1957- calvin Beales article “American Triracial Isolates”

1957 Beale article

American Triracial Isolates: Their Status and Pertinence to Genetic Research

by Calvin L. Beale
originally published in Eugenics Quarterly 4/4 (December 1957): 187-196.
Used with permission of author

 

In the 1950 Census of Population, 50,000 American Indians are   listed as living in states east of the Mississippi River. These people do not   constitute the sole biological legacy of the aboriginal population once found   in the East, of course. The remnants of many tribes were removed west of the   Mississippi where they retain their tribal identity today. Nor is it uncommon   to meet Easterners, thoroughly Caucasian in appearance and racial status, who   boast of an Indian ancestor in the dim past. Other intfusio9ns of Indian   blood were absorbed into the Negro population, and in this context may also   be referred to with pride even if they afford no differential social status.

It is another class of people, however, that engages the attention of this   article – a class more numerous than the Indians remaining in the East, more   obscure than those in the West, less assured than the white man or the Negro   who regards his link of Indian descent as a touch of the heroic or romantic.   The reference is to population groups of presumed triracial descent. Such   isolates, bequeathed of intermingled Indian, white, and Negro ancestry, are   as old as the nation itself and include not less than 77,000 persons. They   live today in more than 100 counties of at least 17 Eastern States with   settlements ranging in size from less than 50 persons to more than 20,000.   Their existence has furnished material for the writings of local historians,   folklorists, journalists, and novelists. Occasionally, they have come to the   attention of cultural anthropologists, sociologists, and – here and there – a   geographer or educator. Attention to the triracial isolates by geneticists is   largely confined to the last three years, however. It is the object of this   discussion to describe the nature, location, and status of such Indian-white-Negro   groups in Eastern States and to indicate the potential interest they hold for   the field of human genetics.1

Although the precise origin of these groups is unknown in most instances,   they seem to have formed through miscegenation between Indians, whites, and   Negroes – slave or free – in the Colonial and early Federal periods. In   places the offspring of such unions – many of which were illegitimate under   the law – tended to marry among themselves. Within a generation or so this   practice created a distinctly new racial element in society, living apart   from other faces. The forces differed from place to place. Some groups   subsequently dispersed or were assimilated during the 19th century. Some   waxed in numbers, others waned. Most have persisted to the present day.

A majority of the triracial isolates originated in the Atlantic Coastal   Plain. Their members were among the early pioneers in the Appalachian   Plateaus and the Tennessee River Valley. Many left the South and moved to   Northern States such as Ohio and Indiana, especially when restrictive   measures were passed against free nonwhite people in Southern States during   the 1830’s. Thus it happens that the majority of the groups in the   Trans-Appalachian States are related to others remaining in the South   Atlantic States, although contact between them has lapsed.2 None of   the Northern groups seem to have colonized to the west, however.

The habitat of the mixed-blood people has been typically rural and   geographically isolated. It is difficult to find such a settlement that is   not associated with a swamp, a hollow, an inaccessible ridge, or the back   country of a sandy flatwoods.3 Many modern developments have helped   reduce their isolation, but this isolation factor appears to have been of   major importance in fostering and perpetuating the existence of the groups.   Legal disputes over their racial status for purposes of school attendance,   vital statistics registration, and other public matters have been numerous in   Southern and Border states. In many groups educational attainment is low,   income is inadequate, and reliance on public welfare programs is high. The   incidence of illegitimacy, common-law marriage, petty larceny, and other   socially disapproved practices has been frequent enough in certain locations   to type the racial hybrids unfavorably in the public mind.

The racial status of the triracial people varies greatly, both as conceived   in the minds of the people themselves and in the eyes of their white or Negro   neighbors. Occasionally they occupy no more than a peculiar status among the   Negro population. Some are regarded as a separate race, known either as   Indian or by a local colloquial name. Where such is the case in Southern   States, they often have their own segregated schools. In North Carolina, where   they are most numerous, this practice extends to a separate State college.   Other groups have achieved a measure of acceptance as white. It seems   impossible to reconstruct for each community the circumstances that have   determined the present status. Physical appearance and local traditions of   origin may well be the most important.

