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Thread: Is German-American ancestry really the most common ancestry in the US?520 days old

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    Default Is German-American ancestry really the most common ancestry in the US?

    This map is like 18 years old, so it might not reflect the current demographics that well, but German ancestry has often been said to be the most common in America:



    It's difficult to say for sure if this is so. Obviously the census doesn't reflect well, the percentages of German ancestry compared to other types of ancestry in the US, but 23andMe's database I guess, could weigh in on this question, but 23andMe is unlikely for now, to release such statistics.

    In any case, while American English ancestry is quite common too, technically speaking, English ancestry is like half German anyway, and then there's Scandinavian-Americans too, and Dutch-Americans. So Germanic ancestry is obviously the most common among white Americans. But the relevant topic question here is if German ancestry is actually the most common ancestry in the USA.
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    Poland is a misunderstanding. It is a country which lies on the frontier between western and slavic world, and which combines elements of both.
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    Yuval Levental (2018-05-15)

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    According to that chart there are a lot of English descended people in Maine and out west. I've lived in NYC, North Carolina, and Florida and have met only one person besides me (and my immediate family) who was English descended and he was half American English (father from Connecticut) and half French Canadian. Most White people I've met, where the topic comes up, are either part German or part Irish, or both. There are a lot of Italian descended people in the NYC area. There are many different ethnicities in the NYC area.


    I'd say the most common ancestry in the USA is more or less a tie between German and Irish. I myself am part German. I have ancestors from Northern Ireland but they were Scottish Presbyterians, not Irish.

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    I think that British is actually more common but people just forgot it because it's more distant (colonial and early waves of immigration), and they prefer to identify with their ancestors who came from Europe more recently.

    In the census of 1980, more people claimed English ancestry than German. It changed only later:



    Here you can find info about birth rates and immigration: http://www.nber.org/papers/h0056

    It shows that White population was increasing so rapidly during the 19th century not only thanks to immigration but mainly due to high birth rates. So a lot of modern Americans probably have some colonial ancestry.

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    Most of what is called "American" there is either English or Scottish. English ancestry also exists in basically all African Americans who aren't 100% SSA.

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    The American (2018-05-16)

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    American women were really popping out babies like crazy. From the link I posted above:

    The average woman had over seven livebirths in 1800.
    In 1800 there weren't that many Germans in the U.S. The majority of Germans came later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuval Levental View Post

    In 1800 there weren't that many Germans in the U.S. The majority of Germans came later.
    My German ancestors came here before 1800.

    "The Early Germans of New Jersey"
    https://archive.org/stream/earlygerm...0cham_djvu.txt

    This work is the result of an attempt to discover the exact
    time of the first settlement of New Jersey by people of the
    German race. It is believed that this fact has been ascertained
    with sufficient certainty. Between 1710 and 17 13 nearly all
    palatines, who have left any trace of their presence, began to
    arrive in the State and to fulfill their important part in the
    upbuilding of this commonwealth.

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    Non-British Germanic ancestry (as in German, Dutch, etc.) is probably underrated in the US. They'd have sought to integrate and/or avoid problems/discrimination, after all, equaling anglicization of names.

    I say that as I've seen some serious Anglicization of Germanic (German, Dutch, etc.) given & surnames doing research on some local "English" families around here (mid 1700s arrivals). The given name of one's wife, for example - the English version isn't even a literal translation of what the original name meant & it's not phonetic or how the name would be pronounced either.

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    I think that British colonial ancestry is underestimated because people forget how fast they were multiplying. They were probably multiplying almost as fast as French Canadians, who are supposedly descended from less than 10 thousand immigrants who came in 1608-1759:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11701644

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founde...an_populations

    There are 6+ million French Canadians in Canada and add to this a few million Americans of French Canadian ancestry. White Americans numbered 3.2 million in 1790.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diabolos View Post
    Non-British Germanic ancestry (as in German, Dutch, etc.) is probably underrated in the US. They'd have sought to integrate and/or avoid problems/discrimination, after all, equaling anglicization of names.

    I say that as I've seen some serious Anglicization of Germanic (German, Dutch, etc.) given & surnames doing research on some local "English" families around here (mid 1700s arrivals). The given name of one's wife, for example - the English version isn't even a literal translation of what the original name meant & it's not phonetic or how the name would be pronounced either.
    I tend to think the German ancestry is also highly undersampled as many of those Americans who just list their Ancestry as American likely have a mixture of German and Scotch-Irish. I also think the British ancestry is more way back and many times forgotten to Scotch-Irish due to the hostile British Empire in the 1700's and early 1800's.
    Last edited by thetick; 2018-05-16 at 02:59.

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    Many Germans in the U.S. are East Germans, who tend to have a lot of Slavic or other East Euro ancestry.

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