RECORDS WHICH DENOTE DELAWARE-BORN INDIVIDUALS AS

"INDIAN"

 

(also see records where self-identification failed)


Color in the Census: Perceptions

 

How a person's color was recorded (white or free person of color, etc.) was influenced by appearance and other factors, such as 1) economic standing, 2) whether a racial agenda existed in the community or 3) an assumption that all members of a household must be of the same category and perhaps by (4) the season of the year, folks being whiter in the winter.

Instructions to enumerators in the 1870, 1880 and 1900 Federal censuses contained the following guidelines:

1870 & 1880 -- race to be cited as white, black or mulatto. Mulatto applied to all those having any perceptible trace of African blood who were not obviously black. In 1880 some enumerators ignored mulatto cited in 1870 and used only black or white.

1900 -- Everyone of Negro descent, which was undefined (and many times unknowable), was to be listed black.

1910 -- Mulatto was OK to use again.

----

1930 -- Thru examination of the census enumeration of Delaware, Neg is used for all persons of color. Where the enumerator used a designation other than Neg for a person of color, the record was changed by the enumerator's supervisor to Neg (click HERE for an example of changes made).

1940 -- same as 1930

 

Footer

 

Indian color -- Morris Mosley marriage to Caroline Hansley, Frederica, Kent, Delaware, 1864

The minister knew something?

Footer

 

 

Footer

 

By Edward Heite (1937 - 2005):

The best-documented seventeenth-century Indians in lower Delaware were the ones who sold the territory to European settlers. Between Duck Creek and the St. Jones, land was sold by an Indian with the curious name of Christian, also known as Petticoquewan, who claimed to be lord, owner, and chief sachem of Mitsawokett. Between 1677 and 1684, he conveyed thousands of acres to settlers, often in trade for powder and shot or for drink, or for clothing (Kent County Deed Books A-1: 10, 14; B-1: 2, 8 10-13, 20-21, 36).

The territory of Mitsawokett became northern Kent County, encompassing the hundreds of St. Jones, Little Creek and Duck Creek, but the name of Christian or Petticoquewan is missing from the records after about 1684.

For another century, references to people identified as Indians in Delaware are sparse and fleeting. An Indian named Samuel Boarman was bound by the Kent County court in 1719 to serve three years as payment for medical care following a gunshot wound (Hancock 1974:49). He may have been the last officially identified Indian in the county records for another two centuries.

Some people in the community bore family names that are firmly documented as Indians, but few Kent County residents claimed that heritage in any public document. People named Francisco (Sisco), Norwood, Cambridge, and Puckham are known from records elsewhere to have been identified as Indians during their lifetimes, but their relatives in Mitsawokett did not press the claim.

Indirect references to "Indian" origins are found in personal physical descriptions, including the narrative of Judge Fisher. A James Dean of Smyrna was described in an affidavit filed in 1853 as "of Indian descent" as part of the program of seamen's protective papers (Macdonald 1992). Other people with surnames found in the community were identified as Indians, or persons appearing to be Indians, in these papers.

Between 1790 and 1862, American seamen could protect themselves against impressment by the British by carrying protective papers issued by the federal government. These papers included physical descriptions. Betty Harrington Macdonald has abstracted Delaware entries (Macdonald 1992):

Applicant's
name
Date of
declaration
and age
Computed
date of
birth
Place
of
birth
Physical
description
Witness
Nathaniel Clark
1827 23
1804
Sussex Co.
a colored man of the
Indian race
James Lord
James Hansor
1831 17
1814
Sussex Co.
Indian complexion
Cary Hansor
Elihu Ridgeway
1846 28
1818
Indian River
Indian complexion
William Shorter
Benjamin Norwood
1853 30
1823
Indian River
Indian complexion
Capt W. H. Lingo
John Dean
1853 27
1826
Smyrna
of Indian descent
Capt W. H. Lingo
Eli Herman (Harmon?)
1853 24
1829
Indian River
Indian complexion
Indian, black straight hair
(crew list)
George Brown
T. Robinson Hanzar
1858 19
1839
Indian River
Indian complexion
****
Charles Dunning
1859 28
1831
Dagsboro
Indian complexion
****
Stephen Morris
1860 21
1839
Lewes
Indian complexion
****
Thomas Harmon
1860 28
1832
Sussex Co.
Indian complexion
****

Table by Betty Harrington Macdonald:
1992 Further response to Delaware Moors (Vol 5 No 4). Delaware Genealogical Society Journal 6(3):63-64.

