Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2010-03 > 1269031490

From: peter spencer <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] English genealogy--Waste in Yorkshire
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2010 15:44:50 -0500
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

The study concludes that surname studies will be used to track the Y-lines..

Britton I suppose (not authoritatively) would at face value be at least
indicative of French or Norman origin.. at least for the name itself, as a
reference to origin in Brittany.
Scandinavian surmames historically are generally patronymic, not fixed, so I
assume to author below refers to english surname continuity of those
believed of distant scandianavian paternal genetic ancestry?

I would certainly not suggest to entertain or establish ANY genetic
presumption for your paternal line based on a family name adopted untold
generations ago..
but from a linguistics standpoint I assume comfortably that the surname
itself is most likely to be considered a Norman / (post) Norman surname,
that likely would not have been in place prior to the norman conquest at
least in the North.

I also doubt that any substanial genetic difference exists between large
portions of arriving normans and those they usurped at least at the Y Hg
level.. but that is entirely a presumption.

the above also seems to be the consensus of

"English and French: ethnic name for a Breton, from Old French bret. The
Bretons were Celtic-speakers driven from southwestern England to
northwestern France in the 6th century ad by Anglo-Saxon invaders; some of
them reinvaded England in the 11th century as part of the army of William
the Conqueror. In France and among Normans, Bretons had a reputation for
stupidity, and in some cases this name and its variants and cognate may have
originated as derogatory nicknames. The English surname is most common in
East Anglia, where many Bretons settled after the Conquest. In Scotland it
may also have denoted a member of one of the Celtic-speaking peoples of
Strathclyde, who were known as Bryttas or Brettas well into the 13th


On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 8:44 AM, <> wrote:

> The following study (results due this year) implies there were survivors
> of William's punitive expedition, at least in North Yorkshire:
> Seeking Viking descendants in the north of England
> Volunteers sought for genetics study
> The arrival of the Vikings in Britain around a thousand years ago was a
> dramatic event that has left a lasting legacy on our language, landscape
> and
> place-names. But did the Vikings leave their genes behind as well?
> Scientists at the world-famous Department of Genetics at the University of
> Leicester, home of DNA fingerprinting, are beginning a new study to map
> the extent
> of Viking ancestry in men who live in the north of England.
> The study will focus on the Y chromosome, part of our DNA that is passed
> down from fathers to sons. Previous work from the group, led by Prof Mark
> Jobling, has shown a high degree of Viking ancestry among men from the
> Wirral
> and West Lancashire, and now the aim is to extend the work further afield.
> One question to be addressed is the relative distribution of Norse
> Vikings,
> focused in the west, and Danish Vikings in the east.
> The researchers want to recruit male volunteers whose father’s father was
> born in Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, North Yorkshire, Durham or
> Northumberland. “As well as analysing the Y chromosomes, we are also
> interested in
> the surnames, because they are passed down the generations in the same
> way,”
> said researcher Dr Turi King. “Surnames help us to make deeper links into
> the past, and tease out the signal of past Viking presence.”
> Sampling is done by post, and involves simply brushing the inside of the
> cheek. In return for participating, volunteers will receive a description
> of
> their own Y-chromosome type when the work is completed. Men interested in
> taking part are asked to email Turi King at
> (mailto:) , or telephone 07512 586 493.
> The project forms part of a recently awarded grant from the Wellcome
> Trust, ‘What’s in a name? Applying patrilineal surnames to forensics,
> population
> history, and genetic epidemiology’.
> ***********************************
> If the East and West Ridings were completely devastated, wouldn't most of
> the repopulation have occurred from nearby counties like Lancashire or
> Lincolnshire, etc.?
> I'm interested in the answers to these questions because the closest DNA
> match to my Britton family appears to be the Childers family which lived
> in
> Leeds in the 16th century. If that family was not living in Yorkshire
> when surnames were adopted, where are they most likely to have been?
> Could
> there, for example, have been significant repopulation from as far away as
> East Anglia, where the Briton name appears to have been more common in the
> medieval period?
> I have for some time been puzzled by the fact that there were more
> Brittons in Yorkshire in the 18th century than in other counties, which I
> am
> inclined to attribute to its greater size since I haven't found many
> records
> for Brittons in Yorkshire in the mediaeval period, although there were
> certainly some in the vicinity of West Bretton.
> Moreover, in 1871, surname density was highest around Bristol and
> Colchester. Medieval records show that there were Brittons in Colchester
> from
> the earliest times, and several Britos were tenants in Chief in the
> southwestern counties in 1086.
> Guppy's study of the surnames of farm families points to Northamptonshire
> and Essex as homes of the name Britton, but Guppy would have discounted
> the many Britton families living near Bristol who weren't engaged in
> farming.
> I'd be grateful for any insights anyone can add.
> Lindsey
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