Pre Columbian Celts North America

Irish and Welsh in Pre Columbian America

Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbot

On the eve of his 1492 voyage Columbus wrote: 'I am convinced that the terrestrial paradise is in the Island of Saint Brendan, which none can reach save by the Will of God.' Some have alleged that Columbus relied on the manuscript "Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis that told of St. Brendan's travels across the Atlantic. It is well established that Columbus went to look for 'St. Brendan's Isle' when he discovered the West Indies.

Saint Brendan the Abbot was also known as Brendan the "Voyager" or Brendan the "Navigator" due to the numerous voyages he made around the British Isles and Brittany.

The voyage for which Brendan is best known is shrouded in the misty mire of lore and legend. This is the story of his search for a Promised land, far away in the west - Terra Repromissionis Sanctorum.

Brendan had heard from other monks tales of a land far across the seemingly endless ocean. How the other monks had heard of this land is perhaps the most overlooked element of this story. Their knowledge of 'Terra Repromissionis Sanctorum' aka America implies previous voyages. The stories tickled the adventurous Brendan enough that he decided to undertake a voyage of his own.

He built a special boat out of oak- bark tanned oxhides stretched over a framework of ash, stocked it with provisions for a voyage of 40 days, as well as extra oxhides and grease to dress them in case repairs were needed , and then set sail with 17 fellow monks.

Their voyage got off to a bad start as they encountered Harsh Stormy weather during the first leg of their journey. After 15 days the storm blew them onto an island where they were met by a dog who led them to a small town.


As per the legend They found a meal prepared and waiting for them, but never encountered another person. They left after three days. Their next landfall was the "Island of Sheep", which - you guessed it -- contained large flocks of sheep. There were also bountiful streams full of trout .

The next island they came to was completely bare. They pulled their boat up and began to make camp, building a fire. To their amazement the island began to swim away. The horrified monks raced back to their boat and pushed off just in time to see the "island" swim away with their fire still burning on its back. Hmmm, build a fire on my back and I think I'd swim away too, just like the whale in this story did.

The story continues with multiple legendary interpolations, including "a little birdy" telling Brendan that his voyage would last 7 years as opposed to 40 days.

Eventually, as per the Saga, they reached "the edge of Hell". Giant demons threw great lumps of burning ash and rocks at them from immense fiery furnaces, and they could see rivers of golden fire running down from these furnaces of Hell. One of the monks fell overboard during the bombardment and was was never seen again. {Volcanoes similar to those for which Iceland is known}

On another occasion they saw an immense crystal pillar floating in the sea, so high that they could not see its top. In it was an opening big enough for the boat so they sailed through it. As they did , they saw that the pillar extended even deeper into the sea than it towered above. It took them three days to sail through and around this iceberg.

Book  Who Discovered America

The Story continues with Brendan exploring "The Isle of the Blessed" The Promised land , Terra Repromissionis Sanctorum ... America ? In all his voyage took 7 years, he died shortly after returning to Ireland.

While the story is frequently dismissed as religious allegory, recent decades have seen considerable speculation as to whether the legends are based on actual events, including speculation that the Isle of the Blessed was indeed America.

Tim Severin demonstrated it is possible that a leather-clad boat such as the Curragh used by Brendan could have reached North America.

There has been circumstantial indication of Celtic influence in the St. Lawrence Valley between 875 and 900 AD.

Lacrosse .. akin to hurling {hurling is a game that was played by the Irish similar to Lacrosse}. The English versions was bandy or field Hockey, to the Scots it was "shinty. Early French explorers witnessed this game being played by the Mic Mac Indians. Historians relate that the Mic Mac wore crosses on their playing tunics. The name "Mic Mac" inversed in Gaelic also means "son of the son".

It is hardly plausible that a small band such as St. Brendan's could have made such a lasting impact on the Natives that Centuries later they would still be playing a game that this band of Seafarers had taught them.

It is however more plausible that Brendan's voyage was not the only one by Irish seafarers as well as other Celts. It also seems plausible that Culdees from the ancient Celtic Church in Ireland, fleeing sea raids of dreaded Vikings, followed Brendan's route, seeking refuge in Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland and finally, deep into North America.

As well, Brendan had heard of this far away land from other Irish Monks which naturally would suggest that others had been here before him.

Irish were well known to the Vikings as seafarers who had traveled much further than the Vikings themselves had. In some of their many sagas they speak of encountering the Irish. The Vikings speak of Irish missions in Iceland in the 10th century.

The earliest account of settlers on Iceland was written in 825 A.D. by the Irish monk Dicuil. He recorded first-hand accounts of Irish people who lived on the island of Thule, which later became known as Iceland. Old Norse-Icelandic Literature: A Short Introduction }


Another saga relates that the Norse encountered a tribe of Amerindians who spoke a language that sounded like Irish, with which the Norse were familiar.

Dr. Barry Fell has speculated that the megalithic structures at Mystery Hill, New Hampshire is a temple observatory dedicated to the ancient Celtic sun-god Bel (it was for worshiping this same Baal that their Israelite ancestors had been cast out of Palestine). He claims that other sites dedicated to this same deity and to other Celtic gods and goddesses have been located in Vermont, together with assorted Celtic artifacts.

The Legend of a Welsh Prince Madog

Plaque erected to Prince Mardoc at Fort Morgan Alabama

The Legend of Prince Madoc and the White Indians

Prince Madog [or Madawg or Madoc] and his followers, fleeing War in Wales, escaped by ship and, using ancient Celtic maps and charts, crossed the Atlantic and landed on American soil at Mobile Bay in 1170 A.D.. Moving inland, they built fortified settlements in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, giving rise to later claims of discovery of 'Welsh Indians' between the mid 1500's and early 1800's.

George Catlin believed that he had traced the descendants of these Welsh settlers among the Mandan Indians, many of whom were blue-eyed and whose language contained Welsh / Gaelic elements.

Paintings of Mandan Indians with caucasoid features by their contemporary - George Caitlin

Celtic Petroglyphs

There are several interesting examples of Irish and / or Celtic petroglyphs in the New World. The most meritorious ones being in West Virginia CHRISTIAN MESSAGES IN OLD IRISH SCRIPT DECIPHERED FROM ROCK CARVINGS IN W. VA.


Continued :1521 Spanish Report of Irish Indians in American Southeast

       Cherokee Hebrew    Legend of the Lady of the Lake    Nuclear Warfare in Ancient India    Giants of the Ancient Americas