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Old 04-01-2012, 04:02 PM
 
110 posts, read 248,146 times
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America is famously a nation of immigrants. I almost barfed writing that because at this point it's become so cliche. But the phrase is as trite as it is truthful. We all know that we're descended from immigrants but do we know from where and when they came?

I decided to answer this question and came up with a patchwork that mirrors the experience of millions of immigrants over the course of hundreds of years. Here's what I found.

Maternal side
England- my great great grandfather immigrated from a town called Canada, England in the Southeastern corner of the UK
Ireland- My great, great, great grandparents immigrated to the US from Ireland during the Potato Famine around 1850. They were both children at the time. That blows me away.
Germany- I know my great grandfather was of German heritage and was born in Indiana. I haven't been able to track down his relatives but I believe his grandparents immigrated from Germany in the mid 1800s.
Italy- My great grandmother died when I was 12, but she was full Italian and damn proud of it. Her parents immigrated from Italy in the 1800s. Her father from northern Italy, and her mother from Southern Italy, in Avellino.
Alsace Lorraine- Both of my great, great grandparents immigrated from Alsace Lorraine. This was tricky to find though, because that territory only existed for a short time. In other Census records, their birthplaces are recorded as France and Switzerland.

Paternal Side
American Ancestry- My dad's family has lived in the southeast (particularly Georgia and S. Carolina) for hundreds of years. I have ancestors who fought in the American Revolution. Unfortunately, it's very hard to track down the immigration records. Most white southerners claim this "American ancestry" and are descended from English or Scots Irish immigrants who came here in the 1700s.

The interesting part of this is that it is not uncommon for many people of this ancestry to have traces of Native American and African ancestry. We all know about the interesting relationship between slaves and their white owners. I know that some of my ancestors on this side had slaves, so it's not impossible for this to be buried deep in our family's history. Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to find any records of this, so it's speculation at this point.


So, I hope I've inspired you to do some research yourself. There are tons of resources out there, so do some digging, and let us know what you've found!
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
1,798 posts, read 2,297,876 times
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Couldn't tell you. I tried ancestory.com but it's joke, basically you have to provide most of the data. If I knew that data than I wouldn't need ancestory.com in the first place. So when I called to cancel my trial membership the lady, says, "I see your family tree only goes up to 2 generations, I can extend your account for two more weeks." The tree is long enough I told her, and kindly declined. Hell I'm probably a Jew anyway if you trace it far back enough. Let's just let that sleeping dog lie.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:42 PM
 
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Genealogy is entertaining. I do hate that "we're a nation of immigrants" line, though. Ultimately, members of the entire human race are immigrants. Humans move around, often displacing others who are forced to move elsewhere. And on and on.

But I've done most of my U.S. genealogy. I'm a "traditional" American, in that the majority of my ancestors are Western European: England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, and Switzerland. I HAVE managed to find my Native American ancestor, though: a Choctaw man who married a Louisiana French Creole woman in 1843 (thank goodness for Catholic recordkeeping!) There's also a fascinating ancestor who had children with a Huguenot who arrived in South Carolina in the late 1740s. It's still unclear whether that person was African or Native American - in census records that line are Free "other" or Mulato between 1790 and 1830, then they whited out. In those years "Mulato" meant anyone who was of mixed race. Most people who research that line think it's a Native American mingling, but I guess we won't know until one of us descended through that line takes a DNA test! I take the attitude that mixing eliminates in-breeding and keeps us healthy.

Every single one of my ancestors arrived in America before 1856. I don't have a single Ellis Island ancestor!
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Both of my parents were born in Germany as were their parents...so I'd say German.
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollydo View Post
Both of my parents were born in Germany as were their parents...so I'd say German.
Guten tag! It's great to see others on here who are first-generation. Both of my parents, and their parents, and their parents, etc., were born in Italy.

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 04-01-2012 at 05:39 PM..
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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Dutch on my mother's side, Dutch and English on my father's side.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in Texas
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All German on mom's side and mostly German with a tad of Danish on dad's. Both sets of grandparents were born in Germany as was my father.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:45 PM
 
110 posts, read 248,146 times
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Here is a map of the majority or plurality ancestries in 2000. Note the "American ancestry" I was talking about across the south.

Also of interest:
-German ancestry dominates a huge swath of the country, from the western areas of the NE all the way to the west coast
-English ancestry in Utah, a product of their Mormon history
-Mexican ancestry across the SW, expect for Northern New Mexico, where people claim Spanish ancestry. These people have probably lived there for centuries and are descended from the original Spanish settlers
-Italian ancestry in the greater New York area
-French ancestry in Northern New England and Louisiana. When the Acadians were kicked out of Canada, many settled just south of the border while others went farther south to the Louisiana territory and became Cajun
-Norwegian in Western Minnesota and the Dakotas doncha know

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cope1989 View Post
Here is a map of the majority or plurality ancestries in 2000.
This is awesome. Thanks. First, looking at the Italians, they are, per the stereotype, prevalent in NYC, NJ and CT, with a few small pockets upstate NY. They don't even make a dent in MA, which registers as almost solidly Irish. It's also informative to see that the ONLY other location in which they are prevalent is immediately north of Miami, and that outline looks like Broward County. They are not even found in great abundance in California's Wine Country.

Then, Finn's only on Michigan's UP.

Last edited by robertpolyglot; 04-01-2012 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:52 PM
 
Location: New Orleans
797 posts, read 1,159,025 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
This is awesome. Thanks. First, looking at the Italians, they are, per the stereotype, prevalent in NYC, NJ and CT, with a few small pockets upstate NY. They don't even make a dent in MA, which registers as almost solidly Irish. It's also informative to see that the ONLY other location in which they are prevalent is immediately north of Miami, and that outline looks like Broward County. They are not even found in great abundance in California's Wine Country.
There are probably a lot of places that are like 20% Irish and 19% Italian for example. They just chose the largest percentage group but there could be multiple other groups close behind.

There is also an Italian county in Rhode Island just so you know.

I am really surprised how many German counties there are, I know it is the largest European ancestry but didnt think it was that widespread.

It is also wierd that there is a French county in Mississippi right next to Louisiana. I woudnt think there were enough French Americans to outnumber other groups there.
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