Talk:Ancestry of the people of the United States

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Source of images[edit]

These maps are self-generated by me at the U.S. Census Bureau's American Factfinder site ([1]). "West Indian," "Arab," and "Sub-saharan African" ancestries are not listed. These maps focus only on the European ancestries of white or Caucasian Americans.

Hope these pictures will be educating and informative for you. -- Stevey7788 03:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I've also created Maps of Oakland, California and Maps of Chicago. This is part of my project of obtaining self-generated images from the American Factfinder ([2]), although I do hope a bot would be available for this because I have to do all this manually. The tiring steps are :
    • Selecting preferences/color/settings/location
    • Selecting the theme
    • Saving image
    • Uploading

Maybe a bot would be nice to have.

-- Stevey7788 03:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The page is missing a map for Swiss ancestry, which is listed on the source site. Please add it since I can't quite figure out how. 22:05, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Using Factfinder[edit]

If you would like to learn how to use the American Factfinder ([3]) , here's how (it takes a while to learn it):

Go to the website's main page and click on the "Data sets" tab on the left side. Once the page loads, you should see "Summary File (SF) 1," "SF 2," "SF 3," and so forth. Use SF 1 for race, renter/owner occupation, and age/sex data. SF 3 is for all sorts of economic, social, and housing characteristics.

Now click on "SF 1" or "SF 3." You can now select "quick tables," "detailed tables," or "thematic maps." Once you've selected something, select "place," "county," "state," etc. Then select a theme.

Summary of operations: Main -- All Data Sets -- Data Sets with Thematic Maps -- Geography -- Themes -- Results

There are a lot more features I haven't mentioned. Feel free to experiment with the Factfinder tools.


-- Stevey7788 03:01, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)


are these from the 2000 census? - Omegatron 21:19, May 1, 2005 (UTC)

Yes they are, 2000. — Stevey7788 (talk) 06:07, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

Moving page[edit]

I moved this page because United Statian is not the term for a resident or citizen of the United States. -Acjelen 18:06, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Unsupported page move[edit]

No consensus was reached prior to moving this page. It should be reverted to its correct title, "Ancestries of Americans". Firebug 03:23, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Support current title, "Ancestries of the people of the United States", since the article is only about the heritage of people in the United States. Iff the article covered all of the Americas (North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean), then, and only then, the title should be "Ancestries of Americans". BlankVerse 09:46, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
Comment: Actually, since the article is almost totally maps, and only covers certain European countries (no Switzerland or Austria, for example) plus African ancestry (from a separate source), even the title "Ancestries of the people of the United States" is too broad (no Asian ancestry, for example). I would support a name change to "Maps of ancestries of the people of the United States" (or something similar). BlankVerse 09:46, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree with Blank Verse. No Account 00:05, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I added introductory paragraphs and changed the level structure so that more information could be added to make it a broader topic. Originally this article was original research at best or a vanity page at worst. I had intended on nominating it for deletion, but thought I would try to improve it instead. -Acjelen 17:16, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Moved page[edit]

The page was moved again, this time to Maps of American ancestries because this page isabout maps. It is different from Demographics of the United States. — Stevey7788 (talk) 01:23, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Hispanic population[edit]

What about Hispanic/Latino ancestry? --Lord Voldemort (Dark Mark) 18:09, 3 August 2005 (UTC)

The Latinos are divided into many groups; the leading of which is "Mexican", and "Spanish from Spain"... — Badlands17

SPANIARDS ALSO SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE "EUROPEAN AMERICAN" CATEGORY Why you don´t include Spanish people in teh European American category as Spaniards are European. Even more curious that you include "Portugese Americans" but not "Spanish Americans" (?)-- (talk) 00:57, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

"American" ancestry is Confederate ancestry[edit]

