Skip to comments.Welsh people could be most ancient in UK, DNA suggests
Posted on 06/20/2012 5:01:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Professor Peter Donnelly, of Oxford University, said the Welsh carry DNA which could be traced back to the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.
The project surveyed 2,000 people in rural areas across Britain.
Participants, as well as their parents and grandparents, had to be born in those areas to be included in the study.
Prof Donnelly, a professor of statistical science at Oxford University and director of the Wellcome Trust centre for human genetics, said DNA samples were analysed at about 500,000 different points.
After comparing statistics, a map was compiled which showed Wales and Cornwall stood out.
Prof Donnelly said: "People from Wales are genetically relatively distinct, they look different genetically from much of the rest of mainland Britain, and actually people in north Wales look relatively distinct from people in south Wales."
While there were traces of migrant groups across the UK, there were fewer in Wales and Cornwall.
He said people from south and north Wales genetically have "fairly large similarities with the ancestry of people from Ireland on the one hand and France on the other, which we think is most likely to be a combination of remnants of very ancient populations who moved across into Britain after the last Ice Age.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
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It would explain the accent :-)
hasn’t it been dogma that the welsh are Britons pushed into the mountains by the anglo-saxon invaders?
I’m still shaking my head over the study in England a couple of years ago that identified a direct descendent of Chedderman. I just find that amazing.
Very enjoyable movie that gets into that a bit:
Well, Tom Jones did have an Afro.
Yes, but before that, the Welsh may have been the indigenous Europeans who were on the island at the time the Celts migrated there. Those populations are still present in Europe genetically, although their languages are dead except for Basque.
True, but it has also been conventional wisdom that the Welsh are Celts that arrived sometime around 500 BC and that there were others there before that that built Stonehenge, which was built around 2500 BC. Turns out the Welsh built Stonehenge.
I LOVE hearing Welsh people speak!
That’s a really CUTE movie!
perhaps they are the ancestors of the Amerindians if there is any truth to the Salutrean hypothesis
perhaps they are the ancestors of the Amerindians if there is any truth to the Salutrean hypothesis
Saint Gildas (who had 20 brothers, a typical jain way of describing it) has a name that means JOYFUL SERVANT in Sanskrit ~ and probably the Gujarat equivalent of Hindi at the time.
There are others.
Gildas taught a particularly rigorous type of pacifism called AHEMSA.
I"m sure everybody's read everything there is about this fellow.
I was watching a sheepdog trial from Wales on RFDTV one day. The announcer mentioned that today, 23 of our 26 contestants have the last name of Jones.
Thanks for posting this interesting article, SunkenCiv!
Monday, 14 March, 2005, 10:31 GMT | BBC
A BBC journalist is urging helpful linguists to come forward to help solve a mystery - why the Hindi (India's official language, along with English) accent has so much in common with Welsh. Sonia Mathur, a native Hindi speaker, had her interest sparked when she moved from India to work for the BBC in Wales - and found that two accents from countries 5,000 miles apart seemed to have something in common.
It has long been known that the two languages stem from Indo-European, the “mother of all languages” - but the peculiar similarities between the two accents when spoken in English are striking.
Remarkably, no-one has yet done a direct proper comparative study between the two languages to found out why this is so, says Ms Mathur.
“What I'm hoping is that if amateurs like myself - who have indulged in doing a little bit of research here and there - come forward, we can actually do proper research with professional linguists,” she told BBC World Service's Everywoman programme.
Ms Mathur explained that when she moved to Wales, everyone instantly assumed she was Welsh from her accent.
“I would just answer the phone, and they would say ‘oh hello, which part of Wales are you from?’,” she said.
We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels
Sonia Mathur “I would explain that I'm not from Wales at all - I'm from India.
“It was just hilarious each time this conversation happened.”
Her interest aroused, Ms Mathur spoke to a number of other people whose first language is Hindi.
One Hindi doctor in north Wales told her that when he answered the phone, people hearing his accent would begin talking to him in Welsh.
“I thought maybe it isn't a coincidence, and if I dig deeper I might find something more,” Ms Mathur said.
Particular similarities between the accents are the way that both place emphasis on the last part of word, and an elongated way of speaking that pronounces all the letters of a word.
“We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels,” Ms Mathur said.
“For example, if you were to pronounce ‘predominantly’, it would sound really similar in both because the ‘r’ is rolled, there is an emphasis on the ‘d’, and all the letters that are used to make the word can be heard.
“It's just fascinating that these things happen between people who come from such varied backgrounds.”
The similarities have sometimes proved particularly tricky for actors - Pete Postlethwaite, playing an Asian criminal in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, had his accent described by Empire magazine as “Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea”.
But not only the two languages’ accents share notable common features - their vocabularies do too.
‘Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea’ or Pete Postlethwaite? Ms Mathur’s own research on basic words, such as the numbers one to 10, found that many were similar - “seven”, for example, is “saith” in Welsh, “saat” in Hindi.
“These kind of things really struck me,” she said.
“When I reached number nine they were exactly the same - it's ‘naw’ - and I thought there had to be more to it than sheer coincidence.”
