Ancestry Blog » Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm Tue, 21 Apr 2015 21:49:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Debunking the American Dream: Immigrants Did Better in 1900 Than in 2000http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/debunking-the-american-dream/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/debunking-the-american-dream/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:31:08 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7501 It’s a familiar story: An immigrant family makes their way to America. They start out with little money in their pockets, but with determination and hard work, they climb their way up the economic ladder. That’s the cliché, but it may not be accurate according to new research. “Conventional wisdom about immigrants and the American Dream… Read more

The post Debunking the American Dream: Immigrants Did Better in 1900 Than in 2000 appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
It’s a familiar story: An immigrant family makes their way to America. They start out with little money in their pockets, but with determination and hard work, they climb their way up the economic ladder.

That’s the cliché, but it may not be accurate according to new research.

“Conventional wisdom about immigrants and the American Dream tells us those who left their homes for America 100 years ago had years of hardship and hard work ahead of them before ‘the Dream’ became a reality. However, a closer look reveals ‘the Dream’ had much more to do with the skills you came with, and where you settled, than it did hard work alone,” said Michelle Ercanbrack at Ancestry.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Good Jobs for Immigrants

Researchers from UCLA, Stanford University, and California Polytechnic University used 1900, 1910, and 1920 U.S. Census data on Ancestry to help trace thousands of immigrant families from 16 European countries and found that the average European immigrant to the U.S. in the early 20th century did not start out substantially behind locals in job status. In fact, in 1900, on average, immigrants held jobs that paid slightly more than native workers—depending on where they lived.

The map below compares jobs held by immigrants and locals in 1900 and the wage gap between them. Immigrants in green states tended to hold jobs that paid more than those help by native workers. In red states, they held jobs that paid less. The dollars represent the differential. (Wage information was not included on the census, so workers were assigned the median pay for their profession as recorded on the census.)

1900 map

So, in 1900 immigrants in New Mexico actually held jobs that paid, on average, 32% more than locals, while immigrants in nearby Nevada worked in jobs paying 11% less on average.

“There are several factors that might explain why immigrants were more likely to hold higher-paying jobs than locals in some states, but in others were struggling to keep up. Some states had a strong industrial sector with many manufacturing jobs and others were more agricultural. It is also possible that discrimination and attitudes towards immigrants in the workplace varied across states. More research is needed to explain this pattern,” said Ran Abramitzky, PhD., Associate Professor of Economics at Stanford University.

Additional, unpublicized research by economists at UCLA, Stanford, and CalPoly found that immigrants from half of European countries who arrived in the early 20th century held better jobs than locals. Immigrants from the English-speaking countries and from the Russian Empire and France held jobs that earned more than locals, while immigrants from Scandinavia, Portugal, and other poor sending countries started out holding jobs that earned less. But while the country an immigrant hailed from had an impact, it wasn’t usually a dominant enough impact to account for the significant differences between all states.

Catching Up Is Not Easy

Researchers discovered something else about the wage gap: it persisted. Those earning less did not typically catch up, and neither did their children.

“Immigrants arrived in the U.S. with very different backgrounds, and these differences persisted over time,” said Leah Boustan, Ph.D., immigration expert and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“Unlike the image of immigrants pulling themselves up by the bootstraps in the past, we find that immigrants from sending countries that started out holding jobs that earned less than locals upon arrival continued to face an economic gap twenty years later, and, indeed, their children faced some of the same challenges.”

Immigrants Today

Fast forward to the year 2000, and things have changed. It appears that immigrants to the United States were substantially better off a century ago than they are now. In fact, green states, where immigrants do better than locals, are hard to come by these days.

2000 map

In 2000, earnings of California immigrants lagged behind locals a whopping 46% on average, while immigrants earned nearly 15% more than locals in Vermont.

The grid below shows the change by state. Again, immigrants in green actually made more on average than natives.

comp grid

Of course, when you look closely, no two immigrants’ stories are exactly alike. But looking closely is telling us that even the stories we thought we knew by heart have more to tell us.

You can read more about the research here.

Looking for your own ancestor’s American arrival story? Start a free trial with Ancestry and search more than 250 million immigration records to help you find your family’s personal experience with the American Dream.

 

The post Debunking the American Dream: Immigrants Did Better in 1900 Than in 2000 appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/debunking-the-american-dream/feed/ 0
12 People Who Missed Their Trip on the Titanichttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/12-people-who-missed-their-trip-on-the-titanic/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/12-people-who-missed-their-trip-on-the-titanic/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 21:00:05 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7479 On April 15, 1912, the Titanic slammed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, sending 1,517 souls into the cold deep. Since that dark night, the legend of the Titanic has only grown, propelled by the glamour of the ship and its first-class passengers, complicated by the immigrant dreams of its steerage travelers,… Read more

The post 12 People Who Missed Their Trip on the Titanic appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
HMS Titanic

[Photo: National Archive]

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic slammed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, sending 1,517 souls into the cold deep. Since that dark night, the legend of the Titanic has only grown, propelled by the glamour of the ship and its first-class passengers, complicated by the immigrant dreams of its steerage travelers, and recharged by a certain 1997 movie that 18 years later remains the second-highest-grossing film of all time.

