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Thread: English Gene Pool

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    Most studies report conflicting information about the role of the Anglo Saxons and others. In reality, considering the information about the Irish and British and how similar they are to Basques, it's likely that most people are pre-indo-european descendants who just happened to adopt a Germanic language (akin to how the Irish today speak English for the most part).

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/20...itishancestry/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic..._British_Isles

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._version_2.gif

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-DNA_h...an_populations

    It only makes sense that, given the fact that the ethno-genesis of the Indo-Europeans was very much in the East (around the Pontic Steppe), that there would be a far smaller genetic impact in the most western reaches of Europe.

    Since there is no real reporting and recording of what happened around the time of invasions, and a lot of information which does exist was recorded much later (Bede, who wrote the history of the English people, was born around 200 years after the invasions supposedly began), it's probably going to forever remain unknown what exactly happened. Of course, that doesn't mean we won't see study after study giving different results and different interpretations of who the British, and specifically the English, are.

    I would say, the various people in the British Isles have much more of a connection to each other than to any other peoples.

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    I believe there is an agenda to dissolve the notion of the English genetic/cultural identity as being mainly Germanic and remove any of it's connection to mainland Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renownedwolf View Post
    I believe there is an agenda to dissolve the notion of the English genetic/cultural identity as being mainly Germanic and remove any of it's connection to mainland Europe.
    Well, culturally it is only partially Germanic (many holidays celebrated in other Germanic countries, f.ex Walpurgisnacht, aren't celebrated by the English.) They are for the most part Christian or non-religious (not Germanic Pagans), write with a latin script, and have great historical ties to France. I think French is even the most studied foreign language. You'll also find many crazies hanging out around stone henge during the summer solstice, and I'm pretty sure Germanics didn't built that structure. Culturally, the English are so far removed from other Germanics that you will find people are surprised to discover that they are related to Swedes or Germans rather often. You will also have people tell you that English comes from Latin (though, they are 50% right ).

    The language itself has been messed up to a large degree where it is sort of a pidgin between Dutch and French, which is almost unbelievable considering the brevity of the period in which this change occured. This is another area where you can extrapolate: If the Normans only sent a small number of people in the Ruling Classes to England, and affected the language so profoundly, how many Saxons would it take to have brought English to the island in the first place? However, I still agree that the English are for the most part Germanic (due to (original) language and perceived history) but I have to say, they aren't the most Germanic group, and one would be kidding himself if he were to believe so.

    This raises the question: What is Germanic? Is it a cultural-linguistic group? A group related by blood? Because the various Germanic groups do show quite a bit of variation genetically (For example, Austrians and Southern Germans having totally unrelated haplogroups such as E and J (though these are in a minority of people, I am not suggesting these groups are very common). More Northern Germanics tend to have a lot of people with R1a and I1 patrilineage, and the English and nearby West Germanics (and Celts and Romance) tend to be overwhelmingly of R1b lineage).

    As far as the connection to mainland Europe goes, I believe culturally the English were far more intertwined with the Scandinavians (if you don't consider them continental) until the Norman Invasion, after which the focus shifted more towards the traditional continental countries (France in particular).

    Please, feel free to refute anything I've said, because it might just make be see a closer connection between the English and the rest of the Germanics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokle View Post
    from what I understand the Norman lords and nobles came over but the vast majority of the Norman population stayed in Normandy, unlike when whole populations of the Angles and Saxons came. I was also under the impression there was more Celtic blood unless the early Angles, Saxons and Jutes tried to mass terminate them, this I do not know.
    I think the proportion of Norman blood in the English is negligible, because, as you say, migration after 1066 was mostly confined to Norman nobles, who displaced or, in some cases, married into the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy. The English upper classes thus have a high proportion of Norman forbears, but the average Englishman probably does not share in that inheritance. Interestingly, a story appeared last year detailing the fact that those with Norman surnames in England are generally wealthier than those with Anglo-Saxon names, indicative of the gulf that owes to the more elitist Norman minority.

    On a side note, I suspect colonial-era English-Americans and Canadians likely have more Norman ancestry that native-born Englishmen today. Many of the early colonists were English gentry, younger sons of noble families, and so on, and from research on my own family many such lines trace the various Anglo-Norman noble families. My more recent English ancestors (ie. 20th century), at least based on surnames, seem to be unremarkable Anglo-Saxons.

    As for the rest of it, history suggests that the English are primarily Saxon (especially in the south/south-east), Angle (especially in East Anglia and up into Yorkshire), and Danish (especially Yorkshire/Lincolnshire and the rest of the Danelaw), with bits of Celtic remnants scattered around, mostly in Cornwall, the Welsh Marches, and into Cumbria.

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    The English upper classes gave themselves Norman surnames. Therefore a Norman surname does not necessarily denote Norman heritage.

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    I don't understand some of the hostility that Anglos have towards Normans. The only thing I dislike about the Normans is that they bastardised the English language by bringing in French, so that nowadays a Norwegian can probably understand Old English better than a modern Anglo.

    Other than that, I don't understand it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krähe View Post
    I don't understand some of the hostility that Anglos have towards Normans. The only thing I dislike about the Normans is that they bastardised the English language by bringing in French, so that nowadays a Norwegian can probably understand Old English better than a modern Anglo.

    Other than that, I don't understand it.
    Well, the French and English have long hated eachother, but that probably stems from the Normans themselves (Normans in England against the French that is). But of course, there is the fact that they were conquered England and changed the language and culture, and that they were (for all intents and purposes) French. And they killed quite a few English and Danes (Harrying of the North). I don't think it's really that hard to understand if you think about it. Why would they be pleased about being conquered :p.

