PDA

View Full Version : On the Genetic Position of Cornwall



sktibo
10-25-2019, 02:21 AM
Cornwall is a very intriguing region of Britain, and part of what makes it so intriguing is that it seems to have such a strong national culture despite not being technically separate from England, in the way that Wales and Scotland are. The people I’ve had conversations with who are of Cornish descent often express a strong Celtic identity.
We have four major genetic studies on Britain and Ireland, and Cornwall’s genetic position in these studies is quite interesting. I’ve grouped together what I consider to be some of the most important charts and graphs which include Cornwall for the purpose of more easily examining the relationship of this region compared to the other regions in Britain and Ireland.
34159
First, we have the dendrograms, which show us how the samples cluster. Note that in the top dendrogram, the pink cross represents Cornwall and the red square represents England. In the dendrograms from the People of the British Isles (POBI) and the Insular Celtic Population Structure and the Genomic Footprints of Migration (ICPS) we see that Cornwall, while still in the same grouping as England, is the most distinct cluster in that grouping, yet it is not as distinct as the clusters in Northern England. The POBI dendrogram is on the top of the image and the ICPS dendrogram is center left. The center right dendrogram is from the Irish DNA Atlas (IDA) and this time it shows the Northern English clusters as the most distinct in the English clusters grouping, with Cornwall being the second most distinct. Finally, we have the dendrogram from the Genetic Landscape of Scotland and the Isles (GLSI) which departs from the dendrograms we saw in the previous three studies by grouping Cornwall more closely to England than the Welsh borders, or the Marches. Although the clusters representing Northern England cluster with Scotland in both the POBI and the ICPS studies, Cornwall remains clustered with England, albeit more distantly than the distinctive English regions such as Devon. This indicates that Cornwall is more like Central England than the Northern English regions are.
34160
Second, we have some t-SNE and PCA charts from the ICPS and the GLSI. I was unable to identify the Cornish markers in the PCA charts from the IDA and the GLSI and so I was unable to include those here. The top image is PC 1 and 3 from the ICPS, the central image is PCA 1 and 2 from the ICPS, the bottom left is the t-SNE from the GLSI, the bottom center is PC 1 and 4 from the ICPS, and the bottom right is the t-SNE from the ICPS. Please note that Cornwall in the ICPS is a pale-yellow colour, and I’ve included a snippet from the dendrogram for reference to help identify Cornwall’s position in ICPS PCAs 1 and 2 and 1 and 3. In ICPS PCA 1 and 2 and 1 and 3 Cornwall’s position can be located as underneath YOR. It is distinctively left of the red English markers and seems to cluster with York, North-East England, Cumbria, and Devon most closely. PCA 1 and 3 (top) shows more easily identifiable British clusters than PCA 1 and 2, and what is notable there is that the Welsh Borders are positioned further from England than Cornwall is. However, in PCA 1 and 4 (bottom center) and the ICPS t-SNE, (bottom right) Cornwall is incredibly distinctive, appearing closer to South Wales than to England in PCA 1 and 4. Cornwall also shows a notable degree of separation from the English cluster in the GLSI t-SNE, comparable to that of the Northern English cluster. Despite this, only ICPS PCA 1 and 4 show Cornwall with a greater degree of separation from England than a Scottish cluster. These charts show that in some dimensions Cornwall does have a notable amount of genetic distinctiveness, although other dimensions show that the opposite can be seen as well.
34161
Third, we have two forms of comparison with ancient Insular Celtic genomes to the modern British and Irish clusters. The left chart is a k2 from the ICPS which sorts ancestry by samples from ancient Anglo Saxons (red bar) and ancient Britons (green bar.) The right panel shows how these samples appear when analyzed in the same way and includes the Driffield Terrace Romano-British samples. I added the black line across the graph to show that the Irish NLU cluster has more ancient Briton like ancestry than 3 of the 4 ancient British samples do and looks like it might be close to a median point of all four of these samples. The blue line across the graph represents Cornwall’s position, and interestingly it appears to share about the same amount of ancient Briton like ancestry that North-East England does in this analysis. Cornwall has less Anglo-Saxon like ancestry in this analysis than Devon, the Welsh Borders, Cheshire, South England, West England, Yorkshire, and Cumbria. However, it shows more Anglo-Saxon like ancestry than Orkney, Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. The chart on the right, from the GLSI, shows shared drift with the ancient Gael samples found in Iceland, with the left of the chart representing more shared drift and the right of the chart showing less. We see that Argyll and Donegal share the most while England and Devon share the least. However, in this analysis, Cornwall appears to share less drift with the ancient Gaels than the Welsh Marches cluster does. It also appears to be in about the same position as the Northern English marker, which is very interesting given how similar it is the ICPS k2. Again, we see that Cornwall lacks the same genetic distinction that the other Celtic Nations of Britain have.

I’m not saying that Cornwall is not at all genetically distinct from England, it clearly separates from England consistently in each study. However, the degree of distinction we see in Cornwall is more comparable to that of the degree of separation we see in Northern England and is certainly less than that of Wales or Scotland. The question I am asking those of you who took the time to read this is: “why do you think Cornwall remains so similar to England genetically despite its distinctive cultural identity?” I personally think that there are two major options, the first could be that the Cornish have not retained that much of their Insular Celtic genetic legacy, perhaps due to migrations from England. However, I think that there could be a second possibility: what if we were to frame the question as “why is England as genetically similar to Cornwall as it is?” Could it be that the genetic distance between England and Cornwall is representative of England retaining much of their Insular Celtic heritage instead?

Sikeliot
10-25-2019, 02:27 AM
It seems to me like what we are seeing here is that to the extent where England and Scotland can be separated, Northern England (essentially Yorkshire and northward) goes in the direction of Scotland, while Cornwall is simply the least Germanic part of genetic Southern England. But for this to be the case, we also must conclude that southern England itself is mostly indigenous rather than Germanic, though they do have some Germanic input as well that separates them somewhat from Cornwall.

