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Thread: Frisians and the Dutch-German Border

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    Frisians and the Dutch-German Border

    My Grandma always told us that her mum was Dutch and German and while the New York Dutch Reformed Cossaert family was easy enough to pin down from South Holland by way of Amsterdam, we were under the impression that the other most recent Continental name and lineage of hers were German (there are definitely other, more indisputable German lines, just further back and not much known personally by my Grandma). Only this year, 2.5 after losing my Grandma, did I find that the Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite Ehlert family was from Fryslân by way of Rotterdam.

    Now, both hometowns and seaports of embarking were Dutch, but I'm curious about this Frisian dual identity of Dutch and German. Is there no clear means of being one or the other? This seems complicated, because of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster having been split between the two countries just like Frisia itself and one would think that my Anabaptist ancestors would have no loyalty to Münster for the way they were treated, thus making a personal choice to align with the United Provinces instead of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Would it be possible for the whole of Frisia to be entirely Dutch and all of Saxony just be German? Why hasn't this division been made cleanly, or is it geographically not feasible? I see a similar problem with Flanders lacking their own Frankish unity. From the shores alone, I see Franks, Frisians and Saxons where the states are called Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, only there's little precision in matching blood and soil.

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    The Dutch are German by blood, therefore this whole distinction is rather unnecessary. The same goes for Austrians and some of the Swiss people, and even for German Hungarians. Germany is far bigger than the tiny Bundesrepublik right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freude View Post
    The Dutch are German by blood, therefore this whole distinction is rather unnecessary. The same goes for Austrians and some of the Swiss people, and even for German Hungarians. Germany is far bigger than the tiny Bundesrepublik right now.
    If Franconians, Frisians and Deutsch are all 'German', then why not include English as part of the Frisian group?

    It's basically the same as forgetting Icelanders being Norwegian. In both cases, actually, Danes took over preexisting establishments and dislodged the original interests held by their respective peoples. Why should Germany be the heart of West Germanics, when its establishment of Irminonic Hochdeutsch no longer favours any sense of equality with Istvaeonic Franconian and Ingvaeonic Anglo-Frisian?

    Only separate sovereignties have permitted equality between the three West Germanic subgroups, for you see what's happened to Plattdeutsch. Even though Belgium has afforded Hochdeutsch official status alongside Franconian, Germany has not reciprocated. Why, if the Netherlands largely corresponds with old Frisia, is Frisian not an official language there, but Franconian is solely, despite Flanders being really the heart of Belgium instead?

    None of that is fair or any indication of common interest. This is all beside the point of disunited Austro-Bavarians, Alemannic Swiss and Transylvania Saxons, which are all Hochdeutsch and belong with Germany on that basis. It's hypocritical to say that Dutch sovereignty is unwarranted and that they're indistinct from the rest, when it seems nobody would say such a thing of England, at the same time burying Frisians in the debate as a merely trifling oversight. There's more uniqueness between types of West Germanic than between North Germanic, is that not so?

    Or, if all West Germanics are about the same, then why not a union inclusive of England comparable to Scandinavianism inclusive of Iceland?

    I've been attacked for looking fondly on England's relationships with Holland and Hanover as somehow evil, when they were a bulwark of unity in opposition to Latin Europe for us. Either we're interested in having relations amongst West Germanics or not, only anyone has to convince why the centre of gravity is such that Dutch or English ought to be in a German orbit, rather than English and German in Dutch orbit, or Dutch and German in English orbit. Is there any way to have all be on par with the other, or is it like Denmark always lording over Sweden and Norway in the Kalmar Union and afterward Denmark and Sweden taking turns with Norway, thus ruining the chances for a common interest in Norden as one body?

    I'm being realistic here. Anyway, the purpose of the thread was to ascertain if certain parts of the Netherlands belonged more to Germany and vice versa. Perhaps the Münster part of the Netherlands fits Germany better and the Friesland part of Germany fits the Netherlands better. Would that make more sense for a border, if there is to be one at all?

    My reason for asking is to resolve some confusion about family tradition, but perhaps there is a stereotype that all Dutch in Pennsylvania are Deutsch from Germany and not the same as New York from the Netherlands. I'm thinking, furthermore, that my Mennonite ancestors proved their loyalty to Frisia and therefore the Netherlands rather than Münster or Germany, even if the Prince-Bishops obviously contested the Anabaptist Rebellion there. If everybody was all the same, we wouldn't be having this debate. But, you see, even Nassau and as far away as Orange were tied to a Netherlands uninterested in absorption to the Holy Roman Empire, partly because of Burgundy, partly because of Lotharingia and Middle Francia, but also the difference between Roman and free Germania, yet local distinctions should be enough. Should there not be allotments for Frank, Frisian and Saxon, or must all practise reckless self-abandon before some Borg assimilation like Europeanisation?

