Talk:English American

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Jersey[edit]

I think it's highly arguable to say that Jersey is/was English. It only started speaking English in a big way in the last century.--MacRusgail 17:33, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Are you really trying to say that people in jersey have only been speaking english (in a big way) for 100 years?

Show me proof of this ,then i will believe your post.....--Anglo6721:40, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I suspect no proof will be forthcoming - taking a quick look at his profile and interests, Mr MacRusgail has a somewhat agendered viewpoint on any Anglo related subjects. Unfortunately he lets opinion masquerade as fact on wikipedia —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.161.244.202 (talk) 16:48, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
Why so censorious, 68.161.244.202? It is your own unsigned comment that looks somewhat "agendered" to me! There is plenty of evidence that the large-scale switchover to English in Jersey took place within the last 100 years or so:
The use of the English language increased rapidly in the 19th century, and by 1900 English was the dominant language in St. Helier. [...] In 1912, Jèrriais was replaced by English in the schools. Source: BBC: About Jèrriais
It was not until February, 1900, that the use of English was allowed in the debates of the States of Jersey [...] in 1930, French was still the language in which most legislation was drafted. Source: A Brief History of Jèrriais
-- Picapica (talk) 18:14, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually it was Norman French spoken in the Channel islands (Jersey and Guernsey) which is a mixture of French and Scandinavian words.English n proud (talk) 18:45, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Does anybody really believe there is only 24.5 million americans of english decent.?[edit]

Many Caucasian Americans seem to have some "Anti" Anglo mindset going on. The real number would be much higher and by far higher than the false German American number. Fact of the matter is looking at immigration statistics, its mathmaticaly impossible for German Americans to be that high. Its nothing but pure fetish & fantasy that Americans have with being something "different" a lot of Americans seem to be bored with just being English. Which is quite ridiculous too me. The English have contributed more to the world than any single country in Europe. They invaded 90% of the worlds populations, and are responsible for much of our modern theories & technology. Yet Americans don't feel proud of this grand achievment from such a tiny group of islands? The problem is also that Americans like to claim things they aren't really are or much of. Take Brad Pitt for example, he claims German ancestry, yet his German ancestor was from LONG AGO and most of his ancestors are British. The look of the typical White American is quite British. The Majority of Americans could pass in all England, Scotland, & Ireland. Not even in Minnesota (The land claimed as "viking land") do the whites look Scandinavian, they look as British as any other population in the US. Americans are just obsessed with being "mixed". Not all of the US was a melting pot like New York & Los Angelos was. That means a great portion and the majority of American whites are still quite British.

The other evidence is the surnames. Lots of people like to say "Well, surnames were changed", and i always say ALL OF THEM? whether you want to admit it or not, if the German Americans were that numerous, you better believe atleast a few German surnames would be in the top surname list of the US. Yet they are not, the majority of them are English. I highly doubt every single German family changed their names.

I don't get why Americans are so obsessed with being German in the first place. Don't they know the majority of the Germans who immigrated to the US were not of the "well off desirable" kind. They mostly came from poor off German areas, and many of them WEREN'T even actual ethnic Germans. Many were Jews, and German speaking indivisuals from other countries. Anyway bottom line, the majority of Americans like Australians & Canadians have a strong British input. Most of your so called "Germans" & "Italians" will also have a English, Irish, or Scottish ancestor, and most of the time the amount of ancestors from the British isles will outnumber those from other countries like they do with Brad Pitt. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:4981:7B86:1B7:7146 (talk) 18:21, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Lets get real here guy's.any americans whose ancesters have been in our country since the 1860's will have english blood and heritage.Also millions emigrated from england from 1860 to the present day.

I'm Anglo Utahn and to say that Utah is 29% anglo is a joke. In my estimations the Anglo would be at least 40%.include the welsh and the scots ,make that about 70%

Also Alabama In the 2000 census .. English 344,735 ,American 756,375 Florida.in the 2000 census ..English 1,468,576 , American 1,278,586

Georgia : in the 2000 census..English 664,569 ,American 1,102,178 Mississippi: in the 2000 census ..English 173,633 ,American 403,518

These are just examples....--Anglo6719:39, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Ha! And how many Americans lied, or were ignorant of their true ancestry when they filled in the census? 24.5 million? I'd go for an even lower figure!--XCassX 18:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
True. Very true. Many Irish did whatever they could to hide their ancestry since they weren't generally accepted by 19th century America. But there are many reasons it's pretty tough to get an accurate figure for those of at least some English ancestry. Well, impossible really. Mixed ancestry is typical of Americans. People with Scottish, Irish, and Welsh are not English, so you don't include them as being English even though all of these British ancestries are likely to have one or more of the others. There are likely many African Americans with English ancestry as well; but, since they were traditionally excluded for racist reasons, today - I would venture - few African-Americans would care to recognize such ancestry. The notion, however, that every American family here for the past two centuries or more are necessarily steeped in English blood is not really more likely than Scottish or German blood since both of those groups were in America in large numbers since a long time ago as well. Even the number of French is not unsubstantial viewed in this light.
The current way of looking at it, where only the primary ancestry is counted, is about as fair as you can get. AnthroGael 13:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AnthroGael (talkcontribs)

