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Black Dutch Ancestry

Q: My mother was always told from her mother that they were Black Dutch. We were told by another family member that my great-grandfather was half Cherokee Indian, but that he was ashamed of his heritage so he moved away and always claimed to be white. Can anyone give me information on where to find information on people who were Black Dutch or can anyone tell me specifically what Black Dutch really is. I can't find any information or records on my family. We have also been told that my great-grandfather may have also been German. I am at a brick wall. -- Demetra

A: The term "black dutch" has been bantered about for a number of years. There are many different theories surrounding the term and a few are more widely accepted than others. Some of these theories are discussed below.

Before talking about the theories though, it is important to remember that regardless of the family tradition, or family story, that has been passed from generation to generation, you should always research from the known to the unknown. Family traditions sometimes tempt you to force evidence you find to support the family story.

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