PDA

View Full Version : What percentage of ancestry is enough to make feel... OT @ the meaning of ethnicity



ebAmerican
07-08-12, 18:45
Ethnicity is an interesting question. My great grandfather on my dad's side (12 generations ago) was from Heidelberg Germany 1645. My Grandmother on my dad's side came from Holland when she was 3 years old. My Grandfather on my mother's side came from Gotland Island when he was 17 and my Grandmother on my mother's side was Belgian. This is why I identify as Northern European genealogically. I have a lot of admixture on my fathers side because our ancestors came to America in 1720. You could probably guess why they came to America in 1720 from Heidelberg Germany (Catholic and Protestant conflict).

"But just how much ancestry do you feel you need to be able to claim to belong to an ethnic group." Maciamo

This depends on your scope. Are you ethnically European, or ethnically Belgian, or ethnically Brussels? How do you define ethnicity? If states didn't exists what would your ethnicity be. Did the Celts think of themselves as an ethnic group, or did they consider their ethnicity based on tribe? Nobody cared what you looked like, as long as you assimilated. To be Roman was to live and act like a Roman, not be "ethnically Roman". I understand that Europeans feel passionate about ethnicity, but it is an illusion. Ethnicity is not genetic, it is loyalty to your neighbor or to your state. I care less how admixed I am or what ethnicity I relate to. I follow the genetic trail not to separate people, but to learn about the human story.

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:04
Genealogically I'm Northern European. Ethnically I'm American. I was born and raised in/with American values, therefore my ethnicity is American not European.

Maciamo
07-08-12, 19:05
Genealogically I'm Northern European. Ethnically I'm American. I was born and raised in/with American values, therefore my ethnicity is American not European.

American is not an ethnicity, except for Native Americans. Northern European isn't really an ethnicity either. You could use broad categories like Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, or be more specific like Irish, English, Scandinavian, Finno-Estonian, etc. However a lot of people on this forum might want to use the names of some genetic admixtures to define ethnicities, or talk about ancient ancestry.

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:07
Well to be honest to my beliefs, I'm genealogically African as is everybody on this planet.

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:08
No European is native to Europe, so yes American is an Ethnicity.

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:14
According to your logic only Neanderthals are ethnically European. How long will it take for American to be an ethnicity; 500 years, a 1000 years, or when nobody remembers who first populated the Americas?

sparkey
07-08-12, 19:18
Genealogically I'm Northern European.

Heidelberg isn't in Northern Europe.

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:35
Well darn Sparkey, now I'm lost! I have no ethnicity what should I do, how should I live, life has no meaning anymore! LOL

I like your description of ethnicity -

American; of Welsh, Cornish, Swiss & Palatine German, Quaker, and Cavalier folkways
Country:

ebAmerican
07-08-12, 19:36
If all Germans descend from Scandinavia wouldn't that make me Northern European?

sparkey
07-08-12, 21:12
Well darn Sparkey, now I'm lost! I have no ethnicity what should I do, how should I live, life has no meaning anymore! LOL

:laughing:


I like your description of ethnicity -

American; of Welsh, Cornish, Swiss & Palatine German, Quaker, and Cavalier folkways

Yeah, I'm not sure I'm quite with Maciamo regarding whether or not "American" is an ethnicity. I think it's an ethnicity more or less, although unlike European ethnicities, it tends to warrant qualification. Like, if someone asks "What's your ethnicity?" and you answer "American," a typical follow-up question will be, "I mean, what's your family's ethnicity?" At which point an American can say, "Colonial English," "Italian," "Shoshone," "mixed with about 50 things," "I dunno" or whatever the answer to that is. As you can see, I've got about 5 things prepped for the follow up question. :cool-v:


If all Germans descend from Scandinavia wouldn't that make me Northern European?

Maybe if all Germans descended from Scandinavia, and we all traced our ancestry back to our Urheimats, then I guess that would make sense. But in reality, Germans don't all descend from Scandinavia, and people don't trace their ancestry back so far. Saying "Northern European" makes me think Scandinavian/Finnish/Baltic.

The traditional ethnic descriptor for the people who came from around Heidelberg to America in the 1700s is Palatine. We actually have had a lot of posters here with significant Palatine ancestry, including myself (see it on my list!). There are Palatine descendant organizations, including the German Genealogy Society Palatines to America (http://www.palam.org/).

Kardu
08-08-12, 12:12
Belonging to an ethnicity, imho, depends mostly on shared culture, language, values and common history and usually this coincides with common descent and genetic/anthropological build up.
Caring for your folk as an extension of your family, its prosperity, well-being and continuity is a natural thing of crucial importance.

Dorianfinder
08-08-12, 13:50
The royal families of most countries do not share the admixture typical of their subjects. In Arabia wealthy families have the opportunity to send their children to schools in the USA and UK where they often meet their mates and fall in love, often marrying. Economic migrants and political refugees flee to the cities and even leave their countries to assume a different identity, new nationality and start afresh. Admixture changes rapidly, in 5 to 6 generations specific ancestral patterns could become unrecognizable.

