Madoc Ap Owain Gwynedd(b.c. 1140)

C13 in "Welsh Madoc Dynasties: Kingdom of Gwynedd"

The Columbia Encyclopedia

"MADOC OR MADOG (Madoc ap Owain Gwynedd) fl. 1170?, quassi-historical Welsh prince. According to Welsh legend, Madoc, said to be a son of Owain Gwynedd, discovered America 300 years before Columbus. Witnesses' accounts of finding supposedly Welsh-speaking Native Americans have served to keep alive the story, which is otherwise unsupported by evidence. He is the subject of Robert Southey's Madoc."

Wikipedia Encyclopedia

"MADOC (MADOC AP OWAIN GWYNEDD) was purported Welsh prince who, some believe, discovered America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbus's voyages in 1492."

"His father, King Owain Gwynedd ap Gruffydd had at least 13 children from his two wives, and, it is said, several more born out of wedlock, among them Madoc and his brother Riryd. They were living at a time when Wales was born by strife and civil war."

"Upon his father's death in 1170, as usual fighting broke out among the possible successors, Madoc, disheartened, set sail to explore the western wea, found what is described as a distant and abundant land, and returned to Wales to recruit settlers; he then sailed west a second time for good. Madoc's landing place has been suggested by some theories to be Mobile Bay in what is now Alabama in the United States."

"Recent research by Alan Wilson, Baram Blackett and Jim Michael suggests an even earlier date (and a different person) behind the myth. Using radiocarbon dating and DNA profiling methods on artifacts and human remains found in the US Midwest and in Wales, they claim to have found strong indications that the Khumric (Welsh) Prince Madog Morfran ap Meurig ("the cormorant"), brother of King Arthur II, left Wales in the aftermath brought by heavy destruction due to debris falling from a comet (562 CE), and arrived in North America during the 6th century and set up colonies."

Britannia "Fact About Wales and the Welsh"

"...According to Welsh legend, Madog ab Owain Gwynedd was a 12th century prince from Gwynedd who sailed westward with a group of followers seeking lands far away from the constant warfare of his native Wales…. During the reign of Elizabeth I, Welsh interest in the New World was stirred by the writings of scholar John Dee (1527-1608), a London Welshman. A key figure in the expansion of Britain overseas, Dee publicized the traditions involving Prince Madog's supposed discovery of the New World. Elizabeth's court officials then diligently promoted attempts to find the Northwest Passage to India as justification for their war against the empire of Spain and proof of the legitimacy of their involvement in the Americas. Dee claimed that King Arthur had ruled over large territories in the Atlantic and that Madog's voyage had confirmed the Welsh title to this empire. The popular theory went that, as successor to the Welsh princes, including Madog, Queen Elizabeth was the rightful sovereign of the Atlantic Empire..."

"After the American Revolution, in which a lieutenant from Flintshire, North Wales, serving with the British Army in Ohio claimed to have conversed in Welsh with an Indian chief, fresh interest in the Madog legend was rekindled in Britain. It was helped along with the 1790 publication of an account by historian John Williams and further embellished by the indefatigable myth-maker and inventor of "ancient traditions" Iolo Morgannwg (Edward Jones) as anxious as ever to further the romances of the Celts... Thus in 1792, Welsh explorer John Thomas Evans (from Waunfawr) was encouraged to search for these "Welsh Indians"... Evans later branched out to wander on his journeys alone, traveling over 2,000 miles exploring the Missouri Valley. His maps of the hitherto unknown territories were a great help to the later expeditions of Lewis and Clark..." (
"The Legend's Sources"

"The first written account of Madoc's story is in George Peckham's A True Report of the late Discoveries of the Newfound Landes (1583). It was picked up in David Powel's Historie of Cambria (1584) and Richard Hakluyt's The Principall Navigations, Voiages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589). Such stories served to bolster British claims in the New World versus those of Spain; John Dee went so far as to assert that Brutus of Britain and King Arthur as well as Madoc had conquered lands in the Americas and therefore their heir Elizabeth I of England had a priority claim there. The Welsh Indians were not attested until over a century later. Morgan Jones' tract is the first account, and was printed by The Gentleman's Magazine in 1740, launching a slew of publications on the subject... John Evans and Lewis and Clark reported they had found no Welsh Indians."

"Madoc" by Robert Southy, 1805 London
"Where Can I Find Information on Prince Madoc and the Discovery of America?"
"Madoc: Were the Welsh the first European Americans?"
"Prince Madoc and the White Indians"
"The Brandenburg [KY] Stone and Prince Madoc"