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Born in Mexico, Lived in Kentucky, 1850-1920
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1920
This entry comes from reference questions asked by a researcher looking at the population of those who were born in Mexico and lived in Kentucky up through the end of WWI. A second part to the search looked at how the individuals were classified by race in U.S. Census records. Given that race was not noted consistently in the census for African Americans in Kentucky, it was a bit of a surprise that in Kentucky census records and death records, and in military records, those persons born in Mexico and having lived or died in Kentucky, and those who served in the military, most often their race was noted as "white" between 1850 and 1920. There were also a scattering of other race notations: black, colored, mulatto, Indian, Mexican, Spanish, some made-up notations, a combination of two or more of these, or nothing was listed in the column for race. There was not a large population of persons born in Mexico and living in Kentucky; there were no more than 43 prior to the 1920 Census. Also, it cannot be assumed that individuals self-identified in terms of race or knew what race had been noted in a government document. Other considerations in the research were as follows: were the persons born in Mexico, KY, located in Crittenden County, or were they born in a city named Mexico in another U.S. state; was it noted in the record that the person was born in Mexico (the country) and the person was also a citizen of Mexico (the country); was the person who was living in Kentucky a citizen of the United States or some other county, and had been born within the country of Mexico.
The census records contains the names of European emigrants whose child or children were born in Mexico (the country) prior to the entire family living in Kentucky. Individual names could not be relied upon as a hint about the person's nationality, race, or ethnicity. In the table below are totals for all persons who were born in Mexico (the country) and lived or died in Kentucky between 1850 and 1920. Please note that the table DOES NOT contain information on the adoption of Mexican children by non-Mexican parents. There is NO NOTATION of children born to a Mexican parent and a non-Mexican parent. There is NO NOTATION of individuals who were brought from Mexico and enslaved in Kentucky. Without a doubt, there were unique family dynamics, and there were enslaved Mexicans in Kentucky [see the Peter White entry in NKAA], but documenting such information requires research beyond the use of U.S. Census records, military records, and Kentucky Death Records. Slaves listed in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census Slave Schedules are not enumerated by name or country of origin, only the slave owners are listed by name.
For this NKAA Database entry, the start year is 1850, which was the first year the U.S. Census collected data on place of birth for each person. Up to the year 1870, the U.S. Census records were organized under the U.S. Federal Court system. Each district had a U.S. marshal who hired other marshals to administer the census. For the U.S. Territories, governors were responsible for the enumeration of their areas. The 1850 Census data was collected after the Mexican-American War that took place between April of 1846 and February of 1848. Added to the influence of the war were major political debates as to whether the newly acquired land from Mexico would become slave-holding territory or not. In Kentucky, the question of race had historically been recognized as black, mulatto, or white, all based on physical appearances. The same criteria applied to others who were born in Mexico and other countries. By 1850, the most immediate concern was how to extend and maintain the ways of the past within the newly acquired Mexican Territory. For more see the PBS site How the Mexican-American War Affected Slavery / The Abolitionist. Also, men from Kentucky rushed to the call to come fight for America during the Mexican-American War, and there were so many men who came forward that all could not be taken; nonetheless, there were more than 5,000 Kentucky fighting men in Mexico during the war. For more see the Kentucky Historical Society website Explore KY's Mexican American War, see also the LatinAmericanstudies.org site The Mexican War.
At the close of the war, if Mexican immigrants came to Kentucky accompanying the soldiers who were returning home, this information would not be a noted in the 1850 U.S. Census record. Immigration data would not be collected for another 50 years; in the 1900 census, persons born in Mexico and living in Kentucky were placed within the previously defined race categories of either black, Mulatto, or white. The same was mostly true for the 1910 census. There were also additional notes added to a few entries, such as "Spanish" or "American." The population numbers for persons born in Mexico and living in Kentucky did not fluctuate much until the 1920 census was taken, and it showed an increase that was more than four-times the average between 1850 and 1910. The sudden increase of Mexicans in Kentucky had come about during the decade of the Mexican Revolution [Britannica.com], between 1910 and 1920 when thousands were fleeing Mexico. This was particularly true during the latter half of the decade and during WWI [Britannica.com] when American servicemen were fighting in Europe. Also included in the table below are the names of men who were born in Mexico and completed their WWI Draft Registration Cards in Kentucky, as well as those who were included in the draft registration records from Kentucky for the American Civil War.
