traditional family systems in medieval britain and ireland

remember emmanuel todd’s traditional family systems, 1500-1900? here they are again:

i wanted to try to extend this map back to the medieval period. here’s what i’ve got for the british isles after the arrival of the anglos, saxons and jutes (and frisians?) and after they converted to christianity. so, ca. 800-900s to maybe the 1200s. something like that (see color key above – note that i haven’t updated areas outside the british isles to reflect what was going on in those places during the medieval period):

pretty much all of ireland remained having todd’s endogamous (patriarchal) community families throughout the middle ages. in fact, todd is somewhat misleading in including ireland as a stem-family country between 1500-1900 since apparently the stem family didn’t really appear in ireland until after the 1850s. hmmmm.

western regions of britain — western scotland, wales and cornwall — also stuck with the endogamous community family system throughout the middle ages. so did the peoples in the anglo-scottish border areas — the border reivers. in fact, they were clannish right up through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries — at least! — when many of them emigrated to what would become the u.s.

east anglia and kent, as we recently saw, also had community families in the medieval period, but they (i think) married out more, so they would be classified as exogamous community families. joint families were common in medieval east anglia and kent, but not so much crazy, infighting clans. there was also little manorialism in east anglia and kent compared to central england, but more than in places like scotland or ireland. remember that the manor system relied on nuclear families and, coupled with the oubreeding demands of the christian church, manorialism broke down genetic relatedness and extended family systems in the population.

the heartland of manorialism in england was central englandmercia and wessex. this is where there was the greatest number of manor estates — the most tenant farmer peasants and others bound to the land in service to a manor — the hardest push for outbreeding and nuclear families. interestingly, this is where hackett fisher’s cavaliers and indentured servants came from, sorta maintaining in the new world the ages old tradition of masters and servants from this region of britain.

i may not be right in delineating central england as having “absolute nuclear families” during the medieval period. perhaps they had more stem families, i’m not sure. what they definitely didn’t have, though, were extended community families of any sort.

not sure what was going on in northeast scotland.

sometime between the middle ages and the modern period, the community family systems disappeared (for the most part) and nuclear and stem families became the norm throughout the british isles.

previously: todd’s family systems and the hajnal line and emmanuel todd’s absolute nuclear family and east anglia, kent and manorialism

(note: comments do not require an email. caerlaverock castle, scotland. cool.)

irish travellers

chris (thnx, chris!) drew my attention to an interesting looking documentary called Knuckle (ouch!) about the tradition of bare-knuckle fighting amongst the irish travellers.

the irish travellers are a bunch of gypsy-like people in/from ireland, but they’re not related to the “roma” people. they are instead an indigenous irish group with a nomadic lifestyle. north, et. al., found that genetically:

“[T]he Travellers clustered with several heterogeneous counties in Ireland, including Wexford and Westmeath. Therefore, these data support that the origin of the Travellers was not a sudden event; rather a gradual formation of populations. Indeed, the Travellers probably originated with craftsmen and artisans forced to leave their monasteries (Crawford 1975). Later, their population grew as they were joined by various Irish groups that were forced to leave their homes because of various calamities and political upheavals (i.e. the potato famine and the repression of British occupation) (Crawford 1975). However, the timing of the Traveller origin is not certain and may have predated the historical period (e.g. Ni Shuinear 1996).”

so these travellers have no relation to gypsies, but are, rather, native irish people gone feral. it’s not clear when exactly this happened (sounds like there are some indications that their wanderings may have started around the end of the medieval period) — and it seems that different irish people from around the island have joined up with the travellers over the course of time — but they are definitely a native group.

what they have in common with gypsies, however, besides the wandering lifestyle, is frequently being on the wrong side of the law. and they also, as the documentary shows, like to fight. with each other. here from the nyt:

“[T]he documentary ‘Knuckle,’ a rib-cracking look at the brutal fistfights long used to settle feuds between clans of Irish travelers — nomadic families that go back centuries in Ireland….

