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Celtic Radio Community > The Celts > Celts In America Before Columbus?

Posted by: WizardofOwls 02-Jan-2006, 09:19 PM
I seem to recall reading somewhere that evidence had been found that suggested that Celts had visited America before Columbus got here. Can anybody suggest any good books or webistes where I can read some more about this?

Thanks In Advance!

Posted by: free2Bme 03-Jan-2006, 10:32 AM
Here is a link to a good article

Also I think I remember something about a tribe of Native Americans with red Hair?

Posted by: Sekhmet 03-Jan-2006, 03:50 PM
Lemme see if I recall my really obscure and probably urban-legend-esque information...let's start with the pretty reliable stuff:

Yes, there were light-skinned, light-haired (including red), light-eyed Natives. Especially in the Eastern Woodlands. There's still quite a few amongst the Shawnee and Seneca...and no, they were *Native*, not displaced Europeans of any ilk. Because they lived in such deep forest there was little need for darker skin pigmentation and all that goes with it. That comes straight from my Mingo elders, and I don't doubt it.

Now for the less than reliable information...

There are stories circulating that go back a couple of centuries about a couple of different tribes, but the one that I'm most familiar with is the Mandans. According to said stories, the Mandans had been originally Welshmen. They wrecked upon the eastern shore of the US (some go so far as to specify that it was the Chesapeake Bay/Virginia coast), and were forced inland by less than friendly local inhabitants. They eventually settled in the midwest, and when found by Lewis and Clark (or some other explorer...depends on who's telling the story), they very much resembled Europeans. Some portions of their language were speculated to be aberrations of Welsh, with other Native influence married in. They too fell victim to the rampant disease brought by settlers and explorers (which makes me think right there that they weren't necessarily Welsh), and the rest were marginalized to oblivion.

Now for the "holy crap who came up with THIS" information...

There is a small movement that are convinced that a place in Connecticut is indeed a set of standing stones. It's even billed as "America's Stonehenge", and the theory is starting to pick up steam. Reportedly there were runestones (in ogham, not futhark) found in the area, though local archaeologists have repeatedly stated that there is nothing that substantiates any of these claims. "Runestones" have also been reportedly found as far west as...right here in Western Pennsylvania. Curiously enough, nobody has coughed up the proof yet. Even more curiously, many adherents to this theory appear to be under the impression that the Celts are some sort of master race, similar to the Aryan theory. I'll shut up about the rest before I get myself in trouble...::cough::

Have fun here:

I'm not saying that I doubt that Celts might've wandered over to here. The Norse seem to have managed it without a whole lot of trouble. It's certainly a helluva lot more plausible than the 12th tribe of Israel being here, or the Phoenicians tripping over it. Rather, my personal jury is out until there is physical substantiation to the claim.

Posted by: Antwn 04-Jan-2006, 04:35 PM
The Welsh prince Madog mixing with the Mandans is a popular story. With regard to similarities between Mandan and Welsh, there are far more differences than similarities. Interestingly the famous “ll” sound in Welsh (which has no equivalent in English) is found in several Native American languages, but that doesn’t mean it came from Welsh explorers. There are scattered languages around the world which also have the same sound. The evidence is scant about Madog, and personally I think its more myth and legend than fact. We had a brief discussion about this on the Welsh threads a while ago.

There’s a new book I’ve seen but not yet read called 1491 which documents what historians have been able to research about pre-colonial American cultures. Apparantly it tells a far different story than what schools have been teaching for many years. I’ve included some sites, the last one is from an Atlantic Monthly article about the book 1491.

Here’s a site about the book 1491

Posted by: Sekhmet 04-Jan-2006, 09:23 PM
1421 was a great book. I've read it through twice now, and I keep picking up more and more tidbits (or perhaps trivia) with each reading. Really makes you take a step back and get another look at large portions of what's accepted as historic dogma.

Posted by: Antwn 07-Jan-2006, 01:25 PM
Yeah Sekhmet! Don't you just love books like that? I have yet to read it but you're inspiring me. I'll have to run down to Barnes & Noble this afternoon.

Posted by: oldraven 28-Mar-2007, 07:44 AM
Columbus wasn't even the first well known European landing in the New World. He was simply the first to set out with a Monarch's stamp of aproval.

Posted by: Elspeth 28-Mar-2007, 08:59 PM
This is in the Welsh Lit thread over in the Wales section

I recently read the novel The Children of First Man by James Alexander Thom.

The premise of the story is a fictional account of the legend that Madog Owain Gwynedd sailed from Wales in the twelfth century and discovered the coast of America. He returned to Wales and came back with several ships and the intent to colonize the new land. The descendents of this colony intermarried with the natives, forming the Mandan Indians. The novel then continues, following the Mandans through the centuries.

If you are interested in a long, thoroughly researched historical novel you may want to give this a read.

It is interesting to speculate on the validity of the legend. To think Europeans had settled here 300 years before Columbus.

The legend of Prince Madoc

Many of our American visitors will be familiar with the story of Madoc, a prince of Wales who, in the twelfth century, is supposed to have discovered America. The story first appears in A True Reporte, written by Sir George Peckham in 1583. This document supported the first Queen Elizabeth's claim to the New World. It was repeated in Humphrey Llwyd's Historie of Cambria the next year. In 1810, John Sevier, one of the founders of Tennessee wrote about a belief among the Cherokee Indians that there had been a Welsh-speaking Indian tribe. Their chieftain was supposed to have told Sevier that he had heard his father and grandfather speak of a people called the Welsh, and that they had crossed the seas and landed at Mobile in Alabama.

