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In my first GFHC post last week, I explained how I found out only this year that my ancestry (which I thought to be 75% Irish Catholic and 25% Eastern European), also includes a long line of New England Yankees - Protestants of English ancestry – going back to the earliest days of the colonies. I also suggested this caused me no small amount of angst. To fully comprehend why this was a shock to me, you have to understand a little bit about Massachusetts political history.  

In many ways, despite the Puritans' strict religious conservatism, Massachusetts has been seen as a beacon of progress and intellectualism from the start. The Virginia colony was founded thirteen years before Plymouth, but the legacy of the Mayflower Pilgrims and their Puritan brethren looms so large that many Americans don’t remember that. This state has a glorious history (see beginning of comments for more on that), about which I’ve always felt deeply ambivalent.

Why? Because so many great Massachusetts achievements were achievements of the Yankee Protestant elite. That Protestant elite advanced many progressive positions that were, as they say, “on the right side of history.” But if they had a blind spot, it was surely my other ancestors, the ones I knew about: Irish Catholic immigrants. And therein lay my problem: the Irish ancestors I’ve always known about were politically on the other side of the Yankees responsible for most of those great progressive accomplishments.

For a century, starting from the Civil War era, the Yankee-Irish division was the fault line in Massachusetts politics. Party identification itself in Massachusetts was largely defined along ethnic and religious lines. The “natives” of Protestant English stock were overwhelmingly Republican, the Irish Catholics (and most other Catholic and Jewish immigrant groups) overwhelmingly Democratic.  

In the mid-1800s Boston did not have Philadelphia’s long tradition of religious tolerance or New York’s long tradition as a melting pot of ethnic cultures. Boston high society was very intellectually advanced, but very monolithic. Diversity meant “Congregationalists of English stock” and “Unitarians of English stock,” with some token Episcopalians tossed in. Protestant Boston was wholly unprepared for the hordes of starving, uneducated Irish Catholic immigrants who flooded in in huge numbers during the Famine years. Generally speaking Protestant Boston (and particularly the elite known as “Boston Brahmins”) despised the Irish and discriminated against them for decades.

So there wasn’t much doubt about which party most Irish immigrants in Massachusetts would join when they arrived. The Whigs, the virulently anti-immigrant and anti-Irish Know-Nothings, and (after 1856) the new Republican Party wanted little to do with the newcomers. And so the Irish flocked into the Democratic Party – the party of the Southern slaveholder – and, over time, built huge Democratic political machines in the state’s larger cities. For years afterward, though, state government (and the state’s top financial and legal institutions longer still) remained largely the province of the Protestant Brahmin Republicans.

Every single Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts has been Protestant, and all have been of English ancestry except the African-American Ed Brooke. The Democrats elected to the Senate between the Civil War and Elizabeth Warren have all been Catholic except the old-line Yankee Marcus Coolidge in the 1930s and the very non-WASP Paul Tsongas, whose family were Greek, like Mike Dukakis’s.

For Irish immigrants in Boston, a long-established city, assimilation and mobility were much harder to come by than in the new cities of the Midwest and California. This promoted cohesiveness, even clannishness. Even today, many Irish-Americans in the Boston area identify more strongly as Irish than people of Irish ancestry in other parts of the country, and I’m no exception. As a history buff of Irish Catholic identity, I’ve always been of two minds about the great accomplishments of the Massachusetts Yankee tradition. I’d spent my whole life admiring New England Yankees’ gumption and progressive stances, while resenting their hostile and condescending treatment of my own ancestors.

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It’s hard to forget that Sam Adams thought “the spread of Popery” was a bigger threat than the Stamp Acts he started a Revolution over.

It’s been hard to get excited about the accomplishments of Charlestown native Samuel F.B. Morse, paranoid anti-Catholic, anti-Semite, and virulent anti-immigration activist.
It’s hard to forget that in the 1830s, when William Lloyd Garrison founded The Liberator to fight for the abolition of slavery, Protestant mobs burned the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, Mass. in a hysterical fit of anti-Catholicism.

It’s also hard to forget 1854. That was the year Boston’s abolitionists did all they could to protect escaped slave Anthony Burns, attempting to help him escape federal custody and, when that failed, buying his freedom from his owner. In 1854 the New England Emigrant Aid Company formed and sent settlers to found Lawrence, Kansas, in the hopes of establishing an anti-slavery majority there. The town (not surprisingly the home of the University of Kansas) was named for Amos Lawrence, from an old New England family, and its main drag to this day is Massachusetts Street. Near it, on Vermont Street, is the oldest church in Kansas, the Plymouth Congregational Church (the Congregationalists being the successors of the Puritan church of Massachusetts).

But in that same year, the fiercely anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic, anti-Irish “Know-Nothing” party swept to victory in the Massachusetts elections, and the first Irish policeman in Boston was unceremoniously fired just for his background.

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It’s hard to forget that, in 1870, the Jesuit Boston College was founded largely because of the hostility of Harvard to Catholics, or that Joe Kennedy Sr. found himself unwelcome at Harvard forty years later. In my own lifetime, not that many years ago, many Catholics in the Boston area were disappointed to hear one of their own had gone to Harvard instead of Boston College, and a Double Eagle (BC High School + BC) carries much cachet in certain neighborhoods, still more so a Triple Eagle (BC High, BC, BC Law School).

It’s hard to forget that the state built the Orange Line elevated subway right past the front of the Catholic Holy Cross Cathedral in the early 1900s, hiding the center of Boston Catholicism from view for almost a century. Or that the Orange Line was so named because the street it ran down, Washington Street, was originally called Orange Street in honor of Protestant William of Orange’s victory over Catholic forces in Ireland’s 1690 Battle of the Boyne, meaning the subjugation of Ireland’s native population for centuries to come.

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I can’t forget that Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Sr., the poster child for the elite Boston Brahmin class, achieved in 1924 (the year he died) his longstanding goal of legislation severely restricting immigration, a deed not undone until Ted Kennedy’s efforts in 1965. Lodge, like many a Boston Brahmin, had been a founding member of the Immigration Restriction League in the 1890s. During that decade Lodge had sponsored a bill requiring immigrants to be able to read the Constitution in English. Then-Congressman John F. Fitzgerald (JFK’s grandfather) spoke against the bill, earning him a strong rebuke from Lodge: “You are an impudent young man. Do you believe the Jews or the Italians have any right in this country?”

Honey Fitz’s answer was one for the ages: “As much as your father or mine. It’s only a difference of a few ships.” I can imagine Lodge was apoplectic at the comparison of his own father with Fitzgerald’s, let alone with Italian and Jewish immigrants.

I certainly can’t forget the crosses that were burned by the KKK in rural towns not too far from Boston in the 1920s.  The “Northern” Klan of the second, post-Birth of a Nation, wave was more concerned with anti-Catholicism and anti-Judaism than racism against African-Americans. This came to a head in 1928, when the Democratic Party nominated the Irish Catholic Governor of New York, Al Smith, for President. Although there were, by this time, scores of American-born Irish Catholic mayors, governors and senators, “responsible” Protestant journalists and intellectuals (many in Boston) argued, as their ancestors had eighty years before, that the “Papist” Smith was under the control of a foreign dictator and espoused values fundamentally incompatible with American democracy. These same arguments were used, to lesser effect, against JFK in 1960.

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I’ve always felt that the Yankee Protestant Republican history in New England (in its good and its bad aspects) was my history as an American and a New Englander, but wasn’t my personal history. As I’ve traveled around Massachusetts, I’ve felt pride in its glorious past. But the Lexington Battle Green and the white New England church steeples that add beauty to the landscape around me always seemed not only like someone else’s history, but the history of people who despised my ancestors.

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For all of my life I’ve been conflicted about this. I felt consternation at the fact that, in the 19th century, the Democratic Party that took my Irish ancestors in was largely a racist and reactionary anti-government party. It has been hard at times to reconcile my admiration for New England’s abolitionists with my knowledge that my Democratic ancestors who were their contemporaries saw them as the enemy. I took some comfort in the fact that the “Party of Lincoln” became the “Party of Big Business and Anti-Immigration Snobbery” about ten minutes after Lincoln died.

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Imagine my astonishment, then, to find out at the age of 36 that the enemy is me. I have, in my veins, the blood of people who were on the other side of that divide. My great-grandfather grew up in a Protestant Republican family, in a Protestant Republican small town in Vermont, which was until the 1960s one of the most reliably Republican states in the nation. I’m sure most folks in Hartland, Vermont in the 1890s didn’t like the idea of huge Catholic and Jewish immigration. I’m sure some of his ancestors are turning in their graves at the thought of having a slew of Irish Catholic descendants who went to Catholic schools for thirteen years.

After a good laugh, I’ve emerged from all of this feeling more complete. First, because I know a lot more about where I come from. That’s usually good. Second, because I feel like I can embrace more fully the positive aspects of the Puritan New England legacy. It turns out it is my personal history after all. The old white steeples and colonial-era houses around here are mine as much as anyone’s. In fact, my direct ancestors served as the first pastors in a number of those erstwhile Puritan churches. But because I’m still Irish, and still me, I can continue to shake my head sadly at the anti-Irish and anti-immigrant views those people espoused.

My family has long been in the Democratic Party because it was our heritage, the Irish-American heritage I knew about. But people live in the present and must follow their own consciences. If the Democratic Party still stood for some of the things it stood for in 1830, I likely wouldn’t be in it today, just as many thoughtful lifelong Republicans have moved away from that party.

Today the ethnic and religious lines that led Irish Americans of earlier generations into the Democratic Party have largely blurred. Some people of Irish ancestry, like Bill O’Reilly, have indicated a desire to shut the door of opportunity now that they’re in. I strive, like John Fitzgerald in his day, to remain true to the spirit that welcomed immigrants and sought to alleviate the inequality of our economy. That’s why I was happy this year to vote for a Barack Obama instead of a Paul Ryan, and to vote for Oklahoma-born Elizabeth Warren over Massachusetts-born Scott Brown.

History has worked in my favor in resolving these internal conflicts. In the early 1900s the urban, immigrant-backed, progressive Democratic Party of the North started to win out over the rural, WASP, racist Democratic Party of the South. The good aspects of the historic Democratic Party (its aversion to elites, its economic populism, its welcoming of different kinds of people) have largely remained, while the bad aspects largely migrated to the other side of the aisle. The anti-tax, small-government, anti-education, states’-rights Democratic Party of the early 19th century has essentially, and ironically, become today’s Republican Party.

The Democratic Party of the early 21st century believes that regulation of the economy is necessary, that racial equality should be self-evident, and that public investment in education and infrastructure is important. It shares more common ground with the old Whigs and abolitionists than with the Democratic Party of 175 years ago.

The leadership of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson made the Democrats the party of civil rights. The cynicism of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan made the Republicans, that erstwhile “Party of Lincoln,” the party of the conservative white South. The secular social movements of the 1960s, and the resultant move away from conservative religion, have made it possible for someone with centuries of Irish Catholic tradition to feel comfortable in a party that supports women’s rights and equal rights for LGBT citizens.

I’m fortunate in that I can stay true to my Irish Catholic Democratic heritage, true to all my own progressive values, and true to the best of my newfound New England Yankee heritage, all at the same time, by being a Democrat today. Even the Puritan churches my ancestors served as pastors of back in the 1600s are now Unitarian or Congregational, with big rainbow flags and liberal mission statements.

Now we add more diversity to the family mix. My sister’s husband came here from El Salvador, my brother’s girlfriend from the former Soviet Union. My wife is from Puerto Rico and a native Spanish speaker. Her heritage, like that of so many people on the island, is a mix of many different cultures.  Our kids will be far less than half Irish (which surprised me when I realized it), but they’ll be Mayflower descendants with Irish, Eastern European, Italian, German, Spanish, African, and Native American blood. They will personify the American story. My until-recently 100% Irish-American dad couldn’t be prouder of his newly diverse family, and I’m proud that the Democratic Party of my ancestors – the ancestors we always knew about! – still affirms the essential dignity of all of the traditions my children will represent.

Originally posted to Genealogy and Family History Community on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, History for Kossacks, Massachusetts Kosmopolitans, Headwaters, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (175+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raina, Lady Libertine, Polly Syllabic, CherryTheTart, edwardssl, Eddie L, weck, klompendanser, figbash, Mnemosyne, Empty Vessel, brook, mayim, Pam from Calif, liz dexic, JanetT in MD, Ahianne, Govinda, Mae, sow hat, jacey, cherie clark, SpamNunn, Involuntary Exile, gizmo59, blueoasis, northerntier, jack 1966, pvasileff, MKinTN, Heart n Mind, Zoskie, blue jersey mom, cassandracarolina, JupiterSurf, Yohannon, eztempo, PeterHug, akze29, Louisiana 1976, gwilson, bloomer 101, OllieGarkey, nupstateny, fisheye, slowbutsure, greenbird, itzadryheat, murasaki, prfb, Buckeye Nation, GrumpyOldGeek, SuetheRedWA, Going the Distance, pimutant, IreGyre, Andrew F Cockburn, FarWestGirl, Joy of Fishes, pat of butter in a sea of grits, paul2port, CT yanqui, WB Reeves, nuclear winter solstice, Carnivorous Plantling, slksfca, jiffykeen, monkeybrainpolitics, Brian1066, yuriwho, Kristina40, henlesloop, BadKitties, Acktiv, Land of Enchantment, high uintas, Ojibwa, Oh Mary Oh, ramara, PrahaPartizan, importer, Onomastic, begone, terabytes, annan, Mentatmark, TexasLefty, K S LaVida, FishOutofWater, davehouck, JJG Miami Shores, leonard145b, Turbonerd, Dbug, BlueStateRedhead, Judgment at Nuremberg, Ignacio Magaloni, Clytemnestra, Catesby, KenBee, MRA NY, ruleoflaw, dotsright, SallyCat, wbr, abarefootboy, indianobserver, NNadir, NonnyO, gloriana, teknohed, la urracca, Shippo1776, Freakinout daily, AaronInSanDiego, alba, Nulwee, uciguy30, deepeco, Seneca Doane, ER Doc, outragedinSF, riverlover, chira2, Dont Just Stand There, maryabein, kathny, marleycat, missLotus, Suznyc, jnhobbs, Allogenes, spooks51, Pariah Dog, AZ Sphinx Moth, sydneyluv, Moody Loner, coppercelt, tommurphy, isabelle hayes, kerflooey, Munchkn, Grandma Susie, steamed rice, Paddy999, Stein, Aunt Pat, citizen dan, TomFromNJ, GK in IA, grrr, brae70, OldGrammy, bastrop, RLF, Creosote, Timaeus, pittie70, Susipsych, Wreck Smurfy, 43north, wasatch, mrkvica, freelunch, PMA, Alfred E Newman, johnmorris, dsteffen, mithra, Grabber by the Heel, oceanview, Mayfly, marykk, johanus, maryb2004

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:00:06 AM PST

  •  a truly excellent diary! (40+ / 0-)

    you illustrated that there's all kinds of prejudices and biases in any family.