Ireland, of course, is overall genetically related to, but distinct from the island of Britain with the exception of southwest Scotland.

firemonkey
10-25-2019, 10:40 PM
PWR F some me none.

sktibo
11-03-2019, 10:09 PM
My hope for this thread was that people might post what they think the most likely reason for the genetic situation of Cornwall is, and that we might hear from some people who are knowledgeable about the history and culture of Cornwall.

firemonkey
11-03-2019, 10:17 PM
My surname was first found in England in Cornwall in the 15th C . I get next to no Cornish in Poi's calculators while my father gets >2 to < 10.

JonikW
11-10-2019, 02:21 PM
My hope for this thread was that people might post what they think the most likely reason for the genetic situation of Cornwall is, and that we might hear from some people who are knowledgeable about the history and culture of Cornwall.

I've only just seen this informative post. Nice work. I suspect the truth lies in a combination of the two theories you raise. It strikes me that the typical practice of classing modern testers by grandparents' birthplaces is particularly problematic in the 21st century for somewhere like Cornwall, which has seen increasing settlement from the rest of England recently. We'd probably have to have Cornish samples from 1500 at the latest to give an accurate picture of unadmixed "modern" Cornish DNA.
There are two sources in particular from outside the commonly considered agricultural and mining/industrial spheres that we could bear in mind too.
The first is wider English impact on the gentry class, where women from elsewhere in England were married advantageously in Cornwall. Look at the trees of such famous Cornish families as the Godolphins or Killigrews to see how that happened.
The second - and perhaps more significant - involves the Anglican clergy serving throughout the Cornish parishes in recent centuries. These well-educated clergymen often came from English counties but settled in their adopted parishes, were accompanied by their wives or married locals and had children. You can look up lists of incumbents serving in parishes for yourselves and see that many had non-Cornish English origins and surnames. Their offspring must have left a considerable impact on Cornwall over hundreds of years.
(While I'm on the clergy, Methodism also arrived from England in the 18th century and spread throughout Cornwall of course. I know there were both Cornish and wider English preachers and hangers on in Wesley's popular movement so would guess there was at least some demographic effect, though I can't find evidence to help quantify this.)

sktibo
11-12-2019, 12:35 AM
I've only just seen this informative post. Nice work. I suspect the truth lies in a combination of the two theories you raise. It strikes me that the typical practice of classing modern testers by grandparents' birthplaces is particularly problematic in the 21st century for somewhere like Cornwall, which has seen increasing settlement from the rest of England recently. We'd probably have to have Cornish samples from 1500 at the latest to give an accurate picture of unadmixed "modern" Cornish DNA.
There are two sources in particular from outside the commonly considered agricultural and mining/industrial spheres that we could bear in mind too.
The first is wider English impact on the gentry class, where women from elsewhere in England were married advantageously in Cornwall. Look at the trees of such famous Cornish families as the Godolphins or Killigrews to see how that happened.
The second - and perhaps more significant - involves the Anglican clergy serving throughout the Cornish parishes in recent centuries. These well-educated clergymen often came from English counties but settled in their adopted parishes, were accompanied by their wives or married locals and had children. You can look up lists of incumbents serving in parishes for yourselves and see that many had non-Cornish English origins and surnames. Their offspring must have left a considerable impact on Cornwall over hundreds of years.
(While I'm on the clergy, Methodism also arrived from England in the 18th century and spread throughout Cornwall of course. I know there were both Cornish and wider English preachers and hangers on in Wesley's popular movement so would guess there was at least some demographic effect, though I can't find evidence to help quantify this.)

Interesting stuff, thank you!
So would you say that there was historically a noticeable effort to mix people from England into the Cornish population?

Dewsloth
11-12-2019, 01:06 AM
I wonder how much the ancient tin trade may have affected Cornwall’s makeup from early on - does ancient Cornwall look different from other nearby regions at similar times?

JonikW
11-12-2019, 11:14 AM
Interesting stuff, thank you!
So would you say that there was historically a noticeable effort to mix people from England into the Cornish population?

I think it's more a matter of outside English people filling gaps for employers (including the church) when there was a shortage of trained local candidates and in marriage when there was a lack of eligible partners of the right class.

Cunobelinus_T
12-05-2019, 03:37 AM
Recent member, first time poster here, procrastinating before starting work!

Thanks for this thread Skitbo, and to others for their replies - especially JonikW whose comments align closely with my thoughts.

This is a topic close to my heart (see my flags) and I'd like to develop a more detailed reply when I have time. Some of my initial thoughts about why Cornwall is a bit like England (but culturally a lot like Wales) are:

1. Genetically, Cornwall comprises a liminal position between England and South Wales, with a genetic 'tug' towards England (stronger in a PC1/PC3, weaker in PC1/PC4 ) and a strong cultural similarity with Wales (anecdote: I've seen this affinity first-hand when observing the extent to which my Welsh-speaking partner, with no study of Cornish herself, is able to make sense of a lot of the Cornish language with little difficulty). I'd argue the key historical processes at play here are:

- Accounting for the similarity between Cornwall and South Wales, both Cornwall and South Wales are 'stopping points' along the Atlantic seaways, which were argued by Cunliffe (2012) and others to have been the main route for the populating of Western Britain and Ireland in deep prehistory. The most ancient roots of both parts of the country are likely to be closely related if not identical. The closeness of Cornwall and South Wales, genetically, is quite clear from the PC1/PC4 analysis and also from the Irish DNA Atlas's breakdown of ancestral donations (in which Cornwall looks to have an almost identical set of donating populations as South Wales I [Gilbert et.al., 2017, p.6]; note that this is in contrast to the earlier breakdown presented in the POBI [Leslie et.al., 2015, p.311], a discrepancy between the two studies that needs more investigation).

