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Thread: Ethnic Makeup of North Carolina

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    Ethnic Makeup of North Carolina

    I have heard that North Carolina had a large German element to the the state as well as old stock English obviously (probably the majority) and most likely Ulster Scot immigrants as well. I'm wondering how strong was the German presents in North Carolina history and of course today.

    I know that a lot of places in North Carolina have German names and even right down the road from me are places named after the Moravian's. I have also heard that German was spoken as the first language of a lot of people in NC for considerable amount of time. Can anybody shed some light on this?

    Just curious

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    The only German settlement (direct from Europe)in North Carolina that I am aware of is the Wachovia tract centered on what is now Winston-Salem. There were Germans who came down the Eastern Seaboard from the Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania & New Jersey) but they were scattered among the English, Welsh & Ulster Scots in Western North Carolina. The Europid populace in the eastern part of North Carolina was primary English.

    North Carolina is part of the Sunbelt & in recent decades there has been an influx from the Northeastern Seaboard so there are more White ethnics then there has been historically.
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    Very interesting. Yes, i am aware of the settlement in Winston Salem by the Moravian's. In fact that settlement included a pretty large tract of land stretching into Western NC.

    However, if there was not such a huge influx of Germans in North Carolina at some point, how do you account for so many places in NC being named after German places or words?

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    *Is North Carolinian and part German.

    That settlement is still open as a tourist attraction:
    http://www.oldsalem.org

    I've never really thought about the origins of the place names here. Just because a place has a certain name, doesn't mean it will be mostly populated by that people or family. The place I live in was named (I think) because it was owned by someone with a particular surname. I've lived here 20 some years, I've never met anyone from here with that name.

    I also came across this, don't know how accurate it is: http://http://www.carolana.com/NC/Ro...ans_swiss.html

    The Moravians - http://www.moravianarchives.org/bibliography.html

    The Cemetery at Old Salem - http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...try=4&CSst=29&

    I don't think I even remotely answered your question, but maybe these links can help somehow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sefo View Post
    I have heard that North Carolina had a large German element to the the state as well as old stock English obviously (probably the majority) and most likely Ulster Scot immigrants as well. I'm wondering how strong was the German presents in North Carolina history and of course today.

    I know that a lot of places in North Carolina have German names and even right down the road from me are places named after the Moravian's. I have also heard that German was spoken as the first language of a lot of people in NC for considerable amount of time. Can anybody shed some light on this?

    Just curious
    Well, we have a strong presence everywhere except New England or the Southeast (who were previously English but now Dixie identifying as American).


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sefo View Post
    Very interesting. Yes, i am aware of the settlement in Winston Salem by the Moravian's. In fact that settlement included a pretty large tract of land stretching into Western NC.

    However, if there was not such a huge influx of Germans in North Carolina at some point, how do you account for so many places in NC being named after German places or words?
    Could you name some examples? I know there is Charlotte, seat of Mecklenburg Co. but that was named for the queen of George III, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Brunswick is named for the duchy in Germany (Brunswick-Luneburg also called Hanover) that the British Royal Family came from. A lot of place in the South Atlantic states that have names connected to Germany were named adter members of the House of Brunswick or places connected to their spouses in Germany.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forgotten View Post
    Well, we have a strong presence everywhere except New England or the Southeast (who were previously English but now Dixie identifying as American).

    That map shouldn't be considered strictly reliable. The large portion of the Southeast magnifies the African American presence to the exclusion of the white population of those areas, in my opinion.
    Notice that Utah is particularly "English." This is due to the emphasis that the Mormon Church puts on genealogy. Much of the US would be colored "English," were genealogy as popular in the other states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HillY View Post
    That map shouldn't be considered strictly reliable. The large portion of the Southeast magnifies the African American presence to the exclusion of the white population of those areas, in my opinion.
    Notice that Utah is particularly "English." This is due to the emphasis that the Mormon Church puts on genealogy. Much of the US would be colored "English," were genealogy as popular in the other states.
    The map only shows the largest ancestry by county. So if a county is 70% White & 30% Negro but the Negroes are all counted as "African -American" & the greatest Europid ancestry (German, Irish, English, American) is say, 25%, Negroes will show up as the dominate ancestry group.

    This map are somewhat better in regards to race;


    ^ Non-Hispanic Whites by county. The lightest areas are where we are less then 67%.
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    North Carolina is mostly English, especially the Eastern half of the state. There are some heavily Scots-Irish populated areas in the mountains in the west and there were Germans who settled in New Bern. My family is from NC and are probably around 90% English, the rest being French or Cherokee.

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    I have lived in New Bern for a while and I can confirm they were a lot of German surnames still. The other Germanic area I know of is Winston-Salem in NC. Most of eastern NC is Anglo-Saxon and Lowland Scottish, from the piedmont region to the mountains is primarily Ulster-Scots.

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