24 million does seem a bit high. Lots of Americans do tend to get England and Britain mixed up though so maybe that's a partial explanation?--Aiel 999 (talk) 18:48, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Why does 24 million seem high? The immigration article states that the vast majority of the population were of English descent at the time of independence. Given the high birth rate over a relatively long period and continuing immigration during the 19th century the figure seems low, notwithstanding that other ancestry groups contributed higher net immigration. The key point is birth rate from a relatively large base over a relatively long period of time. Donkfest1 (talk) 16:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I guess this is an issue that will get more confusing over time. Looking back just to your grandparents, you're already dealing with 4 potentially different lines of heritage - make it your great grandparents and it's 8. So many people might have one, two three or more lines being English but that leaves 5, 6, 7 which aren't - which do you choose to list? All of them? The majority one? The most recent one? The one that fits in best with your area? The coolest one? The country you've visited? Male lines only? So what about your kids? 16 lines? Etc, etc.

In a few generations, heritage might well settle down into simply "American"(or indeed one of colours) - maybe with the rise of the EU, European heritage will not be as culturally valuable to claim, it may even be eagerly hidden! A lot of German Americans changed their surnames to Irish sounding ones during the war(s) - which leads to another question where we ponder how many Irish Americans have no Irish blood at all,but are instead German! Essentially, the question will only become more blurred and arguably less important. Tokind of answer the question, yes I think it's low, most thinking seems to conclude that it's very low, but if someone is more German/Irish/Whatever than English, they'll answer with that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.161.244.202 (talk) 16:46, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

In 1980 50 Mio. Americans reported English ancestry and in 2000 only 24,5 Mio. How is that possible? (Comment: In the 1980 Census, English was given as an example of a posssible reponse. In 1990, English was deleted as a hypothetical response. Also, these Census surveys only allow for two ancestry responses. People with three or more ancestries had their responses truncated after the second ancestry listed. It's possible that in 1990, many people reported English as a third or fourth ancestry.) I heard that Mr. McCain claims Scottish ancestry, although he is also of English descent. Is it not "cool" enough to be of English descent? Primusinterparem (talk) 20:30, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

In 1980 the question was Great Britain and not English for Race was it not? So, discount the Scottish, Welsh and Scotch Irish (Ulster Scot's who were mostly from Scotland)and it will bring it down from 50 million to 24 million. There is discussion that half of all those claiming irish decent are actualy Scotch Irish (Ulster Scots) and not actualy Irish. They just assume that because there ancestors arrived from Ireland they were Irish when in fact the majority had only been in the country for a few generations (having came from Scotland) before moving on to the US. 14:01, 29 december 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.46.18.37 (talk)

No - the question was an open question [1] - "What is this persons ancestory", with 'English' pulled out as one of the examples. 216.107.194.166 (talk) 14:01, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

(The above statement that in 1980 the Census asked "Great Britain" and not just "English" is inaccurate. In fact, the 1980 Census asked an open question, and separately tabulated the results for English, Scots, and Welsh. Also, the speculation above that half of those reporting "Irish" were actually "Scots-Irish" has no merit. A simple review of immigtation statistics since the 18th Century, with attention paid to how many emigrated from Ulster and the rest of Ireland, shows that most people reporting "Irish" ancestry are not Scots-Irish but just Irish. There is a separate tabulation for those reporting "Scots-Irish" in the Census, and that is where you will find a more or less acurate number for that group. Admittedly, self-reporting in this area can be tricky, and it may be that some people who have Scots-Irish ancestors reported just Irish. But it's also true that some people who reported Scots-Irish may actually have meant that they were of mixed Scots and Irish ancestry, so those two possible areas of false reporting would probably cancel each other out and make the figures for Irish and Scots-Irish fairly accurate. For more information on this subject, see the section on the Irish in the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. In that article, it states that in 1790, out of a white population of 3,100,000, persons of Irish birth or ancestry numbered 400,000, and that half of these were from Ulster (i.e Scots-Irish), and half were from the other parts of Ireland. Of course, in the mid-19th Century, people who came to America from Ireland were overwhelmingly Irish Catholics. These statistics, I think, support that Census Bureau figures for the number of Americans with "Irish" and "Scots-Irish" ancestry today.)—Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.82.5 (talk) 18:44, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

first comment from Utah - exactly. English heritage is WAY under-reported. You cannot go anywhere in the US without bumping into surnames like Smith, Williams, Johnson, Harrison, the list goes on (and on, and on, and on). Face it, those names are the NORM. The Census Bureau has got to can the "American" "ethnic origin." American is British at least, English more likely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.49.130.89 (talk) 03:21, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes and how many of those 'Smiths' were named 'Schmidt' when their ancestors went to America? The fact 'Johnson' is a more popular name in the US than in the UK shows that many Scandinavians called Jansen, Jonsson, Johanson, etc also Anglicised their names. Vauxhall1964 (talk) 17:09, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Similarly, "Washington" is a rare surname in the United Kingdom and extremely rare among white Americans. It is very common among African Americans in the United States and to a lesser extent, Native Americans as well - These groups, having lost their original surnames or coming from cultural traditions that lacked formal surnames altogether, often chose Washington as a name of prestige. --98.114.176.218 (talk) 08:00, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

THE FACTS: 99% of Americans actors & models under the so called German-American list HAVE British ancestry some of them have all 3 sometimes (English, Scottish, Irish). Most of the German Americans also have colonial British blood. 99% of America's white films stars, entertainers and models look COMPLETELY British descended phenotypically. No difference between English speaking Canadians & Aussies. Infact many of America's actors are British, they come here put on American accents and Americans can't even tell the difference because they are indistinquishable from the Brits. Another fact: Most white Americans who get tested (23andmetest) cluster with the British Isles more than they do any other nation in Europe. Phenotype doesn't lie, and when phenotype isn't enough DNA sure as hell doesn't lie. American whites were and are still majority British isles descent the only time this changes is the melting pot areas of the states that had millions of immigrants ie: New York, California. Most of the rest of the United States have had populations below 5 million for years upon years. They're majority still Brtish.

