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DitmoreCenter.com: Family History

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Family History

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Genealogy: What does 'third cousin, once removed' mean anyway? 
Family History

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History: President Franklin Roosevelt's Address to the Nation, delivered May 26, 1940 
Family History

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Tennessee: DITMORE, E. R. - The Atlanta Constitution, June 3, 1921 
Family History

Click to enlarge image: DITMORE, E. R. - The Atlanta Constitution, June 3, 1921view

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Family History
``The so-called `Black Dutch' have long been an enigma in American genealogy. Their descendants are widely reported, yet no authoritative definition exists for this intriguing term,'' James Pylant says in an article titled ``In Search of the Black Dutch,'' which appears in American Genealogy Magazine (Volume 12, No. 1).

Many readers of this periodical responded to a survey about their ``Black Dutch'' ancestry as did several professional genealogists. The results were interesting but inconclusive. According to Pylant:

There are strong indications that the original ``Black Dutch'' were swarthy-complexioned Germans.

Anglo-Americans loosely applied the term to any dark-complexioned American of European descent.

The term was adopted as an attempt to disguise Indian or infrequently, triracial descent.

By the mid-1800s the term had become an American colloquialism; a derogative term for anything denoting one's small stature, dark coloring, working-class status, politics, or anyone of foreign extraction.

Gordon McCann, an Ozarks folklorist, speculates that ``Black Dutch'' might be a derogatory _expression_ labeling German Union troops in the Civil War. Raymond G. Matthews, a consultant at the Family History Library, says ``it is doubtful that the Black Dutch were of Jewish or (Holland) Dutch heritage (one popular theory),'' and Dr. Arlene H. Eakle of the Genealogical Institute in Salt Lake City stated there was ``absolutely no Jewish culture tie-in'' found during an in-depth genealogical study of one line that family members claimed was ``Black Dutch.''

Another fanciful and widely circulated explanation about the ``Black Dutch'' is that they were Netherlanders of dark complexion who were descendants of the Spanish who occupied The Netherlands in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and intermarried with the blond natives. However, the Dutch government's Central Bureau for Genealogy, established as a state archive and genealogical organization, is unable to offer an explanation for the term.

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