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.
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.
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.
Sadly, it seems even less is known of the people today. Early historical accounts suggest the Melungeons were there before the white settlers.
The earliest “proof” of Melungeons is commonly cited is the Stony Creek church minutes from 1813. One church member accused another of “harboring melungins.
Being an original Melungeon must’ve been a difficult life. The overwhelming majority of the media held you in utter contempt.
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.
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.
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.
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.