Genealogy Road Show on PBS

The other night I watched the Genealogy Road Show on PBS. One of the individuals being helped was a woman who had information that her mother birth record listed her mother’s race as colored.

The lady wanted to know if this was a mistake or if her mother was really colored?

The genealogist was able to find out that her mother was indeed listed as colored on her mother’s birth certificate.

Her maternal grandparents were married in Louisiana and the grandfather was listed as colored and grandmother was listed as mulatto.

The following are old terms used to define racial statute of the mixture of any two races:

  • Mulatto (1/2) means a person who has 1 parent who is black and 1 parent who is white.
  • Quadroon (1/4) means a person who has 1 grandparent who is black and 3 grandparents who are white.
  • Octoroon (1/8) means a person who has 1 great-parent who is black and 7 great-grandparents who are white.
  • Quintroon (1/16) means a person who has 1 great-great-grandparent who is black and 15 white great-great-grandparents who are white.

In the Deep South if you had 1 great-great-great grandparent who is black and the other 29 Great-great-great grandparents who were white you were considered as white.

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