Welsh People Could Be Most Ancient in UK, DNA Suggests

BBC News, June 19, 2012

Welsh people could lay claim to be the most ancient Britons, according to scientists who have drawn up a genetic map of the British Isles.

Research suggests the Welsh are genetically distinct from the rest of mainland Britain.

Professor Peter Donnelly, of Oxford University, said the Welsh carry DNA which could be traced back to the last Ice Age, 10,000 years ago.

The project surveyed 2,000 people in rural areas across Britain.

Participants, as well as their parents and grandparents, had to be born in those areas to be included in the study.

Prof Donnelly, a professor of statistical science at Oxford University and director of the Wellcome Trust centre for human genetics, said DNA samples were analysed at about 500,000 different points.

After comparing statistics, a map was compiled which showed Wales and Cornwall stood out.

Prof Donnelly said: “People from Wales are genetically relatively distinct, they look different genetically from much of the rest of mainland Britain, and actually people in north Wales look relatively distinct from people in south Wales.”

While there were traces of migrant groups across the UK, there were fewer in Wales and Cornwall.

He said people from south and north Wales genetically have “fairly large similarities with the ancestry of people from Ireland on the one hand and France on the other, which we think is most likely to be a combination of remnants of very ancient populations who moved across into Britain after the last Ice Age.

“And potentially also, people travelling up the Atlantic coast of France and Spain and settling in Wales many thousands of years ago”.


He said it was possible that people came over from Ireland to north Wales because it was the closest point, and the same for people coming to south Wales from the continent, as it was nearer.

However he added: “We don’t really have the historical evidence about what those genetic inputs were.”

The geography of Wales made it more likely that ancient DNA would be retained.

Because of its westerly position and mountainous nature, Anglo-Saxons who moved into central and eastern England after the Romans left did not come that far west, and neither did the Vikings who arrived in around 900AD.

The professor said modern people from central and southern England had many genetic similarities to modern people in Denmark and Germany.

The mountains were also the reason why DNA may have remained relatively unchanged, as people would have found it harder to get from north to south Wales or into England compared with people trying to move across the flatter southern English counties, making them more likely to marry locally and conserve more ancient DNA.

“In north Wales, there has been relative isolation because people moved less because of geographical barriers,” Prof Donnelly said.

He added that some of these factors also held true for the extreme edges of Scotland, while the Orkney islands showed DNA connections to Norway.

The next stage of the research will looking at physical similarities between different groups, in which the team will use photographs of people and make 3D models to measure quantitative similarities between related groups.


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  • loyalwhitebriton

    Welsh people could lay claim to be the most ancient Britons..

    As an Anglo-Celt (English mother, Welsh father), who has investigated the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon history of my own family and nation, I can tell you now that Welsh people have always known about their ancient heritage. Welsh Celtic (Cymric), which is still spoken in some parts of Wales, is the oldest of the British Celtic languages.

    The Anglo-Saxon boys started to arrive in the 5th century after the Romans left.
    That was still 1500 years ago, which means that the Anglos and Celts are the cultural and genetic backbone of this nation; not Africans, Arabs, Orientals, but us – Anglos & Celts.

    Bryan Sykes, Professor of Human Genetics at Oxford University, from his book “The Blood of The Isles” 2006:
    “We are an ancient people, and though the Isles have been the target of invasion and opposed settlement since Julius Caesar stepped on to the shingle shores of Kent, these have barely scratched the topsoil of our deep rooted ancestry..”

  • IstvanIN

    Rather like Pharonic Egypt versus Egypt today.  The Welsh are the old Britons.  The Indians/Pakistanis and Arabs are the current Britons.  Time marches on.

    • .

      Britons are an ethnic group. Being born in Briton doesn’t make one a Briton any more than being born in a stable makes one a horse.

      • IstvanIN

        The British are the people who own the British Islands.  If I sell you the house I built it is your house, no longer mine.

        • .

          Ethnicity is determined by ancestry not geography. Its bad enough that their lands are stolen but you want to steal their heritage, too?

    • loyalwhitebriton

      Like most liberals, you assume the wishy-washy wishful thinking propositional state paradigm.
      You can take this paradigm to it’s logical conclusion by assuming that all states* are multi-culti entities. If this was the case, there would be no distinct and unique culture at all (by definition), just a hotch-potch of differing cultures with nothing concrete to bind them –  and human experience has shown that the most effective binding agent (because it is so natural) is Ethnic Identity!

      * And by no means are all states multi-culti entities; countries like Japan and South Korea are still largely ethnically homogeneous.

