Skip to comments.Genetic Survey Reveals Hidden Celts Of England
Posted on 12/06/2001 6:35:33 AM PST by blam
SUNDAY DECEMBER 02 2001
Genetic survey reveals hidden Celts of England
JOHN ELLIOTT AND TOM ROBBINS
THE Celts of Scotland and Wales are not as unique as some of them like to think. New research has revealed that the majority of Britons living in the south of England share the same DNA as their Celtic counterparts.
The findings, based on the DNA analysis of more than 2,000 people, poses the strongest challenge yet to the conventional historical view that the ancient Britons were forced out of most of England by hordes of Anglo-Saxon invaders.
It suggests that far from being purged and forced to retreat into Wales, Cornwall and Scotland when the AngloSaxons invaded in the 5th century, many ancient Britons remained in England.
The study, conducted by geneticists at University College London, found that as many as three-quarters of the men tested in some parts of the south of England have the same Y-chromosome as the ancient Britons or Celts, rather than that of the Anglo-Saxons.
Overall, the scientists found that between 50% and 75% of those tested in parts of southern England were directly descended from Celts, implying that they had survived the Anglo-Saxon invasion. In Scotland the proportion of those with Celtic ancestry was found to be little different from the population of southern England.
"The evidence is quite strong that there is a substantial indigenous component remaining in England," said Professor David Goldstein, who led the study. "Genetics has opened up a powerful window on the past. We can now trace the movements of peoples and address questions that have proved difficult to answer through history and archeology alone."
The study, commissioned by BBC2 for its current Blood of the Vikings series, was designed to assess the impact of Norwegian and Danish Vikings, as well as Anglo-Saxons, on the British population.
Researchers took swabs of saliva from 2,000 people in 30 locations around Britain, and from 400 people in Norway, Denmark and Schleswig- Holstein, the area in northern Germany identified by the team as a homeland of the AngloSaxons. Those taking part had to have lived in the area for at least two generations.
Scientists then examined the Y-chromosome, which is passed unchanged down the male line of a family and is thus not altered by intermarriage.
The analysis showed that 60% of the men tested on Orkney were descended from Norwegian Vikings, as well as 30% of those in the Hebrides. While the Viking influence in these areas has been well known, it had been suggested that they were simply a ruling elite who did little interbreeding with the local population.
On the mainland, the survey found that 70% of those tested in York were from the continental European groups rather than the indigenous population, suggesting that the Anglo-Saxons made more of an impact on the Celts in northern England.
Only 10% of those tested in Wales were of Anglo-Saxon origin, confirming that it has retained an almost exclusively Celtic population.
In recent years the fate of the Celts in England has become hotly debated. Many historians have come to doubt the traditional story about the flight of the Celts from southern England, which was based largely on the account of Gildas, the 6th-century historian.
"There are various schools of thought ranging from near genocide (of the Celts) to almost total survival," said Patrick Sims-Williams, professor of Celtic studies at the University of Wales. "There could have been mass flight as well its partly a matter of scholarly fashion, coming and going from generation to generation."
The genetic data will be eagerly received by scholars. Many of the place names in southern England have Celtic origins. Among them are Leatherhead, in Surrey, which meant "the grey ford".
"If you believe Gildas, the Anglo-Saxons would have been chasing the ancient Britons, catching up with one who wasnt fast enough and saying, Look here, before I cut off your head, just tell me the name of this place," said Dr Margaret Gelling, a leading authority on place names.
Monday, 3 December, 2001, 18:15 GMT
Viking blood still flowing
Many Vikings settled in Britain 1,200 years ago
Blood tests taken over the past year may help show part of Cumbria in northwest England was a Viking stronghold 1,200 years ago.
Geneticists discovered the area around Penrith has clear evidence of Norwegian influence.
However, the study also confirms that Vikings settled in large numbers in the Shetland and Orkneys and the far north of the Scottish mainland.
The research is part of a ground-breaking project commissioned by the BBC to uncover the UK's Viking roots.
