The Seventh Century Lives

A genetic study of Britain shows that Britons still live in the same places as their ancient kingdoms of 600 AD.
In fact, a map showing tribes of Britain in 600AD is almost identical to a new chart showing genetic variability throughout the UK, suggesting that local communities have stayed put for the past 1415 years.
Interesting. That does not hold for the United States.


David Foster said...

There is a correlation between the regions in Germany where pogroms occurred in the 1300s, and the regions where the Nazi vote was strongest 600 years later:

J Melcher said...

They analyzed " the DNA of 2,039 people from rural areas of the UK, whose four grandparents were all born within 80km of each other. "

If your immediate ancestors are all from the same place, your remote ancestors are likely to all have been from that same place.

Reading that, (and admitting that my comprehension may be faulty) it seems the researchers filtered the sample collections to those "British" citizens who would have looked pretty darned pure white or visually indistinguishable from their neighbors. If you had been born in a rural area and looked Roman (Romany?) or Porteguese or Carribean or African or East-Asian -- or had ancestors who could be easily recognized as 'other' -- it might be a lot easier to drift toward the cities at seaports with more cosmopolitan demographics.

It'd be really interesting to see what kind of DNA sample could be collected via CSI crime solving techniques from various museums of British NAVY artifacts. How "British" were the impressed tars who bled for the Empire?

ColoComment said...

I and a few cousins have recently been doing a lot of research into our 19th/20th century ancestors. They were predominantly German, and resided in and around Baltimore, Maryland. They were clerks, well diggers, glass blowers, railroadmen (for B&O RR), a couple of musicians, and a few civil engineers. One or two of the women were "milliners," and worked out of their homes. Most were "house keepers" a/k/a stay-at-home moms.
Multiple branches, and several generations of each, stayed in the area, as evidenced by birth & death certificates, census records, and baptismal and marriage church records. Census records indicate multi-generation residents of housing were frequent: a 25-30 yo married couple with a child born every 2 years, and a widower father or mother, or a single sibling, living with them.
Typically, it is not until the post Civil War period and the expansion of the railroad system that the family individuals started leaving the area.

Not totally on topic, but maybe it contributes to the conversation?

Grim said...

The Civil War caused a ton of movement out of the South, yes. People came from Scotland and settled in a place, and we can still trace those places pretty well -- if you're ever in Franklin, NC, stop in and see the Tartan Museum.

But after the war, there was no food and no work, so people moved.

On the other hand, England had wars too. Lots of them.

Eric Blair said...

I recently got the results of a DNA test--the one that the National Geographic Society is marketing as apart of their Genographic project:

Their analysis of my DNA broke down into their categories (which they have made up for 18 world regions):
Just under half eastern European, about a quarter southern European, just over tenth Asia Minor and a bit more from Scandinavia with trace amounts of Great Britian and Ireland (they combine the British Isles) and trace amounts of what they call the Jewish Diaspora.

Most of that is easily understandable to me, but from what I know of my family history, the side I thought was "German" was apparently more mixed than previously thought.

It is interesting stuff, and since their category of southern Europe includes Spain, I'm going to start marking Hispanic on those forms when ever it comes up in the future.


Grim said...

Heh, indeed.

My parents each did DNA tests, so I haven't done one myself. My father's DNA is solidly British, although drawn from various regions of England, Scotland, Wales, and even Ireland. My mother's DNA included some Western European stuff, and a minor set of markets suggesting a small number of Greek world ancestors.

No Native American markers, so apparently our "family lore" on that subject was false.

ColoComment said...

"But after the war, there was no food and no work, so people moved.
On the other hand, England had wars too. Lots of them."

After the mid-1860s, in the U.S., people COULD move: there was open, unowned land, free for the settling and working of it (let's not digress into how bad it was for the indigenous.) Founding of towns to support those settlers. Stores and the supplying of them, schools, tool-making and selling, and eventually transport & shipping of production. In the UK countries, not so much. England had already incrementally BTDT centuries earlier. Once the English had filled up their water-bordered islands (and been driven out of Brittany & Normandy), land was simply not there for the taking. And notwithstanding that our concept of individualism was born in the English motherland, class & family & lineage constraints were much greater there than in the U.S.

But yes, I take your point.

My DNA indicates a lot of eastern European. Which in large part is my 100% Croatian father, but also my 100% German mother's ancestors may have meandered here by way of Hungary a hundred years earlier. A family story has a great-aunt remembering her mother "swearing" in Schwabian.

As an aside, just this morning I had additional correspondence with a cousin about a single family branch where the baptismal certs. had 3 repetitive & sequential "Joseph"s as children's names. We've seen it before: the high infant/child mortality rates had parents using the same name for a newborn that a previously-deceased child had borne. Causes of death include "croup," "dysentery," and "scarlet fever," none of which would likely prove fatal today. Very sobering, and a reminder that the "good old days" of the past, were not always that good.

MikeD said...

I'd seen a statistic that for the vast majority of the Middle Ages, the average European never traveled more than 10 miles from the place they were born. If true (and I cannot imagine how one would ever go about verifying that) it would certainly explain a lot. Regional dialects in most European languages vary so wildly as to be almost completely separate from the parent tongue (Plattdeutsch sounds almost nothing like Hochdeutsch, French spoken in the countryside is near unintelligible to someone who has only ever spoken Parisian French... though my Father who grew up speaking Canadian French understood it perfectly). And this study would be easily explainable if we take that "10 mile" limit as true.