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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: East Asian Ancestry
In Response To: Re: East Asian Ancestry ()

I grew up "in the country" in Southwest Arkansas, nearest town pop. less than 7,000. As far as I can recall, I had never seen an Asian person until I moved 75 miles away to attend college in Pine Bluff. Certainly there were none in the nearby town. In Pine Bluff, we students shopped a few blocks down the street from the school at "The Chinese Store." That should give you some idea of the few Asians that lived even in the bigger town of Pine Bluff.

When I began researching my paternal grandmother (about whom we know little) I was surprised to find a township full of Chinese men in a census (prob. 1870 or 1880) down in Chicot County, in the Southeast corner of Arkansas, bordering the Mississippi River.

The name of the township, "Railroad Township," likely provides their reason for being there and as someone else said, Asian railroad workers were all over. I just never heard of them outside the West, certainly not in the mandatory Arkansas history we studied. Who knew they'd been 'just down the road a piece?'

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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