Skip to content
May 25, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham County’s Welshmen & “Y Drych”


Those of us familiar with the history of Buckingham County, Virginia are aware of the important contribution made by the Welsh immigrants who owned and worked in the slate quarries and lived at Arvonia.

Far from isolated once they lived in central Virginia, Welsh families shared news about their lives in Buckingham County in Y Drych (The Mirror), a widely-read Welsh American newspaper published in Utica, New York.

The challenge, of course, is that the researcher must be able to read Welsh.  Fortunately for readers of Slate River Ramblings, a generous and historically-minded Welshman voluntarily translated some entries sent from Buckingham County.  Here is an example, with more to come.

This appeared in Y Drych on November 8, 1894:

ARVONIA, VA., Nov 1 – The Rev. Lot Lake of Nashville, Tennessee paid a visit to this place, and he preached to us in Welsh and English. He is very acceptable here, as he possesses the necessary ability to attract people after him. I believe we should be more united when a Welshman preaches amongst us. Mr Lake can make himself very at home with us. On the morning of the second Sabbath he preached in Welsh; and in the evening he turned to say a little in English, and it was evidenced by us all that he spoke the truth with vigour. During the week he preached every other night in the Hall where the Congregationalists gather. On the morning of the third Sabbath he preached at the chapel of the Presbyterians, and the afternoon and evening in the Hall. He received many to the Congregational fold; therefore you can see that his labours were not in vain.

Cofion cynnes to Iwan Hughes for this translation!

Click here for a description of Y Crych (The Mirror) at

Also visit the archive at Welsh Newspapers Online.

This digitized archive of the newspaper contains about 45,000 pages which include biographical information, readers’ letters, and the Welsh point of view on a wide variety of subjects.

There is much more about Arvonia and the slate quarries in the archives at Slate River Ramblings.  Try searching the keywords Arvonia and slate.  Enjoy the results!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: