What Are My Roots?

Waves of Immigration-The American Melting Pot

European Americans are largely descended from colonial American stock supplemented by two sizable waves of immigration from Europe. Approximately 53 percent of European Americans today are of colonial ancestry, and 47 percent are descended from European, Canadian, or Mexican (or any Latin American) immigrants who have come to the U.S. since 1790 (and post-independence Mexico supplied Mexican-American immigration since 1890). Today, each of the three different branches of immigrants are most common in different parts of the country.


Founding Fathers, the Committee of Five were Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, Sherman and Livingston of primarily English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh descent.

Colonial stock, which mostly consists of people of English, Scottish or Scots-Irish descent, may be found throughout the country but is especially dominant in the South. Some people of colonial stock, especially in the Mid-Atlantic states, are also of Dutch, German and Flemish descent. The vast majority of these are Protestants. The Pennsylvania Dutch (German American) population gave the state of Pennsylvania a high German cultural character. French descent, which can also be found throughout the country, is most concentrated in Louisiana, while Spanish descent is dominant in the Southwest and Florida. These are primarily Roman Catholic and were assimilated with the Louisiana Purchase and the aftermath of the Mexican-American War and Adams–Onís Treaty, respectively.

Waves of American Immigration

Waves of American Immigration

The first large wave of European migration

The first large wave of European migration after the Revolutionary War came from Northern and Central-Western Europe between about 1820 and 1890. Most of these immigrants were from Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Britain, and with large numbers of Irish and German Catholics immigrating, Roman Catholicism became an important minority religion. Polish Americans usually used to come as German or Austrian citizens, since Poland lost its independence in the period between 1772–1795. Descendants of the first wave are dominant in the Midwest and West, although German descent is extremely common in Pennsylvania, and Irish descent is also common in urban centers in the Northeast. The Irish and Germans held onto their ethnic identity throughout the 19th and early half of the 20th centuries, as well of other European ethnic groups. Most people of Polish origin live in the Northeast and the Midwest.


The second wave of European Americans arrived from the mid-1890s to the 1920s, mainly from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Ireland.[28] This wave included Irish, Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Portuguese, Ukrainians, Russians, Poles and other Slavs. With large numbers of immigrants from Spain, Mexico, Spanish Caribbean, and South and Central America, White Hispanics have increased to 8% of the US population, and Texas, California, New York, and Florida are important centers for them.

Source: Wiki


Peas, Greens, and Cornbread

black-eyed-peas1Clearly, a lot of people closely associate good luck with monetary gain. That’s where the greens come in (in case I need to spell it out, green is the color of U.S. currency).

Any green will do, but the most common choices are collard, turnip, or mustard greens. Golden cornbread is often added to the Southern New Year’s meal, and a well-known phrase is, “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.” Pork is a staple of just about every Southern meal, so it’s usually cooked with the black-eyed peas. The pork seems to be there for flavor as opposed to symbolism……

Andrea Lynn is an Alabama-raised, soul food-obsessed food writer, recipe developer and personal chef. Follow her on Twitter @ALynn27.


DOW suckerThere’s an old saying, “If you are sitting at a Poker table, you look around, and you can’t determine who the Sucker is…..it’s you!”

I have reached the point where I trust almost nothing coming from the Wall Street Gang.

The most touted financial number the TV News talks about is the “Dow”, the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This number has been manipulated since it’s beginning in 1896. The chart below pictures over a decade of the DOW.

The DOW is the average of the stock prices of 30 major corporations. Initially they added up the stock price of each company and divided the total by 30. It seems very simple, doesn’t it? Not quite. When one of the DOW companies starts a decline it is replaced by one on the rise. Here are the replacements over the last 10 years….


AT&T Corporation, Eastman Kodak Company, and International Paper Company were replaced by American International Group Inc., Pfizer Incorporated, and Verizon Communications Inc..


SBC Communications Inc. was renamed AT&T Inc. after it acquired the original AT&T.


Altria Group Incorporated and Honeywell International Inc. were replaced by Bank of America Corporation and Chevron Corporation.

American International Group Inc. was replaced by Kraft Foods Inc.


Citigroup Inc. and General Motors Corporation were replaced by Cisco Systems, Inc. and The Travelers Companies, Inc.


Kraft Foods Inc. was replaced by UnitedHealth Group.

2013 September 20, 2013

Alcoa Incorporated, Bank of America Corporation, and Hewlett Packard Company were replaced by Goldman Sachs, Nike, and Visa.

Meanwhile a gimmick called the DOW Divisor, shown below, is manipulated to magically cause an increase in the DOW average. The DOW average started as a basket of thirty stocks, the stock prices were totaled together and then divided by the number of stocks, 30, to result in a DOW average. Over time the divisor was supposedly adjusted for stock splits (where anyone holding a share of stock would receive two new shares after a 2 for 1 split) and other manipulations . This European table uses comma’s rather than periods. It shows changes in the “divisor” over time.

DJIA Divisor Trends
DOW Fat Banker

Initially the total of the thirty stocks were divided by 30. Now the divisor has been manipulated so the total of the prices of the 30 stocks are multiplied by 7.6. If we used the initial divisor of 30, yesterday’s DOW average would be 514 rather the reported value of 15413.33. So much for information from the Wall Street Snake Oil Salesmen. DOW DJIA Snake Oil

It appears that it is more efficient to flush money down the toilet rather than waste it away with Wall Street bankers.

The important issue is “What can I do with the  savings I have managed to accumulate over the years?” $100,000 “invested” in the DOW in 2007 it would be worth $46,000 in 2009, that is a whopping 64% loss, not what I consider a “good investment”. Financial sources report that the DOW has recovered and has reached record highs recently, but as we can see above, the number is rigged.

