ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • History of Europe

Who Are the British? DNA Research Reveals the Truth

Updated on May 19, 2016

Who are the British?

Whether you are of British descent or not, you probably have some idea who the natives of the British Isles are. Before you read any of this article, please add your input to the two polls below. Do not read the article first, as this will invalidate the results of the polls.

Which people do the British share most genes with?

See results

Which people do the Irish share most genes with?

See results


I hope you found that easy. "The British Isles", by the way, is a geographical, not a political term. That's why Ireland is included. Everyone has a good idea about who the English and the Irish are. Or do they?

Who are the British really?

Let's start with the English. Everyone knows the English are Anglo-Saxons. We even call people of English descent WASP's - white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. They are Anglo-Saxons because the warlike tribes of Angles, Saxons and others invaded England in the 5th Century and settled there, driving out the original Celtic peoples, who fled to Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Brittany. We Brits were all taught this in school, so it must be right.

Only it isn't. The new science of DNA analysis has produced some surprising results that blow this story out of the water. English DNA was compared to DNA samples taken from areas of Northern Europe where the Anglo-Saxon tribes were known to have settled and flourished, such as Freisland in the Netherlands. For each gender a genetic marker was identified that designated those descended from those tribes, on the Y chromosome for males and within mitochondrial DNA for the female. Results showed that only 5% of English men had the Anglo-Saxon marker, while no English women possessed it at all.

Vikings arrived during the 7th to 11th Centuries
Vikings arrived during the 7th to 11th Centuries

The conclusion we have to come to is that relatively small numbers of Anglo-Saxons settled in Britain and most, if not all of them, were male.

This seems reasonable. There was no mass public transportation system in the 5th Century, so the idea that a population of Anglo-Saxons numerous enough to take over the whole country came swarming across the North Sea isn't really feasible, even over a long period of time. The Vikings, who came from the 7th to the 11th Century, were from the same stock and sailed in longboats that held at most 30-40 men. They did manage to establish thriving settlements in many places, including the Shetland Islands and Orkney, and even to bring their women with them. They did not, however, occupy the whole country.

It's really only in recent centuries that we have had the methods of transportation which enabled true colonization to take place. Earlier invaders formed a ruling elite. The Anglo-Saxons did this as the Romans had before them and the Normans were to do later. They obviously had an enormous cultural influence - but history has credited them with a far greater genetic influence than they actually had.

If the English aren't Anglo-Saxons, who are they?

According to geneticists Bryan Sykes and Stephen Oppenheimer, all the peoples of the British Isles, which includes the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English, share much of the same DNA. This DNA arrived with hunter-gatherer tribes who moved into the area from 15,000 to 6,500 years ago from the area of northern Spain. The Welsh and western English share 80% of their DNA with the Spanish Basques, the Irish as much as 88%. People from southern and eastern England, which was subject to later incursions from Europe, still share about 65% of their DNA with the Basques.

Britain was attached to Europe (map by Max Naylor via Wikipedia.org)
Britain was attached to Europe (map by Max Naylor via Wikipedia.org)

Nomadic tribes moved to the area because it was at that time on the western edge of Europe. It was common practice for migrating tribes to follow the coast, particularly during the Ice Age, when the ocean would be a more reliable source of food than the frozen land. Britain was not an island at that time; it was attached to the European mainland by a land bridge now referred to as Doggerland. It was not until around 6,500 years ago, with the melting of the glaciers, that sea levels rose, creating the British Isles.

This transformation of Britain and Ireland into islands did for the people what the drifting of the Australasian continent did for marsupials: it put their DNA in a time capsule. The tribes of Europe continued to wander, but they did not often wander across the sea. Those who did so set up home in southern and eastern England, as these areas were easiest to reach. However, until very recent times when immigration began to rise meteorically, the majority of Brits retained mainly the DNA of their Spanish Basque ancestry. The Irish, in fact, had the fewest foreign additions to their DNA since they were furthest away from mainland Europe and on the other side of not one, but two, stretches of water. Even today their DNA is closest to their hunter-gatherer forebears.

Why do we speak English?

If only 5% of English DNA came from Anglo-Saxons, why do the British speak English?

When the Romans made their conquest of Britain in the first Century B.C. they spread their domain over the whole of what is now England and Wales, but the people showed no inclination to start speaking Latin; after 1066 when the French-speaking Normans arrived, Britons didn't generally take up speaking French. So are we to believe that a population descended from Basques would entirely drop their own language and start copying their Anglo-Saxon masters in speaking English?

The story always told was that Britain was originally populated by Celts. When the Anglo-Saxons arrived in the 5th Century A.D. they simply killed the Celts or drove them out. They then took over England entirely and spoke their own language. The DNA evidence refutes this. The original population didn't leave.

Bust of Julius Caesar - photo by Mcleclat (musée Arles antique) CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Bust of Julius Caesar - photo by Mcleclat (musée Arles antique) CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons

What does appear to be the case, however, is that Germanic languages were introduced to Britain at a much earlier date than the 5th Century. Julius Caesar, sent to survey Britain in 54BC, wrote in his report to Rome that Belgae tribes had settled in the southern part of England, displacing the native population. The Belgae, who later gave their name to Belgium, were Germanic tribes who originated in the area of northern Gaul (present day France and Belgium). Caesar added that the language spoken by the Britons was similar to the languages he had heard spoken in Gaul.

Moreover, populations that formerly spoke Celtic languages tend to have a rich legacy of Celtic symbols and vocabulary, particularly place names. English contains a mere sprinkling of Celtic words and England has no Celtic place names. This makes it unlikely that the population of England ever spoke a Celtic language.

Celtic Cross - ethnic or cultural symbol?  Photo: Stefan Floper
Celtic Cross - ethnic or cultural symbol? Photo: Stefan Floper | Source

Were the Basques not Celts?

The Basque language is not Celtic; in fact, it is not an Indo-European language at all. While Celtic languages did arrive or evolve in Wales, Scotland and Ireland and parts of England, they were not introduced by the Basques. Invasion by Celtic tribes may be a factor, but it is impossible to detect a genetic trail. There is no genetic marker which distinguishes a Celtic race from any other and the term "Celtic" is now regarded as a cultural, rather than an ethnic, designation.

The early development of the English language remains lost in the mists of time, but if the new theory is correct, it seems that when the Anglo-Saxons landed in Norfolk in 450 AD, they may have been able to ask the locals for directions and been understood. The fact that they already spoke similar languages may explain the vast influence the Anglo-Saxons were able to have on the native culture of England, far exceeding that of the Romans or of the later Norman invaders. (The Normans had a huge influence on the British government, legal system and the monarchy, and of course the English language, which received almost its entire latinate vocabulary from them. Yet they were not so influential on the everyday life of the people.)

By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak  [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Who'd be a WASP?

If you've always thought of yourself as a WASP and you've read this far, you are by now probably seriously confused. You may be undergoing something of an identity crisis.

If you are an American whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, you may have a better chance than most of genuinely being WASP-ish. Many of the emigrating Puritans originated in the county of Norfolk. This was where the Angles and Vikings arrived, and men from Norfolk have the Anglo-Saxon DNA marker 15%, rather than 5% of the time. Conversely, if your forefathers came from the west of England, you have even less than 5% chance of having Anglo-Saxon ancestors.

Conclusion

DNA research continues and conclusions are contentious: some geneticists have recently claimed that the genetic haplotype identified by both Sykes and Oppenheimer as being Basque came originally from the Balkans and/or the Middle East rather than the Iberian peninsula. Further research may lead to a consensus. What remains certain is that the basis of British and Irish DNA was established long before any Celts, Anglo-Saxons or Vikings arrived on the scene.

Time may be running out for investigating the western world's pre-historic racial heritage. World travel is now so easy and immigration to western countries so high that it is quickly becoming extremely difficult to find people who are descended from a single race. When we do, the results of genetic investigations can turn our preconceived notions upside down.

What is noteworthy about this DNA evidence is that it exposes our propensity for accepting myths as fact. There must be many more accepted ideas surrounding race and culture which were merely invented by people who had political motives or simply liked the idea. The lesson we can learn is always to question our assumptions. So who do you think you are?

This video shows the distribution of genetic haplotypes in Europe

More on DNA Research

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 19 months ago from the U.K.