Between 1910 and 1920, the increasing number of Mexicans in Kentucky was driven by the coal mining businesses in Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Hopkins, Letcher, Perry, Pike, and Union Counties. The coal companies had launched an international recruitment effort for coal miners. According to author Richard J. Callahan, in 1920, there were 92 Mexican miners in the Harlan coal mines [source: Work and Faith in the Kentucky Coal Fields: subject to dust by R. J. Callahan, p.77]. Mexicans made up 13% of the immigrant population in Benham, and they were the second largest group of immigrants in Benham [source: Factions and Corporate Political Strategies in Harlan County, Kentucky: implications for community sustainability (thesis) by A. R. Winston, pp.219-220]. See also the Benham Coal Company Records at Explore UK, the records are held at the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center. [The number of coal miners in the table below is slightly less than was counted by Callahan; the census data would have been collected during the earlier months of 1920 and did not represent the entire calendar year.]
The table below is the initial response to the questions of the researcher who helped initiate this entry. At no time between 1850 and 1920 was there more than 10 persons noted as Black or Mulatto during each decade reviewed for Mexicans living in Kentucky or who died in Kentucky. Overwhelmingly, persons born in Mexico who migrated to Kentucky were noted as white in the U.S. Federal Census. Even when the person recording the data was not sure how to note the race of Mexicans in Kentucky, the made-up notations of Ba, OP, Wt, Ot, and other notes were used, but all of these notations were marked-out and replaced with the letter "W" for "White." There was also the occasional notations such as P, Spanish, Malaysian, I for "Indian," Mw for "Mexican-White," or Y for "Yellow."
|YEAR||PERSONS BORN IN MEXICO||LIVED IN KY COUNTIES OF
||RACE OR ETHNICITY IN CENSUS
||BIRTH YEAR RANGE||SEX||CHILDREN (under 18)||YEAR OF IMMIGRATION||OCCUPATIONS||MARITAL STATUS||NOTES|
||Bourbon, Clark, Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, Marion, Nelson, Todd, Warren, Washington||Mexican -1,
[Not noted for all others]
|16||Blacksmith, 3 Boatmen, Fifer, Finisher, 4 Laborers, 2 Lutheran Ministers, Musician, Servant, Shoe Maker, Student in Nelson Co., 3 Tailors, ? Maker,
[Nothing noted] -15, [undecipherable] -7
*Fifer - non-combat foot soldier who played the fife [transverse flute] during battle.
|[Not noted]||No name for one person. Of the sixteen children under the age of 18, four children were in a household with their parents. Three of the children were listed as working.|
||Barren, Breckinridge, Campbell, Green, Hardin, Jefferson, Kenton, Madison, Marion, McCracken, Mercer, Nelson, Washington||Copper or Colored -1
[Not noted for all others]
||3 Carpenters, Finisher, Laborers, Loafer, Music Teacher, Shoe & Boot Maker, River Man, Servant, 3 Students in Nelson Co., 2 Tailors, Tobacconist, Watchman, [Nothing noted] -13||[Not noted]
||Of the twelve children under the age of 18, six lived in a household with their parents.|
|1870||30||Adair, Boyle, Campbell, Daviess, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Greenup, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Madison, Marion, Mercer, Montgomery, Nelson, Washington||White -22
[Marked Out]- 2
|6||Barber, 3 Carpenters, Carriage Driver, Domestic Servant, Farmer, Home, 3 Keeping House, Music Teacher, 2 Farm Laborers, Laborer, Printer, Railroad, Sailor, Shoe Maker, 2 Students, Tailor, Wagon Maker, [Nothing noted] -5, [undecipherable] -1||[Not noted for all]||Of the six children under the age of 18, they all lived in a household with their parents.|
|1880||24||Adair, Boyle, Campbell, Carroll, Franklin, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Kenton, Logan, Lyon, McCracken, Mercer, Nelson, Union, Warren, Washington||White -19
|3||At home, 2 Carpenters, Carriage Painter, 3 Farmers, Farm Hand, Hack Driver, 4 Keeping House, Musician, Planer in Mill, Servant, Shoe Maker, 3 Students, Tailor, [Nothing noted] -4||Single 9
