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  #21  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 9:50 PM
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^ as a person of partial irish descent in chicago, it does seem to me like most chicago irish are pretty damn token these days.

sure we dye the river green and don our CHI-rish shamrock t-shirts and drink way too much guiness and end up pissing and/or vomiting on our neighbor's lawn at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on st. patrick's day, but that's everyone in the whole damn city, regardless of their ethnic ancestry.

that, and almost everyone is seemingly a goddamn insufferable notre dame fan (but that was more of a thing back in the day, i suppose).


one thing about these diaspora things that interests me is how they stay pure over time.

my 4 grandparents were (generically, by ancestry, not birth) irish, british mutt, german, & french/german. so i'm a 100% chicago euro-mutt. needless to say, cultural traditions holdovers from the old country were pretty few and far between for me growing up.

but then i went and married an extremely italian american girl. every single one of her grandparents or great grandparents were born in italy. when i first met some of her extended relatives, literally the first questioned i was asked was if i was italian too. i could actually see the subtle looks of disappointment on their faces when i replied "no". these people actually seemed to give a shit about keeping their whole pure italian-american bloodline thing going on into the future. it was such a shockingly divergent experience from what i had growing up where everyone was encouraged to freely date and marry anyone of any ethnicity/race/religion/whatever-the-fuck.
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  #22  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:15 PM
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I've seen a few maps of the US suggesting that German-Americans are the biggest single group in terms of heritage. But then those same maps have big parts of the South where the majority says they are simply 'American'. I guess a lot of those people have English/Scottish/Irish ancestors but they don't identify as such unlike say Americans of German or Scandinavian ancestry in the Mid West.
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  #23  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2017, 11:31 PM
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I am pretty sure there is more British ancestry than German ancestry in America. But no doubt German ancestry is very common and has a plurality in Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

Yet nobody ever speaks of a "German diaspora" in the US and there are no "German" neighborhoods. I doubt many people in Milwaukee would say "I'm German" (they might say German descent) but lots of people in Boston will say they are Irish even if they're fifth generation Americans whose ancestors came in the 19th century.
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  #24  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Here's an interesting NYT piece from 1983 on Irish American politics in New York.



http://www.nytimes.com/1983/03/04/ny...pagewanted=all

It notes the presence of 20th century Irish immigrant neighborhoods such as Woodlawn and Yonkers with more hard-line views than those of more long established, assimilated Irish Americans.

The fifth generation "militant Irish American" thing is probably more of a Boston phenomenon, while in New York it's more a product of 20th century immigration.
The Woodlawn-South Yonkers area is probably the only place in the U.S. where you will actually hear tons of Irish accents and residents actually have living connections to Ireland. NYC still gets a fair number of Irish immigrants, especially construction workers (though migration is reduced since Ireland started booming).

Katonah Ave. (on the Bronx side) and McLean Ave. (on the Yonkers side) are the main commercial streets.

The other Irish neighborhoods in the NYC metro tend to be like the Boston (and I think Philly) Irish: very proud and ethnically distinct, but their own thing, not really Irish or "regular" American.
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  #25  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:27 AM
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On the question of Boston's Irish population, it's hard to consider them as a diaspora anymore considering the migratory links are so far removed; but they've instead since formed a unique American-Irish culture rather than just becoming wholly assimilated into the white American mainstream.
As an Irish guy from Boston, I can agree with most of this. The 1983 NYT piece Docere quotes is still largely applicable today, however; my guess is that the Boston and to a lesser extent NYC Irish in general have closer connections to Ireland than Irish groups in other parts of the country, but the connections are still flimsy for many. Lots of us still have second-degree relatives living in Ireland (like me). But frankly, that "unique" Irish-American culture you mention annoys me and confuses the hell out of my real Irish relatives. The term "Plastic Paddy" wasn't coined for no reason, after all.

Boston and coastal New England overall still sees a lot of young Irish immigration - it's a seasonal rite of passage for many Irish teens and 20-somethings to work on Cape Cod or on York County beaches in Maine over the summer. I remember there being a good number of Irish with summer jobs in Nova Scotia too, not sure if that's still a thing?
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  #26  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:48 AM
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Single Irish ancestry (% of total Irish ancestry):

Yonkers 49.6%
Boston 42.6%
Norfolk County 42.3%
NYC 34.4%
Philadelphia 33.8%
Nassau County 30.9%
Cook County 28.5%
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  #27  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:58 AM
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Boston mayor Marty Walsh is the son of Irish immigrants. And Ireland is still in the top 10 countries of birth in Boston.

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...-02e1fddd71e3/
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  #28  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
Boston mayor Marty Walsh is the son of Irish immigrants. And Ireland is still in the top 10 countries of birth in Boston.

http://www.bostonplans.org/getattach...-02e1fddd71e3/
Interesting. So Southie probably does have a decent amount of Irish-born elderly and maybe even a few younger folks working as tradesmen. It isn't all fifth generation folks.

The 4 train to Woodlawn, the Bronx is kinda interesting because it passes through Hispanic neighborhoods for most of its Bronx route, while ending in Woodlawn. Already in Manhattan, you can guess where most of the redheads and pale folks are getting off. Lots of folks in the building trades.
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  #29  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
I've seen a few maps of the US suggesting that German-Americans are the biggest single group in terms of heritage. But then those same maps have big parts of the South where the majority says they are simply 'American'. I guess a lot of those people have English/Scottish/Irish ancestors but they don't identify as such unlike say Americans of German or Scandinavian ancestry in the Mid West.
There is a lot of German ancestry in Central Texas (hence the existence of towns like Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Bourne, Pflugerville, and many other smaller towns with German names and heritage). I watched a documentary a couple years back on a Texas dialect of German that was being studied by linguists and anthropologists. Many folks in the earlier part of the Baby Boomer generation grew up in these towns speaking a form of German in their homes and with family and friends while speaking English in school. In the documentary, they pointed to WWII and a lot of anti-German sentiment as a reason for not continuing to teach their children, etc. The language has all but stopped, but it's an interesting thing to consider. There was a significant German migration to Texas in the 1800s - especially to the Hill Country. A lot of "Texas" food (BBQ, etc.) and beer was heavily influenced by Germans.
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
I am pretty sure there is more British ancestry than German ancestry in America. But no doubt German ancestry is very common and has a plurality in Pennsylvania and the Midwest.....
No, German ancestry truly is the most common US ancestry. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/o...n-america.html
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
I am pretty sure there is more British ancestry than German ancestry in America. But no doubt German ancestry is very common and has a plurality in Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

Yet nobody ever speaks of a "German diaspora" in the US and there are no "German" neighborhoods. I doubt many people in Milwaukee would say "I'm German" (they might say German descent) but lots of people in Boston will say they are Irish even if they're fifth generation Americans whose ancestors came in the 19th century.
Yes, it's interesting how some ethnicities keep at least some traditions going for quite a few generations while some seem to have largely abandoned them.

I've read several things which pointed out that the two World Wars killed a lot of the sense of ethnic pride certainly among Germans, but it even affected other immigrant groups such as the Dutch in western Michigan. Not sure why some groups, such as the Irish and Italian, were able to resist early 20th Century efforts to discourage "foreign-ness." I think the Irish got away with it because they already spoke English so nobody really minded them. Not sure why the Italians were able to resist it - maybe because they had such popular food?

And yes, there are a few German neighborhoods and towns, in the Midwest and elsewhere. Of course they aren't what they used to be, but they're still there.
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:22 AM
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No, German ancestry truly is the most common US ancestry. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/o...n-america.html
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:26 AM
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No, German ancestry truly is the most common US ancestry. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/23/o...n-america.html
Largest reported ancestry. In the 1980 census, English was the largest reported ancestry. The reason German ancestry "pulled ahead" is because of a huge drop-off in English ancestry responses in the South (where "American ancestry" is concentrated).

If 8 million Americans were of German ancestry in 1900 (after the mass immigration of the 19th century had occurred) how could they have surpassed English ancestry since then? The English had a massive head start as the majority of whites in the colonial era were English (no more than 10% were German, mostly in Pennsylvania).
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 2:40 AM
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Yes, it's interesting how some ethnicities keep at least some traditions going for quite a few generations while some seem to have largely abandoned them.

I've read several things which pointed out that the two World Wars killed a lot of the sense of ethnic pride certainly among Germans, but it even affected other immigrant groups such as the Dutch in western Michigan. Not sure why some groups, such as the Irish and Italian, were able to resist early 20th Century efforts to discourage "foreign-ness." I think the Irish got away with it because they already spoke English so nobody really minded them. Not sure why the Italians were able to resist it - maybe because they had such popular food?
The Italians arrived later than these other groups, mostly in the 20th century and there was a bigger cultural distance from the American mainstream than for those with northwest European ancestry. So they wouldn't have able to so easily "drop" their heritage.

