NAFOW Calgary 2016

NAFOW Calgary 2016

FROM WALES TO WOOD RIVER, ALBERTA, CANADA

Between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, lies a farming community named Ponoka. In the very early 1900s, to the east of Ponoka, grew a community of Welsh farmers. Their community was given the name of Wood River.

Many of the people who settled there came from North Wales including Anglesey as well as from mid-Wales. In a short history of this area, compilers and editors, Kelt Hughes and Griff Jones refer to many of the people who came from farms and villages such as Deiniolen, Llanfairfechan, Llanbrynmair, Pennal, Llangefni, Chwilog, Festiniog, the Dyfferin Ceiriog Valley, Pont Robert, Rhosgadfan, Groeslon, Pentrefelin, Harlech, Llanddausant, Bontddu, Carno, Arthog, Bryngwran, Eglwysfach, Pentre Felin, Machynlleth, Aber and Groeslon.

Many of the settlers also came from South Wales districts including Cardigan, Tredegar, Llanddewi Brefi, and Pembroke.

[Source: From Wales to Wood River – A Short History of the Welsh Who Settled this Area.]

Check out the Galleries page ‘Farming in Wood River near Ponoka, Alberta’ on this site for some photos of the area. Below is a photo of Hugh T Jones and his late wife Margaret. Hugh’s grandfather came from Chwilog.

HughT&MargaretJonesPonoka

6 Comments to FROM WALES TO WOOD RIVER, ALBERTA, CANADA

  1. Wenna Williams says:

    My great grandmother’s brother John Richard Jones settled in Wood River marrying his childhood sweetheart from Wales. They are both buried in Zion Cemetery , Mount Pleasant. their children went to Magic School. Any answers ??????

  2. Wenna Williams says:

    I love the comments added above but living in North Wales in Rhuddlan, Denbighshire, I a only an hour or two from Dyffryn Ceiriog where John Richard Jones was born and bred, but who in 1910 came over to Canada and became one of the Ponoka settlers building a homestead called Bryn Ceiriog in Wood River. His children went to Magic School. I really would love to speak to someone who shared these experiences
    Wenna

    • Peter Bates says:

      I find the comments above from Wenna Williams very interesting. My great great grandmother was a sister to John Richard Jones who went to Wood River in 1910. I live in the Ceiriog Valley and am in regular contact with J R’s family in Alberta. In fact some of them are coming over to visit the Ceiriog Valley next week. I must be related to Wenna in the same way as I am related to J R’s family. Which one of J R’s sisters was her great grandmother? How do I make contact with Wenna?

  3. Rhys says:

    Hello, I found your website while researching family history for the Ponoka area, I have a relative that moved from LLanfairfechan to the area . I’ve come across several sites quoting the title From WAles to wood river I believe it to be a published book from the 80’s. If searched high and low to find a place one can purchase this book, as you,ve mentioned the title in you website did you manage to purchase one ? Would be great full for sny guidance, I’m on th other side of the pond in the Uk many thanks Rhys

  4. Peter Bates says:

    I find the comments above from Wenna Williams very interesting. My great great grandmother was a sister to John Richard Jones who went to Wood River in 1910. I live in the Ceiriog Valley and am in regular contact with J R’s family in Alberta. In fact some of them are coming over to visit the Ceiriog Valley next week. I must be related to Wenna in the same way as I am related to J R’s family. Which one of J R’s sisters was her great grandmother? How do I make contact with Wenna?

  5. Wenna Williams says:

    A lovely site – would love to find some younger relatives

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