Visitors to Ancestry can search Titanic’s records and passenger lists for connections to the doomed voyage on the site’s Titanic collection.

Here are eight amazing stories you won’t find in those records — stories of eight lucky individuals who changed their plans to sail on the Titanic, thanks to a frugal editor, a nosy sister-in-law, an ill spouse, or even a coin toss.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Theodore Dreiser: Dreiser became one of the leading novelists of the early 20th century by writing about how money and wealth were changing America. The author had just spent four months traveling through Europe to write travel pieces and collect material for his memoir, 1913’s A Traveler at Forty.

Dreiser, who had grown up poor in Indiana, was eager to experience the opulence of the Titanic, but his English publisher convinced him to take a cheaper berth on another ship, which set sail from Dover two days before the Titanic sank.

Baron Moritz von Bethmann: In 1912, Baron Moritz von Bethmann, scion of a famous German banking family, was traveling the world with two friends. After arriving in Chicago, he told local newspapers three days after the Titanic’s sinking that he and his traveling companions had considered taking the Titanic but didn’t want to wait for it to sail. Bethmann and his friends settled their disagreement on which ship to take by flipping a coin.

Guglielmo Marconi: After the Titanic hit an iceberg, sealing its fate, the ship’s radio operator still managed to dispatch SOS messages using equipment invented by Italian Guglielmo Marconi.

Marconi nearly was one of the passengers whose life depended on his wireless telegraph equipment. Marconi had been offered free passage on Titanic but had taken the Lusitania three days earlier because he had paperwork to do and preferred the telegraph operator aboard that vessel.

George Washington Vanderbilt II: Vanderbilt was the grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, founder of the Vanderbilt family railroad and industrial fortune. Although Vanderbilt and his wife had booked passage on the Titanic, someone in their family (reportedly his wife’s well-traveled sister) warned them about the unexpected trials that might emerge during a maiden voyage. They cancelled their trip on April 9, a week before the Titanic sank.

Henry Clay Frick, J. P. Morgan, and Horace Harding: In February 1912, Henry Clay Frick, the Pittsburgh steel magnate, booked a suite but cancelled after his wife sprained her ankle. J. P. Morgan, the banking titan whose holding company actually owned the White Star Line, took over the booking but cancelled when business interests lengthened his stay abroad. The booking was then assumed by Horace Harding, a New York financier, but he and his wife were able to get an earlier sailing date aboard a Cunard ship, the Mauretania. The suite ended up going to J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line, who survived himself by jumping onto a lifeboat.

Edgar Selwyn: Selwyn was a Broadway and Hollywood producer who founded Goldwyn Pictures in 1916, which eventually became part of MGM Studios. It would have been MM studios if Selwyn hadn’t chosen to stay in England to review an early draft of a friend’s novel. Because the draft wasn’t ready for Selwyn to review until April 19, 1912, Selwyn cancelled his April 10 Titanic departure.

Rev. J. Stuart Holden: The vicar of St. Paul’s Church in Portman Square, London, had booked passage with his wife on the Titanic to speak at the Christian Conservation Congress, a six-day religious meeting at Carnegie Hall scheduled for April 20, 1912.

Before they sailed, however, Rev. Holden’s wife fell ill. On April 9, one day before sailing, Rev. Holden returned his ticket to stay by his wife’s side. He kept the ticket envelope and later framed it with an inscription from the book of Psalms giving thanks for his good luck: “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction.”

Norah Callaghan and Annie Jordan: In 1912, Addergoole, County Mayo, Ireland, was a village of 3,400 still struggling to recover from the Great Famine of the 19th century. Fourteen Addergoole villagers boarded the Titanic at its last port of call in Queenstown, Ireland. Eleven of the villagers died.

Two villagers, however, had even better luck. Norah Callaghan and Annie Jordan had tickets to board the Titanic but did not. Jordan developed a rash that kept her from traveling, and records from another White Star ship, the Celtic, show Callaghan boarding that ship on April 12, 1912, just one day after the Titanic left Queenstown.

—Sandie Angulo Chen

Find out about the boats your ancestors made and missed on their journey to a new life. Start a free trial of Ancestry today.

 

The post 12 People Who Missed Their Trip on the Titanic appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/12-people-who-missed-their-trip-on-the-titanic/feed/ 0
The 6 Best Ways to Start Researching Your Family Historyhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/the-6-best-ways-to-start-researching-your-family-history/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/the-6-best-ways-to-start-researching-your-family-history/#comments Thu, 16 Apr 2015 20:50:16 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7490 Do you know the names of all four of your grandparents? What about your eight great-grandparents? (Did you know you have eight great-grandparents?) Do you know what your last name means or if you were named after an uncle or a grandmother? If you’ve always wanted to find out more about your family history but… Read more

The post The 6 Best Ways to Start Researching Your Family History appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
6 easy ways to get started on your family historyDo you know the names of all four of your grandparents? What about your eight great-grandparents? (Did you know you have eight great-grandparents?) Do you know what your last name means or if you were named after an uncle or a grandmother?

