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Old 01-09-2012, 04:15 AM
99 posts, read 198,699 times
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Originally Posted by grapico View Post
Sure geographically it is called that, but your logic isn't working. It is this thing called relevance. For the points you are trying to make, the fact they sit on the British Isles has no relevance. Just like the fact that Cuba sits next to Jamaica in the Caribbean has no relevance in terms of grouping and would make a extremely weak point if you were to group them also. This could be expanded as far as "everybody on this planet is a human" ... again, no relevance for what you are trying to do.
I disagree. I mean let's get real. I'm half English, half Irish by heritage. And I have no shame, though I find my ancestry a little bit boring.

Anglo-Saxons and Celtic Britons/Irish have merged together culturally for so long that they have become very close. Sure, their origins are very different. English being more of a continental Nordo-Germanic culture while Ireland, Scotland and Wales represent a far more ancient strain of identity in the Isles. But they have mixed so much and minged so much, they even speak the same language, I think they could all be considered a dysfunctional family. So what if they dislike each other? Jews and Arabs hate each other, but they're very similar. Generally it's similar cultures and neighbors that tend to have feuds.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:50 AM
Location: Eastwood, Orlando FL
1,260 posts, read 1,420,947 times
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Just my own personal experience here. Most of my friends are from the UK. Scotland, England and Wales mostly,. None of them would be bothered if I called them British. My Welsh and Scottish friends WOULD be upset if I called them English. I've listened to this debate many times. My Welsh friends certainly consider themselves British,but not English.
IME they call themselves British, like we call ourselves American, but if we want to be more specific we would say, Floridian or Californian or Rhode Islander. And they will specify by saying Welsh, or English
I don't know many people from Northern Ireland but I suspect it may be a bit different for them as their conflict with the rest of the UK is far more recent
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Location: Chambersburg PA
1,739 posts, read 1,759,452 times
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Originally Posted by defoe View Post
I've gotten the impression that most Americans want to "minimize" the number of British-Americans, in that they would rather want people to believe they're not that many as they actually are. Are Americans ashamed of their largely(yes largely) British-American ancestry?

Lets look at the demographics.

File:Census-2000-Data-Top-US-Ancestries.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yes Germans are at the top at 15,2%...

But if one adds up the English(8,7%), American(who are largely in the south and mostly of scotch-irish and english ancestors who have been in the country for so long that they simply identify as "American" at 7,2%), Irish(10,8%), Scottish(1,7%), Scotch-Irish(1,5%)... And Welsh(who weren't on that list) are at 0,6%.

All this adds up to 30,5%.

So British-Americans are really by far the largest "group", those stats were from 2000 so it might have declined a bit since, and I suppose some of the ones who identify as "American" might be French or whatever but most of those are by far Scotch-Irish/English. ("American" shouldn't be confused with "Native American", who only make up 1,37% of the US population)

And even if the number of British-Americans have declined by a few percent, they still BY FAR outnumber German-Americans(who are said to be the biggest group). Infact British-Americans pretty much double German-Americans.

Obviously, I'm not saying the majority of all Americans are of British ancestry... But they are the biggest group.
Many of us are Heinz 57's. I have Scots- Irish and German in me as well as others
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:07 PM
Location: San Francisco
1,472 posts, read 3,018,086 times
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All four of my grandparents original surnames (maiden names for the grandmothers of course) are English and my ancestry is overwhelmingly English and "Scots-Irish" from Ulster. I would never minimize that. I took the time while I was in England to go to Liverpool and stand on the docks since more than likely that's the port most of them left from when they immigrated. It was an interesting feeling for one of their distant descendants to be standing there all those generations later trying to imagine what they were thinking and going through at that moment.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:27 PM
110 posts, read 248,146 times
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I think there have been some good points made here. I can speak on this topic by looking at the ancestry of my mom and dad.

Most of my mom's ancestors came over to America in that big wave at the turn of the century. Her mom's (my grandmothers) relatives came over from Germany and Italy. So my grandmother had an Italian family and a German family, both sides were very proud of their ancestry and retained many of the traditions and cultures of Germany and Italy. Her father (my grandfather) was Irish Catholic and French. He was always very proud to be Catholic and it was a big part of his identity.