    Thanks for writing this.

    Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

    by raina on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:11:56 AM PST

    •  Thanks! (31+ / 0-)

      You know, my whole life I knew who I was - and who I wasn't. I never hated "them," I don't believe in it and there's much about "them" to admire. But I was part of "us" and not part of "them."

      And if "us" was sometimes shameful, and "them" sometimes right, that caused a conflict. Now I think any conflict's resolved. I'll be the best of "us" and "them," and not the worst of either.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:20:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So now that you know you are part Protestant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wasatch, Alfred E Newman, mithra

        You may want to know their side of the story.

        In the early days, being a Protestant was a precarious existence.  The Catholics killed many of them in especially gruesome ways.  Just remember, the main target of the Inquisition was Protestants.  (Read Fox's Book of Martyrs for further details.)  It required almost a century before the Protestants could organize a real defense (1517-1618).  The Pilgrims who settled Massachusetts came in 1620--just two years after the start of the 30 Years War in 1618.

        So you might ask yourself, if Protestantism was simply a minor variation on Catholic Christianity, why were so many folks willing to die for their new beliefs?  Two reasons—one cultural, one economic.

        Culturally, the Protestants ushered in true intellectual freedom.  No more torture threats for seeing the moons around Jupiter (Galileo) or burning at the stake for defending science (Bruno).  Before 1517, all the great European Universities were in Italy.  After 1517, all the great schools were in the Protestant lands.  Protestants have long reviled Catholic education to the point where in 19th-century Germany, Bismarck ordered their schools closed during Kulturkampf.  Even in the 1970s when Protestant-Catholic conflicts erupted in Northern Ireland, one of the main causes were the Protestants who absolutely did NOT want their children "educated" by nuns and Jesuits.

        Economically, Protestant success was overwhelming.  In Holland, the Republic (1581-1795) was so economically successful it not only paid for guys like Rembrandt, its institutions are still visible to this day.  When England finally got its Protestantism going, they became so powerful that a shitty little island ran the world for over 300 years.

        So when Protestants saw Catholics, they saw these hopelessly backward folks mired in ignorance and poverty.  And when the starving Irish washed up on Massachusetts shores in the mid 19th century, they merely "proved" what the Protestants already believed about those filthy, drunken, violent "papists."

        So just remember, those Protestants in Massachusetts who looked down their noses at the Irish Catholics were acting mostly out of historical fear.  Most of them could tell stories of how ancestors had died gruesome deaths at the hands of the Catholics and did not want that threat to move to their city on the hill.  

    •  Everyone of us (7+ / 0-)

      traps and bridges both ancient hatreds and ancient 'illegitimate' loves in our very bodies. If only we could see that we ourselves contain the 'other' soon enough to put an end to hostilities, local and global.

      There is no worse enemy of God and Man than zeal armed with power and guided by a feeble intellect... --William James

      by oslyn7 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:52:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As promised, the glorious Commonwealth of Mass. (41+ / 0-)

    The Mayflower Compact of 1620 was a written social contract before the writings of Grotius, Hobbes, and Locke. Massachusetts had the first public park in the nation (Boston Common in 1634); first public school (Boston Latin in 1635); first college (Harvard in 1636, almost 60 years before the second, William and Mary); first printing press (1638); first free public school (1639); public library (1653); regular newspaper (1704); American novel (1789); free black church (1806); Abolitionist newspaper (1831); women’s rights conference (1850). A leader in provoking the American Revolution, Massachusetts was the site of the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and the first battles of the Revolution. Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1783, and became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2004.

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:23:07 AM PST

    •  Part II (32+ / 0-)

      Massachusetts gave birth to Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and Sam, John, and John Quincy Adams.  It also was the birthplace of Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Lucretia Coffin Mott, Martha Cotton Wright, Lydia Child and Margaret Fuller. The home state of William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips and Charles Sumner, it was a place of refuge and a new home for Frederick Douglass, a place that nearly fell into riots to prevent the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law. Massachusetts is the home of Emerson and Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott and Emily Dickinson. It is the setting for Moby Dick and the utopian novel Looking Backward.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:24:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Part III (30+ / 0-)

        For better or worse, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of American industrial and technological progress as well. My state boasts the United States’ first ironworks (1650); lighthouse (1716); commercial canal (1803); railroad (1826); telegraph (1837); vulcanized rubber (1839); typewriter (1840); sewing machine (1845); ether anesthetic (1846); Christmas card (1875); telephone call (1876); successful gasoline-powered auto (1893); subway (1897); liquid fuel rocket (1926); computer (1928); and digital computer (1944). For good measure, Massachusetts also had the first swim school (1827); basketball game (1891); volleyball game (1895); and regular American marathon (1897), and the Boston Red Sox won the first-ever World Series in 1903.

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:24:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nantucket and New Bedford Whaling (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mrkvica, CoyoteMarti, fenway49

          played an important role in the Underground Railroad.

          The signage at the long-running Nantucket pub The Brotherhood of Thieves is symbolic.

          Whalers would leave with a few spurious names added to the manifest, for trips south to 'round the horn.  A stop off the Chesapeake or Charlestown would be met with the actual crewmen to fill those manifest entries.

          Comb the woods and swamps all you will, you're slave is plying the waters of the Pacific, and should luck befall him, return a year hence: alive, free and with a small share of the vessel prize.  Nantucket's black families were here 80 years before my Scots or Italian-immigrant ancestors.  Perhaps not as early as my Novia Scotia and Mi'kmaq First Nations ancestors.
          Either way, we're all "boat people".

    •  Worth noting Harvard was founded (13+ / 0-)

      just 6 years after Boston and Massachusetts Bay colony were first settled!  You can, perhaps, add that with the longest life expectancies in the world at the time, it is said that these folk also "invented grandparents" as the first society where it was common for people to know them well into their teens or early adulthood.

      You might want to amend list on the Women's Rights Conference: Seneca Falls was in 1848.

      What a fun, well-written, and thoughtful diary - thanks so much for that!

      If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. Thomas Paine

      by WestCider on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:31:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

        You are correct, Seneca Falls came first. I believe the one in Worcester in 1850 was the first "national" and the first annually recurring conference.

        It's clear education was important to the early Mass. Bay colonists and they were optimistic about their colony, to found a college so quickly. It took all the other colonies at least 10 times longer.

        When Mitt Romney kept prattling on about Massachusetts being excellent in education, I said, "Nothing to do with you. It's been tops in that since 1635." If anything Romney's cuts in local aid hurt school districts. But I digress.

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:03:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  yay Massachusetts! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aunt Pat, fenway49

      how i love my adopted home ♥

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      Four More Years! How sweet it is!!!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:40:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  First college (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      isabelle hayes, Aunt Pat, mrkvica

      There was a college chartered in the Virginia colonies, called Henricus or something, in 1619, but was burned down in 1622 during a massacre by Indians.  The oldest college in North America would probably be what is now called the University of Mexico, founded around 1551, unless you want to count the University of Santo Domingo founded in 1538.  Not that being the first is all that important, but it would be wrong to think that the Massachusetts colonies valued education more than anyone else.  They didn't have to deal too much with malaria, which was a big advantage.

  •  what a great diary and I dont even have time (25+ / 0-)

    to read it thoroughly til later. Well done.

    Ive still only scratched the surface with my sleuthing of my family's history but Im amazed at how it has enticed me into learning, and comprehending in a new way, US history in general.

    I think I was maybe about 13 or 14 when somehow I came to the sudden realization that my Dad was a  ~ gasp! ~ W.A.S.P.  I've always identified with my Mom's 100% Irish side. She grew up in the Berkshires, no Boston connections, and Ive recently found that her parents were actually Brooklyners.

    Thanks for this diary!

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:29:40 AM PST

    •  Egad, a W.A.S.P.! (13+ / 0-)

      My mom's father was Irish from Brooklyn. They lived in Park Slope then moved to Bay Ridge, back in the 30s. I was born in Bay Ridge, where my mom grew up, and we still have family there. Also had family from Flatbush. Where was your mom's family in Brooklyn?

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:44:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  different perspective, similar background (13+ / 0-)

        Wow. I'm a couple years younger than you, from suburban Boston (grew up not far from the rotary in Concord where the state prison is), and also believe myself to be about 75%-plus Irish. My mom's family is Irish from Brooklyn; they lived in Park Slope, among other areas.

        And I've never had a shred of ambivalence about Massachusetts' Yankee past.

        Two reasons why I might feel very differently: I wasn't raised religiously Catholic, though I do have a pro-Catholic ethnic bias; and I grew up in the suburbs, rode the bus and was friends with neighbors who were Jewish, Protestant, Mormon, Christian Scientist, etc.

        Being Irish never felt that much more relevant to my identity as a kid than being ambidextrous. (Lately I've climbed down from that quite a bit). The Boston Brahmins seemed irrelevant, something you read about in history books.

        It took me til I was in my 20s to realize that there was a possible absurdity in identifying so strongly with the Massachusetts of the Revolutionary War, given that none of my ancestors were here, and if I did they had been they would have been outcasts at best. I decided not to care.

        It hasn't always been clean and unambiguous progress-- not for the Irish, and more importantly & more recently not for blacks. But Massachusetts is America's conscience. Our culture of learning goes all the way back to the Puritans, and was enhanced by more recent arrivals like the Catholics.

        Interested to hear why you think we came out looking at this so differently.

        •  My problem is that (17+ / 0-)

          since I was a kid I grew up in a history book and identified with struggles of old. I'm still mad over 1690.

          I also think some of the people around me had something to do with it. I went K-12 to Catholic school, as did my parents. My family's very urban, where such things mattered more.

          My grandfather was born in 1913, and had ambitions but the Depression put them on hold. He was a married father before he made it to college on the GI Bill. He graduated from law school at 46, in 1959, and couldn't easily find a job. He always felt the Brahmin establishment looked down on him, from awkward interviews and facing them in court for 20+ years.

          My other grandfather, in Brooklyn, was pretty annoyed when his oldest daughter lived in England for years and became a serious Anglophile. "You do know," he said, "they tried to starve us a few times?" She became, only half-jokingly, the "Limey daughter."

          In my own life there were step dance classes and lots of Irish music playing at home. I've had many friends (and more particularly) romantic relationships with people of very different backgrounds, but I still had an Irish identity.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:37:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for replying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CoyoteMarti

            Yeah, I think your more urban environment, and the greater centrality of religion to your life growing up, explain why we looked at things a little differently.

            I was reading history books all the time, too, but those old decisions just seemed irrelevant to me. One time when I was about 10, I mixed up Gino Cappelletti and Rico Petrocelli when I was talking to my dad. He said, "Man, you sound like your grandfather! You seen one Italian, you seen 'em all." (My grandfather passed away before I turned 1). It stuck with me because it was so ... absurd, to me. It was like hearing, "yeah, your aunt always did have a problem with people with size 9 shoes."

      •  not sure (6+ / 0-)

        Mom's Brooklyn parents lived there, let's see, late 1800's, early 1900's. I have to go look. Hmmm, okay my grandmother was born in Brooklyn in 1882, then she moved to Lenox MA when she married GFA in 1903. Her father (my great GFA Ryder) arrived from Galway @ 1865(?maybe 1855) and he stayed in Brooklyn (I think) til he died in 1926.

        I dont know the area at all, as I  grew up in FLA and live in Texas now. :-(  I'll kosmail ya.

        Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

        by Lady Libertine on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:20:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nice history of part of MA (5+ / 0-)

        What are your sources?

        Census data?  Birth, marriage, death certificates?  What?

        I've been doing genealogy research for 50 years and have ancestors from the colonial New England states:  Massachusetts (& Maine when it was still part of MA), Rhode Island, New York [Dutch line].  Mayflower (Doty, twice descended from Edward Doty via daughter Desire & her first husband; plus Gov John Carver was uncle to my Robert Carver of Marshfield), and lots of prominent RI ancestors.  Two signers of the Portsmouth Compact, first and fourth presidents of RI, etc.  Last week I found the copies of the hand-written pension application of yet another Rev. War ancestor, and I've been fortunate enough to find copies of original documents in my Carver line.

