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Thread: Germanic Ancestry in America

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlessedGoddess View Post
    I am located, right now, in southern California the map in the first post is a bit wrong. I am in a majority white city...NOT Mexican.
    The map shows the largest ancestry by county. The largest ancestry can be 10%, 20%, 40% but it will vary from one census district to another. Many of the counties (in the South) that show African as the largest ancestry are in fact majority White with Euro-American ancestries divided among English, Irish, German, American etc.. ancestries.

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    I'm one of those Americans that is actually predominately of Germanic (And some Celtic) origin. I'm Scandinavian (Norwegian and Swedish, yes both), German, Austrian, Dutch, and English. I'm also Irish.. that's the tad bit of Celtic in me.

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    Senior Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Re: "American" as an ancestry

    Something I find interesting is the difference in ancestral makeup of Americans from the "colonial" areas (i.e. the South, Northeast) and those areas of the country that were primarily populated by the immigrants arriving later on, mostly in the mid-to-late 19th century (e.g. the Midwest).

    My grandfather's family moved to Iowa from Virginia, and more distantly from New York and Pennsylvania. So as someone who by chance is descended from both groups of immigrants, the difference is even more pronounced to me, and because of that I can understand why Americans of entirely colonial descent might identify as American on an ancestral level, instead of "English with a dash of other British and German" or something similar.

    My three other grandparents don't have roots in this country extending before 1800, and two of them have their most distant immigrant ancestor arriving in the US in the 1880's. With this being only a few generations ago, few enough that I was raised with family members who personally knew these immigrants, I feel a much greater sense of Irish, Swedish, and Luxemburgian heritage than I do the more distant English, other British, and German heritage from my grandfather.

    As a result I have a hard time listing England, Germany, Scotland, and Ulster alongside Ireland, Sweden, and Luxemburg in the ancestry field of my profile; instead I consider it more accurate to refer to it as my American ancestry. That's not to say I don't acknowledge those ethnicities as being a part of my biology and family history, because I do, it's only that inheriting an association with an ethnicity my progenitors have long since been separated from is just about impossible.

    When I see an American on Skadi from the South, for example, and I see the typical collection of colonial ancestries--English, German, Scottish, Scots-Irish, Welsh, with maybe a little Dutch or French--I think of how it might actually make more sense to call it American, because in doing so it can pretty much be implied that those nations are your ancestral nations. In a way it can even be deceiving to list all of those countries together, as the English likely predominates over the others. Another way in which it seems off is that, in the Midwest, to be of German descent, Dutch descent, Irish descent, etc. means to have family from those countries a few generations ago. When someone whose ancestors left those countries many more generations ago likewise declares those ancestries it blurs the distinction between those who have a legitimate connection to the old country and those whose only connection is an ancestry.com discovery.

    Consequently, I recognize the usefulness of the "American" ancestry designation on the map in the first post, and in a lot of ways I see it as the most genuine option for old stock Americans with a convoluted but predictable ancestral history.

    As an aside, it's comforting that this American ancestry belongs only to those of Northwestern European descent, perhaps one promising sign that the original conception of American may yet be salvaged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    Re: "American" as an ancestry

    Something I find interesting is the difference in ancestral makeup of Americans from the "colonial" areas (i.e. the South, Northeast) and those areas of the country that were primarily populated by the immigrants arriving later on, mostly in the mid-to-late 19th century (e.g. the Midwest).

    My grandfather's family moved to Iowa from Virginia, and more distantly from New York and Pennsylvania. So as someone who by chance is descended from both groups of immigrants, the difference is even more pronounced to me, and because of that I can understand why Americans of entirely colonial descent might identify as American on an ancestral level, instead of "English with a dash of other British and German" or something similar.

    My three other grandparents don't have roots in this country extending before 1800, and two of them have their most distant immigrant ancestor arriving in the US in the 1880's. With this being only a few generations ago, few enough that I was raised with family members who personally knew these immigrants, I feel a much greater sense of Irish, Swedish, and Luxemburgian heritage than I do the more distant English, other British, and German heritage from my grandfather.