 

Footer

 

 


A contribution from Joseph Romeo:

William B. Lecount, died Brooklyn, NY, 1 Mar 1875, Age 45 yrs., 11 mos., 16 d., Color, Indian, Married, Occupation, Bootmaker, Birthplace, Pennsylvania, Father's Birthplace, Delaware, Mother's Birthplace, Delaware. William B. LeCount was a son of Joseph (b. ca. 1780) and Mary LeCount, resided in Philadelphia from at least 1814.

I also have a record of the family of Joseph Waterford, b. ca. 1800, sailmaker, b. Pennsylvania, resided in 1850 in Philadelphia, moved to San Francisco where he appears in 1860 and 1870 census. He died in 1874. He had a daughter named Pocahontas who married a Durham. In the 1870 census he and a daughter Mary are listed as Indian, otherwise the family are listed as Mulatto. It seems to me that one of the census records gives his birthplace as Delaware, but I cannot find it at this time.
___________________


Return of a Marriage for Fred Willard Morris and Reba Hester Miller, Sussex County, 1900, has both parties listed as "Indian."

Return of a Marriage: In the State of Delaware Sussex County. Full name of Groom: Fred Willard Morris; Age: 31 years; Color: Indian; Nation or State: Delaware; Residence: Harbseson, Del; Occupation: Farmer Full name of Bride: Reba Hester Miller; Age: 18 years; Color: Indian; Nation or State: Delaware; Residence: Warwick, Del; Name and birthplace of bride's parents: Major Miller, Sarah H. Miller, Warwick, Delaware. Date of Marriage: Sept 22, 1900. Number of previous marriages: Of Groom 0.  Of Bride 0.

I hereby certify that the marriage of the parties above named was duly solemnized or contracted by or before me, at the time and place stated. Witness my hand this 22nd day of Sept 1900.

Signature Frank Holland, Official Designation Minister, Address Harbeson, Del
To the Recorder of Deeds of Sussex County.
(no parents listed for Fred)
___________________


               Contribution by Bill Richardson:

Benjamin SAMMONS is recorded on the 1861 Ontario, Canada Census as; Race - Indian.

___________________


Contribution by Donald W. Fisher dwfrft@mindspring.com
There is also the following 1871 listing from the Ontario census:
SAMMONS FN=BENJAMIN; Age=45. BP=UNITED STATES; Eth= INDIAN; Occ= FARMER. District=2; Subdist=E; Div=2; Pg=86. KEN Dover Twp.

Note the Indian ethnicity. District 2 is just to the east of District 1 (Windsor/Essex Co), and includes all of the eastern shore of Lake St. Clair.  Of the six with the S-A-M-M-O-N-S spelling, two are Scotch, two are African, one English, and this Benjamin (Indian).
___________________


William Carty
by Lynn Jackson

Based on the Maryland census records, William Carty was born in Maryland, either in Dorchester or Caroline counties, sometime around 1792. He was white and the son of James McCarty and Barsheba Dean McCarty. He moved to Caroline County, Maryland, with his parents sometime before 1800 and continued to live there until his death.

Based on the birthdate of his first child , William married a woman named Elizabeth (her last name is unknown) sometime before 1813. The Carty Family bible contains a great deal of information about William's family and a family called "Wyatt" so it is possible that Elizabeth's maiden name was Wyatt.

Elizabeth and William appeared in the 1820 Caroline County, Maryland census. William was listed as white but his wife and 3 children were listed as "M". William's daughter, Henrietta Carty MORGAN, told her son Napoleon Morgan that her mother was a full blood Maryland Indian although she did not know the tribe. It is interesting to note that, in later censuses, William's race was changed to "M" to reflect that of his wife and children. His brothers and their families continued to be listed as "white". This is just one of many indications that race in the 18th & 19th century on the Delmarva peninsula was more about the perceptions of the record keepers than about accurately reflecting the true racial make-up of the community.
It is difficult to pin down Elizabeth's tribal background. Small pockets of remnant Choptanks, Lenapes and others remained in Maryland (just as they did in Delaware) after the big northbound migrations in the early 1700's. As late as the mid 18th century, Nanticokes in New York were asking permission to return to the Delmarva peninsula to visit family members they had left behind. The Maryland records, however, note their presence only briefly.

What is clear is that the Carty family became a mixed race family around 1813 when William Carty married Elizabeth. What is also clear is that, when looking for mates, many of their children looked across the border into Kent County, Delaware to the mixed race community centered around Moorton, which today is known as Cheswold.

On 7 May, 1867, William Carty died in Ridgely, Caroline, Maryland. His wife, Elizabeth, had died three years before on 15 July 1864. Most of their children had by then moved across the border to live with the mixed blood community in Kent County, Delaware.

