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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 12:06 AM
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Is it likely the majority of perhaps Anglophone Canadians had American ancestors?

If you include not just the British-descended Loyalists and their descendants, but anyone who lived in the US (whether in colonial days or up to the last few generations) prior to moving up to Canada, ranging from the early days when some Anglo-Canadians were descended from those living in the Thirteen Colonies, to later on (eg. German Americans who settled in Waterloo like the Mennonites, or Italian Americans who arrived to Montreal via Ellis Island, or black Canadian descendants of those who travelled the Underground Railroad, even some Chinese Canadians came to BC from California, all the way to Vietnam war draft dodgers and American expats who decided to settle in Vancouver or Toronto), could it be possible that a majority of Anglophone Canadians at least have "American" ancestors?

Rather than descent from someone from arrived straight from the Old World (be it Europe, or later on, non-European locales) and then landed in Canada without having any family ties to a settler or immigrant south of the border.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 12:13 AM
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If you include not just the British-descended Loyalists and their descendants, but anyone who lived in the US (whether in colonial days or up to the last few generations) prior to moving up to Canada, ranging from the early days when some Anglo-Canadians were descended from those living in the Thirteen Colonies, to later on (eg. German Americans who settled in Waterloo like the Mennonites, or Italian Americans who arrived to Montreal via Ellis Island, or black Canadian descendants of those who travelled the Underground Railroad, even some Chinese Canadians came to BC from California, all the way to Vietnam war draft dodgers and American expats who decided to settle in Vancouver or Toronto), could it be possible that a majority of Anglophone Canadians at least have "American" ancestors?

Rather than descent from someone from arrived straight from the Old World (be it Europe, or later on, non-European locales) and then landed in Canada without having any family ties to a settler or immigrant south of the border.
No. Most Canadians know where there families ''came from''. And 1 in 4 Canadians is an immigrant. Very, very few have U.S ties.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 1:28 AM
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I've known a few Canadians who had some American ancestors; anecdotally it seems more likely in Ontario (loyalists) or Western Canada, but the percentage is low enough to only be a minority. Conversely, many Americans had Canadian ancestors. My ancestors came over around the time when George Washington was president.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 2:13 AM
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I have noticed that a lot more people have modern American ancestors in Western Canada, or at least in BC and Alberta. Vancouver is something like 5-10% people who were born in the US today, while a handful of other Canadian cities are probably in the 2-5% range.

One thing to keep in mind is that if are talking about having any ancestors this is a very low bar when you consider that the US and its precursors have been settled for around 400 years now. People might have 2,000 ancestors going back to 1600 (2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents... not counting inbreeding). You could have an American ancestor and be 0.05% American. I think it is almost certainly true that most Canadians have some kind of ancestor who lived in the US at one point under this definition.

There is also the question of whether an ancestor who passed through the US counts, or whether they had to be born in the US. It was common at one point, before modern immigration controls, for people to show up and bounce around North America before settling somewhere.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 2:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Architype View Post
I've known a few Canadians who had some American ancestors; anecdotally it seems more likely in Ontario (loyalists) or Western Canada, but the percentage is low enough to only be a minority. Conversely, many Americans had Canadian ancestors. My ancestors came over around the time when George Washington was president.
This is really a regional question. In some areas like Southern Alberta there was direct immigration from the United States around 100 years ago. On the West Coast, well into the 19th century, it wasn't clear which areas would be British or American and settlers moved around somewhat randomly at times. I would guess that those early settlers ended up not being very demographically dominant here though.

In Nova Scotia (which back then included NB) there were American settlers before the Revolution, and there was a time when the colony was fairly well established but was a sister colony of others like Massachusetts, so British officers and the like were transferred back and forth between places like Halifax or Annapolis and Boston. There was no concept of "immigrating" between different parts of British North America. One pre-Revolution group of settlers was the New England Planters who arrived around 1760. These were settlers who moved onto land freed up by the deportation of the Acadians. They didn't come for political reasons like the Loyalists. The Loyalists also weren't necessarily born in the American colonies, they were just the group that left them.

An interesting tangent (source):

The term 'Bluenose,' used as a nickname for Nova Scotians, dates from at least the late eighteenth century.1 The first recorded use of the word was in 1785 by the Reverend Jacob Bailey, a Loyalist clergyman living in Annapolis Royal after the American Revolution. Writing to a friend that year, Bailey complained about the outcome of the recent elections, where the political lines had been clearly drawn throughout Nova Scotia between the newly-arrived Loyalists (Americans will know them as 'Tories') and the New England Planters—long-time residents since at least the 1760s. Bailey noted sourly that "The blue noses, to use a vulgar appellation...exerted themselves to the utmost of their power and cunning." In another letter the next year, Bailey continued his complaints by listing several regrettable aspects of life in Nova Scotia, one of them being "Violent contentions between the Loyalists and the old inhabitants called blue noses."