“‘Knuckle’ is fueled by the personality of this big man, who is undefeated in fighting for his family name against the Joyce and Nevin clans.

Never mind that the three clans themselves are interrelated with, as the film puts it, ‘brothers and cousins fighting brothers and cousins….’

“The feud in the film was supposedly started by a torched tinker’s cart at a horse fair, and renewed in 1992 by a deadly fight outside a pub, for which Mr. Quinn McDonagh’s brother Patty served prison time for manslaughter.

“In the film, Mr. Quinn McDonagh is derided as Baldy James by rival clan members who send taunting videotaped challenges, a modern wrinkle on this centuries-old tradition….”

a study from 1970/1986 found that 71.6% of travellers in one part of ireland were married to either first- or second-cousins [see pg. 11 here]. another study from 1989 found that 65.5% of irish travellers in northern ireland were married to either first- or second-cousins. that’s a LOT of inbreeding. it’s hard to know for how long they’ve been inbreeding to these degrees, but on the whole the group’s mating practices have been very endogamous probably for centuries, excepting of course the individuals from the broader population who joined up with them every now and again.

the travellers are clannish — they really do have clans! (and they have their own language, too, which will really set you off as a separate group from “the others.”) north, et. al., describe how they travel (or travelled traditionally) “in patrilineally related groups of two to four families.”

the question is: are these travellers more clannish than the rest of the irish were before they (the irish) started to seriously outbreed (whenever that was — sometime after the eleventh century but before the mid-twentieth — i know, that really narrows it down!)? or are the travellers just behaving like all the irish used to do when they were clannish, too? from Ireland — Land, Politics, and People [pgs. 57-58]:

“The outrage reports for pre-famine Cloone confirm the importance of ‘neighbourhood and kinship ties’ in aligning the factions involved in ‘party fights’. Thus at Drimna, in 1838, ‘a faction fight took place between two hostile parties, named Deignan’s and Mullin’s, respecting the right to the possession of a small portion of land’. Other such confrontations were of a ritual rather than material character, providing an occasion for ‘long-tailed’ families to assert their corporate identity and importance through trials of strength. Indeed market-day brawls could be provoked merely by the affirmation of family affiliation, as when a certain Cooke of Carrigallen ‘retreated towards a Public House where a party of his friends were drinking and when near it he called out ‘Who dared say anything against a Cooke…?’ It is clear that the ceremonial grappling of factions became unusual after the Famine, despite occasional reports throughout the century…. Familial networks, though, in less overt fashion, never ceased to lend cohesion to rural associations ranging from the Society of Ribbonmen to the United Irish League or Sinn Fein.”

so, clan fights were still fairly common in ireland during the early 1800s, but seem to have pretty much ceased after ca. 1850. except amonst the travellers. is that because the travellers are more inbred nowadays than the irish ever were, or are they just the last remaining (inbreeding) clans in ireland?
_____

btw, this isn’t about travellers but rather about gypsies — from The Traveller-Gypsies [pgs. 88-89]:

“When Gypsies choose the layout [of their campsite], they often place the trailers in a circle, with a single entrance. The main windows, usually the towing bar end, face inwards. Every trailer and its occupants can be seen by everyone else…. Few draw curtains, even at night. Within this circle of group solidarity there can be no secrets — domestic quarrels are for all to see, the centre is a place for chatting, and a safe enclave for children to play…. The single entry to the circle is a deterrent to Gorgio [non-gypsy] visitors. Outsider are enclosed as if in a trap.”

remember my post about inbreeding and outbreeding and inward facing versus outward facing houses? mmmm-hmmm.
_____

previously: inbreeding in europe’s periphery and inbreeding in ireland in modern times

(note: comments do not require an email. american irish travellers.)

democracy and religious authorities

the last in my series of “essential features of democracy” according to various peoples around the world from the world values survey, 2005-2008.

