Dutch and Sephardic Jewish colonists
"There are strong indications that the original "Black Dutch" were swarthy-complexioned Germans. Anglo-Americans loosely applied the term to any dark-complexioned American of European descent. The term was adopted [by some people] as an attempt to disguise Indian or infrequently, tri-racial descent. By the mid-19th century, the term had become an American colloquialism; a derogative term for anything denoting one's small stature, dark coloring, working-class status, political sentiments, or anyone of foreign extract. In contrast to the Anglo-surnamed Melungeons, nearly 60% of American families reporting Black Dutch tradition bear surnames that are either decidedly German or possibly Americanized from Germanic origin."
Native Americans "passing" for white
Before the Indian Removal Act in 1830, many of Lawrence County's Cherokee people were already mixed with white settlers and stayed in the country of the Warrior Mountains. They denied their ancestry and basically lived much of their lives in fear of being sent West. Full bloods claimed to be Black Irish or Black Dutch, thus denying their rightful Indian blood. After being fully assimilated into the general population years later, these Irish Cherokee mixed-blood descendants, began reclaiming their Indian heritage in the land of the Warrior Mountains, Lawrence County, Alabama. During the 1900 U.S. Census only 78 people claimed their Indian heritage. In 1990, more than 2000 individuals claimed Indian descent. Today more than 4000 citizens are proud to claim their Indian heritage and are members of theEchota Cherokee tribe.