She later spoke to professor Colin Williams of Cardiff University's School Of Welsh, who specialises in comparative languages.
He suggested that the similarities are because they come from the same mother language - the proto-European language.
“It was basically the mother language to Celtic, Latin, and Sanskrit,” Ms Mathur added.
“So basically that's where this link originates from.”
Ms Mathur noticed the similarities after moving to BBC Radio Wales
"We tend to pronounce everything - all the consonants, all the vowels."
'Apu from the Simpsons holidaying in Swansea' or Pete Postlethwaite?
LOL, see #20. BTW, did you intend to mean East Indian (Subcontinent) kings?
This was a typical warrior elite sort of thing, they owned boats and engaged in both raiding and trade (selling what you steal is the only way to keep the boats afloat).
That was about 1000 BC.
They sailed around the Mediterraean for a few centuries ~ built some fortified towns ~ finally abandoned the area and settled in NW Spain in roughly 700 BC. They gradually took over adjoining Basque areas and finally took off for Ireland and Britain in maybe 500 BC. They took the Basques with them.
Again, they never got out of the warrior elite thing so their genes just disappeared in the far greater Basque and native Celtic genepool, but they did dominate with their language(s).
By the time the Romans arrived in 35AD the Irish were sufficiently advance to be too expensive to be conquered and dealt with. The Celts in Wales were also too expensive to be dealt with. The Celts in the Southern Coastal areas had the best lands and the Romans took them ~ see Boaddica ~ whose name is in a language that's probably been extinct about 1600 years ~ but it says she's the 'feminine form" King Arthur ~ which is really cute. Kind of different than the story handed down by the Romans but it doesn't seem to bother any of the old Celtic language specialists.
The Galician story is gradually displacing the competing British theories.
About 535 AD all he-double toothpicks broke loose and a large number of folks from SE Britain, and Cornwall, moved to Brittany ~ which had just recently lost all its population, its covering vegetation and its wild animals, so it was a mess.
BTW, Brittany in Roman times was run independently of Rome for some reason. These are the same people who'd earlier been allied with Carthage but I suspect they made a separate peace with Rome and that gave them a special status.
The more recent and significant history after the withdrawal of the Legions from Britain is simply that of Brittany ~ which worked in tandem with its counterpart Cornwall to control trade between the mediterranean and the North Sea. They became incredibly wealthy during the early Medieval period, and that lasted right down to Anne of Brittany who was married to three French kings among other things and was reputed to be the richest woman in Europe. The French royal family married into Brittany's top nobility and gradually took over.
If you're on foot that's a long way to anything in Eastern India ~ and BTW, that particular area ~ Greater india would have just then been moving into locales as far removed from the Indian core as Sumatra and coastal regions of what is now Malaysia. The oldest building in Penang was discovered not long ago and it appears to be a tax office built about 700 AD, give or take a couple of centuries.
Today's jains, though, live in East Anglia, New Jersey and Fairfax county VA (bwahahahaha).
Is that BBC series, “The Story of Wales”, an older one, or is it new? I’d love to see it.
That started out back in the early days of the Raj when starving Welshmen were happy to take jobs as school teachers in India!
Personally I think that's entirely too simple an idea because, after all, there are other philological connections.
Anyway, it appears that the Cllovis people were in the east coast at least 12,000 years ago, and their arrow heads and other technology resembled the technology of the people who lived at the same time in Iberia. There is evidence that the original people of Iberia and the British Isles are from a common culture as well, so the original Clovis people may have been Welsh! More accurately, there was probably a common culture in western Europe during the end of the last ice age, and it was that culture from which the Clovis people came.
I saw that too, it was truly amazing.
I try to keep my locations consistent with what they were thought of at the time. Since Columbus had not returned with news of the “West Indies’ until 1493 no such place existed in the 400s.
Pertinent to your interests ping.
This is only about the zillionth time they’ve “discovered” this.
I knew it 20 years ago.
They can often be seen in the company of a Cheddarwoman as well.
Ydy, wir! Diolch yn fawr. Shw mae?
‘Extraordinary’ genetic make-up of north-east Wales men
BBC | 19 July 2011 | BBC
Posted on 07/23/2011 7:26:30 PM PDT by Palter
As conditions improved hunter/gatherers could move away from the Western European refugia Northern Spain, just south of the mountains.
One of the first groups to leave are now believed to be the people we know as the Sa'ami. They moved due North up the coast, and crossed to America, and went South into North Africa, and in time, managed to leave behind their marker gene sequence among the Sakha/Yakuts (ancestral to the Japanese ruling clique who invaded in 560 AD and imposed Buddhism).
It's possible they took along a Welshman or two, but they'd had to have left the Refugia first.
I wonder what the climate was in the hilly country in Wales at that time. Might have been inopportune to bother settling there, and with few people in Western Europe, they couldn't go everywhere.
Also, there's this thing about the Younger Dryas popping up and ruining everything. Evidence is a residual population of Sa'ami actually "wintered over" 1500 years on the Arctic coast. At the same time, their cousins in America were pretty much wiped out.
That climate anomaly definitely kept Britain miserable until about 9500 years ago.