“Many things may be desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means *not at all an essential characteristic of democracy* and 10 means it definitely is *an essential characteristic of democracy*: Religious authorities interpret the laws.

percentages of people who reponded 10 — an essential characteristic of democracy is that religious authorities interpret the laws:

so, more a greater percentage of (you know what i mean!) mexicans than iranians think that religious authorities should interpret the laws in a democracy.

*facepalm*

previously: dēmos kratos and democracy and civil rights and democracy and the redistribution of wealth and democracy and military takeover and libyans on democracy: meh and what egyptians want

(note: comments do not require an email. religious authorities interpreting laws. (~_^) )

why i care about the hgdp samples

if the hgdp samples are going to be used to look at the degrees of kinship within populations — which would be awesome! and which prof. harpending started to do recently — then care has to be taken to identify which sets of samples include lots of relatives.

if you’re gonna analyze a bunch of individuals’ genomes to ascertain the degree of kinship between them in order to determine the degree of kinship within their broader population, then you want to make sure you’ve got a random, representative sample from the population and not a bunch of relatives since, of course, a bunch of relatives will naturally have a high degree of kinship.

and if you found a high degree of kinship in a set of samples that included a bunch of relatives and didn’t know you were looking at a set of relatives, you might conclude that there must be a high degree of kinship across the broader population, too, but this might not be the case at all.

for example, take the hgdp samples from the pashtun and the kalash in pakistan. twenty-five genomes are available from each group, but according to rosenberg (see previous post), none of the individuals in the pashtun group were relatives whereas in the kalash group there likely are: one parent-offspring pair, one half-sibling pair (or an equivalent), and four pairs of cousins.

let’s say, then, that it was found that these two sets of samples — the pashtun and the kalash — had exactly the same degree of internal kinship between their members, genetically speaking. that would mean that the members of the broader pashtun population had the same kinship to one another as the several sets of relatives in the kalash population, since the pashtun genomes were random samples whereas the kalash ones were not. it might look like the two groups had the same, population-wide degree of kinship, but in reality that would not be what we had found.

of the 52 population samples in the hgdp (the south african bantus are counted as one group … even though they come from different ethnic groups … hmmmm …), rosenberg found that exactly half (26) include relatives.

the other problem i have with the hgdp samples involves the ones that were collected from immigrant groups here in the u.s.:

– han chinese: “This is a sample of Han Chinese living in the San Francisco, California.”
– japanese: “Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.”
– cambodians: “Collected by K. Dumars from individuals born in Cambodia who are now living in Santa Ana, California.”

are these immigrants really representative of their native populations? are they first- or second- or fourth-generation americans? some immigrant groups start to outbreed in a new land, but others do just the opposite. what’s the case with these groups? how old were the individuals sampled (since in many populations inbreeding rates have gone down in the last 50 years or so)? do they all come from the same region in their native country (like guangdong province), or from all over? to give you an idea of some of the possible problems involved with these sets of samples, have a look at what i said about the japanese samples in the previous post.

and i still have a bug about which regions of france the french samples came from (see previous post). (~_^) it probably doesn’t matter that much, but it would’ve been nice to know how widespread the sampling was, i.e. how random and representative of the entire population of france are these samples? historically, different regions of france have had different inbreeding rates as can be seen in this map of the inbreeding coefficients for france, 1926-1945 [pg. 620] (my guess is this pattern goes back a long way, too — probably to the early medieval period and the introduction of manorialism in continental europe):

so, which regions the samples were drawn from in france might actually make a difference — especially depending upon how deeply one drills down into the question of relatedness. i wonder the same thing about many of the other samples, too, for instance the ones from russia, but we know that all those samples came from the vologda administrative region so we are at least aware that they may not be representive of all ethnic russians.

despite all these potential difficulties, i look forward to more genetic research into kinship and relatedness within populations — from prof. harpending or whomever! very cool stuff! (^_^)

previously: hgdp samples and relatedness and more on the hgdp samples

(note: comments do not require an email. just skip the email!)

