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Old 04-23-2013, 04:26 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 28 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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You can't base which is more common based on the census. English was (and often still is) considered the standard origin for White Americans, so someone that's 70% English and 30% Scottish will more likely than not call themselves "Scottish American". The problem with German ancestry that's far back is the most German sounding names were anglicized, so you have to be able to trace the line back pretty far to discover it's not British.

Also... what about people who have both English and German? I'm 35% English and 10% German... can I check more than one box? LOL
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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Yes, you can and many do. And there's no "box" to check. Ancestry is self-reported, unlike race and Hispanic origin questions.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Cortland, Ohio
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What I think is funny is the fact that many Irish and others in the British Isles actually have Scandinavian ancestry. I was always told my ancestry on my mom's side was English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and German and it turns out after getting our DNA tested through Ancestry.com we are pretty much half Central European (German probably) and Scandinavian. Ancestry.com tells us that Dublin was settled by the Scandinavians (here's a history Dublin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), so many so-called Irish and Scottish are originally Viking, thus Scandinavian.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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I don't buy that German is more common. I know hardly anybody with German last names and most everyone I know has an Anglo last name whether it be in Maine, Chicago where I'm from, or anywhere else I know people from.

I believe "British" is the most common ancestry in America. Nobody of colonial descent is ONLY English, Scotch-Irish, or Welsh. They're a mix of all three and most likely have some French heritage in that as well because I know I do and probably some Dutch, to a lesser extent some Italian as well because hundreds of them came in the 1600s to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobsta View Post
I don't buy that German is more common. I know hardly anybody with German last names and most everyone I know has an Anglo last name whether it be in Maine, Chicago where I'm from, or anywhere else I know people from.

I believe "British" is the most common ancestry in America. Nobody of colonial descent is ONLY English, Scotch-Irish, or Welsh. They're a mix of all three and most likely have some French heritage in that as well because I know I do and probably some Dutch, to a lesser extent some Italian as well because hundreds of them came in the 1600s to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
You have a very New England centric view, no offense.

I was born in southeastern Pennsylvania, but grew up in New England. My surname is German, and I'm around half German - almost all of which was from the mid 19th to early 20th century and easy to trace. Growing up in New England, everyone assumed I was Jewish, because Jews tended to be the only people with German surnames. Elsewhere I've lived, people haven't made this assumption, because in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, there are tons of people of German descent everywhere.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
You have a very New England centric view, no offense.

I was born in southeastern Pennsylvania, but grew up in New England. My surname is German, and I'm around half German - almost all of which was from the mid 19th to early 20th century and easy to trace. Growing up in New England, everyone assumed I was Jewish, because Jews tended to be the only people with German surnames. Elsewhere I've lived, people haven't made this assumption, because in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, there are tons of people of German descent everywhere.
I'm from Chicago. I'm not New England centric at all. I don't think this census is that accurate. I don't believe that Germans outnumber "Colonials" I guess you could call us in America for a second. We've been here for over 400 years multiplying from a decent number back then. That's almost half a millenium.

How many Germans migrated to America? Maybe 5 million by the early 1900s? Wouldn't the Americans of colonial descent pretty much have to had less than a population of 5 million at that same time to be outnumbered today?

Last edited by lobsta; 04-28-2013 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:27 PM
 
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In the 1900 census there were 8 million Americans either born in Germany or had at least one parent born in Germany. Again, that doesn't include the third generation descended from mid-19th century immigration, those of colonial German stock or Volga Germans from Russia but even with all of them included it's difficult to believe the German origin population was more than 15 million out of 76 million. There had to be around 25 million of English ancestry at the time if you include colonial stock, 19th century English immigrants and their descendants and a good number of Canadians.
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Something we often forget is that most African Americans are racially mixed. According to the PBS series African American Lives, the most common "non-black" mix is English and Scots-Irish but like white people who have deep colonial ancestries it's difficult to know and identify with it. Scientific analysis indicates that African Americans have about 1417.7% of their ancestry from Europeans. Native Americans also have an unknown pencentage of European blood, mostly from colonial era.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Northampton, Mass.
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I do a fair amount of genealogical research, esp. in the northeastern states. I would say German probably outranks true English ancestry (if you're counting just those that came to America from England itself, not Ireland, Scotland, etc.).
Like the Irish, Germans came and settled in the millions in the mid 1800s, largely settling in the mid-west---it sees the pockets you find on the east coast are from earlier pre-1800 groups, IMHO.

Most of the people who came during the American colonial period to the southern and mid-Atlantic states were of Scot-Irish origin, with some pockets of Dutch, French, English, etc. In New England most of the early European settlers came from England or Scotland.
I can trace most of mine in Massachusetts and Conn. to the 1600s, having come from southern England or Scotland. Another line came from Ireland in 1813 to Maine (which is odd due to the war at that time).
In coastal South Carolina there were some groups from Germany which settled c.1730-1740, mostly Lutherans. One of my friends here is descended from that group.

Someone mentioned Germans and New England: a few small groups did settle in southern Maine in the mid-1700s, near what is now Mount Vernon, Maine; some did at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia around that time as well. The points of origin for the European settlers are more numerous and interwoven than many would believe. And that is just of those who came before the Revolution.
But once immigration soared in the early 19th century, millions came here from Germany, Ireland, Italy...I would say all that would outnumber the amount that had come earlier from England itself or Scotland at any time.
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Old 08-16-2013, 09:03 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
You have a very New England centric view, no offense.

I was born in southeastern Pennsylvania, but grew up in New England. My surname is German, and I'm around half German - almost all of which was from the mid 19th to early 20th century and easy to trace. Growing up in New England, everyone assumed I was Jewish, because Jews tended to be the only people with German surnames. Elsewhere I've lived, people haven't made this assumption, because in the Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest, there are tons of people of German descent everywhere.
Well if downstate NY counts as mid-Atlantic, you'd can get the same assumption in the mid-Atlantic, because Jewish is far more common than German ancestry there.
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