To the English people here: Celtic or Anglo-Saxon bloodline?

Uriel   Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:37 am GMT
Well, well! So "Deepings" really IS a plural.
Ade   Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:30 pm GMT
DNA studies showed that the majority of English people are germanic and the Welsh (more in the north and west) are truly the ancient people of this land!
Damian in Edinburgh   Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:27 am GMT
***the Welsh (more in the north and west) are truly the ancient people of this land!***

I hope no Welsh person reads that.....I've been to Wales several times and a lot of them are bursting with youth and vitality and physical prowess! Take it from me - it's true.

But as a are right. They were the original inhabitants of much of these islands, including what is now England. Then along came marauding invaders and they were pushed westwards into the mountain fastnesses of what is now modern (as opposed to ancient) Wales.....also called Cambria, or Cymru (the Welsh word for Wales, and pronounced roughly as "CUM-ree" - although the Welsh "u" is voiced more or less exactly the same as the French "u" in words like "tu" or "du". The Welsh nationalists political party of Wales is called Plaid Cymru, who have several representatives at the London (Wesminster) Parliament.....English people invariably mispronounce Plaid Cymru in all sorts of weird Wales! It should be pronounced (strongly and emphatically) - "Plied Cum-ree" - if you can't quite manage the French "u" sound properly - Cum-ree will do...infinitely better than the dog's breakfast most English people make ot "coom-roo" - that seems to be their favourite!

The original Welsh Language had been in existence in these islands yonks and yonks before English came into being in it's original form. Many, many years before!
Xie   Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:56 pm GMT
How possible is it to do a genetic test?

I'm afraid that most people can't tell what make themselves. But... is it all that important? Though, with such thinking, I could doubt if I share the same blood with ancient people who lived in present-day Henan over 3000 years ago. Or am I Xianbei?
Earle   Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:19 am GMT
There are quite a number of firms offering tests which give a rough idea of the ethnic input of the various family lines of folks of predominantly European heritage. They range around $300 or so, depending on whether one is interested in the maternal line (mitrochrondial DNA) or not - more, if so. In your case, assuming you are of Han background, I'm not sure of how much value the tests would be. Strictly from the hip, the available tests, if their data bases are inclusive enough, would be of more interest to ethnic Chinese from around the periphery of mainland China, since there would be more of a possibility of input from other ethnic groups. I'd be happy to hear input from those with more familiar with the available DNA tests...
Guest   Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:12 pm GMT
Guest   Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:23 pm GMT
From the 1570s onwards, many black slaves were taken to England.

More than 20.000 African slaves lived in London in 1764 (Walvin 1984) together with many other slaves from East India.

If you have brown or black eyes what descent are you?
Uriel   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:38 pm GMT
All races have people with brown eyes in them.
K. T.   Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:42 pm GMT
Thank-you for saying that, Uriel.
Guest   Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:48 am GMT
What's the definition of race, anyway?
Earle   Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:48 am GMT
Good question. I'd been wondering about the tossing about of a term which I thought had been thoroughly discredited, at least as a serious anthropological term. To treat Scots and Welsh as separate races is comical, when they're really closely related ethnic groups. In the end, genetically, we're all African, anyway...
tüylü   Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:04 pm GMT
There was no "invasion of the Celts" (or anyone else) into Britain at the advent of the Iron Age, nor is there any real connections between British Celts and those perceived as Celts from central Europe (La Tene, Hallstatt) - there was no major movement of people into Britain from the Neolithic period until the Romans turned up.

Archaeologists led by Prof. Colin Renfrew and Prof. Barry Cunliffe, along with linguists like John Waddell (Galway) and John Koch (Aberystwyth) and geneticists like Oppenheimer and Sykes turned the old ideas on their heads some years ago.

The Celtic speaking people who populated Britain (West Britain in particular) were here during the Neolithic and may even have been earlier. Celtic languages developed from Indo-European along the Atlantic coasts of Europe, from Spain to the Hebrides as a common language of the sea trading that went on even then.

Interesting thought, though - the language of people in Britain before the spread of Celtic might have been an early form of Basque (suggested quite convincingly by Oppenheimer).

Remember that between 1014-1035 the Heptarchy (England) was ruled by the Danes. Neither Sweyn Forkbeard nor Canute properly conquered or controlled the Celtic regions of Scotland, Wales or Cornwall. These modern day Celtic nations were "client nations" who had to pay a yearly tribute or "danegeld" to both Sweyn and Canute, but, provided they did so, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall kept their autonomy from the Danes.

The Cornish Celts and the Viking Empire

In 722, the Cornish Celts (known as the West Welsh) allied with Danish Vikings in order to hold Wessex (Saxons) from expanding into Cornwall, or Dumonia, which in those days stretched past Exeter in the east. A Wessex Saxon raid led by King Ine was destroyed by an alliance of Cornish and Vikings near the Camel estuary at "Hehil", possibly somewhere near modern day Padstow. The Cornish allowed their Danish allies to use Cornish habours as safe anchorages and to attack Wessex and the Danes provided tactical support to their Cornish allies by raiding Wessex which weakened the authority of the Saxons. In 831 AD, the Danes raided Charmouth in Dorset, in 997 they destroyed the Dartmoor town of Lydford, and from 1001 to 1003 AD they occupied the old Roman city of Exeter. In 936 Athelstan fixed Cornwall's eastern boundary at the Tamar but there is no record of Athelstan taking his campaigns into Cornwall and Huwel, King of the Cornish, agreed to pay tribute thus avoiding further attacks and maintaining a high degree of autonomy.