    As a result I have a hard time listing England, Germany, Scotland, and Ulster alongside Ireland, Sweden, and Luxemburg in the ancestry field of my profile; instead I consider it more accurate to refer to it as my American ancestry. That's not to say I don't acknowledge those ethnicities as being a part of my biology and family history, because I do, it's only that inheriting an association with an ethnicity my progenitors have long since been separated from is just about impossible.

    When I see an American on Skadi from the South, for example, and I see the typical collection of colonial ancestries--English, German, Scottish, Scots-Irish, Welsh, with maybe a little Dutch or French--I think of how it might actually make more sense to call it American, because in doing so it can pretty much be implied that those nations are your ancestral nations. In a way it can even be deceiving to list all of those countries together, as the English likely predominates over the others. Another way in which it seems off is that, in the Midwest, to be of German descent, Dutch descent, Irish descent, etc. means to have family from those countries a few generations ago. When someone whose ancestors left those countries many more generations ago likewise declares those ancestries it blurs the distinction between those who have a legitimate connection to the old country and those whose only connection is an ancestry.com discovery
    I have to disagree. I am a quintessential ''Old Stock'' American. My family arrived here between 1607 and 1656 except 2 branches...the Welsh in 1831, and the German in 1754. Now, I have always felt a kinship with my German ancestors, not that I don't with my ''Old Stock''-American, partially because their history has been passed down from generation to generation, and parrtially because my great grandmother, who was 1/2 English 1/2 German was the first generation to not speak German after carrying on their heritage here for 150 years, mainly spent isolated in the Pennsylvania mountains speaking only German. They were here for a long time, but did not become ''Americanized''. I feel a great pull from that side of my family, even though the Welsh arrived here after them, they did not preserve their heritage like the German side, mainly because 4 generations of men died young, in the mines, but still. I have the family bible, the wedding book, the photos, the personal items that my ancestors had. I have them for the early ones too from Virginia and the Mayflower, but for some reason I have always felt that pull to the Eckrotes, so I do not put American as my ethnicity, I put English, German, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish, because I find it important to give my ancestors their due, it's not about the parcel of land you inhabit as much as it is about the culture and the bloodline that I look to honor.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Reihenfolge View Post
    I have to disagree. I am a quintessential ''Old Stock'' American. My family arrived here between 1607 and 1656 except 2 branches...the Welsh in 1831, and the German in 1754. Now, I have always felt a kinship with my German ancestors, not that I don't with my ''Old Stock''-American, partially because their history has been passed down from generation to generation, and parrtially because my great grandmother, who was 1/2 English 1/2 German was the first generation to not speak German after carrying on their heritage here for 150 years, mainly spent isolated in the Pennsylvania mountains speaking only German. They were here for a long time, but did not become ''Americanized''. I feel a great pull from that side of my family, even though the Welsh arrived here after them, they did not preserve their heritage like the German side, mainly because 4 generations of men died young, in the mines, but still. I have the family bible, the wedding book, the photos, the personal items that my ancestors had. I have them for the early ones too from Virginia and the Mayflower, but for some reason I have always felt that pull to the Eckrotes, so I do not put American as my ethnicity, I put English, German, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish, because I find it important to give my ancestors their due, it's not about the parcel of land you inhabit as much as it is about the culture and the bloodline that I look to honor.
    Thanks for offering a different perspective. I admit I'm ignorant of how old-stock Americans identify, or should identify, on ethnic grounds. My grandfather responsible for my old-stock ancestry died well before I was born, so I've not really been exposed to that part of my heritage; and in addition, I've lived my whole life in an area where most people don't have old-stock ancestry, so really the whole culture is foreign to me.

