In addition to the mainstream festivities, I sometimes think about the Fourth of July in more historical terms. I do consider myself a genealogist, after all. Most family historians have probably attempted a little melting pot analysis of some kind. I have written prior posts on some of my background (pretty much Northern European) and the results of my mtDNA test (pretty much Northern European). I created the chart below breaking down the basic ancestry and emigration information on each of my 16 great-great-grandparents.
My paternal side (top half) is almost entirely of the Emerald Isle. My ancestors left Ireland for England, Scotland and the United States. It honestly surprised me a bit as I see them all grouped together: all eight of my paternal ancestors came to America in the same generation! And even though we often think famine regarding Irish ancestors, mine came quite a bit later (although some went to Scotland and/or England first). Facts are fun!
My maternal side (bottom half) is slightly more varied: German, Germans from West Prussia, a line from Scotland. The Prussian and German emigration in the mid-1800's was due to political unrest in Prussia and Eastern Europe. And then there are my "New Englanders I know to around 1800" lines. My Spencer line went from Rhode Island to Vermont in the Revolutionary War era, but I haven't yet found soldiers. I have a tenuous war connection through my Frederick line, but I haven't personally researched those facts. I know about these families to around 1800 in America. I have no idea of their ancestry or when these lines arrived here.
I only have one quarter of my ancestry who would have potentially been on American soil in 1776. America is truly a melting pot, as evidenced by my, and probably most of your, ancestors.
In honor of the 237th birthday of America, this is my American pie. A real fruit pie tastes better but this pie will keep me more fulfilled and happily researching for a long, long time.
Photo in the public domain
© 2013 Sally Knudsen