APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-07 > 1246466654
From: Michael Hait <>
Subject: Re: [APG] North Carolina "mulatto" question
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 12:44:14 -0400
Unfortunately, in census records, the term "mulatto" did not bear the same specific meaning as it did in common usage. The only answer is that it _could_ refer to a specific racial mixture, but was also applied to any lighter-complexioned African-American.
More research would definitely need to be conducted before any conclusion can be made.
Author, The Family History Research Toolkit
Instructor, "African-American Genealogy", GenClass
Administrator, Prince George's Co., Maryland, Genealogy Trails
Master Editor, Civil War Book, Albany Hilltowns Group
Follow me on Twitter: @michaelhait
> Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2009 12:31:06 -0400
> Subject: [APG] North Carolina "mulatto" question
> ?? I printed out a couple of
> census images for a friend who thought slavery would make it impossible
> to trace her African American family.? She was told that her
> grandmother (1899-1956) was Native American, but on the 1910 and 1920
> census for Nash County, North Carolina, the woman is listed as mulatto.
> (She was black in 1900.) This grandmother was said to be Cherokee and
> had grown up on a reservation.? There don't seem to be any reservations
> in Nash County, and Cherokees are associated with the western side of
> the state.? I did find several instances of the surname (Hart) on the
> Dawes Rolls, but not her unique first name.
> ??? This is unfamiliar
> territory for me, and I am going full tilt in another direction.? I had
> only intended to get her started on her own research, but I seem to
> have opened Pandora's box.? I think "mulatto" was used for almost any
> racial combination.? Is that correct?? Would Native American records
> indicate someone was racially mixed and/or dark in color? This line of
> her family was free before the Civil War. Does anyone have suggestions
> for research paths I could recommend to her?? Alternately, I would like
> to find someone who specializes in this area and refer her to them.?
> This is a fascinating and famous family.
> Lois Kamoi
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