Author Topic: What does 'Great Britain' mean?  (Read 551 times)

Offline Carl42

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What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« on: Sunday 09 December 18 10:26 GMT (UK) »
Hi All.  My DNA analysis says 99% Great Britain and 1% Irish.  One of my 2G grandmothers fled the potato famine and so that might account for the 1%, but how can I account for the other 99% which would seem to say that for around 2000 years my ancestors avoided mixing with other races?
Looking at the latest photograph of my 5 year old grandson I would have to say that he looks typically Danish - flaxen hair, blue eyes, round face, short nose, just like his father (my son) and also me when I was his age.  Clearly Great Britain does not include Denmark.
Our surname is WHITE and according to various sources this name has been associated with Celts, Saxons and Normandy Invasion and the fact that a man from Devonshire was sometimes referred to as a White Man.  Perhaps Celt and Devon fit together.
Would anyone care to expand on these ideas.  Thanks in advance.

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Offline Gadget

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 09 December 18 10:30 GMT (UK) »
Officially, GB is England, Scotland and Wales.  UK is GB + Northern Ireland

GB in DNA terms would depend on the definition used by the particular site - Ancestry, My Heritage, etc.

Gadget
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Offline Regorian

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 09 December 18 11:40 GMT (UK) »
Yes, and it's not so simple.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_formation_of_the_United_Kingdom.

I thought England and Wales unitary since 13 something, Scotland 1707 as Great Britain and 1801 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until 1922. Until 1801 Ireland had it's own parliament but was English dominated. The future Duke of Wellington was an MP.

The above Wiki says England and Wales were formally united in 1535 by Henry VIII. A list of English and Welsh counties was appended excluding Monmouthshire as a Welsh county. Ambiguous and caused argument since whether England or Wales.

Ireland was formally named Kingdom of Ireland under Henry VIII in 1541.

Just one more thing, Great Britain did not mean Britain is great. It should be 'greater', ie all the territories of the British Isles. The Third Reich had an alternative title, 'Grossdeutschland', ie Germany, Austria and Sudetenland. The same misnomer.     

 
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Offline Gadget

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 09 December 18 11:49 GMT (UK) »
Agree, Regorian. It's veryvery  complex. I would say that really GB doesn't exist in DNA/ethnicity terms.

For example - North Britain referring to Scotland, the Welsh principalities, etc., etc.

Added -to OP -  see various threads on this Board about  the reliability of ethnicity estimates.
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Offline Gadget

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 09 December 18 12:00 GMT (UK) »
List of DNA Regions as used by

Ancestry:
https://support.ancestry.co.uk/s/article/DNA-Regions/

 My Heritage (slightly different defs) :

https://www.myheritage.com/ethnicities

Add-
As I said in my earlier post, the definition really depends on the site used and their reference database but they are still  very broad estimates at the moment.
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Offline diplodicus

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 11 December 18 08:42 GMT (UK) »
 ::) Nerd Alert  ::)

Geographically, "Great Britain" originally meant the main physical island of the British archipelago so, for example, the Scillies, Lundy, Isles of Wight, Man, etc. are not Great Britain. It came to be used as "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" which is a political usage.

Just sayin'
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Offline KGarrad

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 11 December 18 09:02 GMT (UK) »
::) Nerd Alert  ::)

Geographically, "Great Britain" originally meant the main physical island of the British archipelago so, for example, the Scillies, Lundy, Isles of Wight, Man, etc. are not Great Britain. It came to be used as "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" which is a political usage.

Just sayin'

Politically, Great Britain refers to the whole of England, Scotland and Wales in combination, but not Northern Ireland; it includes islands, such as the Isle of Wight, Anglesey, the Isles of Scilly, the Hebrides and the island groups of Orkney and Shetland, that are part of England, Wales, or Scotland. It does not include the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

AN important distinction for those of us resident on the Isle of Man! ;D
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Offline Carl42

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 11 December 18 09:44 GMT (UK) »
Many thanks for your replies.  In fact I have just uploaded an update from 'Ancestry', and they now estimate 96% Great Britain and 4% Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  They define Great Britain as most of England (including Devon and Cornwall but excluding Lancashire (ish), plus the northern half of France, Belgium, Netherlands and west half of Germany (Saxony).
However what I was really fishing for was - how can my ancestors have avoided mixing more widely whilst living in a region of the world which witnessed many invasions and 'immigrational' influxes?  There is of course no definite answer but a favourite might be if they lived in a cul-de-sac such as Devon and Cornwall.  IE Celts.  Hard to see how this theory might be tested unless somewhere there exists a genetic profile for Celts. :)

Offline Regorian

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Re: What does 'Great Britain' mean?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 11 December 18 10:02 GMT (UK) »
So KGarrard is a Manxman. Quite right though. My fathers brother trained as an RAF observer(navigator) at RAF Jurby.

Time for a little rant. Four main racial groups, Celts, Welsh, Irish and Scots, Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians, Danes and Norwegians. Lots of admixture since, Churchill called us a mongrel race. Ancestry could differentiate rather more accurately.

Britain was a tight little island in WWII. Going into a pub and ordering coffee or writing a continental 7 would get you arrested as a German spy within half an hour.

In the 50's and 60's people were very conscious of their ethnicity, it's been declining until devolution. John Major thinks it was a mistake. Since then, independence movements, the resurgence of old allegiances as UK descends more into post decadence.

The old prejudices still survive. About 5 years ago, I was at a dinner in a very nice Thai restaurant in Basingstoke. Someone made a comment about race, I replied 'well the English are Germans'. Shock, horror, silence. Then someone said, 'the Royal Family perhaps'. Another said 'I'm a Scot'. The Scots call the English Sassernachs, ie Saxons, doh! He also said he would like to push Wales into the middle of the Atlantic!

     
Griffiths Llandogo, Mitcheltroy, Mon. and Whitchurch Here (Also Edwards),  18th C., Griffiths FoD 19th Century.