U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > West Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-03-2011, 02:08 PM
 
80 posts, read 253,219 times
Reputation: 33

Advertisements

There are a lot of people of German descent in west virginia---- a lot. I'll leave it there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-04-2011, 11:46 AM
 
10,109 posts, read 12,762,210 times
Reputation: 1756
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash XY View Post
Yeah, Germans were there too, I don't know why but I always think of the British ethnic group and forget Germans when I speak of the South in general, but it's true that there were some Germans at the time.
There were more than "some" Germans. The Germans in Appalachia in general comprise almost as many folks as the Scots Irish. It's just that they tended to be settled in different parts of Appalachia, and of West Virginia Appalachia for that matter. Within West Virginia, there are probably more counties that have a predominance of Scots Irish but it isn't by much. The entire area north of Nutter Fort would have more Germans, and the Eastern Panhandle would have more Germans and English than Scots Irish descendents.

Now one thing that might be confusing the issue here... the Scots Irish Appalachians tended to be somewhat more isloated than Appalachians in other areas because they were in more remote parts of that region, and because civilization reached those parts later then it did the more northern part. In fact some might say (and I'm not suggesting it is true... well maybe I am?) that the northern region is still a lot more civilized today. LOL
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-22-2017, 05:04 PM
 
1,347 posts, read 2,050,032 times
Reputation: 945
Forgive me for digging up this old thread.

My father was born in Appalachia (and I grew up in north Georgia near Atlanta). The Scots-Irish become the dominant culture in the region and assimilated many of the others by 1800. Most of my family were either Scots-Irish or English (I have 2 Germans and at least 2 Native Americans in the early 18th century) but even my German Palatine ancestors (surname: Shope) arrived in America and started marrying Scots-Irish women. So the Shope surname survives but there is nothing German about them, they are bona fide Scots-Irish American hillbillies.

My only Welsh ancestor (whose surname I carry), Edward Williams arrived in what is now Hampshire County in the 18th century and lived off of Patterson's Creek (his son Vincent Williams has a historical marker to him due to the fatal skirmish he took part in with a group of Indians during the French and Indian War)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2017, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,327 posts, read 2,827,876 times
Reputation: 1480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prytania View Post
Forgive me for digging up this old thread.

My father was born in Appalachia (and I grew up in north Georgia near Atlanta). The Scots-Irish become the dominant culture in the region and assimilated many of the others by 1800. Most of my family were either Scots-Irish or English (I have 2 Germans and at least 2 Native Americans in the early 18th century) but even my German Palatine ancestors (surname: Shope) arrived in America and started marrying Scots-Irish women. So the Shope surname survives but there is nothing German about them, they are bona fide Scots-Irish American hillbillies.

My only Welsh ancestor (whose surname I carry), Edward Williams arrived in what is now Hampshire County in the 18th century and lived off of Patterson's Creek (his son Vincent Williams has a historical marker to him due to the fatal skirmish he took part in with a group of Indians during the French and Indian War)
I too have Ulster Scots ancestry, settled in Wayne County. But your question is hard to answer due to a number of reasons. The census is the basic source of this information and people in the southern Appalachians (WV and below) are among the most unresponsive to this question on the census forms, many counties have over half non-responsive returns. See my attachment map below. You also have to look at how the census categorizes ancestry. For instance, the people classified as "German" came to the US in the 18th and 19th centuries, and there was no Germany then, just a collection of independent states. The census breaks Great Britain into at least 4 categories; English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh. This is one of the reasons that the maps you see show a swath of "German" as the dominant ancestry in each county, whereas it is actually Great Britain that has the largest ancestry in many counties. And many people confuse Scotch-Irish with Irish, when it is actually Scottish.

You will also find similar problems with surveys of religion in the US. One of the largest studies, by the Glenmary Institute, depends upon reports from national organizations of the various denominations for their information. This is a problem in southern Appalachia because there is a tradition of independent churches, like the one my great-grandfather headed in Huntington in the 1940s. About 15 years ago a Marshall professor did a study of churches in Wayne County. Not only did he find double the number of churches reported in the Glenmary study, his second largest group of churches was "independent", which are almost always uncounted in these surveys.