It is also worthy to note, most Americans have a habit of claiming ethnicities they aren't even much of. Take Brad Pitt for example, claims he has German ancestry...but guess what? the German in his line was from way back when most of the ancestors in his line were British. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:95E0:2068:3EFE:D9AD (talk) 03:40, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Change In Descendants Can Confuse

Part of the problem in defining descent from any nation is that it can be confused over many years. Say an english couple arrived in th US in the 1800's and over the few generations married other english, Then in the 1920's the daughter of the english descendants (who now called herself american) married Mr O' Reilly from Ireland and their children married other Irish. The fact that they had english descent would probably be lost on their descendants unless they looked into it as they would only look back to probably the grandparents. Shouldn't Americans look forward instead of always looking back trying to get ancestry from somewhere else. In my case I was born in England but my parents are Irish but I don't feel the need to wear a shamrock every St Patricks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.86.71.241 (talk) 13:20, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I think, most Americans, are english, irish or scotish descent. Also in Australia or New Zealand or Canada. But, People migration gave it also enough in Europe! By the way, all Germans come from, Celts, Romans or Jews Peoples! I am German, but my Ancestor are, Polish and Jew. I think, all Americans, who were born in America, or there settled, are real Americans! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 87.183.182.244 (talk) 12:23, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Why do I keep seeing this said various times? Ethnic Germans have nothing to do ethnically with Jews, and Germany does not cluster anywhere near the Southern European nations on any genetic mapping. The only population in Europe Jews have relation to are Sicilians & Greeks. Germans are Northern European and thus they cluster with other Northern European populations. I agree though that America is far more British than German — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:c4ea:ca0:852a:d35:cf7:b0e8 (talk) 18:10, 27 November 2013‎ (UTC)

Deletion discussion[edit]

Please see discussion at Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2007_October_24#List of English Americans. Badagnani 16:55, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


Presidential List[edit]

Does the list of English presidents add anything of value to this article? Wouldn't perhaps a choice selection of "notable English Americans" be better? Therefore, I propose removing this list.--Ernstk (talk) 02:13, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

There's already a list of English Americans, so there's no need for the list of presidents. Cop 663 (talk) 03:02, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Noted. I'm removing the list of presidents from this article.--Ernstk (talk) 00:02, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Disagree - all <ethnic>-American pages have lists of US Presidents, so in the interests of consistency this should remain. Unless decision is taken to remove all lists of US Presidents from all <ethnic>-American pages>?216.107.194.166 (talk) 18:20, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Alexander Hamilton - was the son of a Scottish Laird! Please remember that Scotland does not equal England. They are not the same. Scotland had fought against England for many centuries to make sure they were not the same! Most of the founding fathers of the US were actualy of Scottish ancestory.

Surely if you include Alexander Hamilton (as well as other Scots or Welsh) in because you mistake the island of Britain (which Scotland and Wales are also part of) for England (The bottom part of this island) then can you realy claim to know what an English American is if you don't have a basic grasp of the geography of the country of England and who is actualy from it? 09:44 29 December 2009.

There seems to be a misconception here - Scotland and England had been one nation for the better part of a century when the revolutionary war started - so the colonists where fighting against Scotland. In addition, Scotch-Irish does not mean Scottish... the Scotch Irish were a combination of the English, Irish and Scottish living in the new plantations in Nortern Ireland. By the way, Alexander Hamilton was not the son of a Scottish Laird - he was the illegitimate son of Rachel Fawcett Lavien and James Hamilton, both of West Indian trading families. That said, he clearly wasn't English - he was of mixed French (from his mother) and Scottish (from his father) descent 216.107.194.166 (talk) 13:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Your very incorrect even if Alexander Hamilton dad was Scottish his surname is of English origin, so that means like him and many Scottish people he must have English ancestry on his fathers side, the vast majority of American presidents are NOT of Scottish ancestry they are of English ancestry there are references to these claims if you do not believe me.86.135.58.219 (talk) 22:28, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Anglo-American[edit]

How can Anglo-American have a less precise meaning than English American?--Aiel 999 (talk) 18:39, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

"Anglo" can have other meanings: see Anglophone, Anglo-Celtic and Anglo. English American is very specific in that it refers to Americans of English descent. Saimdusan Talk|Contribs 05:44, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

"English people make up an estimated 8.7% of the total U.S. population..."[edit]

Well, no, they don't do they?