It is well to make clear that the designation of these groups as triracial is   often the conclusion of the investigator rather than a reflection of public   opinion in the area concerned. In general all local informants will agree   that the mixed population is partly white. (Blue eyes are commonly in   evidence to validate this.) The white informant will insist that the   mixed-blood people are partly Negro. Perhaps he will agree that they are   partly Indian, perhaps not. The mixed-blood individual will usually insist –   with vehemence, if necessary – that there is no Negro ancestry in his family   (although he may not make this claim for all other families in the   settlement) but that he is partly Indian. In a minority of communities   unmistakable elements of Indian culture have between found. Presence of Negro   ancestry may or may not be evident in some families from the occurrence of   Negro hair forms or facial features. If evident, it tends to jeopardize   claims of the group to non-Negro status. In sum, the groups described are   with few exceptions considered only of white and Indian descent by their   members but are regarded to be partly Negro by neighboring whites or Negroes.4   Investigators frequently report the opinion of elderly persons that the   average skin color of younger members of triracial isolates is lighter than   that of earlier generations. This is not surprising in view of the fact that   in most groups social relations with Negroes are discouraged and marriage to   a Negro may result in ostracism. Relationships with white persons entail no   such group displeasure.

Characterization of the triracial groups has its limitations, for thy have   emerged over a large geographic area under varying cultural conditions. With   the usual footnote that there are exceptions, it can be said that they are a   highly inbred class of people. It is this feature that most warrants the   interest of students of human heredity.

The conditions of social and physical isolation – both imposed and voluntary   – that fostered the emergence of mixed racial communities typically limited   the choice of marriage partners within a relatively small number of surnames.   Scattered data on marriage records attest to this. In Halifax County, North   Carolina, between 1819 and 1860, 14 out of 29 male members of the leading   family in a triracial group for whom marriage bonds were filed married   females of the same name.5 Of 35 marriages recorded for persons having   the key surnames of a mixed-racial community in Cumberland County, New   Jersey, 9 were to spouses of the same surname and 17 to spouses of just one   other surname.6 In two families of the so -called “Guinea”   community of Barbour and Taylor Counties, West Virginia, 102 of 112 marriages   from 1856-1931 were to other persons in the racial isolate (about 11   surnames).7

Presumably as a result of such close marrying practices, genetically   determined diseases and defects of unusual frequency have been reported among   a number of the triracial isolates. The Jackson Whites of New Jersey have   long been noted for albinism and polydactylism.8 Some of the Moors of   Delaware suffer from microphthalmia9, and hereditary deformities of   the joints are reported among the West Virginia mixed bloods.10

The most notable evidences of inbreeding and hereditary difficulties have   been reported for an isolate in Southern Maryland termed colloquially,   “Wesorts.” These people number about 4,000, including those in   Washington, D.C., of whom at least one-fourth bear one surname, with a dozen   names accounting for most of the rest of the population. An excellent measure   of consanguinity in the group is provided by the fact that at least 90   percent are Roman Catholic and ecclesiastical dispensation is required by   that faith for marriages of known first or second cousins. In one major   parish over a 104-year period, one sixth of the marriages involving at least   one Wesort required such a dispensation.11

The Indian tribes of Southern Maryland left the area before the end of the   17th century, but some Indians of mixed descent, or married to non-Indians,   apparently remained. A triracial group evolved. Some knowledge of the   original tribal clan structure was handed down, but the triracial people   became part of the larger society as a poor farming and laboring element   regarded as colored.

Maintenance of racial separateness by the Maryland group is notable for it   has been achieved without the assistance of institutionalized aids such as   separate schools and churches. By law the children had to attend the   “regular” colored schools. The people have attended the same   churches as the general population but for a long period sat by custom in a   particular section of the church.

The Wesorts are variable in appearance, including substantial variation   within sibships. In general, they are somewhat darker than most of the other   triracial peoples, and Negroid hair forms and facial features are not   uncommon. However, some can pass as white and as a group they are distinctly   lighter and more Caucasian than the neighboring Negro population, which   itself has a substantial infusion of white ancestry. Some are pointed out as   showing Indian characteristics.

