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Old 07-15-2010, 04:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I know that German is the dominant ancestry, but why are the top ten most common surnames in the US from the British Isles?
I think it has to do with a combination of African-Americans having the same last names and that there might be more German last names to choose from.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I know that German is the dominant ancestry, but why are the top ten most common surnames in the US from the British Isles?
A lot of German families anglicized their surnames during WWI.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Westerner92 View Post
I know that German is the dominant ancestry, but why are the top ten most common surnames in the US from the British Isles?
Some ideas have been mentioned. One being that African Americans are going to have a fairly high percent with English surnames as I think English were overrepresented in the slave-owning class. Another is "Germany" wasn't solidly a nation until the 1870s I think so "German" might include a great variety of names. Also the tendency to Anglicize names in the wake of anti-German sentiment in WWI. (The "freedom fries" thing being a call-back to stuff they did during WWI with German foods)

However another factor is that "British Isles" I think would include Scottish and Welsh. (As well as a great many of those who lists themselves as just "American.") I think if you add people of Scottish, Welsh, and English ancestry together you might get more than German. Or at least that it would be closer.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I think there is more English American than German American because if you look in the US census of 1980( http://www.census.gov/population/www/CPH-L-97.pdf), English and German are the two major european ancestors with 49 million of people. In 1990 the term American ethnicity was added and now there less and less English American because some people prefer to identify themselves as American because their english roots back several centuries.

In 1980, 61 million Americans had British ancestries, I do not how in 30 years the number can reduce

Most people who have English ancestry are often mix with other (Irish, Italian, German, French ...) and they refer more to this.

For me, the number of English American should be about 60-65 million and if we add the number of Scottish American, Welsh American and Scots-Irish Americans who are also overrated, the number of British American should be 75 million in the U.S.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:44 PM
Status: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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People whose ancestors have been in America for several centuries will probably have a mixture anyway. Just because your last name is Welsh - in my case - that doesn't mean I'm 50% or 100% Welsh. Your ethnicity is what's in your blood.

Personally I'm about..
1/3 Scottish
1/3 English
1/5 Welsh
1/16 German
1/64 Cherokee Indian
1/64 Dutch
1/64 Melungeon (mixture of Black, Indian, Iberian White, and Anglo White)
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
I think there is more English American than German American because if you look in the US census of 1980( http://www.census.gov/population/www/CPH-L-97.pdf), English and German are the two major european ancestors with 49 million of people. In 1990 the term American ethnicity was added and now there less and less English American because some people prefer to identify themselves as American because their english roots back several centuries.

In 1980, 61 million Americans had British ancestries, I do not how in 30 years the number can reduce

Most people who have English ancestry are often mix with other (Irish, Italian, German, French ...) and they refer more to this.

For me, the number of English American should be about 60-65 million and if we add the number of Scottish American, Welsh American and Scots-Irish Americans who are also overrated, the number of British American should be 75 million in the U.S.
When you add up all the various British Protestant groups ( English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, Welsh, "Yankee" Mayflower types, "Americans", etc, I believe that there are more Anglo-Americans than German-Americans.

I do agree with the "Anglicanization" of some German surnames, but I believe that these were in the minority; "Schmidt" sometimes became "Smith" but I'm willing to bet that "Smith" usually just meant "Smith", period. ( In a similar vein, sometimes "Johansson" ( Swedish) became "Johnson", but that was the exception, and not the rule)...

I do know, though, that sauerkraut became "liberty cabbage" during WW1, similar to this "freedom fry" garbage we've heard in more recent years..

No ax to grind here, as I'm mostly German-American myself; the numbers may be underreported, but I think that they are a little less than Anglos, although it's very hard to estimate, with all the "cross-pollenization" that has gone on in the last century...
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
That is fascinating the way German veritably dominates the Northern landscape. You see traces of it all over the place around here, and especially up in Wisconsin -- ya hey der, don'cha know.
Ever seen the videos on YouTube about "Hey Der, Wisconsin" based upon the old "Wassup" commercials from the 1990s?

There's also a YouTube clip about "Hey der, Milwaukee polka", which is basically a group of Chicagoans making fun of Milwaukee, and WI in general..pretty funny stuff
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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One important aspect of this is that one definition dividing line between Midwest and South can be defined as to what ancestery is greater than the other.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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Yeah the South is more British and I'd think more English too. (The mountainous areas of the South are more Scotch-Irish, but even then they received a fair amount of English) A few states in New England, mostly Maine and New Hampshire, are still fairly English.

It might be difficult to determine. The English had a certain disdain for "ethnic mixing", and much later identifying as English-descended developed a snooty image, so people of partial English-ancestry probably didn't/don't count themselves as English that often. However people of partial German ancestry, even though they assimilated greatly, I think are more likely to count themselves as German if they have the German surname. I have an English surname, and English might be my main ancestry, but I think I generally state my ancestry as "English, Dutch, Belgian, Scottish" or "very white."

As I think I mentioned earlier many African Americans likely do have English ancestors, in a few cases they might even have more English ancestors than African ones, but would likely not list themselves as "English" or be seen as such. An olive-skinned person with the surname "Guaraldi" might not be seen, or see themselves, as English even if three of their grandparents are English folk from Devon.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassVt View Post
Ever seen the videos on YouTube about "Hey Der, Wisconsin" based upon the old "Wassup" commercials from the 1990s?

There's also a YouTube clip about "Hey der, Milwaukee polka", which is basically a group of Chicagoans making fun of Milwaukee, and WI in general..pretty funny stuff
Heh, I remember when that song came out back in the 80s or so.

That "wassup" mock-up was a bona-fide Budweiser commercial that ran in Wisconsin markets. It's one of the few places you can run a commercial featuring a dead deer flung across the roof of a station wagon without upsetting the general population

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