Well, at least I thought I was. Growing up, when I asked about family history for a school project, my parents told me I was a true American Heinz-57, but mostly English (about half), Irish (somewhere close to a quarter) and French (something like another quarter.) The bits that were left were Scottish, Dutch, maybe some German and some Native American. Nobody knew what tribe, but my mother's maiden name was Rook, which is a small crow-like bird, so there was some family rumour that it was Anglicized from the Crow tribe. Which is totally improbable because the Crow are a western tribe and the furthest west the Rooks got (until the last 50 years or so) was Indiana. y. We know at least parts of our family had been in the US since before the revolution, while my father's family had been in Newfoundland since the 1600s. Somehow, or other, I always picked the Irish to focus on. I don't know why. Maybe a St. Patrick's day party at school or watching the Irish Rovers on TV every week. (We lived close enough to the Canadian border to pick up Canadian TV.)
My husband on the other hand, consider himself mostly English and Scots, along with German and Dutch. His Dutch ancestors came over on the Mayflower--but the second trip. His great grandmother was born in Chicago to German parents and his paternal grandmother came over from the English-Scottish borderlands as a child. He's always identified with that bit, loving his McKee (MacKay variant) tartan and kilting up at any excuse. He assumed Pape was English, since it's pronounced that way (PAYP), perhaps originally of Franco-English origin since Pape (pronounced PAP) is French for Pope.
In these modern computer times, it's so easy to find where we went wrong. My mother's Irish ancestor by the name of McCurdy was most likely Scottish, from a clan with strong ties to the Stewart throne. Pape turns out to be a German name too--My husband's grandfather was pure German, making him at least 5/8 German, and only maybe 1/4 Scots, once you add in the Dutch and English. Rook may have been Anglicized from a German name as well, making me more German than I'd ever thought. And if there IS any Native American blood in me, (my mother and grandfather sure looked it,) it's probably Cherokee from somewhere around Kentucky.
So does any of this newfound information change my St. Patrick's day plans?
Nope. My grandfather belonged to the Orangemen's lodge in Newfoundland, so even what Irish I can claim isn't green. But according to my dad (91 now) on St. Patrick's day, all the Orangemen would wear green and party with the best of them--as would the French or English in town. Why? For the same reason most Americans do. Why waste a perfectly good excuse for a party? I'm not saying this lightly. To some I know, this day is sacred. To the rest of us, though, I think it's become more of a celebration of spring than anything else.
May the roof above you never fall in. And may those beneath it never fall out. Slainte.