    Since my Mennonite ancestors chose Frisia over Münster and then Anglo-Hanoverian Pennsylvania in the early 18th century, I'm content they belonged to English, rather than Franconian or Hochdeutsch society. At the time, Plattdeutsch was still viable and allowed such relations to flourish. See here for background on my interest:

    https://fy.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surh%C3%BAsterfean

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    I'm not an expert on this, but aren't Pennsylvania Dutch people Germans anyways? I thought they only called them "Dutch" because they couldn't pronounce "Deutsch" back in the days when they settled over there. I can perfectly understand Pennsylvania Dutch, it's just a German dialect really, much easier to understand than actual Dutch. Wouldn't really matter either way, as even Dutch people are Germans, just with a strong dialect.

    The reason why I wouldn't include England is because it is not a predominantly Germanic country. They still speak a Germanic language, but the population is only partly Germanic by blood, most are descendants of the Celts, and today the Atlantic race is dominant. England today is a Celtic-Atlantic mix with a small Germanic element, while the Netherlands (the natives that is) are predominantly Germanic with (more or less) strong Atlantic and Celtic influences.

    If I was in charge, there wouldn't be a border between Germany and the Netherlands, and Germany would reach from Kattowitz or Königsberg to the Dutch West coast, and from the German North coast to the North of Italy (Südtirol).

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    Are you not mistaking Welsh, Scottish and Irish for English, just because of sharing the same tongue? What say you to the Celtic DNA of the Faroes, Iceland and once upon a time, Greenland and Newfoundland? There seems to be no love for Anglo-Saxon achievements in the assimilation process, but the Vikings get a free pass. Nobody insults Iceland like they do England and of course, this ironically coming from a part Hellene.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Freude View Post
    I'm not an expert on this, but aren't Pennsylvania Dutch people Germans anyways? I thought they only called them "Dutch" because they couldn't pronounce "Deutsch" back in the days when they settled over there. I can perfectly understand Pennsylvania Dutch, it's just a German dialect really, much easier to understand than actual Dutch. Wouldn't really matter either way, as even Dutch people are Germans, just with a strong dialect.

    The reason why I wouldn't include England is because it is not a predominantly Germanic country. They still speak a Germanic language, but the population is only partly Germanic by blood, most are descendants of the Celts, and today the Atlantic race is dominant. England today is a Celtic-Atlantic mix with a small Germanic element, while the Netherlands (the natives that is) are predominantly Germanic with (more or less) strong Atlantic and Celtic influences.

    If I was in charge, there wouldn't be a border between Germany and the Netherlands, and Germany would reach from Kattowitz or Königsberg to the Dutch West coast, and from the German North coast to the North of Italy (Südtirol).
    Here in the States, the Amish ethno-religious sect are apparently sometimes referred to as "Dutchies". They are descended from Swiss or southern German religious immigrants I believe.
    They originally settled in Pennsylvania, mostly. Nowadays they've spread all over the place, including my local area of Kentucky.
    Wherever their ancestors came from, I wish they'd keep their !#$^ horses and buggies off the main highways!
    "Almost every name belongs to well-known families of English stock....these soldiers were of ancient American lineage"- Prof. N.S. Shaler on the 1st Kentucky "Orphan" Brigade, Confederate States Army

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    Quote Originally Posted by KYAnglo View Post
    Here in the States, the Amish ethno-religious sect are apparently sometimes referred to as "Dutchies". They are descended from Swiss or southern German religious immigrants I believe.
    They originally settled in Pennsylvania, mostly. Nowadays they've spread all over the place, including my local area of Kentucky.
    Wherever their ancestors came from, I wish they'd keep their !#$^ horses and buggies off the main highways!
    Hah. I do have remote South German ancestry from this same lineage, but would love to drive a horse and buggy regardless. Yes, that means on the main thoroughfares. Come on man, you know Kentucky is the land of 'Unbridled Freedom'. So, I love the Mennonite and Amish way of life, aside from the language nonsense. It's like Canada; I'd love to live in a world like that with vast swathes of pristine boreal forest to log with hunting and fishing, but not with the French crap ruining social harmony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodskarl Dubhgall View Post
    My Grandma always told us that her mum was Dutch and German and while the New York Dutch Reformed Cossaert family was easy enough to pin down from South Holland by way of Amsterdam, we were under the impression that the other most recent Continental name and lineage of hers were German (there are definitely other, more indisputable German lines, just further back and not much known personally by my Grandma). Only this year, 2.5 after losing my Grandma, did I find that the Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite Ehlert family was from Fryslân by way of Rotterdam.

