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Chestnut Ridge People - Partly Black "White" People 
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:29 PM   Post #1
Magneto
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Default Chestnut Ridge People - Partly Black "White" People

post from the other board that I didn't see on here made by another poster. His post:

Quote:
The Chestnut Ridge people are a mixed-race community residing in north-central West Virginia. They are often called Mayles (from the most common surname, Mayle or Male) or Guineas (a pejorative term).

The local West Virginia historian Hu Maxwell was bemused by the origin of these people when he studied Barbour County history in the late 1890s:

There is a clan of partly-colored people in Barbour County often called "Guineas", under the erroneous presumption that they are Guinea negroes. They vary in color from white to black, often have blue eyes and straight hair, and they are generally industrious. Their number in Barbour is estimated at one thousand. They have been a puzzle to the investigator; for their origin is not generally known. They are among the earliest settlers of Barbour. Prof. W.W. Male of Grafton, West Virginia, belongs to this clan, and after a thorough investigation, says "They originated from an Englishman named Male who came to America at the outbreak of the Revolution. From that one man have sprung about 700 of the same name, not to speak of the half-breeds." Thus it would seem that the family was only half-black at the beginning, and by the inter-mixtures since, many are now almost white.

The local pejorative term "guinea" was still being used more than a century after these words were written. By the 1860s, many individuals of these mixed-race families had become indistinguishable from Caucasians. Several of the men served in West Virginia regiments during the Civil War. Records in the Barbour County Courthouse indicate that several of them petitioned the courts (successfully) to be declared legally white at this time.

The people of "The Ridge" have traditionally been subject to severe racial discrimination, amounting to ostracism, by the surrounding majority white community.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobjackass View Post
And here they are...