- Accounting for the similarity between Cornwall and England (and thus their proximity in the PC1/PC3 analysis), Cornwall was annexed by Wessex significantly earlier (9th Century) than Wales was conquered by England (post-Norman Conquest: 11th to 13th Centuries). The Domesday Book attests to the fact that Cornish land was divided between Anglo-Saxon landholders prior to the Norman Conquest. Even if these were absentee landlords, I'd argue that they would have employed at least some Anglo-Saxon estate managers on the ground in Cornwall. Over time, some of these individuals would have inter-married with the local population, resulting in a fairly early Anglo-Saxon introgression into the indigenous Cornish genetic stocks. On this, I'd like to see somebody do a GLOBETROTTER analysis to see just how far back the Germanic component to Cornish DNA goes. I also need to do some research to determine the extent to which Anglo-Saxon immigrants became part of the Cornish community in the pre-Conquest centuries.

- Archaeology is beginning to suggest that Vikings were active in Cornwall at a similar time (indeed, Vikings and Cornish allied together against Egbert of Wessex - a case of "my enemy's enemy is my friend", perhaps?). It would be interesting to compare and contrast the extent of Viking activity in Cornwall and South Wales to determine whether Cornwall's difference from Wales is at least in part due to differential Viking contributions to local DNA.

- Cornwall is also going to start to look like a blend of England and Wales, genetically, because medieval and early post-medieval aristocratic/gentry inter-marriage was a cross-border thing - these families didn't just look to the next door neighbours for mates. In addition to the Godolphins and Killigrews mentioned by JonikW, my own Cornish family tree includes at least four other surnames (Carew, Trevanion, Pollard, Apeley) that arrived in Cornwall from elsewhere in England and Wales, all via Devon. Other families would no doubt continue to broaden this picture. It would be interesting to map medieval aristocratic inter-marriage to see the extent to which this was a one-way (e.g. non-Cornish people marrying into Cornish families) or a two-way thing (Cornish people marrying into non-Cornish families and vice versa).

- More recently, post-medieval (and probably medieval) cross-border marriage amongst commoners, of which JonikW's example of clergy in Cornwall is a good one, will have spread non-Cornish English DNA into the peninsula. In this respect, my Tink-Webb families are also illustrative: throughout the 19th Century, these working class families can be found both marrying and re-locating back and forth across the Tamar on multiple occasions. Plymouth seems to have had a fair bit of genetic 'gravity' in these cases, drawing people into its orbit from Cornwall and further afield in Devon. Processes like JonikW's clergy movements and my mob moving in and out of Plymouth will have constituted recent introgressions of Anglo-Saxon genetic elements from England into Cornwall and will also have served to reinforce Ancient British genetic elements on the Devon side of the river.

2. Thinking about Skitbo's question about why England is a bit like Cornwall genetically but not culturally, I think what we have here is that England is genetically founded on both ancient British populations and a significant proportion of incomers from Germany. The descendants of those German incomers 'thin out' a lot when we hit the Celtic-speaking countries and counties. However, whilst the Anglo-Saxons came to dominate England culturally, they were unable to extend that cultural conquest to the Atlantic coasts of Britain, allowing Celtic cultures and languages to survive (in some cases until the present). The reason for this can be found in the Early Medieval Period. This was a time when cultural identities were solidifying into the forms that we still recognise today. In Cornwall, Wales, Cumbria, and Scotland - all of these lands were holding on stubbornly to Celtic languages and cultures and were being recognised by themselves and the newcomers alike as different. In this context, it's easy to see that the Cornish, once they had a well-formed sense of their own distinctiveness from the invading and conquering people of Wessex, were not going to let go of that distinctiveness unless absolutely forced to by a tiny but ruthless minority, unless the scale of Anglo-Saxon introgression was on a par with south-eastern England (which it wasn't, as we can tell from the PC1/PC4 analysis), or unless long-term historical processes eventually acted to make English the language of politics and economics across the Isles (which eventually is what happened, but it took long enough for Cornish Celtic culture to be preserved).

Lastly, how far back does the sense of Cornish 'difference' go? My own gut feeling is that it probably has very early roots - it seems to me that, whether the pre-Roman Cornovii were separate from Dumnonia entirely, or more likely a sub-set of Dumnonia, the people of what is Cornwall have been thought of as having a distinctiveness from the people of what is now the rest of the West Country for a very long time indeed. I find it fascinating that we can still detect the outlines of these very ancient communities some 2,000+ years and four invasions later.

So that's been a bit more than a little bit of procrastination and both lunch and work really beckon now. I'll be interested to see other perspectives or info on these matters!

Cheers,

KT

[B]References

Byrne, R.P., Martiniano, R., Cassidy, L.M. Carrigan, M., Hellenthal, G., Hardiman, O., et.al. (2018) Insular Celtic population structure and genomic footprints of migration. PLoS Genet 14(1): e1007152. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007152

Cunliffe, B. (2012). Britain Begins. Glasgow, Great Britain: Oxford University Press.

Gilbert, E., O’Reilly, S., Merrigan, M. et al. (2017). The Irish DNA Atlas: Revealing Fine-Scale Population Structure and History within Ireland. Sci Rep 7, 17199. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-17124-4

Leslie, S., Winney, B., Hellenthal, G. et al. (2015). The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population. Nature 519, 309–314. doi:10.1038/nature14230

sktibo
12-05-2019, 04:31 AM
Thank you for that well written and thoughtful post, Cunobelinus_T, and welcome to the forum as well.
One issue I would like to point out is that Cornwall isn't always pulled in the direction of South Wales. I think if it were it would be a bit more of a closed case - South Wales as an origin point pulled towards England, or something like that. Although in some dimensions, such as the PCA 1 and 4 from the ICPS, we can see a pull towards Wales, when all components are combined and visualized in two dimensions in the t-SNE analyses Cornwall goes in its own direction. The South Welsh pull looks like it does exist and is a factor, but it doesn't seem that it tells the whole story. On tools such as Global 25, this appears to go towards France, and if memory serves me correctly at this moment, the Bretons and the Cornish often cluster together on tools like this one.

ADW_1981
12-05-2019, 04:45 AM
My hope for this thread was that people might post what they think the most likely reason for the genetic situation of Cornwall is, and that we might hear from some people who are knowledgeable about the history and culture of Cornwall.

Having some family from the region, I think you are basically correct about the ancestry. Just looking at my father's profile, relative to my mother, I see the difference in the Irish/Scottish scores on Ancestry. I can't speak to how they consider themselves though. To the best of my knowledge, they had the same privileges as any other English person when it came to immigration to the new world (Australia, Canada..etc). I don't believe there was any sort of class distinction.

Cunobelinus_T
12-05-2019, 05:53 AM
Thank you for that well written and thoughtful post, Cunobelinus_T, and welcome to the forum as well.
One issue I would like to point out is that Cornwall isn't always pulled in the direction of South Wales. I think if it were it would be a bit more of a closed case - South Wales as an origin point pulled towards England, or something like that. Although in some dimensions, such as the PCA 1 and 4 from the ICPS, we can see a pull towards Wales, when all components are combined and visualized in two dimensions in the t-SNE analyses Cornwall goes in its own direction. The South Welsh pull looks like it does exist and is a factor, but it doesn't seem that it tells the whole story. On tools such as Global 25, this appears to go towards France, and if memory serves me correctly at this moment, the Bretons and the Cornish often cluster together on tools like this one.

Thanks Skitbo - you're absolutely right that the South Wales similarity isn't the case in all dimensions... My comments there probably overstated the importance of PC1/PC4 and I agree that, whilst there's a story to be told there, it doesn't tell the full story of Cornwall. I do think it's interesting that the t-SNE COR cluster heads 'south', so to speak, on t-SNE dimension 2 and is almost level with SWA in Byrne et.al. (2018). From there, is the factor that's pulling COR further 'east' (in comparison to SWA) on t-SNE dimension 1 that range of medieval and post-medieval introgressions that we've been talking about on this thread? Is it Brittany? Or is it both?

I'm also glad you mentioned Breton clustering here - that connection slipped my mind but I think it's very important. I'm not familiar with the Global 25 tool and need to find out more about it, but the Breton findings sound both interesting and unsurprising. Do you have any published sources that show details of the genetic clustering between Cornwall and Brittany? I guess the big question for me in relation to Brittany is whether the close clustering of Brittany and Cornwall is a reflection of prehistoric migration from NW France to Britain or a reflection of late antique / early medieval migration from Cornwall to Brittany. The two places are traditionally closely linked culturally and linguistically, and medieval tradition has emigrants from Devon, Cornwall and Wales as the founders of Domnonée, Cornouaille, and Léon, so for Brittany and Cornwall to cluster closely is really what we should expect. My own feeling is that this would - like Northern Ireland and SW Scotland - be a two-way thing that goes back both to deep prehistory and which also has a more distinct historical migration as well. I'd like to see a fine-scale study of SW Britain and NW France along the lines of Gilbert et.al's (2019) Genetic Landscape of Scotland and the Isles. Would GLOBETROTTER help us to get a sense of the dates for Cornish / Breton links, or are the two clusters too similar for that to work? My specialities are history and archaeology, not genetics, so I confess I'm very much a novice here!

In the end, based on your knowledge of the genetic data, do you think it's fair to say that, between the various autosomal analyses conducted with respect to Cornwall, that the genetics of the peninsula look somewhat like Brittany, somewhat like South Wales, and somewhat like England?

Oh yeah... and then there are the Irish ogham stones in Cornwall...

sktibo
12-05-2019, 06:43 AM
Thanks Skitbo - you're absolutely right that the South Wales similarity isn't the case in all dimensions... My comments there probably overstated the importance of PC1/PC4 and I agree that, whilst there's a story to be told there, it doesn't tell the full story of Cornwall. I do think it's interesting that the t-SNE COR cluster heads 'south', so to speak, on t-SNE dimension 2 and is almost level with SWA in Byrne et.al. (2018). From there, is the factor that's pulling COR further 'east' (in comparison to SWA) on t-SNE dimension 1 that range of medieval and post-medieval introgressions that we've been talking about on this thread? Is it Brittany? Or is it both?

I'm also glad you mentioned Breton clustering here - that connection slipped my mind but I think it's very important. I'm not familiar with the Global 25 tool and need to find out more about it, but the Breton findings sound both interesting and unsurprising. Do you have any published sources that show details of the genetic clustering between Cornwall and Brittany? I guess the big question for me in relation to Brittany is whether the close clustering of Brittany and Cornwall is a reflection of prehistoric migration from NW France to Britain or a reflection of late antique / early medieval migration from Cornwall to Brittany. The two places are traditionally closely linked culturally and linguistically, and medieval tradition has emigrants from Devon, Cornwall and Wales as the founders of Domnonée, Cornouaille, and Léon, so for Brittany and Cornwall to cluster closely is really what we should expect. My own feeling is that this would - like Northern Ireland and SW Scotland - be a two-way thing that goes back both to deep prehistory and which also has a more distinct historical migration as well. I'd like to see a fine-scale study of SW Britain and NW France along the lines of Gilbert et.al's (2019) Genetic Landscape of Scotland and the Isles. Would GLOBETROTTER help us to get a sense of the dates for Cornish / Breton links, or are the two clusters too similar for that to work? My specialities are history and archaeology, not genetics, so I confess I'm very much a novice here!

In the end, based on your knowledge of the genetic data, do you think it's fair to say that, between the various autosomal analyses conducted with respect to Cornwall, that the genetics of the peninsula look somewhat like Brittany, somewhat like South Wales, and somewhat like England?

Oh yeah... and then there are the Irish ogham stones in Cornwall...

