Historic UK immigration patterns highlighted

18 Mar 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Historic patterns of population movement have confirmed that UK immigration is no new thing.

Published in the Journal Nature, the research looked at DNA analysis of 2,000 mostly Caucasian middled-age people living in the UK.

It revealed that there is no unique genetically Celtic people living in the UK, rather, there are different distinct genetic patterns across the country's different regions.

Speaking to BBC News, Professor Peter Donnelly, who co-led the study, said that there is a genetic basis for the country's regional identities, but no single Celtic group to unite the UK.

He said: “Many of the genetic clusters we see in the west and north are similar to the tribal groupings and kingdoms around, and just after, the time of the Saxon invasion, suggesting these kingdoms maintained a regional identity for many years.”

By analysing the results of the DNA findings, the team were able to create a map of different genetic groupings which revealed human migration patterns across the country.

They were able to identify a distinct boundary between Devon and its neighbouring counties of Dorset and Cornwall in terms of the DNA of the people living there, for example. In other areas, they found that the difference between people in North and South Wales was shown to be greater than that of people in Scotland and England.

Professor Donnelly added: “Although people from Cornwall have a Celtic heritage, genetically they are much, much more similar to the people elsewhere in England than they are to the Welsh for example.

“People in South Wales are also quite different genetically to people in north Wales, who are both different in turn to the Scots. We did not find a single genetic group corresponding to the Celtic traditions in the western fringes of Britain.”