Y-dna and mtdna haplogroups are a better indication of deep direct-line ancestry, unfortunately most haplogroups lack the definition necessary to make clear ancestral associations. This is however changing as we learn more about the various subclades and the migratory patterns of specific populations.

JFWR
08-08-12, 15:41
Ethnicity is simply where your family lived for generations in the past and/or an association with a people they belonged to for ages (as with the Jews and Gypsies).

To some extent one can indeed claim American as an ethnicity. Descendants of the Mayflower, for instance, have had family in America for 400 years. This is probably equal to plenty of people in Europe's family history in the countries they come from. However, the identifier of "American" tends to be a bit distinct from other ethnic designators because we recognize people as having multiple ethnic backgrounds due to immigration and intermarriage. Because of this diversity of ethnicities, American is useless as an ethnic identity in that regard.

Most Americans are used to giving their ancestral homelands as their ethnic identity as this is where our deep ancestry rests and our genetic makeup derives from. As such, I identify myself (as you can see to the left) as a broad amalgamation of my ancestry when someone asks me for what ethnicity I am.

The whole nonsense that people cannot have an ethnicity, however, is really rooted in the fallacy of the heap. Nebulous concepts needn't have distinct definitions to be useless, just as a heap cannot be defined as "this much sand v. that much sand".

ebAmerican
08-08-12, 17:38
I believe in ethnicity as it relates to common shared culture over many generations, just not genealogical ethnicity. I believe the notion of race is outdated. We are all very much mixed, and have complicated DNA heritage. It's amazing how many times I've read on these forums and others that posted amazement of their autosomal component with others they saw as completely different ethnically. My ethnicity is American: my genealogy can be traced to the Swedish (mother), and Palatine Germans (father).

A question for Sparkey - I haven't gotten a genealogical test yet (I just ordered one from Family Tree DNA: yDNA67). Do you know if most Palatine German peasant shared the same haplogroup, or were they a mixed bunch of R1b,R1a, I1 or I2 people. My great grandfather (1645) was a simple farmer (peasant). I know from history that peasants tended to stay with the land as new lords moved in, so if my family was rooted deep into Palatine territory what possible Germanic tribes or Celtic tribes ruled that area?

JFWR
08-08-12, 18:14
I believe in ethnicity as it relates to common shared culture over many generations, just not genealogical ethnicity. I believe the notion of race is outdated. We are all very much mixed, and have complicated DNA heritage. It's amazing how many times I've read on these forums and others that posted amazement of their autosomal component with others they saw as completely different ethnically. My ethnicity is American: my genealogy can be traced to the Swedish (mother), and Palatine Germans (father).

This is simply untrue. Races are extremely justified by virtue of the fact they represent major populations with large ancestral affinities and commonalities. Ask a forensic anthropologist, for instance, and he can tell you that he can judge by the skull alone if someone is Caucasoid, Mongoloid, or Negroid. There are genetic markers for the subdivisions of these broad-racial groups, also. It is physically possible to tell the difference between a European and a Semite, for instance, especially in cases where neither of them have ancestry associated with the other in a large amount or very recently. Example: One can tell the difference between Woody Allen and Sean Connery very easily, but not so much Scarlett Johansson (who is half-Jewish and most would not think she is) and Meryl Streep (who is not Jewish but many think she is).

These races are not completely apart from one another, though. As you say, there is some admixture, but it is often the case that race corresponds extremely well to a majority of non-admixture with other peoples of a radically distinct source. Ethnicity is far more porous and time-dependent, but races are actually fairly static over a thousand years and more.


A question for Sparkey - I haven't gotten a genealogical test yet (I just ordered one from Family Tree DNA: yDNA67). Do you know if most Palatine German peasant shared the same haplogroup, or were they a mixed bunch of R1b,R1a, I1 or I2 people. My great grandfather (1645) was a simple farmer (peasant). I know from history that peasants tended to stay with the land as new lords moved in, so if my family was rooted deep into Palatine territory what possible Germanic tribes or Celtic tribes ruled that area?

Not to answer for Sparkey rudely, but it is highly unlikely that any population represents a pure haplogroup persistent to this day. These ethnic identities are far later than haplogroup genesis. What haplogroups show is how distributed certain peoples have been. The prevalence of R1a, for instance, shows just how Indo-European (Aryan) Europe and Asia are. But it is highly unlikely that you will will find R1a exclusively in any given area amongst a broad ethnic type. It may be possible to get some villages with historical foundations of related people to be of the same haplogroup, though, especially in strongly insulated and patrilineal areas. I imagine that pure kshyatriya Raja men are R1a, for instance, as they all derive from ancient Aryans, murdered all the girls, and took exclusively foreign brides who would have no access to non-Aryan men.