        Then there are four lines of Nineteenth century ancestors from Norway, Sweden, Denmark [their records are online, two of them are free, thanks to the taxpayers in those countries, the third one has three fee-based web sites, so that's a nuisance], and Alsace, France, but their names were Germanic, so that takes them back to before they became part of France - three Alsatian lines for sure, but I only have the naturalization and pending citizenship papers for one of them since I was lucky enough to find him in an index for one of the NY counties he lived.

        I've documented ancestors from seven different countries.

        For early colonial ancestors, there are books where they're mentioned, and there are also family history books for some of them, and now they're free on Google Books and/or Internet Archive, so that's quite enlightening.

        Vital Records for MA and other colonial northeastern states are in books, some old enough the copyrights are expired so they're also online (RI, in particular, but one must learn the OS/NS dating and Quaker method of keeping dates to make sense of them sometimes).

        In any case, there are all kinds of public documents to indicate origins of individuals in my family, and it's been quite an enlightening journey (especially since '01 and getting my first computer and then finding lots of "stuff" online that is actually valid, images of original documents - lots of invalid crap out there, too, so I had to sort through some of that nonsense).  If I had known about some of this history when I was in grade school and high school, the whole subject of American History wouldn't have been so bloody boring at the time.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:06:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Family history - genealogy sources, that is. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          edwardssl

          The history of MA is, in general, online at various sources.

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:09:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •   Catholic/Protestant never worse than Hugenot (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, mrkvica

            experience..my relatives escaped the Alsace and went east and changed their name to avoid the secret police who would punish the families of escapees...as I understand it.
              They were tradesmen and were valued but escaped rather than convert.

            Ironic as  many years later they burned their factory and escaped the Kaiser's confiscation scheme for his war efforts.

            We are historical contrarians and assholes apparently.

            How do you trace the Hugenot names of those that changed them?...and they went to all compass points afaik.

            This machine kills Fascists.

            by KenBee on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:25:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Huguenots are one group... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ER Doc, KenBee, richardvjohnson

              ... about which I know nothing, other than the name and they were French.

              Sorry.

              My Alsatian ancestors, altho US data says they were from Alsace, France, their names were Germanic, and I found NY Lutheran church records online that state where some of the three family lines came from in Alsace.  The one for whom I have immigration and naturalization records arrived in 1851 and became a citizen in 1856.  The others came earlier and I have years of immigration for them from US census data.  Some of these families connect to the Pennsylvania Deutsch [Germans] families from the neighboring or same areas.

              I have multiple English lineages, some even documented back farther than I would have thought they could be tracked, knowing that most places didn't start keeping records until the 1600s, and - if one were very, very, very lucky, maybe the 1500s [a few records, not many].  I discount the so-called royal lineages that have me twice-descended from Henry II Plantagenet, once via Eleanor of Aquitaine and once via his mistress, Rosamund Clifford.  I've never seen anything that says there are valid documents for such links, so until or unless someone contacts me with authentic proofs, it remains an interesting myth.

              My Dutch ancestry is from 1630, only 10 years after my Mayflower ancestors arrived.  My first Dutch ancestor is alleged to come to Ft. Orange, NY [Albany].  I don't know much about that line yet, other than the spelling went from Van Goes to Goss by the time my ancestor, Ephriam Goss, is recorded at Valley Forge, PA during the Rev. War.  They hopped and skipped about with a kind of patronymic naming system I don't understand as readily as I do for my Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish ancestors patronymic naming system which is crystal clear to me.  Names that married siblings of my Dutch ancestors allegedly connect me to Martin Van Buren, but I haven't proved that to my own satisfaction.

              My RI and MA ancestors have books on their lineages, and they are reasonably easy to track in documents and books, and even valid and reputable online history web sites now.

              My Irish ancestor from ME is a hoot.  He allegedly lived to age 124, and there are headlines in newspapers when he voted at age 122, then again when he died in the summer of 1813.  The doctors at Hallowell/Augusta, ME did the autopsy and declared him to be the stated age.  North's Augusta gives his physical description and how he and Capt. Howard determined his age based on a shared remembrance of a "hard winter" in Ireland.  Problem: there were several "hard winters." Ancestor gave a location of birth, but didn't know his birth date when he tried to enlist in the Rev. War.  Us descendants?  We don't think he was really 124, but we do think he lived to a ripe old age.  In trying to find something to prove his age, I've got a nicely detailed timeline for his life in America.

              One of our other ancestors in the Carver line did, in fact, live to the age of nearly 102, and his birth and death are both documented, so people living in that day and age could survive past the normally short lifespan.  A great many of my ancestors on both sides did, in fact live to 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s.  Quite a feat in a day and age when that was most abnormal.  [My Carver line originates in Doncaster, Yorkshire, and were Separatists.  Gov. John Carver of the Mayflower was the uncle of my Robert Carver, son of Isaac Carver, bro of John; Isaac stayed in Leyden and apparently died there.]  There are several other Carver lineages in the US since it's an occupation name, but they're not related.  The one that spawned William Carver of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid fame arrived about a century after mine did, and they're from Bucks Co., PA., and some migrated west and south, and Will was killed in Sonora, TX in 1901.]

              I thought the Huguenots were from more of the coastal areas of France, around Brittany (another Celtic/Gaelic stronghold)...?  I don't recall the Huguenots were from Alsace, but it would be interesting if they were.

              I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

              by NonnyO on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:01:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've spent some time working with the patronymic (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KenBee, NonnyO

                system in the Dutch/Frisian online archives; I was able to trace my maternal grandfather's ancestry into the late 1600s. One advantage of their system was that the women didn't change their names when they married, which made it easier to follow maternal lines. There was a traditional pattern for naming children, too. The first-born son was named after the father's father, and the second after the mother's father. That was reversed for girls: the first girl was named after her maternal grandmother. If a child died, the names were often recycled, especially if the next name hadn't been used yet. Third sons & daughters were often named after their great-grandparents, although favorite uncles and siblings were also used, especially if the family was lucky in the children surviving infancy, (and women surviving childbirth.) Surnames were mostly introduced in Friesland as a Napoleonic decree in 1811. The French conquerors required surnames to simplify record-keeping for taxation & military conscription. My mother's family was named for the farm they worked on. But the patronymics lived on as "middle" names. So my grandfather was Ruurd Baukes Sieperda, son of Bauke Jorrits Sieperda.

                -7.25, -6.26

                We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                by ER Doc on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 01:42:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Very similar for the Scandinavian countries (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ER Doc, marykk

                  Women kept their own names their entire lives.  Makes it easy to find them after they're married.  [As one person on a genealogy email list I belong to said: "Why would she change her patronymic name to that of her husband?  Her father-in-law was not her father, after all.]

                  Norway, in particular, adhered strictly to the naming pattern for children [for legitimate children, that is].  Eldest son for paternal grandfather, second son for maternal grandfather, eldest daughter for paternal grandmother, second daughter for maternal grandmother.  Yes, even if the maternal and paternal grandparents had same names, the children were given the same names!  After those four names came children named for gr-grandparents, aunts, uncles, as the whim took them.

                  For names of illegitimate children, there was more leeway and I find the child is named for a maternal grandparent, sometimes for an aunt or uncle, sometimes even a name that's not within the family.  If the couple married, the naming pattern started with the child born before marriage.  [A betrothal was as good as a marriage, so often couples started living together and husband and wife before the vows were said or the banns being read.  Breaking a betrothal agreement was a grave undertaking and more difficult than divorce, it seems.]

                  Exception: When a child died as an infant, the next child born was named for that child.  [There are masculine and feminine forms of most names.]  Sometimes they waited until a child of the same sex as the dead child was born before giving that child the same name.  One of my families had four infant deaths in a row, all boys, and all died as infants, and all were named Ole. [For St. Olaf - Ole, Ola, Olaf, Olav, Oluf, Oluv, Olau, Olaus, are among the multiple spellings for boys named for St. Olaf; Oline is the feminine form.]  The next child was a girl and named for one of the grandmothers who didn't have anyone named for her yet, so a different name was used for a change.

                  Another Exception: When the first spouse of one parent died, if that parent remarried and they were young enough to have more children, the first child of the second union that was the same sex was named for the dead spouse, and occasionally the first next child of a second union was named for the dead spouse with the appropriate masculine or feminine form of the name of the dead spouse.  Then the usual naming pattern resumed.

                  In Norwegian cities I don't find such a strict adherence to that naming pattern for children most of the time, altho the various children are named for the grandparents at some point, but out in the rural countryside it's like the naming rules were carved in stone next to the church door, including the exceptions!

                  In the case of my Norwegian gr-gr-grandparents, when they arrived in the US they used the name of the last farm they lived on as their US surname.  Each was born on a different farm, they lived on different farms again after marriage, but it was the last one that became their US surname so they could fit in.  Their patronymic names became their "middle names" in the US, but they only used the middle initials in most official records.  [Farm names were technically an address of sorts, not part of a person's name there, until after the law mandating surnames became reality - IF the person chose to use the farm name and not a patronym, that is.  Otherwise the farm name was an address/identifier of sorts because if someone had to distinguish between two or three Ole Olsens, for example, adding a farm name determined which one the writer was talking about.]

                  On a side lineage for the spouse of one of my aunts, his Norwegian immigrants on one line maintained the patronymic naming system for the kids for one generation after they arrived in the US.  It's all right there in the US census data!  [I thought that was interesting when I ran across that.]

                  Sweden's records for my paternal line surprised me.  No adherence to strict naming patterns.  The location they came from might have made a difference because it was a small town not all that far from Göteborg.  My grandfather's [misspelled] patronym became his US surname; luckily, I knew about all the alternate forms of spelling for the time period on both sides of the pond.  When I did a bit of research in Sweden for a couple of friends, the children were named for the grandparents, etc., but not necessarily in order, and they were from the northern areas of Sweden where it was more rural.

                  My Danish ancestors seem to have sometimes used the strict naming pattern for their kids, and sometimes not.  My gr-gr-grandfather's patronym became the family's surname in the US, and some of the offspring retained the Danish sen suffix spelling and some went to the [technically] misspelled American son suffix.

                  I most definitely prefer working with the patronymic naming system for the simple reason I always know the name of the father I'm looking for in the next generation back..., and I never lose the women to those horrid name changes when they married.

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:39:20 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Huguenots all over France (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mrkvica, NonnyO

                I think there were Protestants in all towns and cities in France before Louis XIV.  They were predominantly urban bourgeoisie - only literate people would have wanted to read the Bible for themselves, and it was a forward-looking, very 'transgressive' thing for anyone to do.  Many went East, but many also came to the New World - there's a strong Huguenot influence in South Carolina, for example.

        •  Sources: all of the above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO
          What are your sources?

          Census data?  Birth, marriage, death certificates?  What?

          Census got me started but I've visited some of the town halls and courthouses for birth & death certificates, marriage certificates, wills. And the NEHGS and of course the cemeteries. I've also looked at some of the published family genealogies from 100 years ago. Some very helpful information but I've found a few mistakes.

          I did see one thing I thought was a mistake (a book claimed my great-great-grandmother had a brother; I thought based on census forms she was an only child), but it turned out the book was right. She did have a brother and, for whatever reason, he was sent to live with an uncle. I located his death certificate (in New York City, where he'd moved) and his parents were in fact my great-great-grandmother's parents.  

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:31:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The image of the flag you posted (22+ / 0-)

    "Native Americans beware of foreign influence".

    I'm certain that is exactly what indigenous Native Americans were actually thinking.

    Oh, the irony.

    Fascinating historical diary.  Thanks for posting it.

  •  terrific diary, thanks for writing (20+ / 0-)

    I, too, found out as an adult that the family tree included a lot more old-time Yankees than I'd previously thought. Mayflower passengers, witches, Noah Webster, a whole mess of colonial governors and officials (I think everyone got to be governor at some point, like heading the PTA), some of the earliest names in places like Martha's Vineyard and the towns south and west of Boston.

    What struck me about a lot of them is how footloose Americans were, even then. Yankee farmers, with more of value in their land than goods, farmed where they were for a generation, or two or three, then picked up and moved westward.

    After the Revolution and the War of 1812, there were land grants given to veterans to encourage their moves into frontier areas to carve out homesteads. Some of mine did, which is why I never inherited waterfront property on the Vineyard. :-)

    The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:44:53 AM PST

    •  I don't think any of the ancestors (10+ / 0-)

      I discovered stayed put for very long. One ancestor who left CT in the 1700s, founded one town in NH, then another in NH, another in NE Vermont, then a fourth in southern Quebec. Again he left his farm for two years scouting land farther west and, when he returned, found his sons had made their current land so profitable it was worthwhile to stay. So they finally put down "roots" but not by his design.

      What's interesting is that nobody in my branch never left the northeast. I have found, following the branches down, that many lost cousins moved west. But I have no direct ancestors who ever lived either west or south, anywhere in the world, of my dad's present house in New Jersey.

      Too bad your ancestors left the Vineyard. I love it there. Interestingly, a cousin of mine from the Irish Brooklyn side does own waterfront property on the Vineyard. He's afraid it will be underwater property in another 20 years, if that's consolation.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:18:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  LOL..."waterfront property (6+ / 0-)

      on the Vineyard".Hi cousin! I imagine there are quite a few of us who missed out on that inheritance.

      Thomas Mahew is my12th GreatGrandfather - but my line  derives from his daughter marrying Thomas Tupper and those who went off to Nova Scotia for a couple of generations.

      My paternal GGrandmother played the part of a Brahaim but I just uncovered a long hidden fact -she was adopted! Her birth father was an infantryman in the Civil War.

      The mixture of Irish and English Bostonian in my immediate family resulted in certain tensions that I'm just starting to untangle

      •  Nova Scotia (6+ / 0-)

        Loyalist? Sorry to ask-just curious.

        Who was it that came back to the USA?

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:57:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Always assumed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zoskie, eztempo, Mnemosyne, Onomastic

          "Loyalists" and was ashamed. I did read they were unhappy with their church in Connecticut which prompted the move. I can't ignore the free land bonanza or that those Tuppers were deeply involved in overseeing who got what.
          I hope I can come to some understanding when I finally sit down and write it out. I really don't know if I like them.  I was more exposed to and love all my Irishness...

          My 2ndGreatGrandparents returned to Cambridge in the 1800's. I have a picture of her at the beach house in Hull where my Dad was born. I'd never seen it until this past year when a cousin shared it.

          •  There was a large group from Connecticut (4+ / 0-)

            that moved up to Nova Scotia after the British kicked the Acadians out (French and Indian War).

            The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

            by raboof on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:10:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mnemosyne, Onomastic

              That's the land that one of my ancestors surveyed and with other men, decided who would get which section.

              I haven't a link but the Smithsonian Library has books of this including maps .

              •  If they lived in Kings County NC (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Onomastic, Mnemosyne

                we're probably related.

                The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

                by raboof on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:44:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We might be... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Onomastic, Mnemosyne

                  Stewiake seemed to have been where most of our Tuppers in NS settled.

                •  That's where one family.... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mnemosyne, KenBee

                  ... of my ancestors went.  Even the one who wrote the definitive family history of the Carvers didn't seem to know that, but he didn't have a death date.

                  Thanks to a lucky Google search in '02 right after I got my first computer, I found the web site of a fellow who had put the Massachusetts Banishment Act of 1778 online.  My ancestor and second son were on it.  The first son (my ancestor) and third with the same name in direct succession, settled in Vinalhaven, ME [called Fox Islands then] where he married his first cousin (and Carver Harbor is named for my ancestor, but there was another cousin line of Carvers there, too).  The second son had gone to Nova Scotia, apparently, but he must have been forgiven and/or change to Revolutionary supporter because he was soon in Connecticut, married, and had a very large family.

                  Thanks to the same fellow who had the MA Banishment info online (his web site is no longer there, and he was 82 then, so may be dead now - his MA Banishment Act of 1778 is on Rootsweb, I noticed) I acquired a copy of his book of abstracts of wills, one of them being my ancestor, and his transcription of Sabine's first book where my Carvers are listed (not listed in later editions).  I got a copy of the will from the New Brunswick Archives (written by a Peregrine White, likely a descendant of the Peregrine White who was born aboard the Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor), dated 14 May 1798, and found names of more children (the web site owner & author of the abstracts of Loyalist wills) had transcribed one word wrong, and while it was too late to correct the print version, he corrected his CD version of my ancestor's will.  I also got copies of the old New Brunswick deeds [one from Parr Town, Sunbury County, the other from Belleisle Bay, Kings County] that run pages long and include a Who's Who of Loyalist names and famous American surnames that are names of counties, townships, landmarks, towns, all up and down the northeastern states.

                  Massachusetts Banishment Act of 1778 [Be sure to read the ending paragraph!]

                  Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.  Search engine is a bit wonky, definitely not the easiest or most flexible search engine I've ever used, but it's eventually workable.
                  Federated Database Search
                  Records of Old Revolutionary Soldiers and Their Widows

                  New Brunswick GenWeb page

                  Nova Scotia GenWeb

                  United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

                  May or may not apply..., but I found some more recent census info for other branches of my family via these pages.  They had come from Canada to the US in the 19th century, but had been in Canadian censuses before arriving here.

                  Library and Archives Canada

                  Index of databases for just above.

                  Happy Searching!

                  I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                  by NonnyO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:52:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  You talkin' 'bout (5+ / 0-)

        Gov. Thomas Mayhew, b. 1593 in England (I think they were from near Salisbury), d. 1682.

        His son Thomas born 1620 was lost at sea 1657.

        They seem to have married Bassetts and hung out in places like Plymouth, Sandwich and Barnstable on the Cape, as well as Edgartown and Chilmark.

        The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

        by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:24:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've got tons of people (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mnemosyne, brook, Zoskie, Onomastic

          in Plymouth, Sandwich and Barnstable.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:36:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's him... (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fenway49, Zoskie, Mnemosyne, Onomastic, mrkvica

          I read that he sold the Vineyard (and Elizabeth Island?) for 30 pounds and 2 beaver hats!

          His daughter Martha married Thomas Tupper. That Thomas was one of the founders of Sandwich. My greatgrandfather Tupper's name was Mayhew. MY father and brother both were given Tupper as their middle names.

          •  He got a bad deal (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zoskie, Mnemosyne

            Just sayin'

            Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

            by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:59:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  According to my (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marykk, brook, Onomastic, NonnyO

            mothers' notes (she did loads of this kind of research before it was popular, when it was all letters and going to various libraries). Gov. Tom was the grandson of an earlier Thomas, born 1509 in Tisbury, England, who was in turn the son of Robert of Dinton, born 14-something.

            History of Martha's Vineyard refers to them as "yeoman."

            Gov. Tom emigrated to Medford, Mass., in 1631. Tom's daughter Martha (b. 1642) married Thomas Tupper on 27 December 1661.

            My line descends through son Thomas (b. 1621), who seems to have been Gov. Tom's first-born.

            In reading through this, I am struck by how many of these folks were tough and hardy stock, which I suppose you'd have to be to survive an Atlantic voyage in those conditions. A good number of them lived into the 70s, 80s, even 90s, and so did a whole passel of their kids.

            So it seems that we are, indeed, cousins, although about a zillion times removed.

            The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

            by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:40:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Delighted to have a newly found cousin! (3+ / 0-)

              Even if  a gazillion times removed!

              I agree with you that we indeed come from hardy stock!

              •  and ya know what? (0+ / 0-)

                All those ancestors, the Mayflower types and some of the DAR types, were immigrants, a category so roundly reviled of late by certain politicians.

                :-)

                The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

                by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:33:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah, yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Mnemosyne

                  I have a big problem with the rabid anti-immigration crowd.

                  They seem to have no idea who their beloved "Founding Fathers"  were - much less their own immigrant origins.
                  Unfortunately, they also seem to have no interest in learning any history which would challenge their hysterics,

                  •  I was vastly amused (0+ / 0-)

                    by the anti-French ones, the extollers of "freedom fries." Many of them seemed to have surnames of French origin and come from states that were part of the Louisiana Purchase.

                    The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

                    by Mnemosyne on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:28:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I wonder how much (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Mnemosyne

                      self-hatred plays in some? So many, particularly in Louisiana have French (and more) lines way back.

                      I was married to a 1st generation Louisianan who harbored a good deal of prejudice - though it was the discrimination he experienced that drove him to amass his millions. He had many good qualities - but that one awful blind spot. I like to think his last illness brought some deeper understanding.

    •  We're cousins at least in a couple of branches (3+ / 0-)

      I've got 3 Mayflower passengers, the second Connecticut Governor and Noah Webster all in my pedigree. Not to mention Jonathan Edwards grandpa is my 9th g-grandpa.

      Howdy, cous!

      Many of these come through the Tinkham branch to my father's grandmother, who was a Tinkham who moved West.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:25:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which Mayflower (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murasaki, Judgment at Nuremberg

        folks? I've got four that I know of. Resolved White, George Soule, have to look up the others.

        A lifetime friend is a direct descendant of Miles Standish, which was a subject of some humor when we read Longfellow in high school.

        The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

        by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:49:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  1620 Mayflower, with passengers that signed (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Judgment at Nuremberg

          the Mayflower compact.

          My ancestors include: Peter Browne, Richard Warren, & Thomas Rogers. They are all 14th g-grandfathers.

          I may be descended from Miles Standish, too, through Thomas Standish (d. 1693, Wethersfield, CT). Connection seems likely, but is not proven.

          My Connecticut governor ancestor was John Webster (of the Colony of Connecticut, ca. 1656)

          Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

          by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:05:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thomas Rogers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO

            born 15-something, London, lived in Leyden, Holland, from 1618. Mayflower passenger, signer of the Compact.

            He and his son Joseph arrived on the Mayflower; Thomas died that first winter, as did many others. Joseph was raised by Gov. Bradford. The other children, including my GGG-whatever John, came over later.

            My mother's notes say that Thomas' wife was named Elsgen, and that she died after 1622 in Leyden, so apparently she decided not to travel. And from the name I'm wondering if she was Dutch.

            The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

            by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:46:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  My ancestor is also his son, John Rogers. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mnemosyne

              Born 1614, and came to America apparently later than his dad did. John was born in either England or Holland, and died about 1691. His mother I have listed as Elizabeth __, who probably married Thomas in England.

              Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

              by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:37:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  John Webster (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            murasaki

            b. 10 November 1653, Middletown, Connecticut. His father was Robert, and his grandfather was Gov. John.

            He married Sarah Mygatt in 1677, and they had seven children, of whom Abigail, my however-many GGmother, was the fourth.

            The Standish connection should be fairly easy to prove, given how well known the name. And Wethersfield at that time sounds about right.

            John Rogers is the one I cited under Thomas. Elsgen as his mother's name could be her last name. My mother's notes give her source as Mayflower records, and knowing her she probably went down to Plymouth to check 'em out.

            My notes say he was born 1614 in England, came to Plymouth in 1630, occupation weaver, married Anna Churchman 16 April 1639 in Plymouth. Died 1691 or '92 in Duxbury, dates are from his will. Church affiliation Puritan; no surprise there.

            If you can find a copy of Saints and Strangers, by George Willison, it has lots of intriguing detail about Mayflower and Speedwell passengers (describes Thomas Rogers as a "camlet merchant," whatever that was). Also read Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower. Subtitle: "A story of courage, community, and war."

            The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- Oscar Wilde

            by Mnemosyne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:08:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  also, the weather had a big effect in 1816. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Onomastic, KenBee
      The Summer of 1816 Around the World

      In New England, there was snow in early June. During the months of July, August and September, night time temperatures dipped and frost occurred on several occasions. July and August were dry so the crops started to suffer from drought. Frost in September caused additional crop failure. The lack of sunlight stunted plant growth and prevented the ripening of produce such as corn.

      It is interesting to note that the crop failure in New England caused farmers to move westward. This mass migration shifted the nation’s farming industry away from the eastern part of the nation.

  •  Excellent ... (13+ / 0-)

    The study of family history is often a study of conflict, and not just over who gets grandfather's stamp collection and who mother loved best. ;)

    As I look back at each generation, trying to fit people in the larger context of national and world events, as angry as I get over some things, I come to understandings in others. And coming to grips with understanding isn't condoning, it is understanding.

    (And Massachusetts prejudice against Irish Catholics goes way way back ... my ancesto William Durgy/Durkee was an Irish Catholic indentured servant in 1660s Ipswich -- after his servitude was up, he was denied the opportunity to own land since he refused to convert.)

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

    by klompendanser on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:46:55 AM PST

    •  It didn't take them long (5+ / 0-)

      As shown here. By the way, this Mass Moments series is well worth a peek for anyone interested in Massachusetts history in all its varied facets.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:12:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  great link, thanks! (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        figbash, Zoskie, brook, edwardssl, NonnyO

        Just what I need, another place to waste spend quality time

        "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

        by klompendanser on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:34:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, so the Mass Moment on Thursday was about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brook, edwardssl

        a Bigelow. I share ancestry with him, too, apparently.

        Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

        by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:31:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Cool site! (0+ / 0-)

        I saved the link on Mary Dyer.

        One of my (several) Quaker ancestors was a supporter of Anne Hutchinson and his family relocated to RI during all that kerfluffle involving her...., where he became the first president of RI: John Coggeshall, cloth/silk merchant, died in 1647 in his first term in office.  His daughter, Anne Coggeshall, married Peter Easton, son of Nicholas Easton, 4th president of RI, so both are in my direct ancestral lines via Peter and Anne's daughter Patience Easton who married my Dr. Thomas Rodman (second marriage for both), a Quaker from Barbados who had come to the US with his brother, Dr. John Rodman (John later went to Flushing, NY where he died).

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:17:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Quite a lot of info there. (8+ / 0-)

    It would be easy, looking at the cartoons especially, to feel a lot of resentment about the way your Irish ancestors were treated. Having read the end of your diary, I don't think you do feel it, though.

    I've got about 1/4 Irish ancestry but it wasn't the Catholic variety. So really I suppose you would have to think of them as Scots, from what little I know about the subject.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:49:48 AM PST

    •  I think I still feel it (5+ / 0-)

      but it's long enough ago it doesn't consume me.

      A favorite song, kind of an anthem in Dublin, is "Molly Malone," a sad song about a poor fishmonger girl who dies young of a fever. A friend observed it's sung today in almost a triumphal way because so much has been overcome and those days are largely past.

      For me the anti-Irish discrimination of yesterday is a bit like that. And having this other ancestry makes it easier to feel good about the accomplishments of that group.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:02:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fascinating diary, fenway! (8+ / 0-)

    I was just as surprised to find that I had plenty of Irish blood in my veins when I had believed that I was pure Scots, Welsh and English with a few Scots-Irish thrown into the mix. But, no, I found the Rileys were originally O'Reillys from County Cavan with long roots there and that the Caseys were most likely Irish as well.