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And yes, there are a few German neighborhoods and towns, in the Midwest and elsewhere. Of course they aren't what they used to be, but they're still there.
Rural towns where Germans settled, sure. But urban neighborhoods or suburbs? Where?
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 3:04 AM
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German Village in Columbus OH is an example.

Italians arrived in big numbers mostly prior to WWI. After a series of measures restricting immigration earlier in the century, the Immigration Act of 1921 finally put a lid on large-scale immigration from places like Italy. So, the bulk of them arrived before then.
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 4:13 AM
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Originally Posted by James Bond Agent 007 View Post
German Village in Columbus OH is an example.
Is it a historic German neighborhood, or is the specific German concentration there today?

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Italians arrived in big numbers mostly prior to WWI. After a series of measures restricting immigration earlier in the century, the Immigration Act of 1921 finally put a lid on large-scale immigration from places like Italy. So, the bulk of them arrived before then.
Not sure how this contradicts my earlier point. Most of the Italian immigration still occurred after 1900, not before 1890. And the heyday of "100% Americanism" was around WWI and the 1920s, when Italians were still a very recently arrived group, not a long established one, and more "foreign" to WASP America than the Germans, Irish, Dutch and Scandinavians.

Last edited by Docere; Apr 26, 2017 at 4:27 AM.
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 4:23 AM
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Single Irish ancestry (% of total Irish ancestry):

Yonkers 49.6%
Boston 42.6%
Norfolk County 42.3%
NYC 34.4%
Philadelphia 33.8%
Nassau County 30.9%
Cook County 28.5%
Pretty cool, but I'd guess "single" ancestry for Irish is one of those misnomers, like "pure Japanese." I'm 3/4th Irish 1/4th Ukrainian, but there's no way that 3/4th Irish is purely Irish. 800 years of English and Scottish colonization with a good 300 years of Norse raiding thrown in practically guarantees Irish and Irish-Americans have plenty of English and / or dirty, dirty treacherous Scottish genes.
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  #38  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:41 PM
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Yes, it's interesting how some ethnicities keep at least some traditions going for quite a few generations while some seem to have largely abandoned them.

I've read several things which pointed out that the two World Wars killed a lot of the sense of ethnic pride certainly among Germans, but it even affected other immigrant groups such as the Dutch in western Michigan. Not sure why some groups, such as the Irish and Italian, were able to resist early 20th Century efforts to discourage "foreign-ness." I think the Irish got away with it because they already spoke English so nobody really minded them. Not sure why the Italians were able to resist it - maybe because they had such popular food?

Religion played a much bigger role in the past where it was the centre of a community's social life. And, while I'm not sure if it was quite as pronounced in the US as it was in Canada, but things were pretty starkly divided along sectarian lines. So while most of those Germans and Dutch and English and whatnot may have been going to the same Protestant churches & schools; the Catholic Irish & Italians wouldn't have so easily or willingly been able to integrate.

There are other factors as well of course, but I imagine this was a pretty big one.
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  #39  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:43 PM
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Is it a historic German neighborhood, or is the specific German concentration there today?
Not sure to be honest, though undoubtedly it's mostly a historic German neighborhood. That said, there aren't many European ethnic neighborhoods in the US anymore that still have lots of the original ethnic group still living there. Even most Little Italys have largely been reduced to a collection of Italian restaurants. So even if German Village is mostly historic that wouldn't make it any different from most formerly European ethnic neighborhoods.

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Not sure how this contradicts my earlier point. Most of the Italian immigration still occurred after 1900, not before 1890. And the heyday of "100% Americanism" was around WWI and the 1920s, when Italians were still a very recently arrived group, not a long established one, and more "foreign" to WASP America than the Germans, Irish, Dutch and Scandinavians.
Well, perhaps.
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  #40  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2017, 1:45 PM
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Religion played a much bigger role in the past where it was the centre of a community's social life. And, while I'm not sure if it was quite as pronounced in the US as it was in Canada, but things were pretty starkly divided along sectarian lines. So while most of those Germans and Dutch and English and whatnot may have been going to the same Protestant churches & schools; the Catholic Irish & Italians wouldn't have so easily or willingly been able to integrate.

There are other factors as well of course, but I imagine this was a pretty big one.
That's an interesting possibility, but since a large percentage (maybe even half? or probably at least a third) of the Germans were also Roman Catholics, it's not so cut and dried.
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