Friday, March 5

Gonna try something...

I'm going to post about a week's worth of short quizzes and miscellany all right now, but timed so that each gets displayed at midnight PST. This way I'll be sure to always have something new each day, but not so much all as once that it floods the blog and people miss some of the items. Especially quizzes - you don't want 7 or 8 quizzes all in one day.

Meantime, during the week if I have something I really want to blog about, I can still do that, it won't interfere with the automatic releases. In a sense I'm just spreading a backlog out over time, but in advance and automatically.

Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.


Here's the first question - not a quiz but a voluntary (of course) inquiry about your ethnic/cultural background. If this is sensitive information for anyone, don't feel the need to answer. But I'm of the opinion we should neither be ashamed nor proud of our heritage: After all, what say did we have in the matter. That's right, none. I'm just curious, as I am about all things, what my ethnic (one used to say "racial") heritage is. The search in itself is usually more enlightening than any conclusions reached.

For example, I've discovered that just through my mom's mom's side, I'm related to a group that came to America from England just 11 years after the Pilgrims landed the Mayflower, and founded a community which would grow into the town (now city) of Hartford, Connecticut. In fact I'm a direct ancestor of the first governor of that state and have many modern-day relatives living in the state. I qualify to belong to some "Native Connecticut" society in which I have no interest, but it's neat nonetheless to know about. And I am also related through the same channels to the very influential senator Daniel Webster, his cousin Noah Webster (known for compiling the most-used dictionary in the USA), and relative of John Webster, another governor of New Hampshire. All this I just found out in the last couple of months.

Without going into so much detail, then, I'll briefly state what I currently believe to be the ethnicities of my four grandparents, until such time as I can go back further and more comprehensively.

Maternal Grandmother: Mostly English, some Polish and possible French and German.
Maternal Grandfather: From what records I have, was fully German.
Paternal Grandmother: English and Cherokee, with possibly some Irish.
Paternal Grandfather: Apparently full-blooded Castillian Spanish.

This means I'm probably more English, German, and Spanish than anything, with a helping of Cherokee Indian and much lesser amounts of other ethnicities. My nationality is 100% American, since I was born here and am a full citizen of the USA and nowhere else. That's something I hear mixed up all the time - terms race, ethnicity, culture, nationality. Each has a very precise meaning in ethnography.

The exciting bit is, the process of uncovering my ancestors is ongoing, and all of this information is subject to negation, refinement, or elaboration.

What about YOU?

3 comments:

billybytedoc said...

I really don't know much, a mixture I guess, but mostly English ( wish I could speak French ). My Dad ( he spoke like a Yankee and because of that I do too, a few words ( like warsh er... wash ), don't I guys ) was from New Hampshire and my Mom from N. Carolina ( no southern accent for me ) but that's all I know.

Hans said...

German, German, English/Polish (Irish?), English

So, half German, little less than half English, little bit Polish and maybe very little Irish.

billybytedoc: Thompson could be English or Scottish, and Kimball is English from what I can tell. Don't know your grandmothers' last names, but that might give you more clues.

Soul Survivor said...

I'm German, English, and Scottish.

I haven't done a whole lot of looking other than the origins of the surnames that I know but it is something I'm interested in. I figure about half Scottish, a quarter English, and a quarter German.

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