I have been trying to trace details on my grandfather Merrill Jacobs for years and I've come to a brick wall. From my DNA ancestry I assume he was nearly 100% native South Asian. His father was called Walter and his brother was Cyril, and they both worked in the civil service in India.
This is entirely a hunch, but somehow I think that Walter was white Anglo-Indian (based entirely on his name and his position in the civil service) and he adopted Merrill from a native family.
Alternatively, Walter was a native Indian who took (or was given) a Western surname and ended up in government service.
I don't really have enough knowledge of the era to know which is more likely. Does anyone have any ideas?