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Old 04-19-2013, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
I don't think that it was ever really possible that the US would become a German-speaking nation, as immigration to America in colonial days was heavily from the British Isles...
Less than 10% of colonial America was German, and even in Pennsylvania they were outnumbered by English-speakers. There's no way German was going to be considered the official language.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:30 PM
 
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According to the 1900 census, out of a population of 76 million, there were:

25 million people of foreign stock (first- and second-generation) including:

8.1 million of German foreign stock (2.7 million born in Germany);
4.8 million Irish (1.6 million born in Ireland);
2.2 million English (840,000 born in England);
1.6 million "other" (non-French) Canadian (750,000 born in Canada)

Given that the 19th century German and Irish immigration really took off in the late 1840s, it's not including the grandchildren of these immigrants. I would guess that in 1900 however the 2nd generation would have been the largest.

Of the 67 million white Americans, it's probably safe to assume that 55% (37 million) were of primarily colonial stock. 60% of 37 million yields about 22 million, plus 3 million descended from 19th century immigration from England, and maybe another 1 million from the Canadians (I'm assuming 2.5 million "other" Canadians with the grandchildren in). A total of 26 million, about the same as self-identified "English" today, or about a third of the population.

To the German count, it seems reasonable to assume maybe 11 million if one includes the grandchildren. Bringing in the colonial stock and Volga Germans from Russia (who began arriving in the 1870s), it seems reasonable to assume 15 million or about 20% of the population.

I don't see how German ancestry could have leapfrogged over English since 1900.

For Irish: With the grandchildren, Irish Canadians and small number of colonial Irish-Irish (read not Scots-Irish) a total of 7 million seems reasonable.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Kensington View Post
Less than 10% of colonial America was German, and even in Pennsylvania they were outnumbered by English-speakers.
How do we know with any certainty that less than 10% of colonial America was German? By looking at lists of surnames, we're not going to get an accurate figure, due to the anglicization of many German surnames. French surnames and Irish surnames were also anglicized in colonial times.

Last edited by The Ancient Oracle; 04-20-2013 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:23 PM
 
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While a great many Americans obviously have German ancestral roots, English ancestry is probably under-counted, as other posters have mentioned in this thread.

However, many if not most white Americans are a mix of many different European ancestries; for example, I have English, Scottish, and Irish on my mom's side, and English, German, French, Swiss, and Luxembourger ancestry on my dad's side-and if you go back even further than that, I likely have Celtic, West Germanic, and North Germanic tribal ancestry in my DNA.

My point is, Americans, even white Americans, are a very, very diverse lot of people in terms of ethnic and national origin. And "English" and "German" ancestry have blended together, to a great extent, in many places in the United States.
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ancient Oracle View Post
How do we know with any certainty that less than 10% of colonial America was German? By looking at lists of surnames, we're not going to get an accurate figure, due to the anglicization of many German surnames. French surnames and Irish surnames were also anglicized in colonial times.

Source? There are plenty of examples of German/French/Irish surnames throughout colonial America. What proof do you have that a *significant * amount of Americans changed theirs?

Have you done family research on the entire American populace?
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArsenalFC View Post
Source? There are plenty of examples of German/French/Irish surnames throughout colonial America. What proof do you have that a *significant * amount of Americans changed theirs?

Have you done family research on the entire American populace?
Look at past issues of US genealogical magazines or US genealogical websites. Researchers are constantly discovering colonial ancestors with English surnames who turned out to be Irish, French or German.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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Maybe that's why the number of English ancestry dropped from 50 million in 1980 to 25 million today?
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ancient Oracle View Post
How do we know with any certainty that less than 10% of colonial America was German? By looking at lists of surnames, we're not going to get an accurate figure, due to the anglicization of many German surnames. French surnames and Irish surnames were also anglicized in colonial times.
Irish names were anglicized years ago before the Irish emigrated to America and these names are generally typically Irish like Sullivan, Murphy, O'Brien, O'Reilly or Fitzgerald. If you look at the census data in small towns across the country you'll see that you can find a lot of non-English names. In rural Pennsylvania or West Virginia there's some German names and in Louisiana there's tons of French names.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ancient Oracle View Post
Look at past issues of US genealogical magazines or US genealogical websites. Researchers are constantly discovering colonial ancestors with English surnames who turned out to be Irish, French or German.
People can have German or French ancestry along with English ancestry and therefore they have an English name. You act like all the names were anglicized in colonial time but most of the name were anglicized during the great wave of European immigration in the 19th century.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
Irish names were anglicized years ago before the Irish emigrated to America and these names are generally typically Irish like Sullivan, Murphy, O'Brien, O'Reilly or Fitzgerald.
Yes, many Irish surnames were anglicized back in Ireland, but then these surnames were sometimes even further anglicized in America. For example, Laoghaire became O'Leary in Ireland, and then might become something else in colonial America, such as Larrie or Larry.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Ancient Oracle View Post
Look at past issues of US genealogical magazines or US genealogical websites. Researchers are constantly discovering colonial ancestors with English surnames who turned out to be Irish, French or German.
You are exaggerating, it's as simple as that. I'm sure they've found quite a few, and they'll probably find a lot more -- but it won't make a difference. The British were by far the largest immigrants to their colonies. History tells us that.

History also tells us that German Americans like to spread myths...
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