Welsh History in California

“The Welsh helped  build America by digging”

Miners For COAl

The Welsh in California

Like Ireland, one of the principle exports of Wales has long been its people. Many Welsh people went west on boats chartered to bring them to the New World, and when they arrived they had to make a living using the skills they already possessed – and in California that was principally as miners.

Before the transcontinental railroad, California needed coal to fuel its industry and provide heat. So many Welshmen arrived to work in the mines that they were able to have church services in Welsh.

One such church and community was in the coalfield in West Pittsburg at Nortonville, which is now a State Park.






One response to “Welsh History in California”

  1. Joyce Parsons Ridge Avatar
    Joyce Parsons Ridge

    My paternal Parsons and Watkins grandparents came to Pennsylvania as children in the 1800’s. Both of
    the families worked in the coal mines. Both of my grandparents also had those beautiful Welsh voices and
    participated in singing contests, Welsh choirs, sang at weddings and were in the choir at our Welsh
    Congregational church in New Castle, PA. I have wonderful memories of those days as a child. I was
    confirmed in that church. We moved to California in 1966 when I was 20 years old. Sweet love memories.

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