These people's ancestors were repatriated Americans. IP Address 13:16, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Ironic on the face of it, perhaps. But the southern Appalachians were the major center of Unionist sentiment within the Confederacy, while in the northern Appalachians WV seceded from VA to stay in the Union. --JWB 21:02, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I think that the Constitutional Union Party (United States) has something to do with this; the core of the area seems to be the Border states (Civil War), but the general gist of it seems to be the original colonists. Then again, most Southern ancestry seems to be African. Slaves obviously outnumbered their masters, so your argument doesn't hold water. In respect of political parties and alliances throughout the war, it is so ironic that Rhode Island elected Democratic governors in the thick of heavy violence by Northern Republicans against Southern Democrats. IP Address 04:33, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you can also talk about Highland and Lowland Southern cultures as David Hackett Fischer does. But getting back to "American" ancestry, the main factor is that more Northerners have recent ethnic roots, so everyone is assumed to have an ethnicity. Anyway, the Confederate States of America were still American, not to mention the rest of the hemisphere. --JWB 06:10, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Right; DHF is totally on the mark. I'm Chapter Four, North Britain: Borderland to the Backcountry and of the same roots as the Calverts in Maryland. I consider myself American for this reason, regardless of composite ethnic heritages. Of course, my male ancestor goes back to Brittany anyways (like the Stuarts, whom had their English powerbase in Northumbria). This makes me like a North English Cavalier, with extensive Celtic relations (Lords Baltimore were Irish Catholic Barons). Out of eighths in my great grandparents, I have 2 Northumbria, 4 Wessex, 2 Normandy. I did not know that some of the Calverts and Robert E. Lee were descended from King James, which is the most recent royal blood in America. Somebody ought to track this blood descent down, because of course the Stuart legacy is strong in our country. Stuarts in fact have a fan base in the South, while the later (Protestant) dynasties seem to be a concern of Northerners. It is ironic that the staunchly Protestant South looks to a usually Catholic dynasty, while an increasingly Catholic North looks to Protestant dynasties. Strange. IP Address 06:52, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The North is already about as Catholic as it's likely to get. It's the South where Catholicism is on the increase, with migration from the North, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Not sure what you mean by Northern interest in later dynasties? --JWB 20:25, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

I think it also is important to remember that most of the people who describe their ancestry as "American" are southerners. Most who's lineage has been in the U.S. for so long in some cases since discovery. However easy to find by surnames and accents that they are easily distinguished to be from some kind of Celtic or Anglo stock. For example think of all the adjacent town names in a metropolitain area like Atlanta compared to Detroit.


As the uploader of the American ancestries images, I'd like to say that the ancestries are all self-reported from the 2000 U.S. Census. When the U.S. Census went around and asked people their ancestries on the census forms, they included the "American"/"United States" ancestry option and left the respondents to freely interpret the question.

As a result, "American" ancestry people are people who personally identify themselves as "Americans," and these images in no way represent scholarly opinions, as they are not created by scholars, but rather put together from personal responses. When the census data came out around 2000, it turned out that most self-reported "American" ancestry people were from the southeast U.S.

In my opinion I believe that this trend is higher in the Southeast due to higher numbers of descendants of early European colonists living in the Southeast. The respondents who chose "American" most likely wanted to contrast themselves against any specific regional European ancestry, such as "Scottish," "English," "Irish," and among others. The early European colonists were people who had lived in the original 13 States before American Independence, and most respondents probably wanted to do so to express their pride in being "original Americans." Personally, I think the link between Confederate affiliations and self-reported "American" ancestry" is highly dubious.

This image represents solely self-reporting, and more than one factor contributes to this trend.

Stevey7788 (talk) 23:37, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Reported "American" ancestry is uneven even among white Southerners. Take a look at the "American" and "Scotch-Irish" maps side by side; to some extent they are complementary, with people tending to report more of one or the other in different areas of the South. I believe much of the variation in "American" ancestry reporting is due to more recent developments in regional culture, education, or historiography that have varied by individual region, emphasizing or deemphasizing ethnic heritage vs. American identity. --JWB 23:53, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

My two cents, as I indicated myself to be 'American' on the 2000 census. I am from SW Missouri originally, although my family ties are SE Kansas and NW Missouri. I put American because I have ancestors from so many different areas, that it would be unjust to pick just one. My first ancestors arrived in the New World in the 1630's from the Plymoth area. Not long after, a protestant Irish relative was sent to the colonies as an indentured servant. I can also trace my lineage to Wales, Scotland, and Germany, with the last arriving in the 1840's. Oh, and this is only my mom's side. On my dad's side we can't trace very far, but I know that a great-grandpa was half-Cherokee (SE Kansas). Because of this varied ethnicity and the knowledge that my family has been on this continent for a relatively long time I choose American. Besides, I have been to Europe a few times and I can't really identify with many of the customs and beliefs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:06, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

I am from Spain and from my point of view it is evident that an "American" ethnic group exists. Clearly. Americans are not English, the same way Argentines are not Spaniards. Also the "English" ethnic group was formed after immigration of different tribes (Angles, Saxons, Danish, Celts, Normands, Jutes) Their amalgammation gave birth to the "English" people. The same way, "Americans" are a different ethnicity.-- (talk) 01:03, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

There are various different ethnic groups in the United States, so there can't be an "American" ethnicity. As can be seen from the census, there are European Americans like German, Irish, British etc, African Americans from various countries, Asian Americans like Chinese, Indian, Filipino etc, as well as different indigenous ethnic groups often collectively called Native Americans. Can you explain what you mean by an "American" ethnic group existing in Spain? Are you referring to Native Americans? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:39, 2 August 2011 (UTC)


i like how orientals and asians dont even exist in usa. even though they have the highest population in the world

Regional European ancestries are shown here currently, and non-white ancestries will be added now in the next few hours. ;) — Stevey7788 (talk) 23:39, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
On Regional European ancestries - what about a map of Portuguese ancestry? For sure there's more Americans with Portuguese ancestry than those with Romanian ou Hungarian ancestry.

