter, a cartwright, a blacksmith, a tailor, a shoemaker, a laborer and a maidservant in Newark and how much a "good man" and a 15-year old boy would earn annually on a farm. At the end of the notebook he lists the names of
The Welsh Chapels and Churches of Licking CountyDetails of the early Welsh chapels and churches in Licking County can be found in History of the Welsh settlements in Licking County by Isaac Smucker:
Something of the history of the Welsh chapels and churches of , and the is also recorded in Hanes Cymry America (A History of the Welsh in America).
Digitized materials held at NLW
Brief descriptions of Newark, Granville and the Welsh Hills can be found in:
(Only available in Welsh)
(Only available in Welsh)
Materials digitized in Ohio
General bibliographyIsaac Smucker, 'Historical Sketch of the Welsh Hills, Licking County, O.,' (in two parts) The Cambrian, Vol. I, No. 2 (March/April), pp. 46-53; Vol. I, No. 3 (May/June 1880), pp. 81-6.
William Harvey Jones, 'Welsh Settlements in Ohio', (in three parts) The Cambrian, Volume XXVII, No. 8 (July-September 1907), pp. 344-50.
Rev. E. I. Jones, 'Congregationalism in Newark, Ohio', The Cambrian, Vol. XXIII, No. 12 (Rhagfyr 1903), pp. 495-98
LinksWelsh Society of Central Ohio - WSCO
History of Licking County, O. Its Past and Present