Are you curious about the origin of the ancient Old English race? Do you think the Anglo-Saxon race can be traced to bygone tribal communities? Historians feel it is linked to tribal Germanic clans, after finding documented proofs in the past records of the old manorial, archaeological, anthropological, cultural traditions, name-places, and dialects that they exhibited.
Tracing the Roots
The three primary names -Saxons, Angles and Jutes are related to the olden tribes of Scandinavia and North Germany. And they are supposed to be the actual ancestors of the Anglo Saxons lineage. The place-names in British history are mostly said to be of Teutonic origin. It is very difficult to guess correctly as there are no valid records of the early period in the manner of speech or dialect.
The names of the areas and places have been given as per the topographical locations. Many of the names have known to be derived from the woodlands, forests, hills, and fords. The old settlement place-names were gotten from the tribes of olden times. In ancient or primitive communities the customary laws were governed by the tribal head of families or kindred.
The Name-Places & More
The names of places were often known by the specific names that the neighbouring clans gave them. For example, the Wessex county Hampshire was said to be the original Wessex. However, the names of places were mixed with the Teutonic names of areas in England. As the Old English people learnt the use of words, verbs, and vowels, the names of places were modified or changed to that effect.
You can take the example of names such as Aethelwulfing-land or Swithræding-den, that is now called as Surrenden in Kent. Clans that existed in those times may be inferred from present place-names. Parts of Germany like South Baden, Wurtemberg and Danube and its people could have been migrated as Saxons and passed over into the Old English land. Some names stand out such as Blackemanstone, Godmanston and Eastmanton and these cannot be attached to places, as historians feel that they are more connected with the houses of men.
On this subject, it is suggested that the evidence of old dialects and old names were much in use during the Anglo Saxon period.
Anglo Saxon Literary Records
The archaeological and anthropological pieces of evidence relating to customs and objects that were found are other strong points that indicate a tribal connection. Invading tribes brought their own laws in Old English society. People of diverse settlements got opportunities to meet other clan members.
The Angles, Jutes, Danes, Norse, Wends, Saxons, Frisian and many more tribal communities used to live within few miles of each other and yet maintained diverse local customs living as migrants in England.
Primitive Market Places
Early villages displayed signs of primitive market meeting places for the exchange of various commodities. These markets were formed on the borders of the settlements and one tribe met other tribe settlers on neutral grounds.
You can find proof in places like Stapler’s Down in Hampshire, Staple Cross in Boarhunt, and Stapeley Row in Ropley to name a few. The Domesday place Stanestaple meeting ground in the region Middlesex serves as a classic example as being the common border of two different counties.
Other Proof & Evidence
During the reign of Henry I, rules were laid down that neighbours should ideally settle their disputes by meeting at the boundaries of their respective lands. Such proofs of meeting-place and boundary courts have been seen in case of ancient Anglo Saxon settlements. The settlers who eventually came to be known as the ancestors of the Old England human race were a delightful mix of numerous tribes who were given the tag Anglo Saxon.
They were Teutonic, Wendish, Germanic, Norrena, and Frisian tribes. Names such as Gascon, Artis, and Pickard denote that they were people who had an ancestral lineage of the tribes from places like Picardy, Artois, and Gascony.
The name Westorwalening, which is seen in the olden literature is evidence that the name is related to a person belonging to the tribal community of Western Welshmen. Similarly, the names Swaefas and Sassi were later known as Saxons. Likewise, Dacians were Danes and Gutae were Jutes.
The conquest and the formation of the Kingdom of England was actually the coming together of different tribes and races who settled in Old English Land. It is the inter-mixture of hundreds of villages, their culture, the blend of diverse societies, and the start of a new race.
Still, the ethnological variations of the Anglo Saxon race have survived the birth of the new world and they exist even in the present time. You can find subtle hints in the differences in accents that silently bear witness to the multifariousness in their origin.