So what to do?

Some Americans are buying Gold Coins and hiding them under the mattress. Gold is very popular with people in China and India, both have suffered hardship and deprivation numbers of times over the thousands of years of their existence. They feel secure owning some amount of precious metals….

During the U.S. Civil War Union troops would confiscate southern livestock and crops. One thing the raided southerners could do was to bury “the family silver”.

Does history have a message for us about Wall Street so-called investments?DOW 10 Yr Gold Prices

Also see….. https://cloisterliving.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/non-traditional-gold-and-silver-gifts-and-hidden-treasure/

and….. http://louisvillenumismatic.com/



My wife and I attend a Lipscomb University Seniors Program course on Thursday afternoons, “The American South: Myth or Reality”. Lipscomb offers a number of these Lipscomb Lifelong Learning courses that meet once a week for five weeks. So far I have learned a number of interesting facts, among them are:

  • In 1865, only 250,000 of the 6 million individuals living in The South owned a large plantation with slaves. Most of the others were either slaves or subsistence Yeoman farmers
  • In 1776 a whopping 80% of everyone living in America was an Indentured Servant or a slave.

Indentured1When the country was founded, in most states, only white men with real property (land) or sufficient wealth for taxation were permitted to vote. Freed slaves could vote in four states. Unpropertied white men, women, and all other people of color were denied the voting franchise. At the time of the American Civil War, most white men were allowed to vote, whether or not they owned property. Literacy tests, poll taxes, and even religious tests were used in various places, and most white women, people of color, and Native Americans still could not vote.

From Wikipedia……

Farmers, planters, merchants,and shopkeepers in the American colonies found it very difficult to hire free workers, primarily because it was so easy for potential workers to set up their own farms.[1] Consequently, a common solution was to transport a young worker from England or Germany, who would work for several years to pay off the debt of their travel costs. During the indenture period the servants were not paid wages, but were provided with food, accommodation, clothing and training. The indenture document specified how many years the servant would be required to work, after which they would be free. Terms of indenture ranged from one to seven years with typical terms of four or five years.[2] In southern New England, a variant form of indentured servitude, which controlled the labor of Native Americans through an exploitative debt-peonage system, developed in the late 17th century and continued through to the period of the American Revolution.

Not all European servants were sent willingly. Several instances of kidnapping for transportation to the Americas are recorded and this falls more clearly into the bracket of “white slave“. Whilst these white slaves were often indentured in the same way as their willing counterparts it is an important distinction to make. An illustrative example of such a kidnap story is that of Peter Williamson (1730-1799). As historian Richard Hofstadter pointed out, “it remains true that a certain small part of the white colonial population of America was brought by force, and a much larger portion came in response to deceit and misrepresentation on the part of the spirits [recruiting agents].”[3]

Most white immigrants arrived in Colonial America as indentured servants, usually as young men and women from Britain or Germany, under the age of 21. Typically, the father of a teenager would sign the legal papers, and work out an arrangement with a ship captain, who would not charge the father any money.[4] The captain would transport the indentured servants to the American colonies, and sell their legal papers to someone who needed workers. At the end of the indenture, the young person was given a new suit of clothes and was free to leave. Many immediately set out to begin their own farms, while others used their newly acquired skills to pursue a trade.[5][6][7]

In the 17th century, nearly two-thirds of settlers to the New World from the British Isles came as indentured servants. Given the high death rate, many servants did not live to the end of their terms.[2] In the 18th and early 19th century, numerous Europeans traveled to the colonies as redemptioners, a form of indenture.[8]

It has been estimated that the redemptioners comprised almost 80% of the total British and continental emigration to America prior to the Revolution.[9] Indentured servants were a separate category from bound apprentices. The latter were American-born children, usually orphans or from an impoverished family who could not care for them. They were under the control of courts and were bound out to work as an apprentice until a certain age. Two famous bound apprentices were Benjamin Franklin who illegally fled his apprenticeship to his brother, and Andrew Johnson, who later became President of the United States.[10]

George Washington used indentured servants;[11] in April 1775, he offered a reward for the return of two runaway white servants.[12]

My Mother experienced being indentured as a small girl at age 11 years. She was the eldest of three children in a small farm family at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the “No-man’s Land” between Poland and Czechoslovakia. The family lived very much like the Mountain People of the Appalachian Mountains, they belonged to a tribe called Lemko’s.

My Mother's tribe was called Lemko. These were their dance costumes. I have seen similar embroidery in stores in Vienna and Hungary is famous for  embroidered clothing.

My Mother’s tribe was called Lemko. These were their dance costumes. I have seen similar embroidery in stores in Vienna and Hungary is famous for embroidered clothing.

Mother and father, with children, returned to Europe from the United States after working the Pennsylvania Coal Mines and saving enough money to buy a small farm in the Carpathian hills. The children were born in the United States and thus were U.S. citizens.

Foothills of Carpathian Mountains look much like the Appalachians

Foothills of Carpathian Mountains look much like the Appalachians

Then a major event changed their lives, the father died.

My Mother, the eldest child, was selected to be sold into Indentured Servitude until she was 18 years old. At 18 she returned to the U.S. as a steamship passenger in steerage. All her life she felt she had been abandoned by her mother. The only photo of her mother my mother ever kept was an image of the old lady’s dead body in a wood coffin outside their farm shack.

Many different forms of slavery existed throughout the world and an Indentured Servant was yet another category of slave that existed in the United States.