They might be of English ancestry, but they're not "English". Actual English people probably make up less than half a per cent —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.161.244.202 (talk) 18:58, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Being of English ancestry makes one English in the United States, just like being of Italian ancestry makes one Italian or Irish ancestry makes one Irish. Your snobbish comment notwithstanding, that's they way we identify with our ancestry groups.Thesouthernhistorian45 (talk) 03:01, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

New York[edit]

NY isn't named after the city of York, but the Duke of York (later James II) as the reference indicates.--Cavort (talk) 11:32, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I may have been named for the Duke of York, but the suffix of New implies was named after the city of York. Otherwise it would have just be called "York", "York Town", "Yorkton", "Yorkville"....take your pick! Dainamo (talk) 23:43, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

early settlements[edit]

Bold text —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.238.0.184 (talk) 07:06, 19 March 2009 (UTC)


Barrack Obama[edit]

Can we include him in the montage of english american? He is english by all means and he is the president... I see no reason why he should not be added. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FlushinQwnzNyc (talkcontribs) 22:40, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

He largely identifies as African American, many blacks in the USA have English Heritage, although they are not part of the "Anglo-American" community. I think he is a much better representative of African Americans or Mixed race Americans. Including him as an English American is really disingenuous I feel. 50.80.146.188 (talk) 23:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)


Culture[edit]

I think it's just overinflated bullshit to say that we inherit our culture from English people. While a significant degree of our culture was built upon European cultures in General due to mass immigration, I fail to see anything significant the English have contributed aside from Language, and Americans are now beginning to see how unnecessary even that is. Football and Baseball were created on American soil, by Americans. They can not in any way be credited to any European nation. Regardless of Sport that preceded them. Captain Spleen (talk) 16:45, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Are you kidding? Much of your fiction = Based on British works from Star Wars to Dawn of the Dead. Much of your folklore = British derived. Legal system = British derived, Education system = British derived, Language = British derived, Sports = British derived. Hell even most of your "inventions" were just derivatives of already existing British technology. Like the Computer & Laptop. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:C4EA:CA0:95E0:2068:3EFE:D9AD (talk) 04:02, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

The British gave America its language, its (Protestant) religion, its legal system, military structure, education system ... what 'significant degree' of American culture came from the Poles, Italians, Germans or Irish? The odd culinary dish, that's all. And you really need to read more Wikipedia articles about sport if you think baseball and American football didn't originate in Britain. Vauxhall1964 (talk) 17:17, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Personally i think Captain Spleen is talking over inflated bullshit! Look at the lineage of both your version of football (Rugby with safety padding) and Baseball, you'll find that niether would exist if it was not for the English sports they copied. John Wayne in the film, Trouble Along The Way, attests to the History of American football, he explains that is derived from William Webb Ellis picking up the soccer ball and in the process giving birth to Rugby. The sport that without, American football would not exist! And base-ball is already covered in the Wiki article as pre existing America itself.So tell me how are they entirley American sports? I know its hard for you Americans to accept the truth, hence the reason you try to re-write it so often!--English n proud (talk) 11:53, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Pathetic americans you're not real americans - the natives are real americans.

I don't think the article states that all culture came from the English - what it does say is that a lot of the culture that is American was influenced by England. Just because the comments above come from an Anglophobe doesn't make them accurate. Look at the wikipedia pages ... Football ... came from the sports of Soccer and Rugby, Baseball.... came from the sport of rounders / town ball ...It doesn't make them any less American. Even the ideas of Liberty.... from England (the US had the revolution that England should have had).... afterall, the revolution was about lack of representation in the democratic process in Britain....not wholly new ideas that were American only. The bottom line is the core culture (good and bad) of the US is Anglo - it didn't just spring up when the ancestors of modern americans took the land from the natives.216.107.194.166 (talk) 13:48, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

...not to mention a legal system based on English Common Law, English weights and measures, A House of Reps and Senate based loosely on the Commons and Lords etc. etc. Dainamo (talk) 23:51, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

One could also throw in a significant portion of religious practices and their influences on society, particularly Protestant Christianity. Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Quakers all originated as English movements. The Puritans in New England left many descendant sects, including many Congregationalist denominations as well as some Presbyterian, Baptist, and Unitarian groups. The dominance of English Protestantism in early American history paved the way for the emergence of new movements that developed during the Great Awakening, such as Mormonism. It explains the easier assimilation of other Protestant immigrant groups, including the Germans, Scottish, Welsh, French Huguenots, and Scandinavians, compared to Catholics and non-Christians (though even some English came from these groups, like the Catholics who founded Maryland). It explains the prevalence of Protestant Christianity among African Americans and Native Americans. Even many nonreligious Americans such as myself (I'm agnostic) can be argued to have world views that are shaped by Protestant influences.
There are many other English influences, too. We take for granted that many of the foods we consider to be everyday fare were introduced to the United States from England, including pies, sandwiches, pancakes, apple sauce, and bacon. Many traditional Thanksgiving dishes and much of traditional New England and Southern cuisine originated from the mingling of English, West African, and Native American ingredients and cooking techniques. In music, English and other British folk influences were important in the development of American folk music traditions, out of which the popular country and bluegrass genres developed. Many popular Christmas carols, nursery rhymes, and hymns are also of English origin. Even the tune of our national anthem came from an English composer, as did several other patriotic songs.
We just take for granted these influences due to English culture being our core.--74.103.150.125 (talk) 05:08, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

The English were the founders of a considerable number of America's world renowned Universities. Harvard, Yale, Brown, U Penn, Stanford, Dartmouth, etc..


Suggest we delete the reference to the Boy Scouts celebrating St. George's Day. St. George is the patron saint of the Boy Scouts, but this is unrelated to England. I'll note that St. George is also the patron of Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Russia and Serbia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.192.89.149 (talk) 03:26, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

No because the scouts have St. George's day because of the English origins of the scouts. So it's directly related to Englishness and in no way related to Aragon, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Germany, Greece,Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Portugal, Russia and Serbia. They may also celebrate St. George's day, but for different reasons. The Boy Scouts in America celebrate St. George's day EXCLUSIVELY due to their English origins. --Thesouthernhistorian45 (talk) 18:39, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

Obama[edit]

Would Obama be considered an enligsh-american as his mother was mainly of english descent? He is probably extremely famour so maybe he could be in the infobox. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.161.2.237 (talk) 00:32, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, I don't understand how Obama can't be included into English Americans but he can be included into African Americans/Kenyan Americans. Does wikipedia go by the one drop rule? I can name limitless articles that include an individual into race/ethnic categories that are mixed, but in the case of Barrack Obama he is only included in black catergories? 50% English, 50% Kenyan I don't see argument here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 151.202.70.20 (talk) 03:12, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Don't be silly, Obama is an Irish American. Everybody knows that if you are 3% Irish, 3% German and 44% English ( as well as 50% Kenyan ), then you can call yourself an Irish-American or a German-American, but never an English-American. Its Irish logic like this that leads to the conclusion that only 8.7% of Americans have ANY English ancestry.

I hope your being sarcastic....86.135.58.219 (talk) 22:52, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Real Numbers[edit]

Why on the Scottish American page does it show their true numbers rather than just those whom self-identify as Scots descent whilst on the English American page it only shows the number of Yanks that actually identify as English descended rather than the full number (est 80 million+). It seems abit unfair to me. English Bobby (talk) 17:20, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Bill Gates???[edit]

Bill Gates is of "English, German, and Scotch-Irish descent". What makes him "English American"?? Is there any evidence that he self-identifies himself as an "American of English descent"?--Work permit (talk) 06:52, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

There is no evidence that he self identifies as English American - what is certain is that he has substantial English ancestory, dating back to the Puritan settlers in the Boston area. He is of typical American descent - a mix of mainly Northern European bloodlines. 216.107.194.166 (talk) 13:44, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

English Family Names[edit]

Some of these "English" surnames have much greater percentages of descendants with German ancestry. Example, the name Miller is a big German name. Smith as well is a corruption of the German surname "Schmidt". Basically my point is that these names are not unique to the British Isles nor to England in particular. --KR —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.234.195.212 (talk) 13:05, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

^ can anybody actually prove that? Considering that Smith and Miller, are amongst the most common names in England, and have been in America since colonial times, how can you say for sure that the majority of people with that name aren't of English decent?


There has been a lot of change on the English family names section of this article. It appears that there are references to support the majority of the origin statements, but these are repeatably removed and the origin switched to 'Ireland'. Can some concensus be met to decide on an appropriate reference for the origins of these last names & stick with that? The reference provided in the text (and that keeps getting removed) is 100 Most Common U.S. Surnames - is this an appropriate reference, and if not, what can be used.

The constant 'copy / edit' and 'undos' should stop. I've reverted back to what appears to the original whilst concensus is reached.

--Spikey Wikey (talk) 19:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

yes, there had been a reference added..although most were reliable apart from one person reverting it to add ireland..simply because its a common surname but the origins of the name arnt irish..otherwise this article needs to block. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.219.189 (talk) 15:01, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

In the "history" section of the English Family Names section of this article, someone made an entry on 4/29 which said, "A number of the surnames do exist in Ireland, but they exist there due to immigration by Anglos, Scots and Welsh." Apparently this person therefore thinks that certain common names in Ireland (Smith, Johnson, Williams and Brown) are not really "Irish" surnames. I think this is an inaccurate interpretation of Irish history. Allow me to explain my thinking on this.

Approximately 48 percent of the inhabitants of the Republic of Ireland (so we are excluding Northern Ireland here) have surnames that are also common English and Scottish surnames. The rest of the population has surnames that are uniquely Irish and derive from the Gaelic language of the island's Keltic ancestors. However, the reason for the 48 percent having English/Scots names is not because of recent settlement from England and Scotland. One of the reasons has to due with the penal laws of the Middle Ages, when England forced the Irish to adopt English-sounding names. Many Irish who had Gaelic names translated them from Gaelic to English. For example, people with names that meant smith, or brown, or green in Gaelic, simply adopted Smith or Brown or Green as their new surname.

Another reason for the similarity between many Irish and English names has to do with the invasion of Ireland in the late 12th Century by the Anglo-Normans, who brought many Norman names to Ireland that were also common in England. Today, 12 percent of the Irish have names of Norman origin.

Also, starting in 795, Viking raiders brought many names of Norse origin to Ireland; names that they also brought to England, thus resulting in many names having both an "Irish" and "English" origin.

The three historical scenarios above explain the commonality between many Irish and English names. To say that these are not really "Irish" names makes no sense. After all, if one says that the introduction of Norman names in the late 12th Century makes these really "English" names, then, logically, you would have to assert that Norman names in England aren't really English names because they came to England from Normandy after 1066. Moreover, as far the the surname conversions that took place during the penal laws period are concerned, that happened in the Middle Ages, 500 years ago, so I think any reasonable person would agree that names like Smith and Brown are "Irish," in a linguistic and/or historical sense.