If you’ve always wanted to find out more about your family history but thought it would be too hard–or you don’t know where to start–here are a few easy ways to get going from the experts at Ancestry.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Start a tree

There’s a practical reason for starting a family tree: it’s a great way to organize lots of information and see it at a glance. A tree gives you a visual image of family relationships, but it also gives you a place to record all the facts you learn about a person as you learn them. You can build an online tree at Ancestry and attach records, pictures, and even audio and video.

Interview a relative

Memories are perishable resources. Older members of your family have stories, knowledge, and insights you’ll find nowhere else. They’ve known people, lived through events, attended gatherings, heard tales, and seen things that you never will—and all that can be lost if you don’t get it recorded or written down. You can find a free list of interview questions in the Ancestry Learning Center.

Write down what you know

Your history begins with you. Don’t you wish your grandmother had written down where she was born, the games she liked to play as a child, who her friends were, where she went to school, or what her first date was like? Start with yourself and things you remember. You’ll provide details about your life that can come from nobody else, and you’ll also start coming up with questions you want to research—or ask you mom, dad, or grandparents about.

Take a DNA test

Ready to apply cutting-edge science to your family history? A DNA test will provide an estimate of your ethnic origins and can connect you with living cousins. AncestryDNA can even combine DNA testing with 65 million online trees to help you find relatives back into the 1700s. DNA testing is turning out to be a favorite, and successful, approach for adoptees looking for members of their birth family. Read more about AncestryDNA

Search the 1940 census

It’s estimated that 87 percent of Americans have an ancestor in the 1940 U.S. Federal Census. That makes it a great place to start your search for your parents or grandparents. The 1940 census will give you names, ages, birthplaces, and occupations, but just as important, the census indicates family relationships. You can search the 1940 census for free on Ancestry.

Make a timeline

Timelines are a great way to keep track of details in an ancestor’s life. And, as a bonus, they’ll help you follow your ancestors’ migratory habits, link your relatives to historical events, and quickly show you what you know and what you still need to find out. Timelines are easy to create; pencil and paper or a word-processing program are all you really need. Start by gathering names, dates and place. You can download a free PDF on creating timelines from the Ancestry Learning Center.

What will you discover? Start a 14-day free trial of Ancestry today.

 

The post The 6 Best Ways to Start Researching Your Family History appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/16/the-6-best-ways-to-start-researching-your-family-history/feed/ 0
New DNA Breakthrough Connects You to Ancestors in the 1700shttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/07/new-dna-breakthrough-connects-you-to-ancestors-in-the-1700s/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/07/new-dna-breakthrough-connects-you-to-ancestors-in-the-1700s/#comments Tue, 07 Apr 2015 21:09:42 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7417 Latest Breakthrough in Consumer Genetics Connects People to Ancestors Dating Back to the 1700s Using Just Their DNA DNA testing has turned out to be a godsend for adoptees searching for lost family members who are still alive and family historians looking to connect with genetic cousins. The tests work by looking for strands of… Read more

The post New DNA Breakthrough Connects You to Ancestors in the 1700s appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
DNA-HOME-WHannouncement_01[19]

Discover more with AncestryDNA

Latest Breakthrough in Consumer Genetics Connects People to Ancestors Dating Back to the 1700s Using Just Their DNA

DNA testing has turned out to be a godsend for adoptees searching for lost family members who are still alive and family historians looking to connect with genetic cousins. The tests work by looking for strands of DNA two people share in common and using statistics to estimate what their relationship might be. So how is AncestryDNA using their DNA test to find relatives who lived up to 300 years ago who have no sample in the DNA database?   

New Ancestor Discoveries

Ancestry calls their groundbreaking new feature New Ancestor Discoveries. They work through a unique combination of AncestryDNA results and the millions of family trees shared by Ancestry members.

  • Try AncestryDNA

First, AncestryDNA tracks down living cousins for each person who has taken an AncestryDNA test and organizes them into family networks called DNA Circles. These Circles bring together groups of people who are genetically related to a common ancestor who appears in each Circle member’s online family tree. New Ancestor Discoveries take this one step further by finding people who are a genetic match to members of a Circle but don’t have a Circle’s common ancestor in their tree—or don’t have a tree at all. Their genetics suggest that the Circle’s common ancestor could be their ancestor, too, so Ancestry passes this hint along.

