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Thread summary:

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

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Old 07-13-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
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Not at all, but European (or African, Asian, S. American, etc.) snobs may try to tell you otherwise, because they can.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:28 AM
 
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My take: being someone who is related to a member of a clan who tried to hide Bonnie Prince Charlie from the English as well as being related to another clan which tried to have him arrested (Scottish on one side, Scots-Irish on the other), as well as being one whose genealogical records show that a Black Irish ancestor of mine (himself part Spanish from the Armada sinking) married a Native American on the East Coast (daughter of a chief), as well as hearing the stories of how my Swedish grandfather was born on the boat over here and got bullied at school and stopped speaking Swedish as a result, and of the other ancestor who came over on the second Mayflower voyage........if I am callous enough to forget all this historical past, that would make me a total idiot and fool. Of COURSE I am going to remember all of that. And honor it; and pass it down to the next generation, and hope they do the same.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Oroville, California
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When all your ancestors have been in this country prior to it even becoming a country its silly to hang onto "I'm English, Scots-Irish, German, Cherokee, blah, blah blah". I'm an American. The only ethnic group I claim is "Southern" as that region does have unique culture, dialects, folk traditions, music, cuisine, etc... The whole melting pot thing bypassed it for a very long time. Long enough for something different to emerge.

Well, it did, but the large influx of ethic whites from the North, Mexicans and Asians is rapidly changing the old white/black paradigm of the South.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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It's good to know your ancestry, at least the majority of it, but these days it doesn't really matter. No one will really ask what your ancestry is. I'm mostly German, English, Irish, but it's not like I have to put it on my resume or anything...

I'm just a bunch of white people put together. LOL
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
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My ancestry is Scottish(fathers side) and Irish(mothers side). Personally, I think knowing your ancestry is important, but I agree that the majority don't live a life any similar to the people they originated from.

My fathers side has been in the USA since the early 1700's and my mother side has been here since early 1800's. I consider myself 100% purebred American and nothing else. I think a lot of white people talk about ancestry like it means something just so they can differentiate themselves from other white people.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeauCharles View Post
When all your ancestors have been in this country prior to it even becoming a country its silly to hang onto "I'm English, Scots-Irish, German, Cherokee, blah, blah blah".
what's more, is that so many people severely underestimate how difficult it is to figure out who early colonial ancestors were, anyways.

people know they have 2 parents, and 4 grandparents, and 8 great-grandparents, and 16 great-great grandparents, but it just doesn't register to them that this grows very, very large and unmanagable if you want to have a complete set of ancestors going back 8, 9, or 10 generations.

so look at it from a different perspective .. instead of thinking, "my mom's family" and "my dad's family", try and figure out the detailed origins of the families of each of your 16 great-great grandparents, and it'll definitely give you appreciation for how daft some of these geneaology-related comments are.

Last edited by le roi; 07-18-2011 at 12:31 PM..
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:41 AM
 
Location: The heart of Cascadia
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I feel more connected to the region of the continent I live in, than in my ancestry or my nation-state.
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Old 07-06-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Culture still matters to me and I live it. I'm an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. It doesn't get more "American" than that.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:25 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by le roi View Post
what's more, is that so many people severely underestimate how difficult it is to figure out who early colonial ancestors were, anyways.

people know they have 2 parents, and 4 grandparents, and 8 great-grandparents, and 16 great-great grandparents, but it just doesn't register to them that this grows very, very large and unmanagable if you want to have a complete set of ancestors going back 8, 9, or 10 generations.

so look at it from a different perspective .. instead of thinking, "my mom's family" and "my dad's family", try and figure out the detailed origins of the families of each of your 16 great-great grandparents, and it'll definitely give you appreciation for how daft some of these geneaology-related comments are.
I realize this post is a year old but since the thread has been revived....

I agree with this thinking. Having done genealogy for the past 28 years, this is exactly what I have done. Both sides of the family have many branches and they didn't all come from the same place. The majority came here from England but some did a 'detour' before they got here...lived in another country other than the one of origin for hundreds of years...and for some, England was the 'detour'. So which nationality do we choose as 'ours'? Just as an example...my direct paternal line migrated from France to England in the 1300s and lived there till some came to the Colonies in the 1500s. So, are they French or English? Another direct line started out in England but migrated to Holland in the late 1300s/early 1400s...supposedly for religious reasons. They stayed there till the 1500s and were in the first ships to come to the Colonies after the Mayflower. So, am I Dutch or English? I know I have a strong Scots and Irish heritage. My 12th great grandparents were Pocahontas and John Rolfe so I have the Native American connection as well.