Back in this time there were also other groups like the British settlers who moved to the Halifax area, foreign protestants (German and Swiss), Ulster and Yorkshire settlers, etc. And in the 19th century there were subsequent waves of immigration mostly from the British Isles and the American immigration tapered off.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 10:44 AM
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I imagine it's the other way around for us. George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, founded the Colony of Avalon, the first English colony in Newfoundland (in today's Calvert and Ferryland area on the Southern Shore). He had a wonderful start - giving Catholics the right to practice their religion freely. But he hated the weather here and moved south, establishing Baltimore and Maryland. There was a lot of that back then (and today, I suppose) lol - but there was certainly no concept of being a Newfoundlander or an American so I don't think they really count.

There was a lot of population movement between the Irish in Newfoundland and Boston throughout the subsequent centuries, especially from St. John's and the Southern Shore to Boston. By this time, there was some concept of being a Newfoundlander as we're known as such still today there. For example, one of the comments on the BBC's coverage of that airport singalong by Newfoundlanders delayed in Pearson:



The most recent, significant population shift between us was also from Newfoundland to the United States. During WWII, the Americans had bases throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and many thousands of Newfoundland women married American servicemen (our wartime archives show local women were anxious to get an American man, who were thought to have excellent teeth, treat their wives gently and provide well, and offer the chance to get out and see the most exciting country in the world at that time - Hollywood! Microwaves!). Most people my age (30s) have an Aunt or two who did that, and though it did happen, it was much less common for the couple to settle here.

They have some well-known offspring:

Quote:
Christina Aguilera's father was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, while her mother, a Newfoundlander, has German, English, Irish and Dutch ancestry. Aguilera's parents met while Fausto was serving at Earnest Harmon Air Force Base in Stephenville, Newfoundland. They were both Catholics.
http://cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeed...a_Aguilera.htm

(There are some locals who milk it, hilariously: http://www.jimfidler.com/index.php?o...id=226&lang=en)

So there are a lot of Americans whose ancestors came from Newfoundland, certainly more than live in Newfoundland today - especially in New England and environs, as well as military towns elsewhere in the country. The inverse does exist to some extent, especially among children born out of wedlock, put up for adoption, etc. here, but certainly not to a comparable degree.

To give you some idea of how many it could be, prior to 1949, Canada - obviously - recorded us as foreign-born residents. Counting only those who were Newfoundland-born, not their children, by the 1920s we were over 10% of the population in some regions, especially Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia. There were thousands of us in Toronto, Montreal, etc. There would've definitely been more of us in New England, though accounting for a smaller relative portion of New England's population. But it'd still be hundreds of thousands of people today.
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Last edited by SignalHillHiker; Dec 7, 2017 at 1:33 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 12:20 PM
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No, certainly not.

In 19th century Ontario immigrants from the British Isles and their descendants soon outnumbered those with Loyalist/post-Loyalist roots.

Even in the Maritimes, Scottish and Irish immigrants and their descendants outnumbered the descendants of Loyalists and New England Planters at the time of Confederation.

In BC, Brits always outnumbered Americans. In the early 20th British immigrants and their children even outnumbered multigenerational Canadians.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 1:32 PM
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The Anglo population of the Eastern Townships of Quebec originates from the Loyalists. It has changed quite a bit since the region became Montreal's cottage country, but there is still a fair number, particularly in the southern and western parts (Lennoxville, Mansonville, Austin, Stanstead, North Hatley...).
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 2:25 PM
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There is a strong Loyalist contingent along the Fundy shore of NB, extending from Saint Andrews as far east as St. Martin (including the "Loyalist City" of Saint John, although SJ became primarily Irish after the migrations related to the potato famine). I also am aware of loyalist settlement in and around the Summerside area on PEI.

It was interesting to see this quote from someone123's earlier post:

Quote:
The term 'Bluenose,' used as a nickname for Nova Scotians, dates from at least the late eighteenth century.1 The first recorded use of the word was in 1785 by the Reverend Jacob Bailey, a Loyalist clergyman living in Annapolis Royal after the American Revolution. Writing to a friend that year, Bailey complained about the outcome of the recent elections, where the political lines had been clearly drawn throughout Nova Scotia between the newly-arrived Loyalists (Americans will know them as 'Tories') and the New England Planters—long-time residents since at least the 1760s. Bailey noted sourly that "The blue noses, to use a vulgar appellation...exerted themselves to the utmost of their power and cunning." In another letter the next year, Bailey continued his complaints by listing several regrettable aspects of life in Nova Scotia, one of them being "Violent contentions between the Loyalists and the old inhabitants called blue noses."
When the loyalists arrived in SJ in 1785, they immediately came into conflict with the established elites in Halifax (ie - bluenosers), and these negative interactions (the Nova Scotians apparently felt the Loyalists to be rabble) strongly influenced the creation of NB as a separate (Loyalist) province.

Maybe if the Haligonians hadn't been such asses early on, there would only be one Maritime province...........

I guess even as far back as the 18th century Haligonians thought they were at the centre of the universe.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 3:27 PM
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It really depends on what you call American. My grandmother lived in rural New England for 5 years. Does that mean I have American blood?
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 3:36 PM
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I am eighth generation Canadian with my paternal ancestor moving from upstate New York to Ontario in the 1780s. That makes me at least 1/256th American. Not too shabby!
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 3:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jigglysquishy View Post
It really depends on what you call American. My grandmother lived in rural New England for 5 years. Does that mean I have American blood?
It is not uncommon for old stock Anglo Canadians to have relatives/ancestors who passed into or out of the USA at some point. Following work, mostly. In my own case, I have distant cousins who have been in the USA for several generations (direct from Scotland); a grand-uncle, now deceased, who lived in California and, I believe, served in the U.S. military; a great granduncle who is buried in Michigan (direct from Scotland); and a "late Loyalist" ancestor (born in Scotland) who came out of the Mohawk Valley in New York and settled in Glengary in 1793. Those U.S. connections are from both my maternal and paternal lines.
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Old Posted Dec 7, 2017, 4:37 PM
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My mother was born in the USA. Her father did what so many Maritimers did in the early part of the last century - move to New England and work in the mills.

Her mother (my grandmother) unfortunately died in the great flu pandemic of 1918, and she was subsequently sent home to live with her own grandparents in rural PEI. As such, the fact that I'm 1/2 American is mainly an accident as far as I'm concerned. Aside from this, I'm seventh generation Prince Edward Islander on virtually all sides, with most of my ancestors immigrating to PEI in the 1810s.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 6:11 PM
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Originally Posted by le calmar View Post
The Anglo population of the Eastern Townships of Quebec originates from the Loyalists. It has changed quite a bit since the region became Montreal's cottage country, but there is still a fair number, particularly in the southern and western parts (Lennoxville, Mansonville, Austin, Stanstead, North Hatley...).
They were Americans but mostly not Loyalists. Just New England farmers looking for land.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 6:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
It is not uncommon for old stock Anglo Canadians to have relatives/ancestors who passed into or out of the USA at some point. Following work, mostly. In my own case, I have distant cousins who have been in the USA for several generations (direct from Scotland); a grand-uncle, now deceased, who lived in California and, I believe, served in the U.S. military; a great granduncle who is buried in Michigan (direct from Scotland); and a "late Loyalist" ancestor (born in Scotland) who came out of the Mohawk Valley in New York and settled in Glengary in 1793. Those U.S. connections are from both my maternal and paternal lines.
It would be pretty rare that a Canadian mostly descended from ancestors who were in Canada by the early 1800s wouldn’t have some American ancestors. I do, on both sides of my family. Some Loyalists but mostly just people who moved westward into Quebec and Ontario in response to economic conditions (and then often moved on to the US Midwest or west in later years). People barely noticed the border in those days and moved from one country to the other almost as easily as they moved between states.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2017, 7:56 PM
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My dad is American, his side of the family entered New York from Germany in the 1850s. Everyone other than my dad is in California now after settling in Napa Valley (wine country north of San Francisco).

I feel much more connected to west coast America than the rest of Canada myself, due to this and geography in Vancouver.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2017, 4:44 AM
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I have no sense of what would be most common among anglophones, but I know I don't have any American ancestors. My dad's grandparents all immigrated directly from Scotland to Vancouver starting in 1911, and my mom's parents came directly to Canada from Yugoslavia and Romania after WWII in the early 1950s.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2017, 4:53 AM
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Keep in mind the history of Vancouver was that it started in what is now Vancouver, Washington and was forced north by the Oregon Treaty that solidified the hazy border between the countries (and a disgracefully apathetic loss for Canada, IMO), so there are a lot of people with technically American families on the west coast. They might not have ever seen themselves as anything but British subjects though.
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Old Posted Dec 10, 2017, 6:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
My mother was born in the USA. Her father did what so many Maritimers did in the early part of the last century - move to New England and work in the mills.

Her mother (my grandmother) unfortunately died in the great flu pandemic of 1918, and she was subsequently sent home to live with her own grandparents in rural PEI. As such, the fact that I'm 1/2 American is mainly an accident as far as I'm concerned. Aside from this, I'm seventh generation Prince Edward Islander on virtually all sides, with most of my ancestors immigrating to PEI in the 1810s.
Yes, some of mine were Selkirk settlers from the Belfast district, who arrived en masse from Skye in 1803. Many families had at least one child who ended up in Boston - my grandfather had an aunt there. It wasn't uncommon for people to come back, as in your case - it wasn't that far away and the family ties were usually strong. If people experienced a setback in the fast-paced life of the big city, the Island was always there as a safety net of sorts.
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