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Thread: With what group do you English feel you belong in?2545 days old

  1. #1
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    Default With what group do you English feel you belong in?

    Hello! Your friend Gothic here with more questions about Britain. Due to the fact that British authors have a monopoly on historical fiction I have developed a keen interest in British history!

    Since Britain has been invaded in several stages I was wondering who really won in the end.

    - "Celtic" culture seems to be what the Irish, Welsh and Scottish see themselves as so we can leave that one out for English.

    - The Romans didn't really leave a distinct footprint in Britain so we can leave them out.

    - AFAIK most of today's White English are descendants from the Britons (correct me if I'm wrong). So here is a potential candidate.

    - The Anglo-Saxons: Most likely candidate due to the language and cultural impact.

    - Danes/Vikings: Some English might view themselves as more related to the Danes who settled the Danelaw than for example the early Britons.

    - The Normans: Conquered the crown (as did the Danes) but failed to leave a genetic impact although a big cultural one (somewhat like the Celts).

    So to my questions:

    Who do you view as your forebearers? For example, if you read a book with the above named factions, who do you identify with/root for?

    Who do you think won? I define this answer in connection to with whom you identify.

    Answers appreciated!

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    English are not that different genetically from the rest of the Isles. As far as "blood" goes, English have relatively little Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian or other input. Impossible to tell exactly how much, of course, but for example (this study - http://www.jogg.info/31/campbell.pdf), the only substantial difference in haplogroup distribution between English, Scots and Welsh is that English have higher % of "Germanic" I1 haplogroup - 14% vs 9% Scots and 6% Welsh, and lower R1b - 67% English vs 72% Scots and 82% Welsh. All other differences are insignificant statistically. At least judging from these numbers, we can estimate that Germanic (Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian) input in English is likely less then 10%.

    Cultural self-identification is an entirely different matter though. As far as i know, at least in colonial America, English considered Germans inferior to themselves (except for the Saxons). Surely i don't have to tell you that they considered Celts inferior too. They didn't identify with either obviously.
    Last edited by Cail; 2012-10-27 at 18:32.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cail View Post
    English are not that different genetically from the rest of the Isles. As far as "blood" goes, English have relatively little Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian or other input. Impossible to tell exactly how much, of course, but for example (this study - http://www.jogg.info/31/campbell.pdf), the only substantial difference in haplogroup distribution between English, Scots and Welsh is that English have higher % of "Germanic" I1 haplogroup - 14% vs 9% Scots and 6% Welsh, and lower R1b - 67% English vs 72% Scots and 82% Welsh. All other differences are insignificant statistically. At least judging from these numbers, we can estimate that Germanic (Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian) input in English is likely less then 10%.
    I disagree with this evaluation. The I1 indeed indicates the difference in Germanic input between the English and the Welsh--over twice as high in the English, and probably moreso considering that one of the recognizably "non-Germanic" subclades of I1 (nicknamed I1-AS4 by Nordtvedt) is exclusively Welsh. Looking at the R1b subclades also tells us more than you're letting on, as the English are high in R1b-U106, typical of modern West Germanic peoples, while the Welsh are very high in R1b-L21, which has a more Celtic-type distribution.

    In addition, most of the English form a tight full-genome cluster indicative of recent arrivals from a foreign stock (see the recent maps from the People of the British Isles). When compared against other groups at Eurogenes, we find Kentish people (part of the PotBI "Anglo-Saxon" cluster) looking closer to the Dutch than the Cornish, Irish, or SW Scots:
    Southeast Baltic/Northern European/North Atlantic/East or North Eurasian/Sub-Saharan African/Southern European/Western European
    Irish: 2/27/52/0/0/1/18
    SW Scots: 4/30/48/0/0/0/17
    Cornish: 2/29/48/0/0/4/17
    Kentish: 4/40/35/0/0/5/16
    Dutch: 5/45/29/0/0/10/10