|Of the three children under the age of 18, they all lived in a household with their parents.|
|1900||31||Adair, Ballard, Boyle, Campbell, Christian, Fayette, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Kenton, Lincoln, McCracken, Mercer, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Shelby, Trigg, Warren, Woodford||White -24
|5||[Nothing noted] 18,
1853, 1856, 1861, 1867, 1875, 1877, 1894, 1898
|Barber, 4 Carpenters, Civil Engineer, Coachman, 2 Farmers, Hospital Corp - Military, House Girl, Jeweler, Laborer-Brick, Painter, Patient in Lunatic Asylum, Physician, Shoe Repairer, 5 Students, 2 Teachers, Teamster-Lumber, Wheelwright, [Nothing noted] -4, [undecipherable] -1||Single 13
|Of the 5 children under the age of 18, four lived in a household with their parents.|
|1910||43||Ballard, Breathitt, Breckinridge, Campbell, Christian, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Hardin, Hart, Hopkins, Jefferson, Lincoln, Mercer, Trigg, Whitley, Woodford, Union||White -23
|7||[Nothing noted] 31,
1865, 1874, 1880, 1884, 1886, 1890, 1898, 1905, 1910 (2)
|2 Bookkeepers, Coachman, Coal Miner, Farm Worker, Farmer, Housekeeper, Inmate-City Hospital-Steamboat, Laundress, Mining Engineer, Musician/Teacher, 2 Nun/Teachers, Physician, 2 Race Horse Grooms, School Teacher, 2 Servants, Theater, Timber Cutter, Undertaker, Quarry Worker, [Nothing noted] -19, [undecipherable] -1||Single 17
|One person's age was marked-out.
Of the seven children under the age of 18, all lived in a household with their parents.
|1920||161||Bell, Campbell, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hardin, Harlan, Henderson, Hopkins, Jefferson, Kenton, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Mercer, Perry, Pike, Spencer, Union||White -52
|39||[Nothing noted] 8,
[Undecipherable] 2, 1859, 1882 (2), 1888, 1895, 1898, 1900, 1907, 1910 (2), 1911, 1912 (5), 1913 (5), 1914, 1915 (18), 1916 (28), 1917 (9), 1918 (26), 1919 (27)
|Bank Cashier, Blacksmith, Boarding House, 2 Carpenters, 67 Coal Miners, 2 Ditch Diggers, Doctor, Domestic, Electrician-Coal Mines, Errand Boy-Grocery Store, Farmer, Hotel Cook, Inmate-Laundress, Inmate - Shirt Maker, Laborer, 3 Laborer-Fort Knox, Life Insurance, Machine Shop, Minister, Publishing Company Subscriber, Seed Store, Soldier-Fort Knox, Soldier-Fort Thomas, Teacher, Wagon Maker, Waitress, [Nothing noted] -65||Single 96
|Of the thirty-nine children under the age of 18, thirty-eight lived in a household with their parents.|
|Draft Registration NAME||COUNTY WHERE REGISTERED||RACE ON REGISTRATION CARD||BIRTH YEAR||BIRTH LOCATION||CITIZENSHIP STATUS||OCCUPATION||HOME ADDRESS||MARITAL STATUS||NOTES|
|1863||Richard King||Kentucky||White||1831||Mexican||Finisher, Machinist||Married|
|1863||Nathan Nolan||Henderson||White||1823||Mexico||None||15 years in the U.S. Service. Fought in the Mexican War.|
|1917||Pete Casna||Kenton||White||1896||Gallop, Mexico||Natural Born Citizen||Covington Ice Cream Company - vendor||17 E. 2nd Street, Covington, KY||Single|
|1917||Manuel Leal||Jefferson||White||1893||Guanajuato, Mexico||Alien - Mexican||YMCA Building - painter||820 S. 3rd Street, Louisville, KY||Single||Claimed exemption from draft as alien.|
|Frank Martimi||Letcher||White||1892||Lardo, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||The Consolidation Coal Company - miner||Jenkins, KY||Single||Claimed exemption from draft as alien|
|1917||Antonio Perez||Letcher||Malaysian||1896||Mexico City, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||Consolidation Coal Company - miner||Burdine, KY||Single||Private Infantry 6 months in Mexico|
|1917||Marcario Perez||Letcher||Malaysian||1889||Mexico City, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||Consolidation Coal Company - miner||Burdine, KY||Married||Private Infantry 6 years in Mexico|
|1917||Paul Powell||Jefferson||White||1888||Saltillo, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||Baptist State Board - secretary||205 E. Chestnut, Louisville, KY||Single||Sergeant Infantry 3 months in Tennessee|
