Descendants past and present have variously expressed their beliefs about
the Old World origin of our ARTERBURN ancestors, whether Scotch-Irish,
German, Austrian, 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 most 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 of our ancestors, 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— and very likely Native American— ancestors.
Whether we choose to identify more with one or to embrace all, we are
ultimately American, as is our surname. At its best, our country has
succeeded in merging many different cultures into one American culture,
unique in aspiration and achievement. Let us celebrate this and recommit
to the work of American progress, even as we seek to understand the Old
World cultures of their time that our ancestors left behind in their embrace
of this New World of America.
We welcome your questions or comments—please click on the name of any
administrator listed above for an email contact address.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free.”