Descendants past and present have variously expressed their beliefs about
the Old World origin of our ARTERBURN ancestors, whether Scotch-Irish,
German, Scottish, English, Indian, or some other. Now, for the first time
we have cogent historical evidence, supported by genetic genealogy, that
our male ancestral line of descent through Peter and William originated in
South Asia, and most likely on the Indian subcontinent.
Nonetheless, every ARTERBURN descendant today can legitimately claim
ancestry in one or more of these other groups of European origin, because
most of us are a mix of all of them. We need only look at the surnames in
The Arterburn Cousins to see that intermarriage with spouses whose
ancestors are either known to have been or appear to have been Scots-Irish,
German, Scottish, or English has occurred in every generation since Peter
and William. We are a composite genetically of all who have come and
gone before us, not just those of our male line of descent representing
the ARTERBURN surname.
Thus, as ARTERBURNS most of us have Scots-Irish, Scottish, German, and
English as well as South Asian ancestors. Whether we choose to identify more
with one or to embrace all, we are ultimately American. At its best, this country
has succeeded in merging many different cultures into one American culture,
unique in all the World. Let us celebrate this achievement, even as we seek
to understand the Old World cultures our ancestors left behind in their embrace
of this New World of America.