The table below lists the birth places for five generations of my family. I was inspired to do this by Kris Hocker, who got the idea from Randy Seaver. If you’re interested you can make your own birth chart here.
I found this exercise interesting on a few levels. First, there is less diversity in my ancestor’s birth places over the last 150 to 200 years than I remembered (mainly Ontario, and parts of England). This is because I often think about the country where a person’s ancestral line originated, rather than where that person was born. Second, many of my ancestors are Canadian. Although I strongly identify as Canadian I somehow didn’t see ‘Canadian’ as a valid origin. Again, I think the reason is rooted in tracing family lines back to their European country of origin. Also, I think it’s partly because Canada is a country of immigrants–the only real “Canadians” are the First Nations people of Canada.
I have decided to change this way of thinking. Now when people ask “what are you,” I’ll say English, Irish, French, German (and Swiss), and also Canadian.