Post by William Black Post by email@example.com Post by William Black Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Apparently most people who had grandparents in this country are of
Deliberately misleading statement.
In reality about 5% of our ancestors are from the original 'Brythonic'
inhabitants, as far as anyone can tell anyway.
No. Read the post in another thread about genetics and the Aborigines.
I'm not chasing across half of Usenet to look at some bollocks someone made
Post the evidence.
You nutters are a complete waste of time. Why say something is
"bollocks someone made up" when you obviously can't remember what it
is, and then say "post the evidence"? How would you know it's either
bollocks or evidence if you don't know what it is?
Post by William Black
From W. Sugar on White British children ...
English, Irish, Scots: They're All One, Genes Suggest
By NICHOLAS WADE
Published: March 5, 2007
Britain and Ireland are so thoroughly divided in their histories that
there is no single word to refer to the inhabitants of both islands.
Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different
peoples: the Irish from the Celts, and the English from the Anglo-
Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the
country's western and northern fringes.
But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are
edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall
genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and
Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people
that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from
later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and
The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a
great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist's
point of view, seems likely to please no one.
The genetic evidence is still under development, however, and because
only very rough dates can be derived from it, it is hard to weave
evidence from DNA, archaeology, history and linguistics into a
coherent picture of British and Irish origins.
That has not stopped the attempt. Stephen Oppenheimer, a medical
geneticist at the University of Oxford, says the historians' account
is wrong in almost every detail. In Dr. Oppenheimer's reconstruction
of events, the principal ancestors of today's British and Irish
populations arrived from Spain about 16,000 years ago, speaking a
language related to Basque.
The British Isles were unpopulated then, wiped clean of people by
glaciers that had smothered northern Europe for about 4,000 years and
forced the former inhabitants into southern refuges in Spain and
Italy. When the climate warmed and the glaciers retreated, people
moved back north.
The new arrivals in the British Isles would have found an empty
territory, which they could have reached just by walking along the
Atlantic coastline, since there were still land bridges then across
what are now English Channel and the Irish Sea.
This new population, who lived by hunting and gathering, survived a
sharp cold spell called the Younger Dryas that lasted from 12,300 to
11,000 years ago. Much later, some 6,000 years ago, agriculture
finally reached the British Isles from its birthplace in the Near
Agriculture may have been introduced by people speaking Celtic, in
Oppenheimer's view. Although the Celtic immigrants may have been few
in number, they spread their farming techniques and their language
throughout Ireland and the western coast of Britain. Later immigrants
arrived from northern Europe had more influence on the eastern and
southern coasts. They too spread their language, a branch of German,
but these invaders' numbers were also small compared with the local
In all, about three-quarters of the ancestors of today's British and
Irish populations arrived between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, when
rising sea levels finally divided Britain and Ireland from the
Continent and from one another, Dr. Oppenheimer calculates in a new
book, "The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective
& Graf, 2006).
As for subsequent invaders, Ireland received the fewest; the
DNA makes up about 12 percent of the Irish gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer
estimates, but it accounts for 20 percent of the gene pool in Wales,
30 percent in Scotland, and about one-third in eastern and southern
Still, no single group of invaders is responsible for more than 5
percent of the current gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer says on the basis
He cites figures from the archaeologist Heinrich Haerke that the
Saxon invasions that began in the fourth century A.D. added about
250,000 people to a British population of one to two million, an
estimate Dr. Oppenheimer notes is larger than his but considerably
less than the substantial replacement of the English population
assumed by others. The Norman invasion of 1066 A.D. brought not many
more than 10,000 people, according to Dr. Haerke.
Other geneticists say Dr. Oppenheimer's reconstruction is plausible,
though some disagree with details. Several said that genetic methods
did not give precise enough dates to be confident of certain aspects,
like when the first settlers arrived.
"Once you have an established population, it is quite difficult to
change it very radically," said Daniel G. Bradley, a geneticist at
Trinity College, Dublin. But he said he was "quite agnostic" as to
whether the original population became established in Britain and
Ireland immediately after the glaciers retreated 16,000 years ago, as
Dr. Oppenheimer argues, or more recently, in the Neolithic Age, which
began 10,000 years ago.
Bryan Sykes, another Oxford geneticist, said he agreed with Dr.