In 1945 Gilbert, a cultural anthropologist, reported on the group and   mentioned hereditary difficulties ascribed to it.12 About three years   ago, the existence of the group as a distinct breeding population and the   widespread incidence of hereditary disease within it were first recognized by   medical researchers through admissions to Washington hospitals. An intensive   survey of the population was subsequently undertaken under the sponsorship of   the National Institutes of health and is still in progress. Results reported   from this work indicate exceptionally high incidence of dentinogenisis   imperfecta and albinism.13 The former is a dental defect, transmitted   as a simple dominant gene, which has various manifestations. It is an   unsightly affliction and commonly results in the necessity for full   artificial dentures in early adulthood. Many other hereditary conditions such   as lop ears, polycystic kidneys, deaf mutism, glaucoma, syndactylism,   polydactylism, congenital cataracts, convergent and divergent strabismus   (nonparalytic eye squint), and hyperstatic bone disease have been found in   the group and are being assessed. Two or more of the conditions often occur   in the same person. “Due to several centuries of in-marriage, many   genetically recessive traits have become manifest and many genetically   dominant traits have become concentrated in certain lines of the clan.”14   Fertility is high notwithstanding the heavy load of inheritable handicaps.   Cohorts of women of recently completed childbearing averaged better than five   and one-half children per female beginning life in the cohort.

It may be that the intensity of inbreeding and notable constellation of   hereditary effects evident among the Wesort group will be found to represent   the extreme example of such conditions in the Indian-white-Negro isolates.15   In any event, it illustrates persuasively the attention which American   triracial isolates merit from geneticists, and which, strangely, they have   not previously received.

The statistics in Table 1 show the location, size, and racial status in the   1950 Population Census records of nearly all rural and small town triracial   groups know to be still in existence. Folk-names for the groups are also   given where known. These data were compiled by the writer while employed by   the Bureau of the Census, in order to appraise the results of the Bureau’s   efforts to introduce consistency into the classification of triracial   isolates. In past censuses, variation in the listing of such groups had   produced obvious inconsistencies in race statistics from one census to   another. In 1950, the Bureau instructed enumerators to “Report persons   of mixed white, Negro, and Indian ancestry living in certain communities in   the Eastern United States in terms of the name by which they are locally   known.”16 Such persons were then to be classified for publication   purposes among “other nonwhite races,” that is, other than Negro,   American Indian, Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino.

In 116 counties checked, the population of triracial character was estimated   at 77,000 persons, on the basis of race entries, enumerators’ notes, and   through the use of extensive surname data on th4e groups assembled from a   variety of sources. Of this number, 33,000 were enumerated as Indian, 29,000   as white, 14,000 as Negro, and 1,000 under colloquial race names or with the   race entry blank. More than 40 percent of the total live in North Carolina.   It was not feasible to make the investigation in cities of more than 20,000   inhabitants. Undoubtedly all of the groups have made some contribution to   urban migration, but it is the native rural environment that status as a   separate race or endogamous group is most common.

Relatively few instances were noted in the 1950 Census records where   enumerators employed colloquial race terms, although there was an increase   from previous censuses in the use of “Indian” as the race name for   triracial people. On reflection, it is not surprising that colloquial terms   were not employed more freely by the enumerators. They exist for the great   majority of the groups but are usually offensive to the people so-termed.   Examples include: Croatan, Brass Ankle, Red Bone, Red leg, Free Jack,   Bushwhacker, Dominicker, Guinea, and Issue. Common politeness or   self-interest may have led many enumerators to list groups as Indian or   white. Field investigations by the writer and others substantiate that   certain of the communities have acquired a public status as white or Indian   even though they continue to be regarded informally as having some Negro   ancestry. In the numerous instances where the racial status of an isolate has   not been static – at least as reflected in census records – the direction of   change over the years seems invariably to have gone toward a lighter   classification. For example, the so-called “Melungeon” people were   commonly listed as mulatto prior to the Civil War. In various censuses after   the war Melungeons in many counties were classified as Indian. By 1950, all   but a very few of them were listed as white and are known to be accepted   officially as part of the white population in their local areas.

Fertility rates in the triracial isolates appear to be exceptionally high.   Reliable inferences can be drawn on this subject for those Southern groups   who were tabulated in the published reports of the 1950 Census as “other   nonwhite races.” This population of 33,000 includes the majority of mixed   bloods who were listed as Indian or by a colloquial term in the original   schedules but few who were listed as white or Negro. The ratio of children   under 5 years old per 1,000 rural women 15 to 49 years old among these people   was 825 (standardized for age to distribution of total United States women).17   This is nearly double the ratio of 417 for total women in the nation. It also   exceeds the high fertility ratios of the rural Spanish-speaking population of   the Southwest (755) and the Negro rural-farm population of the South (771).   In fact it is the highest fertility ration for 1950 known to the writer for   any racial or ethnic group in the United States.