In the first large-scale genetics survey of its kind, experts from University College, London, studied the DNA of 2,000 people.
The full results of the project will be revealed in the final programme of the series, Blood of the Vikings, on Tuesday at 2100 GMT.
The study shows the genetic pattern of the Vikings remains in some parts of the UK population.
The research confirms the Norwegian Vikings did not just raid and retreat to Scandinavia, but actually settled in Britain.
Of all the English test sites, only Penrith in Cumbria had clear evidence of Norwegian influence.
Surprisingly, mainland Scotland had a similar Celtic input as the population of southern England, showing that not only were the English never "homogenous Anglo-Saxons", but neither were the Scots predominantly Celtic.
Geneticist Professor David Goldstein, from the University College London (UCL), led the study. He said: "Modern genetics has opened up a powerful window on the past.
"We can now trace past movements of peoples and address questions that have proved difficult to answer through history and archaeology alone.
"I'm delighted that we have been able to distinguish clear markers to indicate the genetic inheritance from the Norwegian Vikings."
Scientists at UCL took mouth swabs from 2,000 people from 25 different locations across Britain.
They only tested men because information they were interested in was contained on the Y chromosome - which women do not have.
The genetic material in the samples was compared with DNA taken from people in Scandinavia where some locals are thought to be most similar to the Vikings.
I'd be interested to see if the DNA info indicates any correlation between England and Italy. After all, my Roman ancestors were there for a good 400 years, and we Mediterraneans ALWAYS go for those succulent pale redhead types...
Taken in another light. The United States govt. chased Indians the hell out of every habitable plot of land in the Union. This is a fact. But who would want to bet that if a similar test were performed in the United States, that most individuals would show a Sioux, Iriqouis, or any other Indian Nation, trace in their DNA? Would that then mean that we really didn't round most Indians up, via coercian, treaty and force into lifeless "reservations"? No.
Well, DUHHH, what did they think, they should go to Nigeria for viking DNA???
NO it wouldn't. For the Y chromosome to have survived, it's the MEN of the Celts that had to keep breeding. You couldn't take their wives without your invading Y chromosome showing up. Perhaps as the Anglo-Saxons invaded they had their wives impregnated by the Celtic men before they cut their heads off? (sarcasm /off)
Most likely Cherokee. I am sure that most people in East Tennessee have some Cherokee blood in them. Elvis Presly himself was part Cherokee.
A teacher in Cheddar was found to be a direct descendant (female line only) of the mother of a 9000-years-old boy whose skeleton was found just a few miles away...
Still, there are many locales and cities, as you say especially in the northeast, and east London, etc. where Anglo-Saxon and/or Viking genes have equal or greater prevalence...East Anglia, Boston, Grantham...
I've actually seen a comparison to an American Indian language to the Basque language. (forgot which tribe/language) A number of unexplainable similarities were found. Now, Plutarch, examining the ruins of Carthage cites charts/graphs/etc. he found that were accounts of trade with nations across the Atlantic Ocean.
DNA links teacher to 9,000-year-old skeleton
Submitted by: CNN
March 7, 1997
Web posted at: 11:20 p.m. EST
LONDON (AP) -- Using DNA from a tooth, scientist have established a blood tie between a 9,000-year-old skeleton known as "Cheddar Man" and an English schoolteacher who lives just a half mile from the cave where the bones were found.
Oxford University scientists announced Friday that Adrian Targett, 42, a history teacher in the town of Cheddar in southwest England, shares a common ancestor with Cheddar Man.
It is the longest human lineage ever traced, the team of scientists from the university's Institute of Molecular Medicine said.
A very long-lost relative
"They would have shared a common ancestor about 10,000 years ago so they are related -- just not very closely," said Dr. Bryan Sykes, leader of the research team.
Targett was startled by the news.
"I am overwhelmed, a bit surprised," said Targett, whose ancestry was revealed during the filming of a documentary for the TV station HTV, which commissioned the study.
"I was just about to say I hope it's not me."
