just as long as you're not one of those americans whose ancestors were actually english, but insist they're part irish or scottish due to embarassment
Since English is the principal language in America, there's no getting away from it, is there?
I still think he made that up.
My great grandfather came to Scotland from Ireland at the age of 14 in 1914. I'm proud I have Irish ancestry, but first and foremost I'm Scottish.
I think it's brilliant to know where you came from and to know your family history (we've been able to take my mum's family tree back to the early 1700's), but that shouldn't change who you are now.
I guess I can see the history being interesting, like Miss Chicken
's example. I just don't understand the desire for roots and connections that people seem to have. I do know a little bit about my ancestry. Basically, my mom's side is a bunch of Indians with a Norwegian chick thrown in somewhere a few generations back, and my dad's side is a bunch of white, Western European descended Cajuns with an Indian chick thrown in somewhere a few generations back. My aunt is really into genealogy, and traced my dad's side of the family back to 1590, and while the name of the ancestor was somewhat hilarious (Barbara Fricken-Schmidt), I didn't really have any sense of connection to any of it. People tend to speak about their distant ancestry with such ownership, but why someone who's great-great-great-great grandmother was Irish (or Greek or Spanish or whatever) want to take ownership of that? -- it's not like they know what it's like to actually be a part of that culture.
Maybe it's just something I'll never understand. I barely identify with the culture I was raised in!