Weekend Question Thread

Where did your ancestors come from?

I’m Danish, German and Bohemian, the latter two on my father’s side. So I was pretty much destined for beer, sausage and pastries, as well as the tendency to show up two hours early for everything out of a fear of being late.


39 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. Dane, with some English and French thrown in. You go back far enough on my paternal grandmother’s side, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II are my great-however many times removed-grandparents.

  2. I gots the Celtic side of me from me Da. Both Scotch and Irish. My paternal ancestor ended up in Nova Scotia as a stowaway on a Scottish barge in 1870.
    On my mom’s side I have some Danish (although technically German, my family comes from Schlesvig Holstein which has gone back and forth between the two countries.) My great grandfather brought his family over to keep his sons from being conscripted into the Kaiser’s army. Also from mom, I have French Canadian roots. I recently found out that if you go back far enough, I am related to Madonna and Celine Dion. It ain’t much, so they better not be trying any of that “I’m related to David Aquarius!” bullshit.
    So, French Canadian/Danish and Scotch/Irish. Great food and great drink. I’m set.

  3. Scots-Irish on my mom’s side, Austrian and Russian on my dad’s. The capacity to drink loads of beer is mine, as well as the tendency to answer questions with a question.

  4. First Gen Irish (mom) Polish (dad).I want to get drunk, but I don’t know how. (joke by brother, so mostly non offensive)

  5. English, Welsh, possibly some Jewish way back, but that’s guesswork based on imperfect info about grandparents. I don’t believe in ‘national’ characteristics somehow genetically passed down, though, so the fact that I’m a middle class intellectual pedant is all down to me 😉

  6. I’m adopted, so who knows what genes are in there, but two of my grandparents (one on each side) were born in Scotland. My paternal grandfather’s side came from Scotland but has been in North America since the early 1700s, and there was a split in the family somewhere, so I have a United Empire Loyalist ancestor on that side, and a descendant of that ancestor’s brother who still lives in the US and counts herself as a DAR (how embarrassing!).

  7. Of Irish ancestry…100%, to the great chagrin of everyone I know who isn’t also Irish.
    Unlike Ms Athenae…I’m generally late, and often drunk when I get there.

  8. First Gen Irish (mom) Polish (dad). I want to get drunk, but I don’t know how. (joke by brother, so mostly non offensive)
    Posted by: Paddy
    OMG! I’m the exact opposite. I’ll have to tell that joke to MY brother!
    Oh and the Vulcan half is my dad and the human half is my mom.
    And if you go back far enough I’m related to Adam and Steve

  9. Mostly really WASP, with some “who knows” from Lousiana and perhaps Canada. Ancestral surname graveyard is up at Dartmouth.
    “Really WASP” means that when I meet someone with the same surname, one potential topic of conversation is which brother (of the two who arrived in 1640) we’re descended from .

  10. Almost entirely British Isles. My grandmother’s maiden name was Duncan, so I have Scots in me. I’m told I look Irish (black, not redhead). My dad’s side is a little more obscure, but he has a rather English surname. I have relatives on my mom’s side that claim they’ve traced our lineage back to France, but they also claim the French side goes all the way back to Charlemagne, so I take that with a grain of salt.
    So I mainly claim English-Scots-Irish mutthood.

  11. English, Welsh, Belgian and lotsa German. Of 4 grandparents, 3 trace back on patrilineal side to pre-Revolution, so really quite the American mutt.

  12. Welsh, from a Tory branch. French, obviously. And Cherokee from my great grandmother.
    I’m sure there are other mongrels that happened along the way, but those are the three distinct ones.

  13. French (first New World ancestors came with De La Salle and settled in Convent, LA), Scottish, Portuguese, Japanese (great-grandfather lost almost all of his relatives during the SF quake in 1906), African, and East-Indian.

  14. Father’s parents from Sicily via Ellis Island in the early 1900s. My Aunt was left behind as a baby because the ocean trip was thought to be too hard for her. She came over to join the rest of the family 8 years later. Mother’s side a mix of Italian from the same era and English/Dutch/Irish mutt that go WAY back in America.
    I have a relative from my Mom’s side in Chattanooga who died of scurvy fighting for the union during the Civil War. I’d like to visit that grave some day and leave an orange.
    More recently my Mom is from St. Albans, Queens, NY, which is a beautiful place full of life.

  15. English (Cheshire, bordering on Wales) and French (both via Canada) and German for the part of the family that came over in the latter half of the 1800s. Then there’s some English long-timers as far back as the Mayflower.

  16. England, France (I’m related to leinie via Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II), Germany (Prussia, actually). I just learned that one great-grandfather was a John Smith from England. Good luck to me in finding out who he was and where in England he was from.
    I know much of my paternal ancestry back to the Dark Ages, so to speak. I’m only beginning to find out about my mother’s side, as they were much more recent (19th century) immigrants.
    Peace, V.