more on the hgdp samples

first, see my previous post on this if you want to follow along.

in that post, i expressed some concerns over the french human genome diversity project (hgdp) samples since the ceph folks describe them as: French (various regions) relatives. i wondered both of the following: 1) how many and which “various regions,” since different regions of france have historically had different rates of inbreeding — haven’t managed to find out which “various regions” — and 2) how many and what sorts of relatives? i did find out that.

via some genetic wizardry, a noah rosenberg tried to work out if any of the individuals in any the hgdp samples were, in fact, relatives [see here]. to cut a long story short, rosenberg found it likely that two individuals in the french sample were siblings [see pg. 7 here – opens pdf], thus the “relatives” indicator on the ceph website. so, the entire french sample is NOT full of family members like i wondered in my last post — only two of the individuals sampled are likely to have been relatives.

i still think it would be useful to know from which regions the samples were drawn, but i guess i just have to live with not knowing for the meantime. (~_^) but now i feel more secure about professor harpending’s conclusion — that regarding the french: “from the viewpoint of kinship, one person is not very different from another person.”

however, now i feel unsure about the japanese samples! the hgdp samples for the japanese are described on ALFRED as:

“Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.”

ack! well, how representative of japanese people in japan are these people? where did they come from? urban areas? rural areas? different areas? mostly the same areas? how old were they?

i ask all these questions because, historically, urban japanese have had lower inbreeding rates than rural japanese … and the inbreeding rates overall for japan dropped pretty sharply after wwii [see pgs. 4-5 here – opens pdf]. so if the samples include mostly young, urban japanese who recently moved to the u.s., well i wouldn’t be surprised if they look quite outbred. but if the samples include mostly older, rural japanese, i would be surprised if they looked outbred.

now i don’t have any confidence in the japanese hgdp samples — not for looking at kinship within the japanese population anyway. btw, rosenberg didn’t find any likely relatives in the japanese samples.
_____

i went through the ceph table of the hgdp samples and ALFRED and compiled a list of all the hgdp samples and if they 1) likely include any family members (“relatives” – based on rosenberg), and 2) where the samples were collected and from whom, if known. many of the samples don’t have any useful information on their provenance. for example, many of the ALFRED entries say that the samples were drawn from unrelated individuals, but rosenberg found that they, in fact, likely included relatives.

why do i care about any of this? i’ll explain that in another post. right now … coffee! (^_^)

**update: see why i care about the hgdp samples**
_____

the list:

– Central African Republic – Biaka Pygmy (relatives)
This sample is comprised of Biaka, living in the village of Bagandu, in the southwest corner of the Central African Republic (3.42N; 18E altitude approximately 500m). This group is probably an admixture of 3/4 “non-pygmy” African ancestry and 1/4 Mbuti ancestry. The transformed cell lines were established by Judith R. Kidd. The sources of this sample are L. Cavalli-Sforza (Stanford University) and K.K. Kidd, J.R. Kidd (Yale University).

– Democratic Rep of Congo – Mbuti Pygmy (relatives)
The sample is composed of Nilosaharan and Niger Kordofanian speaking Mbuti pygmies from the northeastern part of the Ituri Forest (northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo). It was collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza in 1986.

– Senegal – Mandenka (relatives)
This sample from the Central African Republic is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Nigeria – Yoruba (relatives)
Most of the Yoruba individuals in this sample are urban health care workers from Benin City, Nigeria, collected by Prof. Friday E. Okonofua and collaborators; cell lines established by Dr. J.R. Kidd.