    I think I was mislead by knowing of no Catholics in my family as far back as I can trace it -- except the Praters in England who were much put upon there. The earliest Prater in my line came to Virginia in 1622. I think the Catholic religion was lost very quickly after that. Quakers I've got. Methodists and Baptists, too, but no Catholics.

    Actually, my Praters and the Rileys lived in close proximity in Maryland in 1716 and then joined together in 1826 when William Dudley Prater married Nancy Caroline Casey, daughter of Wilson Casey and Barbara Riley. They were my GGGrandparents and had followed the same migratory trails for 110 years.

    Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

    by figbash on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:54:37 AM PST

    •  Well, welcome to Irish-land! (5+ / 0-)

      In Maryland, of all the colonies, you'd expect it to be OK to be Catholic.

      It's very interesting how these things are revealed when you do a little digging.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:27:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the welcome. (5+ / 0-)

        I've been reveling in my Irishness, actually. I did have occasion to ask a little Irish lass in my neighborhood pub if she knew anything about County Cavan. She did, indeed, and said rather shyly that folks there were known to be very tight with their money. Hah! Add that to the pure Scots on the other side of my tree and I was doomed, I tell you. Doomed!

        I expect that the first generation or two of Praters and Rileys did keep their Catholic faith but once they "removed" to North Carolina and then to Tennessee, I suspect that they more or less went with the flow....

        Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

        by figbash on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:41:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Never heard they were (5+ / 0-)

          tight-fisted in Cavan. As far as I know I can trace ancestry, on various lines, to 11 of the 32 counties in Ireland. Cavan's not among them but a great-great-grandfather came from Kiltyclogher in North Leitrim, not far from Cavan.

          I'd imagine in early NC and Tenn. you'd have to convert due to social pressure...and lack of a church.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:10:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, tipped and recced (13+ / 0-)

    One thing that I think is missing however in your otherwise nuanced history of the region--the ugliness of desegregation in Boston.  The sad reality was that much of the opposition in Boston was in the Irish Catholic (democratic) neighborhoods.  Another of the many sad cases where one minority was pitted against another.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:57:03 AM PST

    •  Yes (8+ / 0-)

      This went on in NYC and Philly, etc., too. I think Boston gets a bad rap since it went to court, etc. But it's true there was plenty of racism among the Irish in the neighborhoods (my grandfather's sister moved out of South Boston over this).

      Other things also were afoot, including an internecine Boston Irish struggle. People genuinely resented having their kids bussed to a hostile neighborhood while the lace curtain folks in the suburbs were not impacted. In fact the Supreme Court, in a case out of Detroit, had taken the suburbs off the table, but nobody got that and being lectured to by an Irish-American judge from Wellesley didn't play well. And the program was not implemented well.

      My view is that, because of being at the bottom of the chain for so long, in Ireland and here, people should know better. But I also think the intensity of anti-Irish feeling promoted that exclusionary attitude. It's not an accident Charlestown and Southie, the places most resistant to integration, are peninsulas where unwelcome immigrants sought refuge.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:25:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My wife is Chicago Irish Catholic (12+ / 0-)

        and well remembers the racist vitriol of her grandparents (and to a degree even her parents).  Its complicated, but I guess it ultimately came down to a simple thing...the anti-Irish bigots always compared the Irish to blacks.  Rather than say "what's so bad about being black", the Irish screamed "we aren't black." And thus solidarity was lost.  

        To be clear, this wasn't meant as judgement.  On my mothers side I come from a long line of southern bigots, some early slave-owners, but for the last 200 years mostly white trash, but almost all rabidly bigots.  My mothers relatives, not just her ancestors, are in the Klan...my mother fled the south, married a yankee and escaped that world.

        "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

        by Empty Vessel on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:33:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not taken as judgment (6+ / 0-)

          The desegregation is an important chapter in Boston history and a difficult one for me. There's plenty of history of Irish-Americans not having solidarity with African-Americans, but there's some history the other way too. And Daniel O'Connell, over in Ireland, was a strong supporter of Frederick Douglass.

          In my own Irish family there were not, with one or two exceptions, any hardcore racists to my knowledge. My parents in particular never would have stood for it, and I brought people from all over the world home over the years.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:49:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have a friend at a major university... (18+ / 0-)

    who performs DNA ancestry testing on students in his class who sign off on testing. He reports that the students who are consistently the most shocked over findings are African Americans and Latinos. Because those students come from groups that have historically experienced the most population intermixing, there is a fairly significant chance that their outward appearances may belie genetic inheritances. For example, per his data, while the average African American shows between 20-25% European contribution to their DNA the average European American shows a scant 0.7% contribution from African sources. This is due to strict selection criteria (e.g., brown paper bag test) that have restricted anyone of mixed 'Black' and "White" parentage, like Obama, from identifying as "White". (Scare quotes necessary. Geneticists rarely use these terms). Thus it is not that uncommon for a 'Black' American student to harbor DNA with more than 50% 'White' markers. The shock that ensues from the perceived challenge to one's  self-identification with a racial, ethnic, or (as in fenway49's case) religious group can be emotionally charged. Some students are quite distressed that their DNA does not match their group affiliation.

    •  Yes, some of this kind of surprise was clearly (8+ / 0-)

      seen in the excellent Louis Henry Gates, Jr. recently did for PBS - Finding Your Roots.

      Here is a blog post about haplogroups in tracing deep ancestry thru mitrochondrial DNA that mentions some of the people who submitted DNA samples for testing for Dr. Gates's series.

      Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it. --- Bob Dylan.

      by figbash on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:30:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I recall seeing Maggie Gyllenhaal (6+ / 0-)

      on the program, being shocked she descended from Cape Cod Puritans. Seems her dad's family was mostly Swedenborgian near Philly and he'd fled that to live a more bohemian life in NYC. Married her mother, who was Jewish, and she didn't relate to conservative establishment theocrats at all.

      I think on the same episode Robert Downey Jr. expressed surprise that he had no African or Native American ancestry, which frankly struck me as fraudulent. As if he expected to have that ancestry purely as a function of how progressive he happens to be, since all the "cool kids" are part something oppressed. But maybe that's not fair.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:54:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Genetic identity is a little misleading... (0+ / 0-)

      ... among the British Isles.  First, there were the Celts who go way back to at least the Neolithic, migrating every westward and northward out of (perhaps) Scythia, originally.  Eventually they became separate peoples.

      Wave after wave of invasions:  Romans, Germanic mercenaries (with Caesar after he conquered Gaul), African and other Mediterranean mercenaries (with the Roman armies); the Roman soldiers - if they lived long enough - could retire wherever they wanted to, including in conquered countries, with a plot of land given to them for their military service.  Rome occupied what is present-day England from ca 54 BCE to 410 ACE.

      Shortly after Rome, the Anglo-Saxons were first invited, then invaded on their own.  They were Angles, Saxons, and Jutes from Jutland, Denmark, Saxons from northern Germany, and about to the region of modern Holland.  The name England is a contraction of Angle-Land.  They were the early version of the Vikings (and, of course, some of the Vikings were from Denmark and Sweden (Geats) as well as Norway), and they brought the Danelaw with them.

      The Vikings were marauding after the Anglo-Saxons, and they went even further afield with their explorations.  They also founded many of the coastal cities of Ireland.  The longest Viking ship ever unearthed by archaeologists was found at Roskilde Harbor in Denmark.  Dendrochronological dating puts the wood to build it from Ireland.  The famous red hair of the Irish likely came from Viking invaders / settlers.  [My Norwegian gr-grandfather had red hair and red beard until he died in his early 80s.]

      I was on a genetic genealogy list for a while, and the "really big topic" being discussed was yDNA.  [Can't use single inherited surnames for Scandinavian DNA; pre-1900 Scandinavian records use the patronymic naming system which is still used in Iceland and the Faroe Islands today.  Only the first name was the legal name.  The patronym is the father's first name with sen or datter (in Norway and Denmark) as the suffix denoting the sex of the individual offspring (sson/dotter in Sweden).  The location name there was the residence, not a surname until they went to a single surname after 1900 (by law, 1923 in Norway).]

      DNA studies in Iceland have revealed that the primary yDNA contributions are from Vikings..., and the primary mtDNA contributions are from Ireland.  DNA studies in the Faroe Islands indicate the primary yDNA is from Vikings..., and the primary mtDNA contributions were from the northern islands of Scotland and Scotland.

      Blood of the Vikings - Heritage  BBC Learning
      This series deals with yDNA and also delves into history, archaeology, language, etc.
      Blood Of The Vikings - 1 - First Blood  [48:07]

      Blood Of The Vikings - 2 - Invasion  [48:29]

      Blood Of The Vikings - 3 - The Sea Road  [48:45]

      Blood Of The Vikings - 4 - Rulers  [47:57]

      Blood Of The Vikings - 5 - Last Of The Vikings  [49:23]

      A little after 47 minutes into Blood of the Vikings,  Ivar the Boneless is mentioned, along with the nine-foot tall skeleton..., and he's mentioned in this film:
      The Strangest Viking - Documentary (Ivar the Boneless) [46+ minutes]
      [If you can't stand snakes, be forewarned there are two scenes with snakes in them.  Ick.]
      Ivar the Boneless

      Barbarians - The Vikings

      Lost Worlds - The Vikings [43:18]  Includes info on Buddha found in Sweden; notes rivets made of bog iron.
      Leif Ericson - Leif is pronounced to rhyme with safe.  His name is often mispronounced in this video.

      Vikings

      Ancient Warriors - Vikings

      Secrets of the Dead: The Lost Vikings

      Vikings: Journey to New Worlds ['Scuse the stupid ads, please, it's Hulu, otherwise it's a good - if brief - overview of the extent of Viking exploration and trade from the Byzantine Empire to the overwintering buildings in Newfoundland and all places in between.]

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:17:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It could be worse. You could be German/Irish, (13+ / 0-)

    like me.   The worst part?

    You drink, and then you hate yourself for being weak!

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:35:15 PM PST

    •  But they both drink! (6+ / 0-)

      I was at Oktoberfest and nobody can tell me differently!

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:42:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but what kind of booze? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brook, Ice Blue, edwardssl

      I'm both, mostly German, so do I go for the wine or the beer or the whiskey? Inquiring Krauts want to know...

      And yes, mixing my drinks has never helped me in any form whatsoever over the last 30+ years, so I tend to stick with one or the other of wine or beer (ales, actually) when I do drink.

      Now for the real choice: lederhosen or a utilikilt?

      •  I'm (still) Irish (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edwardssl, itzadryheat

        and mostly go for beer and wine. Not much on whiskey. I have a sentimental spot for Guinness but my favorite is IPAs.

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:13:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  In IPA's we trust! (0+ / 0-)

          My favorite ale type. A yardstick too, by which one can measure the worth of a brewery. If they mess up an IPA, they're not worth spit.

          A modest proposal: we should start calling IPA's "American Pale Ales," since they have absolutely nothing to do with India anymore, and a lot of breweries have their own recipes now, making them very unique.

  •  My ancestors oppressed each other (12+ / 0-)

    Love the juxtapositions.

    I knew from the start that my mom's family (Clifford / Heney / Sweeney/ etc.) was from Killeshandra, part of Ulster that was not allowed into Northern Ireland because it was too Catholic. My dad's family came to the US from Londonderry and were Scotch-Irish, which is to say, not Irish at all. At one point, my dad's (Barnett and Scott) family in Londonderry would have helped put down the Irish and King James, crushing the Catholics for centuries.

    But then they came to the colonies and found that the Pilgrims and their descendants didn't want trash like them around. So their Presbyterian churches were burned down.

    Later I found that I am also descended from those Mayflower people who oppressed the Scotch-Irish. If you are related to one Pilgrim, you are related to them all. There just weren't that many of them, so they married each other for 200 years or so. That's how Bush / Cheney / Obama / Grant / Lincoln / myself are all related. Of course, most of the oppressed Pilgrims were in some way related to the royal families that were oppressing them. There are whole books about the royal roots of Pilgrim families.

    Then we have a French Canadian line. They would have been on the other side of the French and Indian War and the War of 1812.

    And that doesn't begin to mention the Germans. Have a nice photo of a cousin in the WWI uniform. He survived fighting against the rest of my family. Even though parts of my family have been here since 1620, I still have several 3rd cousins in Bavaria. My dog may be a purebred, but I am sure I'm not.

    •  That's great (6+ / 0-)

      Good thing you couldn't bring all of them back for a reunion. They'd kill each other dead again!

      The Puritans were all about theocracy. Having been founded in opposition to the Church of England, Boston didn't even get its first Anglican/Episcopalian church (King's Chapel) for about 60 years. Scotch Presbyterians? Fuhgeddaboutit! I imagine that's why so many of them wound up in the Appalachians instead.

      But it's true many early Pilgrims came from families that were royal or prosperous and they followed their own consciences rather than a sense of heritage.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:16:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Early Colonial motivations (in a nutshell) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO

        To MA for their theocracy. (then to CT, RI, and northern NJ is they ran afoul of that)...
        To Dover area of VT just to farm and fish!  (and some fled away when MA took over admin with their theocracy later in the 17th century)
        To PA, DE, and southern NJ for Quakerism (or real religious freedom and tolerance... early Germans on their heels in PA)
        NY - Dutch and a mix like Scotch, some New Englanders filtered down (some Dutch went on into Northern Jersey)
        To VA???   People who wanted to strike it rich.  And a few indentured servants who were not so needed because slaves were easier to deal with!
        ----
        By going through family histories you also find that the earliest people were NOT beggars from the streets of London. They were also not titled noblemen as you'd stay home if you had it made.
        Many were EDUCATED well - That's how they picked up some of these religious "heresies" of the time (Puritans, Quakerism) - They were thinking people, often educated.  They could afford the expensive trip - a truly poor person could not.  Many were partially descended from 2nd or 3rd sons of noble families and were "downwardly mobile" for a few generations prior to the great move.
         

