Cornish or Welsh?

Clark   Saturday, July 05, 2003, 23:11 GMT
I have been doing some genealogy, and I have discovered that I have a lot of ancestors from Somerset in England (mainly from Taunton and Chard). I also have some from Devonshire as well.

One of my ancestors had a last name of "Jones." Now, was Jones a common name in Somerset in the 1500's? I was thinking that Jones is very popular with the Welsh, and since Somerset is not too far from Wales, this person might have some Welsh ancestors. And then I was thinking that since most of my ancestors were from Somerset, they might be Cornish.

Does anyone know how far the Cornish language spread before Anglicisation started to happen? I mean, do people from Somerset and Devonshire feel that they have Cornish (Celtic) speaking ancestors? Is the general feeling that people from Somerset and Devonshire are "Celtic" ?
Ryan   Sunday, July 06, 2003, 23:03 GMT
Celtic languages were spoken at one time all over Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Cornish was one dialect of the Celtic languages spoken in the area. Anglo-Saxon invaders gradually pushed the Brittanic people further back into Devon and then into Cornwall, where only the Cornish dialect continued to exist, until it too died out and is only now being revived into a "new" Cornish.

My own family came from Devon but their ancestry is definitely Anglo-Saxon and not Celtic. I suppose it depends upon family name whether you believe your origins are Celtic or not. It's true that Jones is definitely a popular name among the Welsh.

Clark   Sunday, July 06, 2003, 23:44 GMT

I wonder if in the 1500's the people of Devon were more English than Cornish?
Redacted   Monday, July 07, 2003, 12:12 GMT
Recent genetics tests show that most of the populous of Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly (Kernow), Devon (Dewnsans) and Somerset (Gwlas-an-haf / Gwlad-yr-haf) are Brittonic Celtic in origin.
The same can be said for the people of France and Belgium etc. Genetically their as Celtic as the people of Wales or Ireland, it's just that they no-longer speak a Celtic language, this applies to Southeast Wales and the West-Country (esp. Devon, East Cornwall and Somerset).
I know that during the 18th and 19th century many Somerset and Cornish workers migrated to the South Wales coal-mines. There was evidence of Cornish (Kernewek) speaking peoples who were teaching many miners the language, as was Welsh. And so the question is, did Cornish ever become extinct?
As a first language without any knowledge of English, Cornish as a first language died-out in the 1800's, although Cornish was still continued to be spoken in West Penwith, although East Penwith became heavily Anglised the Cornish language lost-ground fast. Today, there are approx. 5,000 Revived-Cornish speakers in Cornwall and about 15,000 world-wide.
I know that there are also many people in Somerset with the Welsh surnames: Jones and Lewis.
Redacted   Monday, July 07, 2003, 12:29 GMT
The original dwellers of the West-Country were known to the Romans as the Dumnonii (the area covering all lands West of the river Parrett in Eastern Somerset). After the fall of the Roman Empire, Germanic-Teutonic invaders from Western Netherlands (Frisians), Northern Germany (Saxons), Denmark (Angles & Jutes) and Southern Sweden (Geets) drove the Brittonic Celts west of the River Parrett, and later the Tamar, which is now the border between the Counties of Devon (Dewnsans) and Cornwall (Kernow).

There is much evidence that the Romans traded with the people of Restormel, Roman coins have been discovered, in particular a large find of 2,500 coins at Caerhays on the South coast of Restormel. The Cornish Britons suffered many attacks by the Anglo-Saxons (Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Frisians & Geets) The English, Danes and Normans and these invaders greatly influenced the culture and development of the Cornish people, although the language remained Kernewek Celtic.

Legend tells of the Cornish Kings who ruled Cornwall during the "Dark Ages" as the time between the 5th and 9th Centuries was known. Very little is known of them other than their names; Rialobran, Geraint or Gereint, Mark, Doniert and Arthur ab Uthr Bendragon (6th Century Brittonic military leader against the Wessaxens). Near Fowey in Restormel, there is an ancient inscribed Celtic stone known locally as "the Tristan Stone" believed to refer to King Mark and his son Tristan of the "Tristan and Isolde" legend, immortalised by Wagner in his opera Tristan and Isolde.
Redacted   Monday, July 07, 2003, 12:54 GMT
A Web-Site on Brittonic-Celtic Devon (Dewnsans):
Clark   Tuesday, July 08, 2003, 18:56 GMT
Do you really need DNA testing to tell you "who" you are?

Redacted, I asked you once if you would feel as Welsh (or "Celtic") as you do if you were adopted, and you did not know anything about your birthparents. I do not think you gave me an answer.

The point I am making is that we are who we are reguardless of what our ancestors did, or who they were. Genetically, were are who they were, but mentally and culturally, we are very different people.
Redacted   Thursday, July 10, 2003, 13:40 GMT

I agree!, regardlesss of our ancestry we are who we wish to be...whether you identify yourself as being Irish or anyother nationality through birth, ancestry or adopted nationality...I am only discussing genetics because I have managed to trace my father-line back 432 years and 16 generations, due to lack of records before c1571/72 the next step would be FamilytreeDNA Genealogy!
Martin   Friday, July 11, 2003, 23:36 GMT
The south west used to be South Wales until it was annexed by the Saxons. The people of Devon were once in Alliance
with the first anglo saxon kingdom in the hampshire area run by Cerdic.
This kingdom grew and in its history Celtic names can be found for some of
their Kings. Another example were celts did not run but became part of the
new order.
Martin   Friday, July 11, 2003, 23:38 GMT
My father is Welsh and my mother is Cornish. To me I am British because
Cornish and Welsh are two of the components of todays Britain as it was in the past.
Clark   Saturday, July 12, 2003, 01:50 GMT
We never know though if some of our ancestors were adopted. I mean, we could go our whole lives thinking that our ancestors are "German" and then find out that our grandfather was Lithuanian adopted by a German family who moved to England.

Anyways, I am glad we agree on this subject. We can never be absolutely sure of anything. But we can be sure that if we do our genealogy, and there are a substantial amount of people from one area, they probably are 'genetically' ... For example, a majority of my ancestors come from England (a little less than half of my great-great grandparents were of English origin), so it would stand to reason that a good deal of these English-origin ancestors of mine were the descendents of the Anglo-Saxons/Danes/Normans/Vikings/Celts.

Did I explain this all right? Or is it only intelligible to Clark?