"Some of these mongrels, finding that they have been able to sneak in their birth certificates unchallenged as Indians, are now making a rush to register as white." -- W.A. Plecker
"By (Plecker's) standards, codified by the General Assembly in the 1924 Racial Integrity Act, one drop of Negro blood would cause a person to be categorized as black. That was designed to stop light-skinned people with black ansestry from "passing" as white people and thus avoiding the Jim Crow discrimination laws.
Trying to locate documentation regarding Native Americans is very difficult. An outrageous example of this difficulty is the goings-on in Virginia in the early-to-mid 1900's, an era when the eugenics movement was in its heyday.
Virginia's former registrar of the Bureau of Vital Statistics, Dr. Walter Ashby Plecker, a small-town doctor who became registrar of the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics in 1912, spent decades trying to deny the existence of Indians in Virginia. He believed there were no real native-born Indians in Virginia and anybody claiming to be Indian had a mix of black blood and, because in Virginia at that time one drop of African blood rendered an individual completely Aftican, Plecker thereby classified Indians as Blacks. Plecker ran the Bureau from 1912 to 1946.
The "ancestral registration" provisions of the law were strictly enforced by Plecker.
Nonetheless, in 1930, the U.S. Census reported 779 Indians in Virginia, noting for the first time there were 59 Indians in Caroline County.
Plecker's successor, Russell E. Booker Jr., termed Plecker's activities from 1912 to 1946 as "documentary genocide".
Knowledge of this historical development is vitally necessary for those who are searching their Native heritage to understand why records in the Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics are incorrect or missing.