Good to know

49,206,934 Germans Ancestry map

By far the largest ancestral group, stretching from coast to coast across 21st century America is German, with 49,206,934 people. The peak immigration for Germans was in the mid-19th century as thousands were driven from their homes by unemployment and unrest.

The majority of German-Americans can now be found in the the center of the nation, with the majority living in Maricopa County, Arizona and according to Business Insider, famous German-Americans include, Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Henry J. Heinz and Oscar Mayer.

Indeed, despite having no successful New World colonies, the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the United States in the 1670s and settled in New York and Pennsylvania.

Germans were attracted to America for familiar reasons, open tracts of land and religious freedom and their contributions to the nation included establishing the first kindergartens, Christmas trees and hot dogs and hamburgersRead more: us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

There are 21 counties in America where German is still spoken activelygerman language

By Chris Cillizza, Published: August 19 at 4:15 pmE-mail the writer

The Fix loves the cultural, political and, yes, linguistic differences in the United States. So, we immediately fell in love with this map created by the Washington Post graphics team that shows the counties across the country where at least 10 percent of the population speak a language other than English at home.

While the big headline — and rightly so — is the 708 counties where Spanish is spoken by at least one in every 10 residents, we, nerds that we are, were equally fascinated by the 21 counties where German is actively spoken. That includes Holmes County, Ohio, where 45.5 (!) percent of residents speak German at home, as well as a single county (Yates) in New York and Missouri (Scotland) where German remains actively spoken by a chunk of residents.

German dialect in Texas is one of a kind, and dying out

15 May 2013 Last updated at 00:02 GMTHelp

The first German settlers arrived in Texas over 150 years ago and successfully passed on their native language throughout the generations – until now.

German was the main language used in schools, churches and businesses around the hill country between Austin and San Antonio. But two world wars and the resulting drop in the standing of German meant that the fifth and sixth generation of immigrants did not pass it on to their children.

Still the biggest ancestry group in the US, according to Census data, a large majority of German-Americans never learned the language of their ancestors.

Hans Boas, a linguistic and German professor at the University of Texas, has made it his mission to record as many speakers of German in the Lone Star State as he can before the last generation of Texas Germans passes away.

Mr Boas has recorded 800 hours of interviews with over 400 German descendants in Texas and archived them at the Texas German Dialect Project. He says the dialect, created from various regional German origins and a mix of English, is one of a kind.

“We have found no two speakers that speak roughly alike,” Mr Boas told the BBC at his office in Austin.

The BBC’s Franz Strasser went to Weimar, New Braunfels and Austin to find the last speakers of this dialect.


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