        •  Within the colonies the movement of people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO

          eventually went west...  But within NE, parts of the Mid-Atlantic States, there was some movement of families between states.
          But what is interesting is the rarity of mass movement between the north and the traditional "south" even though you'd think it would be fairly easy along the coast.  It just seemed to happen less than within New England and the Mid-Atlantic.  Moving to and from Canada seemed more common than moves across the North and South... Odd...
           

  •  I too (9+ / 0-)

    have always identified with my mother's Irish Catholic heritage, even though I knew my father's side were not Catholic. I knew little about my dad's side other than that.

    As I'm investigating his lineage, I'm discovering connections to a large clan which has been in the states since at least colonial times. Although I haven't found my particular branch of this family yet (the family name is as common as Smith, if not more so), I am finding that many of this family were slave owners in the 18th century. I am definitely finding that hard to assimilate!

    •  You didn't do it (6+ / 0-)

      Whatever people you'd never heard of did a couple of hundred years ago is not on you, if you're in the right place now.

      It's possible some of my colonial ancestors owned slaves in the 17th and 18th century but so far I've not found any evidence of it. I think they were mostly too broke. Some things don't change!

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:34:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, I know that (5+ / 0-)

        but aside from the Irish Catholics I'd always assumed my ancestors were probably Yankees; it's just a bit disconcerting to find they're probably not.

        •  See, this is what I need to remember (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marykk, edwardssl

          There are people who consider "Yankee" better than some alternatives.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:27:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You didn't do it? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm puzzled here by the strong and weak identification with our geneology.  It has value and it can be false coin.  What really came through to me was your identification with Massachussets.  Seems to me that our over-identification with "States" isn't all together a good thing, but there is great power in a sense of local community.  

        •  I don't see an inconsistency (0+ / 0-)

          I don't believe I'm responsible for every position taken by an ancestor. I'm certainly free to reject things they did I don't agree with. As it happens I grew up in a particular tradition, five generations or whatever of Democrats, and of the two I side with that party on policy today, based on my own values. It works.

          Here where I live there's another tradition that many are proud of, but I felt ambivalent about because they would have scorned people with a name like mine.

          I do identify with Massachusetts. I love it. I don't see an identfication with states as inherently bad, though an identification with anything can have negative ramifications if you're not careful. For many purposes the state is the operative political community in our system. There are issues I think should be handled federally, others locally. And most people are more involved in their local community, but I've still collaborated with people all around this state on issues of statewide resonance.

          Anyway, thanks for the chance to discuss these kinds of things.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:38:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I found out that some Huguenot ancestors from (5+ / 0-)

      New York were also slave owners, which was disturbing. Then it turns out one of them also is an ancestor for W.E.B. DuBois. who I consider pretty important in black political history. Thus he is a cousin of mine, a bunch of generations removed.

      THe Huguenots of whom I speak started the community of New Paltz New York and I am descended from two of the patentees.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:49:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting about the French (0+ / 0-)

        or the Huguenots is that often settled (and mixed very quickly with) the Dutch already here...   (and some German, in NJ)...
        To English colonials, Germans, Dutch and French Protestants (Huguenots) were just all lumped together as just "Dutch" (some German Mennonites in PA to this day are called "Pennsylvania Dutch" as an extreme example).  
        Anyway, they were all "foreigners" of a sort and may have sought each other for tolerance or attended churches together.  

  •  My otherwise Irish-Catholic-descended (8+ / 0-)

    ex-husband had some Passamaquoddy blood as well; he was 1/16th. Strangely, nobody could recall (or wanted to share with me) what had transpired back in the day.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:23:10 PM PST

  •  This is a truly excellent summation... (5+ / 0-)

    ... of the intermingling of personal and political history.

    You managed to capture the challenges and tensions in my own family, and it was a pleasure to read such good scholarship.

    I always try to understand past political and personal behavior through the context of the times.  

    I disagree with the stance of many of my ancestors, but in committing themselves to the great American experiment, the result of the balance of their actions has been an erratic but steady progression towards fairness and justice for more people sharing a country than ever before in global history.

    Like you, I am proud to call people from all these ethnicities my immediate family:  German and Jewish; Irish Catholic and English Protestant; Australian, African and Hispanic.  That we, and many other families like ours, can love, respect and support each other bodes well for the future of our country.

    ‘‘For Barack, success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the differences you make in people’s lives.’’ ~ Michelle Obama, DNC, 4 Sep 2012

    by harchickgirl1 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:41:38 PM PST

    •  Thanks! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, edwardssl, harchickgirl1, ER Doc

      I agree completely. It once was unthinkable for a WASP to marry Irish, or Irish to marry Italian, or any of them to marry Jewish or black. We've been breaking down those barriers for years and we've never been so far along as now.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:10:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the 90% Dutch immigrant community I came from, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mayfly

        (second-generation on my mom's side, third generation on my dad's,) a "mixed marriage" was between a member of my Reformed Church denomination and a member of the even more conservative Christian Reformed Church. Although it wasn't always easy to meet those CRC kids, since they tended to go to their own church schools, while we went to public schools...

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 02:07:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's surprising how ID'd we get w/ ancestral "type (5+ / 0-)

    My own initial research into family history caused actual distress over the less-than-enlightened reputation of my multi-branched Scotch-Irish (Hillbilly-Redneck) heritage.  Enough so that I spent a couple of years reading & compiling references galore to trace an alternate history of the S-I's wonderful intellectual and socially progressive contributions to American history.  I did this partly because I quickly realized that the Southern migration route of the Scotch-Irish told only 1/2 of the story of dispersion of the ethnic group -- which was less than half of my S-I heritage -- but mostly because I felt a personal stake in rehabilitating the "Born Fighting" caricature of, well, "my people" that seemed so prevalent.  After all, that storied history of the ethnic group resulted in me!, and that can't just be a fluke... .

    I've relaxed my grip on my ethnic heritage the past few years, just as I've deepened my understanding of the fact that, as fenway49 says above, "people live in the present and must follow their own consciences."

    And they do.

    Otherwise my own uncle wouldn't have politics & religion so very different than my own, would he?

    •  Heck, I've jumped the boat on my immediate family (6+ / 0-)

      since my parents and sibs are all born-again evangelicals in the Billy Graham mold.

      Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

      by murasaki on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:53:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow (3+ / 0-)

        Must be interesting. We don't have any of those. My dad's sister and her husband have become kind of right-wing Republican but they're the black sheep for it. Their own kids don't support it.

        My wife's parents in P.R. belong to an evangelical church but they're pretty much on the left on most issues and don't expect everyone to live by their faith.

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:07:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I grew up watching Billy Graham revivals (0+ / 0-)

        ...but that was back when Southern Baptists still eschewed politics and my parent's denomination was just shedding its "Northern Baptist" Civil War legacy in favor of a name change to "American Baptist Convention."  Those were the days when you could be spiritually moved by Billy Graham and still vote a Democratic straight ticket.

        Times change quicker than people do, I believe.

    •  Jim Webb (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, eztempo, marykk

      I read that book, hoping to learn something.  It was somewhat informative, but then too had these monster holes left out of the story.  You're gonna discuss Nathan Bedford Forrest without mention of the KKK?  Really?!?

      It left me less than satisfied.  And probably reinforced some of the attitudes about hillbillies.  Though, of course, you need to separate the blood from the culture.  Driving west from Nashville to New Mexico, as I do at least a couple times a year, it's hard to be very positive about that culture.  All those people with their lake cabins and pontoon boats and water skiing, confederate flags and cursing for the government to be out of their lives.  While they're hanging on lakes the government created when it built all those dams - especially as government stimulus during the WPA/TVA New Deal era.

      "The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!", but "That's funny..." (Isaac Asimov)

      by Land of Enchantment on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:30:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A very nice Part II, Fenway! (5+ / 0-)

    Great discussion here on the biases between the groups. My Irish-American grandfather married my German-American grandfather mostly because he was A) tall and good looking, B) Catholic, and C) from a reasonably well-off merchant family. And yes, she was a gorgeous young woman who caught many a young man's eye.

    In far northwestern Washington state in the 1920's, the Catholics of all countries tended to stick together, as they simply weren't that many people, regardless of ethnic heritage. Besides, my grandmother was definitely marrying 'up,' and wanted to leave her somewhat dysfunctional family. My great grandfather, for all the heritage I got from him, wasn't all that lovable a man: he liked his whiskey, and he liked to beat people after drinking that whiskey. Needless to say, those most at hand were family.

    Soooo, a nice, polite, well-mannered young man from a well-behaved German-American family was a very nice change for my grandmother.

    •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, edwardssl

      I think all immigrants have to understand their kids will be exposed to different kinds of people in a new country, especially this one, and they will associate with them and assimilate to some degree. I know some people whose immigrant parents are having trouble with this right now, but it just happens.

      This year I learned about some relatives (four siblings of my ancestor) who, just after 1900, moved to Long Island from Brooklyn. It was pretty rural then and they all married Protestants and raised their kids as Protestants. All the siblings who stayed in the city stayed Catholic.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:05:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wonderful Diary (5+ / 0-)

    It's speaks to the heart of what it means to be an American and a citizen of the US. Hitler once denounced the US as a "Mongrel nation". That's an epithet that I wear with pride, with all it's painful contradictions. The lesson that was taught to Hitler and his henchmen in their day, that must be taught in the present and the future to all such apostles of the "puritanism" of hatred and division is "Don't piss off the mongrels."

    We are a nation of mutts, irrespective of all attempts to impose a stifling, bigoted identity upon us. Mutts yesterday, today and tomorrow.  

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:00:01 PM PST

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WB Reeves, edwardssl

      As for Hitler, the "Mongrel nation" showed him! But I agree our amazing diversity is what makes this nation different and special.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:45:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  About 1700 my rich Huguenot merchant ancestors in (8+ / 0-)

    New York City signed a petition circulated by the Dutch complaining to the king of England (who was also Dutch) about the riffraff coming over from England.

    WASPs- the original lower-class immigrant scum.

    •  Gotta love it (5+ / 0-)

      I know it took some of those English families a long time to intermarry with the Dutch in New York. The Hudson Valley maintained its Dutch and Huguenot aristocracy into the 20th century.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:51:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mine moved to New Jersey and then out west. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edwardssl, Judgment at Nuremberg

        Any old money or aristocracy disappeared from my family long ago, I am afraid.

        There is an old family story that one merchant ancestor was imprisoned for smuggling. It is likely that he was a smuggler; whether or not he was imprisoned is another question.

        Another is buried in Trinity Church yard at the end of Wall Street, about a block from ground zero. That was the high point of our fortunes, a little over 300 years ago.

  •  Father's side Catholic, Mother Protestant. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, Ice Blue, edwardssl

    Father's Luxemburger-Belgian-Norfolk-Irish-Australian Catholics...
    and Mother's Dutch English German Protestants of several varieties not clear on all but at some point Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian and Church of England too.

    The intermarriage was not a big deal for my parents or theirs no arguments over how my brothers and I would be raised... My Dad got as far as Holy communion as a child... at his grandmother's urging but did not have much use for it much after that. So he had no preferences about denomination and families moved around and relocated so much that there was no set of multi-generational tradition or family influence and identity... and we just saw ourselves as so mixed as to not be from or of any particular area or tradition.

    Mother's side of the family was a bit more observant but there was continued migration more recently through different shades of Protestant including Episcopalian  and Christian Scientist...

    And after years of growing up around the world and relocating a few times in adulthood with never a specific place that I really felt I was "from" I have always wondered what that would feel like. To have a place that is my "roots" where if I went people would know who I was, who I was linked to... a place that I would either be proud to be from or glad that I had escaped... I had neither. My wife's family in the Netherlands was large and she and her brothers LOOK like them and even though she and her siblings all grew up in the US and knew little Dutch they were always recognized when they went back on visits... there was a place they were from... their "people" were there... quite different.

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

    by IreGyre on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:27:35 PM PST

    •  It's interesting (5+ / 0-)

      Kind of liberating to have nothing specifically tying you down to an "identity."

      My Uncle by marriage told me an interesting story once. His father was half English, half German. In the 1960s my aunt and uncle lived in Germany and this father came for a visit. They tracked down the ancestral village and asked an old lady walking along the road for directions. She ran forward and threw her arms around my uncle's dad. "Cousin!" His grandfather had left there over 100 years earlier but this lady said he looked just like all the members of that family who were still there.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:59:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is kind of my fantasy... go to Luxemburg (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, edwardssl, fenway49

        find the village/area my family name is from and see if something like what you mention would happen... the emigration from there was in the 1850s so it has been a while but not too many generations...

        or any of the other places I have traced as an ancestor's origin...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:45:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You would be 5th to 12th cousins (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IreGyre

          with MOST of the people in the area.

          But you would be too far gone as a mutt otherwise! haha!!!

          This is an interesting site:
          http://humphrysfamilytree.com/...

          He self identified with his Irish revolutionary family but then he found all sorts of English blood (of the shock!)

          Turns out all Europeans are related to each other within a thousand years or at most 2, just by the action of math and  the very slight drift of people (esp warriors and noblemen lol)

          The Queen of England, as well as much of the English middle class, is a DIRECT descendant of the Prophet Mohammad (according to Burke's Peerage for the royal family).

