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Thread: How Much Are the British (Especially English) Related to Other Germanics?

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    Norman 'genetic influence' was tiny & completely irrelevant.
    There's a difference between cultural & political domination (in which the Normans did have a huge impact) and ethnic domination/replacement.
    Norman 'blood' may be a common element in 'peerages and gentries' but so it will be in commoners too, due to pedegree collapse. It's just that commoners weren't able to prepare detailed family trees (most of which are not worth a great deal due to illegitimacy anyway).
    However, in both cases, the 'blood' will be so overwhelmingly non-norman that it's simply not worth mentioning as a concrete 'genetic' element.

    Huguenots and Poles have made much greater waves of immigration to Britain (not talking about the recent lot of poles either) than the Normans ever did. People just tend to forget about them because they didn't have as much cultural impact and instead talk about english as having 'norman' and even 'roman' 'blood', when there was never a significant amount of either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelcynn Beorn View Post
    That's your opinion. But every country in the British isles has some history of English and Norman settlement.

    • The Scottish lowland population is predominantly of Anglo-Saxon stock.
    • The Anglo-Saxons delved significantly deeper into Wales than the modern border reflects. Also the immigration of Flemings to Britain was of much greater importance to Wales than elsewhere. Typical "Welsh" names such as Jenkins, Thompkins, etc, are of Flemish origin.
    • Ireland was heavily settled - or planted - by English and lowland Scottish settlers over a period of hundreds of years.


    And of course the Normans and Vikings settled throughout the British Isles.
    Forget the Normans, read Renwein's post. They were just a mere dot on the landscape when you compare to the genetic impact of the original inhabitants of the B Isles.

    As I mentioned earlier, Britain and Ireland are inextricably linked genetically, they're virtually the same. If the genetic impact of the Normans was so great in Ireland for instance, why is it more distant to France than England on autosomal plots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhe View Post
    Forget the Normans, read Renwein's post. They were just a mere dot on the landscape when you compare to the genetic impact of the original inhabitants of the B Isles.

    As I mentioned earlier, Britain and Ireland are inextricably linked genetically, they're virtually the same. If the genetic impact of the Normans was so great in Ireland for instance, why is it more distant to France than England on autosomal plots?
    I agree that genetically the Normans are of very limited significance. I think I read somewhere that the Normans and their descendants account for something like 3% or maybe 4% of the entire genetic make-up of the British Isles. And that 3% or 4% must be very widely distributed as the thin red bloodline through Anglo-Celtic aristocracies, peerages, and gentries. It is the Normans' cultural, social, linguistic, legal, and political impact in English and British history that is the most significant aspect of their conquest and rule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caoimhe View Post
    Forget the Normans, read Renwein's post. They were just a mere dot on the landscape when you compare to the genetic impact of the original inhabitants of the B Isles.
    Funnily enough i had a thorough knowledge of Physical and Racial anthropology before Renwein posted, so it isn't any sort of revolutionary post to me. You didn't address my point at all. That Germanic elements have been settling in every country in the British isles over the last 1,500 years. So even in the 'Celtic' areas the differences would have been lessened.

    As I mentioned earlier, Britain and Ireland are inextricably linked genetically, they're virtually the same. If the genetic impact of the Normans was so great in Ireland for instance, why is it more distant to France than England on autosomal plots?
    Strawman. You're trying to ignore my point about Flemish and English/Lowland Scottish settlement in Wales and Ireland. The Norman influence is cumulative with the other influences to show substantial North-central European (Germanic) immigration to every part of the British Isles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renwein View Post

    Huguenots and Poles have made much greater waves of immigration to Britain (not talking about the recent lot of poles either) than the Normans ever did.
    I've never heard of great waves of Poles arriving in Britain before 2004. I've also never known anyone with a Polish surname who didn't have very recent foreign ancestry. Immigration from Poland in the 19th century was Jewish.

    I agree that Normans were relatively insignificant (more significant than Polaks, though, at least outside of London). Out of about 80 of my known ancestral surnames, only one is Norman (Saville).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelcynn Beorn View Post
    Funnily enough i had a thorough knowledge of Physical and Racial anthropology before Renwein posted, so it isn't any sort of revolutionary post to me. You didn't address my point at all. That Germanic elements have been settling in every country in the British isles over the last 1,500 years. So even in the 'Celtic' areas the differences would have been lessened.
    I'm not understating the Germanic influence in Britain - it's pretty obvious, isn't it?

    Strawman. You're trying to ignore my point about Flemish and English/Lowland Scottish settlement in Wales and Ireland. The Norman influence is cumulative with the other influences to show substantial North-central European (Germanic) immigration to every part of the British Isles.
    No, I'm not ignoring your point. I'm quite aware of the Flemish settlement of Britain, in particular Pembrokeshire; but you seem to be underestimating the influence of native DNA in our genetic heritage.

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    Celts

    I think there is a tendency in the Anglo-Saxon psyche to want to be more associated with Germanics because they believe they are Bigger, Blonder and Stronger than Celts; but scientific evidence would suggest otherwise. It has been discovered that all the people of the British Isles are not as "Germanic" as was once originally thought.