Did not mark the last edit as "Minor"[edit]

Edit at 17:12, 15 March 2007, was minor. Apologies. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:20, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

American ancestry article[edit]

Why do we have articles for every ancestry but not for "American ancestry"? I wanted to learn more about the subject but couldn't. --Taraborn (talk) 21:31, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Pennsylvania Dutch Reference[edit]

The Pennsylvania Dutch are not a specifically religious group or even especially "iconic". I think whoever wrote that section was thinking of the Amish. The PA Dutch are descendants of German speaking people who emigrated to Pennsylvania mainly before 1800 or so. They shared a common language, German or Deutsch, which through the years evolved into a distinctive dialect called Pennsylfawnisch Deitsch. Culturally they were somewhat isolated due to their language, but were not especially distinctive in regards to their religion as the majority were of what today are considered mainline protestant churches, such as Lutheran (today mostly ELCA) and Reformed (today UCC), with a double sprinkling (a "spritzing" in Deitsch, lol) of various Anabaptist groups, including Amish, Mennonite and Brethren. Because a central idea of anabaptists is the right for an individual to consciously choose his or her faith after the age of majority, they were found in nearly every religious group they came into contact with in the very diverse PA, including Quakers, Universalists, Methodists, and Presbyterians. They were less likely, though it was certainly not unheard of, for them to join the Catholic or Episcopal church. More than a few were and are simply unchurched. This article should be updated to be clear that while "Amish" is a religious tradition (with many different expressions), "Pennsylvania Dutch" is an ethnicity differentiated by mostly linguistic differences and only slightly by sectarian tendencies, more similar to, say, Swedish-Americans, than Jewish-Americans. Nosimplehiway (talk) 18:50, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

I completely agree... When I read that section, it was clear that the writer was refering only to the "Plain People" or perhaps more specifically just the Old Order Amish, who make up only a small part of the Pennsylvania Dutch ethnicity. I'm of half Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry and I'm not religious at all, and my father even considered himself an atheist. Though in the past, the Pennsylvania Dutch were relatively isolated due to their rural location and distinctive language, today most people of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage speak only English and have been largely assimilated in mainstream culture. Their influence is still felt in the art, food, dialects, and world view of the area... They are set apart from other German Americans due to their distinctive history and culture much in the same way that Cajuns are different than French and even French Canadian. -- (talk) 18:45, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Ok, I am a Pennsylvanian and I am sure the author was confusing the Old Order Amish and Mennonites with Pennsylvania Dutch. Many people make this error, especially given the fact that these religious groups are now pretty much the only ones who still speak the Pennsylvania Dutch language.

I also looked up the Assyrian wikipedia page and it reads in pertinent part: Assyrians were originally Pagans, who where followers of Ashurism, an Assyro-Babylonian religion, which is the Ancient Mesopotamian religion, and some adopted Judaism, Gnosticism and Manicheanism; however most now belong to various Christian denominations such as the Church of the East, with an estimated 300,000–400,000 members,[93] the Chaldean Catholic Church, with about 900,000 members,[94] and the Syriac Orthodox Church (ʿIdto Suryoyto Triṣaṯ Šuḇḥo), which has between one and four million members around the world,[95] and various Protestant churches. While Assyrians are predominantly Christians, a significant number are irreligious.