Oppenheimer that the ancestors of "by far the majority of people"
present in the British Isles before the Roman conquest of A.D. 43.
"The Saxons, Vikings and Normans had a minor effect, and much less
than some of the medieval historical texts would indicate," he said.
His conclusions, based on his own genetic survey and information in
his genealogical testing service, Oxford Ancestors, are reported in
his new book, "Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of
A different view of the Anglo-Saxon invasions has been developed by
Mark Thomas of University College, London. Dr. Thomas and colleagues
say the invaders wiped out substantial numbers of the indigenous
population, replacing 50 percent to 100 percent of those in central
Their argument is that the Y chromosomes of English men seem
to those of people in Norway and the Friesland area of the
Netherlands, two regions from which the invaders may have originated.
Dr. Oppenheimer disputes this, saying the similarity between the
English and northern European Y chromosomes arises because both
regions were repopulated by people from the Iberian refuges after the
Dr. Sykes said he agreed with Dr. Oppenheimer on this point, but
another geneticist, Christopher Tyler-Smith of the Sanger Centre near
Cambridge, said the jury was still out. "There is not yet a consensus
view among geneticists, so the genetic story may well change," he
said. As to the identity of the first postglacial settlers, Dr.
Smith said he "would favor a Neolithic origin for the Y chromosomes,
although the evidence is still quite sketchy."
Dr. Oppenheimer's population history of the British Isles relies not
only on genetic data but also on the dating of language changes by
methods developed by geneticists. These are not generally accepted by
historical linguists, who long ago developed but largely rejected a
dating method known as glottochronology.
Geneticists have recently plunged into the field, arguing that
linguists have been too pessimistic and that advanced statistical
methods developed for dating genes can also be applied to languages.
Dr. Oppenheimer has relied on work by Peter Forster, a geneticist at
Anglia Ruskin University, to argue that Celtic is a much more ancient
language than supposed, and that Celtic speakers could have brought
knowledge of agriculture to Ireland, where it first appeared. He also
adopts Dr. Forster's argument, based on a statistical analysis of
vocabulary, that English is an ancient, fourth branch of the Germanic
language tree, and was spoken in England before the Roman invasion.
English is usually assumed to have developed in England, from the
language of the Angles and Saxons, about 1,500 years ago. But Dr.
Forster argues that the Angles and the Saxons were both really Viking
peoples who began raiding Britain ahead of the accepted historical
schedule. They did not bring their language to England because
English, in his view, was already spoken there, probably introduced
before the arrival of the Romans by tribes such as the Belgae, whom
Julius Caesar describes as being present on both sides of the
The Belgae may have introduced some socially transforming technique,
such as iron-working, which would lead to their language supplanting
that of the indigenous inhabitants, but Dr. Forster said he had not
yet identified any specific innovation from the archaeological
Germanic is usually assumed to have split into three branches: West
Germanic, which includes German and Dutch; East Germanic, the
of the Goths and Vandals; and North Germanic, consisting of the
Scandinavian languages. Dr. Forster's analysis shows English is not
off-shoot of West Germanic, as usually assumed, but is a branch
independent of the other three, which also implies a greater
antiquity. Germanic split into its four branches some 2,000 to 6,000
years ago, Dr. Forster estimates.
Historians have usually assumed that Celtic was spoken throughout
Britain when the Romans arrived. But Dr. Oppenheimer argues that the
absence of Celtic place names in England - words for places are
particularly durable - makes this unlikely.
If the people of the British Isles hold most of their genetic
in common, with their differences consisting only of a regional
flavoring of Celtic in the west and of northern European in the east,
might that perception draw them together? Geneticists see little
prospect that their findings will reduce cultural and political
The Celtic cultural myth "is very entrenched and has a lot to do with
the Scottish, Welsh and Irish identity; their main identifying
is that they are not English," said Dr. Sykes, an Englishman who has
traced his Y chromosome and surname to an ancestor who lived in the
village of Flockton in Yorkshire in 1286.
Dr. Oppenheimer said genes "have no bearing on cultural history."
There is no significant genetic difference between the people of
Northern Ireland, yet they have been fighting with each other for 400
years, he said.
As for his thesis that the British and Irish are genetically much
alike, "It would be wonderful if it improved relations, but I somehow
think it won't."