    You have to realise that most people here would probably associate themselves more with the Anglo-Saxons (who were the "natives," kinda at least) than with the Normans. I don't really find it surprising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartljos View Post
    Well, the French and English have long hated eachother, but that probably stems from the Normans themselves (Normans in England against the French that is). But of course, there is the fact that they were conquered England and changed the language and culture, and that they were (for all intents and purposes) French. And they killed quite a few English and Danes (Harrying of the North). I don't think it's really that hard to understand if you think about it. Why would they be pleased about being conquered :p.

    You have to realise that most people here would probably associate themselves more with the Anglo-Saxons (who were the "natives," kinda at least) than with the Normans. I don't really find it surprising.
    The last distinction between a Norman and an Anglo-Saxon that really mattered, would have been 600 years ago.

    The Normans were as much the enemy of the French people as they were the English, mind you. Remember that in the 100 years war, the Norman king of England was attempting to assert his authority over the French crown, and killed half of the French population in the process.

    For a similar comparison, would the native Britons, aka the Cymri, liken the Anglo-Saxons to the Danes and Germans, as the Anglo-Saxons do with the Normans to the French?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartljos View Post
    Well, culturally it is only partially Germanic (many holidays celebrated in other Germanic countries, f.ex Walpurgisnacht, aren't celebrated by the English.) They are for the most part Christian or non-religious (not Germanic Pagans), write with a latin script, and have great historical ties to France. I think French is even the most studied foreign language. You'll also find many crazies hanging out around stone henge during the summer solstice, and I'm pretty sure Germanics didn't built that structure. Culturally, the English are so far removed from other Germanics that you will find people are surprised to discover that they are related to Swedes or Germans rather often. You will also have people tell you that English comes from Latin (though, they are 50% right ).

    I think that the influence of Latin is less, last I read English was higher percentage Germanic with the Germanic words being used most often in everyday speech. Most Germanic countries are similar in that they are Christian or secular and write in Latin script to an extent. It is easy to pick out the odd thing like Walpurgisnacht (MayDay over here) rather than the larger extent of things we share. I suppose it would be understandable that French would be the most studied seeing as they are closest country. That some people (who possibly identify as ancient Britons/Celts)hang around stonehenge is rather irrelevant. I'm not sure the Swedish influence is that big on the English genepool btw

    The language itself has been messed up to a large degree where it is sort of a pidgin between Dutch and French, which is almost unbelievable considering the brevity of the period in which this change occured. This is another area where you can extrapolate: If the Normans only sent a small number of people in the Ruling Classes to England, and affected the language so profoundly, how many Saxons would it take to have brought English to the island in the first place? However, I still agree that the English are for the most part Germanic (due to (original) language and perceived history) but I have to say, they aren't the most Germanic group, and one would be kidding himself if he were to believe so.

    I only have to hop the border to see with my own eyes the vast amount of Germanic blood in England, it really is that obvious. There is a reason the Welsh dislike the the 'Saes' so I'm pretty sure it was a large enough invasion and variation in culture to warrant this 'perceived' history.

    Are you trying to say that the English are only culturally Germanic? That's just the feeling I'm getting from you. I don't think anybody is saying the English are the most Germanic group just that they owe much more/the genesis of their cultural and genetic identity to it.


    This raises the question: What is Germanic? Is it a cultural-linguistic group? A group related by blood? Because the various Germanic groups do show quite a bit of variation genetically (For example, Austrians and Southern Germans having totally unrelated haplogroups such as E and J (though these are in a minority of people, I am not suggesting these groups are very common). More Northern Germanics tend to have a lot of people with R1a and I1 patrilineage, and the English and nearby West Germanics (and Celts and Romance) tend to be overwhelmingly of R1b lineage).

    Does it really matter if one is R1b or R1a? Does it make one less Germanic to be one or the other? How much variation does a cultural-linguistic group need to be from an agreed source to be un-Germanic?

    As far as the connection to mainland Europe goes, I believe culturally the English were far more intertwined with the Scandinavians (if you don't consider them continental) until the Norman Invasion, after which the focus shifted more towards the traditional continental countries (France in particular).

    Well all Germanic nations were much more similar once in culture I believe.

    Please, feel free to refute anything I've said, because it might just make be see a closer connection between the English and the rest of the Germanics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krähe View Post
    I don't understand some of the hostility that Anglos have towards Normans. The only thing I dislike about the Normans is that they bastardised the English language by bringing in French, so that nowadays a Norwegian can probably understand Old English better than a modern Anglo.

    Other than that, I don't understand it.
    Many people, including some English Nationalists, consider William, king of England, duke of Normandy, (surnamed either the Bastard or the Conqueror depending on one's own predilections) to be something of a blow-in and definitely a usurper, especially as he ended Saxon rule, that is English rule, in England. The dispossession of the English by the Normans still doesn't quite sit well with a number of modern Anglo-Saxons. The Normans were also obviously foreign invaders and occupiers and much given to private warfare between Norman feudal lords, which devastated great tracts of land in England. England's longest civil war was caused by the Norman nobility warring among themselves over the succession to the crown after Henry I, William's son, died in AD 1135. England in AD 1066 was a rich country and at peace, and had been for a considerable length of time, until Harald Hardrada and William of Normandy showed up. For my own part, I would have preferred to have had Harold, king of England, earl of Wessex, the victor at Hastings over William of Normandy.

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