Gransnet forums


Your immigrant roots...

(69 Posts)
granjura Sat 29-Aug-15 17:15:47

how many of us have immigrant roots of one kind or another. Talked about my Huguenot roots some time back, and the Indonesian/African slave roots of my husband, mixed with British and Northern European...

So, as far as you know- are you pure Anglo-Saxon or Viking (so immigrants too) ... or?

whitewave Sat 29-Aug-15 17:20:47

I have no idea, but wouldn't be surprised that I had some northern European on my mother's side as she was born in South Shields and family came from Howarth.

Fathers family Cornish so don't know about that? Mediterranean?

soontobe Sat 29-Aug-15 17:23:11

None at all, going back for centuries as far as I know.

TerriBull Sat 29-Aug-15 17:52:08

My heritage is English, but also French, my mother's maiden name was French so I have spent a while researching that side of the family. They were from (Alsace), but I think that changed hands while my family were living there. Some of them were born in Wiesbaden and that was listed as Nassau on one census, which I think was part of Prussia, back in the 19th century. When I first saw Nassau as a place of birth, I thought we had family from the Bahamas it took me a while to work out that wasn't the case. On my maternal grandfather's side I also have a French Protestant great grandmother who came from La Rochelle, so maybe Huguenot, I have no reason to believe they were Catholic from the marriage certificates I have. Maternal grandmother's side were Irish. Paternal grandfather's side Sicilian/Maltese. These were the Catholics that married into our family and made the future generations Catholic.

granjura Sat 29-Aug-15 17:53:29

That makes you very unusual Soon- but exactly what many of my great nieces and nephews would say, as they have not got a clue (nobody has told them...).

Luckygirl Sat 29-Aug-15 17:56:27

My maternal grandmother had black tight curly hair, a flat nose and a relatively dark complexion - and I heard a neighbour say she had (non-PC alert!) a "touch of the tar brush." I had no idea what she meant, but found out later.

My mother had dark brown hair, but pale complexion, which she got from her fair father.

All her children, including me, are dark-skinned with dark brown hair and brown eyes (in spite of our fair father).

So.....I often wonder whether my grandmother had a mixed race background at some point, which would of course mean that I did too. It would be fascinating to track that back and try and find out.

soontobe Sat 29-Aug-15 18:05:48

All my relatives go back as far as at least 1868 in a small geographical area. I suspect much further back than that.
My husbands' family can be traced back to the 1400s, and they dont seem to have travelled anywhere either.

whitewave Sat 29-Aug-15 18:11:59

Everybody is an immigrant if you could go back far enough

KatyK Sat 29-Aug-15 18:16:15

My parents were from Southern Ireland. A cousin of mine has recently compiled a family tree. We are Southern Irish as far back as he has gone. I'm not sure how far back that is.

granjura Sat 29-Aug-15 18:19:43

Huguenots, Normans (who were Vikings anyhow) angles, saxons, danes and other vikings, picts, romans, celts... and 1000s more combinations- in most families. As said, some acknowledged and respected, others willfully of not, ignored and hidden away. 1868 is just my grand-parents' generation- the Huguenots came quite a few generations before that.

For my DH- the mix is just one generation removed- and yet unknown and/or totally 'ignored' by many in the family.

TerriBull Sat 29-Aug-15 18:20:00

Yes indeed WW, I believe I have read varying reports that the Celts came from areas close to the Danube and also from Turkey and migrated across Europe. The origins of all mankind lie in Africa. It would be interesting to have a DNA analysis, but no doubt expensive!

whitewave Sat 29-Aug-15 18:23:08

DH has Spanish ancestry, and you can see it in him and our offspring, except my son is 6 ft 3" which is taller than the average Spaniard I think?

TerriBull Sat 29-Aug-15 18:26:39

KatyK = annoyingly the Irish Record Office was blown up in 1922 by the IRA, so it's a lot harder than it is with English/Welsh and Scottish records. I have managed to get back to the early 19th century. I think getting back much further is very reliant on church records.

hildajenniJ Sat 29-Aug-15 18:31:17

I have Dupuytren's contracture in the palms of my hand. No clawed fingers at the moment, but perhaps in years to come. When I visited the GP about it he said, "well there's no doubt about where your ancestors came from, this is a Viking trait". As far as we have been able to trace the family back, they have all come from Cumberland, Northumberland and County Durham, so that would fit perfectly.

Nandalot Sat 29-Aug-15 18:38:10

My father's family seem to have been Yorshire born and bred for many generations. He met my mother while managing a factory in India. Her family was Anglo Indian. Her father was English, from the Potteries, but I haven't been able to find out information about my grandmother's parents so do not know how far back the ' mixing' occurred! She was quite dark skinned but, of course, she was getting on in years when I knew her and I notice that as I get older my skin is darkening too!