  17. So any way, we supposed we were muts of the German/Anglo veriety. Then a genetist cousin tested her’s and my aunt’s DNA. Turns out way back there some some Chinese/SE Asians entered the genepool. That would explain the high math scores in some family members. Me, I only have a weakness for eeg rolls.

  18. Mom’s side: English, German and French-Canadian with a little East Indian thrown in (but only my younger bro and sis managed to get the tanning gene – my older sister and I are white almost to transparency), while on Dad’s side it’s German and Ashkenazi Jew from the Sudatenland.
    Our only famous ancestors that I’m aware of: Leon Czolgosz (who assassinated McKinley) and Georg Friedrich Händel. Given the lack of musical talent in the family, I’m betting we’re all more like Leon.

  19. mostly mid 1800’s german, norwegan, french, russian, english(irish? now you tell me), and native american but don’t know tribe as great-grandma’s mom was an adopted 1/2 breed. gotta get a DNA test so i can see where my family came from. no, i hate beer. go figure. the politics is in my DNA tho. lincoln was a distant cousin.

  20. On my dad’s side, Swiss and Scots Irish. On my mother’s side German and Pennsylvania German. My French-speaking Swiss great-grandfather came to the U.S. via Canada in 1867; my great-grandfather on that side was a New Yorker and Civil War vet. They both ended up in Kansas, of all places. My earliest ancestor on my mother’s mother’s side came to Lancaster County, Pa. from the German Palatinate in 1750 just in time for the French and Indian War. My mother’s father’s family came from East Prussia to Illinois in 1880. A watchmaker, farmers, a stone mason and one of the Kaiser’s gardeners comprise the bunch. My dad left Kansas during the start of the dust storms and the farm depression right after World War I to find work in Illinois, where he married into my mother’s huge German family (we still consider third cousins close relatives), and here I am.

  21. Greek on my father’s side. I’m convinced that there’s gotta be a bit of Turk on that side as well but mentioning that to any of my relatives provokes howls of dismay.
    Norwegian on my mom’s side. One of her brothers was actually a Norwegian bachelor farmer in Wisconsin.

  22. English, Irish, Polish and German.. On mom’s side descended to the treasurer to King James II. On dad’s side, according to my notoriously prone-to-tall-tales grandfather, we are descended from Irish horse thieves. My wife is Irish, German, English and Norwegian (with a possibility of some Scot). My son, to simplify it a little, is descended from white people who don’t tan.
    -Pope Impious XXIII

  23. Jeez, where are all the jews? Russia, Poland, the Ukraine, the parts that flipped back and forth all the time. My father’s mother’s father, the anarchist, came in 1898, fleeing imprisonment for organizing foresters and starting schools to educate jewish girls. My father’s father’s family may have come from Vinnitsa around the same time. Everyone who didn’t leave was killed during the second world war. My husband’s family apparently came from a nice little Polish town called Nicewitz where after his part of the village left everyone else was exterminated except one or two guys who escaped and lived as partisans in the forests before leaving for Israel. Part of his family fled through Ulaan Bator, too. Fun fact which we just found out. His family is *mentioned in genesis* by name. To find this significant one has to find the concept of god, genesis, names and families not wholly risible.

  24. Belgian, Irish, Swede, Scandinavian, English, Scot. 1/2 the family made its way painfully across Appalachia though the Ozarks to the Midwest. Other half emigrated here as part of the agricultural settlement of the Midwest in the 1870-1900s.

  25. Half Puritan (Salem, I’ll have you know; none of that Mayflower hoi polloi). Other half Irish Catholic. Mix thoroughly and run like hell.

  26. The Ward part is English (paternal grandfather). I unfortunately have no information on my paternal grandmother’s heritage.
    It’s more interesting on my mother’s side. Her mother was a Thorsen, a Norwegian. Some genealogy-types traced that root of the family tree back to 1749. Her father’s side is even more interesting. Her father was Carney Landis, Swiss, a psychologist who made a name for himself in sex research. He was descended from the brother of Hans Landis, a famous Anabaptist martyr (beheaded in 1614).

  27. As a bastid, I was interested in this question to an unseemly degree. I am 1/2 Iranian, 1/2 Redneck. The redneck side includes a family that has been in the USA since the 1600s. So I share a common ancestor with the Vanderbilts, including Anderson Cooper.

  28. Irish/Irish and Scot/English(Cornwall, so we count him as a Celt too).
    My children are northern European mutts: 1/4 English, 1/4 Swedish, 1/4 Irish, 1/8 Scot, 1/8 Cornish. Which probably accords far more ethnic purity to their great-grandparents than is actually the case.

  29. I had always assumed/been told I was like 75% German with a smattering of other stuff, but in doing genealogical research I found it was actually more like 3/8 German, 3/8 English/Irish and 1/4 Dutch. Interesting stuff; one side of my family was on the Revolutionary side of the War in upstate New York, while another side was on the Loyalist side there and fled to Canada for a few decades. The two sides didn’t get united until 160 years later.

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