Memory Stones - Purple Mountain Press


by Jay G. Williams III

From the introduction:

"This book is a comprehensive study of the Welsh settlements in the Central New York counties of Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego, Lewis, Osego and St. Lawrence . . . focused on churches because religion was central to the lives of most nineteenth-century Welsh-Americans. A history of the Welsh could not be written without discussing their religious commitment and fervor. A Welsh immigrant's week would frequently be consumed by attending various services, singing festivals, Bible study classes, and other events at the local chapel.

When the Welsh first came to Central New York, they often settled in close-knit communities. This allowed them to live where neighbors spoke the same language and where Welsh chapels were within walking distance. Residing in close proximity to a Welsh church was important, for in the early nineteenth century, many Welsh did not believe it was appropriate to drive their horses on the Sabbath. Therefore, the Welsh established many small chapels instead of a few large and centrally located ones.

In most settlements, no matter how small, there were at least two churches. The Welsh passion for religion often led to heated debates about minute points of doctrine. These disagreements frequently led chapels to split over theological issues."

"Readers will find fresh and fascinating information about the rise and decline of rural Welsh chapels. Those interested in genealogy will be guided through the thicket of Welsh names . . . a fine job." --David M. Ellis, Professor of History Emeritus, Hamilton College

"This book will prove to be a classic addition to the field of Welsh-Americana." --Edward G. Hartmann, Ph.D., author of Americans from Wales

This is the story of the Welsh in Central New York from the arrival of a handful of families in 1795 to the present. It is arranged as a series of church histories and combines important genealogicial information with stories about the life of each church.

Jay G. Williams III, an attorney from Utica, is a fifth-generation Welsh-American.

239 pages, illustrated, 6 x 9, index, 1993
$16.50 paperback--A Purple Mountain Press original

Copyright © 1998 Purple Mountain Press. All rights reserved.