Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

An Introduction to Melungeons

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This is one of the most difficult ethnic groups to research today. The overwhelming majority of information is authored by those who use the research process to support preconceived notions.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

Melungeon Etymology

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This word has been used for centuries, although in strikingly different contexts. The most likely origin is the French term “Mélange,” which simply means “mixture.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

Melungeon Fame

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As word spread of the “new race” so did fantasy. Northern reporters made it a point to briskly “investigate the community,” by speaking to one or two families, so they might carry off biases, prejudices and unfair assumptions of all.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

The Real History of Melungeons

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Sadly, it seems even less is known of the people today. Early historical accounts suggest the Melungeons were there before the white settlers.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

Melungeon Community

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The earliest “proof” of Melungeons is commonly cited is the Stony Creek church minutes from 1813. One church member accused another of “harboring melungins.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

The Melungeon Manipulation

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Being an original Melungeon must’ve been a difficult life. The overwhelming majority of the media held you in utter contempt.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

The Melungeon People

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There were multiple families in the initial group. They were varied in hue and features, but the outside world wasn’t aware of them for nearly a century.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History

Melungeon Origins

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So, where did these mysterious people come from? Since it’s apparently impossible to respect their own words, we’ve yet to encounter a definitive answer.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History / People

Melungeon DNA and the European Enigma

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Genetic genealogy through DNA testing, has sadly been harnessed to muddle the subject even more. Despite this field being in its infancy, global mapping has already occurred.

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Genealogy and DNA / Histories of Appalachian Peoples / History

Dromgoole’s Malungeons

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Will Allan Dromgoole, as noted earlier, had a very special vocabulary for the Melungeon people. Good or bad, she is still considered an authority on them.

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