Most of the ancestors on my dad's side of the family came to America centuries ago. Most were Scots Irish immigrants that settled in the interior south. That's about all my dad could tell you about his ancestry however. There's not really any kind of attachment to the homeland. They're more proud to be southern than anything else.

I'm guessing that my mom's side of the family is more in touch with its roots mainly because they are more recent immigrants to America than my dad's ancestors were. But I still think there's more to it. I think most scots irish came to America at a time before the "hyphenated american" movement took place. When they came to America, I guess simply surviving in a new country was more important than maintaining strong ties to your native culture, although that has always been important to immigrant groups, at different levels of significance however. It also should be noted that the scots irish immigrated into no man's land, the appalachians. They were really only in competition with the Native Americans.

My mom's ancestors, being from Italy Germany and Ireland, came during a different time in our history. They came to an America with an already established culture and social hierarchy. They settled in the tenements of major cities and were often treated as second class citizens. With those conditions came a greater desire to congregate together and keep cultural ties alive, as that was often the only thing they had in their new home. That way of thinking has endured, as the children of those immigrants, as well as subsequent waves of immigrants from new countries, have maintained cultural ties to their homeland and are proud of their heritage. I don't think there's a deliberate effort to minimize british ancestry, it's just that they came to this country at a different time and assimilated in a different way
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:57 PM
14,111 posts, read 22,750,552 times
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One of the more interesting threads.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:13 PM
2,253 posts, read 2,750,122 times
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Here's the 1980 census with state totals by ancestry group.

50 million Americans claimed English ancestry, and 40% lived in the South. English ancestry was by far the most common in the South.

There was a drop in Irish ancestry too - but it was most pronounced in the South (where very few were Catholic and the vast majority were Scots-Irish), while the (mostly Catholic) Irish of the Northeast retained their numbers.

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Old 01-11-2012, 10:36 AM
350 posts, read 607,434 times
Reputation: 352
I found a comparative table between the 1980 census and the 1990 census.


English American were the top ancestry in the South and the West but also numerous in New England.

The five states with the highest percentages of self reported English ancestry were:

1. Utah: 54 %
2. Maine: 40,4 %
3. Idaho: 36,8 %
4. Vermont: 34,8 %
5. Kentucky: 34,6 %

We can clearly see that since the answer American ancestry was added, American of English ancestry decrease.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:30 AM
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,301 posts, read 12,213,327 times
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I used to hang out sometimes at survivalist forums, where Southerners predominate. Believe it or not, a few of them that had Scottish or Irish ancestry still held ancestral grudges against the English, for the bloody conquests of the Scots and for others, the Irish Potato Famine. Those forum members would often launch little trollish attacks on English people who would wander in.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:07 AM
4 posts, read 3,718 times
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Originally Posted by orangeapple View Post
I don't think Americans purposely minimize their "British" ancestry; most just don't view it in terms of "British". I have never heard anyone say, when asked their heritage, "My family is British". Instead, they will say specifically what it is: Irish, English, Scottish or Welsh.

If you look at it that way, then German ancestry IS the most frequent. It's not a matter of denial or shame or thinking German is better though. It's possible that because British ancestry is soooo common, people prefer to get specific about their British ancestry, so that they no longer view it as one category. They may also choose to focus on other aspects of their heritage, because British ancestry is common, and that makes it rather, well, mundane. Their last name may also be a dead giveaway of their British heritage anyway.

Most Americans are not "full" anything anyhow. Most are mixed, and it's as likely that a person claiming English ancestry is also German (or whatever) and loads of other stuff.
No not really. English ancestry alone is still as big if not bigger than German ancestry in the US.

That Germans are the largest counted group on the recent censuses doesn't tell the whole story, far from it. Most people of English ancestry simply identify as "American" on the censuses now a days.

And before "American" was an option on the censuses, English ancestry far out numbered German ancestry. It wasn't even close. How do you explain that?
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