If some previous Wikipedia "editor" is asserting that only those names that derive from Keltic origins are Irish, and those that come from penal era conversions, Norse settlement, and Norman settlement are not, all I can say is that I think most historians would consider such a conclusion as false. (I noticed on the list of English family names, Davis is listed as both an English name and Welsh name. This would seem to be inconsistent with the Wikipedia editor's philosophy concerning Irish names; if Davis is "English," then, according to his/her logic, it can't really also be "Welsh," since only names of Keltic origin would qualify as Welsh.)

In any event, my understanding about Wikipedia articles is that anyone is free, if not welcome, to edit the contents of any article that allows editing. What I have done in adding the "Ireland" references was done in good faith and in an attempt to improve the accuracy of the article. It does not constitute "vandalism" in any sense. (There was one instance when I mucked up the list of names and couldn't figure out how to correct it. That was a unintentional on my part.)

- Oregon Wikipedia Editor —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.82.5 (talk) 19:56, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

An english surname doesnt mean the people are of english origin, since many maybe of english descent in ireland..many as you say adopted a surname...but that doesnt mean the name is suddenly of irish origin..500 years doesnt mean its of Irish origin..since surnames in general arnt that old....anybody can adopt a surname. read this English Surnames in Ireland .also wikipedia is about giving sources and references, you need to give any references saying its origins are in Ireland.. The surname Garcia for example is the most common in mexico, yet 500 years down the line, it is still of Spanish origin, not mexican. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.38.108 (talk) 04:28, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. I think I understand our difference of opinion. You seem to believe that only names that are linguistically Gaelic are "Irish" names. My assertion (which I think is more common in everyday usage) is that any surname in common usage in Ireland which came into use in Ireland through historical, demographic or cultural circumstances should be viewed as "Irish." I think most people, when they think of English, German or French names, think of names that are in common usage in those countries, regardless of the linguistic and/or historical circumstances that gave rise to their use.

For example, the creation of the Danelaw centuries ago in England, resulted in many Danish names being brought to England. Most common English names today that end in the suffix of "by" (like Danby, etc.) come from Danish names. Yet they are still thought of as "English" names. Also, the Angles and Saxons brought many German names that evolved into common surnames in England. Are these names really German rather than English? And, as I have already noted, the Normans brought French names to England in 1066, but most people would recognize these French Norman names in use today in England as "English," and I don't think anyone would seriously assert that they aren't really English because they came from Normandy. Do you understand my point here? It's not really that subtle. Most people associate a name as having a certain "nationality" if it is in common use in a particular country, regardless of ancient demographic or linguistic history. Your point of view on this subject is, I think, rather arcane, and doesn't really reflect any kind of mainstream scholarly thought.

Of course, if a Pole with a typical Polish surname moved to Dublin with his family, and their name appeared in the Dublin phone directory, that would not make his name an Irish name. That would be silly. However, the three historical scenarios that I have cited happened hundreds of years ago, in some cases over a thousand years ago, so they were an integral and legitimate part of the ebb and flow of Irish history. For example, if Vikings brought Norse names to Ireland starting in 795, and they also brought those names to England, and this resulted in the development of the same surnames in both Ireland and England, why would these names today only be considered English and not Irish? Moreover, when the Normans invaded England in 1066 they brought certain names that became common in England. Then, in the 1170s, when they invaded Ireland, they brought some of those same names to Ireland. This resulted in many identical surnames in Ireland and England. Again, what would be the basis for your assertion that such names are English and not Irish? To me, your whole point of view on this makes no sense.

I'm curious. Do you have any special expertise in western European history and/or Indo-European linguistics? Do you have a degree from any college or university in these subjects? If this area is of such great interest to you, perhaps you should consider enrolling in some classes in these subjects so you can speak with more authority. I think this would be more productive for you than spending your time promulgating goofy historical/linguistic theories in Wikipedia articles.

Your argument about the Anglo Saxons (or to name all the tribes involved in the migrations and subsequently responsible for the creation of England, which comes from the name "Anglalond" or land of the Angles.The other tribes were the Jutes, Saxons, some Frisians and Franks) is totally wrong......."Also, the Angles and Saxons brought many German names that evolved into common surnames in England. Are these names really German rather than English?..... No, they are English! As without the Anglo Saxons there would be NO England....it would still be just the Roman province of Britainnia, or whatever the native Britons (the people who would become the Welsh and Scottish/Pictish, who were pushed in the western and northern extremities by the very same Anglo Saxons) chose to call their land post Roman withdrawal. Your argument is pointless as the name England is the time corrupted version of Anglalond. Without them there would be no Engoland at all!--English n proud (talk) 12:20, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Oregon Wikipedia Editor —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.82.5 (talk) 19:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