When translated into its potential for yields an estimated generation   replacement index of 259 percent per 100 women. In other words, under   continuation of fertility and morality conditions current in 1945-1950, the   triracial population would increase by over two and one-half times in the   course of each generation. Such a rapid increase is no longer containable in   the rural homelands of the groups. It portends a wider distribution for them   in the future and growing contacts in urban settings with people unacquainted   with their curious history. In several large cities to which migration has   tended to cluster and form a visible social group, as many immigrant peoples   have done before them. However, the clannish aspect of their lives seems   ultimately to weaken, and marriage outside the group begins. Meanwhile, as   definable population groups of large family size, developed from relatively   few family lines, and still practicing close marriage, the triracial groups   offer unusual opportunities for the study of genetic diseases and factors   affecting the persistence of population isolates.

 

Although the precise origin of these groups is unknown in most   instances, they seem to have formed through miscegenation between Indians,   whites, and Negroes – slave or free – in the Colonial and early Federal   periods. In places the offspring of such unions – many of which were illegitimate   under the law – tended to marry among themselves. Within a generation or so   this practice created a distinctly new racial element in society, living   apart from other faces. The forces differed from place to place. Some groups   subsequently dispersed or were assimilated during the 19th century. Some   waxed in numbers, others waned. Most have persisted to the present day.

A majority of the triracial isolates originated in the Atlantic Coastal   Plain. Their members were among the early pioneers in the Appalachian   Plateaus and the Tennessee River Valley. Many left the South and moved to   Northern States such as Ohio and Indiana, especially when restrictive   measures were passed against free nonwhite people in Southern States during   the 1830’s. Thus it happens that the majority of the groups in the   Trans-Appalachian States are related to others remaining in the South   Atlantic States, although contact between them has lapsed.2 None of   the Northern groups seem to have colonized to the west, however.

The habitat of the mixed-blood people has been typically rural and   geographically isolated. It is difficult to find such a settlement that is   not associated with a swamp, a hollow, an inaccessible ridge, or the back   country of a sandy flatwoods.3 Many modern developments have helped   reduce their isolation, but this isolation factor appears to have been of   major importance in fostering and perpetuating the existence of the groups.   Legal disputes over their racial status for purposes of school attendance,   vital statistics registration, and other public matters have been numerous in   Southern and Border states. In many groups educational attainment is low,   income is inadequate, and reliance on public welfare programs is high. The   incidence of illegitimacy, common-law marriage, petty larceny, and other   socially disapproved practices has been frequent enough in certain locations   to type the racial hybrids unfavorably in the public mind.

The racial status of the triracial people varies greatly, both as conceived   in the minds of the people themselves and in the eyes of their white or Negro   neighbors. Occasionally they occupy no more than a peculiar status among the   Negro population. Some are regarded as a separate race, known either as   Indian or by a local colloquial name. Where such is the case in Southern   States, they often have their own segregated schools. In North Carolina,   where they are most numerous, this practice extends to a separate State   college. Other groups have achieved a measure of acceptance as white. It   seems impossible to reconstruct for each community the circumstances that   have determined the present status. Physical appearance and local traditions   of origin may well be the most important.

It is well to make clear that the designation of these groups as triracial is   often the conclusion of the investigator rather than a reflection of public   opinion in the area concerned. In general all local informants will agree   that the mixed population is partly white. (Blue eyes are commonly in   evidence to validate this.) The white informant will insist that the   mixed-blood people are partly Negro. Perhaps he will agree that they are   partly Indian, perhaps not. The mixed-blood individual will usually insist –   with vehemence, if necessary – that there is no Negro ancestry in his family   (although he may not make this claim for all other families in the   settlement) but that he is partly Indian. In a minority of communities   unmistakable elements of Indian culture have between found. Presence of Negro   ancestry may or may not be evident in some families from the occurrence of   Negro hair forms or facial features. If evident, it tends to jeopardize   claims of the group to non-Negro status. In sum, the groups described are   with few exceptions considered only of white and Indian descent by their   members but are regarded to be partly Negro by neighboring whites or Negroes.4   Investigators frequently report the opinion of elderly persons that the   average skin color of younger members of triracial isolates is lighter than   that of earlier generations. This is not surprising in view of the fact that   in most groups social relations with Negroes are discouraged and marriage to   a Negro may result in ostracism. Relationships with white persons entail no   such group displeasure.

