The Welsh in America (Part 1) Howell Powell...First Welsh Immigrant in1170?

The Legend of Madoc ab Owain Gwynnedd.

 Amazon Book: Welsh Indians in America pre 1492

We can go back as far as medieval times to find a Welsh connection to America, albeit by a  legend of a Welsh Prince who discovered America. This was claimed to be in the year 1170, some three centuries before Columbus first landed on American shores. 

A Welsh Prince by the name of Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd wanted to escape many hostilities in his native land and gathered together his followers and other country men and left the shores of Wales, sailing out into the Atlantic searching for a new and more peaceful land never to return to to be seen again in Wales.

I think this may challenge the belief that before Columbus’ famous voyage of discovery, people thought that the world was flat and if a ship sailed too far, it would drop off the end of the earth. If the legend it true, then our Madoc had no such fear of heading out past the horizon, or perhaps to his way of thinking, that was preferable to being slaughtered in some future Welsh war, following the fate of many Welsh chieftains and princes back in the middle ages. Or the fact that Madoc and his followers were never seen again,  reinforced the belief in a flat earth and the space beyond had swallowed him and his companions into the heavens. 

A Mandan chief 0046v
Mandan Chief
Artists Impresion
(circa 1840)

But then several centuries later, many stories came up in America that Madoc and his followers had married into a native North American Indian tribe, and that the offspring of these unions produced welsh-speaking children. This then led to  many explorers to look for these Welsh-speaking Indians. 

Legend or not, explorers have found great similarities in American native words and Welsh words. An American Tribe called the Mandans, used the word bara meaning bread… The Welsh word for bread is also bara.   The word aber means Estuary in both Mandan Indian and in Welsh,  and a nant is the word for a stream also in both languages. 

So The question remains as to how two peoples separated by the massive Atlantic Ocean have similar words that mean the same thing? Was it the Welshman Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd responsible for discovering America and not Columbus? And did he introduce Welsh to the Mandan Indians?

Another mystery. 

Where the Welsh prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd may have left some of the Welsh language as a legacy, its been discovered  recently that the Vikings have left some of their DNA in some skeletons buried on North American soil even earlier in the 10th Century.  

However another connection is made here…  Viking bones have been found in Wales in Anglesey that have proved to be around 1000 years old so is there a chance that our Welsh Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd, also carried Viking blood together with the famous seafaring ability of the Viking race to sail the Atlantic?

No comments:

Post a Comment