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Thread summary:

Human Ancestry: America, football, barbecue, immigrants, house.

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Old 10-15-2012, 03:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futcha View Post
What do you think?

My view:

Nowadays, we're all mutts. And if not, we're all pure Americans. We have established our own way of life, our own culture. Sure, festivities will take place for a day or two here and there, but many Americans use that as an excuse to get out of the house for a while, not to embrace and thank the people that came before you on Earth. We watch MTV, we call McDonald's "going out to eat," we barbecue, and we watch football (the American one).

100 years ago, ancestry may have been a little important, but even then you're in a new country, a diverse one, and you do the same hard labor as the next guy. Now, everybody is one big race... For all I know, my ancestry is Irish, British, Chinese, African, Mexican, Arabian, Turkish, Swiss, Russian, and Italian. With such a large family, I don't see why it's not possible... But who cares? My grandparents are from Naples, Italy... I'd love to go there, but I don't live like that, I live like an American... Well, more like a New Yorker. I watch the Yankees, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks... I watch ESPN, MTV, the YES Network (Yankees channel), and MSG. I listen to hip hop and some rock, etc. and I love walking.

Ancestry is really becoming a meaningless sidenote in America today. We're mutts. lol We like to call ourselves Irish, Italian, or German but we're now just Americans.
A tree without roots cannot grow or sustain itself long enough to ripen.

I find it sad how people have been basically blanched into thinking that where they came from doesn't really matter.

It's like commidfying people into groups to make a social-political system run more efficiently.

Forget about your ancestors. You're just a mutt in this meaningless society, rich in monetary wealth, lack in depth.

Understanding your historical roots can be very enlightening, empowering, and meaningful as part of your collective identity.
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Old 10-17-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA2UK View Post
I can understand not being able to identify with Africa but if you've traced your ancestry back to colonial America, that doesn't sound useless to me. Surely, it's just your African heritage you find useless, not ancestry as a whole? As you yourself point out, your ancestry has been American for a very long time, you can still explore it without even involving Africa if you don't want to.

Also, in some branch somewhere, you probably have white ancestry. It's unlikely your family have been in America for that long without some mixture along the way somewhere. The vast majority of black Americans have some white ancestry anyway.


There is quite a bit white blood in my background. My great great grandmother almost looked completely white. Though some people who know more family tree in more depth says that there could have been intermixing before that time.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:10 AM
 
881 posts, read 2,092,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kat949 View Post
A tree without roots cannot grow or sustain itself long enough to ripen.
I find it sad how people have been basically blanched into thinking that where they came from doesn't really matter.
It's like commidfying people into groups to make a social-political system run more efficiently.
Forget about your ancestors. You're just a mutt in this meaningless society, rich in monetary wealth, lack in depth.
Understanding your historical roots can be very enlightening, empowering, and meaningful as part of your collective identity.

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Old 11-06-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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Verifying that the vast majority of my ancestors at 400 years back were, in fact, among the early English settlers of the continent helped me overcome what I now view as an absurd infatuation with England.

We always knew my father's direct lineage from Massachusetts Colony. I was an Anglophile as a kid, always had some notions of going "back." But once I dug, and fleshed out the branches of the tree, I realized that I have come from so many Americans that there is a rich history here to identify with. I don't need to cling to a place that they chose to leave.

I do understand that this is going to read like twaddle to those who aren't interested in family history or lines of descent. But it is very, very meaningful to me.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
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Being adopted, I always felt excluded from any conversation about ancestry. If asked about mine, I would say "Just American," because I didn't know. Most people didn't accept that as a real answer. In the "melting pot" of America, some have distinct cultural identities, some do not. Those who don't often covet the cultural traditions of the children of more recent immigrants with specific ethnic identities.

Then, getting tested by a couple of genetic genealogy companies filled in some of my missing information. Now I know that mixed into my obvious Caucasian background, there is a bit of African and Native American DNA. Most of my ancestry is from the British Isles, but I also have clues from my distant cousins that suggests likely slivers of Norwegian and German ancestry as well.

