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Thread summary:

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

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Old 01-25-2013, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,539 posts, read 21,251,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcrackly View Post
I don't believe the study of one's ancestry as an American is meaningless. You could not invent a more pertinent and customized view into historical events. The ancestral search not only enlightens you to the ethnic stock you sprang from, but the various cultural, economic, social, and religious motivations that fueled your ancestors movements, sacrifices, and labor.
Each generation usually has a war and/or an economic change that defines the people who experience it. Racial strife can fortify the character and resolve of the people that are victimized by it. Or it can suppress them. Either way, just as any socially stratifying factor, forces them to evolve into something that barely resembles their ancestral persona. Great personal gain or cultural successes over adversities (and adversaries) can redefine a people from what they previously perceived of themselves.
For good or ill all these factors and more, epidemics, climatic changes, natural disasters, all change groups and individuals through the years. And all are evidenced in a thorough ancestry search. I really enjoyed how the cauldron of time and circumstance made my grandparents and my parents who they were. That genetic basis and the events I experienced made me who I am. The study of genealogy provides a lot of "aha" moments for why people do what they do, or go where they go. An objective and thorough foray into ancestry research can be a great teaching tool for tolerance and objective decision-making in life's many scenarios.
This defines exactly why ancestry is important and why it allows us to personally fit into the patterns of history.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: southern california
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where we come from is never useless info understanding yourself self knowledge is the best. when identity is achieved success is instantaneous.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Rosslyn, VA
210 posts, read 394,340 times
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What you describe isn't a true culture though. It's just that Americans have lost touch with their culture and with their 9-5 lifestyle they'd look for any excuse of a holiday as a day off work. I think that for most White and Black Americans who have been in the US the longest it's harder to connect to their roots. Each of these races has their own culture and it excludes the recent immigrants who may also be American.

These new immigrants however have something that the generations older americans don't have and that is closer ties with their culture. So by saying Americans are all mutts you're just talking about White and Black Americans and totally excluding others. I finally found my culture and when I did I became much prouder and I saw things from a different perspective so it pays off to find out.
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.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Miami
151 posts, read 220,414 times
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It's interesting but not very useful information. It won't change your life for sure

My family had the tendency to breed in their forties and fifties(and that is still the case) so it is difficult and time consuming to find those old records. I would love to find them because the information is fascinating but whatever comes out of it it's not gonna change me. If for some reason there is an muslim in my ancestry, I'm not gonna start wearing a Burqa tomorrow.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Pacific NW
6,413 posts, read 12,140,460 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweet_kiss1 View Post
What you describe isn't a true culture though. It's just that Americans have lost touch with their culture and with their 9-5 lifestyle they'd look for any excuse of a holiday as a day off work. I think that for most White and Black Americans who have been in the US the longest it's harder to connect to their roots. Each of these races has their own culture and it excludes the recent immigrants who may also be American.

These new immigrants however have something that the generations older americans don't have and that is closer ties with their culture. So by saying Americans are all mutts you're just talking about White and Black Americans and totally excluding others. I finally found my culture and when I did I became much prouder and I saw things from a different perspective so it pays off to find out.
My culture is the world I live in today. The Germans, the Irish, the British cultures ... those were the cultures of my ancestors. I'm one of those who come from people who've been in the US the longest. Those nationalities are my heritage, but they're not my culture. I enjoy ethnic celebrations, foods, etc., of all ilk. But none of them give me the deep-seated feeling that it's my culture. It's not.

Likewise, I don't take pride in my ancestors - their accomplishments are their own. They have little to nothing to do with me, other than making my existence possible. I am interested in them, and I love knowing about them. And the converse is true, also. Nothing they did can shame me. I can not approve of it, but I didn't do it. I'm not responsible.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:55 PM
 
Location: CHicago, United States
6,933 posts, read 8,491,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futcha View Post
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.
Okay. That's your opinion. You may consider yourself a "mutt," but I have greater self-respect for myself than I think you possess for yourself.
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Old 08-02-2014, 09:51 AM
 
2,695 posts, read 3,770,254 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.
I know I bumped an old thread and the comments are not time specific anyway. This is a good post in this "long and winding thread" as they sometimes say.

I feel this way as well to some extent. I found out some of my heritage has deep roots in the "American Colonies." I enjoy lots of things about English culture while there are other areas of their history that are not so good. We take the good with the bad when it comes to history anyway.

I wanted to know more about my roots because as a kid there was lots of family estrangement, and early deaths of grandparents way before I was born and because of that, I lost out on getting the "stories" that get passed down from one generation to another.
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Old 08-02-2014, 06:30 PM
 
Location: The analog world
17,077 posts, read 13,358,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoV View Post
My culture is the world I live in today. The Germans, the Irish, the British cultures ... those were the cultures of my ancestors. I'm one of those who come from people who've been in the US the longest. Those nationalities are my heritage, but they're not my culture. I enjoy ethnic celebrations, foods, etc., of all ilk. But none of them give me the deep-seated feeling that it's my culture. It's not.

Likewise, I don't take pride in my ancestors - their accomplishments are their own. They have little to nothing to do with me, other than making my existence possible. I am interested in them, and I love knowing about them. And the converse is true, also. Nothing they did can shame me. I can not approve of it, but I didn't do it. I'm not responsible.
I agree with you. My ancestors may have come here from Europe & the British Isles a long, long time ago, but I am an American. My culture is American. End of story.

As for genealogy, I guess I consider myself more of a family historian. There are lots of interesting people and stories in my family tree, and I'm grateful to be able to learn more about them, but my focus has mostly been on one particular family. Through them, I have learned so much about my hometown and what it was like to live during the industrial revolution. I am a bit of a frustrated sociologist, and I just love how genealogy opens doors for studying history, social issues, geography, etc., etc., etc., and makes it meaningful by making it personal. I don't understand why anyone would denigrate it as a waste of time.

Last edited by randomparent; 08-02-2014 at 07:27 PM..
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:30 AM
 
Location: The analog world
17,077 posts, read 13,358,417 times
Reputation: 22904
Quote:
Originally Posted by Futcha View Post
What do you think?

<snip>

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.
What do I think? I think that the OP and many of the respondents to this thread have adopted a false and, frankly, shallow belief that the entire point of genealogy is to slap a hyphenated ethnic label on the current generations of a family. You're probably the same people who fell asleep in history class, because you thought it was boring. Sigh.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:27 PM
 
1,052 posts, read 1,303,020 times
Reputation: 1550
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.
I'd argue Ancestry has pretty much always been meaningless from that perspective, at least for the past few thousand years. Even people who are purely from a European country the last 200-300 years is a mutt, it's all a matter of scale...

Most European nations (as well as many other places with lots of bordering countries and different cultures) have been mixing for a long time.

It's all as meaningful as you feel it is. Me I find it interesting to see who came before me and why I'm here. I wouldn't be here right now if not for everyone one of my varied ancestors.
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