A “Shortcut Through Time”

“It is effectively a shortcut through time – you take the test today and we tell you who your ancestors were, for example, in the 1700s. You don’t need to research records or build a family tree – AncestryDNA now transports you to the past,” said Dr. Ken Chahine, SVP and GM of AncestryDNA.  “It’s a combination of three things that allowed us to achieve this breakthrough innovation: (1) millions of family trees created by Ancestry members, (2) the fastest growing genetic database in the world, currently with more than 800,000 genotyped members, and (3) a dedicated team of scientists who are pushing the boundaries of genetics and statistics to help people make family history discoveries in ways never before possible.”

These advancements make discovering new ancestors made simple. Customers just provide a small saliva sample for the AncestryDNA test, which reads a person’s genetic code at more than 700,000 DNA markers, and mail it back. Results are available within six to eight weeks, including new possible ancestors, accompanied by historical narratives of their lives that can include photos, locations, and life events available to Ancestry members.

A New Gateway for Discovering Your Past

With this latest innovation, AncestryDNA will open the door to a whole new segment of consumers who may be interested in family history but don’t know how or don’t have the time to search records or build a family tree. It will also meet the needs of experienced genealogists, who may need new genetic connections to their ancestors to help break through dead-ends in their research that historical records alone can’t.

AncestryDNA is now connecting people to ancestors going back generations from all around the world, including Colonial America, the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, and more.

It’s the latest example of today’s science taking us back to yesterday’s world in a way that’s never been possible before.

Want to learn more about the new AncestryDNA experience? Visit dna.ancestry.com.

  • Try AncestryDNA

 

 

The post New DNA Breakthrough Connects You to Ancestors in the 1700s appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/04/07/new-dna-breakthrough-connects-you-to-ancestors-in-the-1700s/feed/ 0
Revealed: 1-in-3 British Naval Heroes Were Underagehttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/20/revealed-1-in-3-wwi-british-naval-heroes-were-underage/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/20/revealed-1-in-3-wwi-british-naval-heroes-were-underage/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 05:39:09 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7167 Analysis of over 380,000 digitised historic naval records reveals that nearly a third of the sailors who helped Britain achieve naval supremacy in World War I were ‘underage’ volunteers. The Royal Navy Registers of Seaman’s Services, 1900-1928, now available on Ancestry, detail each sailor’s name, birthdate, birthplace, vessels served on, service number, and other service… Read more

The post Revealed: 1-in-3 British Naval Heroes Were Underage appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
World War I recruitment poster (public domain)

World War I recruitment poster (public domain)

Analysis of over 380,000 digitised historic naval records reveals that nearly a third of the sailors who helped Britain achieve naval supremacy in World War I were ‘underage’ volunteers.

The Royal Navy Registers of Seaman’s Services, 1900-1928, now available on Ancestry, detail each sailor’s name, birthdate, birthplace, vessels served on, service number, and other service details. Additionally, the records include more personal information such as remarks on appearance, conduct, promotions and reasons for discharge.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Too Young to Vote, Old Enough to Fight

The records reveal that a large percentage of new entrants to the navy were adolescent boys aged 14-17, despite a legal combat age of 18. Numbering over 100,000, these boy sailors rushed to enlist following the outbreak of war in 1914, many of them leaving home for the first time.

At the same time, even more underage boys enlisted in the army and were sent to fight in the trenches. Because many people didn’t have birth certificates in the early 1900s, it was easier for boys to lie about their age, and military recruitment officers were paid for each new recruit, so they would often ignore concerns they might have had about an enlistee’s age.

The service of these young soldiers is now recognised as a great tragedy of WWI, given they made up 1-in-10 of the total volunteers in the army. Proportionally, the boy sailors made up an even larger share of the navy, with nearly a third of all recruits joining before the age of 18.

While these young volunteers were eager to serve, many lacked the experience and training afforded to their older colleagues. Analysis of the collection shows that “boy sailors” were 16 percent more likely to give their lives than adult servicemen.

Names That Became History

Often described as “fresh” in the records, examples of some of these youths include:

• Jack Cornwell — Originally from Leyton, Cornwell lied about his age and enlisted in the Royal Navy at age 15. A year later, while fighting on the HMS Chester at Jutland, he died from a gunshot to the chest. His true age only became known when his body was repatriated, and he became a naval legend to the extent that King George personally presented his mother with a posthumous Victoria Cross on his behalf.

• Claude Choules — Born and raised in Worcestershire, Choules enlisted on the battleship Revenge at the age of 16 and afterwards immigrated to Australia, where he transferred to the Royal Australian Navy and fought in WWII. He lived until the age of 110 and passed away in Perth, Australia in 2011. He was the last surviving combat veteran of WWI.

• Henry Allingham — Like Choules, Allingham became a centenarian and died in 2009, aged 113. He was the last surviving participant in the Battle of Jutland and recounted tales of shells bouncing off the water near him. His Royal Navy Register entry describes him as being of a “fair complexion”, while having “hammer toes” on both feet and a scar on his right arm.

