How the Wesh colonised Patagonia in Argentina is the subject of a talk at the National Archives in Kew, London, on Thursday this week.
In 1865 a group of Welsh emigrants left Liverpool on the tea clipper Mimosa bound for the New World to establish a Welsh speaking colony in the valley of the Chubut River in Patagonia, Argentina.
After initial hardships, including lack of vegetation and food, they successfully established their colony literally called, Y Wladfa or 'The Colony' which is still a thriving community today.
Y Wladfa as its name suggests was almost completely Welsh in character; the language was used in church, schools and by the municipal authority. In time a second colony was established in the foothills of the Andes, east of the Argentine border with Chile, and this was called Cwm Hyfryd (Pleasant Valley).
For some 50 years, the language and traditions and laws of Wales remained current across a swathe of Argentine Patagonia, and many Welsh traditions live on today.
Within the numerous documents detailing the history of the colony at The National Archives are the names of settlers, their descendents as well as emigration to and from the colony.
It is also clear from these records that relations between the Welsh and the local native Patagonians were very good and that the descendents of the settlers regard themselves as Welsh Argentines.
Bruno Derrick, Records Specialist - Maritime and Transport, The National Archives, said , "Archives are breath taking in their power to speak across the centuries. This is a story of hardship and heroism and these documents, some not seen by public until today, will enable visitors to explore the remarkable hidden history of the Welsh settlement in Patagonia during the second half of the nineteenth century."