Characterization of the triracial groups has its limitations, for thy have   emerged over a large geographic area under varying cultural conditions. With   the usual footnote that there are exceptions, it can be said that they are a   highly inbred class of people. It is this feature that most warrants the   interest of students of human heredity.

The conditions of social and physical isolation – both imposed and voluntary   – that fostered the emergence of mixed racial communities typically limited   the choice of marriage partners within a relatively small number of surnames.   Scattered data on marriage records attest to this. In Halifax County, North   Carolina, between 1819 and 1860, 14 out of 29 male members of the leading   family in a triracial group for whom marriage bonds were filed married   females of the same name.5 Of 35 marriages recorded for persons having   the key surnames of a mixed-racial community in Cumberland County, New   Jersey, 9 were to spouses of the same surname and 17 to spouses of just one   other surname.6 In two families of the so -called “Guinea”   community of Barbour and Taylor Counties, West Virginia, 102 of 112 marriages   from 1856-1931 were to other persons in the racial isolate (about 11   surnames).7

Presumably as a result of such close marrying practices, genetically determined   diseases and defects of unusual frequency have been reported among a number   of the triracial isolates. The Jackson Whites of New Jersey have long been   noted for albinism and polydactylism.8 Some of the Moors of Delaware   suffer from microphthalmia9, and hereditary deformities of the joints   are reported among the West Virginia mixed bloods.10

The most notable evidences of inbreeding and hereditary difficulties have   been reported for an isolate in Southern Maryland termed colloquially,   “Wesorts.” These people number about 4,000, including those in   Washington, D.C., of whom at least one-fourth bear one surname, with a dozen   names accounting for most of the rest of the population. An excellent measure   of consanguinity in the group is provided by the fact that at least 90   percent are Roman Catholic and ecclesiastical dispensation is required by   that faith for marriages of known first or second cousins. In one major   parish over a 104-year period, one sixth of the marriages involving at least   one Wesort required such a dispensation.11

The Indian tribes of Southern Maryland left the area before the end of the   17th century, but some Indians of mixed descent, or married to non-Indians,   apparently remained. A triracial group evolved. Some knowledge of the original   tribal clan structure was handed down, but the triracial people became part   of the larger society as a poor farming and laboring element regarded as   colored.

Maintenance of racial separateness by the Maryland group is notable for it   has been achieved without the assistance of institutionalized aids such as   separate schools and churches. By law the children had to attend the   “regular” colored schools. The people have attended the same   churches as the general population but for a long period sat by custom in a   particular section of the church.

The Wesorts are variable in appearance, including substantial variation   within sibships. In general, they are somewhat darker than most of the other   triracial peoples, and Negroid hair forms and facial features are not   uncommon. However, some can pass as white and as a group they are distinctly   lighter and more Caucasian than the neighboring Negro population, which   itself has a substantial infusion of white ancestry. Some are pointed out as   showing Indian characteristics.

In 1945 Gilbert, a cultural anthropologist, reported on the group and   mentioned hereditary difficulties ascribed to it.12 About three years   ago, the existence of the group as a distinct breeding population and the   widespread incidence of hereditary disease within it were first recognized by   medical researchers through admissions to Washington hospitals. An intensive   survey of the population was subsequently undertaken under the sponsorship of   the National Institutes of health and is still in progress. Results reported   from this work indicate exceptionally high incidence of dentinogenisis   imperfecta and albinism.13 The former is a dental defect, transmitted   as a simple dominant gene, which has various manifestations. It is an   unsightly affliction and commonly results in the necessity for full   artificial dentures in early adulthood. Many other hereditary conditions such   as lop ears, polycystic kidneys, deaf mutism, glaucoma, syndactylism,   polydactylism, congenital cataracts, convergent and divergent strabismus   (nonparalytic eye squint), and hyperstatic bone disease have been found in   the group and are being assessed. Two or more of the conditions often occur   in the same person. “Due to several centuries of in-marriage, many   genetically recessive traits have become manifest and many genetically   dominant traits have become concentrated in certain lines of the clan.”14   Fertility is high notwithstanding the heavy load of inheritable handicaps.   Cohorts of women of recently completed childbearing averaged better than five   and one-half children per female beginning life in the cohort.