      Sorry for delay in replying, Michael. I didn't mean to say Britain "created" America - simply that those who may trace their ancestry to the first British settlers, either in Virginia or Massachusetts, may not really be as "Anglo-Saxon" as has been assumed. Of course the US has an amazingly rich historical, cultural and racial heritage - I used to live there myself, so I would never think otherwise. Thanks for your comments and the interesting links.

    • profile image

      Michael 22 months ago

      Sorry, but you Brits did not "create" America.

      Most Americans are descendants of non-Brits. In fact, less than 10% of Americans have British ancestry. Here is a map showing the top 34 LARGEST ancestral groups of the US. Please take a look.

      http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0762137.html

      As for colonization, the first 'modern-day' Europeans to discover North America were the Spaniards (Christopher Columbus) in 1492. However, new evidence suggests that Scandinavian vikings may have reached North America hundreds of years earlier... possibly in 1,000 AD.

      Here are two maps showing French, Spanish, and English colonies in the US in the 1600's & 1700's.

      https://magistermattsson.files.wordpress.com/2014/...

      http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~...

      Here is a Wikipedia article about early Russian, Swedish, Dutch, English, Frence, and Spanish colonies of the US.

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

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 2 years ago from the U.K.

      joanveronica and SusannaDuffy, thanks for your comments. Joan you sound an interesting mix, British and Spanish. The original hunter-gatherer tribes who came to Britain are believed by some to have originated in the region of Northern Spain, although their DNA was similar to that of the Basques. Susanna, that mitochondrial DNA from Cappadoccia is interesting. People travelled further in those days than we imagine - a recent TV programme analysed skeletons buried near Stone-Henge about 4,000 years ago and found by examining the mineral content of the bones that some were from the Mediterranean and Middle East, including Turkey. The DNA gives us fascinating clues, but I guess we'll never know the full story.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Interesting facts! My family heritage is Irish (we've been in Australia since 1832) but my mitochondrial DNA says my ancestor was in Cappadoccia about 6,000 years ago. The truth is, we're all related. We're all cousins. Thanks for this information, I enjoyed reading it

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, I enjoyed this Hub very much! I have always considered myself as of Celtic origin, my closest ancestors are Scottish, Welsh and Spanish (Cataluña). No Anglo-Saxons in the mix at all, although my Dad came from Liverpool. My Mom was Welsh-Scottish and my Dad was Scottish-Spanish. Lovely mix! I'm just me!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

      Hi Pam, thanks for your comment and sorry I missed it when it was first made! They weren't specifically looking for semitic markers. The Brits had a particular genetic haplotype that has disappeared in mainland Europe, apart from in the Basques. Some people do believe this haplotype originated in the Middle East, though there's insufficient evidence to be certain. However, Semitic peoples share a different genetic haplotype. I tend to think that most of these stories about the Lost Tribes are legends rather than fact - there does not seem to be any hard evidence to support them. There is plenty of evidence that people from various parts of the Middle East and Africa lived in Britain during Roman times and Jews lived in Britain from the Norman Conquest until 1290 - but as far as I am aware, there is no evidence that there was a migration of Jewish tribes into Britain at an earlier date. I still believe the Tudors were of Welsh and French descent and the Stewarts were basically Scottish. However, I am willing to be persuaded otherwise if any evidence surfaces.

    • profile image

      Pam Mc 4 years ago

      I just read an account that talks about the Lost Tribes of Israel and their migrations into the areas you mentioned. Also, the last Jewish princess, daughter of king Zedekiah, possibly married an Irish king after 600 B.C. and that the royal houses of the Stewarts and Tudors were their descendants. Did the researchers look for Semitic markers?

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for your comment, Tony. I have been away and not on-line so only just found it. I am now living in Yorkshire and I must say a lot of people do have that Viking look:) I'd love to know how you found out you were descended from the Romans. I will keep checking for updated info because this is a field where they are constantly making new discoveries.

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 4 years ago from Yorkshire

      Mazzy

      nice hub,very informative but it will constantly need updating as they dig deeper with this DNA story.

      My wife's family are definatly Scandinavian in origin, whist mine are descended from the Romans.