Lost at Sea

For young or old, the sea was a dangerous battleground during WWI, and the collection features thousands of records for men and boys who never returned home. These include the crew of the HMS Cressy, which was sunk by the German submarine U-9 on September 22, 1914. In total, 1,459 men were lost across three ships, and their records simply state “drowned in the North Sea” as “reason for discharge”.

The attack on the HMS Cressy remains the biggest single loss of life at sea during WWI, and news reports of the attack struck a chord with the public back home. The Royal Navy considered the disaster a wake-up call, which led to significantly increased funding behind improvements to the British submarine fleet.

The collection includes crews from a number of other famous ships that fought battles such as Heligoland Bight (1914), the Battle of Dogger Bank (1915) and the Battle of Jutland (1916), which saw the loss of 6,000 men and 14 ships as the Royal Navy came up against the German fleet off the coast of Denmark.

One of those ships was the HMS Queen Mary. A modern battlecruiser, in May 1916 she saw action at Jutland and was hit twice by fire from the German battlecruiser Derfflinger. She sank to the bottom of the North Sea on May 31 with the loss of 1,266 men, 866 of whom are marked in the records as ‘killed in action’. Only 18 survivors were rescued from the water.

Miriam Silverman, Senior UK Content Manager from Ancestry, comments: “It’s hard to comprehend that nearly a third of these records pertain to young adolescent boys who, despite not being old enough to vote, were prepared to risk their lives at sea to help Britain win the war.”

You can search for your First World War ancestors in military records on Ancestry. Or start a free trial.

 

The post Revealed: 1-in-3 British Naval Heroes Were Underage appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/20/revealed-1-in-3-wwi-british-naval-heroes-were-underage/feed/ 0
How Irish Is Your City? AncestryDNA Has the Answer.http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/13/how-irish-is-your-city/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/13/how-irish-is-your-city/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 21:01:08 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7286 At AncestryDNA, we’re exploring how we can use genetics to study Irish heritage in the U.S. Throughout our nation’s history, millions of individuals from Ireland planted new roots here in the United States. While hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants arrived in the 1600’s and 1700’s, more than two million arrived in the mid-19th century – most… Read more

The post How Irish Is Your City? AncestryDNA Has the Answer. appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
AncestryDNA kit

The AncestryDNA kit can help you discover your family history and ethnicity

At AncestryDNA, we’re exploring how we can use genetics to study Irish heritage in the U.S. Throughout our nation’s history, millions of individuals from Ireland planted new roots here in the United States. While hundreds of thousands of Irish immigrants arrived in the 1600’s and 1700’s, more than two million arrived in the mid-19th century – most to flee the “Potato Famine” that destroyed crops and led to widespread starvation in Ireland.

Historical records and census data tell us that many Irish settled in the Northeastern region of the United States. By 1850, people from Ireland made up over a quarter of the population of Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York City.

Let’s fast-forward to the 21st century and discover where descendants of Irish immigrants now live in the United States – using DNA.

 

States with the highest Irish ancestry

First, for all AncestryDNA ethnicity estimates of people born in the same state, we averaged their fractions of Irish ethnicity. Then, we found the U.S. states whose residents have the highest, and lowest, amounts of Irish ancestry.

On the map are the top five states with the highest average Irish ancestry.  Massachusetts is #1, and all of the other top states are also in the Northeast.

IrishMap_USASound familiar?  As we mentioned at the start, Irish immigrants disembarked primarily in the Northeastern region of the U.S., particularly in Boston.

Genetics and history agree!  Using only DNA, we find that many of the present-day descendants of Irish immigrants still live in and are born in the Northeast.

Since descendants of Irish immigrants have made their way all over the country, Irish ancestry is found in many states outside of the Northeast as well.  But some areas of the U.S. seem to be less commonly settled by people of Irish descent.  The states with the lowest average Irish ancestry are North Dakota, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and Minnesota, all with less than 12% average Irish ancestry.

 

Cities with the highest Irish ancestry

Which U.S. cities have the highest amounts of Irish ethnicity based on DNA?

To answer this, we averaged the Irish ethnicity of all AncestryDNA customers born in a given city.

In the map below, the darker the green, the higher the average Irish ancestry of the city (bigger circles mean that more AncestryDNA customers were born there).  You may not see your city listed because we only looked at the top 50 cities with more than about 400 AncestryDNA customers.

Irish_city_map
R version 2.15.1 (2012-06-22). Made using googleVis-0.4.7.

 

Here’s a list of the top 10 cities with the highest average Irish ethnicity:

Top 10 Cities

CityAverage Irish Ethnicity
Boston, MA34.3%
Philadelphia, PA22.3%
Pittsburgh, PA19.6%
Fort Worth, TX19.6%
Birmingham, AL19.3%
San Francisco, CA19.0%
Tulsa, OK19.0%
Springfield, MA18.9%
Oklahoma City, OK18.4%
New York, NY18.3%

 

The “greenest” city by a large margin is Boston – with an average Irish ethnicity of 34%!  Other top cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Fort Worth.