Welsh scholars have been long been sceptical, especially since the Madoc story was promoted in the 19th century by the bard Iolo Morganwg, someone not renowned for his devotion to accuracy in the sphere of history. For many Welshmen, however, the story has long had a certain resonance and Professor Hartmann tells us that "On January 13th 1804, an American President of Welsh ancestry, Thomas Jefferson, despatched a letter to another Welsh-American, Meriwether Lewis, containing a map of the Upper Missouri valley. The map had been prepared by a third Welsh-American, John Evans."

John Evans left his home in rural North Wales in 1792. He travelled to London and then across to remote parts of the USA in search of Madoc?s Welsh Indians. Fuelled by the revival of ?Madoc fever? and the strong support of his London-Welsh contemporaries, the young weaver set out to rediscover the "Welsh Indians". He appears to have worked for a Spanish company in America and became a surveyor. Despite his best efforts, Welsh speaking Native Americans were not found but the legend lives on.

Posted by: Antwn 30-Mar-2007, 01:09 PM
Back to WizardofOwls original post, check this out:

Posted by: Brendan 09-Apr-2007, 09:02 PM
note.gif You Might Try anything regarding Saint Brendan.
It is said some 20 years or so before Columbus that Saint Brendan
actually discovered America, I know there are books on this I've just never read them.

Posted by: oldraven 10-Apr-2007, 07:41 AM
QUOTE (Brendan @ 09-Apr-2007, 08:02 PM)
note.gif You Might Try anything regarding Saint Brendan.
It is said some 20 years or so before Columbus that Saint Brendan
actually discovered America, I know there are books on this I've just never read them.

St. Brendan discovered some islands, and had made detailed maps, including civic maps. (one island was pretty much entirely civic)

We have since found no evidence of these islands ever existing. I think it's a safe bet to rule Brendan's Isles out. wink.gif

Posted by: Amergin 11-Aug-2008, 09:36 PM
QUOTE (Brendan @ 09-Apr-2007, 08:02 PM)
You Might Try anything regarding Saint Brendan.
It is said some 20 years or so before Columbus that Saint Brendan
actually discovered America,

Well, if the story of Brendan has any truth in it, and there are those who doubt that, then it was more like a thousand years before Columbus, not 20. Madog was around 300 years before Columbus.

Brendan was supposedly born around 484 AD, and undertook his great voyage some time between 512 and 530. Madog's voyage is reported to have occurred about 1170.

There are 9th Century accounts of Brendan's voyage, with many fantastic details, such as the story of his encounter with a sea monster, but there are those who believe these were later embroideries of actual events. For instance, a fellow named Tim Severin actually sailed in an oxhide boat of the type popular during Brendan's time, and arrived at Newfoundland, which some speculate to be the "island" Brendan discovered. Others think it was Greenland. Severin encountered whales, which certainly fit Brendan's descriptions, if you strip away the accretion of legend, so it's at least theoretically possible.

Picked this up in various locations, so I don't have a specific book to recommend, but you might try an Amazon search for "Brendan the Navigator" or Madog

Posted by: Camac 12-Aug-2008, 06:30 PM
Leif Erickson got here in 1000 A.C.E. (AD) Place called Lanse Aux Meadow in NFLD/LAB. (Newfoundland/Labrador). Brendans' Voyage has no scientific evidence to back it up where as they excavated a Viking Village in Northern Newfoundland..


Posted by: Robert Phoenix 24-Aug-2008, 08:03 AM
Archeologist Martin Brennan seems to think so:

Posted by: Camac 24-Aug-2008, 08:42 AM
QUOTE (Robert Phoenix @ 24-Aug-2008, 09:03 AM)
Archeologist Martin Brennan seems to think so:

I opened the site and read the blurp about finding possible Cetlic inscription on cave and cliff walls. Many symbols are universal and can be found all over the world. The Swastika for example is found in Asia, and and prehistoric Europe also it is found among Native American Society. If one wished one could infer that they were Nazis. Methinks that the idea of Celts being in the heartland of America is up there beside the stories of Vikings in Minnesota. There is no emperical evidence.


Posted by: haynes9 03-Sep-2008, 04:28 PM
Mind you, I'm not saying this would be authoritative, but I have an article that was taken from a professor at the University of Kentucky, I think, who believed he had found some evidence of Celtic visitors to these shores. I will try and find it and transcribe it here. Have no idea of whether or not the guy has legitimate scientific credentials or not, but I'll check what his article says.

Posted by: Camac 03-Sep-2008, 06:20 PM
If Brendan did sail from Ireland west to the New World depending on the route he would have possible touch on Iceland then Greenland and continuing west would have either hit the South East coast of Baffin Island or the Labrador Coast of Canada.
Believe when I say that if either of these place was is touching point in the New World he and his followers would not have stayed long. They are two of the most inhospitable places in North Eastern Canada. Nothing there but scrub and rock., lots of rock and little or no chance of survival.


Posted by: mmrbm 05-May-2012, 06:49 PM
America B.C. by Barry Fell.

Posted by: Robert Phoenix 12-May-2012, 05:06 PM
But there are Vikings in Minnesota. I lived there for three years and I've been in their huge dome house. Its right downtown Minneapolis. I hear they are getting a new place though. Wonder what's in their wallet?

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