It may be that the intensity of inbreeding and notable constellation of   hereditary effects evident among the Wesort group will be found to represent   the extreme example of such conditions in the Indian-white-Negro isolates.15   In any event, it illustrates persuasively the attention which American   triracial isolates merit from geneticists, and which, strangely, they have   not previously received.

The statistics in Table 1 show the location, size, and racial status in the   1950 Population Census records of nearly all rural and small town triracial   groups know to be still in existence. Folk-names for the groups are also   given where known. These data were compiled by the writer while employed by   the Bureau of the Census, in order to appraise the results of the Bureau’s   efforts to introduce consistency into the classification of triracial   isolates. In past censuses, variation in the listing of such groups had   produced obvious inconsistencies in race statistics from one census to   another. In 1950, the Bureau instructed enumerators to “Report persons   of mixed white, Negro, and Indian ancestry living in certain communities in   the Eastern United States in terms of the name by which they are locally   known.”16 Such persons were then to be classified for publication   purposes among “other nonwhite races,” that is, other than Negro,   American Indian, Chinese, Japanese, or Filipino.

In 116 counties checked, the population of triracial character was estimated   at 77,000 persons, on the basis of race entries, enumerators’ notes, and   through the use of extensive surname data on th4e groups assembled from a   variety of sources. Of this number, 33,000 were enumerated as Indian, 29,000   as white, 14,000 as Negro, and 1,000 under colloquial race names or with the   race entry blank. More than 40 percent of the total live in North Carolina.   It was not feasible to make the investigation in cities of more than 20,000   inhabitants. Undoubtedly all of the groups have made some contribution to   urban migration, but it is the native rural environment that status as a   separate race or endogamous group is most common.

Relatively few instances were noted in the 1950 Census records where   enumerators employed colloquial race terms, although there was an increase   from previous censuses in the use of “Indian” as the race name for   triracial people. On reflection, it is not surprising that colloquial terms   were not employed more freely by the enumerators. They exist for the great   majority of the groups but are usually offensive to the people so-termed.   Examples include: Croatan, Brass Ankle, Red Bone, Red leg, Free Jack,   Bushwhacker, Dominicker, Guinea, and Issue. Common politeness or   self-interest may have led many enumerators to list groups as Indian or   white. Field investigations by the writer and others substantiate that   certain of the communities have acquired a public status as white or Indian   even though they continue to be regarded informally as having some Negro   ancestry. In the numerous instances where the racial status of an isolate has   not been static – at least as reflected in census records – the direction of   change over the years seems invariably to have gone toward a lighter   classification. For example, the so-called “Melungeon” people were   commonly listed as mulatto prior to the Civil War. In various censuses after   the war Melungeons in many counties were classified as Indian. By 1950, all   but a very few of them were listed as white and are known to be accepted officially   as part of the white population in their local areas.

Fertility rates in the triracial isolates appear to be exceptionally high.   Reliable inferences can be drawn on this subject for those Southern groups   who were tabulated in the published reports of the 1950 Census as “other   nonwhite races.” This population of 33,000 includes the majority of   mixed bloods who were listed as Indian or by a colloquial term in the   original schedules but few who were listed as white or Negro. The ratio of   children under 5 years old per 1,000 rural women 15 to 49 years old among   these people was 825 (standardized for age to distribution of total United   States women).17 This is nearly double the ratio of 417 for total   women in the nation. It also exceeds the high fertility ratios of the rural   Spanish-speaking population of the Southwest (755) and the Negro rural-farm   population of the South (771). In fact it is the highest fertility ration for   1950 known to the writer for any racial or ethnic group in the United States.

When translated into its potential for yields an estimated generation   replacement index of 259 percent per 100 women. In other words, under   continuation of fertility and morality conditions current in 1945-1950, the   triracial population would increase by over two and one-half times in the   course of each generation. Such a rapid increase is no longer containable in   the rural homelands of the groups. It portends a wider distribution for them   in the future and growing contacts in urban settings with people unacquainted   with their curious history. In several large cities to which migration has   tended to cluster and form a visible social group, as many immigrant peoples   have done before them. However, the clannish aspect of their lives seems   ultimately to weaken, and marriage outside the group begins. Meanwhile, as   definable population groups of large family size, developed from relatively   few family lines, and still practicing close marriage, the triracial groups   offer unusual opportunities for the study of genetic diseases and factors   affecting the persistence of population isolates.

