WHO WERE THE BLACK DUTCH ? ? ? Your answers ran a spectrum from family tradition through encyclopedia citations, and because your findings may assist others who find this tradition in their family, here are some responses:

DUTCH, according to Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia: — a term which originally referred to ANYTHING of GERMAN derivation thus High Dutch signified the High German language, and Low Dutch the Low German.

In modern usage, however, the term Dutch may be CORRECTLY applied ONLY to the peoples and the language of the Netherlands. The phrase "Pennsylvania Dutch" referring to the speech and origin of the inhabitants of certain sections of Pennsylvania, dates from the time when DUTCH SIGNIFIED GERMAN.

The War of Spanish Succession, 1704-1714 fought by Austria, England, the Netherlands and Prussia - against France and Spain, arose over disputes over the succession to the throne of Spain on the death of Charles II of Spain.

Spanish soldiers married Dutch (Holland) girls, and their children. whose coloring was olive, with black hair were called "Black Dutch". Their Holland neighbors were fair skinned and blond. This explanation seems to have come down in several of your families who claim "Black Dutch" descent.

Another reported that the WILHITES who were imported to VA by Gov. SPOTTSWOOD as part of the Germana Colony of Iron workers were "Black Dutch." They came from Alsace-Lorraine an area of contention between France and Germany. They had black hair, "china blue to purplish blue eyes", fair skin, and tall. "The Black Forest" was mentioned as their home.

No doubt some of the German-speaking immigrants to the colonies WERE descendants of some of the darker races.

How we may have warped the meaning of "Black Dutch" becomes apparent in both a newspaper article and a letter. At a time when it was not fashionable to have Indian blood, here is what might happen:

"It used to be that if you had Indian blood in you and someone asked you what you were, you'd say 'Black Dutch' but now more and more of our people are coming out," said Morning Star, wife of Chief Neal McCormick, chief of the Eastern Creek Indian Nation.

Another writer, descendant of a Creek Chief, wrote "the term Black Dutch is used to refer to one that has Indian Blood, and most particularly with CREEK INDIAN BLOOD. Although there were a few German/Swiss in the Creek Nation, they were in the minority. The term acutally does not refer be have any connection to this nationality. The Creeks preferred the Scotch, English or Irish in that order as far as marriage was concerned. There is no explanation as to why they preferred the Scotch." So you see the term used to distinguish and describe progeny of Hollander-Spanish marriages, was later the disquise used by Indian white descendants to cover their red heritage.

We must hope that our "enlightened age" will see a renewed value placed on heritage, be it from red-white-or black.

Originally printed in FAMILY PUZZLLERS - Mary Bondurant Warren, Editor July 22, 1976, No. 457. Permission to reprint on the Internet granted to Jerry Wright Jordan by Mary Bondurant Warrent September 25, 1996.

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