One result of genealogical studies is to answer the question “where are we from?” Which may a pointless, obtuse or, at best, indeterminate and subjective. To cloud the issue, it also depends on if one is referring to their regional or their ethnic homeland.
A few points will need to preface this discussion. Geographically, ‘the Chronnies’ includes eighteen countries: Benin, Cameroon, Congo, England, Finland, France, Germany, Mali, Netherlands, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, and Wales. However, the seven African nations are historically mostly three ethnic tribes, the Bantu, Bantoid and Mande. The genetic background of the eleven European nations, surprising to some, are all Germanic and Celtic tribes. Of course, these five tribal groups have merged, migrated and evolved from numerous proto-groups. Indeed, if we went back far enough the three African tribes are Niger-Congo language group and two European tribes are Info-European language group. These two language groups, as well as all the others of the world, began at a single place, about 60,000 years ago, as humans began migrating from central African.
Secondly, the period of time plays a distinct role in geographical naming. The ancestors in this collection, bar three, immigrated to the Colonies between 1654 to 1773. The only three immigrating after were: 1828 Scotland, 1832 England and 1870 Prussia.
So where did they immigrate from? Another important point to make is that some of these nations didn’t exist until after the ancestors here migrated from the region. The Germany we know today wasn’t united until 1871, the same time as Italy, having been part of the Holy Roman Empire for nearly a millennium. The Netherlands and Switzerland were also part of the Empire, the Dutch Republic declaring independence about 1800 and the Swiss Confederacy emerging in 1848, although there was a Swiss Confederacy earlier. This is a large majority of the ancestry included within this tome.
The remaining ancestors from Scotland, England, Wales, and Ireland—that immigrated from 1708-1740—are legitimately from the Kingdom of Great Britain, except the two mentioned earlier being from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Here it is accurate to use Scotland, Ireland or England, as there were names in use at the time, mere divisions of the British Kingdom. The Scandinavian ancestors, some of the earliest immigrants, were from the Kingdom of Sweden, which included both Finland and Sweden. As Voltaire pointed out, the Holy Roman Empire was, at most times, not Holy, Roman or an Empire. Italy was just as fragmented as Central Europe and very few of the Roman Rulers were Germanic or Italian, particularly if we eliminate Frankish ones and focus on Germanic tribal descendants of the area that is now Germany. Emperor Frederick I is one of the few that comes to mind. The emperors were Frankish, Austria, Bohemian, etc.
So, although many of the ancestors are Germanic, none are German. German was a random name given by the Early Romans (ie, Germania), such as Caesar and Tacitus, merely to give the region a name, not the people. Even the name Germany is not used by Germans. Germany and the countries to its north (Netherland, Sweden, Norway) use a form of Deutschland/Tyskland to signify the nation of Germany. France, Spain and Portugal use a derivation of Alemanni, and all the countries East of Germany use a word stemming from Nemecko. Only England and Italy (by default the Byzantine/Orthodox nations) held onto Caesar’s Latin term for Germany. Even our early Pennsylvania immigrants and the colonial clerks never used German, they were called Pennsylvania Dutch, meaning Deutsch.
Finally, even the name Germanic is inaccurate, as we simply using the Roman name in adjective form for these tribes who undoubtedly had their own name that were far different than the Latinized translations. The local tribes were migratory and had no formal regional or state ruler, just a group leader. Therefore, one will notice very few instances of ‘German’ being used in ‘the Chronnies,’ but more the local city, state, duchy or margravate being used. In lieu of the fact that the tribes in Central Europe were not united, the term ‘Germanic’ has begrudgingly been used. So, the Chronnies’ Continental European ancestors were not German, Swiss, or Dutch as there were citizens of the Holy Roman Empire (until they were able to migrate from the horrid religious, social, and environmental conditions). Using the local adjective, that is Deutsch, based on Deutschland seems to be the best option.