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Thread: How can the Welsh be 30% AngloSaxon?

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    How can the Welsh be 30% AngloSaxon?

    This study from the last year . . .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35344663
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...opulation.html

    . . . concluded that the East English had AngloSaxon admixture of 38% but that the Welsh (and Scots) had only a bit less at 30%. I suppose the simplest explanation is that the AS genes have spread fairly evenly around the whole of Great Britain during the last 1500 years, but the People of the British Isles project did find differences between the Welsh and English, including the absence of any NW German in the Welsh and only ~3% Danish compared to ~13% NW German and ~10% Danish in the English. Are the findings of these two studies compatible?

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    Hey Caractucus, My theory is, that its a mislabelling or wishlabelling on behalf of these grouos who say its Anglo Saxon, My Theory is we should replace the Anglo Saxon with La Tene Celtic, then it should read correct,and make much more sense with Welsh and Scottish populations, La Tene Celtic then contrasts to the Halstadt Celtic Migrations which are shown up and Labelled also incorrectly as Irish. So if we substract the Halstat and La Tene elements that should give us the % of Anglo Saxon/Viking element in English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish ancestry Dna, well thats my theory anyway.
    Last edited by [email protected]; 08-28-2016 at 10:32 AM.

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    Anglo-Saxons have a lot of genetic overlap with British ISles, the whole Northwest-European region has a lot of overlap, so there's no way to determine Anglo-Saxon input. Also, the Welsh are very similar to the English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweuro View Post
    Anglo-Saxons have a lot of genetic overlap with British ISles, the whole Northwest-European region has a lot of overlap, so there's no way to determine Anglo-Saxon input. Also, the Welsh are very similar to the English.
    Yes but that doesnt make either of them predominantly Anglo Saxon, just makes them have allot of Hallstadt and La Tene Celtic, and differing degrees of Viking/ Anglo Saxon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Yes but that doesnt make either of them predominantly Anglo Saxon, just makes them have allot of Hallstadt and La Tene Celtic, and differing degrees of Viking/ Anglo Saxon.
    I don't understand what do you mean. It's based on Anglo-Saxon samples, not Celtic.

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    What I got out of those articles is that the eastern English are more like the modern Dutch and Danes than the Welsh and Scots are, but that the Welsh and Scots are somewhat like the modern Dutch and Danes. Past studies have shown that northern Europeans pretty closely resemble one another autosomally and have to be teased apart for their differences. I don't think this means that the Welsh and Scots are literally "30% Anglo-Saxon".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caratacus View Post
    This study from the last year . . .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35344663
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...opulation.html

    . . . concluded that the East English had AngloSaxon admixture of 38% but that the Welsh (and Scots) had only a bit less at 30%.
    The Schiffels paper says:

    To quantify the ancestry fractions, we fit the modern British samples with a mixture model of ancient components, by placing all the samples on a linear axis of relative Dutch allele sharing that integrates data from allele counts 1–5 (Fig. 2b, Supplementary Note 3). By this measure the East England samples are consistent with 38% Anglo-Saxon ancestry on average, with a large spread from 25 to 50%, and the Welsh and Scottish samples are consistent with 30% Anglo-Saxon ancestry on average, again with a large spread (Supplementary Table 4). These numbers are lower on average if we exclude the low-coverage individual HS3 from the Anglo-Saxon group (35% for East English samples). A similar result is obtained when we analyse modern British samples from the 1,000 Genomes Project, which exhibit a strong substructure (Supplementary Note 4, Supplementary Fig. 4). We find that samples from Kent show a similar Anglo-Saxon component of 37% when compared against Finnish and Spanish outgroups, with a lower value for samples from Cornwall (Supplementary Fig. 5a, Supplementary Table 4).

    An alternative and potentially more direct approach to estimate these fractions is to measure rare allele sharing directly between the modern British and the ancient samples. While being much noisier than the analysis using Dutch and Spanish outgroups, this yields consistent results (Supplementary Fig. 5b, Supplementary Note 3). In summary, this analysis suggests that on average 25–40% of the ancestry of modern Britons was contributed by Anglo-Saxon immigrants, with the higher number in East England closer to the immigrant source. The difference between groups within Britain is surprisingly small compared with the large differences seen in the ancient samples. This is true for both the UK10K samples and for the British samples from the 1,000 Genomes project, although we note that the UK10K sample locations may not fully reflect historical geographical population structure because of recent population mixing.

