Methodology

While my plan was initially much more expansive, I ultimately decided to focus on a few specifics. To do so, I went through and deleted anyone unconnected with one of the 6 Ramapough names of Degroat, DeFreese, Mann, Jennings, Suffern, and Van Dunk that popped up in the census often. This did not just include the people with those names themselves, but also anyone who had a Ramapough as part of their household. This skewed the results a bit, but I thought it was useful to preserve these kinds of relationships because they showed the complicated relationship the Ramapough have with Mahwah.

After I finished going through and removing extraneous people, I cleaned the data I had. This was mostly focused on standardizing names and making sure they were the same across the board. The most common name, Degroat, was spelled a multitude of different ways including DeGroat, DeGroot, De groot, and De groat. Even though they do not actually look that different, a computer would not pick up that they were meant to be the same name, which meant that I had to go through and manually clean all that data so that everything was nicely standardized and searchable. Without this, the data would have been  essentially useless.

The second thing I did was put it into a Google Fusion table, which can be found in the My Research Sources¬† tab on this website. and look at certain aspects of the information provided. I most particularly examined the racial distinctions the census taker made and the breakdown of the surnames the Ramapough used. I initially was looking at 7 names, however while the 6 mentioned above worked out fine, the 7th name, Perry, caused some problems. While going through and cleaning the data, I noticed that all of the Perrys in the census were marked as white. While that in of itself is not a serious concern, it was fairly concerning that the parents’ birthplaces and the individual’s birthplaces were often Ireland. With this new information, I eliminated Perry from the pool entirely to simplify everything and to avoid confusing myself or potentially using bad information. While Perry is a Ramapough and has been since at least the 1930s and the current chief is a Perry, it is a common enough name outside of just the Ramapough to skew the data seriously enough that I just opted to get rid of it.

It was also interested going through and looking at the different races. The word “Indian” does not appear for anyone until the 1940s and there it only appears for a family labeled as “Degrant.” Because I was unsure of whether this was meant to be Degroat and was just mispelled, especially because this spelling was never in the census before and it was the first I’d seen of anyone being labelled as “Indian” so I preserved it completely. I also preserved the difference between “black” and “negro” because I personally thought the change was interesting, even though it is meant to denote the same race. They ended up being about equal as far as numbers went and I simply added them together to figure out the percentages.

I then plugged all of that into a program called Tableau, which provided me with generated charts and graphs to help show the information I researched visually. They can be found under the Research Findings tab.