I call myself a Heinz 57 or a "mutt".
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:36 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....
My view:

It's a good idea not to tell other people who or what they are.

All of my grt-grandparents were immigrants and some of my great-greatgrandparents. Seven grt-grandparents emigrated from Ireland. Myself and all of my first cousins are descended from Canadian or U.S.-born people of Irish ancestry, all of whose parents are descended only from the Irish immigrants or the direct descendents of Irish immigrants. My cousins children are the first in our family to marry people who are not of 100% Irish ancestry. This is a highly unusual pattern for four generation of Irish, it usually lasted one or two only.

I was raised in a small town in the U.S. where many, perhaps the majority of Protestants, were descendents of the first white settlers in that area of the state. These are the classic WASPs. A few Protestants had grandparents that were immigrants. Virtually all of the very large Roman Catholic minority were either of Irish or Sicilian descent, with some Poles (and, of course, a handful of various "others.") All we Catholics identified as Irish-American, Italian-American, etc. Or more usually just "Irish" or "Italian."

My own family was very aware of its Irish roots, but didn't carry on about them. You hardly needed to with the demographic and cultural pattern of the small town I described above. A few of the Irish-Americans I knew were very interested in Irish history, literature, etc. - as was one of my uncles. My first book purchase as a precocious pre-teen was Ulysees by James Joyce, which a sister of my mother's advised her to remove from my bookshelf for a few years. Many of my adolescent book purchases were from the old Irish Book Shop on Lexington Ave. in NYC. All my maternal relatives were Canadians, and I felt I very much belonged there too, and we spent a lot of time there. So, while being an American, and specifically an Irish-American, I had no problem with being an almost-Canadian.

The consciousness of being American did not in the slightest conflict with the consciousness of being specifically Irish-American. Many Americans of my generation saw themselves that way in regard to the foreign origins of their families. I think it was a type of identity that did not die out with the descendents of many Europeans (especially those from predominantly Catholic and Orthodox countries) until the beginning of the 1970s. Nowadays that kind of multiple identification is incomprehensible to the Baby Boomer generation and later ones, and by some it is even considered a reprehensible and unpatriotic concept.

However, when I moved to Manhattan in 1959, which then still had Irish, German, Italian, Czech neighborhoods as well as Chinese and Puerto Rican ones, many descendents of immigrants used the same ethnic definitions that I was used to. And though I romantically saw New York as the gateway to America, as many Americans do because of its historic role as an immigration port, I also loved it because of its ethnic neighborhoods in the 1960's, which I spent much time in, and the fact that one met people from all over the world. And meeting Puerto Ricans, Cuban and South American immigrants, and having them for friends, simply reinforced the fact that being "American" did not erase your inheritance. Therefore, for me New York City was also the doorstep of Europe (and the world), and I saw it, felt it and lived it as a place that was only partly American. It seemed as thoroughly multi-world as the old entrepots of Alexandria, Smyrna and Beirut in the Old World. Thus, being a hybrid with long roots back to somewhere else was confirmed by the everyday world of this great city. And it has never seemed the slightest bet unusual to me.

Fortunately, it seems from some of the postings, I was not an Irish-American who thought he was the same as the Irish-born Irish; thus, when I went "back to Ireland" for a visit (which was how it was referred to, despite never having been there before), and visited my raft of third cousins I was certainly the visiting American to myself as well as them. But I was eagerly embraced as family, nevertheless; and to this day half a century later I still am in contact with some of them or their kids. And I visited Ireland several times after 1967, though not always to see relatives, sometimes just to visit and sight-see in as I find it an eminently interesting country for these purposes, and enjoy the casual friendliness of the Irish be they my cousins or not.

Eventually I emirgrated from the U.S. to live in Europe, a move I think made psychologically easy after forty-some years in Manhatan, by virtue of the fact that - as I have said already - I always saw and felt NYC as being only half American and the threshold of Europe. Now when my current hometown is overwhelmed by tourists in August, I take a short plane flight over to Ireland and luxuriate in the peacefulness of some town on the south coast of Ireland, or duck over to a guest-house in the west of Ireland run by a third cousin.

Thus, while, I allow the OP his opinions and experience, they most certainly are not ones I am familiar with, nor I would say for a significant number of people of my generation. However, the U.S. has significantly changed in many of its attitudes and cultural customs during my lifetime there, even to the point of developing an active and significant anti-European bias (reflected in so many threads in C-D forums) which has helped to reinforce a sense of "pure" Americanism. I think the idea of multiple identies is quite alien to the experience of Baby Boomers and subsequent generations (at least in reference to Europe), and the very idea suggests issues of disloyalty and insufficient patriotism.
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