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The Rev. Michael D. Jones (1822-98), c.1885

The Rev. Michael D. Jones (1822-98), c.1885 The Reverend Michael D. Jones (1822-98), was born in the village of Llanuwchllyn, near Bala. Jones was a Welsh patriot and Congregationalist minister, and is widely regarded as the pioneer of the movement to establish a Welsh settlement in Patagonia. Following a period of study in Carmarthen and London, in 1848 he travelled to Ohio, United States of America, where his sister had settled in 1837. He was ordained minister at Cincinnati, where he witnessed the great hardships faced by many Welsh emigrants on arrival in their new communities. Jones remained in the United States for two years, and it was during this period that he formed his vision of establishing an 'independent' Welsh settlement, free from English and American influences. Soon after returning to Wales, Jones was appointed Principal of Bala Congregationalist College where he became embroiled in a bitter dispute. However, his vision to establish a new Welsh settlement remained at the forefront of his mind, and he soon began to muster support for the idea. Many of his fellow Welshmen shared the view that their language, religion and way of life were being oppressed by the English ruling class, and were keen to hear more about his plans. Despite investing a large amount of time and money in the Patagonia project, Jones and his wife stayed in Wales. He travelled to the Settlement in 1882, but this was to be his only visit to Patagonia. Jones married Anne Lloyd in 1859 and settled in their new home at Bodiwan, Bala. They had four children: Llwyd, Mihangel, Myfanwy a Maironwen. The two sons settled in South America: Llwyd in Patagonia and Mihangel in Buenos Aires. Tragically, Llwyd died in 1909 when he was shot by bandits. Myfanwy married Professor Thomas Rhys, of Bala-Bangor College and the youngest daughter, Maironwen, died a few months before her father. Michael D. Jones died at Bodiwan on 2 December 1898 and he was buried in the cemetery of Hen Gapel, Llanuwchllyn.

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Item reference: cnp00459

This item comes from::Department of Manuscripts and Archives, University of Wales, Bangor

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