TerriBull Sat 29-Aug-15 18:51:18

A friend of mine had an Indian grandparent and has a wonderful colouring along with dark brown eyes and glossy very dark hair, well she helps it along a bit these days!

Whilst discussing the Beatles a few years ago, a friend also told me that he had heard somewhere that George Harrison had an Indian grandparent, how true this is I can't say, although George did seem to be drawn to India musically and spiritually and again he had dark brown eyes and a fairly dark colouring.

Nelliemoser Sat 29-Aug-15 19:18:20

My PGF is unknown. My dad had very fine dark hair and was certainly not fair skinned but not dark enough to look like any specific nationality.

I remember my parents saying that when my older sister was born she looked Chinese around the eyes and I noticed this again when I saw her a month or so ago it was a bit of a shock and made me think.

My PGM lived in Liverpool at the time my father would have been concieved. She had rather "gone off the rails" in 1914 (another story that.) I do wonder if in a very cosmopolitan city like Liverpool she could have associated with someone with chinese ancestry.

I wonder if that would show up on the right sort of DNA profile. My mums side of the family are all from East Midlands stock. My father's mother had Cheshire and recent Scottish and Irish blood.

Genes can skip generations. As in some mixed race couples who have produced non identical twins of different skin tone who just do not look mixed race.

Has anyone tried a genealogical DNA test? I must say I have thought about it.

annodomini Sat 29-Aug-15 19:34:49

My roots are 75% Scottish and 25% English, but go far enough back and all of us will have some immigrant/conqueror ancestry. I have Celtic and probably Norman ancesters.Our Celts were Island Scots who may well have come originally from Ireland. Anglo Saxons and Vikings were invaders who marauded and stayed. I'm certain to have Pictish blood in the very distant past. So who can say who is indigenous? Not many of us. I'd love to have that DNA test.

annodomini Sat 29-Aug-15 19:35:43

ancesters ancestors, of course!

Ana Sat 29-Aug-15 19:48:11

It's all very interesting, but I'm really not that bothered. I have no doubt I have immigrant roots, don't we all?

My paternal grandmother was French and her husband, although born and bred in Lancashire, had a Scottish mother.

My first husband was half Polish so my DD has yet another addition to her DNA.

Margsus Sat 29-Aug-15 19:53:18

My ancestors all came over from Russia and Poland in the late 19th/early 20th century. My maternal grandmother had very dark hair and olive skin, and my grandfather had blond hair and blue eyes, and that's how it has continued down the generations since.

absent Sat 29-Aug-15 20:14:06

My father was Dutch and my mother was Irish – a genuine case of orange and green.

The village from where my maternal grandfather came has disappeared completely but I have visited one of my mother's cousins and his daughters in Mayo. Like just about every other ex-pat Irish family/clan, mine can claim a royal connection. Someone even made a romanticised film about this princely figure; he came to an untimely end while rebelling against the English (as they did then). My mother's maternal aunt emigrated to Australia and that branch of the family has been in touch with and some members have met the English family. I think there were other family members, besides me, who emigrated, possibly to Canada and New Zealand.

My father's family left Utrecht at the beginning of World War I when he was about three years old. There are records of people with the same surname, which is unusual in the Netherlands as well as in the UK, going back to the nineteenth century, but there is some suggestion that the family originated further east, perhaps in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic, I think). I have never got round to investigating further although one of my English-Dutch cousins and one of my more distant Dutch-Dutch cousins have an interest in genealogy. The only one of my father's siblings who lived in the Netherlands and whose children and grandchildren do, was born in London.

vampirequeen Sat 29-Aug-15 20:20:43

Not much idea but a definite mongrel. Great grandmother's maiden name was German so some link there. Sea faring family so who knows.

granjura Sat 29-Aug-15 22:51:24

Ana are you not interested, or not bothered? As said, parts of our family just do not want to know and find our mixed heritage past an embarrassment. Others, like us, find it so interesting and enriching- and have got in touch recently with relatives on all sides from all over the world- South AFrica, Indonesia, Tasmania, Australia, Canada and the USA. Our GC will certainly be told all about it when they are older- many of our great nephews will probably never ever know- which I find sad.

Judthepud2 Sat 29-Aug-15 23:18:25

Father Irish so can only go back a few generations due to IRA destruction of public record office. My mother's parents both English with Norman ancestry. So.....who are the immigrants? We all came from the original ancestors who emigrated out of Africa anyway grin Worth remembering!!