As before, many of these cities are in the Northeast.  Millions of Irish immigrants set their roots there – and genetics shows that many of their descendants have not strayed far.  But the fact that cities outside the Northeast are on this list shows that Irish immigrants also settled in non-Northeastern big cities, and that some of their descendants moved elsewhere.

 

 

What about the cities with the lowest average Irish ancestry?  It might not be a surprise that none of them are in the Northeast.

Bottom 10 Cities

CityAverage Irish Ethnicity
Milwaukee, WI10.3%
Toledo, OH13.0%
Minneapolis, MN13.1%
San Antonio, TX13.3%
Salt Lake City, UT13.3%
Los Angeles, CA13.6%
New Orleans, LA14.0%
St. Paul, MN14.2%
Detroit, MI14.3%
Chicago, IL14.4%

 

While there are likely some people in these cities with Irish heritage, there aren’t as many as in Boston – suggesting that fewer Irish immigrants settled in these areas.

And in cities such as Los Angeles where Irish immigrants are known to have lived, the signal of Irish ancestry has likely been lessened by an influx of immigration of individuals of other ancestries.

 

 

 

So where’s the best place to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?  The “Top 10” list might be a good place to start.  In fact, Bostonians have been celebrating with a St. Patrick’s Day parade since 1737, New Yorkers since 1762, and Philadelphians since 1771.

 

Genetics of Irish Americans

Although everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, AncestryDNA can tell someone whether they have Irish heritage the other 364 days of the year–and whether they might have had an ancestor who immigrated from Ireland to America.  We’ve found that people from states and cities of the Northeast, where many Irish originally started their new future in the U.S., have the highest amounts of Irish ancestry.

While U.S. census data based on “self-reported” Irish ancestry shows similar patterns, our study is unique since we’re using only genetics.  This allows us to incorporate information about “Irishness” from people who may not self-identify as Irish, but still seem to have Irish heritage based on DNA.  Both views of one’s ancestry are equally important.

So even if your AncestryDNA results don’t reveal your Irish heritage, there’s no reason not to wear green and seek out the best corned beef and cabbage.  Now you know where to look for it.

–Julie Granka

Find out more about your ethnic heritage and family history. Get your AncestryDNA test today. 

 

*All AncestryDNA customers in this study consented to participate in research.

The post How Irish Is Your City? AncestryDNA Has the Answer. appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/13/how-irish-is-your-city/feed/ 0
How to Find the Story of Your Civil War Ancestorshttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/11/how-to-find-the-story-of-your-civil-war-ancestors/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/11/how-to-find-the-story-of-your-civil-war-ancestors/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 20:58:06 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7225 More Medal of Honor winners came from this war than any other—and more Americans lost their lives. Women disguised themselves as men to join the fight. After almost two years, black men were allowed to join the fight for freedom. These are just a few of the stories that came out of America’s bloodiest conflict.… Read more

The post How to Find the Story of Your Civil War Ancestors appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
Gen. Ingalls Battery, 4th N. Y. Artillery, loading a cannon. (Courtesy Library of Congress, via Ancestry)

Gen. Ingalls Battery, 4th N. Y. Artillery, loading a cannon. (Courtesy Library of Congress, via Ancestry)

More Medal of Honor winners came from this war than any other—and more Americans lost their lives. Women disguised themselves as men to join the fight. After almost two years, black men were allowed to join the fight for freedom. These are just a few of the stories that came out of America’s bloodiest conflict.

Mounting tensions over slavery came to a head with the election of anti-slavery president Abraham Lincoln in 1860. By February 1861, even before Lincoln had taken office, seven states had seceded from the Union; 6 more would follow by the end of the year. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces attacked South Carolina’s Fort Sumter igniting war.

More than 3.2 million Americans would fight in the Civil War; more than 2 million for the Union and about a million for the Confederate States. The Union side suffered almost 360,000 deaths, both battle and non-battle related. Confederate forces lost around 260,000. Recent estimates are suggesting the death totals may be even higher. About 2 percent of the population died, and few American families were left untouched—and that may include yours.

If you want to find your family’s Civil War story, here are some tips from the experts at Ancestry:

1. Search census records for clues. Start with 20th-century records. The 1910 and 1930 censuses each asked about prior military service.

2. Follow your family back through census records to the 1860 and 1850 censuses to find men whose age made them likely to serve.

3. Look for likely candidates in records created about Civil War veterans. In 1890, the U.S. government filled out a special census called the 1890 Veterans Schedule that included veterans of the Civil War or spouses, if the veteran was deceased.

4. Use names, birth dates and places, and other details to search for your soldier in war records such as draft registrations, service records, muster rolls, and pension applications. U.S. Colored Troops have their own set of service records.