___________________


Wayne County, Michigan Vital Records -- of emigrants from Delaware

Isn't strange that they "self-identified" in Delaware as mulatto, colored, black or Negro but in Michigan as Indian? Perhaps related to Jim Crow laws & attitudes? Perhaps government hirelings were making the "self-identifications" in Delaware rather than the subject individuals, a virtual "Pleckerization" of the records on a mini scale.

Franklin PERKINS b Mich Indian
Perry PERKINS & Sarah DEAN b Delaware & Delaware Indian
William B. LECOUNT Indian
Joseph and Mary LECOUNT Indian
Fred Willard MORRIS and Reba Hester MILLER Indian
Major Miller, Sarah H. MILLER Indian
Benjamin SAMMONS Indian
Maggie SIMONS, French & Indian b Dover, Ontario
Emma I. BECKETT b Mich Indian
Peter & Mary E. BECKETT b Delaware & Philadelphia Indian
Arvila SIMONS b Mich Indian
Robert and Mary SIMONS Both Descendants of Delaware Indians (no birthplace) Indian
Mary FARMER  b Delaware (parents unknown) Indian
Charles NORWOOD b Delaware Indian
John NORWOOD - Rebecca FRANCISCO b Delaware Indian
Emma J. PERKINS b Mich Indian
Isaac PERKINS, Michigan; Eliza PERKINS, Michigan Indian
Isaac H. PERKINS, b Michigan Indian

Birth Records
Name, (if any, and color other than white) Emma I. Beckett Indian Sex Female Condition, as Twin, Illegitimate, etc. Birth-Place Romulus Full Name of Each [Parent] Peter Beckett & Mary E. Residence [of Parents] Romulus Birth-Place [of Parents] Delaware - Philadelphia Occupation of Father Farmer Date of Record 13 Nov 1873 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 1 Aug 1999 Source Wayne Co., Michigan births. Volume 4 starts with Page 1, [Entry] No. 225 of 1872 and runs through Page 319, [Entry] No. 976 of 1873. Births 1872 (part) and 1873 (part). Page No. 238 [Entry] No. 3805 Date of Birth 16 Aug 1872.

Date of Birth 09 Oct 1872 Name, (if any, and color other than white) Franklin Perkins Indian Sex Male Condition, as Twin, Illegitimate, etc. Birth-Place Romulus Full Name of Each [Parent] Perry Perkins & Sarah Residence [of Parents] Romulus Birth-Place [of Parents] Delaware Occupation of Father Farmer Date of Record 13 Nov 1873 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 1 Aug 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan births. Volume 4 starts with Page 1, [Entry] No. 225 of 1872 and runs through Page 319, [Entry] No. 976 of 1873. Births 1872 (part) and 1873 (part). Page No. 238 [Entry] No. 3803
FRANKLIN PERKINS (Source: 1880 census.), b. October 9, 1872, Romulus, Wayne, Michigan (Source: Wayne Co. Records.). Notes for FRANKLIN PERKINS: Wayne Co birth record 238 - 3803 - 09 Oct 1872 Franklin Perkins - Indian - Male - Romulus. Perry Perkins - Sarah - Romulus - DE - Farmer Recorded 13 Nov 1873.

Date of Birth October 27, 1867 Name, (if any, and color other than white) Arvila Simons Sex Female Condition, as Twin, Illegitimate, etc. Indian Birth-Place Van Buren Full Name of Each [Parent] Robert and Mary Simons Residence [of Parents] Van Buren Birth-Place [of Parents] Both Descendants of Delaware Indians Occupation of Father Farmer Date of Record May 24, 1869 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 20 Jul 1999. Source Wayne Co. Michigan Record of Births Vol. 1. Births 1867, 1868, and 1869 (part). The births were reported annually by townships or, in Detroit, by wards. The reports generally cover births for the preceding year. Page No. 67 [Entry] No. 973

Marriage Records

Date of Marriage 31 Oct 1880 Place of Marriage Van Buren Full Name of Bridegroom and Bride (and Color) John W. Norwood, W[hite] - Maggie Simons, French & Indian Residence of Each at time of Marriage Van Buren - Nankin Age of Each in Year 24 - 20 Birthplace of Each Philadelphia, Penn. - Dover, Ontario Occupation of Bridgegroom Dyer(?) Name and Official Station of Person by Whom Married David J. Parker - Minister Witnesses to Marriages: Names, Residences Abel Farmer, Nankin - Mary Farmer, Nankin Date of Record 24 Nov 1880 Record excerpted by Joseph A. Romeo 1 Aug 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan marriages - Liber H contains marriages for 1878 (part) though 1881 (part). The volume begins Page 1, No. 1 and ends Page 319, No. 4784, consecutively numbered. Page No. 227 Entry No. 3394.