      Being English is a state of mind rather than scientific proof.

      voted up and interesting.

      regards

      Tony

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks, Molly! They say everyone who isn't African is descended from a group who left North East Africa 100,000 years ago and the differences between us all aren't very significant. I guess percentages depend on how much of the DNA they count. I read somewhere that humans have 98% of DNA in common with chimpanzees. Yet the research results said the English only have 80% in common with the Basques! I guess when they compare races they ignore all the DNA that everyone has in common with other primates, then maybe all the stuff all humans have in common, and just compare whatever's left. It's confusing, though:)

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 5 years ago from The Shire

      Wow. This reminds me of a TV show recently that stated that all of us are genetically related, and that racial differences make up a tiny percentage of our makeup. They said we're all 95 percent the same. I believe it! Fascinating hub!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks a lot, visionandfocus. DNA research is throwing up some really surprising things - I think a lot more will be discovered that will amaze us.

    • visionandfocus profile image

      visionandfocus 5 years ago from North York, Canada

      Wow, this is fascinating! Like most people, I bought the history of Anglo-Saxon vs Celt hook, line and sinker. Like you concluded, we really need to question all our assumptions. Wonderful hub. Voted up and shared!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks, Peanutritious. It's funny that we have all this rivalry between countries within Britain, when genetically there's little or no difference. I guess we just have argumentative DNA:)

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      What a fascinating article. I learnt a great deal from this. It makes you wonder just how many things we believe to be true just because we were told so. You really did your research. Excellent stuff!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      You weren't the only one, Brit, because when the research first came out I think everyone was surprised. Thanks for commenting.

    • BritInTexas profile image

      BritInTexas 5 years ago from San Antonio, Texas

      Excellent article, very informative, and quite embarrassing for me being a native Brit, as I didn't actually know for sure who I was descended from! I've heard varying opinions; from the Saxons, to the Romans. I enjoyed reading this!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nell. The geneticists are saying that the Scots and Irish are descended from the same hunter gatherer tribes as are the English. However, that DNA is ancient and got overtaken in most of Europe. Because of our being no longer on mainland Europe, we kept it. I'm not sure how the Basques kept it - maybe they were living in a mountainous region at the time. That's an interesting point about Caesar inventing the Celts - I hadn't heard that before.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, fascinating hub, and you beat me too it! lol! I was going to write about this soon. I must admit I never believed that I was Anglo Saxon. For a few reasons really, there was a TV programme a while back that stated you can tell the Anglo Saxons because they are more rounded in shape, and the original Britons or Celtics as we were called on the Programme first settled down South in England and of course there is our greatest Queen, Boudicca, who was a Celtic Queen. They say if you have a longish face, blue eyes and Red hair in the family then you are Briton or Celtic, and that's my family! it also mentioned that the Romans actually made up the word Celtic to explain Europeans who had moved over here or lived here for centuries. That's what drives me insane when the Scots, Irish and Welsh claim they are Celtic, when in fact its only the South of England! argghhh! lol! The Scots and Irish are Gaelic originating as you said in Gaul which was Spain and France, and the Britons and Southern English were local Britons or Celtic! great hub, and really interesting, thanks!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      I read the right story this time :) It was very interesting, although there seemed to be some confusion about whether he had West African or North African genes. He says North but the researcher says West. I think Roman slaves would be more likely to be North African. If it's West African, it could have been a former US slave in the 17th or early 18th Century.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Yep, I read this story in the paper earlier today. Truly fascinating stuff!

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      My bad Mazzy! Here's the link that I meant to post! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-431948/Yor...

    • profile image

      mazzy bolero 5 years ago

      Thanks to all of you for the comments and thanks for the link, CMHypno, but I think it leads to the wrong story - that story is pretty interesting, though:) We are indeed all quite similar. The fact that the Scots have just as much Anglo-Saxon DNA as the English might be hard for them to accept, I think! Research like this shakes up our assumptions about ourselves and others - that's why I found the subject interesting.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      JKenny: ".. basically we're all Africans"

      Absolutely!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      That was an interesting story, Cynthia. I'm definitely a mongrel, as I have Portuguese, Irish, Belgian and French in me, and that's only going back a few generations. But like you say, those differences are superficial, after all, we are all the same species, Homo sapiens. We all have a common origin, basically we're all Africans.

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      I think that most us Brits accept that we are mongrels lol! One of the more interesting studies showed that there is an old family in Yorkshire that are descended from Berber tribes in West Africa. It is thought that these African men came over with the Roman army or could have been brought to the country to be gladiators.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2129618/Ob...