1 http://i.imgur.com/lfp4Y.jpg
2 http://i.imgur.com/VzlSv.jpg
3 http://i.imgur.com/i5Rus.jpg
4 http://i.imgur.com/iObLn.jpg
5 http://i.imgur.com/609BI.jpg
6 http://i.imgur.com/AxixZ.jpg
7 http://i.imgur.com/Wt9Iy.jpg
8 http://i.imgur.com/Wt9Iy.jpg
9 http://i.imgur.com/odVfY.jpg
10 http://i.imgur.com/2EkxT.jpg
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11 http://i.imgur.com/6vUri.jpg
12 http://i.imgur.com/yg2L8.jpg
13 http://i.imgur.com/b8isM.jpg
14 http://i.imgur.com/dnA96.jpg
15 http://i.imgur.com/ZFzuR.jpg
16 http://i.imgur.com/LxU2d.jpg
17 http://i.imgur.com/rHFRH.jpg
18 http://i.imgur.com/B4uOG.jpg
19 http://i.imgur.com/cAsCj.jpg
20 http://i.imgur.com/NSGIu.jpg
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21 http://i.imgur.com/ucihY.jpg
22 http://i.imgur.com/ulTSx.jpg
23 http://i.imgur.com/Zxsj1.jpg
24 http://i.imgur.com/PmWUS.jpg
25 http://i.imgur.com/EAQjv.jpg
26 http://i.imgur.com/0eFEA.jpg
27 http://i.imgur.com/gfFYY.jpg
28 http://i.imgur.com/jrmON.jpg
29 http://i.imgur.com/EhHkc.jpg
30 http://i.imgur.com/KFRWQ.jpg
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31 http://i.imgur.com/BJ62d.jpg
32 http://i.imgur.com/52LMp.jpg
33 http://i.imgur.com/Sl5iZ.jpg
34 http://i.imgur.com/wqrrd.jpg
35 http://i.imgur.com/ziWA1.jpg
36 http://i.imgur.com/LHi27.jpg
37 http://i.imgur.com/pur43.jpg
38 http://i.imgur.com/VuqPU.jpg
39 http://i.imgur.com/r3qUV.jpg
40 http://i.imgur.com/na0j0.jpg
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41 http://i.imgur.com/hJ7Jo.jpg
42 http://i.imgur.com/Ix9uk.jpg
43 http://i.imgur.com/d1TZ6.jpg
44 http://i.imgur.com/ADD71.jpg
45 http://i.imgur.com/Ej1F3.jpg
46 http://i.imgur.com/01sZP.jpg
47 http://i.imgur.com/OVeCS.jpg
48 http://i.imgur.com/la6es.jpg
49 http://i.imgur.com/c6S12.jpg
50 http://i.imgur.com/UgWvG.jpg
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51 http://i.imgur.com/HPN7I.jpg
52 http://i.imgur.com/J5T1x.jpg
53 http://i.imgur.com/oWoeo.jpg
54 http://i.imgur.com/8GCgf.jpg
55 http://i.imgur.com/dGxZP.jpg
56 http://i.imgur.com/Nrncj.jpg
57 http://i.imgur.com/ZgrtZ.jpg
58 http://i.imgur.com/yfQyG.jpg
59 http://i.imgur.com/RODRX.jpg
60 http://i.imgur.com/1A7Wa.jpg
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61 http://i.imgur.com/zzOcg.jpg
62 http://i.imgur.com/HNwvq.jpg
63 http://i.imgur.com/iFvSs.jpg
64 http://i.imgur.com/RshBH.jpg
65 http://i.imgur.com/FycDR.jpg
66 http://i.imgur.com/8edTB.jpg
67 http://i.imgur.com/dtOj0.jpg
68 http://i.imgur.com/sRzuW.jpg
69 http://i.imgur.com/OQ7Ez.jpg
70 http://i.imgur.com/LXzfW.jpg
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71 http://i.imgur.com/mRZB3.jpg
72 http://i.imgur.com/QEclB.jpg
73 http://i.imgur.com/ZsZLI.jpg
74 http://i.imgur.com/ZDyA2.jpg
75 http://i.imgur.com/BxIWR.jpg
76 http://i.imgur.com/A7qv4.jpg
77 http://i.imgur.com/tGl9c.jpg
78 http://i.imgur.com/F069T.jpg
79 http://i.imgur.com/3VVWa.jpg
80 http://i.imgur.com/WvgXC.jpg
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81 http://i.imgur.com/Gpabc.jpg
82 http://i.imgur.com/1c3oy.jpg
83 http://i.imgur.com/3rhVi.jpg
84 http://i.imgur.com/7hozO.jpg

Note: Nearly all of the people pictured share the same exact last name... Mayle.

Trivia: Actor Don Knotts was from the same area in West Virginia that these people are from. He also appears to resemble some of these people: http://i.imgur.com/IKFVR.jpg. I can't help but wonder if he was one of them.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:32 PM   Post #2
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My posts while I was looking for pictures to post I stumbled across this

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
I stumbled across this lol




My New Identity Crisis: Part 7 - I'm a What?

Irish, English, German and French Canadian. That's what I was. Whenever I asked my mom (Shirley Hess) what nationality I was, that's what I was told. Pretty white bread, if you ask me. Nothing really exciting there. I mean, sure, the Irish history and all has been very exciting for me to explore as an adult -- all the mayhem, blood, fighting, repression and such. But I've only appreciated it as an adult. And the German history -- they always seemed to be the troublemakers of Europe starting from the time the various tribes periodically sacked Rome, all the way up through Nazi Germany. That was pretty exciting too, even as a kid, but the Germans were always the bad guys. The English always seemed staid and boring to me. Sure they built a great empire and gave us Shakespeare, but as a kid I couldn't get excited over it. French Canadian? What did that mean? Did that mean I was French, or Canadian?

So, imagine my surprise when I learned that my birth mother, Ruby Rodger, was originally Ruby Mayle from West Virginia, and that she was from a group of people called the "Guineas." The Guineas are roughly equivalent to other ridge dwelling peoples of the eastern mountains of America stretching from West Virginia down through Kentucky and Tennessee. Similar groups of people are called "Melungeons" in Kentucky and Tennessee. They were generally the "backwoods" people, awfully poor, and generally scorned by the rest of society.