I'm afraid everything I can think of in regards to the Breton Cornwall connection does not come from published studies. It seems to me like the reason for this is that all four major studies on Britain excluded the continent when it came to PCAs, tSNEs, dendrograms, and that sort of stuff. I don't know for sure because I haven't seen it in a study so it's a pretty speculative claim.
Dig around here, especially in the autosomal section, and you'll be flooded with posts about Global 25 in no time. It's a lot of fun and allows us to engage with the data rather than just read about it. I would love to see an analysis that modeled Cornwall using Wales, Brittany, and England, although I really don't have any idea what the result of that might be. I think it could go a number of ways if those three were used. I suppose it wouldn't be unfair to say it resembles all three in some direction or way, but, I don't know for sure!


From there, is the factor that's pulling COR further 'east' (in comparison to SWA) on t-SNE dimension 1 that range of medieval and post-medieval introgressions that we've been talking about on this thread? Is it Brittany? Or is it both?
I'd be inclined to say "both" just because I feel like it's a safer bet.

Any chance you would elaborate more about the Irish ogham stones of Cornwall? I haven't heard of that before and I think this thread would be a good place to write about that if you would be willing to.

Maybe you're new to the forum but I think you have very concise writing, you make interesting points, and you seem very open minded, so I think you'll pick up all the basics quickly. Thanks again for your contribution to this thread!

timberwolf
12-05-2019, 07:14 AM
It has not always been a one way street of Cornish migration to Brittany. I am sure that I also read somewhere that a few Bretons settled in Cornwall after the Norman Conquest

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/0079423614Z.00000000060?journalCode=ypma20

SUMMARY: The paper assembles documentary evidence which shows that there was a substantial community of immigrants in south-west England in the early 16th century. In Cornwall these people came largely from Brittany; in Devon their origins were more varied. They included a surprising number of carpenters and carvers — many Breton, some ‘Dutch’. Various examples of ecclesiastical and domestic woodwork surviving in the region, including some of the finest examples of craftsmanship of the period, are attributed to these immigrants, and stylistic and technical features are proposed for distinguishing their output from local English work.

sktibo
12-05-2019, 07:43 AM
It has not always been a one way street of Cornish migration to Brittany. I am sure that I also read somewhere that a few Bretons settled in Cornwall after the Norman Conquest

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/0079423614Z.00000000060?journalCode=ypma20

SUMMARY: The paper assembles documentary evidence which shows that there was a substantial community of immigrants in south-west England in the early 16th century. In Cornwall these people came largely from Brittany; in Devon their origins were more varied. They included a surprising number of carpenters and carvers — many Breton, some ‘Dutch’. Various examples of ecclesiastical and domestic woodwork surviving in the region, including some of the finest examples of craftsmanship of the period, are attributed to these immigrants, and stylistic and technical features are proposed for distinguishing their output from local English work.

Interesting... and being much more recent migrations like this could have potentially changed the genetic direction in a significant way for some of the samples in the study. Assuming that Breton would differ from Cornish noticeably that is

JonikW
12-05-2019, 08:59 AM
Welcome to the forum Cunobelinus_T. Thanks for your interesting posts and I look forward to seeing more from you. This is the best map I know of for the ogham/ogam stones sktibo. They're relatively common in South Wales and Cornwall and highlight migrations from Ireland after the Romans left these shores.
35148

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogham_inscription

Cunobelinus_T
12-06-2019, 09:34 AM
It has not always been a one way street of Cornish migration to Brittany. I am sure that I also read somewhere that a few Bretons settled in Cornwall after the Norman Conquest

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/0079423614Z.00000000060?journalCode=ypma20

SUMMARY: The paper assembles documentary evidence which shows that there was a substantial community of immigrants in south-west England in the early 16th century. In Cornwall these people came largely from Brittany; in Devon their origins were more varied. They included a surprising number of carpenters and carvers — many Breton, some ‘Dutch’. Various examples of ecclesiastical and domestic woodwork surviving in the region, including some of the finest examples of craftsmanship of the period, are attributed to these immigrants, and stylistic and technical features are proposed for distinguishing their output from local English work.

Good point Timberwolf - Bretons did indeed come across as part of the Norman Invasion. There's some talk that they participated enthusiastically in the Conquest as revenge for the Anglo-Saxon invasions, but I'm not sure that there's a solid evidential basis for that beyond modern speculation (there's a reddit question here from a while back, along with a more recent answer, that comments on this: https://bit.ly/33Qd5kh). Once the Normans and Bretons are over in Britain, Keats-Rohan (1991) refers to three initial groups of Breton landholders that were subsequently whittled down to two groups. She also discusses 'polarisation' between the Bretons of Dol + West Normans on the one hand, and the Bretons of Penthièvre + East Normans on the other. Keats-Rohan regards the rivalries between these Breton groups as stemming firstly from pre-Conquest intra-Brittany rivalries and secondly from self-interest on the part of Breton lords. Regardless of their political motivations, it seems that Bretons in England after the Conquest made up a substantial proportion of the the fee-holding population - according to Keats-Rohan, about 25%. Keats-Rohan also notes that about 37% of non-ecclesiastical / non-Anglo-Saxon tenants-in-chief and sub-tenants in Cornwall were Bretons in 1086. Even if we want to take those specific figures with a grain of salt, that's a pretty substantial component of the land-holding classes - one would therefore expect the relevant genetics to have found their way into the combined Cornish autosomal mix. Having said that, the post-Conquest aristocracy in England was also made up of Manceau, Poitevin, Flemish, and Anglo-Saxon lords, so their genetic contributions also need to be considered in addition to Bretons and Normans.

