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Last Updated: Monday, 26 June 2006, 07:30 GMT 08:30 UK
NY keeping up with Welsh Joneses
Ellis Island
The Welsh were immigrants to the US before Ellis Island was set up
The story of Welsh immigration to the United States is being told in a three-month exhibition in New York.

More than 1m people are expected to visit the display, called Keeping up with the Joneses, at Ellis Island Immigration Museum.

The Welsh Assembly Government is sponsor and First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the Welsh were still making a significant contribution to US life.

The exhibition is also linked to Wales' National Museum's genealogy website.

Keeping up with the Joneses aims to tell the story of Welsh immigration from the early settlements in what is now Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

It continues through the War of Independence and the American Civil War to mass immigration through Ellis Island in New York City, ending with modern-day "settlers" such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones and Sir Tom Jones.

Empire State building
The Empire State building was lit in Wales' colours on St David's Day

The National Library for Wales, National Museum of Wales and Ellis Island's immigration museum trawled their archives for the display, which includes two touch screens where visitors can see if their surname is of Welsh origin.

Mr Morgan said the exhibition aimed to strengthen Wales' economic, cultural, education and political opportunities with the United States.

He said: "The United States is a very important economic market for Wales in terms of trade, tourism and investment.

"The first Wales International Centre was opened in the Chrysler building in the heart of New York.

"That office has provided a clearly defined Team Wales approach to expanding business opportunities and provides a focussed effort to raise the profile of Wales."

Keeping up with the Joneses opens on 26 June and runs until September 2006.

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