Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-09 > 1095176107

From: ellen Levy <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] The Irish are not celts, say experts (fwd)
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2004 08:35:22 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <00db01c49a3f$baac2ec0$e77e6151@vikingone>


To a certain extent, I agree with you, but abhorr the
vast generalizations regarding appearance that seem so
prevelant with some on the List. Attributing the
darker appearance of some Welsh to the Spanish Armada
seems baseless and farfetched to me. I think the
"darker" Welsh are as "Celtic" as the red-haired
Welsh. What I do agree with is that there has been
migrations both in and out of the British Isles, and
in fact, there has been continuous gene flow between
Ireland and Britain (this is well support by the
archaeological record both in prehistory and
historical times).

Someone who is more historically educated on this
event can correct me here, but I believe the Spanish
ships would have left little dent (genetically
speaking) on the much, much larger population of

But more importantly, just because there is a physical
similarity between some of the Celtic peoples and
those in Spain doesn't necessarily point to any recent
or significant gene flow between these populations.
And in fact, this is exactly what the recent DNA
studies of the Irish/Celtic populations indicates -
that there is genetic affinity between many (though my
guess is not all) the Celtic nations, both between
themselves and those of the Atlantic mainland.

Additionally, this connection is strongly supported by
the archaeological record going back about 4000-3000
BC, which I would be happy to post about should
Listers have an interest. This time-frame fits
perfectly with the arrival of agriculture to the
British Isles as well.

Now, these facts don't necessarily answer many of the
questions I have regarding other Celtic "issues."
Most importantly, it doesn't explain how the Celtic
language made it's way to the British Isles (and
Spain, as Celt-Iberian). This really must be
addressed, but I'm not convinced that there wasn't at
least a small migration from the mainland (probably of
some elite groups of men) who brought this
Indo-European language to the fringes of Europe.
Language replacement is a very complex thing, and is
often precipitated either by large-medium scale
invasions or dominance of a small elite group of
warriors who generally possess some superior knowledge
(in this case, could be agriculture, or possibly
knowledge about domestication of the horse). An
example of a small scale invasion that brought
significant linguistic change is Anatolia and the
invasions of the Turkic tribes. I am most definitely
interested in others thoughts on this.

I must also point out the weaknesses in the recent
MtDNA study on Celtic populations. This study, in my
humble opinion, did nothing but support the already
well-accepted view that there is homogeneity in the
makeup of European MtDNA's. There is nothing in this
study that indicates any unique Celtic/Atlantic
MtDNA's and, in fact, there is a woefully lack of any
results provided in this study to help me determine
the makeup of Irish/Celtic MtDNA's. Amazingly, the
authors of this study themselves admit that their
evidence is weak regarding Celtic MtDNA's.

On the other hand, the Y chromosome evidence may
present a different story, yet I am also concerned
about vast over-generalizations occuring in these
studies. I'd really like to see a study that
examines in-depth the populations found in different
areas of Ireland (as well as specific studies for
Scotland, Wales, etc). This would clearly be
extremely helpful.

And one more question: Which populations today on the
mainland of Europe best reflect the ancient Celtics?
Because if you are going to make the argument that
there was no migrations at all by Celtic mainland
speakers, then you have to have an idea which European
groups best represent the Celtics for comparison to
populations in the British Isles.

Ellen Coffman

--- Bryan's Junk Mail <>

> Let me add a little salt to this discussion.....
> Ireland, like most of Britain, has been subjected to
> many
> "invasions"....friendly, and otherwise !
> We inhabitants of the British Isles are mixture of
> many genetic influences,
> being on the edge of Europe, and Scandinavia
> All the Tribes from these areas found Briton easy to
> access...and to add to
> the mixture, the Romans brought Legionnaires from
> all over their
> Empire...from the Middle East, and North Africa
> too....many of whom NEVER
> ever got back home after completing their service
> here. So they stayed and
> interbred with the local population.Celtic Tribes
> were all part of that
> early influx and flow of population.....AND AS OTHER
> tribes CAME along they
> were pushed further West and North in Britain.
> The northern Iberian Tribe of Gaels....yes Bret,
> that is part of Spain , AND
> includes the Pyrenees, where the Basques live
> today......well they invaded
> Southern coasts of Britain....Wales, including
> Anglesey, and Ireland....THEY
> drove out the Celtic Scotia who lived in Ireland,
> who escaped to the
> Lowlands of Scotland.....Later TO RETURN under the
> James I AND then
> colonise Ulster
> The Celts were Red haired..fair skinned...whilst the
> Gaels were Dark haired
> and Olive skinned.........YOU can still see that
> genetic influence today
> Then of course we must not forget those poor
> unfortunate Iberian Farmers
> press ganged into the Spanish Armada of
> 1588......many of whom were
> shipwrecked on the Western coasts of Scotland,
> Ireland and Wales...again
> including Anglesey.......Indeed Anglesey almost
> develops as a separated
> Community....
> IT WAS there that the Druids...a Celtic people, fled
> and last held out
> against the Romans invaders, who were frightened of
> their "magic" !
> Anglesey also saw many Iberians from the Spanish
> Armada, who were wrecked on
> it's coast, settle down there......Indeed amongst
> the Welsh of North Wales,
> it has long been known that "the Welsh on Anglesey
> are a totally different
> lot".........they tend to be olive skinned, and dark
> opposed to
> the traditional Celtic Welsh colouring of red hair
> and freckled skins...THEY
> ALSO have a reputation of being hot tempered and a
> bit fiery..Latin
> temperament!...and have long
> been know as "Iberian Celts" by the Welsh on the
> mainland of North Wales
> > Hope this Salt has not been too tangy or spicy for
> your palates !!
> Bryan
> ==============================
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