My (Mostly) English Heritage… Part One

Reading about differences and similarities between folks here in the US and in the UK, inspiration has been beckoning me to write about the subject in my own blog.

Actually many Americans began as British, back in the days of pre-American Revolution.  It was in fact a British colonial government, which was over-thrown more or less by rebellious subjects who wished to control their own affairs.  This was a lot easier since the British military was engaged in more pressing issues, such as keeping the French at bay and making sure the Spanish didn’t get all the goodies from the Americas.

But this isn’t a History lesson, although at times I admit that I am prone to lecture on various and sundry topics, not all of them necessarily pertinent to the current subject.   So I have no intention of going back over the common knowledge and think-we-know facts, and write about something that is pertinent…at least to me.


I am at least three-fourths English, based on family origin.  My children, however, are three-fourths German counting the fourth they get from me, and the rest from their father, whose grandparents were all born in Germany.

There is one questionable thing about these facts, in that my maternal grandfather was born in Australia, of German-ancestry.  Hmmm…come to think of it, if I said he was an Australian-American, is that accurate?  Also, as Australia is part of the UK, does that count as German or British?    I usually say German,, which is how I arrive at being able to claim the one-quarter German.

An aunt of mine, Grandpa’s daughter in fact, did an in-depth research study into the Australia connection.   That history goes back pretty far, as we have considerable amount of information about the men in that family back at least to Grandpa’s grandfather.

The way that grandfather became an American is after he had run away from home in Australia at age 16, and worked on fishing boats for several years .   Then he met and married my grandmother in New York.

Anyway.  One of my distant relatives on that grandmother’s side did a quite extensive geneological research.  That branch of the family in fact has held annual family reunions here in Ohio for at least 140 years.  They are two-thirds of my English ancestry.  The geneology report lists the names of dozens of people –related to me–that came to the United States from England  prior to the American Revolution.   In fact, I have been told by a cousin that the family researchers have gone so far back that they found a Viking!

Actually I don’t think that is particularly uncanny, finding a Viking in the family tree of anyone that hails from the British Isles.  “They” tell me that this is where the blonde hair and blue eyes comes from.   hmmm…

Many of these ancestors are buried along the train track between Boston and the northern end of the line.  This came to light when I was visiting my son and daughter-in-law who were living in Massachusetts at the time…as we rode on the train the conductor called out the names of the stops, and many of them were surnames of my ancestors.   Many more from that clan traveled westward at least as far as Ohio, which is where the family is located now.

Since I have gotten SO far afield with my story, and in view of the fact that I only have chatted here about my mother’s side of the family– and I need to wind the tale down for this Part One only.

stay tuned for Part Two of the saga, in which I will continue with my Dad’s side of the family.

10 thoughts on “My (Mostly) English Heritage… Part One

    1. yes they are…you should see the variety in my extended family now…literally all sorts of genes. 🙂 (blood-lines from MINE to those of all my kid’s, and their kids now…reaching out in all directions.) They do say we all go back to a common ancestor…I believe that. If not Lucy…then who? 🙂

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      1. could be… do you know anyone who has had their DNA tested? I dont, and I wonder how true the results would be in those new companies. There’s a lot of family “lore” and actually connections only are discoverable very recent generations in most cases. It is interesting .

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      2. I don’t know much about it at all. The DNA discovery thing just happened maybe 20 years ago…and it is fascinating. Interesting to see pics of distant family that is familiar. My grand-daughter was looking around once and saw a photo of my mother’s family on my bulletin board, and she asked me “who is that person in the picture that looks just like Mom?” The specific person was my mother, her great-grandmother. There is an uncanny likeness…if my daughter had her hair done in a 1920s “bob” she would be exactly like. Boy–is that complicated or what? 🙂

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      3. Genetics is really amazing. It’s just so wonderful. I have a cousin who is an albino and the spitting image of her great grand mother who was also an albino and nobody else in the family has albinism. Nature is simply wonderful.


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