That's nicely argued - but the bottom line is that we need some references to substantiate the arguement that these english family names could be Irish in origin.75.69.101.208 (talk) 23:47, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I would have to question whether references are really needed. In scholarly works, not every sentence or bit of information needs a reference. But I won't argue with you about that. However, here is my concern: How do YOU define "Irish in origin"? In order to qualify as "Irish" in orgin, does the name have to be of Gaelic linguistic origin? If a name is of Gaelic origin, would it, in your opinion, qualify as "Irish" if it became Anglicized in Ireland during the Middle Ages? (For example, the Gaelic name MacGabhan means Smith, and was Anglicized to "Smith" in Ireland in the 15 Century.) Also, would names that were orginally Norman French and brought to Ireland in the late 12th Century be considered Irish? Would names of Norse origin which were brought to Ireland by Vikings in the 8th Century be considered of Irish origin in your opinion? I would like to have clarification from you on that first. Otherwise, I'll just end up providing references that demonstrate the origins of some of these names as Irish but originally of Norse, Gaelic translation, or Norman origin, and you will just simply not accept them as being of Irish origin, which means we will not have settled our dispute.
By the way, using a false reference or citation is considered in academic circles as dishonest and unethical. I'm not sure who is responsible for this, but in the list of Englsih family names in this Wiki article, Davis is listed as having its origins in both England and Wales, but that is not supported by the reference, which only indicates that the name has its origin in England. There is no reference to Wales at all in the reference. Since you're so concerned with references, what is the point in having a reference if it doesn't actually support the statement in question?
Please respond to my questions above about what you agree constitutes "Irish origin" so I will know how to proceed.
Thank you.
Oregon Wikipedia Editor —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.82.5 (talk) 19:06, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Before I address your comments and questions in turn, please let me congratulate you on responding to the numerous invitations to discuss the dispute, before making controversial edits.
I agree with you that not every statement in a scholarly work requires a reference. However, when trying to state a view that is contrary to perceived wisdom it would be wise to do so. Otherwise, its an opinion only. You make a good point on 'Davis' - if the reference supports only an English origin, then the Welsh statement should be removed. We're not going to be able to make definitive statements
It is tragically true that the introduction of the English language had a distorting effect on many ancient Irish names as many of those preparing legal documents had no knowledge of the Irish language. For your 'Smith' example, there are likely to be a number of wholly indegenous Irish families that carry the name 'Smith' who were originally named 'MacGabhan' or 'MacGowan' (Mac an Ghabhann = son of the smith). I would argue that although the family was irish, the very fact they were Anglicizing their name shows that they were changing the name to fit into the dominant English culture of their area of that time - this doesn't mean they became any less Irish, but does mean that in their area the old Gaelic tongue started to lose it's influence. It's a different matter if the original holder of the last name Smith was named due to his occupation as a Blacksmith in Ireland - this would certainly support an origin of Ireland.
Regarding names brought into Ireland by the Vikings or the Norman French, I'd say that there is a good case to suggest that these will be Irish. Take the name 'Fitzgerald' for example - clearly Norman in origin, but certainly nothing but an Irish name. I very much doubt if there are any names that can be traced back to the Viking directly - although there are likely to be a lot of Irish names that were influenced by Viking culture (Dublin being an example of a Viking city for example)
Just because a name is common in a country does not mean that is where the name originated. If you look to the UK now, you might conclude that as Patel and Murphy are common there, that must mean that they originated there. The same applies to US names like Smith, Johnson, etc - just because they are common does not mean they originate in a particular location. The evidence would seem to suggest that a number of these last names originated in England and were brought into Ireland by colonizers, or by the process of anglisization of the existing Irish people.
If there is evidence that the most common names in England also independently originated in Ireland, then lets include it! Just because it is fashionable at present to be of Irish origin in the US does not mean that everything must have come from Ireland. 216.107.194.166 (talk) 17:20, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your detailed response. Because your response was so detailed, it provides me with a clearer picture of your thinking on this subject. I agree with most of your observations. I'd like to do a little research on this and see what I can come up with. However, I'm getting fairly busy with my business, and I'm going to have to drop out of this conversation for a few weeks. Please check this Conversation section of this Wikipedia article around the middle of June to see if I have any new insights to share with you.

Oregon Wikipedia Editor —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.211.82.5 (talk) 19:44, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

2nd World War[edit]

Should there be an inclusion in this article about the World War 2 War Brides? This, and the marraiges between American military personel stationed in the UK from then to present times is a significant contribution to the English American population.Kunchan (talk) 09:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Anglo Americans[edit]

I have noticed the term Anglo-American redirects here. However in the UK and the rest of the world Anglo American reflects anyone who has recent & dual English and American heritage - and does not reflect Americans with an Anglo Saxon background. In particular it refers to the offspring where two nationalities have come together in the past few generations (Halle Berry is a good example) via a marriage. This can be either an English person marrying into an American family living in the states - or an American marrying into an English family living in the UK and their offspring (ie Winston Churchill). Further generation revert to the nationality of the country where they grew up (ie Churchill's own grandchildren. Hope this makes sense and not sure where it would be covered... Kunchan (talk) 09:09, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

It is very commonly used as a reference to English Americans in the USA, especially in the Western USA. As this article deals with a USA ethnic group I feel that the USA usage should take precedence even though this is a common English speaking encyclopedia. 50.80.146.188 (talk) 23:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

Difference to British Americans?[edit]

Is there any particular difference in an official sense? Or is being stylised as an English-American as oppose to British-American a matter of personal preference? TomB123 (talk) 18:45, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

British and English do not mean the same thing. Britain is 3 countries, England, Scotland and wales, with different histories. The Scottish for the most part will never call themselves English. British is a collective term for great britain. It's a common mistake in the USA to think they hVe the same meaning..ie: a British accent, when they really mean an English one, usually southern English to be precise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.178.37.202 (talk) 18:14, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