      However interesting these genetic studies are, I think that the important thing for us to remember is that we are all more similar genetically than we are different, and that they should bring us all closer together and not divide us

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      Interesting. Really enjoyed reading this. I like getting history lessons. Thanks for sharing and I vote up.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 5 years ago from Pune, India

      Mazzy Bolero,

      Well written, informative Hub giving many detail of the origin of British people. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and shared.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      This is a fascinating subject. I really enjoyed this article. Very interesting and enlightening!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thank you, bewhuebner.

    • bewhuebner profile image

      bewhuebner 5 years ago from Virginia, USA

      Quite informative! Glad to have come across your hub.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks, Skarlet

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 5 years ago from California

      Interesting and great hub

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for doing the poll, not everyone did! I imagine it will take a long time for the teaching of history to reflect the scientific evidence.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      That's true, ata1515. However, there do appear to have been Germanic tribes around in Britain even before the Romans arrived, so it may have been a more gradual cultural change. Thanks for commenting.

    • ata1515 profile image

      ata1515 5 years ago from Buffalo, New York.

      Great hub. History tends to overestimate the effects of "conquest" on a conquered people. While the Saxons may not have taken over genetically they destroyed the culture that preceded them and replaced it with their own.

    • Jennifer Stone profile image

      Jennifer Stone 5 years ago from the Riverbank, England

      Excellent hub Mazzy, really interesting information and well written. The teaching of history is often based on records kept that for whatever reason (political and social) aren't very accurate. It's great that people are willing to challenge these assumptions and prove them wrong with science.

      By the way that's the first time I've taken part in a poll, and getting the answer wrong just illustrates the point of your hub perfectly! Well done, voted up and sharing. :-)

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Sorry, folks, I replied to your comments from my Profile page and did not realize that my replies would not appear immediately after the comment I was replying to. I hope you can tell which reply is for you as I did not always put your names on them. Thanks to everyone for commenting.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for the comments. I'll check out your Caesar Hubs. That part of history is interesting

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      I think schools teach the same as they always did, Angelo. It takes a while for them to catch up with new ideas. Thanks for commenting.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent information well presented. Like many others here I assumed that my lessons in school were correct about British ancestry. Seems if the DNA is correct those lessons are very wrong. Wonder what they teach in schools these days?

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • hush4444 profile image

      hush4444 5 years ago from Hawaii

      This is absolutely fascinating and I'm so glad JKenny shared it. I knew about the Danes and the Normans, but I'd never heard of the Basque connection. Maybe the world would be a better place if we found out that we're not all the race we thought we were. Thank you so much for this informative hub!

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      Thanks for the comment. I think we all thought we were Anglo-Saxons until quite recently. It will take a long time to change that, I think.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      The situation in the US is so much more complex with such a mix of races, but I'm sure some interesting things must be coming out of genetic research there. I'll bet lots of people are not the race they think they are.

    • Mazzy Bolero profile image
      Author

      Mazzy Bolero 5 years ago from the U.K.

      That's very true, charmike4, and they reckon our greater awareness of the Anglo-Saxons is partly down to the fact that they kept written records while the natives didn't.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      VERY informative and scholarly!!!! I plan to visit you folks some day if I am able....as the greatest majority of my DNA (so far as my family knows) comes from those Islands over yonder across the pond.

      Of course most of us "white folks" and tons of "blacks" too all have at least a smidgen of the Native American DNA - but besides we all being sort of rude, I think most Americans are ....very dang similar to the British Islanders.

      I guess I guessed wrong on the polls, and btw - I've never got anyone to participate in any of my polls, but you obviously came up with a better way to present them.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a fascinating hub! I was born in England and always thought that my distant ancestors were Anglo-Saxons, as I was taught in school. Your hub has given me some very interesting ideas to think about.

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 5 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Wow - a history lesson in just the time to read. This is really interesting research adn shows how a conquering nation can change and influence the society & culture without actually changing the people's genetic DNA.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 5 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Interesting hub. I'd always assumed that we largely descended from the Saxons, purely from the basis of the language we speak. I came across the Belgae tribe while writing my hubs on Julius Caesar Hubs, so it was cool to learn that it was they that probably brought English in its archaic form to the British Isles. Voted up and shared.