Targett suggested that if more people were tested, researchers would find other relatives of Cheddar Man.
Larry Barham, a Texas-born archaeologist at Bristol University, said the finding "adds to the evidence that Britons came from a race of hunter-gatherers who later turned to farming because they found it was to their advantage." Archaeologists believe Cheddar Man, who lived during the Stone Age, was a hunter-gatherer.
Opponents of this theory argue that Britons are descendants of Middle Eastern farmers.
Mitochondrial DNA shows a link
To get the DNA, scientists extracted cells from a molar tooth of Cheddar Man.
They compared the mitochondrial DNA -- which is inherited unchanged on the maternal line -- with samples of mitochondrial DNA from the cheek cells of 15 pupils at the Kings of Wessex school, where Targett works, and five adults from old Cheddar families.
Professor Chris Stringer, a researcher at London's Natural History Museum, said one problem with the research "is that we don't know that Cheddar Man had any children. This is mitochondrial DNA that is only inherited through the maternal link, so this would come from Cheddar Man's mother or his sister."
HTV said the discovery came when a television director was researching a series on archaeology. In search of information on whether cannibalism was practiced by Stone Age man, scientists took a sample of cells from the jaw of Cheddar Man, HTV said.
That led them to wonder if there could be modern-day relatives of the ancient man, who was discovered in 1903.
The network of underground caves at Cheddar, 130 miles west of London, is believed to have been home to a community of Stone Age people. Many artifacts have been found there.
I once read a reference to an expedition in the late 1600s wherein a welshman was able to communicate with a group of Noth American Indians in his native speech. I've never been able to find out more about it, but I found that to be fascinating.
It's already been conclusively proved that the Norse were in N.A. 500 years before Columbus. We will probably eventually learn that there was a great deal more contact between the "Old" and "New" Worlds than we ever imagined.
There is a plaque here at the mouth of Mobile Bay commerating the visit of a Welsh prince in 1170AD.( I cannot remember his name presently) He is reported to have migrated inland up the water ways of Alabama into Tennessee (There is some supporting ruins there) and on into the heartland, this is supposedly the source of the Welsh language speakers that you cite. (I'll think of the name of the Welsh prince today.)
Welcome and Croeso to the Website.
My name is Howard Kimberley and I was born in Maesteg, Glamorgan, South Wales, in 1944. I am a former Engineer who spent many years in Technical Research and Development, and Project Management. Since 1987, I have worked as a Business Consultant assisting the formation and development of small businesses. I have a science degree with certificates in accounting and marketing as well as a qualification in business planning. I am not a professional or even a trained historian, but a down-to-earth engineer and business advisor, so my approach to historical research may be somewhat radical.
The story of MADOC, a Welsh prince, who is reputed to have discovered America in 1170, over 300 years before Columbus, has fascinated me for many years.
It is said that he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Wales, a small country on the western side of the British mainland, which together with Ireland, Scotland and England, make up the British Isles.
Many believe that he and his followers initially settled in the Georgia/Tennessee/ Kentucky area, eventually moving to the Upper Missouri, where they were assimilated into a tribe of the Mandans. New evidence is also emerging about a small band of MADOC's followers who remained in the Ohio area and are called 'White Madoc'.
Numerous people, on both sides of the Atlantic, have researched the story over the years. Such a subject is bound to have its sceptics, and what I have set out to achieve with this site is to establish the truth about Prince MADOC, by presenting both sides of the argument. The more I study the subject and contemplate the implications, the stronger the fascination becomes, so much so, in fact, that I am now in the process of setting up a trust which will undertake further research, and a company which will support and promote the trust.
So read on, consider the arguments, have your say, and join me in the fascinating quest for the truth about MADOC, a prince who lived over 800 years ago, and the link between a tiny kingdom in Wales, and the mighty continent of North America.
To quote that famous Welsh Politician, Aneurin Bevan,
"This Is My Truth - Tell Me Yours"
I don't know, but I heard that Finnish and possibly Hungarian [Magyar] are related to Basque.
