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Ancestry

Wales has a history of descendents across the globe. Did you know that sixteen of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence in America in 1776 had Welsh roots, including Thomas Jefferson?

The first Welsh immigrants to America and Canada were as early as the 1600s. In South America a strong colony of Welsh-speaking ancestors remain today.

Many people also migrated to Wales from across the world thanks to the boom of the coal industry. Records show that between 1851 and 1911, around 366,000 people came to the South Wales area to set up home.

The migration of people in and out of Wales has left a significant number of Welsh descendants worldwide. Kylie Minogue, Anthony Hopkins, Donny Osmond and Tom Cruise are among some of the celebrities across the world with Welsh ancestors.

If you have a surname such as Jones, Evans and Davies (three of the most popular Welsh surnames), it’s possible that you might have Welsh roots too!

Useful links -

Canada and Australia:

The National Archives, Canada
Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies
Ellis Island Shipping Records
Immigration Direct

Help in the USA:

The National Archive and Records Service, Washington DC
The Immigration & Naturalization Service, New York