I have been doing some research into my family’s family tree, and I have made it back in time 200+ years! I am back in 1805, and the White people in my family tree are starting to pop up. They’re popping up in both the South (North Carolina: father’s side) and the Caribbean (Barbados: mother’s side). Now it’s getting hard to identify individuals, because White slave masters didn’t claim their progeny by black women, and in the Census the children, even the mulattos, are identified as the children of the Negro husband (“relationship to head of household) and Negro wife — now tell me how that’s possible! One striking thing I encountered is the number of children women had. I’m seeing as many as 14, 10 surviving.
One thing you can say for the Old South: it kept good records, keeping track of African slaves (their chattel “property”). I bet this had something to do with the Three-Fifths Compromise, where every five slaves were counted as three for purposes of representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Census records have been invaluable in tracking my ancestors.