Somewhat old news from the Telegraph:
Britons still live in Anglo-Saxon tribal kingdoms, Oxford University finds
A new genetic map of Britain shows that there has been little movement between areas of Britain which were former tribal kingoms in Anglo-Saxon EnglandBy Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
Britons are still living in the same ‘tribes’ that they did in the 7th Century, Oxford University has found after an astonishing study into our genetic make-up.
Archaeologists and geneticists were amazed to find that genetically similar individuals inhabit the same areas they did following the Anglo-Saxon invasion, following the fall of the Roman Empire.
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.
Many people in Britain claim to feel a strong sense of regional identityand scientists say they the new study proves that the link to birthplace is DNA deep.
The most striking genetic split can be seen between people living in Cornwall and Devon, where the division lies exactly along the county border. It means that people living on either side of the River Tamar, which separates the two counties, have different DNA.
Similarly there is a large area in southern and central England with a shared genetic heritage which coincides with the boundaries of Anglo-Saxon England. Likewise, separate genetic groups can be found in areas of North and South Wales corresponding to the ancient kingdoms of Gwynedd and Dyfed.
In the North, specific groups were found in the North East, tallying with the area of Bernicia which was colonised by the Angles from Southern Denmark. And, intriguingly, a small genetic cluster was spotted in the West Riding of Yorkshire, which coincides with the former small kingdom of Elmet, one of the last strongholds of the ancient Britons.
Geneticist Professor Sir Walter Bodmer of Oxford University said: “What it shows is the extraordinary stability of the British population. Britain hasn’t changed much since 600AD.
“When we plotted the genetics on a map we got this fantastic parallel between areas and genetic similarity.
“It was an extraordinary result, one which was much more than I expected. We see areas like Devon and Cornwall where the difference lies directly on the boundary.”
Professor Mark Robinson, of Oxford University’s department of archaeology added: “The genetic make-up we see is really one of perhaps 1400 years ago.”
More, including maps, at the link.