    Now, both hometowns and seaports of embarking were Dutch, but I'm curious about this Frisian dual identity of Dutch and German. Is there no clear means of being one or the other? This seems complicated, because of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster having been split between the two countries just like Frisia itself and one would think that my Anabaptist ancestors would have no loyalty to Münster for the way they were treated, thus making a personal choice to align with the United Provinces instead of the Holy Roman Empire.

    Would it be possible for the whole of Frisia to be entirely Dutch and all of Saxony just be German? Why hasn't this division been made cleanly, or is it geographically not feasible? I see a similar problem with Flanders lacking their own Frankish unity. From the shores alone, I see Franks, Frisians and Saxons where the states are called Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, only there's little precision in matching blood and soil.
    These are different ethnic/national categories that cannot be identified with one another. The Dutch and German nationalities are basically new categories of identity that have been 'draped' over the old plurality of tribal identities. In doing so, it relativized the weight of these previous categories as categories of identities, meaning they became secondary categories. Where at some point in history an individual would be primarily identified as a Frisian, Saxon or Franconian, nowadays these categories denote smaller regional differences within the wider unifying categories of 'Dutch' and 'German' which have taken the position of primary categories of identification.
    In the case of Franconian and Saxon, their use is mostly linguistical or historical-geographical. Frisians have retained the ethnic meaning of 'Frisia' to a larger extent. The places where Frisian is spoken as a language have always kept the geographical name of Frisia, while for example most of the Franconian speakers don't live in an area by the name of Franconia. Then again, there are also lands known as 'Frisia' where Frisian is no longer spoken (Ostfriesland in Germany, West-Friesland in the Netherlands).
    So the answer is quite simple. Frisians in Germany are Germans and Frisians in the Netherlands are Dutch. It's important to note that there is hardly unity among these different Frisians. They were united in the early middle ages, but the Frisians of the Netherlands and those of Northern Frisia in Germany cannot understand eachother's language nowadays. If your ancestors came from these regions before there even was a distinction between Dutch and German, the use of these terms become anachronistic.

    Edit: Moderation question: Why do nearly all my posts link to the 'fund Skadi'-page? Don't get me wrong; I'm flattered that apparently I am considered to be the user you want to advertize this community with.

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    Somewhat off topic: I wonder if the y dna haplogroup R-L48 is also as prevalent in the modern male population of East ("German") Friesland as it apparently in West ("Nederlander") Friesland? Some apparently call L48 the "Frisian" haplogroup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodskarl Dubhgall View Post
    Are you not mistaking Welsh, Scottish and Irish for English, just because of sharing the same tongue? What say you to the Celtic DNA of the Faroes, Iceland and once upon a time, Greenland and Newfoundland? There seems to be no love for Anglo-Saxon achievements in the assimilation process, but the Vikings get a free pass. Nobody insults Iceland like they do England and of course, this ironically coming from a part Hellene.

    Granted, the Irish might be a different story, they have the second highest percentage of blue eyes in all of Europe and the highest percentage of red hair and also have lots of CM-influences, which at least makes them appear somewhat Germanic, but England itself cannot be called a pred. Germanic country by any means. Celtic influences (like we in the Rheinland have, as the Rheinland too was Celtic before the Germanic tribes drove them off) are omnipresent in and around Central and Western Europe, in Germany (and the Netherlands, and Austria) the Celtic element isn't dominant though, unlike in England or France.

    Nobody is "pure" in 2020, nobody was "pure" in 1920 either, it is only about what genes / which races are dominant. In the ancient Germanic tribes, the nordische and fälische Rasse (nordic and "faelid" race) were dominant. Nearly everyone was blonde or red-haired and had blue or green eyes. This persisted until the late dark ages. If one only had dark eyebrows (like me) they would have been considered part-slave, part "unfree" (unfrei) ... if we go around judging by these standards, 99% of the members in this forum are non-Germanic, or at least not "pure" Germanics. These standards, however, are still far more accurate than simply judging by what country someone is from, as there are blonde Greeks and there are swarthy Germans and so on.

    A swarthy German telling blonde and blue-eyed me I cannot be Germanic because I also have Greek ancestors (mind you, the vast majority of my ancestors are still from Germany) would only earn my contempt, and rightfully so. That is because race (genes) are the most important thing that everything else (culture, customs, language etc.) derives from, and of course, German people speaking Japanese does not make them descendants of the Samurai, just like English people speaking a Germanic language does not make them Germanic, and the new Greeks, consisting mostly of the dark races, being proud of the achievements of the ancient Greeks and their predominantly nordic upper class - you know the drill ...

    [Staff note: Off-topic discussion on blonde hair has been split to this thread.]

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