I stand corrected.
(note to self: coffee first, then post...)
You might be interested in the following site.
You may also find this site interesting as well. For a little bit of a challenge to "mainstream" history.
It makes for interesting reading..
Are you kidding? You can trace your family back that far?
Interesting idea. What leads you to suspect a 'migration-in-reverse'? (I have some ideas along that line too but, little evidence)
The Romans were forced to throw grappling hooks into the Gauls ships' rigging to pull themselves alongside and storm the ships with seige ladders as if storming a walled fortification. Then the Romans slaughtered the Gauls and sunk their ships, ending whatever commerce or travleing they were engaged in.
Caesar made no comment about whether the Gauls carried national ID cards.
Being of mostly Celtic heritage probably explains my good looks. ;)
Isn't the French Basque dialect very similar to the Welsh dialect? Read this sometime ago ...
Sure, some of it. The branch that carried the current family name, anyway, but not all the lines that married in and changed their name. It's filled in a lot better after 1650.
I don't understand the difference between a direct descendent versus an indirect descendent.
AYE what would you do without your FREEEEEEDOOOOOMMMMMMMM?
Yup. See my post #22.
I haven't heard that, but it is interesting. There may be a link: in the Scottish Declaration of Independence, which hails from the era just after William Wallace, it is mentioned that the Scots had previously been to the land where the 'Pillars of Hercules' is, which is known as the gateway to the mediterranean, and usually associated with Spain. More study needs to be done regarding these matters.
I know from my own last name entered the lexicon of the Scots-Irish from the Normans, who came from France, and Scandinavia before that. Too bad this article didn't mention them, they have a heavy influence on England as well.
My G'father was from Sterling Scotland, and as I also play the pipes, I know the story well. I Sat throught Braveheart 3 times the first time I saw it. I prefer to consider the movie to be an alegory to Goldwater and Reagan.
Alba Go Bragh!
Erin Go Bragh!
A History of the Basque Language
By Manfred Owstrowski, a German linguist and professor
I. Language families and genetic language relationships in Europe
Most of the languages spoken in Europe belong to one single language family: Indo-European. Basque is the sole surviving non-Indo-European language in Western Europe, it is classified as a language isolate. Besides Indo-European, there are to be found languages of four other families in Europe; the Uralic family and the Altaic stock are represented, and we have to add two language families in the Caucasian area, namely South Caucasian and North Caucasian.
The Indo-European language family can be divided into 11 branches, consisting of living and/or extinct languages of Europe and parts of Asia: Indo-Iranian, with Sanskrit and modern representatives like Hindi and Punjabi on the Indic side and Persian, Kurdish, Pashto and many other languages on the Iranian side; Armenian; Classical and Modern Greek; Albanian, which presumably is a descendant of the ancient Illyrian language; Italic, originally consisting of Osco-Umbrian and Latino-Faliscan, today represented by the modern descendants of Latin, the Romance languages (Rumanian, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and others); Celtic, with Irish (= Gaelic), Welsh and Breton still spoken; Germanic, with the extinct Gothic language, North Germanic (Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic) and West Germanic (German, Dutch, Frisian, English); Baltic, here we have to mention Lithuanian and Latvian; Slavic, with Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Serbo- Croatian, Bulgarian and some others; Tocharian, which is divided into two languages (called Tocharian A and Tocharian B) once spoken in an area of western China; finally, Anatolian, a group of long extinct languages (e.g., Hittite and Luwian) of what is now Turkey. All these branches of Indo-European are believed to go back to a single proto-language, called Proto-Indo-European. The area where Proto-Indo-European was originally spoken (the Proto-Indo-European homeland) is still a matter of dispute, but various hints point to Eastern Europe, north and north-east of the Black Sea, and it seems to be rather clear that Indo-European languages are relatively late intruders in Western Europe. Concerning the time when Proto-Indo-European must have been in use, one may think of the end of the stone age in Europe.
....snip....(I've read reports from linguists that the 'mother tongue' originates in Anatolia.)