– Namibia – San (relatives)
This sample from Namibia is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Kenya – Bantu NE (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– S. Africa – Bantu SE Pedi
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Sotho
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Tswana
– S. Africa – Bantu SE Zulu
– S. Africa – Bantu SW Herero
– S. Africa – Bantu SW Ovambo

These samples are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). They include the following individuals: #993, 994, 1028, 1030, 1031, 1033, 1034, and 1035. These samples consist of unrelated Bantu speakers from southern Africa and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Algeria – Mozabite (relatives)
This sample from Algeria is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Israel (Negev) – Bedouin (relatives)
This sample from the Negev region of Israel is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Israel (Carmel) – Druze (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). The Druze, a Moslem community from Northern Israel. Collected by B. Bonne-Tamir (Tel Aviv University) as part of the repository of samples of Israeli populations. This sample contains both related and unrelated individuals.

– Israel (Central) – Palestinian (relatives)
This sample from the central region of Israel is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Pakistan – Brahui
– Pakistan – Balochi (relatives)
– Pakistan – Hazara (relatives)
– Pakistan – Sindhi (relatives)
– Pakistan – Pathan
– Pakistan – Kalash (relatives)
– Pakistan – Burusho

These samples from Pakistan are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). These samples consist of unrelated individuals and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Pakistan – Makrani
*no info found.*

– China – Han
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This is a sample of Han Chinese living in the San Francisco, California. Collected by L. Cavalli-Sforza (Stanford University), K.K. Kidd, and J.R. Kidd.

– China – Tujia
– China – Yizu/Yi
– China – Miaozu/Miao
– China – Oroqen (relatives)
– China – Daur
– China – Mongola
– China – Hezhen
– China – Xibo
– China – Uygur
– China – Dai
– China – She
– China – Lahu (relatives)
– China – Naxi (relatives)
– China – Tu

These samples from China are part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). These samples consist of unrelated individuals and were collected with proper informed consent.

– Siberia – Yakut
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Yakut-speaking individuals in the Yakut Autonomous Republic. Individuals sampled were living or were born along the river Lena in the area of Yakutsk and northward, roughly 129-130E, 62-64N. This sample was collected by E.L. Grigorenko.

– Japan – Japanese
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected by L.L. Cavalli-Sforza from Japanese-born individuals living in the San Francisco Bay area, and by K.K. Kidd and J. R. Kidd from Japanese-born individuals living in Connecticut.

– Cambodia – Cambodian (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected by K. Dumars from individuals born in Cambodia who are now living in Santa Ana, California.

– France – French/various regions (relatives)
This sample form various regions of France is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– France – Basque
This sample from France is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Italy – Sardinian
This sample from Italy is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Italy – from Bergamo
– Italy – Tuscany

*no info found.*

– Orkney Islands – Orcadian (relatives)
This sample from the Orkney Islands is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of unrelated individuals and was collected with proper informed consent.

– Russia Caucasus – Adygei
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Adygei-speaking people near Krasnodar in the Russian republic of Adygei, which is in the southeastern section of the country (north of the Caucuses mountains). They are culturally and linguistically distinct from neighboring Russians. This sample was collected by E. Grigorenko (Yale University) V. Galkina, and M. Kadoshnikova (Bristol company, Russia).

– Russia – Russian
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Sample collected by E. Grigorenko from rural communities of ethnic Russians living in the Vologda Administrative Region, about 400 km north of Moscow, roughly 59-61N, 39-41E.

– Mexico – Pima (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). Collected from Pima living near the eastern border of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Collected by L.O. Shulz.

– Mexico – Maya (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). This sample consists of Mayans who are Yucatec speakers from in the Xmaben village located in the Mexican state of Campeche in the central Yucatan peninsula. Blood and serum markers indicate European admixture to be about 10 % (K. Weiss, personal communication). Some evidence suggests that the area from which this sample was drawn served as a refuge for Maya people from across southern Mexico who fled to this more remote region during a series of revolts against the Spanish in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are 53 transformed cell lines (106 chromosomes) established by Judith R. Kidd. The sources of this sample are K.K. Kidd and J.R. Kidd (Yale University).