|1917||Juan Ruis||Floyd||White||1895||Del Riviera, Mexico||Alien Declarant - Mexico||Bates & Rogers - laborer||Fed, KY||Single||Soldier in U.S. Army for 2 years|
|1917||Samuel Tejada||Christian||White||1890||Monclova, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||Montgomery-Perkins Co. - day laborer||Hopkinsville, KY||Single|
|1918||Mike Ochoa||Harlan||White - Mexican||1897||Lampuga, Mexico||Alien - Mexico||U.S.C. & C. Company Inc. - miner||Lampuga, Sonora, Mexico|
|DEATH YEAR||NUMBER OF DEATHS||COUNTIES WHERE DEATHS OCCURRED||RACE ON DEATH CERTIFICATES||BIRTH YEAR||BIRTH LOCATION||BURIAL LOCATION||OCCUPATION||HOME ADDRESS||MARITAL STATUS||NOTES|
|1850-1860||1||Kenton||1849||Mexico City, Mexico||Covington, KY||Single||Females -1
CAUSES: [Nothing noted]
|1871-1880||1||Jefferson||White||1844||Mexico||Louisville, KY||[Nothing noted] -1||Louisville, KY||Females
|1881-1890||2||Kenton||White||1802, 1857||Mexico||Cincinnati, OH
|[Nothing noted] -2||Kenton County, KY||Single -1
CAUSES: Osteitis, [Nothing noted] -1
|1901-1910||3||Jefferson (2), Kenton||Black, Indian, White||1841, 1855, 1885||Mexico||Covington, KY
|Covington, KY -1
Louisville, KY - 1
[Nothing noted] -1,
CAUSES: Accident, Strangulated hernia, [undecipherable] -1
|1911-1920||8||Fayette, Franklin, Harlan, Jefferson (3), Owen, Pike||Black, Mexican -4, White -3||1840, 1848, 1886, 1890, 1894, 1896, 1909, 1919||Mexico, Monteray, Mexico -1||Frankfort, KY Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY -2
Poor Fork, KY
|Coachman, Coal Miner -3, House wife,
[Nothing noted] - 1
Los Antiano, TX, [Nothing noted]-5
CAUSES: Acute Bronchitis/Asthma, Appendicitis & Cholera, Asthma, Fell from 2nd story window, Gun Shot, Influenza, Slate fall in mine, Tuberculosis
Subjects: Immigration, Migration North, Military & Veterans, Miners, Mines, & Steel Mills, Undertakers, Cemeteries, Coroners, & Obituaries, Race Categories, Mexico & Kentucky
Geographic Region: Kentucky / Mexico
Filipino Students Denied Admittance to School [Louisville, KY]
Start Year : 1904
In 1904, four engineering students from the Philippines were denied admittance to DuPont Manual Training High School in Louisville, KY. The Kentucky Board of Education ruled that the students' color debarred them from the privilege of public schools. The question the board pondered was whether Filipinos were Negroes. It was decided that the term "Colored" applied to Negroes, Indians, and all other brown races. The law required the separation of races in Kentucky schools. The four students were located elsewhere; they were members of the Filipino Student Movement, an American government plan for the Americanization of selected Filipino students. The first group of students was comprised of 75 males between the ages of 16 and 21 who ranked highest on the program examination and met other criteria. Four students were recommended for Kentucky University [University of Kentucky] and four for the DuPont Manual Training High School. None of the students came to Kentucky: the engineering students were redirected elsewhere and the Kentucky University students decided to attend the University of Michigan. When a student completed his studies in the United States, he was to return to the Philippines to become an employee of the civil service for the equal number of years spent in the United States. Control of the Philippines had been passed from Spain to the United States with the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris that ended the Spanish-American War; the United States paid 20 million dollars to Spain for the Philippines. For more see "Their color debars them," Spokane Daily Chronicle, 07/07/1904, p. 3; "Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 07/07/1904, p. 4; "The Filipino students," Evening Bulletin, 09/07/1904, p. 1; and p. 929 of the "Report of the Superintendent of Filipino Students in the United States covering the Filipino Student Movement, from its inception to June 30, 1904," in the Fifth Annual Report of the Philippine Commission 1904, Part 3, by the Bureau of Insular Affairs, War Department. For more about the U.S.-Philippines relationship, see Bound to Empire, by H. W. Brands and Crucible of Empire, by J. C. Bradford.
