AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
Re: Assumptions about the racial origins of "fpoc"
In Response To: Re: Assumptions about the racial origins of "fpoc" ()
Barbara said: "As far as census takers go, we can speculate that they only went by what people *looked like* to their eyes, but odds are that long ago, census takers knew who they were counting..Either way, there is nothing to prove that they were wrong in classifying someone.:
Not necessarily so. At times census were taken in taverns, etc. Neighbors were asked about families and the actual family members were never seen by the census takers. But on a more personal note, my greatgrandfather was a census taker in Sussex Co., VA in 1910. One of the families that was enumerated by him was the family of his half brother. The wife of his half brother had a white father. He counted their family as black. His wife is of mixed ancestry and I have yet to prove her ethnic mix. He enumerated his family as mulatto. Looking at photos of the 2 families has made me wonder if there were guidelines given to the census takers to determine the ethnicity of a family. His incorrect enumeration has bothered me for a long time for several reasons. 1. Both families enumerated were my families. Both the enumerated and the half brother shared the same mother. 2. The enumerator was a minister and had graduated from the seminary. I have not been able to reconcile why a "man of the cloth" would intentionally reported erroneous information. Was it common knowledge that the enumerator's half sister in law had a European father? Yes, it was. In fact it is common knowledge today. The families also listed next door to each other. If a person were asked, "Which is the mulatto family?" They surely wouldn't have chosen the family of the enumerator!
Messages In This Thread