    Overall, I think the evidence is pretty strong for more than 10% Anglo-Saxon input. I don't have a good guess for how much overall, especially because it varies so much by region, but I'd say that a guess of over 50% in some places like East Anglia would be reasonable. The Anglo-Saxon input seems to dwindle quickly in places like Devon and Cumbria, though, and is extremely limited in Cornwall. I see less evidence for Viking input, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    I disagree with this evaluation. The I1 indeed indicates the difference in Germanic input between the English and the Welsh--over twice as high in the English, and probably moreso considering that one of the recognizably "non-Germanic" subclades of I1 (nicknamed I1-AS4 by Nordtvedt) is exclusively Welsh. Looking at the R1b subclades also tells us more than you're letting on, as the English are high in R1b-U106, typical of modern West Germanic peoples, while the Welsh are very high in R1b-L21, which has a more Celtic-type distribution.

    In addition, most of the English form a tight full-genome cluster indicative of recent arrivals from a foreign stock (see the recent maps from the People of the British Isles). When compared against other groups at Eurogenes, we find Kentish people (part of the PotBI "Anglo-Saxon" cluster) looking closer to the Dutch than the Cornish, Irish, or SW Scots:
    Southeast Baltic/Northern European/North Atlantic/East or North Eurasian/Sub-Saharan African/Southern European/Western European
    Irish: 2/27/52/0/0/1/18
    SW Scots: 4/30/48/0/0/0/17
    Cornish: 2/29/48/0/0/4/17
    Kentish: 4/40/35/0/0/5/16
    Dutch: 5/45/29/0/0/10/10

    Overall, I think the evidence is pretty strong for more than 10% Anglo-Saxon input. I don't have a good guess for how much overall, especially because it varies so much by region, but I'd say that a guess of over 50% in some places like East Anglia would be reasonable. The Anglo-Saxon input seems to dwindle quickly in places like Devon and Cumbria, though, and is extremely limited in Cornwall. I see less evidence for Viking input, though.
    A contentious subject. I agree with what you say. An interesting one though - Obviously the first thing to say before starting a discussion like this is that the genetic differences all of NW Europe (Including Celtic & Germanic) areas are relatively small anyway.

    I personally can't wait for POBI to come out - As it seems their technique is much more updated compared to the majority of the older studies done (mostly because of more knowledge of sub-haplogroups and increasing use of autosomal data), so it should leave some good answers.

    I just wouldn't understand why both me and my Dad (my Mum is quite atypical so i haven't included her) would be more similar to the Dutch, Germans and Danish genetically than to the Irish, Scottish and Cornish and as to why i have more IBD sharing with the Dutch, Danish and Norwegians than with the Irish and Scottish, and i even have a small amount of Irish ancestry. I wouldn't understand why this would be if there wasn't major gene-flow between the two areas (going either direction) in more recent ancient times... In my mind at least - if there was very little genetic impact, then the eastern Celtic inhabitants of Britain were genetically quite similar to the northern and western Germanic peoples across the sea already.

    You've mentioned all the other things i would say already and i have to leave now so i'll end this post here.

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    I'd just say that whatever the outcome genetically, ultimately Cail is right about the cultural self-identification side of things - The Anglo-Saxon culture that could be identified with really develops more after those events anyway, so in terms of self-identification it doesn't matter either way. From that perspective an Anglo-Saxon could technically be 100% genetically Celtic, to put a twist on things :P

    Edit: I suppose i should actually answer the question posed by Gothic...
    For me personally i identify with the Anglo-Saxons, as opposed to the other groups - Not out of choice as such... It's not like somebody sits there learning about their history and goes 'i will identify with these people for x and y reasons', you just sort of know when you come across them that these are the people to which you belong. That doesn't mean that i disregard every other part of my ancestry, but you never really have an emotional connection with them, and that's coming from someone who has grown up visiting Scotland, Wales, Ireland etc far more than any other places. I've never been particularly patriotic either so it takes that out of the equation, that is just my honest feeling.
    Last edited by SEJJ; 2012-10-31 at 09:59.

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    Hope you don't mind a mutt answering your post. I'm 1/4 English and then some. I'm only 1/16th Scottish but my maternal side puts a huge emphasis on being descended from the Scottish, for some reason. I don't see myself as Celtic, I think I would am more Anglo in appearance. My husband on the other hand has a pretty strong Danish streak in him (as evidenced by records), so he's probably a mix of that and Briton plus a bit of German and Irish. He looks stereotypically British in my opinion.

    We would both "identify" as colonials. Anyway, aren't all English really a munge of all categories?

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    Ethnically (linguistically) mix of Anglo-Saxon and a little Norman.

    But genetically, English people are mostly descended from native 'Celtic' Britons. Only in places like East Anglia there is higher Anglo-Saxon input genetically, but even there they are still primarily of Britonnic descent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic View Post
    Hello! Your friend Gothic here with more questions about Britain. Due to the fact that British authors have a monopoly on historical fiction I have developed a keen interest in British history!

    Since Britain has been invaded in several stages I was wondering who really won in the end.

    - "Celtic" culture seems to be what the Irish, Welsh and Scottish see themselves as so we can leave that one out for English.

    - The Romans didn't really leave a distinct footprint in Britain so we can leave them out.

    - AFAIK most of today's White English are descendants from the Britons (correct me if I'm wrong). So here is a potential candidate.

    - The Anglo-Saxons: Most likely candidate due to the language and cultural impact.

    - Danes/Vikings: Some English might view themselves as more related to the Danes who settled the Danelaw than for example the early Britons.

    - The Normans: Conquered the crown (as did the Danes) but failed to leave a genetic impact although a big cultural one (somewhat like the Celts).

    So to my questions:

    Who do you view as your forebearers? For example, if you read a book with the above named factions, who do you identify with/root for?

    Who do you think won? I define this answer in connection to with whom you identify.

    Answers appreciated!
    I must begin with the caveat that I am an American of several generations' standing, but my primary ethnicity is English, followed by Ulster Scots at 25%, followed by French Cajun at 1/8, followed by German at 1/16. Very well. My paternal line does come from England by way of the Goodwin family and my Y DNA is I1. Fine. I would consider my origins as being rather heavily Germanic, although my PCA plot lands me firmly in the area of South England. I suppose I identify myself as an Anglo-Saxon rather than a Brythonic Celt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gothic View Post
    Hello! Your friend Gothic here with more questions about Britain. Due to the fact that British authors have a monopoly on historical fiction I have developed a keen interest in British history!

    Since Britain has been invaded in several stages I was wondering who really won in the end.

    - "Celtic" culture seems to be what the Irish, Welsh and Scottish see themselves as so we can leave that one out for English.

    - The Romans didn't really leave a distinct footprint in Britain so we can leave them out.

    - AFAIK most of today's White English are descendants from the Britons (correct me if I'm wrong). So here is a potential candidate.

    - The Anglo-Saxons: Most likely candidate due to the language and cultural impact.

    - Danes/Vikings: Some English might view themselves as more related to the Danes who settled the Danelaw than for example the early Britons.

    - The Normans: Conquered the crown (as did the Danes) but failed to leave a genetic impact although a big cultural one (somewhat like the Celts).

    So to my questions:

    Who do you view as your forebearers? For example, if you read a book with the above named factions, who do you identify with/root for?

    Who do you think won? I define this answer in connection to with whom you identify.

    Answers appreciated!

    I'm an American with British ancestry. All of the above. All areas and all ethnic groups. I have a lot of Norman ancestry, and some Briton and some Roman. The early colonial American families that came from England have Norman ancestry.

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    Excellent thread.
    Last edited by Gooding; 2016-06-30 at 05:27.

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