Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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GRIFFITHS , THOMAS ( 1645 - 1725 ), first minister of the Welsh Tract Baptist church in the present state of Delaware , U.S.A.

He was born at Llanfyrnach, Pembs. , in 1645 , but is described with Elizabeth , his wife, as ‘of Melinau ’ in the roll of members of Rhydwilym church in 1689 . There is no evidence in the church register either that he was baptized there, as some reports say, in 1677 , or that he became one of the ordained assistants of William Jones (d. c. 1700 ) (q.v.) , but it is known that it was he who led the small group of church members who emigrated to America in 1701 , settling first at Penepek , Pennsylvania , and in 1703 at Welsh Tract . He d. 25 July 1725 , aged eighty, and was buried, according to some writers, at Penepek , but according to others (more probably) at Pencader , Delaware . He was the father-in-law of Abel Morgan (q.v.) .

Sources:

  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr ymhlith y Cymry , 1885 , 355-6;
  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru , 1893–1907 , iii, 108;
  • Rhydwilym church register (in N.L.W.);
  • NLW MS 9258;
  • Y Cenhadwr Americanaidd sef cylchgrawn gwybodaeth fuddiol a dyddorawl i Gymry America / The American messenger , Utica, New York, 1840-1901 , 1880 , 324-5;
  • The Cambrian , 1881 , 188-190.

Author:

Benjamin George Owens, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959