– Colombia – Piapoco and Curripaco (relatives)
*no info found.*

– Brazil – Karitiana (relatives)
This sample is part of the Human Genome Diversity Cell Line Panel collected by the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP) and the Foundation Jean Dausset (CEPH). The sample was collected in the Karitiana village (Rondonia Province, Brazil) by F. Black. HLA haplotypes indicate that the Karitiana have no non-Amerindian admixture and are genetically distinct from other sampled populations in relative geographical proximity, such as the Surui.

– Brazil – Burui (relatives)
*no info found.*

previously: hgdp samples and relatedness

(note: comments do not require an email. remember: you’re better off just skipping it!)

hgdp samples and relatedness

**update 03/22: see follow up post — more on the hgdp samples — and just ignore what i said about the french samples below.**

**update 08/28: ignore what i said about ignoring what i said about the french samples. see here.**
_____

i had a post up back in january about some cool research that looked at what runs of homozygosity (roh) in samples from the human genome diversity project (hgdp) can tell us about the inbreeding or outbreeding of different human populations.

but i’ve been bothered by the thought of how the hgdp samples were gathered. as professor harpending said:

“No one knows, by the way, how sampling was carried out for this nor for any of the HGDP populations.”

ugh. the hgdp is really, really cool — but not having info on where the samples came from — like genealogical info — poses a problem if you want to use this data to look at recent inbreeding/outbreeding or, i think, even the sort of thought experiment that prof. harpening conducted a couple of weeks ago, however cool that was, too.

here’s an example of what i mean.

prof. harpending compared the relatedness or kinship of the individuals in a couple of sets of samples from the hgdp: the french, the japanese, and the druze. he found that the kinship of indviduals in both the french and japanese populations to their nearest “relatives” (i presume two individuals who had the most similar genomes?) is very similar. as he said: “from the viewpoint of kinship, one person is not very different from another person.” the druze, otoh, are very dissimilar and the good professor thinks that this is a population in which “opportunities for discord and clannishness are high as individuals able to discriminate kin would ally against the ‘others.'”

i’m not going to argue with that! the druze, like the arabs, regularly practice father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage, the most incestuous form of cousin marriage around, so i’m not surprised that their genomes reflect this fact. (fbd marriage probably originated in the levant, so it could be that the people who are today known as the druze are the product of one of the longest running close-inbreeding projects in humans around.) amongst the druze, each extended-family or clan must’ve become, over time, it’s own little semi-isolated sub-group. like the arabs, i’d expect a lot of clannishness and infighting.

however, wrt to the french and japanese samples: the ceph folks do have some information on the hgdp samples, and one point of difference between the french and japanese samples is that the french samples are described as having been drawn from relatives whereas the japanese samples were not.

there are 29 french samples described as: French (various regions) relatives, and there are 31 japanese samples described as just Japanese, so i assume that means the japanese samples do not include relatives.

so what does French (various regions) relatives mean? i guess that the samples were drawn from different regions of france, but we don’t know which regions or how many. (which is too bad because different regions of france have, historically, had different inbreeding rates.) and how many relatives? who knows? i’m going to presume all 29 are not relatives from one family living scattered across the country, although i suppose that could’ve been the case. what seems more likely to me is that we’re looking at groups of samples from a number of different families, but how many? two, three, four … ten? again, who knows?

what difference would this make? well if the kinship in the french set of samples and the japanese set of samples look to be around the same, i.e. “one person is not very different from another,” BUT the french samples are from relatives and the japanese samples are not, then that would mean that the individuals in the broader french population must be even more like one another than the individuals in the broader japanese population since french family members have the same kinship to one another as japanese strangers do.

to put it more simply, comparing the french and japanese samples is like comparing apples and oranges because, if the ceph information is correct, the french samples include family members whereas the japanese ones do not.

the druze samples, too, are described as coming from relatives — again no info as to how many families/relatives — so the broader druze population should prove to be even more dissimilar to one another than these family members are.

