Yorkie wrote:As always, Sam, a very thoughtful and cogent contribution. I do see your points here.
Your insightful analysis of your own origins makes sense. In my case, whilst it is true that I have documented Norman ancestry on both sides, I also have East Anglian and southern English [London] ancestry alongside Yorkshire so maybe the pull to the south is in part due to these variables too? I don't have your 'exotic' element, but one thing maybe worth considering too is a possible Huguenot element. I have 2 Huguenot lines, and I seem to recall that you have at least one- these don't add up to a deal but when added to other variables they may contribute to our mutual 'English with a pull to northern France' plotting on McDonald.
I definately think that Norman genetic input has been underestimated by some of the well-known 'celebrity' population geneticists such as Sykes and Oppenheimer. Sykes, for example, just seems to consider incidences of R1a1a in men with Norman surnames in the south of England. To say that this is a limited approach would be an understatement. Aside from looking at other haplogroups, and considering the north of England [especially Cheshire- 'the seedplot of gentility'], and the marcher lands of Wales and Scotland, Sykes seems unware that there are examples of significant levels of Norman immigration in certain parts of the country. A good example is the level of Breton-Norman settlement in Lincolnshire towns such as Louth and Boston [Reaney's 'A Dictionary of English Surnames', 1995 edition, Oxford].
I think you are perfectly right in regards to the effect of your own Norman and Huguenot ancestry - I can see how it would create the effect you see on your plot. That's a good point about Huguenot ancestry - Well i don't remember that i have any known Huguenot ancestry, but i'll certainly keep my eyes open for it! Although i would say that i might have a significant pull to northern France, it's impossible to tell as such because it's likely subsumed with my pull to the Middle-east/North Africa - but i think as i said before in terms of genaeology that component is a bit smaller than my differentiation from the average, so likely my known ancestry is more continental than average, and a pull to northern France is likely part of that. Although there is a fair possibility (for which there is potential evidence) that my unknown ancestry is Italian, which might change things somewhat in terms of my known ancestry and n Doug's graph - i haven't considered that much lately, but perhaps i should. Hmm looking again at what Doug gave me in terms of possibilities, in regards to the genaeological time-frame Egyptian and Moroccan fit the best, quite interesting too:
English= 0.933 Egyptian= 0.067
English= 0.945 Moroccan= 0.055
Most likely for non middle-eastern ancestry:
English= 0.822 Tuscan= 0.178
It wouldn't surprise me at all if the Norman contribution has been underestimated - there appears to be significant overlap or closeness between parts of southern England and northern France, and i think to say the English channel would have been a barrier between northern France and southern England during the Norman period and later i think would be quite incorrect too, as well as the areas of settlement that you mention. I think the Normans could well be a major factor in that, not the only one - but i do agree in that i think their impact has been underestimated. We definitely need another study of the Norman surnames - I mean looking just for R1a1a in a population that most likely had significantly less of it than Scandinavia is very limited as you say. Maybe a comparison of Norman-derived surnames from known settlement areas vs non-Norman from areas not really settled, or something similar?