For those people in British Society who believe that they have nothing in common with our European neighbours across the sea, think again. Scientists have discovered that many modern day Brits share a significant part of their DNA with both the French and the Germans.

New research carried out by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics based at the University of Oxford, in partnership with the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia has come up with some interesting findings. They have carried out The People of the British Isles Study, involving a sample of the DNA from more than 2,000 people living in rural areas, carefully ensuring that they only included those who specifically had all four of their grandparents being born towards the end of the 1800s, and all being born no further than 80km apart.

Perhaps the most intriguing discovery from their study was that it indicated that today's white Britons share a large part of their DNA with the French (40%) and the Germans (30%). In a slight contradiction to what others have believed in the past, their research did not back up the notion of just the one genetic group of a Celtic origin, such as one that encompassed Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Northern Ireland.

A reporter from the Guardian was told by Mark Robinson, one of the co-authors of the report, that: "The Celtic regions one might have expected to be genetically similar, but they're among the most different in our study." He did elaborate to say that from a cultural point of view, there are still many things that the groups do have in common though, quite apart from the apparent genetic differences that they did identify.

Their findings suggested that people from Cornwall are far closer related to the English than they are to the Celts and that British genes typically have little if any correspondence to the countries that invaded their shores, such as the Normans, Vikings and Romans as some might potentially expect. Orkney was the exception to that 'rule' though, where they were found to be 25% Norse.

The Welsh can still lay claim to being the most 'original' Brits, as the study confirmed that they indeed relate the most closely to hunter gatherers from the Stone Age, who made Britain their home after the last Ice Age.