In fact, a map showing tribes of Britain in 600AD is almost identical to a new chart showing genetic variability throughout the UK, suggesting that local communities have stayed put for the past 1415 years.
Many people in Britain claim to feel a strong sense of regional identity and scientists say they the new study proves that the link to birthplace is DNA deep.
The most striking genetic split can be seen between people living in Cornwall and Devon, where the division lies exactly along the county border. It means that people living on either side of the River Tamar, which separates the two counties, have different DNA.
Having been born just the correct side of that line I have always known that those on the other were t’other, not quite human in the same manner. But then everyone knows that about Cornishmen.
However, this research is not quite what it is blown up to be:
The ‘People of the British Isles’ study analysed the DNA of 2,039 people from rural areas of the UK, whose four grandparents were all born within 80km of each other.
Because a quarter of our genome comes from each of our grandparents, the researchers were effectively sampling DNA from these ancestors, allowing a snapshot of UK genetics in the late 19th Century before mass migration events caused by the industrial revolution.
What they’ve actually found is that local people are local. Interesting, but not quite the same as finding that Britons are local people.