Who Am I? But really?

I saw a post in a Facebook group for my High School alumni which showed this map of German beers from each state.

German beer map

This led me down the rabbit hole of investigating the German states a little more, since I was only familiar with a few of them (having lived in Hesse and Rheinland-Pfalz growing up gave me some familiarity). Which led me down the hole of some German history. Which led me to think about the portion of my ancestors that came from Germany to the United States.

My paternal grandmother’s father (my dad’s mom’s grandfather) moved from Külsheim Germany when he was 16 or 17 to the United States. He first went to San Francisco where he apprenticed as a leather worker, then moved to Minneapolis and opened his own store. Schatzlein Saddle Shop is still owned and operated by my distant relatives to this day!

Researching that made me proud of my German heritage. And then I thought about my paternal grandfather’s family from Scotland. And my maternal grandmother’s family from Spain and Mexico. And my maternal grandfather’s family from England. All this heritage I have. All these cultures that have mixed and blended. How cool is that?

While I am proudly American (United States of America as well as North American), do I say my ancestry is German, Scottish, Mexican, and British? But, because my German ancestors were from the current German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, that means the heritage/ethnicity of the people is more likely Roman or Alemanni. So am I Alemanni?

And my grandfather’s family from Scotland lived in Stornoway on the island of Lewes in the Outer Hebrides which means the people were more likely Gaelic, Celtic, or perhaps Vikings (since they founded the city in the early 9th century). So am I Gaelic or Scandinavian?

I’ve always said I’m part German, but the concept of the Germany I reference was founded in 1871 … and current borders of the country (re)established in 1990! The Scotland I typically think of was established in the 9th century, but the people living in those areas goes back much much further.

Just makes you think who am I? But really?

Note: I also appreciate that I am able to research my family history back many generations. Not everybody has that luxury.

This post has been day 58 of #100DaysToOffload

One comment

  1. Loved this. When asked my ethnicity in doctors’ offices, I’m never sure what to say. I prefer to say Hispanic, but I’m probably only 1/4 (approximately) because my mother’s mother (Teresa Cobos) was from Mexico/Spain but my grandfather (John Daly) was (North) American. I’m sure I’ve got all that in either Ancestory or 23 and Me. If you don’t have access and want it, let me know.

Comments are closed.