In 1013 the Vikings, under Sweyn Forkbeard's leadership, totally crushed and conquered Wessex, followed by the rest of the English Heptarchy, and Sweyn annexed Wessex to his Viking empire which included Denmark, Norway and the "Danelaw". However, Sweyn did not annex Cornwall to his Viking empire, instead he accepted a small annual amount of tribute (danegeld) from the Cornish in return for Cornish autonomy.

This confirms that Cornwall was never part of Wessex and yet Anglo-biased historians hardly mention Sweyn Forkbeard and his son Canute. Hmm, odd that, isn't it? Nothing to do with the fact that Wessex was over-run and humiliated by Sweyn and his Viking army?... and that Sweyn humilated the Wessex Saxons even further by turning them into a crushed subject people.

Sweyn knew that the Danes and Cornish had long been allies and was therefore very benign to Cornwall and he knew that his Viking army could have crushed Cornwall, like Wessex, but they chose not to. Sweyn's son Canute was also very benign to Cornwall, and charged only a small amount of tribute to the Cornish during his reign (1016-1035) in return for Cornish autonomy.

Ultimately, the Danes control of Wessex was lost in 1042 with the death of both of Canute's sons (Edward the Confessor retook Wessex for the Saxons) but nevertheless this important piece of history, that Cornwall was not part of the Danes empire is critical and shows that both the Saxons and the Danes had very little political input into Cornwall during the pre-Norman conquest era.
Damian in Edinburgh   Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:16 pm GMT
I love reading modern history, and that includes anything to do with the Second World War, of course. In Scotland here at least (I don't know for sure whether it's the same in England, but I would reckon it's the same down there) it is part of the modern (20th century) history curriculum in the higher school grades. I have also read some very good books about it since then.

The social aspects of it all are very interesting, especially how wartime conditions brought about radical social changes in Britain during WW2, and racial issues played an important part in all this. In this days Britain was a very different counyry to what it is today in so many ways, and outside of some of the larger town and cities, the majority of people in the more rural areas had never actually set eyes on a real individual with a skin colour that was not white European.

On the outbreak of WW2 a mass evacuation of all children took place - from the larger towns and cities and other areas considered to be at most risk from direct enemy action - ie bombing and aerial attacks. Glasgow and Edinburgh (among other vulnerable Scottish areas) were obviously affecrted, and saw all those kids whose parents agreed to have evacuated being sent to "safer" locations way out in the extensive countryside. Compulsory billeting meant that those people living in those areas who had space in their homes had no option but to take the kids in and accept them as part of their "family". By wartime emergency regulations they could not refuse unless they had very good reason to do so.

Although large scale "black and coloured" immigration into the UK (from Commonwealth countries) did not take place in Britain until the late 1950s, there were already much smaller "black and coloured" communities in some of the larger cities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, and of course their kids, too, had to be sent out to the safety of small towns and villages and even to the even more isolated communities in the Scottish countryside.

It was only then that inhabitants of some of the more rural areas of Scotland saw black and coloured kids for the very first time in their lives, in the flesh, and they were regarded with extreme novelty and curiosity, and billeting officers had great fun housing them with people eager to have these "very cute little black" kids taken into their homes.

From 1942 onwards Britain became invaded by a massive force of troops and they infiltrated every nook and cranny of these islands - no area escaped this invasion, they were everywhere.

But these guys were "friendly" and they spoke a "Language" which in those days was not anything like as familiar as it is today - it was the American Language, and pretty soon British kids knew the joys of chewing gum as well as loads and loads of sweets (candies) and foodstuffs and other nice goodies which had become scarce or even non existent in a war torn, bomb damaged country like ours was in those days, and which the American guys had brought along with them from America.

These Americans became universally known as Yanks, wherever inthe US they came from. Yanks were our allies, but the attitude towards them among the native Brits was noticeably split down the middle on gender lines! The younger male Brits, especially, did not quite look upon the Yanks in quite the same light as did the female (especially the younger ones) population, and coined the phrase "oversexed, overpaid and over here".

Among all these American servicemen were large numbers of black guys, and these, too, became the first black people many Brits had ever set eyes on, but what really astonished and puzzled the Brits was the very obvious segregation there was between the white and the black American troops. The two races simply did not interact or mix with each other socially, and Brits again became aware of something new again - a form of "apartheid". It was something the Brits couldn't get their heads round....the British girls who danced with black American guys, especially. All the censure came from the white Americans.

How times change -thankfully. Now we may even see a black American President come next year.....
Damian in Alba   Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:34 pm GMT

Those maps will have to be subject to some change soon if the residents of Berwick-upon-Tweed have their way! At present, Berwick is just inside the borders of England - it has switched back and forth between Scotland and England a number of times over the centuries, but the English have held on to it now for several hundred years.

However, an informal referendum in the Berwick-upon-Tweed area has shown that a majority of its citizens have voted by a fairly large margin to be return "home" - to its rightful place, in their minds - Scotland. Whether their wish will ever be granted is a whole different matter - it will involve a wee bit of an administrative nightmare to fully implement. But when you consider the benefits of living on the Scottish side of the border I can understand why the people of Berwick would like the border moved south five miles so that the estuary of the River Tweed forms the natural boundary between the two countries.

Completely free education for all students and completely free residential and community care for all people over 65 in Scotland being just two of them (not available in England) in addition to the exisiting overall UK wide free healthcare servcies under the NHS.
Xie   Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:55 pm GMT
If you have brown or black eyes what descent are you?

It's been funny that "patriotic" songs describing the Chinese, I mean some, are saying that they have black eyes. I don't have black eyes, but very dark brown eyes, or else I'd have eye problems.