Reference:

Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. (1991). The Bretons and Normans of England 1066-1154: the family, the fief and the feudal monarchy. Nottingham Mediaeval Studies 36, 42-78. Accessible here: http://www.coelweb.co.uk/FamFIEF.pdf

Cunobelinus_T
12-06-2019, 10:11 AM
Welcome to the forum Cunobelinus_T. Thanks for your interesting posts and I look forward to seeing more from you. This is the best map I know of for the ogham/ogam stones sktibo. They're relatively common in South Wales and Cornwall and highlight migrations from Ireland after the Romans left these shores.
35148

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogham_inscription

Thanks for the welcome JonikW! That Wikipedia page is nicely put together :) Adding to what you've got here:

- The BabelStone Blog discusses the Ogham Stones of Cornwall and Devon here: https://www.babelstone.co.uk/Blog/2009/11/ogham-stones-of-cornwall-and-devon.html
- BabelStone also has a publicly accessible Google Map of Ogham stones here: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&ll=50.401515%2C-4.592284999999947&spn=0.940103%2C2.458191&t=k&z=9&mid=1wRhFLQj0Bl3cyDrLOKhISEv0ySU
- The Celtic Inscribed Stones Project (CISP) has its on-line database here (also linked to from the Wikipedia page JonikW posted): https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/cisp/database/

Skitbo, Ogham stones date to the beginning of the Early Medieval period in the Isles - i.e. the 5th and 6th Centuries AD/CE and are found across Ireland and the Atlantic-facing regions of Britain. These are standing stones with inscriptions in the Ogham script of Ireland, usually containing personal names written in Primitive Irish; in Britain, the Ogham inscription is often accompanied by a translation in Latin (worth noting that this is for the benefit of a Latin-literate local population). Taken in their entirety, Ogham stones function as gravestones, memorials, and markers of land ownership. When found in Britain, they're usually interpreted as having been erected by/in memory of Irish settlers/colonists. That a number are known from Cornwall indicates that at least some Irish settled there in the period in question. Back when LivingDNA still had a Cautious view (gutted they got rid of that - it nailed my mum's ancestry far better than their so-called 'Complete' view... luckily we printed the old results! That is, of course, a whinge for another thread, though), the Cornish-related cluster used to include Ireland as a possible ancestral source, as did the Welsh, Cumbrian and western Scottish clusters, which I always suspected may have partially reflected these very early medieval Irish colonies.

Phoebe Watts
12-06-2019, 04:35 PM
- Archaeology is beginning to suggest that Vikings were active in Cornwall at a similar time (indeed, Vikings and Cornish allied together against Egbert of Wessex - a case of "my enemy's enemy is my friend", perhaps?). It would be interesting to compare and contrast the extent of Viking activity in Cornwall and South Wales to determine whether Cornwall's difference from Wales is at least in part due to differential Viking contributions to local DNA.



Good to see the Cornish perspective!

There are lots of parallels between the history and mythology of Cornwall, Wales and Brittany. Often it is the same history remembered differently. Just to pick up on the Viking connections:

There is growing realisation that the Vikings had more influence here in Wales than had been thought. It is a bit of a no-brainer that Anglesey and the north Wales coast must have been affected by the Dublin and Manx Vikings. There is evidence in south Wales too.

That there were alliances between the Brythonic peoples and the Vikings is obvious in Welsh writing. Armes Prydein from the tenth century is a prophecy that an alliance of the Brythonic peoples, Gaels and Picts as well as the “Men of the North” would defeat the Saxons.

Having said that, there doesn’t seem to be much genetic evidence of the Vikings here so far!

Saetro
12-11-2019, 08:31 PM
Interesting discussion and good to see a new knowledgeable contributor.
Unfortunately I am very much tied up with other things at present.
I'd just like to throw in a couple of raw thoughts at present.

4 grandparents for locality.
Many Cornish moved out over the past 200 years.
Substantial in-flow is certainly noted from 1960 on, but the problem with people moving out is that 1) you lose subjects in the area
2) you gain people elsewhere who are really Cornish
For example, there was a lot of movement to South Wales from the late 1700s on and into Devon in the 1800s.
And further afield at the same time.
All of these would have ended up at the time of DNA sampling with 4 grandparents in their new area.
And made that area look more like Cornwall.

Cornwall was not monolithic.
My several lines are from Kerrier and Penwith.
While there was some infeed to my lines from adjacent areas from 250-300 years ago and beyond, most stayed within this area.
Whereas friends with Cornish up on the Devon border had ancestors back and forth across it all the time. They did not necessarily travel further than mine.
It's just that their area sat astride the border: essentially they were inhabitants of the Tamar Valley rather than Devon or Cornish.
The coming of the railway to first Plymouth and then Truro probably helped mobility at the Devon end of Cornwall a little as well.
One of the factors that fuzzied the grandparent genetic sampling.

Early population structure
Just as the "dark Welsh" (e.g. geneticist Steve Jones) are supposed to have come up the Atlantic shore from further south, maybe Spain;
so surely some Cornish have deep genetic affinities there - rather than France?
According to various ethnicity estimates, part of mine connects there.

Webb
12-11-2019, 08:55 PM
Interesting discussion and good to see a new knowledgeable contributor.
Unfortunately I am very much tied up with other things at present.
I'd just like to throw in a couple of raw thoughts at present.

4 grandparents for locality.
Many Cornish moved out over the past 200 years.
Substantial in-flow is certainly noted from 1960 on, but the problem with people moving out is that 1) you lose subjects in the area
2) you gain people elsewhere who are really Cornish
For example, there was a lot of movement to South Wales from the late 1700s on and into Devon in the 1800s.
And further afield at the same time.
All of these would have ended up at the time of DNA sampling with 4 grandparents in their new area.
And made that area look more like Cornwall.

Cornwall was not monolithic.
My several lines are from Kerrier and Penwith.
While there was some infeed to my lines from adjacent areas from 250-300 years ago and beyond, most stayed within this area.
Whereas friends with Cornish up on the Devon border had ancestors back and forth across it all the time. They did not necessarily travel further than mine.
It's just that their area sat astride the border: essentially they were inhabitants of the Tamar Valley rather than Devon or Cornish.
The coming of the railway to first Plymouth and then Truro probably helped mobility at the Devon end of Cornwall a little as well.
One of the factors that fuzzied the grandparent genetic sampling.