I don't think this supports the statement that being Assyrian implies a religion, since the three Christian sects mentioned are quite different. I am deleting the entire statement about PaD and Assyrians. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:00, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

European ancestry maps[edit]

The maps do not seem to have any key to indicate the actual proportions shown by different tones. This issue has arisen at Scottish people, where there are moves to remove File:Scottish1346.gif from the article. Can someone respond helpfully to the discussion on that page? Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:32, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I deleted the "American Ancestry" map from the European ancestry maps because "American" is not a European ancestry. "American" ancestry refers to Indigenous peoples of the United States. However, the real ethnicity of the people who marked their ancestry as "American" in the census is unknown. If a map must be made, it should be made under a separate heading as "miscellaneous." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

2010 Census info yet?[edit]

Does anyone know when this sort of information gets released for the most recent census?-- Patrick, oѺ 13:42, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

where never going to get a 2010 ansestries map becasue census burueu no longer asks the question of what ethnic heritage people have only race. thing is the country is going though a hugh demographic shift and american ansestry was going though ethno-genisis and growing bigger as more people married into that culture and began having more children. this is very similar to another country where this was going in in earlier centuries like england or even russia. over a period of several centuries the original americans would eventual come to be part of most americans ansestry in some way. but to answer your question theres diffinatly not going to be a 2010 ansestries yet and this has actually casued a ridiculus controversy and made a great many people mad. for instance middle easterners would rather not be considered white race but instead have been listed by national origin or just as a middle eastern culture by itself. i myself my house hold was acidentally listed as german when in fact we have a english sounding last name and this was never resolved we were appalachian american in reality. so i feel your pain if your still waiting on 2010 ansestries data. (talk) 23:03, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

New 2010 census map[edit]

Hello I was looking at the 2010 county census map to see different ancestries. In the previous map from 2010 Utah was mostly "English". Now the image uploaded for 2010 says, "Mormon"... When did Mormon become an ancestry why isn't it still English? Is Mormon a race or ethnicity now? I did not know. Thanks. Instead of American it says Southern. (talk) 21:16, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm having some issue with this new map, File:American Ancestrial Plurality (2010).png. First off, to answer my own question above, the Census Bureau dropped the ancestries question from the 2010 Census. So there never will be new census data to match the 2000 Census. That doesn't mean that other groups don't do census-like studies of American ancestry, just they would be rough surveys, and less official.
So I'm a bit confused as to where this new map comes from. I can't find any sort of data the could be used to create one like it using the Census Bureau's FactFinder website. Can anyone? Am I not looking in the right places? The file description states it is "according to us cencus 2010", but could this map be from another organization? I'd ask the map's creator, but the user that uploaded it last month has been blocked indefinitely for sockpuppetry.
All this being considered, I'm tempted to remove it from the page till its origin is sorted out. Sorry if this doesn't answer your question about "Mormon" or "Southern", but clearly something is very different about this map.-- Patrick, oѺ 18:16, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Removal of referances[edit]

Need an explanation as to why references are being removed and a map that is made for statistical data. You may not believe that American ethnicity is possible but it is. Pls read over thisMoxy (talk) 20:21, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

I read the census report and agree that you have a point when you say that there are people who marked their ancestry as American. However, the listing of "American" ancestry under a heading of European ancestry is erroneous as "American" is not a European ancestry. It could refer to people of any ancestry (European, African, Asian, Central/South American or native American). The census document only lists its suspicions, not any definitive terms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I deleted the "American Ancestry" map from the European ancestry maps because "American" is not a European ancestry. "American" ancestry refers to Indigenous peoples of the United States. However, the real ethnicity of the people who marked their ancestry as "American" in the census is unknown. If a map must be made, it should be made under a separate heading as "miscellaneous." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I will wait for a week until August 11 and if no one responds, I will delete it again. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:27, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok we dont make things up here - all we can do is regurgitate what is out there - We cant use "YOUR" definition of who is an American. A Native American is not the same as an American. Please read over Wikipedia:Verifiability - The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true.Moxy (talk) 12:06, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm confused, what's the problem with putting the map in the "Major ancestries" section? Or even by itself in the prose, with a caption explaining that many citizens consider their ancestry to be only "American". Either way, we shouldn't remove the map, that's a non-starter here. There also isn't a deadline on Wikipedia, so waiting a week won't make a certain position right or not.-- Patrick, oѺ 13:47, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

I dont see what the issue is with having that map up there. Why can't people refer to their ancestry as American, if your family has been here for more then 3 generation I beliee thats technically American. Millertime246 (talk) 00:39, 23 October 2011 (UTC)

What is going on here?? The article is about the data from the "Ancestry" question on the US Census. The above discussion of other meanings of "ancestry" is irrelevant. The title that the article was recently moved to is misleading. --JWB (talk) 20:29, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Data for a new map[edit]

While the ancestries question was removed from the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau still includes it in the American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, and the 2010 data is available. Bloomberg has a map online, but it looks odd to my eye. For one, African-Americans are divided up such that they hardly show up. For example, D.C. is listed a "Predominately Irish", which is hard to fathom, even with recent changes. But if someone was interested in getting the statistics and breaking them down, here's the site!-- Patrick, oѺ 00:55, 4 September 2012 (UTC)