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The Welsh Congregational Church
Centerville, Allegany County, New York

Map showing area of Welsh Congregational Church From 1846 to 1928, the Welsh Congregationalists were associated with Congregational churches known under several names at several locations in the Centerville-Fairview area.

After 1840 Welsh Congregationalists settled in Centerville and Fairview, Allegany County, New York. They came from Welsh settlements in central New York and from Wales itself. The Welsh Congregationalists (also called Independents) worshipped at several sites. At first all the Welsh in the area (Baptists, Congregationalists, and Calvinistic Methodists) worshipped together in union meetings. The Baptists, primarily located in the Freedom Flats area, organized separately in 1843. Before 1846 Welsh Congregationalists and Calvinistic Methodists met together on the western side of the Town of Centerville, an area referred to as "the Welsh Settlement." For a time they met at the schoolhouse on the Freedom side of the County Line Road.

The map above was sketched while on a hike of the area in the early 1990s.

The Congregationalists built their first meeting house, called Carmel, in 1847 on Lot 59 on the County Line Road on the Centerville side, just opposite the Freedom schoolhouse. An 1846 building contract is in the church records in Boston, MA. A portion of the lot was used for burials. The church and schoolhouse are no longer standing. The original Carmel church of 1847 is said to have burned down after a lightning strike in the early 1920s.

In 1865 a new church, initially called Bethel, was constructed several miles south at Fairview Corners, Centerville, Lot 57. A new church building replaced it in 1902. During much of this time the church was referred to as the Fairview Welsh Congregational Church. The church was closed about 1928. Sometime after that the church was torn down with various sections incorporated into other nearby buildings.

Early burials were made at what is now the County Line Cemetery in the back portion of Lot 59. Later burials for many Fairview Welsh were made at the Siloam Cemetery, Maple Grove Road, Freedom, NY. The Fairview and Siloam Welsh Congregational churches shared a minister for many years.

After the closure of the Fairview church, a local individual probably connected to the church may have kept the records at home as there are some children's scribblings on some of the pages.. At some point the records were transferred to Congregational Church authorities. They became part of the Lisle Collection, "a storeroom of old records" at the retreat center maintained by the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ at Lisle, NY, south of Syracuse. Contents of most of the boxes were intermingled from one church to another, some materials were not even identified. In 1979 this archive was transferred to the Congregational Library in Boston where it was organized and made available.


Description of the Church Records

Welsh Congregational Church, Fairview, NY. Records. 1846-1922. Lisle Collection Series VII, Congregational Library, Boston, MA.

Item 70: Church records. Minutes, 1851-1922. 2 vols.
a. 1851-1865
b. 1905-1922

Item 71: Church records. Membership lists, 1852-1881. 2 vols.
a. 1852
b. 1868-1881

Item 72: Church records. Diaconal accounts, 1846-1894. 1 vol.

Membership Lists 1846-1915 and Baptisms 1846-1848

The following lists were transcribed by Barbara Henry from the original church records in the Congregational Library in Boston, Massachusetts. Membership lists were organized by year. The entire membership was listed for some years, other years list only those individuals who joined that year. Name groupings and order have been retained as close as possible to those of the original records. The records also refer to trustees, pastors, and others associated with the church whose names may or may not appear on these lists. The original records are available at the Congregational Library, 14 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108.

Baptisms 1846-1848

Baptized by Rev. John D. Edwards
June 7 [1846] the following infants
Son of Richard and Jane Pugh, his name Owen J. [or L.]
Son of David and Martha Jones, his name Edward
Daughter of John and Elisabeth Owens, her name Elisabeth

Baptized by Rev. David Jenkins
March 7, 1847 daughter of Owen and mary Owens, her name Jane
May 2, 1847 son of Rowland and Elizabeth, his name Joseph
Feb. 1, 1848 son of John and Elisabeth Owens, his name John

Membership Lists 1846-1915

1846 Founding Members
Richard and Jane Pugh from Utica, Oneida Co.
David and Martha Jones from Wales
Rowland and Elizabeth Edmunds from Wales
G. Griffith and Elinor from Remsen, Oneida Co.
Evan Griffith from Steuben, Oneida Co.
Margaret Mastyn [possible "Marsden"?] from Wales
Wiliam Davis and Elizabeth Evans from Utica, Oneida Co.
Fanny Thomas from Wales
Cathrine Thomas
Owen and Mary Owens from Wales
John Thomas

1846
Cathrine Thomas
Thomas Evans
Elisabeth Owens
David Jenkins and Elizabeth Jenkins, he from Wales, she from Utica

1847
John Roberts
Jenkins Jones
Jane Jones
Margaret Thomas from NY T.C.
Cathrine Thomas

1848
Richard and Elizabeth Jones
Margaret James from Bryn Sion T.C.
John Davis from Bryn Sion T.C.
Margaret Davis from Bryn Sion T.C.
Benjamin Davis from Bryn Sion T.C.
Elizabeth Davis from Bryn Sion T.C.
Margaret Owens from Bryn Sion T.C.
Ellis Roberts and wife Elizabeth
William Thomas
Evan Evans
Elinor Evans
Sarah James
Richard Humphreys
Mrs. Mary Humphreys
Mary Roberts
John Griffiths