    Regarding the part of your post I bolded, my opinion is that the term "American" does represent our culture and bloodline. Our old-stock ancestors didn't simply appear out of thin air here--they were just as much inheritors of Englishness as the English who stayed in England, for instance. When they called themselves Americans, it did not all of the sudden do away with their ethno-history. That is why I don't see anything wrong with calling old-stock ancestry American.

    I suppose I just want a way to differentiate recent European ancestry from distant colonial ancestry. As an example, there is something fundamentally different between your Irish ancestry and mine. Yours is probably a small percentage and way back in time, while mine is 3/8 of my makeup and much more recent. Or another example: someone with an ancestor from New Sweden might say they have Swedish ancestry, and while they technically do, it's not the same as it is with Upper Midwesterners such as myself, whose Swedish ancestors came here in the 1880's and 90's. Yet, in both of these examples, it's impossible to tell what's what when both go by the same name.

    That's why I refer to my grandfather's ancestry as American, as opposed to English/German/other British. To me, they say the same thing, and I choose the former because it's more concise and gives people a more accurate view of my ancestral background than would listing the latter along with my more recent ancestry from Ireland, Sweden, and Luxemburg.

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    You only have to look at the town names in the U.S, many are named after english/british towns. Virtually every english town and even many villages had towns named after them in the U.S. Google any english town name at random and 9/10 there will be another in the U.S So as already mentioned english ancestry is very unreported due to the time these families had been in the country.
    As an englishman i find it sad when i see many americans claim their celtic or european ancestry but rarely english even though most early settlers were of english stock, not forgetting the welsh they had a big impact too.
    One of the mayflower passengers shares my surname but i was unable to find out if they were remotely related, unlikely but nice thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wulfsige View Post
    You only have to look at the town names in the U.S, many are named after english/british towns. Virtually every english town and even many villages had towns named after them in the U.S. Google any english town name at random and 9/10 there will be another in the U.S So as already mentioned english ancestry is very unreported due to the time these families had been in the country.
    As an englishman i find it sad when i see many americans claim their celtic or european ancestry but rarely english even though most early settlers were of english stock, not forgetting the welsh they had a big impact too.
    One of the mayflower passengers shares my surname but i was unable to find out if they were remotely related, unlikely but nice thought.
    You could do the same with German towns here in the US. The bulk of Americans with European ancestry are actually from Germany. A lot are German/English or German/Irish. Since America was founded by mostly English the English language was prevalent in most areas hence the English names. Also in some areas like the one I live in the town names are English because the English were actually here first, in the 1800's the German immigrants came in mass so most of population here is of German decent.
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    Actually,America is not even a "white" nation anymore,not to speak of "germanic"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gott Mit Uns View Post
    Actually,America is not even a "white" nation anymore,not to speak of "germanic"...
    Really, could you please explain why you think this?

    Yes, we have racial others just like any other country. However our language is Germanic, our laws and Constitution were written by Germanics. Germanics are still the majority of the population here. Our country was founded by Germanics. There are many populated parts of America where you can go months without seeing a racial other, although it is declining, but not too far gone that it cannot be reversed.

    Did you not view the map posted earlier in the thread of the ethnic make up of America by county? When you combine all the Germanic ethnicities Germanic is still the majority.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpearBrave View Post
    Germanics are still the majority of the population here.
    I think this came up before, but I can't remember where.

    But if white americans excluding the hispanics are already down to 60% of the population, how can germanics still be the majority as that also includes all the celts, slavs and southern europeans? Shouldn't that put the germanic percentage below the 50% mark?

    And maybe these mere 60% also still include all the north africans and middle-easterners, as these statistics are from the US census which seems to classify them as white as well (and it just said "Non-Hispanic White" with no reference to these others, so I'm not sure but it sounds to me as if they would still be included ).

    From the pdf about the US census I downloaded:
    "The term “White” refers to people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who reported “White” or wrote in entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish. "
    Subtract all that from the figure for 'white americans' and how many germanic americans are we left with? Maybe something like 40-45%?

    Maybe less, subtracting the Irish, Italians and Poles alone already accounts for a 20% reduction.

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