i would love to see lots more studies done on inbreeding/outbreeding (and possible inclusive fitness-related behaviors) in human populations from a genetics p.o.v. — like what prof. harpending did in his recent post. but afaics, using the hgdp data is problematic. i look forward to when there are more whole genome sequences available out there WITH accompanying genealogical/pedigree information.

previously: runs of homozygosity and inbreeding (and outbreeding)

(note: comments do not require an email. in fact, you’re probably better off not using one!)

east anglia, kent and manorialism

here are a few excerpts related to east anglia and kent in the medieval period from from Sentiments & Activities: Essays in Social Science by george c. homans.

homans has a few interesting things to say about the east anglians and kentish people of the middle ages:

– that they had little to no manners manors in these regions versus central england which did
– that extended-families ruled the day in these areas versus nuclear families
– and he concludes that the germanic peoples that settled east anglia during the migration period had probably been frisians

east anglia is interesting because that’s where the puritan settlers in new england came from. here’s a little map from Albion’s Seed on the origins of new england’s placenames — i.e. they came mostly from east anglia:

anyway, here from homans [pgs. 147-49, 154, 162, 169]:

“[The] two main types of English social organization in the Middle Ages and their historical consequences, the two being the social organization of East Anglia and Kent, on the one side, and, on the other, that of central or open-field England….

“Central England is marked by large, compact villages, whose fields are managed according to customary rules binding on all villagers — one or another variety of the so-called open-field system or champion husbandry. In these fields, a villager’s holding lies in strips scattered all over the fields, with approximately equal acreage in each one. The holdings tend to be equal, class by class: there may be yardlands and half-yardlands, but each yardland is normally equal to every other one. A holding in villeinage or socage is commonly held by one man and descends to one of his sons. And many of the holdings are villein holdings, subject to heavy labor-services for the lord of the manor.

“Arrangements in Kent and much of East Anglia differ at almost every point from those just described…. Kent is marked by settlements smaller than the open-field villages, settlements I shall call hamlets. The holding does not originally consist of scattered strips. The earlier the date, the more often it appears instead as a compact body of land, the hamlet apparently lying close to the land. The holding is managed as an independent farming unit, not subject to many communal rules, though often following in fact a traditional rotation of crops. The holdings may once have been equal in size, but by the end of the thirteenth century such equality has degenerated, and irregularity is the rule rather than the exception.

“A husbandman’s holding tends to be in the hands of a group of men often called participes, sometimes called heredes, and it is often clear that these men are patrilineal kinsmen. The custom of inheritance in Kent is called gavelkind, and recognized by the lawyers as being different from most of the rest of England. Land descends to a number of heirs jointly…. It looks as if we had to do with joint-family communities like those Le Play described as still existing in the Auvergne in the nineteenth century: groups of men claiming descent from a common patrilineal ancestor, living in one house or a small group of houses, and managing in common a compact body of land, under the leadership of the oldest of ablest male of each successive senior generation….

“Again unlike open-field England, Kent by the end of the thirteenth century holds few villeins. Week-work for the lord of the manor is the badge of villeinage, and week-work is uncommon in Kent.

“The customs of East Anglia, including the villages on the southern shore of the Wash, are mixed, but in many places identical with those of Kent. The fact of gavelkins inheritance is certainly common, though not the name. Holdings seem at one time to have been fairly compact, but they have become much broken up by partible inheritance. The proportion of free socage to villein tenures is higher than in central England, though lower than in Kent. East Anglia differs from Kent chiefly in the fact that settlement seems to be in big villages rather than hamlets, but even here the two districts are alike in lacking strict two- or three-field systems of husbandry.

We have on the one hand a strong village community linked with what Le Play called in ‘Les ouvriers europeens’ a stem-family, and on the other hand a weak or nonexistent village community linked with a joint-family. Big village, small family or small village, big family — the contrast is oversimple but not fantastically so….