Obviously this kind of mixture can only be described as "American." With this knowledge I feel that I am justified in answering "American" when asked about my ancestry. While in the larger scheme of things it doesn't matter, and is "useless" as some have said, it at least provides a window into my genetic history which others who were not adopted take for granted, and there is some satisfaction in that. It also gives me a deeper sense of connection to my African American and Native American friends.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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I can understand the interest in ancestry if you have only been here for a couple of generations. Where your people came from influences so much.

However, for those of us whose people have been here for over 200-300 years, it means very little.

My family was here long before the early 1700s. The few that I know about were English, Scotish, Irish, French, Dutch. I am sure that they married into families that had even more roots than that.

I will agree.....People like me are of American ancestry. We are products of that great melting pot.

Now my husband's family all came from England around 1850. He has English ancestry.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,539 posts, read 21,254,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
Verifying that the vast majority of my ancestors at 400 years back were, in fact, among the early English settlers of the continent helped me overcome what I now view as an absurd infatuation with England.

We always knew my father's direct lineage from Massachusetts Colony. I was an Anglophile as a kid, always had some notions of going "back." But once I dug, and fleshed out the branches of the tree, I realized that I have come from so many Americans that there is a rich history here to identify with. I don't need to cling to a place that they chose to leave.

I do understand that this is going to read like twaddle to those who aren't interested in family history or lines of descent. But it is very, very meaningful to me.
That it's meaningful to you is what matters. It doesn't that others might dismiss it. They are your ancestors, and the meaning belongs to you.

I have become very interested in English history (not the politics but the life of the people) from the 1400's to the 1700's after tracing one line back that far. They never actually moved. The early generations were skilled and could have owned a strip of the common land. The name of the place changes from two villages into one, loses the 'on the fields' as they were enclosed to run sheep for the gentry. After that, the next generation is listed as 'laborors'. Then it is listed as the village name AND East London. Some of my own have lived on the land that saw the Olympics, and poverty, and throw away people since at least 1400... wow. It's made this transition from largely villages with a few gentry and often a lot of skilled labor to the fences and sheep and the beginning of the 'excess population' to East London, which was a horrible place a *personal* thing. Three of them ended up shippied out as convicts, (still in East London) but I'll bet there are still distant cousins still there.

That's the thing about finding connections is they aren't just stories anymore. You know real people lived it and you have a connection.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:03 PM
 
1,458 posts, read 2,658,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
I can understand the interest in ancestry if you have only been here for a couple of generations. Where your people came from influences so much.

However, for those of us whose people have been here for over 200-300 years, it means very little.

My family was here long before the early 1700s. The few that I know about were English, Scotish, Irish, French, Dutch. I am sure that they married into families that had even more roots than that.

I will agree.....People like me are of American ancestry. We are products of that great melting pot.

Now my husband's family all came from England around 1850. He has English ancestry.
You are generalizing.

I'm predominantly English, descended from planters on my mother's side and pilgrim's on my Dad's. It means a lot, to me.
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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When I was standing in line waiting to vote today, a little boy just behind me (with his mom) started talking about his favorite presidents, George Washington (1) and Abraham Lincoln (2). He could not have been more than five years old...but he started me thinking about my direct ancestor who shared my surname and who served with Washington at Valley Forge, when he was just seventeen himself, and then about my Scots-Irish ancestors who came to this country a few years after the American Revolution in search of economic and political freedom, and my Huguenot ancestors who came to the Virginia Colony in 1700 in order to practice their religion freely, and my Pennsylvania German-born pioneer g-g-g-grandmother who with her small children, hid behind a waterfall in the North Carolina backcountry during an Indian raid...and all those other ancestors who came here for various reasons which became part of the American story.

I silently thanked them for their decision and their bravery, and for making it possible for me and their other descendents to live as freely as we do in this country.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Up North
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribdoll View Post
It depends on the person. I am American but am also culturally connected to my country of descent as the first generation born here. It is not simply ancestry for me.

Same here. 1st generation born here on my mothers side and 2nd generation born here on my father's side.

I'm American but I feel a strong connection and cultural ties to their cultures.
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