Evan & Elizabeth Davis
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Portage County, Ohio
Palmyra and Parisville
It is believed that the first Welshman to settle in the Palmyra area came from Dihewyd parish, in Cardiganshire. Job Davies and his family came to the area in April 1831 and soon after arriving he sent a letter to an old friend of his - John Davies, Llwynrhigol - describing the country, the prices and the quality of the land. This letter was published in the periodical Seren Gomer and Job Davies' description of his new life in Palmyra must have made an impression on some of the readers because many moved to the area after the publication of this letter.
"This is a large agricultural district in the north-east part of the state. The land is better for growing hay and raising animals than it is to for producing Indian corn and wheat, the earth being heavy and clayey."These are the names of some of the earliest settlers in the Palmyra and Parisville region:
John Morgan, David John and his family and his brother, John John came from Llan-giwg parish, Glamorganshire, and arrived in the area in December 1831; Thomas Herbert and Job Morgan and their families left the same parish in 1832; in the same year Morgan Morgan and his family arrived from Eglwys Bach, Cardiganshire and in 1833 Rees Morgan emigrated from Llandybie, Carmarthenshire.
"It is not possible to buy farms in either district [Palmyra and Parisville] without paying from $30 and $50 an acre for them. Some Welshmen discovered 3 foot veins of block coal near Palmyra in 1865, and they are still being worked successfully."
According to one article published in Y Cyfaill o'r Hen Wlad, 200 to 300 Welsh families were living in the Palmyra area in 1840 and in another report which appeared in Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd in 1843, around 900 Welsh people were living there. R. D. Thomas ('Iorthryn Gwynedd') estimated that the Welsh population in Parisville was about 400 in 1872.
The Congregationalists and the Baptists built chapels in Palmyra and the Calvinistic Methodists had a small church and a chapel there as well.
A short description of Palmyra and Parisville can be found in:
General BibliographyW. Aubrey, 'Tramor: Y Sefydliadau Cymreig yn America', (the Welsh institutions in America) Yr Eurgrawn Wesleyaidd (1843), pp.253 - 255
The letter from Job Davies to John Davies, Seren Gomer (1831)
John S. Williams, 'Amrywiaeth: Adgofion o Daith trwy Ohio, &c' (Miscellany: memories of a journey through Ohio) (in three parts), Y Cyfaill o'r Hen Wlad (1840), pp.103 - 105; pp. 139 - 141; pp. 167 - 168.