It seems some people have the impression that American Nations-author and JayMan's hero Colin Woodard is some sort of archetypal, Puritan-descended New England Yankee. Instead, Woodard simply provides another illustration of the fact that New England residents today derive the bulk of their ancestry from sources other than New England Puritans.
Woodard's mother has a common name, and I was unable to immediately identify her parents or birth place. I did easily identify the ancestor's of Woodard's father going back a few generations.
While Colin Woodard describes himself as a native of Maine, his father (who has an MA in Creative Writing from Syracuse and now teaches introductory English at the University of Maine Augusta) was born in Los Angeles, and his father's parents were born in Montana (the mother being of 100% Irish Catholic ancestry, as far as I can tell).
Of his father's great-grandparents:
- Only three were born in America (according to census documents, one was born in Michigan, with parents also born in Michigan, and two were born in New York, with parents also born in New York).
- Four were born in Ireland (and evidently Catholic).
- One was born in Quebec (with, going by names, a French Canadian father and Irish Catholic mother).
So Colin Woodard's father is something like 9/16 Irish Catholic, 1/16 French Canadian, and no more than 3/8 colonial American (and it's unlikely the entirety of the American ancestry traces back to New England).
After writing the above, I checked one last time for any information on Colin's mother ancestry, and came across this article from Woodard himself. In addition to confirming parts of his paternal ancestry:
My Irish-Catholic great-grandparents worked the iron and copper mines of the interior West, and their children grew up to be Far Westerners. My great-great-great grandmother’s family fled from the same part of Ireland as their future cousins-in-law, but the mines where they found work happened to be in Quebec, so their descendants grew up speaking French and traveling on aboriginal snowshoes.Woodard mentions:
Life in North America has been immeasurably enriched by the many cultures and people who settled there. I personally celebrate the continent’s diversity, but I also know that my great-grandfather’s people in western Iowa -- Lutheran farmers from the island of Funen in Denmark -- assimilated into the dominant culture of the Midlands (think, for now, “Midwest”), even as they contributed to its evolution.Which provides evidence of non-New England (and non-colonial American) ancestry on his mother's side, as well. Whatever is responsible for Woodard's leftism, it's fairly safe to say it's not Puritan genes.