                 

          •  Well if there is a direct line to anyone = Mormon (0+ / 0-)

            already... and if so, you know that the referenced prophet has almost certainly been "converted" posthumously long since... In my own searches I found some LDS VERY distant relatives were great resource to get further along in my Norfolk England line research... but with mixed feelings because I was pretty sure this fellow believed that these mutual ancestors were now all retroactive Mormons in heaven and further that if this guy had anything to do with "sponsoring" or whatever the nomenclature is for helping that sort of thing along he got a better spot on the afterlife pyramid scheme with more grateful descendants (and ancestors? not sure about all that...) beholden to him lower down on the ever escalating structure...

            And finally that this fellow nice enough as he was would also believe that I in turn would be "rescued" posthumously...along with my entire family ancestors and descendants in turn...

            And as for the prophet fellow... I am quite sure that confirmation of his joyous conversion post death will never be confirmed or at least denied only until that would not lead to riots and jihads... which means of course not for a very, very long time... but even so, just a rumor of it could spin out of control very quickly... and I am pretty sure that some people in the Muslim world already figured that it has already been done but they are not using it for political purposes... After all, if there is any family tree link anywhere LDS has probably already checked it out or will soon and sooner or later the ceremonies that they "no longer" do will be done for as many of the unconverted as they can...

            So will this central feature of the faith be abandoned to avoid potential "problems"? Some adjustments in procedures or at least PR about it seem to have been put in place and since a huge amount of work has been put into assembling and maintaining their records and they are not going to ditch all their investments in genealogy archive bunkers etc. just for some damage control PR. It makes sense that it is continuing but even more under the radar for now

            Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

            by IreGyre on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:17:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Everything is illuminated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fenway49, IreGyre

          Imagine being American Indian and returning to your ancestors' birthplaces and finding them shopping malls or movie theaters.  

      •  Similar thing happened to my aunt. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fenway49

        She went to Holland (she was living in England at the time) and had found a distant relative she planned to meet up with in Rotterdam, where her father, my grandpa, had been born.  She said when she arrived at the meeting place, there were several men sitting on the porch, waiting for her, and she said it was like looking at her brothers.  These must have been 4th or 5th cousins, but there was still a definite family resemblance.

  •  National Geographic Geno 2.0 Project (5+ / 0-)

    If anyone is interested in tying some genotyping with your family tree I recommend looking into the Nat Geo Geno 2.0 project.   The kit has thousands of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms to help track your ancestors' movements.  The granularity isn't there to tell what happened in the last couple hundred years, but tracks over thousands of years.  It also checks for the percentage of your genome associated with Neandertal and Denisovan origins.  Most non-Africans are 0.5-2% Neandertal.  The new test now covers both Y chromosome (paternal line) and the mitochondria (maternal line), so it is better if a male or a male relative submits the material.  They have other testing for just Y chromosome or mitochondria.  I did the Y chromosome several years ago out to 25 markers (loci).  I have found identical matches with the same surname using genealogy websites that compare such markers.  Pretty cool.  

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:37:28 PM PST

    •  Of course the Y-DNA alone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mote Dai

      tells you about ONE line out of billions just a few thousand years ago (doing the math).

      So it's a clue, if ones knows little else, but we are all mixed like crazy at least within the European continent.  

      Other continents are interesting for other reasons. Africa, of course, had the great Sahara barrier, but that barrier was certainly sometimes crossed... And East Africa is interesting as well.  Africa seems far more diverse DNA wise and this ONE reason (among many) that most believe Africa was the cradle of human ancestry. I've heard that the DNA difference between individuals of 2 random tribes in Africa may be FAR greater than than a typical European and someone from China.  

      •  Actually, the Y was granular to about 300 years (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judgment at Nuremberg

        It picked up the region of Northern Ireland for a paternal ancestor...this is because such a high percentage of men in that area share the exact same markers.  That is because there was quite the prolific baby maker that reigned for many years (Niall of the Nine Hostages).  It is one the stronger signals in these sorts of tests...another strong signal is the offspring of Genghis Khan.  He was also quite the baby making machine.   I lucked out and had a well conserved pattern shared by many men in one specific location but others might not have such clear results.

        Yes, the diversity within Africa is greater than the diversity outside of Africa and that has led to the hypothesis that only small groups moved into Europe to establish other human populations.  This is still impressive considering that some of the African diversity was even decreased after the Bantu expansion out of Western Africa into the east and south.  There is now a huge effort to sequence as much of the genomic diversity in Africa as possible.  There are small pockets of populations that have amazing phenotypes (such as drastically decreased water consumption requirements) that should be cataloged before they are gone.

        "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

        by Mote Dai on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:05:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is this worth doing, do you think? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't really care if I am descended from Neanderthals, but I am interested in finding out if I'm really 99% Northern European, which is what my research indicates so far.  

      And this may seem like an obvious question, but if I want more complete results than I can get with my own DNA (female) then if I got my brother to do it, his results would be mine too, right?  As we have both parents the same?

      As anybody who has done genealogy for very long knows, you are going to find surprising things somewhere on the road.  I am a little anxious about what the DNA test might show, since I know perfectly well that some of my relatives happily lied about certain inconvenient facts!  My own grandma is probably cursing me from the grave, because I dug up a very big secret she had kept for over 60 years.  I actually feel kind of guilty about it; but it also makes me wonder what else I don't know yet!

  •  DNA surprise on Irish ancestry (5+ / 0-)

    A fun diary to read.  Thanks for all the work you put into it.

    After a lot of work persuading a lot of people on three continents to have their Y-DNA (the DNA men inherit from their fathers) tested, a large group of people (I confess that the Catholics in our family have reproduced like gerbils and taken far more of the planet's resources than is fair) now know that the Irish ancestors of our father's line didn't get to Ireland until the 1600s.  They were Protestants from the English midlands who received land grants when the British  under Cromwell dispossessed Catholics and settled Protestant English in Ireland to end the ceaseless Irish rebellions. (Ultimately, of course, that didn't work.)  These folks came from a small area of the midlands where their Anglo-Saxon ancestors retreated after the Norman invasion of England in 1066.  (I think of them as Robin Hood and Maid Marian.)  And they took land grants in a very small, isolated area of Ireland.  

    Over some four hundred years, some of them converted to Catholicism.  And over time, people confused and forgot their family relationships.  People emigrated to Canada, Australia and the U.S.  Now we all know that we are cousins (distant, but nonetheless) and it has been fun emailing back and forth between Ireland and the other continents, and some of us hope to visit each other.  

    Both of my parents and their families brought us up with a strong dislike of the British, at whose hands their great-grandparents had truly suffered, especially during the Potato Famine.  No one sat us down and told us the British were evil, but we definitely got the idea that anything associated with the British was bad.

    But that was then and this is now and I don't take either credit or responsibility for what my ancestors did and I don't carry their grudges.  But finding this out did come as a blow to some of my siblings, whose Irish roots mean a lot to them - and they still have Irish roots through other lines.  And the ancestors in this line have been in Ireland for centuries, so I think that's Irish enough.  

    I have no help to send. Therefore I must go myself. Aragorn

    by Old Gardener on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:40:07 PM PST

    •  To some extent (0+ / 0-)

      I think I carry my ancestors' grudges, but not to the point of obsession.

      I'd say a few centuries in Ireland is more than enough. I had Catholic ancestors who came from there with originally English names. I don't know if they were English at one point and converted to Catholicism or Celts who Anglicized the name.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:49:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary (4+ / 0-)

    Finally a diary that describes the American experience in reality. The real tragedy is how so many of the descendants your Irish ancestors and my Italian ones, after their parents and grandparents fought so long and hard for our rights as Americans have, as O'Reilly and Cucchinelli show, now that they have succeeded become so happy to deny it to others.

    •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

      My dad's cousin moved far west and his daughters grew up there. The oldest is married to an Italian guy from NY and she's constantly amazed about how much stronger ethnic identifications and community ties can be in the urban northeast compared to where she grew up. Strong identification aside, my view always is "don't pull up the ladder."

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, fenway49

    I am from Massachusetts and have Irish and Italian on Mom's side and English and a couple others on Dad's side. This diary really hit home for me and some of my memories from childhood.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 06:11:35 PM PST

    •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

      Do you live somewhere else now?

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:52:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        I am in Florida now and moved away from New England when I was in High School. I lived in St. Louis for 20 years before coming here. I still feel like a New Englander, though. We never seem to lose that.

        ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

        by Kristina40 on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 05:32:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49

    Tipped and rec’d. Thanks for writing it.

    There was a lot of racism and anti-immigrant feeling in the 1920s. The 1924 Immigration Law specified that immigration quotas would be based on the 1890 census, mainly because they had to go that far back to find a time when there were a lot of people coming here from Northern Europe (the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany, and so on) and not as many from Southern and Eastern Europe (Italy, Greece, Slavic countries, etc.) –people who were “swarthy” and who tended to be more Catholic or Jewish. And Africans and Asians were just not allowed to immigrate.

    About the same time, eugenics was gaining ground. That’s the idea that we should encourage procreation by good, hard-working people and discourage “undesirables” from having kids. We still have people like Pat Buchanan spouting that nonsense. And in the 1910s, IQ tests first were used on a mass scale to classify draftees in World War I, IQ tests which supposedly proved that richer, whiter, more Protestant people were smarter than the other types.

    I love reading about that era. I could go on and on about it.

    “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

    by Dbug on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:54:13 PM PST

    •  By 1924 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dbug

      the Irish seemed not so bad. Just not quite Presidential material. In that year the Dem convention deadlocked over Catholic Smith and WASP McAdoo. Finally the Irish-dominated northern wing had enough clout to tackle the Klan head-on, and they had a very close vote on an anti-Klan platform plank.

      I recall reading a defense of William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial along these lines: Christians who truly believed in the dignity of the individual were appalled by eugenics and associated it with Darwin's theory of evolution. I'm not sure the people who opposed evolution were always the same ones who opposed eugenics, but it's interesting to think about.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:10:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have several thoughts about that… (4+ / 0-)

        1. You’re exactly right. The Irish wave of immigration was around 1850. By 1924, after two or three generations of assimilation, the Irish were considered just another ethnic group (and they were a political force in places like Boston). But the 1910 Italians and the Greeks and Slavs! Oh no! We have to keep them out. They’re impoverished, they have alien customs and different religions, we’re going to be overrun. Some of them are criminals. And have you seen the food they eat? We need to pass a law to keep them out. They’ll ruin our way of life. This happened over and over again.

        2. There’s an essay written by Ben Franklin back in the 18th century where he worries about the influx of Germans (I wonder if he was thinking about the Pennsylvania Dutch and other similar groups). And speaking of Germans….

        3. In Minnesota, there are a lot of ethnic groups, English (in the southeast), Eastern Europeans and Finns (in the northeast), Scandinavians (in a lot of places), and Germans. In my (Norwegian-American) family there was sort of a prejudice against Germans. That includes both German Catholics and German Lutherans (plus you have to remember that the Germans lost two world wars). Germans were conservative. My family’s ancestors were all Norwegian Lutherans (and mostly liberal). When I was a kid, the Lutherans belonged to one of three groups: ALC was Norwegian, LCA was Swedish, and Missouri Synod was German. If you belonged to one church, you wouldn’t go to one of the other churches.

        Take a look at this map, which shows the most German counties in MN:

        Now look at this map, which shows the most Republican counties in the 2004 election:

        The Germans settled in the middle of Minnesota (around the city of St. Cloud), which is the most Republican area. By the way, this is where Michele Bachmann’s district is.

        4. Another thing, sometimes when you look back at history, progressives had good ideas and bad ideas. For example, the Suffrage movement wanted women to vote (good idea) but they also wanted to outlaw alcohol (not such a good idea). And there were eugenicists who advocated birth control and family planning (good idea), but their goal was to prevent African-Americans, Catholics, felons, mentally-challenged people, deaf people,and immigrants from having children (maybe not so good).

        If you managed to read this whole rant, thanks.

        And if you feel like reading more, here’s something I wrote on Daily about a few of My Norwegian Ancestors.

        Take care.

        “If you misspell some words, it’s not plagiarism.” – Some Writer

        by Dbug on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:34:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read with pleasure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dbug

          The Minnesota German stuff is very interesting.

          I have often thought, reading history from the 1924 period, that there's hardly anyone I agree with 100%. Woodrow Wilson, OK on economics, terrible on race and civil liberties. William Jennings Bryan, better on economics but not to my taste on religion, prohibition or evolution. Teddy Roosevelt, progressive on many things, but a militaristic imperialist who strongly opposed immigrant groups maintaining any identity from their homeland. Easy for you to say! And of course the Progressive reformers, who supported Suffrage as you say but also Prohibition.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:24:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Well, genetic determinism is still suspect... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, mrkvica

    ...I think.

    I actually don't care too much for several ancestors of mine, and if I were a genetic determinist I might kill myself.

    The history of the Democratic party - at least the history of all parties spelled D-E-M-O-C-R-A-T-I-C - is not necessarily pretty, as anyone who watches the wonderful movie Lincoln will immediately recognize.

    Up until the 1960's and Lyndon Johnson, the Democratic party was segregationist, and the Southern block voted Democratic consistently, until as you note, Richard Nixon broke into it by adapting racist rhetoric that was increasingly losing ground in the Democratic Party:   Thank you Eleanor Roosevelt.

    I note that Joseph P. Kennedy, JFK's and RFK's and Ted Kennedy's father was a virulent anti-semite - as well as the political mentor of his sons, in particular JFK.

    Mrs. Roosevelt was not a big fan of JFK, and I will admit, I think that he is probably the most over rated President of the 20th century.   With all his flaws, and despite the tragedy by which he came to office, Lyndon Johnson was, in my view, a much better President, although he is often maligned for his huge failings.

    I wrote at length about this period in the history of Democratic Party, Mrs. Roosevelt - who I consider to be the greatest Democrat ever - and Joe Kennedy in a long diary some years back:  The Nuclear Shill Apologizes.  

    (It's not necessarily a diary I would write today, because, like parties, people can change their minds about some things.)

    The fact is that you have a responsibility to be the ancestor your descendants will be proud of.

    Our party today is decidedly not George McClellan's party - which used overtly racist rhetoric in the 1864 Democratic Presidential campaign that would outrage almost anyone who reads it now:   I always squirm when reading histories of the Civil War for the frequent use of the N-word in them, use that is necessary, I admit, to understanding the times.

    This is the party that elected the first American of African descent to the White House, the party that declared at the end of the day that some of the oldest Americans are  just that, Americans.

    I would have definitely have been a Republican in the 19th century and I note that one of the people of that era who spoke loudly against the "No nothing" wing of the party was Abraham Lincoln:

    When the Know-Nothings get control, it [the Declaration of Independence] will read: "All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

    -- Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua F Speed, August 24, 1855, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

    Lincoln also said many things in his time that we would find outrageous today, but the great thing about being American is to realize that if nothing else, our country has been willing to embrace change.

    Nice diary though.   I love well thought out attention to history.

    •  A lot of interesting points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NNadir

      I don't know how JFK would have turned out if he had a full 8 years. He was starting to move on civil rights and did a good job in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I'm not convinced he would have gotten as deep in Vietnam as Johnson ultimately did. Johnson accomplished more good as President, but partially because of the national mood after President Kennedy was killed and the huge victory in the 1964 election. Kennedy might have beaten Goldwater by as much.

      To my grandfathers JFK was most important as a symbol. They'd lived through the Smith election in 1928 and felt anti-Catholic discrimination in their own lives. JFK's election was to them as many African-Americans will view President Obama's election, though people on this site will disagree about his actual record as President.

      Joe Kennedy is a much more controversial figure. I think the anti-Semitic charges may be overstated but he clearly was opposed to U.S. entry into WWII and undermined the President for whom he worked. JFK was, in his early career, his father's son, but I think was evolving with the times in the White House and Joe had had a stroke by that point. Not as strong a voice. His sons, for all their flaws, did much good in this country. There is no question Mrs. Roosevelt was the conscience of the FDR administration and the Democratic Party.

      Lincoln's letter on Know-Nothings was a brilliant use of the English language and one of many fine hours. He was a fundamentally decent man and, in my view, the party that claimed his legacy was not worthy of him, at least not after 1868. Certainly not today. My main point was that, here in Boston, there was a dark side to that side of the political divide, even during their "good" Abolitionist years.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:03:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, let me say this, I could make a case that... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fenway49

        the much maligned President from 1868 to 1876 was the second greatest President of the 19th century, after the one who brought him to the world's attention.

        The Princeton historian Sean Wilentz made this case in the New York Times and in a longer essay in the book Profiles in Leadership.

        I was very pleased to read this historian's re-evaluation of the Grant Presidency.

        I made my own case for the Grant's Presidential stature in this space in a diary I wrote some time ago, before the election of Barack Obama:  US Grant and the Worst President Stuff.

        Only Grant had the stature, as President, to have healed the country permanently, stature he employed judiciously yet firmly, and I would argue that his views on racial equality - which were far ahead of his time - are the primary reason that his reputation has suffered.   There has been too much D.W. Griffith in the discussion of his two terms - he was very close to be nominated for a third in 1880 - and not enough of Wilentz.

        The historical re-evaluation of Grant is now well under way, and his reputation is finally being accorded the respect and gratitude that his nation expressed for him in his own time.

        •  I thank you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NNadir

          for bringing that to my attention, and I'd love to learn more. I'd heard the standard Grant (bad president with corrupt advisors) and knew he wanted the 1880 nomination but there was a split with the Half-Breeds and Garfield got it as a dark horse.

          Sean Wilentz is an interesting historian and I'd like to see his take. I know the Reconstruction era generally had a bad historical press until it was rehabilitated, if you will, once the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s showed just how intransigent the Southern racists were. Would like to know more about Grant, and I will start with your diary and Wilentz.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:23:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  wonderful diary -- I have similar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Land of Enchantment, fenway49

    heritage - 3/4 Irish Catholic and 1/4 German - and have always been aware, due to family stories, that my grandparents' generation felt themselves to be very much outsiders even though they were generally second-generation Americans who had never set foot in Ireland. If you dig deep back into your ancestors' time in Ireland you can sometimes find a Protestant or two in the family tree that intermarried with your mostly Catholic ancestors. That's the case with regard to my great-great grandfather, who was Protestant until he married my great-great grandmother. They came to America in large part because of the prejudice they experienced as a "mixed" couple.  

    •  Yes, I've been trying to track that down (0+ / 0-)

      Some English-sounding names in the bunch that came from Ireland. All Catholics by the time they got here, but who knows? They may have converted from Protestantism at some point, or may have changed a more Irish name.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:05:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes - the intermarriage was recent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk

        enough in our family for my father to have known the immediate descendants of the intermarried couple and to have been told about the conversion to Catholicism, the eventual marriage, and the difficulties of being an intermarried couple in Ireland. Amazing to think that these rigid lines of division are not that far back in our blood lines. And if you go way back much further in time, there was a lot of trafficking back and forth between France and Spain and a mixed heritage way back in the family tree. Think of Spanish-sounding names like "Costello" that are actually Irish.

  •  mine was a surprise too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49

    I thought I was mostly English with Irish and French.

    The reason is that my parents, both born in 1941, when they were married, my paternal grandmother told my mother that my dad was full blooded English.  My mother is the great-granddaughter of Irish immigrants but she has English and French as well.

    Before we took our trip to Ireland last year, my husband and I started to research our genealogy and I found that my dad has a lot of German in him.  I wondered why I was told he was English and hit upon the fact that he was born during World War II and that could have been why his family denied the German in our blood.

    S

    I promote fear of me because I am a coward; I promote equality because I know there's nothing to fear.

    by bristlecone77 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:58:57 AM PST

    •  Not just WWII but WWI (0+ / 0-)

      A lot German families in the US faced intense scrutiny during the WWI years. Many Anglicized their names and moved away from German traditions to become "better" Americans. They may have been trying to hide German ancestry well before Hitler came to power.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:07:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And Yet (3+ / 0-)

    You all hate the New York Yankees

    •  Now that's the truth! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      You have to start somewhere if you're going to bring people together.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:08:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thoroughly enjoyed this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49

    I thought I knew my Boston history down pat, but you taught me a few things!

    •  Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

      I learn something new about this place all the time. It's just a fascinating history we've got here.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:19:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You choose your ancestors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49

    Thanks for the history.  Among other things, your story illustrates the old saying that "you choose your ancestors."

    •  Can I choose some wealthier ones? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica

      It would help. Though of course I wouldn't be me if I had different ancestors. Thwarted.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:18:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, you can choose wealthier ancestors (0+ / 0-)

        You probably do have wealthier ancestors, if you look enough.  For example, it's said that everyone from Europe can claim to be a direct descendant of Charlemagne.  Of if some of your ancestors are from England, you probably can trace your line back to some royalty there, like William the Conqueror.  That won't affect your wallet in a positive way, of course.  

         

  •  wonderful historic details (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49

    Thanks ever so much - one of the best diaries ever.  Now I'm going to feel guilty every time I ride the Orange Line ;)

    •  Did you notice (0+ / 0-)

      that the Green Line is the slow, crappy one? It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:16:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  love the green but need the orange (0+ / 0-)

        I wish I could take the Green Line - interesting mix of people, lots of students.  But I live in the South End and work in Charlestown, so there's no alternative.
        One thing I loved about your diary is that I've always known I was mostly WASP but I love Ireland and the Irish and I've always wished to be more Celtic and I switched at an early age from Protestant to Catholic, though now Russian Orthodoxy is getting very appealing;)  So I could relate to your feelings on finding you were part WASP.

        •  Back Bay or Mass Av (0+ / 0-)

          to Bunker Hill. I like the people on the Green Line but not the s-l-o-w experience. My grandmother, the not-Irish one, was an odd mix of Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox. That's a story I'll probably write about another time. For her funeral and her mother's we had the Russian Orthodox (from Williamsburg, Brooklyn) out. It was a trip.

          Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

          by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:19:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We Are All Made of Stars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, mrkvica

    I think these stories are the rule rather than the exception. Since one's number of ancestors -- well, theoretically -- grows by a power of 2 every generation, the further back you go, the more diversity among antecedents.

    The exception is when you are a family like the Windsor's. Queen Elizabeth's grandmother was Prince Phillip's mother's sister. In such extreme cases, your number of ancestors might actually decrease as you go back in recent time. Eek.

    But for most of us, I think, diversity is the rule.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 04:58:19 AM PST

    •  It's true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink

      Tracing this back a few generations I'm looking at hundreds of ancestors, and that's just from one great-grandfather, which is 1/8 of my total ancestry. Unfortunately I've not been able to go back as far on the other branches. Ireland, like so many places, was populated by all sorts of people if you go back far enough. We had one family come from the north of County Derry and they tell me the name originally was Norse. Other "Irish" in my family were originally Welsh. Who knows?

      The "Boston Irish" immigrant was a socially constructed culture that developed as people formed a community in their new home. In my family people from wildly different parts of Ireland, who likely never would have met had they stayed there, lived next door to each other in the USA and married each other.

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:15:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also Irish (3+ / 0-)

    After doing my geneology I found that almost all my ancestors were refugees of some sort.

    Many fled Ireland during The Famine, or after a late 17th Century rebellion failed.
    One fled Germany after the 1848 Revolution failed.
    One fled Russia after being drafted into the army.
    Some were puritans who were fleeing for religious reasons.

     But then a few other came from Sweden, Scotland, and France for reasons I don't know.

      The most interesting discovery I found was that my mother's branch of my family met up with my father's branch during a battle in the Civil War - on opposite sides.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 05:56:18 AM PST

    •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

      There was much in human history to make people flee.

      I've discovered a number of people (some Irish, some Yankee) who served in the Civil War. All north so far. To my knowledge I've not had any ancestors who ever lived west or south of central New Jersey. I've tried to follow some of the Yankee branches on the family tree down and found many moved west from New England. But only one couple on a huge family tree moved South, and they moved after the Civil War. Maybe carpetbaggers?

      Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

      by fenway49 on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:11:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love Conquers All (0+ / 0-)

    The experiences of our ancestors and their stories take history and make it personal.  In spite of cultural and social pressures in their day, your ancestors made their own choices about marriage and family, going against the grain simply because they loved each other and wanted to be together..

    It took a lot of courage in those days to cross social and religious barriers in the name of love - to marry and raise a family in spite of pressures from both sides to "stick with your own kind".  Those are the small changes that make historic trends, that change opinions and social norms.  

    Kudos to your ancestors for their bravery and their love of each other.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:42:50 AM PST

  •  My ancestors were all very nice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, marykk, fenway49

    according to my grandma

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:51:24 AM PST

  •  Thanks for this diary. As a Mass native (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    voicemail, mrkvica

    from the small, Puritan town of Bolton and other Mass roots in Lexington, the white steeple culture you describe is most certainly a reflection of my upbringing.

    Except my fraternal grandmother, of Eastern European/Georgian ancestry married a straight up WASP whose mother was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. And my maternal grandmother, well-to-do Boston Irish married a Dutchman whose family likely came from Manhattan (and who also happened to be her HS math teacher at Boston Latin, for whom she babysat when she got pregnant. Hmmm.)

    My so very obviously part Jewish Eastern fraternal grandmother, to her parting last December, would have outwardly appeared in demeanor and attitude thoroughly "English", and her personal culture was a Brahaman as could be. Total assimilation.

    She was also a realist and when dicussing American history or social construct, quoting her husband of course ( who was a communist before he became a socialist and a union steelworker during the war) "There is no meaner son-of-a-bitch on the face of the earth than the English Male."

    What a different generation. It still amazes me how lucky I am to have all that mix.

    I love being from Massachusetts.

    The place was utterly dark—the oubliette, as I suppose, of their accursed convent.

    by bastrop on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:10:10 AM PST

  •  I have been to a Huguenot cemetery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly

    in Charleston.  My maiden name is French and we
     were told the famiy came in  through  Charleston.  

    Churches frequently came in as a group, which simplifies searching to an extent.

    •  There is a Huguenot cemetery in St. Augustine FL (0+ / 0-)

      as well.  Some of my husband's ancestors were Huguenot and his family name reflects the French city they embarked from just before King Louie's executioner arrived.

      Save the Home Planet

      by Mayfly on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:24:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the kind of work we need in a core area of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk

    diaries on race, culture and history.  We will move forward with this kind of look at ourselves.  Massachusetts rocks for progressve work, my adopted state.  We were the first to pass gay marriage, 2004.  That is our tradition and yes it is Americas too over time.

  •  A good diary, but you left out the final indignity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly

    suffered by the Boston Irish: an attack on them by the federal government using school buses to make their children in South Boston go to school with black children.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  I reced because I am sure your comment was written (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk

      as irony.  Every ethnic group, every religious group, every national group seems to behave much better when they are in the minority or out of power.  Being in the majority or in power so often brings out the worst in human nature.

      Save the Home Planet

      by Mayfly on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 12:28:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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