Death Records


Date of Death Feb. 17, 1881 Full Name of the Deceased Mary Farmer Male or Female Fem[ale] White, Black, Mulatto, etc Indian Married, Single, Widow or Widower Mar[ried] Age 90 y. 5 m. Place of Death Romulus Disease or Cause of Death Old Age Birthplace Delaware Occupation Farmer Parents Names, Residences unknown, Romulus Date of Record June 10, 1882 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 11 Jul 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan death records, LDS film 1377694. Reel contains: Book #5, 1880-1882, pp. 75-335 Book #6, 1882-1885, pp. 1-335 Book #7, 1885-1886, pp. 1-140. Page No. Bk. 5, p. 243 Record Number 2161

Date of Death 15 Jun 1898 Full Name of the Deceased Charles Norwood Male or Female Male White, Black, Mulatto, etc Indian Married, Single, Widow or Widower Married Age 78 y 3 m 2 d Place of Death Van Buren Disease or Cause of Death Kidney Disease Birthplace Delaware Occupation Farmer Parents Names, Residences John Norwood - Rebecca Francisco, Delaware Date of Record 06 Jul 1898 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 5 Sep 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan deaths 1898-1911. LDS film 1377698. This reel contains Book 18, Book 19, and Book 20 (part), excluding City of Detroit. Book #18: 1898, Pages 1-41; 1899, Pages 42-87; 1900, Pages 88-135; 1901, Pages 136-181; 1902, Pages 182- 231; 1903, Pages 231-287; 1904 (part), Pages 287-337 (end of register). Book #19: 1904 (part), Page 1-6; 1905, Pages 6-63; 1906, Pages 63-114; 1907, Pages 114-166; 1908, Pages 166-213; 1909, Pages 214-267; 1910, Pages 267-324; 1911, Pages 325-386 (end of register). Some 1908 deaths appear near the end of 1909. Book #20 (part): 1912 (part): Pages 1-30 [end of reel] Page No. Bk. 18, Page 35 Record Number 768

Date of Death Feb. 24, 1884 Full Name of the Deceased Emma J. Perkins Male or Female Fem[ale] White, Black, Mulatto, etc Indian Married, Single, Widow or Widower Single Age 14 y. 8 m. 11 d. Place of Death Romulus Disease or Cause of Death Consumption Birthplace Michigan Occupation None Parents Names, Residences Isaac Perkins, Michigan; Eliza Perkins, Michigan Date of Record June 17, 1885 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 11 Jul 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan death records, LDS film 1377694. Reel contains: Book #5, 1880-1882, pp. 75-335 Book #6, 1882-1885, pp. 1-335 Book #7, 1885-1886, pp. 1-140. Page No. Bk. 6, p. 291 Record Number 3258

Date of Death Feb. 9, 1884 Full Name of the Deceased Isaac H. Perkins Male or Female Male White, Black, Mulatto, etc Indian Married, Single, Widow or Widower Single Age 5 y. 7 m. 26 d. Place of Death Romulus Disease or Cause of Death Inflammation of bowels Birthplace Michigan Occupation Farmer's Son Parents Names, Residences Isaac Perkins, Michigan; Eliza Perkins, Michigan Date of Record June 17, 1885 Record extracted by Joseph A. Romeo 11 Jul 1999. Source Wayne Co., Michigan death records, LDS film 1377694. Reel contains: Book #5, 1880-1882, pp. 75-335 Book #6, 1882-1885, pp. 1-335 Book #7, 1885-1886, pp. 1-140. Page No. Bk. 6, p. 291 Record Number 3257

 

 

Census Records, Michigan:


1880; Census Place: Ypsilanti, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: 609; Family History Film: 1254609; Page: 398A; Enumeration District: 244; Image: 0278.

Ancestry.com link

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

Dan P. POTTER Self M M W 64 VT Occ: Farming Fa: CT Mo: CT
Lurina POTTER Wife F M W 58 NY Occ: Keeping House Fa: CT Mo: VT
George PURDY Other M M W 61 IRE Occ: Laborer Fa: IRE Mo: IRE
Lydia NORWOOD Other F S I 18 MI Occ: Servant Fa: DE Mo: DE

Lydia listed as an Indian

___________________

1880; Census Place: Jefferson, Hillsdale, Michigan; Roll: 581; Family History Film: 1254581; Page: 167A; Enumeration District: 087; Image: 0009.