5. Don’t forget Civil War cemeteries. More than 300,000 Union dead were reinterred in national cemeteries.

The Civil War was a defining event in U.S. history—and it may have affected your family in ways you can’t imagine. You can learn more about researching your Civil War ancestor in a free research guide from Ancestry.
 

The post How to Find the Story of Your Civil War Ancestors appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/11/how-to-find-the-story-of-your-civil-war-ancestors/feed/ 0
Bizarre but True Facts: Canada in WWIIhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/04/bizarre-but-true-facts-canada-in-wwii/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/04/bizarre-but-true-facts-canada-in-wwii/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 21:49:59 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=7028 From the Holocaust to the famous Christmas Eve armistice, war tends to bring out the worst and the best in people, and it sometimes takes decades before those stories are ever told. Here are some crazy (but completely true) facts you may never have heard about Canadians in World War II. Canadians voted for conscription… Read more

The post Bizarre but True Facts: Canada in WWII appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
Canadian War Poster, Director of Public Information, Canada (public domain)

Canadian War Poster, Director of Public Information, Canada (public domain)

From the Holocaust to the famous Christmas Eve armistice, war tends to bring out the worst and the best in people, and it sometimes takes decades before those stories are ever told. Here are some crazy (but completely true) facts you may never have heard about Canadians in World War II.

Canadians voted for conscription

When Canada declared war on Germany at the outbreak of World War II, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King promised Canadian citizens that he would not impose conscription for overseas service. As the casualties mounted, rather than to renege on his word, King decided to hold a plebiscite—a general election—on the issue of conscription.

The measure passed, with two-thirds of Canadians voting in favor of conscription. However, this seemingly straightforward majority belies the divisiveness of the issue: while 78 percent of English Canadians voted for conscription, 72 percent of French Canadians voted against. This incident furthered the divide between French-speaking Canadians and their English-speaking counterparts.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Canadians boasted the first zombie soldiers

Long before The Walking Dead or World War Z, Canadian “zombies” served in World War II. “Zombie” was the term given to conscripted soldiers who refused to serve overseas. Although the government promised that no conscripts would be forced to fight overseas, there was enormous pressure for them to volunteer to do so. Those who remained in Canada were in charge of home defense and were derogatorily called “zombies.”

POWs loved Canada so much, they wanted to stay

Throughout the course of the war, Canada housed more than 35,000 prisoners of war in 27 prison camps spanning the country. Though they were called “prison camps,” they were hardly run as such. Prisoners were provided with dormitories and nice clothing. There were dining halls where prisoners were well fed and recreation centers where they could play football or handball, skate, or wrestle. They had their own band and orchestra, access to books and education, and even paid employment. Many prisoners were so happy with their treatment that after the war ended, more than 6,000 of them requested permission to stay where they were rather than return to Europe.

Thousands of Italian Canadians were classified as enemies

When Italian dictator Benito Mussolini declared war against France and Britain, the Canadian government ordered the arrest and detainment of any Italian Canadians that might be considered a threat to homeland security. Feared to be spies or Fascists, 31,000 Italian Canadians were designated “enemy aliens.” Italian Canadians also suffered the effects of prejudice, from loss of work to verbal and physical abuse.

James Bond was “born” in Canada during WWII

Nestled away in Whitby, Ontario, “Camp X” served as a real-life, secret agent training camp. It was conveniently located right on the waters of Lake Ontario, serving its purpose to unite British and American intelligence. At Camp X, spies-in-training were instructed in parachute jumping, writing in code, using explosives, and hand-to-hand combat. Five future heads of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) trained here, but even more famously, it’s believed that author Ian Fleming did as well. Ever heard of James Bond, 007? It was Fleming’s experience at Camp X that helped inspired his creation of the famous fictional secret agent.

—Connie Ray

Start a free trial today and search for your own family war stories in the World War II military records at Ancestry.

 

The post Bizarre but True Facts: Canada in WWII appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/03/04/bizarre-but-true-facts-canada-in-wwii/feed/ 0
Decoding History: Ancestry of Benedict Cumberbatch Revealedhttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/02/11/decoding-history-ancestry-of-benedict-cumberbatch-revealed/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/02/11/decoding-history-ancestry-of-benedict-cumberbatch-revealed/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:11:45 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=6935 New research reveals that actor Benedict Cumberbatch is related to revolutionary code breaker Alan Turing, whom he portrays in the newly released biographical thriller, The Imitation Game. Researchers from Ancestry were able to crack Cumberbatch’s ancestral cipher and identify that both men share a common ancestor in John Beaufort, the Earl of Somerset, making them 17x… Read more

The post Decoding History: Ancestry of Benedict Cumberbatch Revealed appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
By Joseph Birr-Pixton from en.wikipedia (en.wikipedia) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Image: Joseph Birr-Pixton from en.wikipedia (en.wikipedia) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

New research reveals that actor Benedict Cumberbatch is related to revolutionary code breaker Alan Turing, whom he portrays in the newly released biographical thriller, The Imitation Game.