The difference was definitely important in colonial America. Early colonial South Carolina, for example, had somewhat competing English and Scottish factions, in Charleston and Port Royal. Before Acts of Union 1707 there were no "British" people in the modern sense. Pfly (talk) 18:36, 15 October 2010 (UTC)


Please as an English American I find the Term Anglo American offensive. I do not wish to be called Anglo. Nor do I wish to be called Gringo. Stop it. Ulao (talk) 01:49, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Early settlement and colonization section[edit]

I made some large cuts to this section and am tempted to make more. But for now will just post here instead. Maybe I am missing something. Much of this section seems to be making rather grand claims I find extremely hard to believe, and with no references cited at all. I removed this bit, regarding Spanish and Mexicans:

The text just following this I did not remove, but is it really claiming what it seems to be:

  • They were also co-monarchs of Southern Italy, from whence priests catered to the English and Irish Catholics and most Italian Americans today source their heritage there. Also, one of the famous First Families of Virginia, was Taliaferro (anglicized Toliver). Thus, statewide majority ancestries of Americans largely owe their place in America, due to the English component...

The implication here is that the the reason there are Italian Americans is because Mary Tudor and Philip II had dominion over southern Italy in the 16th century, and because an early Virginian family was named Taliaferro? Really? Also, the (run on) sentence starting "Thus, statewide majority ancestries of Americans largely owe their place in America, due to the English component..." is quite confusing. And the whole rest of the paragraph--what is the relevance to English Americans? Am I missing something? Are we really suggesting that Japanese people immigrated to America due to Italian navigators from centuries ago? And on this last part:

There were Indian Reserves long before 1763. The first that comes to mind was one granted to the Yamasee by South Carolina around 1700-1710 or so. Details about how Indiana got its name seem tangential at best. The topic of "Jeffersonian plans for Indian removal" is much more complex than this. I'm skeptical that the 1763 reserve was a model for Jefferson. The term "Wild West" seems odd in this context. And neither Oklahoma nor its Indian Territory existed in Jefferson's day, nor were either the "original" destination of "removal". Early Cherokee removals (or "encouraged migrations" anyway) and reserves were in Arkansas, for example. Anyway, beside the factual errors, I don't understand why any of this needs to be said here. What am I missing? Should it be removed?

Other issues from earlier in this section:

  • Despite the voyage of Cabot, English colonists knew themselves as "Americans" chronologically before "Canadians", since the latter country was founded by elements of the American population who were either politically attached to the Georgians, or were interested in the spoils of war with French Canada...

Canada was hardly "founded by elements of the American population". Many people migrated to Canada directly from Britain after the US was established. This sentence suggests that Canadians mainly migrated from the US to Canada.

This suggests that Germans migrated to America because there was a German connected in the British royal family. Perhaps there is some small link there, but there are many other, more important reasons why Germans migrated to America. And many were not from Hanover anyway, but from Rhineland-Palatinate and areas farther inland. The German Palatines, for example, fled to England as refugees of the Thirty Years War, not because the King of England controlled Hanover. Also, I'm not sure what the toponymy examples are supposed to show. And anyway, the section is titled "Early settlement and colonization", so why are we talking about Alberta?

The claim here seems to be that New Sweden was founded because Scottish Covenanters fought with Gustavus. Hard to believe. Also, Nova Scotia was French at first. Was there really a Swedish/Scottish link between New Sweden and Nova Scotia? The log cabin claim is particularly questionable.

So, my main question is: Can we salvage this section at all? Pfly (talk) 02:16, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

So, I looked at the page history and found the origin of this section as it reads now: diff. Interesting edit summary: "(2D traditional prose too generic) (Tag: references removed)". Any objections to returning the text to what it was before this change? Pfly (talk) 05:52, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
The guy who put that in is, frankly, nuts - look at any of his other edits. So by all means revert! It is sad that he seems to have considerable insight but also has a..ehem..very special POV. --92.202.110.136 (talk) 20:30, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Oh, thanks for reminding me about this. I just reverted to the older version. Pfly (talk) 21:48, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

British English[edit]

British English is not a term that is recognised outside the United States. One assumes that when an American English speaker refers to British English he/she is referring to standard English. Standard English is a recognised term that applies to the correct form of the language, as spoken in the United Kingdom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.27.103.205 (talk) 22:26, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm from the uk and I state my nationality as British English, as my ethnicity is from all over Great Britain but I was born in England. So the term is recognised outside the USA.94.172.135.224 (talk) 17:13, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Presidents of English descent[edit]

If this truly is a list of Presidents of English descent, why do 80% of the descriptions describe how Scotch-Irish the presidents are?86.142.60.151 (talk) 10:40, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to ban user-created montages from Infoboxes[edit]

You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Ethnic_groups#Infobox_Images_for_Ethnic_Groups. Bulldog123 09:36, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Cary Grant[edit]

Isn't Cary Grant a really bad example? He differs from all the others given as examples in that he was born in England to English parents and as such was fully English until later in his life when he took US citizenship. This makes him much more than "of English heritage" Sue De Nimes (talk) 19:16, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Everything you said makes him an english american. If he took U.S citenships then he is american too. Hence, the dual name. --DavisJune (talk) 04:04, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

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