Are most people in Appalachia of Scottish ancestry?-unspecified.jpg
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-23-2017, 12:03 PM
 
10,109 posts, read 12,762,210 times
Reputation: 1756
It is true that Germany was not a unified country until 1870, when Kaiser Wilhelm brought together dozens of technically different kingdoms. People in the Netherlands as well as Austrians are also genetically Germans, and so are many of the people who live in the Alsace area of France and most of Switzerland.

English was the language primarily established in our country hundreds of years ago, and it has survived through assimilation in spite of the fact that the majority of our people are not of English descent. More than any other area, the majority of Americans have ancestry from the areas that are genetically German. That holds true for most of northern West Virginia too, but there is a significant mixture of English and Scots Irish here too, as well as Italians in the cities. We are very fortunate to have had English as the established language. It has served to unify all arriving groups. The slaves, for example, all spoke a dozen totally different languages when they arrived, but like everyone else learned English and could communicate with each other, and with others using that language. The same it true for aboriginal Americans, and those of every other country who immigrated here. In fact, right up until the late 1900s ordinary people in Germany had trouble communicating with people who lived even 50 miles different because they all spoke their regional dialects. Hoch Deutsch was only spoken by the educated elite. In more modern times, that has changed there.

Appalachian areas of Pennsylvania have predominantly German ancestry (including the Amish, which are Swiss German, and the Mennonites). Appalachian areas of New York have "Dutch" ancestors, and Appalachian areas of New England have, as might be expected, English ancestry.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 07-23-2017 at 12:14 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-24-2017, 11:31 AM
 
2,471 posts, read 2,035,598 times
Reputation: 2956
neither here nor there but I'm from rural South Eastern NC and was raised to identify as scotch-irish and most caucasians in my hometown were similar heritage.

it also persists in weird ways for example a popular gas station chain was the "scotch-man" which i assume is some sort of homage.

1. The scotch irish story is big part of why we had such a diverse protestantism and the church of england didn't translate.

I'm also pretty sure:

1. The south east = scotch irish predominant
2. Mid west = german/ dutch predominant


If you think about the differences between the native caucasians of say Tennessee/WV/Carolina vs Minnesota/Ohio/Wisconsin IMO it's of being descendent from scotch irish vs german/dutch
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2017, 10:03 PM
 
10,109 posts, read 12,762,210 times
Reputation: 1756
Quote:
Originally Posted by hey_guy View Post
neither here nor there but I'm from rural South Eastern NC and was raised to identify as scotch-irish and most caucasians in my hometown were similar heritage.

it also persists in weird ways for example a popular gas station chain was the "scotch-man" which i assume is some sort of homage.

1. The scotch irish story is big part of why we had such a diverse protestantism and the church of england didn't translate.

I'm also pretty sure:

1. The south east = scotch irish predominant
2. Mid west = german/ dutch predominant


If you think about the differences between the native caucasians of say Tennessee/WV/Carolina vs Minnesota/Ohio/Wisconsin IMO it's of being descendent from scotch irish vs german/dutch
Draw the line across West Virginia just south of Sutton, and you would be correct. From Sutton to the North, Germanic ancestry is more common, just as in PA, western MD, and most of the Midwest. Scots Irish (it is not Scotch, which is a whiskey), predominate in Appalachia south of Sutton. But you have to differentiate in the Southeast between the lowland Middle Atlantic, which would have predominantly English ancestry, and the mountainous regions which would have the Scots Irish you mentioned. The wealthier areas (planter class) to the East are of colonial English origin.

Also, in the Gulf Coast region, you would find most of the native people have ancestry which is (1) French, and a distant 2nd. Spanish (not to be confused with Hispanic), due to the fact that Spain controlled much of that area in the early years, and France most of the early years plus the influx of "Cajun" Acadian French driven out of Canada by the English Canadians and having settled in that area.

Last edited by CTMountaineer; 08-01-2017 at 10:14 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > West Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top