References

1. Bureau of the Census, 1950, Enumerator’s Reference   Manual, 1950 Census of Population, Washington, D. C.: Government Printing   Office.

2. Bureau of the Census, 1953. Nonwhite Population by Race, 1950. United   States Census of Population – Special Reports. Washington, D. C.:   Government Printing Office.

3. Craig, H. S. 1934. Cumberland County (New Jersey) Marriages.   Privately published.

4. Gilbert, W. H., Jr. 1945. The Wesorts of Southern Maryland: An Outcasted   Group. J. Wash. Acad. Sc. 35: 237-246.

5. _____. 1946. Mixed Bloods of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia. J.   Wash. Acad. Sc. 36: 1-13.

6. _____. 1949. Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States. The   Smithsonian Report for 1948. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office.

7. Hursey, R. J., Jr., Witkop, C. J., Jr., Miklashek, Doris, and Sackett, L.   M. 1956. Dentinogenisis Imperfecta in a Racial Isolate with Multiple   Hereditary Defects. Oral Surg., Oral Med., and Oral Path. 9: 641-658.

8. Snedecor, S. T. and Harryman, W. K. Surgical Problems in Hereditary   Polydactylism and Syndactylism. 1940. J. Med Soc. New Jersey, XXXVII,   443-449.

9. Weller, George. 1938. The Jackson Whites. New Yorker. 14: No. 31:   29-39.

10. Weslager, C. A. 1945. Delaware’s Forgotten Folk. Philadelphia:   University of Pennsylvania Press.

Notes

1 Excluded from the   category described are Indian tribes such as the Narragansett, Shinnecock, or   Pamunkey, who absorbed both white and Negro blood, but retained their tribal   identity and historical continuity.

2 The most widespread surname among triracial groups has been   documented by the writer and others in at least 36 counties of seven states.   This is the name Goins and variations thereof.

3 Settlements in Cumberland and Salem Counties, New Jersey, and Darke   County, Ohio, are definite exceptions to this generalization.

4 Some groups account for brunette skin coloration by tradition of   descent from shipwrecked sailors of Portuguese, Spanish, or Moorish origin.   Open acknowledgement of partial Negro descent has been made in a few groups   through such means as affiliation with Negro church denominations.

5 Data abstracted for family from State archives.

6 Cumberland County (New Jersey) Marriages, compiled by H.   Stanley Craig, 1934.

7 “Mixed Bloods of the Upper Monongahela Valley, West Virginia,   ” by William Harlan Gilbert, Jr., Journal of the Washington Academy   of Sciences, Vol. 36, No. 1, January 15, 1946, pp. 1-13.

8 “Surgical Problems in Hereditary Polydactylism and   Syndactylism,” by Spencer T. Snedecor and William B. Harryman, Journal   of the Medical Society of New Jersey, Vol. XXXVII, No. 9, September 1940,   pp. 443-449; “The Jackson Whites, ” by George Weller, New Yorker,   Vol. 14, No 31, September 17, 1938, pp. 29-39.

9 Delaware’s Forgotten Folk, by C. A. Weslager, University of   Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1943, pp. 15-16.

10 “Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States,”   by William Harlan Gilbert, Jr. The Smithsonian Report for 1948,   Government Printing Office, 1949, pp. 431.

11 Unpublished data furnished to this writer

12 “The Wesorts of Southern Maryland: An Outcasted Group,”   by William Harlan Gilbert, Jr., Journal of the Washington Academy of   Sciences, Vol. 33, No. 8, August 15, 1945, pp. 237-247.

13 “Dentinogenisis Imperfecta in a Racial Isolate with Multiple   Hereditary Defects,” by Rudolph J. Hursey, Jr., Carl J. Witkop, Jr.,   Doris Miklashek, and Lee M. Sackett, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, and Oral   Pathology, Vol. 9, No. 6, pp. 641-658.

14 Ibid, p. 642.

15 Reconnaissance work in other localities, planned by Dr. Witkop and   the writer, may determine whether this is true.

16 Enumerator’s Reference Manual, 1950 Census of the United   States, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C., N. D. Page   34.

17 All fertility ratios cited are computed from reports of the 1950 Census   of Population. Statistics by age and sex for “other nonwhite races”   are found in the Special Report, Nonwhite Population by Race,   Government Printing Office, 1953, table 7. In the rural South, persons of   triracial description comprise about 97 percent of the “other nonwhite   races” population.

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