Researchers from Ancestry were able to crack Cumberbatch’s ancestral cipher and identify that both men share a common ancestor in John Beaufort, the Earl of Somerset, making them 17x cousins on Cumberbatch’s paternal side.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

Turing played a crucial role in World War II, when he devised a number of revolutionary techniques for breaking German codes and was credited by then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill as “making the single biggest contribution to Allied victory in the war.”

Turing was not the only Cumberbatch relative who helped Britain win the war; his third cousin twice removed has been identified as WWII soldier Noel Carlisle Rees. Military records reveal that Rees was stationed in Greece with British Military Intelligence and was responsible for smuggling thousands of Allied soldiers out of the country during the conflict.

Along with these war heroes, the records also revealed some rather unusual occupations in the Cumberbatch family tree. These include links to John Paul Ferguson, Benedict’s paternal 2nd great-grandfather, who was a tea planter in India, as well as a connection to Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, identified as his sixth cousin.

A Kingly Ancestor 

Cumberbatch’s relatives haven’t always come out on the winning side, however. He recently finished filming his role as Richard III on The Hollow Crown. Around the same time, Professor Kevin Schurer of the University of Leicester announced that Cumberbatch and Richard are third cousins 16 times removed. While Cumberbatch has acknowledged the honor it is to be related to Turing, he joked with another reporter that his distant connection to Richard was ‘close enough for me’.

What’s next? Learning that Benedict Cumberbatch is the great-great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes? OK, Holmes is a fictional character, but at this rate, someone’s bound to find a way.
 
Are you related to Richard III—or Benedict Cumberbatch? Start your free online tree on Ancestry and find out.
 


 

The post Decoding History: Ancestry of Benedict Cumberbatch Revealed appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/02/11/decoding-history-ancestry-of-benedict-cumberbatch-revealed/feed/ 0
6 Facts That Prove Canada Dominated in World War Ihttp://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/01/21/6-facts-that-prove-canada-dominated-in-world-war-i/ http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/01/21/6-facts-that-prove-canada-dominated-in-world-war-i/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:39:33 +0000 Paul Rawlins http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/?p=6599 With superpowers like Britain, Germany, and France as the star players in the First World War, the role of Canada—then still a part of the British Commonwealth—is often overlooked. However, Canadians were critical players in the Allied victory in the Great War. Here are 6 facts that prove Canada was one of the great, underrated… Read more

The post 6 Facts That Prove Canada Dominated in World War I appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
Canadian WWI poster

[Photo credit: Library of Congress]

With superpowers like Britain, Germany, and France as the star players in the First World War, the role of Canada—then still a part of the British Commonwealth—is often overlooked.

However, Canadians were critical players in the Allied victory in the Great War. Here are 6 facts that prove Canada was one of the great, underrated forces of World War I.

  • 14-Day Free Trial
    GIVE ME ACCESS

● Canadian soldiers fought so fiercely, the Germans called them “storm troops.” They achieved victories where British and French armies had failed. Said British Prime Minister Lloyd George of the Canadians, “Whenever the Germans found the Canadian Corps coming into the line, they prepared for the worst.”

● One-third of all Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots were Canadian. In fact, the highest-scoring RFC pilot to survive the war was a Canadian—Lieutenant Colonel William Avery “Billy” Bishop, Jr., who shot down no fewer than 72 enemy planes.

● Canadian soldiers were among the first to endure chemical warfare. At the Battle of Ypres in Belgium, French troops broke ranks and abandoned their trenches when the Germans released clouds of poisonous chlorine gas. They fell back to the Canadian trenches, and the Germans pursued, releasing more gas on the Canadian soldiers. The Canadians held their position, however, making crude gas masks by urinating on their socks and tying them around their faces.

● It was a Canadian soldier at the Battle of Ypres who was inspired to write “In Flanders Fields,” arguably the most famous poem to emerge from World War I. Major John McCrae witnessed the death of his friend, Lt. Alexis Helmer, and was asked to conduct his funeral service in the absence of a chaplain. He later wrote the famous verses which begin, “In Flanders fields, the poppies blow/Between the crosses, row on row.” Search for military records for free on Ancestry.

● Canadian women first got the vote during World War I. The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing in Canada, Britain, and the U.S. during the war. In 1917, the Canadian government granted any woman aged 21 and over who was serving in the military (as a nurse) or directly related to someone in the military the right to vote. In 1919, the vote was extended to all Canadian women aged 21 and over—eight years before British women got the same privilege.

● At the Canadian Vimy Memorial, visitors are forbidden from walking in certain areas because of undetonated explosives from World War I. To avoid further human casualties, groundskeepers allow sheep to graze in those areas to keep the grass mown.

—Connie Ray

The post 6 Facts That Prove Canada Dominated in World War I appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

]]>
http://blogs.ancestry.com/cm/2015/01/21/6-facts-that-prove-canada-dominated-in-world-war-i/feed/ 0