The 1774 census of Rhode Island included several categories, most importantly, “Indians.” You can see the transcribed census at this link.
When Indians are included in a household with others, we don’t have their names, only that of the head of household. When there is no white head of household, and just people in the Indian column, it’s clear that the entire family is Indian. Some circumstances are less clear. Taking a look at Eunice Toogood in the first census district, below, is a good example. Eunice is white, there is an Indian in the household, and I know from other records that Toogood/Twogood and Tewgood are Native names in Rhode Island. So from this, I’m extrapolating that either Eunice is married to a Native man or she had a child that is half native and counted as and Indian. I could be wrong, but I’ve included this family as Native, as noted by the names in bold below.
The bold families will go in the Native Names project. But what about the others? Are the Indians in these other families slaves? Look at James Brown, the second entry. He has 5 Indians and 3 blacks living with him. The blacks are probably slaves, but are the Indians slaves or simply a family living on his land and working for him? Did they later take his name because they are familiar with him or because they became known as “his” Indians? I don’t feel that I can include these names as Native names, because I clearly don’t know that they are, but I hate to eliminate them entirely.
Does anyone have thoughts about how to handle this situation on the Native Names list?
A = White males above 16 years of age.
B = White males under 16 years of age.
C = White females above 16 years of age.
D = White females under 16 years of age.
E = Indians
F = Blacks
G = Total
Barrington, Bristol Co.
|ALLEN, Joseph, Jr.||2||4||2||–||1||–||9|
|SMITH, Sarah (widow)||1||–||3||–||1||–||5|
|WATSON, Matthew, Jr.||1||2||1||1||1||–||6|
Found Sippeo Richmond in a document about Barrington (see page 12)
Click to access barrington.pdf
It refers to him as a free African-American. I wish I knew which source they used. I double-checked the Rhode Island Roots transcription:
and his household members are definitely shown as Native. Perhaps he was part Native and part African-American?