Debarix (Debrix) MILLER family of Delaware and Michigan

Ancestry.com link

Relation Sex Marr Race Age Birthplace

Debarix MILLER Self M M I 49 DE Occ: Farmer Fa: DE Mo: DE
Sarah A. MILLER Wife F M I 50 DE Occ: Keeping House Fa: DE Mo: DE
John H. MILLER Son M S I 24 DE Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: DE Mo: DE
Mariah A. MILLER Dau F S I 20 MI Occ: Domestic Servant Fa: DE Mo: DE
Morris MILLER Son M S I 18 MI Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: DE Mo: DE
Charles W. MILLER Son M S I 13 MI Occ: Farm Laborer Fa: DE Mo: DE
Rebecca MILLER Dau F S I 9 MI Fa: DE Mo: DE
Mary E. MILLER Dau F S I MI Fa: DE Mo: DE

 

 

The part-Indian, Martha Miller, wife of William C. Johnson, evangelist
of Delaware and New Jersey

 

From John C. Carter, John <spacemanspiff@tampabay.rr.com> Apr 13, 2011:

...Hewitt's Durham's daughter, Martha's death certificate gave her mother's name as "unknown Miller"... I knew Martha was the oldest child of Hewitt and that she was a half-sibling to all of his children by Angelica (Songo Durham).

The fact that the articles refer to William C. Johnson as Martha Durham Durham's brother, and that they further state that William C.'s parents were William A. Johnson and Martha Miller, would seem to indicate this Martha Miller Johnson must have been the first wife of Hewitt Durham. This would then of course make William C. Johnson and Martha Durham Durham half-siblings.

(Of note: William C. & his wife Lucinda had a daughter Mary Melisse Johnson, who passed away on 06 Feb 1876, only about a week after Lucinda died. It appears Lucinda may have died as a result of the birth of Mary Melisse. As one of the articles you posted mentions, William C. and Lucinda were married 11 Mar 1875 and Lucinda died the following January: 30 Jan 1876. Mary Melisse's headstone listed her as being one month old at the time of her death, so she had just been born in January. Both are buried at Immanuel Union Cemetery in Cheswold, DE).

I do not have any William (A.) Johnson or Martha Miller in my file old enough to have been the parents of William C. Johnson (born ca. 1855 in "Lewistown," according to one of the articles) (and I suspect "Lewistown" is actually Lewes), so these are two new names for me as well. Very interesting that the article refers to Martha Miller as "half Indian descent, her father being a full Indian, civilized.")

----------------

Establishing Lola May Durham Durham’s mother’s maiden name as Martha Durham rather than Martha Johnson as noted on Lola Mae’s death certificate

Martha Durham had a different mother than the rest of her siblings, as evidenced by her death certificate which lists her mother’s maiden name as “unknown Miller,” as well as by her birth being in 1855 while the rest of her father Hewett “Hugh” Durham’s children were born ca. 1863 – 1891. These latter children were born of Hugh’s second wife, Angelica, and the family can be found enumerated in Kent County, DE in 1870 and 1880, and in New Castle County, DE in 1900 (Hugh is widowed by this point).

Hugh had separated from his first wife, Martha Miller (if indeed they were even married) at some point after Martha Durham’s birth in 1855. It can be presumed that the younger Martha then lived with her mother, Martha Miller. By 1875 the younger Martha had married Enoch D. Durham (with the marriage bond listing her maiden name as “Martha Durham”) and by 1910 they were living in southern New Jersey (being enumerated in Salem County in 1910 and in Cumberland County in 1920 and 1930).

A series of two articles published in the Bridgeton (NJ) Evening News on 11 Jun 1913 and 18 Jun 1913 portrays a traveling evangelist named William C. Johnson, age 56 (making him born ca. 1856-7), and describes him as being “a brother of Mrs. Enoch Durham,” going on to say: “His father was William A. Johnson, a Frenchman and sailor by occupation. His mother, Martha Miller, was of half Indian descent, her father being a full Indian, civilized.” This then indicates that Martha Durham’s mother, Martha Miller, had married William A. Johnson shortly after the younger Martha’s birth, thus making the younger Martha the step-daughter of William A. Johnson (and subsequently the half-sister of William C. Johnson). Thus, the confusion of Martha Durham sometimes being labeled as “Martha Johnson” can be understood.

Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey: (image courtesy of Joseph Romeo)

Footer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUSKARAWOAK & MITSAWOKETT

"The History and Genealogy of the
Native American Isolate Communities
of Kent County, Delaware, and
Surrounding Areas on the Delmarva Peninsula
and Southern New Jersey"

 

 

Go To E-mail page
All rights reserved.
Not to be used for commercial purposes.

 

Footer