Kardu
08-08-12, 18:33
Not to answer for Sparkey rudely, but it is highly unlikely that any population represents a pure haplogroup persistent to this day. These ethnic identities are far later than haplogroup genesis. What haplogroups show is how distributed certain peoples have been. The prevalence of R1a, for instance, shows just how Indo-European (Aryan) Europe and Asia are. But it is highly unlikely that you will will find R1a exclusively in any given area amongst a broad ethnic type. It may be possible to get some villages with historical foundations of related people to be of the same haplogroup, though, especially in strongly insulated and patrilineal areas. I imagine that pure kshyatriya Raja men are R1a, for instance, as they all derive from ancient Aryans, murdered all the girls, and took exclusively foreign brides who would have no access to non-Aryan men.

FYI, according to Dienekes based on the latest autosomal and YDNA research R1a Indoeuropeans represent second wave of Indoeuropeasation. The core IndoEuropean group must have been J2a*.

sparkey
08-08-12, 18:45
A question for Sparkey - I haven't gotten a genealogical test yet (I just ordered one from Family Tree DNA: yDNA67). Do you know if most Palatine German peasant shared the same haplogroup, or were they a mixed bunch of R1b,R1a, I1 or I2 people. My great grandfather (1645) was a simple farmer (peasant). I know from history that peasants tended to stay with the land as new lords moved in, so if my family was rooted deep into Palatine territory what possible Germanic tribes or Celtic tribes ruled that area?

Palatines would have had the typical South/West German haplogroup mixture, probably very similar to what we see today. Maciamo gives (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml) ~48% R1b, ~11% I1, ~9% R1a, ~8% E1b, and so forth.

As for tribes, the names of the Celtic tribes of the Heidelberg area are basically lost, since by the time the Romans start talking about the tribes in the area, Ariovistus had already led the Suebi and Nemetes to the area. According to Ptolemy and Tacitus, the Helvetii were the ones who were pushed out of the area and into modern Switzerland, but Ptolemy and Tacitus weren't contemporary, and they may be using the term "Helvetii" imprecisely. The relevant Germanic tribes are more obvious: think Suebi, Nemetes, Alemanni, and Franks.

ebAmerican
08-08-12, 20:04
Awesome, thank you!

Rachel Burke
02-10-12, 05:57
According to your logic only Neanderthals are ethnically European. How long will it take for American to be an ethnicity; 500 years, a 1000 years, or when nobody remembers who first populated the Americas?

The ancestors of Neanderthals left Africa about 400,000 to 800,000 so by your logic Neanderthals would be African too

I'm 2.9% Neanderthal, I have more Neanderthal DNA than 92% of humans,
According to my mtdna my maternal ancestors arrived in Europe 60,500 years ago. My earliest known ancestors (great great great grandparents) came to the USA from Ireland during the Potato famine.

So what am I, American, European, African. I think I'll clam Pangaea as my home land , no that to resent how about the Ocean.
Current phyogentic evidence suggests that the most resent common ancestor to all living things was the LUCA which was probably a prokaryote possessing a cell membrane and probably ribosomes, but lacking a nucleus it lived 3.5 Ga ago during the early Archeaneon. Seriously how far back do you want to go to one of the supernovas that created more complex elements or maybe even the big bang it self. When does all of this going back lose all meaning

LeBrok
02-10-12, 07:00
Welcome to Eupedia Rachel.
Please use "Reply With Quote" option to comment on someone's post. Otherwise we don't know who you want to make an argument with. Or at least start your post with "@ (name of a person)", example: @ ebAmerican. Otherwise a great post, that I gave you a reputation point for. :)

RaHoWa
21-10-12, 13:15
I am an American,but more exactly I am from the Southern USA or Dixie.If you ever have read David Hackett Fischer's Albion's Seed then you know there is no one single American identity,we are differant by region and our sub cultures and history is different with seperate American regional identities,I consider my self a Southerner first,not just because of the seperae sub culture of the South but because of other factors.The Southern accent and our different culture comes mainly from English settlers who had roots in southern England and the English West Country and the Scotch-Irish/Anglo-Scotch Border culture.Those are unique blends specific to the southern U.S.Most people here today still have mainly English,Scotch-Irish and some German ancestry and little else.ALL American sub-regions have a history and culture that is unique to that part of North America.Some have had other elements added to it like when many Immigrants came from Ireland and Southern and Eastern Europe in the late 19th century, but in the South most of the 19th century never came here because it was still largley rural,so most southern natives have mainly a colonial Anglo-American background that has specific origins in certain regions of the British isles that were culturally different from other cultures of the British Isles at the time.The history and culture of the South and even the accent all have distinct origins in specific regions of Britain and Ireland that arent seen in other AMerican sub-cultures and regions.Ethnically there is no American ethnicity,different peoples from different parts of Europe and the British Isles also have settled in different regions of America at different times for different reasons and most Americans who have roots in one of those sub-regions have a unique ancestry and regional American identity that is specific to those areas in the United States.My ancestry is mainly Anglo-Celtic,even my dna tests results match with the unique blend of ancestry common to the southern USA.But ethnically I am a Southerner or Dixie American.and my dna shows British Isle Celtic ancestry,Belgic Celtic ancestry (southern England) and Northern Germanic ancestry.