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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:34 PM   #1

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Welsh-speaking Indians?


Madoc Madoc

Interesting legend, I have heard similar stories about tribes who spoke Welsh and Hebrew from Cherokee acquaintances of mine. It is certainly thought-provoking.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:33 PM   #2

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"No historical or archaeological proof of such a man or his voyages has been found in the New or Old World"
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:47 PM   #3

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A conquistadore in Brazil claimed to have encountered a Hebrew-speaking Indian.

Obviously its possible that Europeans could have come to America even earlier than the Vikings (the Irish and the Gaulish Veneti were probably every bit as capable of the feat). But pre-20th Century Europeans were very religious, and had long entertained fantasies of the finding the 'Lost Ten Tribes' somewhere - so why not in the 'New World'?

It must have been more fun to imagine the American Indian as being a misplaced Israelite or long-lost European than just appreciating him for who and what he was - an American Indian
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Old January 25th, 2013, 02:49 AM   #4

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If I was an native American, I'd learn to speak both Welsh and Hebrew, just to confuse them
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:17 AM   #5

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Its a Legend , its possible that Medieval sailors managed to get to the 'New World' , we know the Vikings did, it would be a long and very dangerous journey and they would have to be lucky.

They may not have wished or been able to complete the return journey (or died in the attempt) but theres no real evidence for it.

Its similar to St Brendan in Ireland, monks did set sail and allow 'god' to take them wherever and its possible they got to America but again no real evidence.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 06:23 AM   #6

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Originally Posted by Irish Yankee View Post
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Interesting legend, I have heard similar stories about tribes who spoke Welsh and Hebrew from Cherokee acquaintances of mine. It is certainly thought-provoking.
How on earth could there have been Welsh speaking Indians on the North American continent? For that to have developed a sizeable number of native Welsh speakers would have had to have settled there and then have sufficient influence to replace the language of those natives. And they would have had to do this without leaving any genetic or cultural traces behind them. It is a tall tale. That is not to say however that a few Welshmen could not have 'discovered' America before Columbus. Or Irish for that matter.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 08:24 AM   #7

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n 1796 the Mandan were visited by the Welsh explorer John Evans, who was hoping to find proof that their language contained Welsh words. Evans had arrived in St. Louis 2 years prior, and after being imprisoned for a year, was hired by Spanish authorities to lead an expedition to chart the upper Missouri. Evans spent the winter of 1796–97 with the Mandan but found no evidence of any Welsh influence. In July 1797 he wrote to Dr. Samuel Jones, "Thus having explored and charted the Missurie for 1,800 miles and by my Communications with the Indians this side of the Pacific Ocean from 35 to 49 degrees of Latitude, I am able to inform you that there is no such People as the Welsh Indians."
- Cited from Wikipedia entry for the Mandan Indians, usually main candidate for being "Welsh speaking".
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Old January 25th, 2013, 08:29 AM   #8

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How on earth could there have been Welsh speaking Indians on the North American continent? For that to have developed a sizeable number of native Welsh speakers would have had to have settled there and then have sufficient influence to replace the language of those natives. And they would have had to do this without leaving any genetic or cultural traces behind them. It is a tall tale. That is not to say however that a few Welshmen could not have 'discovered' America before Columbus. Or Irish for that matter.
This is the point that got me. For Indians to have been Welsh speaking, it would have meant that the natives had adopted the language of the newcomers, not the other way around and there's would be no sociological or economic reason for that to have happened unless there were a LOT of Welsh speakers in the area, particularly if the language had persisted over generations.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 09:45 AM   #9

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That's not really borne out by other events, such as the Anglo-Saxon "invasion", where it is now believed that the incomers were relatively few in number, but represented a "takeover of the top". A change of ruling class. Likewise the Normans.

Admittedly, that still represents a lot more than a shipload
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Old January 26th, 2013, 03:23 AM   #10
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I beleive there was some dna testing on some tribes who were thought to have some connection to this rumor, and no evidence was found of any European lineage...
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