Any American with deep, pre-Revolutionary War roots in British colonial times must understand that their surname may bear only a tangential relation to their actual ethnic history.
While it is obvious that many African-Americans carry assumed “Anglo” surnames, there are many other non-Anglo peoples who did the same.
Spanish, Portuguese, Germans, French, Basques, Welsh, Scottish and Irish Gaelic speakers, South Asians, Jews, Romani, and of course, indigenous peoples.
It is important to cross-reference genealogical records such as birth certificates and census data with documentation found in court records, photographs, descendants’ DNA, newspapers, etc. if we are to gain a proper understanding of any ancestor’s ethnic background.
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