    One caveat of our analysis is that we are using the three Iron Age samples from Cambridgeshire as proxies for the indigenous British population, which no doubt was structured, though it seems reasonable to take these as representatives at least for Eastern England. Furthermore, any continental genetic contribution from the Romano-British period would be factored into the assigned Anglo-Saxon component, as would a late Anglo-Saxon Scandinavian or Norman contribution. However these effects would only be strong if the contribution was large and heavily biased on the Dutch–Spanish axis.
    In short - there has been a lot of mixing of populations within Britain since the Anglo-Saxon land-grab. For many centuries people from the Celtic fringe have been moving (back) to the lands held by their ancestors in what is now England. Meanwhile there has been an English flow in the opposite direction.

    What is now Scotland has not been 100% free of Anglo-Saxons and similar since c. AD 550. The present Scotland is an amalgam of lowland Scots of Anglo-Saxon descent and highlanders and islanders of mixed Celt and Viking origin. And the lowlands have always been more heavily settled. Details for Wales follow.
    Last edited by Jean M; 08-28-2016 at 01:01 PM.

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    Wales is most heavily settled along the coast, or in areas with good arable land or the former mining valleys: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...011_census.png

    Low-lying Anglesey was the grainstore of Gwent and it was protected from conquest by the sea and Snowdonia pretty well until Edward I grabbed it and built http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/caernarfon-castle/ Edward I laid out the present town of Caernarfon beside his castle. Whether he encouraged English settlement there I don't know. But the Welsh language is spoken by the vast majority of the population of the town, with almost 98% of 10-14-year-olds able to speak it fluently, according to http://www.information-britain.co.uk.../Caernarfon68/ .

    So I would expect a lower Anglo-Saxon component there than in the largely English-speaking south of Pembrokeshire ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little...d_beyond_Wales ) and south-east of Wales https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...011_census.png

    A map showing the percentage of people living in Wales at the census of 2011 who were born in England: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...nsus_Wales.png

    That's just the most recent immigration.

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    I wonder how much of that is IBD (Identity by Descent) versus simply IBS (Identity by State). Take some old Anglo-Saxon remains, find what they have in common with likely AS source populations, Dutch and Danes, in this case modern Dutch and Danes, and then find how much of that is shared by modern Britons. It seems much safer to me to attribute that shared element in the eastern English to IBD with the Anglo-Saxons (especially Anglo-Saxons who were actually unearthed in eastern England) than it is to attribute it to IBD in the Welsh and Scots rather than to a kind of shared northern European IBS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caratacus View Post
    This study from the last year . . .

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35344663
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...opulation.html

    . . . concluded that the East English had AngloSaxon admixture of 38% but that the Welsh (and Scots) had only a bit less at 30%. I suppose the simplest explanation is that the AS genes have spread fairly evenly around the whole of Great Britain during the last 1500 years, but the People of the British Isles project did find differences between the Welsh and English, including the absence of any NW German in the Welsh and only ~3% Danish compared to ~13% NW German and ~10% Danish in the English. Are the findings of these two studies compatible?
    I think it basically comes down to which modern Welsh people you sample in a DNA study. Most Welsh people today have some form of English ancestry (certainly going by a recent surname study in which 65% of modern Welsh have a non-Welsh surname) although obviously it will vary depending on an individual's genealogy, location in Wales, etc. Most of this English input has arrived in Wales during the last few hundred years but obviously there was earlier English migration in Tudor and in medieval times.

    So for example, if you sample DNA from people in Cardiff, Newport, Wrexham, the Valleys, the north Wales coast (i.e where the vast bulk of the population lives) then you will probably pick up a lot of English (i.e Anglo-Saxon) admixture from last 250 years. But the POBI sampled people from rural Gwynedd in the NW so this is the heartland of the Welsh language and the area where you would expect the smallest amount or zero English/Anglo -Saxon input from history so results would be different.

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