Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paternal Ancestral Ethnicities & Folk Soul Impulses

As some who read my Facebook may recall, I recently learned from my father that my paternal line hails from the Cumberland Gap in Appalachia, making it very likely that some of my paternal grandmothers were Appalachian root workers known as granny witches, and practitioners of ethnic Appalachian folk magic.

(In honor of my Appalachian roots, over time, I will be adding a focused line Appalachian folkish conjure formulas to my Etsy shoppe!)

The oral tradition of my paternal family - that as being primarily of English, Irish (Scots-Irish as well, given my confirmed autosomal genetic link to Scotland) and German descent, as well as having American roots in the Cumberland Gap deep in Appalachia, and into Appalachian Kentucky, as well as having some Native American American (Cherokee and Potowatomi) family members - fits exactly with the historical ethnic makeup reported by Kentucky Emigration and Immigration Department -

Pre-statehood settlers of Kentucky were mostly of English, German and Ulster Scots descent who migrated from the Atlantic seaboard states. Immigrants from North Carolina and southwestern Virginia came by way of the Cumberland Gap and over the Wilderness Road. Immigrants from Maryland and Pennsylvania came on flatboats and rafts down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh. Other early immigrants included small groups of French, Swiss, and Welsh. During the mid-19th century the Ohio River brought many German immigrants and settlers from New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Many Irish settled in Louisville during this time.

In 1790, historians estimate Kentucky's population was English (52%), Scots-Irish or Scots (25%), Irish (9%), Welsh, (7%), German (5%), French (2%), Dutch (1%), and Swedish (0.2%) in ethnicity.

1820 statistics vary slightly: English (57%), Scots-Irish or Scots (18%), Welsh (9%), Irish (8%), German (6%), French (2%), Dutch (1%), and Swedish (0.2%).

Native Americans were the indigenous population also living in the area with the immigrants, giving support to the oral family tradition of having some Native American family members. As a small child, I grew up around one aunt known to be a full blooded Cherokee. She was known by the name Palace. The clannish rural area I grew up in (often humorously called Taylorville - my birth surname is Taylor) was one in which many families in my father's extended family lived in homes and properties clustered together in proximal concentration. Even today, several families of the Taylor Clan still live here in proximally clustered homes. This clannish way of living, also fits well with ethnic Appalachian ways of living.

No one in my family has, in oral family tradition, ever been Catholic Christian - I was raised as a Protestant Christian (where Protestantism in my mind is the first major successful impulse of the Teutonic folksoul to return to its native Pagan roots, and to throw off the yoke of the non-native religiosity imposed on the people via the Romanization of Pagan Europe). The religious affiliation of Appalachia with folkish Protestantism also fits with the ethnic and religious history of Appalachia and the oral traditions coming from my paternal family.

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