There are a surprising number of people born in Mexico who registered for the WWI draft.  East of the Mississippi, they are found mostly in large cities.  Surprisingly, Chicago seems to be the hot spot for Mexican immigration, although at least some Mexicans are found in every large city.

Like other immigrants, the boxes are typically mismarked, with the Indian-Noncitizen box above the Alien box being used to indicate not that they are Indian, but that they are not citizens.  Generally, the line below the boxes says “Mexico” when asked what county they are a citizen of, so these people are easy to identify.  Most of them have Spanish names, but surprisingly, not all of them. 

However, this population group poses a special problem.  Many if not most Mexicans are of Indian descent one way or another.  This has become apparent in the DNA projects.  Some of the people born in Mexico are noted as Mexican Indians, Spanish and Indian and other descriptive designations.  But this extra step was up to the Individual registrar and most seemed to do no more than was necessary to complete the form.

Before embarking on the Native Heritage Project, my assumption was that if someone tested as  Native American via DNA and had a Spanish surname, they were likely from the Southwest.  While this is true in the sense of origins, it is obviously not true in the sense of genealogy in terms of the past 100 years.  Therefore, someone testing today with the surname of Rodriguez could well have 5 or 6 generations in Chicago, far from the southwest, since their ancestors immigration there in the late 1800s. 

Given that my goal with this project if for people to be able to find their Native surname on this list in the various locations where it was documented to be Native, I have included all registrants born in Mexico.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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