The difficulty for the Guineas was the taint of non-white blood. In this society, and we even see this today, unenlightened people still consider it a defect if you're less than white. The Guineas, according to Bob and other accounts, certainly had Indian in them. There is also strong evidence that some mixing with blacks also occurred. Today, up in the Chestnut Ridge area of West Virginia, you can find families, all with the same last name, whose people look pure white, pure black and everything in between. Bob told me that even within his own family, he looks pretty white, his younger brother had blond very curly hair, and his sister looks very Indian. "A motley, mixed race crew," he proclaimed us.

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Bob has introduced me to Diana Jones, a first cousin on my birth mother's side. Diana's mother, Ruby's sister also came from West Virginia, got married and moved to Oklahoma. Diana lives in North Texas. Diana is also a prominent Mayle family genealogist. When Bob sent me a bunch of pictures of his family, I told him "I don't think I look like any of you." Bob sent a few more pictures. He said "I think you look like my son, Jesse." He also sent some other family pictures from the past, and sent a picture of one Thomas Male, who he said was our most African-American looking ancestor. As I was looking through the pictures, I could see some resemblance to Bob's son, but the picture of Thomas really struck Megan and I as resembling me in certain ways. Megan pointed out the nose, the blue eyes (they look gray in the black and white photograph), the line of the jaw and even the forehead. Above are the pictures of Jesse, me and Thomas Male. What do you think?

I guess the question is what do I think? Well, I am actually kind of excited to have my blood and heritage spiced up like this. I have only visited West Virginia once -- I drove through on a business trip and stopped at the fabulous New River Gorge to look and take pictures, but it left a great impression on me. I also visited Appalachia twice, Hazard Kentucky to be specific, and really felt an affinity to the place. Perhaps subconscious memories of my ancestors' environment were haunting me at the time. Being able to say that I have Indian, and perhaps even African-American, blood doesn't bother me in the least. I like the fact that I can explore this brand new heritage. However, I must be careful with my new family. Diana warned me that some members of the Mayle family, particularly older members, are not ready to talk about some aspects of their lineage. It's much easier for them to accept Indian heritage than black heritage. In the case of the older members, being labeled as "colored," being victims of discrimination, being labeled and outcast has left raw open wounds. I don't necessarily want to poke at any of these. Slowly, Diana and other younger members of the Mayle family are pushing for the Mayles to embrace their history, but it takes time and old feelings and secrets are hard to change.

At least I know that I'm a little more complex than Irish, English, German and French Canadian. And that's kind of fun, don't you think?



Photo 1: Thomas Male, probably late 1800s or early 1900s?

Photo 2: Jesse Rodger, Bob Rodger's son (and my nephew, I guess!)

Photo 3: Do I look more exciting to you now?


Photo 3 is the picture above. Here goes picture #1 Thomas Male,



http://musegumbo.blogspot.com/search/label/roots

Last edited by Magneto; 09-10-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:33 PM   Post #3
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Another post of mine based on an observation I made

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
The other day I was searching the net for pics of these people and I found that many live in Ohio. All of the ones I saw from Ohio looked mulattoid/light skinned black and I noticed they all identified as black/afram whereas the ones from Virginia, identified as white and looked the part for the most part. The other thing is that Im not sure if the ones from Ohio are even aware of the label "Chestnut Ridge People" ( a name given to them by outsiders) from what I saw on some of those geneology websites. Also, I didn't see any triracial/amerindian looking people in either the Virginian or Ohio peoples I ran across.

Last edited by Magneto; 09-10-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 09-10-2011, 03:34 PM   Post #4
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Here are some of the pictures/examples

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magneto View Post
some pics..


all of these people right here said/identified that they were "white/caucasian"












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all of these people said/identified that they were "black/african descent"





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^^same person in both

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^^mother and sons/siblings

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^^same guy in all 4 pics

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-->the girl
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