Llwyd ap Iwan: 'Ymchwildaith i'r Andes'

Reference: NLW MS 7257A

Journal of Llwyd ap Iwan's journey to the Andes, 1888, together with measurements relating to the Gaiman canal and other water channels in Patagonia. It includes names of owners of houses/farms in Cwm Hyfryd.

 

The history of the exploratory journey to the Andes and Aethwy Valley, Chubut, made in November 1894 by Llwyd ap Iwan and four other men from the colony. Their intention was to look for new lands and a gap to the Pacific Ocean to the east. The report was written by Llwyd ap Iwan. This is a summary, but contains detailed notes taken by Llwyd ap Iwan during the trip.

Llwyd ab Iwan (1862-1909) was the eldest son of Michael D. Jones and his wife Anne Lloyd. He was educated at Tan Domen school, and then at universities in Britain and Germany, and qualified as an engineer and surveyor. He moved to Patagonia in 1886 to work as an engineer for the Chubut Central Railway, which was under construction to connect Trelew and Puerto Madryn. At the end his contract he received a commission from the Gaiman Council to re-measure the farms in the Chubut Valley, to design the roads, and to assist with the irrigation scheme. He traveled widely across parts of the country where no Europeans had been before in search of new lands for colonization, using leaders from among the Tehuelche to lead him, and recording the indigenous names carefully. His diaries are the most important records for the area during the period. He would write in detail of his trips, and then forward them to his father to be published in the Celt. This manuscript records his journey with Governor Fontana and John Daniel Evans in 1888 to search for a suitable location for a new settlement in the Andes. He surveyed the land in Cwm Hyfryd, marking the land into 50 lots, and received one of the lots for his work.

He moved with his family to Cwm Hyfryd early in the 20th century, accepting a job as a manager of the Rhyd y Pysgod branch of the Chubut Mercantile Company. He was shot dead by two American bandits on 29 December 1909, as they stole goods and money from the branch.

Bibliography