Woodland Indians Forum

You are not logged in.

Announcement

#1 Nov-15-2010 02:49:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

First, I am new to this site as of today.  I have a question regarding ethnic designation as related to Native People.  I have been able to trace my ancestry back to 1720 in Delaware, withiut a break in the lineage.  My ancestor (Grandfather) lived in  areas that the Nanticoke People resided.  There are documents to prove his existence,  He was classified by race as a Mulatto.  His son, was born in Delaware, in the official records is identified as a Mulatto and later Free Person of color.  The research and oral family history states, that my ancestor married a white woman who was born in Maryland and as child was taken captive by a local Indian tribe (name unknown) and remained with the tribe until marrying my ancestor.  After their marriage they traveled along eastern Pennsylvainia functioning as interpreters between the vasious Indiam Tribes and whites.  They later moved west and the official records after 1830 identifies my Grandfather's race as white.

I have read various acoounts that the State of Delaware refused to recognize the Indian as such.  Rather for records ie: land/census, etc, the Indian People were classified as Mulatto/Free Persons of Color and/or Free Whites.  I am trying to determine if this information is indeed true.  Any input from readers would certainly be appreciated.  I have just about have exhausted all my resources and there are no longere any family members around that could give me that information.  And as a child when I was growing up, it was not popular to say or discuss that your ethnicity was anything but white.

In advance that you for your time and assistance.  Also, you can contact me via a PM.

Offline

 

#2 Nov-15-2010 03:47:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

By "Grandfather," you obviously do not mean your father's father or your mother's father, but a much more distant forbear.  Indians living along the East Coast of the United States were, sometimes, classified as "mulatto" or "free-person-of-color."  HOWEVER, most people who were classified that way were NOT Indians, but, people of other races (mixed and unmixed).  So, the best we can say, with just this information, is that your ancestor MIGHT have been an Indian or a person with some Indian ancestry.  The likelihood that he was, at least, part Indian, might go up or down, based on his surname.  What was it?

Offline

 

#3 Nov-15-2010 03:54:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

Yes, the term "Grandfather" should have been clarified to "Great-Grandfather" going back geberations.

The surname is Hilton.

Thanks..

Offline

 

#4 Nov-15-2010 04:27:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

Hilton is not among the surnames listed for the Nanticoke or Lenape people of Delaware, as shown in Gilbert's 1948 Smithsonian article.  Of course, your ancestor's mother may have been an Indian, in which case her surname may hold a clue, if known.  (I'm speaking, here, of the mother of your first ancestor who was classified as "mulatto"--not his son.)

Offline

 

#5 Nov-15-2010 06:25:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

Thank you my friend for the information.  All I know is the first of my ancestors was born circa 1690 but nothing more definite than that.  Have no info on his parents, but find your comment about the mother very credible for sure.  As far as siblings for the son, I have no info either that I could turn to.

I know that my earliest ancestor resided in the Duck Hundred in Kemt Co., Delaware and later in
Appoquinimonk (sp) Hundred in New Castle Co. Delaware.  Which, I understood were areas inhabited by the Nanticoke People.  Maybe, you would know if this information is accurate.

I hope that the information I have developed to date will prove/be fruitful in establishing my ancestry.

In friendship, I appreciate your input and thank you.

Offline

 

#6 Nov-15-2010 06:44:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

I recommend you look at this website, which has an incredible amount of genealogical information on the Indians of Kent County, Delaware:

http://www.mitsawokett.com/

Best of luck in your research!

Offline

 

#7 Nov-15-2010 07:37:pm

hewhowalkstall
Visitor
Registered: Aug-26-2010
Posts: 14

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

sschkaak wrote:

I recommend you look at this website, which has an incredible amount of genealogical information on the Indians of Kent County, Delaware:

http://www.mitsawokett.com/

Best of luck in your research!

Great starting place.

Our tribe has the benefit of having a historian attached, formerly in the employ of the State of NJ. In conversations with her I have seen the classification of families change back and forth year to year based on the whim of the census taker. Given that for great periods of time Natives were not citizens/land holders or even viewed as human accurate record keeping becomes troublesome.

Mitsawokett and the links there in are top of the food chain and quite a bit of work has been done on http://www.ancestry.com/.

good luck

Offline

 

#8 Nov-16-2010 10:50:am

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

Thank you all for your help.

Will get to work on thoise sites.

Health and Happiness Always
to my new friends here.

Offline

 

#9 Nov-17-2010 03:09:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

To sschkaak and hewhowalkstall,

You both appear to be well versed on ancestral and/or historical matters
As I stated my ancestors surname name was Hilton.  However, that name
is not listed as a surname either for Nanticoke or Lenni Lenape in Delaware.

Reviewing the available information (1) race classification Mulatto/Free Person of Color
(2) locations of residence (3) marriage to a white “captive” (would she have been considered Indian after 15/17 years with a Tribe?  Would her marriage to my great-grandfather been acceptable if he were not in part Indian?)  Circumstantially, my ancestor could fit the profile of an Indian person from the Delaware region.

Another question I have, if you know, when were records initiated that recorded the Native Peoples last names?  Also, if you know how the Native People were classified
Ethnically in official records prior to 1790?

Last, my great-grandfather moved from Delaware @1814.  For lack of a better term, is it “possible” he left prior to and/or evaded being counted/classed as an Indian person.

