Re: "Free" vs. "Freed".
Lately I have started to question any theories about who is and who is not Native American. There are several reasons for this. The first is my East Asian genetic component and the second is I recently became acquainted with the information on the Xi tribe of Mexico and the possibility of their mixing with Africans prior to Columbus arriving in America. Now I will never question anyone's oral family history when it comes to their racial mixture. Nor will I ever assume that any records kept by Europeans are or were recorded accurately. There was an European agenda and trying to determine if the court records are accurate or not is not something we can do 300-400 years later. What's the saying, "Mama's baby, Papa's maybe?" We have no way of knowing the racial makeup of any of our ancestors or in some cases who their fathers were. For me, 1 source is becoming as good as any other. If someone had asked if I was part Asian, I would have said definitely not. Now I know I definitely am. For those who want to say that NA and Asian are the same. They are not. This has been stipulated to by several DNA labs. So when or where did Asian people who predated Columbus come to America? Were they discussed in our history? I have heard that the term mulatto at times was used to designate anyone who did not have fair skin, etc.
What I also know is the some of my ancestors who were considered free people had their origins in the area known as Croatia. Also, this makes me wonder how many Africans, Europeans, etc were mixed before they came or were brought to America. We know that Thomas Jefferson's male ancestors were Middle Eastern. We know that Africans migrated all over the known world before the colonization of America.
So when someone says to me that their ancestors are of a particular race or racial mix, I'm believing them until THEY are proven wrong by something other than public records. For me, that would be DNA testing.
BTW, Paul, part of this comes from some recent DNA testing on our Charity family members as well as finding some additional records showing that all Charitys were not free people of color. So they did not all descend from Charity born in the 1600s in Surry county. I am not surprised by this because again, family had always said that not all Charitys were related.