Selected documents from the Venedocia Village archive

The following passages are quoted with permission from the book "History of Van Wert County" by Floyd C. O'Daffer c1990.

Few remain of the people who easily sing and understand the Welsh verses and hymns, but many of those over 80 recall days when their parents spoke only Welsh and there were no churh services in English. In the earlier years the church was filled every Sunday with its congregations until it overflowed. Singers in the Gymanfa GANU were divided into soprano, alto, tenor, and bass sections (webmaster's note: they still are), then the newcomers did their best with the unfamiliar songs and tried to follow the director or Gymanfa veterans. The Welsh Hymn festival was one of the few which use four-part harmony, while most churches sang only the melody.

I asked an old timer in Venedocia how long it took him to reach the United States by boat from his native Wales in 1838. He answered "over six weeks when we landed in New York. From there, after traveling westward for two weeks, we reached Cincinnati and Paddy's Run, Ohio, where we stayed until the following spring." He said he then journeyed northward to Piqua where he purchased eighty acres from the government land office for two dollars an acre. He never saw his claim until his arrival in Jennings Township in 1861.

Descendants of the early settlers still mildly maintain, "My people always said Venedocia means 'to this place I came' ... or something like that." Venedocias is a variant form of Venedocia, the form used in Latin in the Dark Ages and Middle Ages for the Welsh Gynedd. Gynedd represents the name of the Anglesey, Caernarvon, Merioneth, and Denhigh tribe inhabiting this region. Venedocia then was named for a place and a dialect. (Legends are always to be taken with a grain of salt).

The first merchants in Venedocia were Evan Allen Evans and Rowland John Whittington. A condition in the deed of the town site shows a high moral purpose of the pioneers. They had in mind the future welfare of the coming generations. .... They inserted a clause in the deed forbidding the keeping or selling of intoxicating liquors as a beverage. The deed recites that if the premises, or any part thereof, shall be used for such purposes the title reverts to the original owner. The deed is dated November 11, 1865, and is signed by Jane Bebb Evans. The precedent has been followed by inserting this condition in nearly all the deeds of the town ever since. It is a thoughtful precaution and wise provision, worthy of emulation and imitation.

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