  • The__Bobster

    A few years ago, one scientist posited that some Welsh people were the last pure vestiges of the original Mediterranean people.

  • Local_Ale

    William Wallace (Wallace meaning Welsh stock) allied with the Flemish Bruce family of legendary lineage did raise some hell back in the day.

  • A picture paints a thousand words, a very disturbing and unsettling photograph. This is what Britain looks today


    And this is what Britain looked before the gathering storm / invasion.


    Heartbreaking, isn’t it ?

    •  Divide and conquer.

      An ancient proven technique for conquering.

      The ruling class is not affected by the diversity they promote.

      Well, there IS an effect; it increases the power of the masters by decreasing unity among the peasants.

      The same technique is used in the ongoing class war within the USA.

      Too complicated to cover here but some basic Web research will convey facts, data, statistics, studies, etc. that led me to become convinced that an actual class war has existed in the USA for many decades and increased in ferocity in the early 1970s.

      A Google image search with various economic-related search words and terms provide many graphs and charts that are very informative.

      The ongoing invasion of the once-sovereign USA encouraged by our ruling masters and their lackeys is but one of many methods used to divide and conquer.

      Race is also used to divide We, the People.

      There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

      “While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” Buffett wrote in a Sunday New York Times Op-ed.

      Create fear in the rulers and they have MANY embedded institution to force you to obey.

      Waco, Texas… Ruby Ridge, Idaho…..

      Murder used to instill fear within the masses and compel you to OBEY!!!

      The most effective propaganda systems ever created immerse We, the People in life-long brainwashing to OBEY… and that as things are is correct and proper.

      Regime and compounds?

      Washington DC and many other locations are the home to regime and compounds.


  • In Cavalli Sforza’s classifications, most Western Europeans are “Celts” (for instance, Germans). I didn’t pay much attention, but this can be further investigated.

  • And this is what London looks like, across between Timbuktu and Calcutta.


  • Lancelot Lincoln

    The original Welsh were a short, dark people. Diffident. Barely visible above the tussocks. The Welsh are kin to the Basque, their progenitors. The basque are the oldest race in Europe, and poorly treated by Spain.

    “Is race prejudice ever justified? Just ask Channon Christian, Eve Carson, and Brittny Watts”
    -Rev. Jed to the Arkansans, chapt.7, verse 13

    • Lancelot Lincoln

       As Leonard Nimoy once said, “I am not Jed.”

  • .

    That’s part of the leftist agenda. And I’m very disappointed that some people can’t see through it.

  • Robert Binion

    The legend here is that Madoc entered Mobile Bay and worked his way upriver.  (Alabama has more miles of navigable waterway than any state, I think.)  Some claim that evidence of his presence is found in “Welsh caves” around DeSoto Falls near Mentone.  Historians universally view this as rubbish. 

  • Owen

    Actually the Welsh never were a very numerous people so those who left Wales for the New World did so in small numbers mostly settling in PA, OH, MD, and WV to work the coal and slate mines with later groups moving out to UT and ID (and, oddly, southern Argentina). There is a strong Welsh identity still today in the “Welsh Tract” of PA west of Philly. Also, the Madog Center for Welsh Studies in Ohio as well as Ninnau North American Welsh newspaper (in English) brings together Welsh-Americans.    My ex was from south Wales and Im lucky to live in a part of the USA where I have several friends from Wales who help keep me in touch with my heritage.  My surname is also Jones (Jones is the most common surname in Wales) and Owen (Owain) is one of the most common male names in Wales. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_Tract

  • Its only to be expected at the periphery of Europe.

    The ‘Plynlimmon type’ is close to the Upper Paleolithic Europeans.

  • The singer Tom Jones is an example of the Plynlimmon type, similar ‘coarse Mediterranean’ types exist for example in Sardinia and the Iberian peninsula.


  • loyalwhitebriton

    The Gauls, especially from northern France, were Celts, like the ancient British. The Gauls and ancient British spoke different dialects of the same root language, which was Brythonic. And yes, I like being Anglo-Celtic (best of both worlds). I’m a true child of this Island, and I love it.

  • LJ

    Well that’s your proud white heritage down the drain. Shame. Whites are going extinct, you know.

  • kyle

    I’m irish and german. My brother looks like a clone of Rory McElroy, but I look german which is I think is from my mom. My grandfather on my irish side has blue eyes also, but its speculated my last name is norman in origin, is this where my blue eyes come from?

  • kyle

    That may be true, but the Phoenicians no longer exist. They were conquered by the arabs 1000 years ago. They may have looked exactly the same as current welsh or irish people.