Early population structure
Just as the "dark Welsh" (e.g. geneticist Steve Jones) are supposed to have come up the Atlantic shore from further south, maybe Spain;
so surely some Cornish have deep genetic affinities there - rather than France?
According to various ethnicity estimates, part of mine connects there.

Have you ever seen Tamar used as a first name? I ask because I wasn't aware of the Tamar Valley, yet my one line that I am certain is Cornish, Treby changed to Tribby, married a Tamar Poulton, late 1700's in Loudoun County, Virginia.

JonikW
12-11-2019, 09:26 PM
Have you ever seen Tamar used as a first name? I ask because I wasn't aware of the Tamar Valley, yet my one line that I am certain is Cornish, Treby changed to Tribby, married a Tamar Poulton, late 1700's in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Tamar is a Biblical name (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamar_(Genesis)) so that seems the most likely explanation for that time.

Webb
12-11-2019, 09:32 PM
Tamar is a Biblical name (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamar_(Genesis)) so that seems the most likely explanation for that time.

I should have known that from years of Sunday school study. In fact I did know that but misplaced the memory of learning it. So you are most likely correct.

Celt_??
12-11-2019, 10:04 PM
I’m not saying that Cornwall is not at all genetically distinct from England, it clearly separates from England consistently in each study. However, the degree of distinction we see in Cornwall is more comparable to that of the degree of separation we see in Northern England and is certainly less than that of Wales or Scotland. The question I am asking those of you who took the time to read this is: “why do you think Cornwall remains so similar to England genetically despite its distinctive cultural identity?” I personally think that there are two major options, the first could be that the Cornish have not retained that much of their Insular Celtic genetic legacy, perhaps due to migrations from England. However, I think that there could be a second possibility: what if we were to frame the question as “why is England as genetically similar to Cornwall as it is?” Could it be that the genetic distance between England and Cornwall is representative of England retaining much of their Insular Celtic heritage instead?

Don't these maps go a long way in clarifying the situation?
35266
35267
35269

sktibo
12-11-2019, 10:36 PM
Don't these maps go a long way in clarifying the situation?
35266
35267
35269

I'm not sure. Looks like it has a fair bit of L21 and also a fair bit of S21. Do we have newer data on the Y-DNA haplogroups of Britain than this somewhere? I think those maps have been around for quite a while.

sktibo
12-12-2019, 07:20 PM
I'm not sure. Looks like it has a fair bit of L21 and also a fair bit of S21. Do we have newer data on the Y-DNA haplogroups of Britain than this somewhere? I think those maps have been around for quite a while.

I wanted to add, although it may be outdated information (2015) from https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/cornwall/about/results


Jan 2015. First summary of results

Of these, eight are I (about the same incidence as the rest of Great Britain) and five are "rarer" haplogroups (R1a E G J Eastern R1b). This gives a little over 80% R1b, similar to Ireland.

The R1b is quite mixed. About 2/3 is P312 )and 1/3 is U106. The latter is a little higher than the English average.

We have four R-U198, a very old subclade of U106 largely restricted to Britain.

The numbers in CORNWALL are still too small for statistically significant results - we are aiming at about 250.



The R1b Backbone Test has finally allowed us to analyse our most important haplogroup, R1b. The most surprising result is that we have almost as much R-DF27, the Iberian subclade, as we do R-L21, the 'Celtic' subclade. This probably represents multiple incursions from the Continent (Spain and Brittany) over thousands of years.

I wish we actually had decent data from France on DF27.

Saetro
12-12-2019, 07:47 PM
Don't these maps go a long way in clarifying the situation?
35266
35267
35269

Well the I1 says there is very little Viking in Cornwall compared with England, particularly East Anglia.
Even less than Ireland (although that is surely showing the later Norman invasion).

Webb
12-12-2019, 08:12 PM
I wanted to add, although it may be outdated information (2015) from https://www.familytreedna.com/groups/cornwall/about/results





I wish we actually had decent data from France on DF27.

I agree. I would also like to see a good Ydna survey of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, similar to the Underhill/Myres studies. The spreadsheet I have the combines all three studies together reports P312(L21, M222, U152) as such:

Ireland Southwest: 23%
Ireland East: 19%
Ireland North: 14%
Ireland South: 13%

Being that it is Ireland, I would assume that most of this is DF27. If it was the continent then you would have to assume some would be DF19, DF99, or L238. But as these are not common in Ireland, then it should be mostly DF27. Plus there is the large Laigin Cluster, which is just what I call it. There is actually a link from the Wiki Laigin page to the Breasal Breac DNA project where they are claiming this large DF27 cluster are direct descendants of Breasal Breac. I'm not one to favor linking a group to an actual person, but the surnames in this cluster are all lineages associated with the Laigin. This cluster also shares a great grandfather SNP with the DF27 O'Neill group. The interesting thing about this group is that at the Family Tree DNA O'Neill project, the DF27 group is by far the largest. 111 DF27 O'Neills versus 82 M222 O'Niells. If you read about the Laigin, it is suggested they were an intrusive migration from either Briton or Gaul into Ireland no later than 500B.C. The third cluster is a DF17 cluster that is also from the Southwest area of Ireland and are distantly related, all with Gaelic surnames. I would be curious to see what DF27 or at the very least, P312(L21xM222xU152) looks like in the rest of the Celtic areas of Britain.

sktibo
12-12-2019, 08:52 PM
I agree. I would also like to see a good Ydna survey of Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall, similar to the Underhill/Myres studies. The spreadsheet I have the combines all three studies together reports P312(L21, M222, U152) as such:

Ireland Southwest: 23%
Ireland East: 19%
Ireland North: 14%
Ireland South: 13%

Being that it is Ireland, I would assume that most of this is DF27. If it was the continent then you would have to assume some would be DF19, DF99, or L238. But as these are not common in Ireland, then it should be mostly DF27. Plus there is the large Laigin Cluster, which is just what I call it. There is actually a link from the Wiki Laigin page to the Breasal Breac DNA project where they are claiming this large DF27 cluster are direct descendants of Breasal Breac. I'm not one to favor linking a group to an actual person, but the surnames in this cluster are all lineages associated with the Laigin. This cluster also shares a great grandfather SNP with the DF27 O'Neill group. The interesting thing about this group is that at the Family Tree DNA O'Neill project, the DF27 group is by far the largest. 111 DF27 O'Neills versus 82 M222 O'Niells. If you read about the Laigin, it is suggested they were an intrusive migration from either Briton or Gaul into Ireland no later than 500B.C. The third cluster is a DF17 cluster that is also from the Southwest area of Ireland and are distantly related, all with Gaelic surnames. I would be curious to see what DF27 or at the very least, P312(L21xM222xU152) looks like in the rest of the Celtic areas of Britain.

Could you clarify this please? Combined P312 for Ireland SW is 23%? That's how it reads to me but that can't be right as I thought L21 was in the majority for all regions of Ireland?

Webb
12-12-2019, 08:56 PM
Could you clarify this please? Combined P312 for Ireland SW is 23%? That's how it reads to me but that can't be right as I thought L21 was in the majority for all regions of Ireland?

For Southwest Ireland:

L21(M222): 41%
M222: 4%
U152: 0
P312: 23%

P312 in this study is any P312 that is not U152, L21, M222. Sorry if my earlier post was fuzzy.

sktibo
12-12-2019, 09:07 PM
For Southwest Ireland:

L21(M222): 41%
M222: 4%
U152: 0
P312: 23%

P312 in this study is any P312 that is not U152, L21, M222. Sorry if my earlier post was fuzzy.

Thanks, much appreciated. So this remainder is likely DF27 then?

Webb
12-12-2019, 09:15 PM
Thanks, much appreciated. So this remainder is likely DF27 then?

I don't know for sure. If it was the continent I would think DF19, DF99, and L238 could be a factor, but since it is Ireland, these three are not very common there nor have I seen a cluster of either of the three in Ireland. You could argue some could be Z290xL21, but this is a very small group.

sktibo
12-12-2019, 09:17 PM
I don't know for sure. If it was the continent I would think DF19, DF99, and L238 could be a factor, but since it is Ireland, these three are not very common there nor have I seen a cluster of either of the three in Ireland. You could argue some could be Z290xL21, but this is a very small group.

That could be a sizeable chunk then. If the ancient Gauls turn out to show a large amount of DF27 that could affect our perception of not only Cornwall but also Ireland, perhaps.

Webb
12-12-2019, 09:28 PM
That could be a sizeable chunk then. If the ancient Gauls turn out to show a large amount of DF27 that could affect our perception of not only Cornwall but also Ireland, perhaps.

That is why I would love to see a Ydna survey of Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and France or some high quality aDNA.

JonikW
12-12-2019, 10:11 PM
That is why I would love to see a Ydna survey of Wales, Cornwall, Scotland, and France or some high quality aDNA.

So would I. In fact both Y and autosomal. Wales in particular was largely ignored by POBI if you look at the map. Anyone know anything about what regions will be covered by the Reich aDNA study, aside from SE England? I think we'll all be pretty happy when that's published.

Cunobelinus_T
12-19-2019, 06:11 AM
So would I. In fact both Y and autosomal. Wales in particular was largely ignored by POBI if you look at the map. Anyone know anything about what regions will be covered by the Reich aDNA study, aside from SE England? I think we'll all be pretty happy when that's published.

I thirds that!

Is Reich doing another one? I'm guessing you've seen this one (which he co-supervised): https://reich.hms.harvard.edu/sites/reich.hms.harvard.edu/files/inline-files/2019_Brace_NatureEcologyEvolution_2.pdf (apologies if that one's old news!)

Personally, I'm greedy and want more! If you've not seen it, here's the figure showing where the samples came from:

35490

JonikW
12-19-2019, 09:16 PM
I thirds that!

Is Reich doing another one? I'm guessing you've seen this one (which he co-supervised): https://reich.hms.harvard.edu/sites/reich.hms.harvard.edu/files/inline-files/2019_Brace_NatureEcologyEvolution_2.pdf (apologies if that one's old news!)

Personally, I'm greedy and want more! If you've not seen it, here's the figure showing where the samples came from:

35490

This is the upcoming Reich study (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-43712587). Should be a riveting read...

Cunobelinus_T
12-20-2019, 01:07 AM
Ooooh... now THAT is going to be interesting! Can't wait!

It will undoubtedly have implications for the questions we've been talking about on this thread for sure. Anyone willing to guess which hypothesis (if any) is going to be the 'winner'?

JonikW
12-20-2019, 09:05 AM
Ooooh... now THAT is going to be interesting! Can't wait!

It will undoubtedly have implications for the questions we've been talking about on this thread for sure. Anyone willing to guess which hypothesis (if any) is going to be the 'winner'?

I'll cautiously go for the Romans, purely given the large number of villas around where I live in Kent. Some of those families would have been big, and they obviously had an economic advantage. A Neolithic pocket seems less likely to me because this area would surely have been among those hit hardest by Beaker incursions from the continent. I hope we'll see some samples from Cornwall in the paper.

Webb
12-20-2019, 03:57 PM
I would hope for some DF27, but the samples would need to be really good quality in order to make that call.

Saetro
12-23-2019, 08:49 PM
I hope we'll see some samples from Cornwall in the paper.
Seeing the tribe covered Devon as well at that time, anywhere there for me.
But the map posted by Cunobelus in post #13 had none there.
What interests me is the people who appear to have come up the Atlantic shore from Spain.
Even one of the "Black Welsh" like geneticist Steve Jones would do.