Again, thank you for help.  I wish my old ones were here to answer these questions as I’m sure I’d finally get an answer to many questions.  In the meantime with your help I’ll keep looking for that “missing link.”

In friendship always.

As an aside, hewhowalkstall, I like the name.  While living in Minnesota I volunteered in a program administered thru thru the MN-DOC, which was named Walks Tall.  I was one of two people allowed to take Native Brothers from the DOC facilities to attend various Ceremonies, the Sweat Lodge and Pow Wows.  Good program until budget cuts did their thing and the program was disbanded.

Offline

 

#10 Nov-18-2010 07:19:am

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

llessur3:

In the absence of documentary evidence, the only course left to you is to determine the probability of Indian ancestry through DNA testing.

Offline

 

#11 Nov-18-2010 03:17:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

sschkaak. 

Could or other readers of this Forum recommend
a reputable and reasonable company that does
DNA testing?

Thanks.

In Friendship Always.

Offline

 

#12 Nov-18-2010 03:22:pm

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11093

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

First sorry for the late welcome llessur3, but nice to see you here.

I think sschkaak is the inhouse expert on DNA related things, frankly it gives me a headache. smile

Offline

 

#13 Nov-18-2010 03:57:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

llessur3 wrote:

sschkaak. 

Could or other readers of this Forum recommend
a reputable and reasonable company that does
DNA testing?

Thanks.

In Friendship Always.

llessur3:

Just how distant is this ancestor?  You call him "great-grandfather," but he moved from Delaware in 1816.  I'm getting up there in age, myself, but I have no great-grandparents who were born before 1858.  How many generations back is this ancestor of yours?  This is important for DNA.  If he is your ancestor on a direct male line (i.e., father's father's father's father's father, etc.), then you'll want to take a Y-chromosome DNA test.  If your ancestor is not a direct male line ancestor, the only test that can hope to pick him up, right now, is called a bio-geographical ancestry (BGA) DNA test.  However, if the ancestor is too far back, this test may not indicate a positive result. 

In any case, many companies do the Y-chromosome DNA test [such as FamilyTreeDNA]; however, the only company which does the BGA DNA test is DNA Diagnostics Center, Fairfield, OH, which does a test called "AncestrybyDNA."  You can find these on your search engine.

Last edited by sschkaak (Oct-18-2013 07:25:am)

Offline

 

#14 Nov-18-2010 04:49:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

sschkaak,

You said you were "getting up there."  I prefer to say we are "wiser" or "more worldly."

The research that has been done goes back eight generations and this is on my father's side of the family.  My ancestor great-grandfather that moved from Delaware @1814 was born in Delaware in 1787.  His father resided in Delaware (Duck Creek/Appoquinimonk).  The lineage from that time was all male until the birth of my paternal grandmother in 1900.

I tru;y appreciate all your help and information.  Will check out those companies you suggested.

In Friendship Always.

Offline

 

#15 Nov-18-2010 06:07:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4342
Website

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

llessur3:

I'm just not quite getting it.  Your great-grandfather (b.1787) was 113 years old when your paternal grandmother was born (b.1900)?  There has to be more than one or two "greats" in front of that "grandfather."  LOL!  In any case, it looks like the possible Indian ancestor is much too far back to show up on a BGA DNA test.  (One ancestor eight generations ago will contribute only 1/256th of your genetic make-up.  That's less than one-half of one percent.)  The Y-chromosome test is also ruled out, unless you can find a direct male (Hilton) descendant of your ancestor, who is willing to be tested.  Even then, it is, of course, possible that this direct male line was non-Indian, because if you have any Indian ancestry, at all, it may have entered via a female line.  If there is such a male relation, however, it would be worthwhile to have him tested, in my opinion.

Offline

 

#16 Nov-19-2010 10:12:am

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

sschkaak,

Thanks. I'm going to contact the DNA Centers you suggested and see what their opinion is.

Also, I just put great grandfather as I wasn't sure how to word it exactly.  I'm the 7 th generation from 1787 and the 8 th from my ancestor who in the records is identified as a Mulatto.

Thanks for your help it has certainly been informative.  And the search goes on.

In Friendship Always,

llessur3

Offline

 

#17 Nov-19-2010 04:04:pm

llessur3
Visitor
Registered: Nov-15-2010
Posts: 9

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

tree hugger wrote:

First sorry for the late welcome llessur3, but nice to see you here.

I think sschkaak is the inhouse expert on DNA related things, frankly it gives me a headache. smile

tree hugger,

Sorry but I missed your initial post.  Great site, lots of info and evryone has been very helpful, especially sschkaak.  I do agree with you on the DNA aspect it has left me talking to myself.

In Friendship Always,

llessur3

Offline

 

#18 Nov-19-2010 04:40:pm

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11093

Re: Question Re: Race/Ethnic Designation

llessur3 wrote:

tree hugger wrote:

First sorry for the late welcome llessur3, but nice to see you here.

I think sschkaak is the inhouse expert on DNA related things, frankly it gives me a headache. smile

tree hugger,

Sorry but I missed your initial post.  Great site, lots of info and evryone has been very helpful, especially sschkaak.  I do agree with you on the DNA aspect it has left me talking to myself.

In Friendship Always,

llessur3

Thanks. It's due to the great members here for their contributions.

My head is still spinning on the DNA stuff, lol. Nice to have you here.

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson