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In 1865, a Welsh speaking colony was established in the valley of the Chubut River in Patagonia Argentina. The original emigrants sailed from Liverpool on the Mimosa and they were joined in the 1880s by a second wave of emigrants and a further colony was established in the foothills of the Andes. Although measures were later taken to remove some of the colonists to Canada and South Africa, most of the settlers and their descendants remained in Argentina. The National Archives holds a vast amount of material relating to this relatively unknown but fascinating episode in British history. This talk looks at the main records relating to the history and development of the settlement from the earliest days to modern times, and examines why the Welsh travelled to Patagonia, what they encountered when they got there, and how the colony developed over the years.
This talk looks at immigration into Britain from the 16th to the 20th century and the relatively few sources that can be used to trace immigrants entering, and living, in this country. Records discussed can provide vital clues to the overseas origins of denizens or naturalised British citizens, as well as providing insight into their first years in their adopted country.
Paul Smith, company archivist of Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, offers a general account of the holdings of the Thomas Cook Archives, with particular reference to records that might prove useful for family historians, such as staff magazines, contracts of employment and passenger lists. The talk also provides a brief history of the Thomas Cook organisation, and explains the importance of its archives for anyone, from academics to film producers, with an interest in the history of travel since the mid-19th century.