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Old 10-01-2010, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
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I bet most people who identify as ethnically "American" are primarily either English, Welsh, Scottish, or Scots-Irish. Likely they are a mix of these, and have had ancestors in this country back to when it was the Colonies.

I know this describes much of my family history, most of which is rooted in the rural Northeast and in Northern Appalachia. There is a little bit of French and Mohawk Indian mixed in there as well, and a good amount of German that came in during the 1800's.

Personally I feel it's best suited to describe myself as ethnically American, because my family history has been here for a long time and I'm a long ways from having family members from the "Old Country." Of course when most people ask this they are looking for a more complete answer than just being American.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:11 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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Most Scots (In Scotland) and the Ulster Scots (Scots-Irish) are of predominantly Anglo-Saxon background. To be 'Scottish' is to assume a national identity that is comprised of both Germanic, lowland Scots of Anglo-Saxon heritage and Gaelic,the Highlanders and Islanders, who long ago compromised a state.

The Scottish/English divide is one of national politics not ethnicity. In fact, I once knew a Scot who was an activist in preserving the Scots dialect of English, Lallans, which is much closer to the Old English dialects spoken in Anglo-Saxon England than our modern English dialects (think Robbie Burns). When pressed, He claimed more right to the mantle of Anglo-Saxonism than the English claiming, "They're all bloody French down there!"

Braveheart is a ridiculously imagined take on Scottish-English hostilities from virtually every angle (no pun intended). In reality, the Scottish forces were led by Anglo and Gaelic-Normans fighting the English Anglo-Normans.

Last edited by ABQConvict; 10-01-2010 at 12:21 PM..
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I disagree that there are few ethnic differences btw the Scottish (or Welsh) and the English. By and large today's Scots and Welsh are descended from the original inhabitants in Britain, the Celts. They arrived on the island in 500 BC. It would be another 900 years before any large scale immigration of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes arrived from mainland Europe. It would be another 1500 years before the arrival of the Normans.

In an attempt to dominate the Scots the Normans did install Norman rulers throughout Scotland. However intermarriage btw Celts and Anglo Normans at the ground level was very rare. Many people in Northern England have as much Celtic blood as Anglo or Norman
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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As these maps demonstrate the Angles, Saxons, & Jutes settled only the south EAST corner of Scotland (most Ulster Scots where from the South WEST), and also never settled in Wales or Cornwall





SW Scotland was also more linguistically similar to the Highlands
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:02 PM
 
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According to Wikipedia, the true number of Americans of Scottish descent today is estimated to be 20 to 25 million (up to 8.3% of the total US population), and Scots-Irish, 27 to 30 million (up to 10% of the total US population)

But like the English, they have been there for 300 years so they prefer to identify themselves as American

Scottish American are mainly in the South (predominately in Appalachia) but also in New England and Western US.

I also think that many people who have names beginning with Mc (like McCulloch or MacDonald) think it is of Irish descent, while sometimes it is of Scottish descent.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
I doubt most ppl in the internet age are unable to trace any of their family lines back to Europe. My ancestors arrived btw 1620 and 1800 and Ive traced dozens of lines without breaking a sweat. I really dont know why ppl wouldnt want to know where their ancestors came from
ITA...

My family is able to trace our German line back to 1157:

Castle Eltz
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
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Want to see what Americans will look like in 1000 years -- look to "Native Americans", with SLIGHT adjustments.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:49 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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The census should at least change the "American" category to choices like "Mixed Western European", etc.

Also, about Scottish Americans being in the "South"... based on things I've read on the subject the answer is Yes, but No. Scottish (and also Palatinate Germans) were the second wave of immigrants to come in. This started in 1700 and ended around 1799. Most English Americans had arrived 50 to 150 years prior and were established along the East Coast - North and South.

Most states pre 1776 prohibited non Anglican's from holding office, voting, or having their own church services. FYI Anglican = Church of England. The Scots were mostly Presbyterian. Several states offered to ignore their ban on non Anglican churches to groups of Scots who stayed in the Appalachian Mountains to serve as a buffer from Indian attacks. The only except was Pennsylvania, where most Scottish and German immigrants came in from 1700 to 1799. Boston actually had a riot when a ship filled with Scottish immigrants tried to land in its port.

Anyway, because of the above the Scottish Americans became people of the Appalachians. This includes both in northern states like Maine, Pennsylvania and Maryland and southern states like Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama. However the coastal areas of those states (again excluding PA) was off limits for Scots. The early population of Pittsburgh was exclusively Ulster Scots, they just make up a smaller share of the population due to heavy immigration from other parts of Europe. Places in the Appalachians that never experienced other waves of immigrants remain mostly Scottish today (with a mixture of Welsh, German, and English)
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I have noticed though that i rarely hear someone say "i am Scottish" though. I am rougly 50% irish with some scottish, german, polish, and italian thrown in.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:41 PM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
12,540 posts, read 13,896,892 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
By and large today's Scots and Welsh are descended from the original inhabitants in Britain, the Celts.

In an attempt to dominate the Scots the Normans did install Norman rulers throughout Scotland. However intermarriage btw Celts and Anglo Normans at the ground level was very rare. Many people in Northern England have as much Celtic blood as Anglo or Norman
Let us not confuse bloodlines with ethnicity. The debate as to the impact of Anglo-Saxon DNA vis-a-vis Celtic* is ongoing and that pendulum swings back and forth faster than the one on the old clock in grandfather's den.

*There really is no Celtic DNA as the word Celtic refers to a linguistic culture shared by various groups. The most common genetic markers measured in the Irish indicate shared ancestry with peoples all along the western coast of the Atlantic with an influx of Germanic genes probably from Anglo, Danish and Norse sources.

The fact of the matter is that the areas on your linguistic map delineating the areas dominated by Gaelic language and Scots language makes it abundantly clear that Anglo-Saxon culture and language dominate the most thickly settled parts of Scotland.

That is not to say that the lowland Scots don't have a unique variant on their culture that is certainly affected by sharing a nation with the Highlanders, but would be disingenuous to say that the ethnicity of the lowlanders is somehow derivative of the Gaels of the Highlands and Islands.

Most Scots are Scottish by nationality and Anglo-Saxon by culture. The Gaelic culture of the Highlands and Islands are in stark contrast to the Scots culture of the southern and western parts of the country.

A Scot may shoot me in the eye for saying this, but one of the most quintessentially 'English' places I have been after the Cotswolds where tea and cottages are fetishized, is the Scottish Borders around Melrose. The people there are fiercely Scottish by nationality but indubitably culturally Anglo-centric.
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