“I LOVE hearing Welsh people speak!”
Aye! Indeed I do too!
Da iawn. Diolch yn fawr! :)
It’s great that you keep track of these old threads and post them for reference on the related topics. The only problem is, I read them and want to comment, and realize the thread’s been dead for 8 years :)
Yes, and by the Romans. The legions had to go to the north of Wales to wipe out the last of the (British) Druids and burn down the last of their oak groves. They thus wiped out the remaining religious and political/cultural core standing in their way. Then they turned around and defeated the last united military threat, Queen Boudica’s rebellion, and Britannia became a real Roman province for several hundred years. All that remained of the Celts were the Irish, who as Scots later conquered Scotland, the Picts, and the remnant Britons in the mountain fastnesses of Wales. Even the Romans couldn’t and wouldn’t want to kill everybody. Living slaves to till the new vineyards and serve the new masters’ estates were more valuable than corpses.
I wonder about these DNA studies, not that I am disputing the findings, but as time goes by, they find out more and more about DNA (like “jumping genes” and epigenetics) that make it hard to come to such a linear conclusion as “this group is the oldest...” etc.
And given the EXTREME bottleneck of the Toba supervolcano event ~75KYA BP, any results need to be factored greatly.
Mankinds population at that time fell to about 5,000 individuals WORLDWIDE! Almost an extinction event!
Those people were some tough mugs. Can you imagine surviving by hand-building small wooden kayaks and traveling along the ice for months at a time, living on seals and fish, and sleeping in the open ocean in sub-freezing temperatures? My wife uses 3 blankets if it drops below 70 in the house.
I'd say that the first caused the second. Meaning that Rome had to either conquer Ireland, or leave the Britons in what is now Wales enough of their ancient tribal structures, and enough personal pride, and enough arms, to protect themselves from Irish raiders. Rome could not reduce them to sullen, unorganized, unarmed, sheep, as it did to the inhabitants in most of the Western Empire, without first eliminating the Irish wolves just to the West.
But Rome did conquer them, although it did not oppress them to the same extent it did in the areas of Britain nearest Gual. The oldest continuously existing Christian community in the British Isles is in Wales. The very name "Wales" comes from the name for foreigner that the Germanic barbarians gave to to people and things assciated with Rome. Wallonia, Wallachia, Vlach, walnut and Wales all derive from the same Germanic root word, because the Germanic invaders of Britain associated the Christian people of what we now call Wales, whose priests and ruling class could speak Latin, with Rome.
Good find! Thanks!
1. PlaidTV - Cymraeg / Welsh Language broadcast
2. Dylan Thomas Reads His Own:
A Child's Christmas in Wales
3. Here is a stadium full of Welsh singing the Welsh National Anthem:
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau ~ Land of my Fathers
4. Wales' Native Son Baritone Bryn Terfel Sings:
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau ~ Land of my Fathers
5. Dylan Thomas Reads His Own:
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
6. Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir - Myfanwy
7. Just for fun and to prove that wherever in the world there are two Welshmen standing next to each other, you shall soon hear them singing in perfect harmony.
This is an amateur, very casual video recording with talking from the audience in the background, one instance of feedback from someone's video cam's mike, but in my opinion, one can still hear the small Hong Kong Welsh Male Voices Choir knocking it out of the park:
The Hong Kong Welsh Choir Sings Gwahoddiad
8. Spine-tingling performance with video of the scenic Rhondda Valley in winter:
Treorchy Male Choir & Wales' Native Son Sir Harry Secombe Sing Cwm Rhondda in English
9. Accompanied by one piano:
Llanelli Male Voice Choir sing "Yfori" - Llandysul Concert Pt.2
10. Wales' Native Son Baritone sings this traditional Welsh lullaby written sometime around 1800:
Bryn Terfel Sings Suo Gân in Welsh
Take that Germanic "filter" out and you are looking at the word "gaul", "gol" (as used by the Greeks in "Magolis" ~ "McWallace" ~ ally to Carthage in the Punic wars), "wal", "alle", "Wall" as in Walonia", and so on.
I think it's a pre-Gaellic word meaning something like "spear chucker". Caesar certainly thought so ~
There’s no bottleneck if one rejects the basis of the DNA studies, which you did in your first sentence.
Could Welsh star Stanley Baker's ancestors be Bronze Age copper miners from Spain?The researchers believe Wales became home to an influx of migrant workers from the Iberian Peninsula and the Balkans 4,000 years ago that helped shape the biological construction of modern Wales.
Darren Devine, Western Mail
April 21 2009
Academics at Sheffield University want to show the genetic traces of migrants who came to work in Bronze Age copper mines on Llandudno's Great Orme and at Parys Mountain, on Anglesey, can still be found.
They are hoping men whose families have lived near the mines for generations will help them establish a genetic link back to the migrants.
They are looking only at male DNA, because men's Y chromosomes carry their genetic heritage from father to son.
The research builds on previous work which showed a sample of people in Abergele, North Wales, had a genetic signature found in the Balkans and on the Iberian Peninsula.
What was the sheepdog charged with? Was he convicted?