How many generations are "German Roots"

+10 votes
I am joining the German Roots project.  Was are asked to connect the tag {{German Roots}} to all descendants.  "All" seems overly broad to me.  I have German roots, 6 generations ago, and I have great grandchildren, so for my family, that's a considerable scope.


Any thoughts about what is good practice?  Certainly iSei (Japanese terminology), those born in Germany and immigrated to the US.  Logically, niSei (born in the US with at least one parent born in Germany) is a good extension.  My thoughts are than sanSei would not be worth labeling unless one of the parents was iSei.


in The Tree House by Charles Bash G2G1 (2.0k points)
Of course - doing the work of tagging all those descendants can feel a bit burdensome, and as one gets to the furthest and more mixed-root descendants one may question the point of it .... but the aims of the various roots projects set a high bar for quality.  It is meant to be beneficial and not burdensome.  The "perfection of each profile" could either discourage us as an impossible task,  or liberate us in the wiki way in which no profile is necessarily finished per se, but in a long process of "good enough for now given all my other priorities" - with the caveat that I have seen many very impressive profiles here on wikitree!

There's another benefit to adding these categories and templates -- in revisiting each profile you manage or each profile that may descend from a common ancestor one has a chance to review the content.  I've caught plenty of small errors and a few gross anomalies by doing so.

As a practical matter -- there are tools one can use in the browser that can make frequently typed content easier to input .. sometimes called macros or shortcuts - I can set up certain keystroke shortcuts to make it less trouble to add categories or templates I use often.  There are other methods such as clipboards that allow you to save more than just the most recent item from cut and paste.
"Roots" could be based on ancestry, ethnic identity, or both.

For genealogy purposes, as long as one's family tree can connect to a considerable number of people considered "Germanic" by ancestry, I would say one has German roots.
I like your idea of the roots tagging to the point of one parent of German ancestry. Is there a way to do the same tag but instead have it as German ancestry? And is there a way to automate the process so that it would auto fill on any descendants of the earliest person with the "German ancestry" tag that is not "German roots" under this definition? I think this way we could alleviate some the burden that is being put on the kind people who are working on this project and still be able to identify German heritage.

4 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
My mother was 100% German although most of her family lived in this country for 5, 6, or 7 generations. DNA testing has agreed, I'm half German.  

My suggestion is that a political or cultural designation such as "Nisei" adapted from an insular Asian nation should not be applied to the "German Roots" designation in this age of accurate biological testing. IMHO, emphasis here on the word "humble."
by Dorothy Coakley G2G6 Pilot (175k points)
selected by Charles Bash
Interesting history Dorothy.  The DNA testing adds credence to the oral history.  My Oral history says my ancestors spoke German for about 3 generations, then moved West and began to intermingle with other immigrants.
Good to meet you, Charles! Although you are obviously finding your way around Wikitree without help from others, feel free to contact me for informal mentoring if you ever feel the need. and yes, I am both Mentor and Arborist. Don't necessarily have extensive answers, but I do know which cousins are helpful!
This is interesting. I have not gotten into the “Project” aspect much here. This, with Catagories, etc. seems like overkill at times, although I can understand the desire for it. If I read what people are saying then I could/would/should (?) post the projects on my various ancestors' profiles their ethnic/national identity tags? So by the time it got to me I would be posting on my profile – French-Canadian Roots, French Roots, German Roots, Dutch Roots, English Roots, Scottish Roots, Spanish Roots, Native American Roots, Swiss Roots, and Scots-Irish Roots and that is just tracing back here in North America. I can extend back into nobility and royalty so could add Danish Roots, Scandinavian Roots, Russian Roots, Georgian Roots, Hungarian Roots, Polish Roots, Belgium Roots, Italian Roots, Byzantium Roots, etc. Is this what is meant and desired?
+1 vote
Can you explain iSei?
by Living Hoolihan G2G6 Mach 5 (56.6k points)
First generation/second generation (Japanese)  in another cultural milieu - Issei, Nisei
+4 votes
However small the portion may become (1/2^n)  the roots are still part of a person's heritage.  If an ancestor was of a particular ethno-cultural group it's valid and accurate to say their descendants have those roots.   And in my case i have multiple such roots.  People who may have less knowledge and awareness of these roots benefit when seeing someone in their line has them, and it can lead to many other ancillary benefits - including curiosity about the history and culture or migration and intermarriage patterns.  It also has direct benefits of connecting genealogical researchers such as ourselves.
by Michael Maranda G2G6 Mach 6 (66.9k points)
+3 votes
I'm born in Germany and thus of German Roots.

As I researched my ancestors I've found out that one of my Great-Grandfathers emigrated from Italy. Hence I also have Italian Roots.

Even further back on line I have an ancestor that was immigrating from Bohemia (back then, nowadays Czech Republic) to Germany and thus I'm also having a bit of Czech Roots.

If I would have any biological children, those would also have the same roots plus whichever other roots the mother would bring in.

IMO roots is displaying our ethnic diversity and is delivering an important POV (and message) to those that like to single out certain ethnic groups (aka pure blood .... fill in whatever they think they are).

I think no one is just from one ethnic background. Even the most remote tribe on a remote, still undiscovered island didn't originate there, we all originated from Africa. Would I attribute myself African Roots as well? Only if I have proof in an ancestor being born there.

Hope this makes it more clear but this is my view on it

Here's my profile representing proudly 3 badges of my mixed ethnic background:
by Andreas West G2G6 Mach 6 (64.0k points)

Related questions

+5 votes
6 answers
+4 votes
4 answers
+4 votes
3 answers
+2 votes
3 answers
0 votes
2 answers

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright