How come Black people have white ancestors and white last names?


Lisa A

Because their black ancestors were 1) owned by people who gave them their names and 2) raped by the people who owned them.

Ted Pack

White ancestors because white owners had sex with the slaves. It was either rape or what would today be called first class sexual harassment; be "nice" to the owner, if you were a comely 18-year old, and you could be an upstairs maid instead of a field hand. White last names: Slaves didn't have surnames. If there were two slaves named Michael in the same area, one owned by Mr. Smith, one by Mr. Jones, people would sometimes call them "Michael Smith" and "Michael Jones" to distinguish between them. Many, not all, slave owners were English. The Germans tended to go through Pennsylvania and west, the Scotch and Irish were too poor to own slaves. Those are generalities and there are lots of exceptions, but an awful lot of black people have English surnames. When the slaves were freed in 1865 a goodly number took their former owners' surnames, because they were already known by it, and settled down to be share croppers. Others spit in their owners' eye and headed west to be cowboys. (About 1/3 of the cowboys, 1865 - 1900, were African Americans; Hollywood didn't show that until the 1990's.) The ones who didn't take their former owners' names sometimes took the name of a person they admired, except Lincoln. That would not have been a wise move in a county where half the barns were still smoldering from the Yankee cavalry. Others took a generic "Black" or "Brown" (in English, again), or the name of their trade (Carpenter, Cook, Baker - more English surnames) and some undoubtedly took the name of their father; Johnson, Moses, Paulson.


In the United States, most blacks have at least some white ancestors. Rape and what we would call "sexual harassment" was very common back in the 1800's. ("Hey! Sally, How would you like to be my personal housemaid instead of picking cotton all day long?") Slaves were often given the owner's last names. For instance, if two slave owners in the same town both had slaves named Michael, the one belonging to Mr. Smith would be known as "Michael Smith" and the one belonging to Mr. Jones would be known as "Michael Jones" in order to differentiate between the two. Following the Emancipation Proclamation, some of the slaves kept their former master's surnames; some took on new surnames.


Most Blacks do NOT have White Ancestors. As for their last names; slaves, who came to America on 'Slave Ships' only had a first name. It was not until the slaves were freed that they added a last name and 100% of the time it was the same last name as the Slave Owner.


Many African American women were sexually abused by white people in slavery times and afterwards. there are also of course some apparently loving couples. At Emancipation many African Americans took the surnames of their owners for a number of reasons.


All people in the world have ancestors of a different race


Many enslaved women were raped by their masters. You should read about Thomas Jefferson and watch the documentary Roots.




When it comes to surnames, Sub Saharan Africans didn't have one when they were brought here as slaves. Actually from the standpoint of historical time, they were fairly new for Europeans. It wasn't until about 1200 A.D that Europeans started taking a surname and the purpose was not to identify a person as a member of a family but just to better identify him for records purposes and when they got through, it wasn't impossible for legitimate sons of the same man to wind up with a different surname and still each could have shared his with others with no known relationship. They had a tax on the people in England and it was the way they had of knowing who paid their taxes. There were too many men with the same given name in the same town or village. One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting their genealogy is to trace their surname. The origin of your surname is not your family history. Having the same surname is no proof you are related to another with the same surname.


Because white people raped the blacks during their time on the plantation fields


im indian


We are all various shades of beige.

westville sal

People of different backgrounds have been "getting together" for centuries.


Because their black mother slept with a white man, took their fathers second name and inherited their mums black skin so they look black but have a English surname from their white dad




Because white people raped the blacks during their time on the plantation fields


I am sorry that I am the person to tell you, but white ancestors usually resulted from one of your ancestors being raped. The exception to this is in the North in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, some freed slaves were fortunate enough to live in areas of the North where men were not judged by their lack of melanin. Some were able to buy land or inherit land and some took white mates. The last name part is a little more complex. You probably know that under the Constitution, black men until the passage of the 14th amendment were considered to be 3/5 of a white man for the purposes of the decennial census. On the census rolls, slaves were given the surname of their masters. Upon manumission or the end of the Civil War, they usually were given the names of their former masters.


Maybe my information is out of date but I was under the impression that they had determined that all races were originally descendants of a small group of black people in Africa. Is this no longer considered true? I don’t know. If I was that smart I wouldn’t be coming on here, now would I? And as far as them having white people’s last names I suppose that was because when they came over here from Africa as slaves they were forced to take on Caucasian names as opposed to being able to retain the original African names. For enculturation (control) purposes


A bit of cream in the coffee was the usual thing at the time.