Subjects: Education and Educators, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Race Categories
Geographic Region: Philippines / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Negrito (in Kentucky)
Birth Year : 1896
This entry was added in response to the reference question, "Were Negro jockeys in Kentucky descendents of Negrito slaves brought to Kentucky prior to 1865?" No evidence has been found at this time to support the idea that Negro jockeys in Kentucky were descendents of Negrito slaves.
In 1896, there was an article written about a "Negrito" in Kentucky. The article, "The Pygmy in the United States" by Dr. James Weir, was published in Appleton's Popular Science Monthly, May-October 1896, v.49, pp.46-56. No name is given in the article for the man being referred to as a "Negrito." He was said to have been born in Bayou la Têche, LA, and was 50 years old when he was brought to Kentucky by his old mistress who was not named in the article. The man was said to be 4 feet 9 inches tall, and there are two pictures of him in Dr. Weir's article. The term "Negrito" is a Spanish word for "little Negro" or "little black person." The term has been used in reference to ethnic groups throughout the world, but in particular to populations in isolated areas of Southeast Asia. "Negritos" have been characterized as less than five feet in stature, with dark skin, and wiry, bushy, or tightly curled hair. For more than a century, the racial, cultural, and biological origins of persons defined as "Negritos" has been debated and analyzed by researchers such as Dr. James Weir, Louis Lapicque, David P. Barrows, R. Bennet Bean, and Clarissa Scholes et al. There are hundreds of journal articles and books written about populations in various geographic regions who are referred to as "Negritos," though not in Kentucky. There are also a number of newspaper articles about "Negritos" in Southeast Asia, including about 35 articles in Kentucky newspapers found in Kentucky Digital Library dated from 1896-1920. For more about Louis Lapicque see his entry in the Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008, v. 8, pp.29-30. See D. P. Barrows, "The Negrito and allied types in the Philippines," American Anthropologist, July-September 1910, v.12, no.3, pp.358-376; R. B. Bean, "Types of man in the yellow-brown race," American Journal of Anatomy, March 1925, vol.35, no.1, pp.63-80; Clarissa Scholes et. al. "Genetic diversity and evidence for population admixture in Batak Negritos from Palawan," American Journal of Physical Anthropology, September 2011, vol.146, no.1, pp.62-72; and see I. Arenillas and J. A. Arz, "Hominid Descriptions" on pp.13-25 in the 21st Century Anthropology; a reference handbook by H. J. Birx, 2010.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: Bayou la Teche, Louisiana / Kentucky
The term "African" was not widely used in the U.S. Federal Census to define race; however it can be found as early as the 1860 Slave Schedules. The term was used much more heavily in the Census of Canada, and the slave registers of former British Colonial Dependencies such as Trinidad, Barbados, and the Bahamas. In the United Sates, the term was used more on birth and death records, including 15 birth records in Kentucky between 1897-1910, and at least 283 Kentucky death records between 1917 and the early 1930s. Over 300,000 WWI draft registration records for the U.S. Armed Services have the term "African" written on the line for race, and at least 9,886 of those records are for men born in Kentucky.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Canada / British Colonial Dependencies / Kentucky
