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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Black, White and Mulatto Marriages

: I've run across information that leads me to believe that white women that
: married black/mulatto men during the antebellum period in norhtern
: communities were classified as mulatto or black on census records. In one
: case, oral history claimed that a former mulatto slave married an Irish
: woman. The marriage record was recorded in Clinton County, Illinois
: however the census records for 1850 listed the woman as mulatto. Their
: eldest child listed his mother's birthplace as Ireland on the 1880 Clinton
: County, census--confirming the oral history.

: Has anyone else run into similar situations?

Hi, I found a similar situation on the 1920 Census for Chicago, Illinois. You
could see that at first the census taker had written in B(lack) for my Grandfather
and grandmother. Then he overwrote, changing my Grandmother to Mulatto, probably at her insistance. He continued to list all of the other household members as Mulatto, but left my Grandfather listed as Black. My Grandfather was white. He probably wasn't even there for the census taker to see, and my Grandmother didn't care what he was listed as, as long as she was listed as Mulatto:-) So, the Census taker probably just assumed he was Black by looking at my Grandmother.
Maybe something similar happened in your case.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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