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Old 12-06-2010, 03:28 AM
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These days its probably too tough to tell. Inter-marriage between English and Germans (particularly Protastant Germans) has occured at a very high rate over the centuries. My family for instance is of roughly equal percentage German and English descent. My mother tends to tell people that she is of German ancestry even though she has an English last name, and I tend to tell people I am of English ancestry. There is a lot of mixing up there that makes counting the real numbers of both impossible.

Also, don't forget that it is *cooler* to identify with Irish or German ancestry, rather than English , so that factor is going to decrease the number of English in America as well.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:31 PM
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I'm from Wisconsin and am of half German and half English decent. I am lucky enough to have a well documented English family going back to the colonists. My mothers maiden name being Eastman. I have my family trees on both sides going back to the 1550's in England and 1600's in Schwerin / other parts of East Germany on the other side.

It's a good point that there is bound to be mixing that is hard to know about, I have a list of all of my "family names" that I can find. I know some of my English ancestors were from Cornwall, which makes sense seeing as I'm from here. Peardon and Piper I know are Cornish. The names Davidson, Reed, Matthews, Douglas, Marston, Flint, Gotham, Reid, Andrews, Wilkins, Bartlett, Hill, Chase, Harris and Peaslee though I have no idea what parts of the U.K. they're from. I would think Matthews is Irish..But those are all surnames of my great grandparents.

So I count myself as half English with those people as my immediate ancestors. I have always been trying to further identify with what parts of England they came from more so than what country. But the German thing is a little harder to follow, but being descended from late 19th century German immigrants in Milwaukee is an interesting thing all it's own. I have know my grandparents and great grandparents enough to know the ones that came from Germany. And I've seen what the anti-German sentiment in post war America did to the culture and my family here.

But because I'm from the "center" of German immigration into the U.S. being Milwaukee, the town my great grandfather moved from is Milwaukee's sister city. All of my German ancestry is north east Germany, around Hamburg and Schwerin. So we have probably a slightly better idea here of what it's like to "be German" than other ethnic Germans do in other places in the country. A lot of the traditions are quite alive here. The language is dead unfortunately. But I mean even where my Aunt lives in "Germantown" there is giant German flag on the water tower...kind of crazy. The signs at the grocery store are mostly in German, it's different.

But then again you go north of Oshkosh near Appleton where I used to live and almost everyone is Dutch. Van de this and Van der that. Wisconsin is a strange place. And the Norwegian settlement town Scandinavia near Iola has mostly Norwegians there...very segregated, or at least you can see how it was, it's getting obviously integrated now.

Well back on point, I would say most people don't know what they are. I'm the exception where I come from. My wife had a German last name but doesn't know a thing about what she is. I was lucky enough to be brought up with at least some sense of where we came from. I think the English blood is spread out there pretty far, and most people who have it in them, don't realize it. I have almost never met someone who said they were any part English, and I ask. It's rare for people to know of it, at least here. Perhaps being from Wisconsin my instinct to say German is more common is just a factor of my environment.

I'd have to go with English. But it's too far integrated to be recognized.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:29 AM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Look in the phone book. Are there more "Smiths" or "Schmidts"?
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Look in the phone book. Are there more "Smiths" or "Schmidts"?
A lot of Germans with the surname "Schmidt" changed it to "Smith" after arriving in America
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:01 PM
Location: San Francisco
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English. German a close second, but English. Still, many people who claim those ethnicities are actually a mixture of both. Its very common.

In 1790 it was estimated that half the population of the US states at that time were of English decent. While there was massive German immigration throughout the 19th century its hard to make up for that head start the English had. And as others have said many people of predominantly English heritage self-identify as "American" since the arrival of their ancestors predates the founding of the country.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:35 PM
Location: CT
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I thought it was common knowledge that German was the most common and largest ancestry in the US, it is. At the time of WW1, Germans were by then the largest ancestry group in the country and one of the largest immigrant groups. It was thought and feared that the US could go either way in supporting the Allies or the Central Powers with poor white ethnics especially from Central Power countries backing neutrality and other richer, "older stock", or ethnically English and Western European ancestry groups backing intervention on the side of the Allies.

Even before the war began a huge amount of animosity was shown against German Americans and it really ramped up during the war. That caused so many Germans and other groups to Americanize and assimilated and destroyed sooo many German speaking communities around the country (of which there were tons), German newspapers stopped printing, cultural societies, German churches and German (language) schools disbanded and things like that, many people changed their names to sound more English and American. The vast majority of the culture basically died and assimilated.

Those effects last until today, there was a very rich German American culture that started in the 19th century that basically went extinct because of WW1. You can even see by the time of WW2, there were far less problems if any major ones at all with German Americans who had all pretty much assimilated by that point and mass immigration from Germany to the US besides Jews had died down decades ago. Notice how you never hear of animosity towards Italian American during WW2 either even though the US was at war with Italy? The Japanese on the other hand unfortunately weren't so lucky.

Anyway, here's some visuals of the situation today, Germans remain the largest ancestry group in the US.

The light blue is German, the light purple is English.

A more simple one, blue is German, purple is English.

And the situation as of 2000.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:08 PM
Location: Floribama
15,024 posts, read 31,400,710 times
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Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
Some of them maybe. I can think of one, Trotz, that's the last name of a famous lawyer in Memphis. But there are plenty of others that I know, and they're not Jewish: Hartman, Meyer, Lintz, Schwager, Broyles, Deardorff, Greulich, Bilderbeck, Humerickhouse, Troxel, Schneider, Shultz, Fritz, Hoffmeyer, Gruenwald, Mueller, Grueser, Klusmeyer, Weber, Netzel.

I just went through a few pages of my facebook friends, lol. I mean there are a TON. And those are from all over TN, not just Memphis.
Ive never known anyone with those last names. The most common ones around here are names like Johnson, Smith, Davis, Evans, McGhee, Kelley, Sullivan, Holmes, etc...
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:24 PM
Location: Oroville, California
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"In the 1980 United States Census, over 49 million (49,598,035) Americans claimed English ancestry, at the time around 26.34% of the total population and largest reported group which, even today, would make them the largest ethnic group in the United States. This outnumbered the population of England at the time."

English American - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Self identification of ethnicity, especially for a group going back to the colonial period, is a tricky thing. 30 years ago 25% of all Americans (50M) identified as being of English background. Its shrunken dramatically since then, but that could be from more people saying "American". My parents are from the South and all four of my Grandparents surnames are English. I don't think that's too unusual for someone of Southern background.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by southernnaturelover View Post
Ive never known anyone with those last names. The most common ones around here are names like Johnson, Smith, Davis, Evans, McGhee, Kelley, Sullivan, Holmes, etc...
Well there are a ton here in Memphis and surrounding small towns and they're just as Southern as anyone with the last names you listed.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:56 AM
Location: Oroville, California
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I have one great-grandparent who was German. There are Germans in the South, but they aren't remotely as numerous as people of English or Scots-Irish decent. European immigration in the 1800s pretty much passed that region by.
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