    New studies have genetically linked them to Celts from Northern Spain ( such as Basques ) and that this group of Celts sailed across the Bay of Biscay before the Romans arrived and constitute about 80% of British genetic makeup today. That includes the English too and that in fact the genetic difference between Scots, Irish and English is minimal at most. The studies showed that even in places where ther was supposedly strong Scandinavian or Norman influence, it made up at most 20% of genetic influence. ( Except in the Orkneys and Shetlands - where they made up about 40-50% of the genetic makeup ).

    I think this is evidence that the Anglo-Saxons formed a small aristocracy that ruled and/or mingled with a large Celtic population rather than a large scale invasion and displacement by Anglo-Saxons. The same situation occured with the Normans as some have mentioned here. And as for the Vikings, the question remains, how much genetic influence did they really have? How many of them actually stayed in England and how many where driven out during for example "the harrying of the North" by the Normans? Maybe they did not mix as much with the local populations as some might suggest and where rather mainly temporary settlers.

    I think the evidence suggests that England is overwhelmingly genetically Celtic and it's culture is a rich mixture of Germanic and Celtic in equal parts with some Scandinavian and some French linguistic elements.

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    How Much Are the British (Especially English) Related to Other Germanics?


    Well the British or English are a wonderful mixture of all European types. The first stone age settlers were perhaps from Iberia. (The oldest human remains were found in Spain). Such traces of DNA can still be found in English folk today. (The oldest human remains in Europe were found in Spain.)

    This DNA is the basis of modern English folk as studies were carried out a couple of years ago on folks from Britain and Ireland. The DNA results showed that people within these islands Britain and Ireland are generally the same....however Scots, Irish and Welsh have more similarities.

    The English are more 'multi-cultural' in their genetic make up - and sure no wonder with such succesive waves of settlers with influences from Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Danes, Normans etc....etc....


    It's kinda ironic that alot of English folk today are so anti-European, anti-EU etc....

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonCeorl View Post
    Yes, the genetic tests seem to prove an extensive replacement of British/Celtic people with Germanic people. The complete lack of Celtic place names in Engand and Celtic words in English also strongly support a complete invasion.
    I've heard of one test indicating that, but other (in my view a little more thoughtful and detailed) DNA tests suggest that the vast majority are of pre-Saxon descent.

    As for names, the majority of river names in England are pre-Saxon, and the same goes for major towns, i.e. London, York, Leeds, Manchester etc.

    It may well be that the names of smaller villages tended to change over time, but the Norman Conquest brought in written records which pretty much put an end to this. This would explain why they tend to be more English, because whatever Celtic name a village might have had earlier (if it even existed) would often have been replaced by an English one by the time of the Conquest (due to language replacement).

    However, many place names which have an apparently English meaning might actually be of Celtic origin. An example of this phenomenon is the town of York, which in Old English is Eoforwic (which apparently means town of the bear, or something like that); but looking at the earlier records this is clearly just an Anglo-Saxon corruption of York's Celtic name Eborac or Ebrauc; and Edinburgh is known as Edwinesburg in Old English. If York had never been mentioned in Roman or early British writings (as in the case of most small villages in England), then everybody would assume the name York is of English origin.

    Regarding Celtic words in the English language, I believe a proper understanding of the nature of everything involved eliminates this difficulty. It'll take too long to explain here but I can if anyone's interested. Suffice it to say that I believe the A/S invasion was essentially no different from the Germanic invasions of the rest of the former Roman world.

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    After viewing projects like Eurogenes (which provide cluster maps and such using autosomal data taken from all over the human genome [550,000 SNP's]) the folks of the British Isle's cluster closer to each other than to anyone else, Germans and French are the next closest populations (the French looks farther from the British than they really are because of how the boundary was drawn, if you look at full zoom there's a number of French that fall outside of the French cluster towards the British one), then some Norwegians and Swedes are pretty close but that could be due to the low participant size (basically if there were more Scandinavian participants they would start to pull away from the Brits and form a more distinct cluster amongst themselves). I myself fall on the outer edges of the British Isle's cluster towards France (US83).


    Point being the UK, Orcadian, and Irish participants cluster closer to each other than to anyone else, so the majority of the gene blends among these people logically would have been common between them for some time, seems likely the invasions from elsewhere didn't do as much in terms of genetics.

    The individual pulls (emphasis on pull, not removal from the British Isle's cluster, just a minor deviation from the common) towards places like Germany, France, Norway and Sweden can be explained by individual participant and sample genealogies where these people may have some invasion admixtures but still not a strong enough one to pull them out of the generic British Isle's cluster thus suggesting that the British Islander's components over all are mostly common pre-invasion (invaders being Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans) with varying lesser levels of invader/settler admixture. The Germanicness of the Isle's seems to mostly be due to acculturation that was brought about by a ruling elite. Also given that there's more minor overlap between the Brits and the Germans than with any other group it would also be logical to assume that the minor invader component in some of the British Isle's lineages is mostly Anglo-Saxon derived. So basically the British Islander's seem to be mostly pre-Anglo-Saxon with the next highest component being Anglo-Saxon then Norman/French and Scandinavian being the least influential.

    EDIT (needed to blot out full names from the map)

    Current/most recent cluster map (12/10/2010):

    Lineage migration - Hatfield, Yorkshire, England ->Stainforth, Yorkshire, England ->Whitgift, Yorkshire, England->Blacktoft, Yorkshire, England->Mecklenburg County, Virginia ->Rutherford County, North Carolina ->Overton County, Tennessee.

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