Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Family History Quest and Question


So, I have officially started a project that I have been contemplating for some time. I am intending to see if I can find all of my immigrant ancestors: trace every line until it leaves the United States. I have had some difficulty, some lines go back for 15 generations, and about a quarter of them stop somewhere in Colonial America (usually in Massachusetts in the 1600’s). But I have so far got about 3/8ths of the way through my project.

But I have stumbled on a problem: image Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Canadians. In fact my last week has been full of them; from a Canadian Doctor and his Secretary that I sat next to during a conference in Phoenix I attended this week, to Sister Giang, Sister Alexis Pomeroy’s newest companion. And, of course, my favorite Canadian, Brad Spotswood, came down from Rexburg with his wife and spent the weekend with us while they were looking for a place to stay here in Salt Lake City.

But despite all of the warm fuzzies that Canada usually give me, I do have a dilemma. Do I count an ancestor moving from Canada to the United States as an immigrant, or should I trace the line back until the came from some other country? And what about the ancestor I found who came from Denmark to England for one generation before coming to the US? Are they Danish or English?

Anyway, I was just hoping for your opinions. Go ahead an leave a comment and tell me what you think.


  1. Agreed. Canadians are the problem. I can say that with some authority seeing as I'm 1/4th Canuck.

    Trace them to the Old World. If they did come to Canada first, they can't have been there too long... really, how much ice, snow, and hockey can a person take?

  2. I count them as immigrants. The Smileys all came over on a ship that wrecked on Nova Scotia. They ended up staying in Canada for awhile until they could earn enough money again to make the trip south. Some stayed and never left.
    I also would count your Danish ancestors that moved to England....Danish. Where their blood originated. Unless they stayed long enough to marry english, then you definitely have to add that they are english....
    Yes...you have a couple of dilemmas for your project!

  3. Here are my votes, and I'm blood, so my votes count!

    Canadian Schmanadian. Yes, it's a lovely country, but go back to where they REALLY came from (unless they are Quebecois, which is an entirely different animal).

    I vote for Danish. One generation does not an Englishman make.

    Thank you for your consideration. Good luck on your interesting project!

  4. My grandmother is Canadian. I don't count her coming to the US as "immigration" because the boarder hasn't really been enforced until now (yep, you need a passport to go to Canada). Good luck with your project and I'm sorry I missed the study group yesterday. I completely forgot about it. I probably won't make it next week either. :(