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Old 11-21-2013, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
Assuming you're right (sounds like it from the threads), I never knew that was true until coming on the forum. It seems like an obvious thing to know to me.
Yeah. I can trace back the vast majority of my background pretty well. Once I get to the great-great-great grandparent point, only one of my 32 ancestors is known to have been born in the U.S. All the rest were in Europe. Hell, my English ancestor immigrated to the U.S. in 1862, so it's not like he's colonial stock.
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Old 11-21-2013, 09:11 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,987 posts, read 41,947,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Yeah. I can trace back the vast majority of my background pretty well. Once I get to the great-great-great grandparent point, only one of my 32 ancestors is known to have been born in the U.S. All the rest were in Europe. Hell, my English ancestor immigrated to the U.S. in 1862, so it's not like he's colonial stock.
I think it shouldn't be that hard to go back 5 generations. By then, the few in the US would likely be 100% of a ethnicity. Only 1/8 of my ancestry was born in the US and didn't have immigrant parents. The rest is easy to figure out. It seems like a safe assumption is that part is English, judging by the location and assuming its from colonial stock. Could be less, but I know for sure no more than 1/8 is English.

But it seems like have roots in the country that go further back is more common than I expected.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:10 AM
 
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I think a lot of Americans would be surprised if they got a DNA test how much British ancestry they have compared to German. On paper I'm just about half German. According to DNA only 14%, but 45% British.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,416 posts, read 11,920,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waviking24 View Post
I think a lot of Americans would be surprised if they got a DNA test how much British ancestry they have compared to German. On paper I'm just about half German. According to DNA only 14%, but 45% British.
Are you using 23andme? Their test results are a bit wonky.

I am, for the record, 1/2 German, 1/4th Irish 1/8th English, 1/16th Swedish, and 1/16th Sephardic. I come out as:

28.8% British and Irish
21.7% French and German
3.9% Scandinavian
34.9% Nonspecific Northern European
0.5% Iberian
0.5% Italian
0.2% Balkan
1.9% Nonspecific Southern European
2.2% Eastern European
1.8% Ashkenazi
3.5% Nonspecific European
0.1% South Asian

My mother, who is 1/2 German, 3/8ths Irish, and 1/8th Swedish, comes out as:

40.3% British and Irish
17.6% French and German
3.2% Scandanavian
35.3% Nonspecific Northern European
1.4% Eastern European
0.4% Balkan
0.7% Nonspecific Southern European
1.1% Nonspecific American.

This is my Grandmother's results:

46.2% French and German
7.8% British and Irish
0.8% Scandinavian
27% Nonspecific Northern European
6% Italian
0.1% Iberian
2.3% Nonspecific Southern European
4.6% Eastern European
5.5% Nonspecific European

My Grandmother is 100% German. Both of her parents immigrated from Austria-Hungary in the early 20th century from the same village in Banat (modern day Romania). She spoke only German until she was three years old.

Now, the admixture of Italian and Eastern European isn't too surprising. Lots of people mixed down there, and while the family trees I have seen show all her parents ancestors migrated from Germany within 100-200 years prior, it's plausible.

The British/Irish has to be an artifact, however. No one in her family tree had British ancestry. Which makes me doubt severely the proportions of ancestry that 23andme spits out.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:22 AM
 
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Default More English then German Americans?

I would like to reply to the various comments that most Americans are of English origin. American's speak English and inherited a lot from the colonial government and all white Americans are considered Anglo Saxons which is not true.
England would be indeed the second strongest group of European origin in America if Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland's Scotch Irish would be included, then people of British origin represent about 37 million people, instead of the 27.4 million reported for Americans of English origin.
British Americans would then be a little more than the 35.8 million Irish Americans.
After the Americans of German origin with 49.8 million, the African Americans are actually in second position with 41.2 million.
There are of course many different nationalities among the 20 million Americans who see themselves as Americans only. This must be citizens who cannot trace anymore their country of origin, mixed with too many different ethnic groups or do not want to have any ties with their country of origin anymore.
The reason that Americans of English and British origin are fewer than Americans of German origin can be explained as follows:
At the time of American independence which is only some 240 plus year's ago, the population in the colony was less than 3 million people, and of those maybe at most 70% were British.
After independence the vast majority of immigrants came from Germany and Ireland and later on as well from Italy and other European nations.
I find it as well strange to say that white Americans have a British look or that British look different from other Northern or Western European's.
The history of Europe is very complex. The original English population in England before the Roman conquest was Celtic, like the population of France, Southern Germany, Northern Italy and some other countries.
When England became part of the Roman Empire, it's very likely that the population became Celtic-Roman, as France became known as Gallo-Roman, which has the same meaning.
When Germanic tribes moved to France, Southern Germany, Italy and other parts of Europe, it's obvious that another mix took place.
Britain was at the same time invaded by the Germanic tribes of the Anglo - Saxons, or better by tribes who spoke old west Germanic dialects known as Old Low German, among them Old Low Saxon, Old Frisian and Old Low Frankonian, all mutually intelligible at that time, and partly up to the 16th century when High German replaced Low German in Germany and Old Frankonian developed into modern Dutch.
The Old Low German languages developed in England into Old English.
It's unlikely that the Anglo Saxons forced all the Celtic population to migrate to Scotland, Wales, Brittany in France and Galicia in Spain.They must have mixed again with the remaining Celtic-Roman population, creating like in other European countries the typical European mix of people.
This was further documented by over 100 year's of Danish Viking rule in North East England and with the invasion of the Norman French at the end of the 11th century, which brought strong elements of the French language into English.
With all these historical facts it's extremely difficult to see a difference in looks of people from especially northern and western European countries.
Germans changed indeed their names in America, especially during World War I. Many Schmidt's or Schmitt's became Smith, Fischer to Fisher, Neumann to Newman, Schuhmacher to Shoemaker, Muller to Miller ( Miller is by the way as well a German family name as are Thomas, John, Martin, Paul, Walker, Ball, Bell, Flemming etc) and a lot of strange concoctions like Igelburger to Eagleburger, Neubauer to Newbauer.
Know one American with the family name Hazelhurst, his Grandfather's name was Haselhorst.
There are as well many immigrants with difficult names and their names where changed upon arrival at Ellis Island.
It's known that actor's change their names , but there are many among them who had German names like Doris Kappelhoff who became Doris Day and Frederick Austerlitz who became Fred Astaire, an endless list.
Among other well known American's where people think that they have typical American names which are actually typical German names are: William Boeing, John Rockefeller, Donald Trump, Jack Nicklaus, Amanda Seyfried, John Jacob Astor, Kevin Coestner and thousands more.
Hope this helps to explain why almost one in four white Americans is of German or partly German origin and why 49.8 million American see themselves as German Americans in the 2010 census.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:41 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
I dunno, I actually know a lot of people with German ancestry where I live (TN) and there are plenty of German last names. I'm not sure how they got here, but they're here.
I was born with a German surname, but my ancestry includes a lot of people from England, Ireland, Scotland, & Holland -- at least that's where they were living at the time of emigration. I married someone of a similar ancestral background, but with a Scottish last name.

So, here's the quandary: are my brother's children "German" because of their last name while my children are "Scottish" because of theirs? What to do? Their ancestry includes both groups and many more. In which little box do they each belong?

This type of thinking is terribly limiting.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:49 AM
 
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Most people in the British Isles have light brown to almost black hair and eyes running the gamut, but usually blue or hazel.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:50 AM
 
350 posts, read 607,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiehl View Post
The reason that Americans of English and British origin are fewer than Americans of German origin can be explained as follows:
At the time of American independence which is only some 240 plus year's ago, the population in the colony was less than 3 million people, and of those maybe at most 70% were British.
After independence the vast majority of immigrants came from Germany and Ireland and later on as well from Italy and other European nations.
I find it as well strange to say that white Americans have a British look or that British look different from other Northern or Western European's.
I never understood this argument. It's not because there was more immigrants from Germany and Ireland that the number of English people should go down. Moreover, during the 19th century and the early 20th century the immigration from Great Britain is the third largest with 3.5 million, it's not as if they stopped coming after the American Revolution.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiehl View Post
There are of course many different nationalities among the 20 million Americans who see themselves as Americans only. This must be citizens who cannot trace anymore their country of origin, mixed with too many different ethnic groups or do not want to have any ties with their country of origin anymore.
.
True but the highest proportion of people who consider themselves of American ancestry is in the south and in the last census this was the area where we found the largest percentage of English ancestry and precisely their number has declined, it isn't a coincidence.

Also if we look at the history of migration and settlement in the southern colonies we can assume most people are of English, Scotch-Irish and Scottish background.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:14 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,086 posts, read 9,861,863 times
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How exactly is this information about ancestry being collected? If it's self-reported, then I question its validity. Many, if not most, people have absolutely no clue about their ancestry, relying mostly on the derivation of their surname and family lore. But one's surname is not a good indicator of one's entire ancestral make-up. As I wrote earlier, I grew up with a definitively German last name, but the vast majority of my known ancestors were English and Scottish. So how exactly am I to be characterized? My hyphenated American identity finds its source all over the British Isles and Western Europe, and those are just the family lines I know. There is much left to discover.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:19 PM
 
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Default 20% Americans of total population

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
I never understood this argument. It's not because there was more immigrants from Germany and Ireland that the number of English people should go down. Moreover, during the 19th century and the early 20th century the immigration from Great Britain is the third largest with 3.5 million, it's not as if they stopped coming after the American Revolution.


.
True but the highest proportion of people who consider themselves of American ancestry is in the south and in the last census this was the area where we found the largest percentage of English ancestry and precisely their number has declined, it isn't a coincidence.

Also if we look at the history of migration and settlement in the southern colonies we can assume most people are of English, Scotch-Irish and Scottish background.
I think that many of the south are black americans who voted for being Americans since they have African country they can refer to. The Americans of European origin have a better awareness of their country of origin.
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