"Brown" is one of the five color typology for humans that was developed by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), a founder of scientific racism theories. The term would come to be used to define race and ethnicity. For centuries, various groups of people throughout the world have been defined as "brown." The term was used in the United States to assign race on death certificates, military records, immigration records, federal census records between 1910-1920, and state census records in Iowa and Kansas between 1836-1925. Some persons whose race was given as "brown" on the various records, may be regarded as African American today. In Kentucky, there are more than 300 death records with race marked as "brown," they are dated between 1852-1953. There are also at least seven WWI draft registration records (registered in KY) with the term "brown" written in the space for race, three of these persons were born in Italy and two were born in the Philippines, one was born in Kentucky, and one did not have place of birth.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Kentucky
Start Year : 1850
The term "Negro" is yet another term for African Americans found in the U.S. Federal Census as early as 1850, and in state census records such as the 1856 Iowa State Census. In the "Second Census" of Kentucky, for the year 1800, there are two person with the term "Negro" included in their names: George -Negro- Stafford in Gallatin County, and Moses -Negro- Tyre in Bullitt County. The term was also used on U.S. marriage, birth, death, and military records, and on ship passenger lists. Due to the penmanship of census workers, there are instances where race is not clearly noted on the schedules, and it is difficult to decipher if a "W" was written for white, or an "N" for Negro. For the state of Kentucky, the clearly written term "Negro" can be found as early as the 1900 U.S. Federal Census [column number 5: "Race or Color"], up to the late 1990s marriage licenses.
Subjects: Race Categories
Geographic Region: United States / Kentucky
U.S. Census: Slave Schedules, Black or Mulatto, Colored
Start Year : 1850
End Year : 1890
African American slaves were first enumerated in the U.S. Federal Census in 1850 in a separate census called Slave Schedules. The 1850 Census was also the first in which all members of a household were listed by name; prior to 1850, only the heads of households were listed by name. As for slaves listed in the 1850 Slave Schedules, the vast majority are not listed by name but rather are numbered by age, sex, and color [Black or Mulatto] from the oldest to the youngest, all under the name of the slave owner. Also listed were the reported fugitive and manumitted (freed) slaves and the deaf, blind, insane, and idiotic slaves. A second slave census was taken in 1860. Kentucky was one of the 18 states included in the 1850 Slave Schedules and one of the 17 states in the 1860 Slave Schedules. African American slaves had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 or by the ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865. Because Kentucky did not secede from the Union, Kentucky slaves were freed by the ratification of the 13th Amendment. In the 1870 and 1880 U.S. Federal Censuses, African Americans are included as Black or Mulatto. When the 1890 Census was taken, the term "Colored" was also used as a race descriptor for some African Americans, as well as for Chinese, Hawaiians, Japanese, Puerto Ricans, Swiss, Native Americans, and many others. As early as 1850, the term "Colored" had been used in the U.S. Federal Census and in the census of some individual states to describe free persons who were not White. Well beyond the year 1900, in the United States, the terms Black, Mulatto, and Colored were all used on birth, death, and military records, and on ship passenger lists. For more information about the race descriptors used in the early U.S. Census data, contact the U.S. Census Bureau; see Shades of Citizenship, by M. Nobles; Census and Identity, by D. I. Kertzer and D. Arel; and Encyclopedia of the U.S. Census, by M. J. Anderson.
Subjects: Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county A-C], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county D-J], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county K-M], Slave Owners, Slaves, Free Blacks, Free Mulattoes in Kentucky, 1850-1870 [by county N-Z], Race Categories
Geographic Region: Kentucky / United States