Obituaries in the Nineteenth Century are known for being incredibly long and affectionate. There is one obituary that is unbelievably so, so much so that the reader is left to wonder if the author was sincere, or just sarcastic.
Aside from the ridiculous racism and bigotry exhibited in her non-fiction works, there are many issues with Dromgoole’s material on both Melungeons and the mountain people. Most of the Melungeon articles come from the same original body of work.
No series on Melungeons is complete without discussion on the individuals who kept history aware of them. This article covers a woman who is perhaps the strangest, most exploitative, and inconsistent writer on the matter:
In Irish mythology, the Fomoire (or Fomorians) are a semi-divine race of darked haired, dark-skinned giants said to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. Known as being gallant seafarers, the legends say their name means ‘dark of the sea’.
As stressed earlier in this article series, there are no definite or concrete records for Melungeon researchers. Even if we allow them the Portuguese ancestry they claimed for centuries, there are an impressive number of theories and legends regarding their arrival in Newman’s Ridge.
It’s easy to see how uneducated mountaineers might have classified people who were Italian, Greek, Latino or Portuguese, as coming from African roots due to their darker colors. Two hundred years ago, education was a luxury in a life of bare survival.