1849
Margaret Roberts
David Morgans
Richard Morgans
Thomas Morgans and wife
John Jones and wife Elinor Joens
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Owens
John Jones
David Powel and wife from Remsen

1850
Miss Ann Williams from Remsen
Magdalen Williams from Remsen, Penygraig
Ann Roberts
William Roberts and wife from Wales
David D. Davies and wife, Ixonia, Wisconsin
William Gibbin recd by letter from Eglwys Glandwr, Pembrokeshire, Wales

1852
John B. Davies and Mrs. Davies
Benjamin Davies and Mrs. Davies
Evan Davies and Mrs. Davies
David Davies and Mrs. Davies
Rowland Edmunds and Mrs. Edmunds
Cathrine Edmunds
Jane Edmunds
Evan Evans and Mrs. Evans
Elizabeth Edwards
Griffith G. Griffiths and Mrs. Griffiths
Evan Griffiths and Mrs. Griffiths
John R. Giffiths
James Griffiths
Elizabeth Griffiths
Margaret Gibbon
Griffith Gibbon
Mrs. Gibbon
William Gibby
Edward Gibby
Richard Humphreys and Mrs. Humphreys
John R. Jones and Mrs. Jones
Robert Jones and Mrs. Jones
Robert Jones, Jr.
William Jones
Richard Jones and Mrs. Jones
Jenkin Jones and Mrs. Jones
Thomas John
Mrs. James County Line
Miss Sarah James
Thomas Morgans and Mrs. Morgans
David Morgans
Richard Morgans
Cathrine Morgans
William Morris
Owen Owens and Mrs. Owens
Richard Owens and Mrs. Owens
Mrs. Thomas Owens
Mrs. John Owens
Humprhey Parry and Mrs. Parry
Ellis Roberts and Mrs. Roberts
Mrs. Roberts widow
Mrs. Richard Roberts
Mrs. Rowlands
John Thomas and Mrs. Thomas
Mrs. Thomas Thomas
William Williams and Mrs. Williams
Eliza Williams
Mrs. Samuel Williams
Mrs. Evan Williams
Ann Williams

1868-69
Rowland Edmund
Elizabeth Edmund
Griffith G. Griffiths
Elenor Griffiths
Hugh Griffiths
John W. Griffiths
Jane Griffiths
Griffith H. Evans
Jane Evans
Elizabeth Edmunds
Evan J. Evans
Ellen Evans
John W. Evans
William J. Williams
Sarah Williams
Mary Ann Williams
Ann Owens
James Williams
Samuel Williams
Caleb Morris
Elizabeth Morris
Paul Morris
Ismael Davies
Mary Davies
Sarah Symes
Mary Davies
Maria Davies
Margaret Davies
Ann Davies
Mary Peet
Sarah Peet
Margaret Davies
Margaret Lewis
John R. Griffith
Marsley Griffith
Elizabeth Jones
Anne Jones
Ellin Jones
John Linard

1869
John R. John rec'd as member (letter from Canada)
Jonah G. Thomas rec'd April 6 (letter from Old Counrty)

1885
John E. Reese
Hugh Griffith
John A. Griffith
Ishmael Davies
Mary E. Davies
Samuel Davies
Rowland Edmunds (died 18 March 1887)
Elizabeth Edmunds (removed to Oshkosh, Wisconsin 1887)
Mr. Elizabeth Griffith
John Evans
John Leonard
John R. Johns
Mary Johns
Mary Owens
Elizabeth Jones
Elizather Thomas
James Williams
Jonah G. Thomas
Jane Thomas
Mariah Thomas
Sarah Peet
Sarah Williams
Margaret Davies
Margaret Williams
Elizabeth James
Mariah James

Additional members received

1886
Rev. Edward Roberts, pastor
Morgan A. Johns
Thomas Johns
Myra Johns
Martha Johns
Sarah A. Thomas
Edward Owens
Thomas Owens

1887
Samuel B. Williams

1888
Richard Owens

Richard E. Williams
Jane Williams
Anna M. Williams
D. R. Williams
(all from Plymouth, PA)

Nellie Roberts (from Castile, NY, 1st Presby.)
Mrs. Jane H. Lewis (from Plymouth, PA)

(D. R. Williams and Mrs. Lewis moved back to Plymouth, PA July 3, 1888)

Mary J. Stimpson
Eunice Stimpson
Flora Williams
Samuel R. Williams
Peter Hughes

1889
Maggie Roberts (from Siloam church)
Sarah Hughes (from Freedom Methodist)

1894
Thomas H. Davies
Frances H. Davies

1897
John A. Davies
Daniel Owens
John Williams
Wm Williams
Henry G. Williams
Grace A. Williams
Sarah A. Owens
Margaret M. Owens
Martha J. Williams

1912 Mr. and Mrs. David Davies and children:
Mary, Edward, David Jr., Sarah, Dorothy.

1915
Royal B. Williams
Floyed Evans
Glen Marble
Glen Cochrane
Richard Lewis
Orpha Williams
Bernice Davis
Pearl Baker
Elizabeth M. Davies
Nettie Marble

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© Barbara R. Henry