• Gadael Cymru
    ​Leaving Wales

Pam oedd pobl eisiau symud o Gymru yn y lle cyntaf?    
        

Mae Cymru yn wlad mor brydferth felly pam deithiodd miloedd o longau o borthladdoedd fel Lerpwl yn llawn dop o allfudwyr llawn gobaith oedd yn gadael gyda'r un pwrpas sef dechrau bywyd gwell tramor? 

Mae'r rhesymau yn gymhleth ond gawn ni grynhoi mewn un prif rheswm: Y Chwyldro Diwydiannol. Roedd yr angen ar gyfer cynhyrchu haearn yn arwain at yr angen i gloddio glo ac roedd y pyllau glo angen gwethlu anferth. Newidiwyd demograffig gwledig Cymru am byth wrth i lowyr o'r Gogledd symud i ddyffrynnoedd De Cymru lle ymunwyd ‚ nhw gan grwpiau o lowyr o Loegr. Daeth y Gymraeg yn ail iaith yn ei gwlad ei hunan a'r Saesneg yn iaith gynnydd. Roedd y tirfeddianwyr - a oedd yn aml yn berchnogion y mwyngloddau a'r pyllau glo a'r ffwrneisi a'r gweithfeydd smeltio - yn siarad Saesneg ac roedd disgwyl y byddai'r tenantiaid hefyd yn siarad Saesneg gyda'u meistri a mynychu'r eglwys nid y capel. Roedd bywyd yn galed, roedd tlodi yn gyffredin ac roedd atyniad bywyd newydd yn yr Amerig yn un grymus.

Gadael Lerpwl
Roedd atyniad dyfodol gwell yn gryfach na baich y presennol ac aeth teuluoedd cyfan i chwilio eu ffortiwn yn yr Amerig lle y byddan nhw'n rhydd i ddilyn eu crefydd eu hunain, siarad eu hiaith eu hunain a ffermio eu tir eu hunain. Llifodd y llythyrau yn ôl i Brydain yn adrodd hanesion am fywyd gwell. Ffurfiwyd cymdeithas Cymraeg mawr ym Mhennsylvania a ffynnodd y gymuned. Er hynny roedd rhai o'r ymfudwyr a aeth allan gyda'r syniad o gadw'r traddodiadau oedd yn cael eu colli yng Nghymru yn gweld eu bod nhw yn cael eu gwanhau o dan ddylanwd grwpiau eraill o ymfudwyr. Beth allai rhywun wneud i sicrhau bod hyn ddim yn digwydd? Camai Michael D. Jones i fewn i'n hanes ni...

Michael D.Jones
Roedd Michael D.Jones ei hunan wedi ymfudo i Ogledd America lle hyfforddodd fel gweinidog ond gwelodd bod y Cymry yn colli eu hunaniaeth yn fuan ac felly dechreuodd breuddwydio am greu 'Gwladva' mewn rhan arall o'r byd lle y byddai'n bosib diogelu'r iaith a'r diwylliant. Ym 1856 dechreuodd grwp yn California siarad am Batagonia fel lleoliad posibl ar gyfer y gymuned hon. Yn ôl yn y Bala, dechreuodd Michael D. Jones hyrwyddo'r syniad gyda sÍl crefyddol, gydag Edwin Cynrig Roberts, un arall oedd wedi allfudo i'r Amerig ond i ddychwelyd yn siomedig, yn teithio o gwmpas Cymru yn chwilio am eraill i gadw cwmni iddo ar ei daith i'r Ariannin. Ym 1861 ffurfiwyd Cymdeithas Wladychol Lerpwl i drefnu'r fentr ac ym mhlith yr arweinyddion dyn o'r enw Lewis Jones. 

Paratoi'r Wladfa

Ym 1862 aeth Edwin Roberts yng nghmwni dyn oedd yn mynd i fod yn hanfodol i ariannu'r prosiect, y Capten Love Jones-Parry, i Buenos Aires i siarad telerau gyda Llywodraeth yr Ariannin ac i Batagonia i weld y tir oedd ar gynnig i'r Cymry. Dychwelon nhw i Gymru gyda straeon ffafriol iawn a oedd, fel profodd yr ymfudwyr cyntaf, yn rhy ffafriol o lawer! Ym mis Mawrth 1863 arwyddwyd y cyntunedeb rhwng yr Ariannin a'r Cymry oedd yn cynnig 100 acer i bob teulu a gyrhaeddodd Patagonia. Aethpwyd ati i gasglu anifeiliad, bwyd a nwyddau ar gyfer y fintai gyntaf a fyddai'n cyrraedd Patagonia er mwyn sefydlu cymuned - y mwyaf deheuol gan Ewropiaid yn yr Ariannin yn y cyfnod.

Why did People Want to Leave Wales in the First Place?


Wales is such a beautiful country so why did thousands of ship leave ports like Liverpool packed full of hopeful emigrants all with the sole purpose of seeking a better life abroad?

The reasons are complex but let's choose one main cause: the Industrial Revolution. Iron needed to be produced which led to the need to mine coal and the coal mines needed huge work-forces. The rural demographic of Wales changed for ever as miners from the North moved to the valleys of South Wales where they were joined in turn by groups of miners from England. The Welsh became a second language in its own country. The landowners who often owned the quarries and coal mines and furnaces and the smelting works spoke English and the tenants were expected to speak English with their masters and attend church , not chapel. Life was hard, poverty rife and the attraction of the new life in America was a powerful one.

Leaving Liverpool
The pull of the promise of a better future was stronger than the burden of the present and whole families went to seek their fortunes in America where they would be free to follow their own religion, speak their own language and farm their own land. Letters flooded back to Britain with accounts of a better life. A large Welsh community was formed in Pennsylvania and it thrived. Despite this many emigrants who went out to America with the idea of maintaining the traditions that were being lost in Wales saw that they were now being diluted under the influence of other emigrant groups. What could be done to stop this happening? In steps Michael D. Jones to our history...

Michael D. Jones
Michael D. Jones had himself emigrated to North America where he trained as a minister but he saw that the Welsh were quick to lose their identity and so he started to dream of creating a 'Gwladva' (Colony) in another part of the world where it would be possible to safeguard the language and culture. In 1856 a group in California began to consider Patagonia a possible location for this community. Back in Bala, Wales, Michael D. Jones began promoting the idea with religious fervour, whilst Edwin Cynrig Roberts, who had also emigrated to America only to return disappointed, was travelling around Wales searching for others to accompany him on a journey to South America. In 1861 the Cymdeithas Wladychol Lerpwl (Liverpool Colonial Society) was formed to organise the venture and amongst its leaders was one Lewis Jones.

Preparing The 'Gwladfa'

In 1862 Edwin Roberts went, along with a man who was going to play a key role in funding the venture, Captain Love Jones -Parry to Buenos Aires to talk terms with the Argentine government and then onto Patagonia to see the land that was to be offered to the Welsh. They returned to Wales with very favourable tales which were, as was proved by the first settlers, far too favourable for the truth! In March 1863 an agreement was signed between Argentina and Wales which offered 100 acres to each family which arrived in Patagonia. Roberts started the work of getting together animals, food and produce for the first party who would arrive in Patagonia in order to set up the colony the most southerly European settlement in Argentina at the time.