“[A] higher proportion of tenants in free socage to tenants in villeinage [is] obtained in Kent and East Anglia than in central England…. This was true at the time of Domesday, and by the end of the thirteenth century very little villeinage remained in Kent…. Nor was the phenomenon limited to England. One of the greatest of social historians, Marc Bloch, claimed that the full-blown seigneurie appeared in France ‘north of the Loire and on the Burgundian plain,’ that is, in the open-field part of the country. He argued that the feudal system itself developed its classic form only under these conditions….

In East Anglia as in Kent, the heirs often continued to hold and work it [the land] in common and undivided, forming what anthropologists call a joint-family or minimal lineage. Thus we hear of groups of brothers, of uncles and nephews, and of first cousins holding land jointly....

“Besides holding land in common, did a group of heirs ever keep on living together in one big family house, forming a house-community like those described in the sagas? All we have here are some curious East Anglian references to named ‘houses’ (domus), references that seem unlike any found in the records of other parts of England….

The final characteristic of East Anglia that sets it off at least from Wessex and Mercia is its weak, or perhaps late, manorialization…. Specifically, weak manorialism meant a large number of free tenants. ‘The free peasantry of East Anglia — that is to say of the two counties of Norfolk and Suffolk alone — formed approximately one half of the total number of freeman and sokemen recorded for the whole of Domesday England….'”

homans makes a long and fairly convincing argument (that i won’t go into here) that frisians settled in east anglia during the migration period and not so much angles. he draws a lot of parallels between medieval east anglian society and frisian society, so he may be right. but the interesting thing is, like east anglia, frisia never experienced manorialism either, so perhaps the similarities of the two regions are related to that (along with general common ethnic origins).

it’s interesting, too, to hear that as recently as the 1300s, east anglia and kent had community families whereas, according to emmanuel todd, they had absolute nuclear families by the modern period (1500s-1800s). the change to nuclear families (perhaps stem families as opposed to absolute nuclear families) probably came much earlier in the manor-regions of england since the manor system generally required nuclear families.

previously: family types and the evolution of behavioral traits

(note: comments do not require an email. east anglia.)

exogamous marriage in medieval england

*update below*

unfortunately, i don’t have access to this article — The Formation and Stability of Marriage in Fourteenth-Century England: Evidence of an Ely Register — but goody refers to it in “The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe.” on pg. 144 he says:

“[J]ust under 50 per cent of marriages were with people from outside the village [of ely] (as one might expect with the extent of the prohibitions)….”

the extent of the church’s prohibition against cousin marriages at this point in time — the second half of the fourteenth century (the author, sheehan, looked at church records from, iirc, the 1370s) — was out to sixth cousins. that definitely makes it difficult to find someone to marry, unless you can afford to pay the dispensation.

it would be nice to have a look at the original article one day to see if sheehan was able to be more specific than just “outside the village.” i’ll try to get my hands on the article at some point. (^_^)

it would also be nice to be able to compare this “just under 50 per cent” of medieval english folks marrying outside their village with the three-quarters of medieval rural northern italians from just about the same time period who were marrying outside of their parish. i wonder how comparable were a medieval english village and a medieval northern italian parish? similar in size or not?
_____

update 03/16: i thought of this late last night — kline cohn, the guy who studied the marriage patterns in medieval northern italy [starting on pg. 174], looked at both more urban (suburban villages surrounding florence) and more rural (way up in the mountains) places, so perhaps one should compare his urban figures with ely (and not the rural figures for italy).

he found that 32.16% of the suburbanites married within their parish versus the regional average of 24.54%. again, i don’t know how well a medieval italian parish compares with a medieval english town (ely) with a figure of just under 50%, so it’s difficult to compare the two directly. sure sounds like the northern italians were out-marrying more … maybe.

the rural figures for exogamous marriages in medieval northern italy are quite extraordinary. only 8.06% of marriages in the mountains were between members of the same village; in upland regions (i.e. between the lowland suburbs and the mountainous regions), just 16.81% of marriages were within the village.

previously: exogamous marriage in northern medieval italy

(note: comments do not require an email. i hope! ely cathedral.)