Why do Cherokees Wear Turbans? We see old portraits of Cherokees wearing turbans. Does this mean they somehow descend from Turkish men who came to this country as sailors with early exploration parties? Actually there is a much more plausible reason.
At the age of 73 Mattie Ruth Johnson's Holy Spirit left her earthly body and entered her Heavenly home on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Holston Valley Medical Center. She was a local author and painter. Her book, "My Melungeon Heritage" was written and sold copies all over the United States. She was born in Hancock County, Sneedville, TN on August 27, 1940 and lived on Newman's Ridge in an area called Prospect Ridge. She had a twin sister, but was born 10 minutes before her sister, Goldean. God had an apple in His eye and He took her home before she had got sicker. She was only able to take so much before she was called home.
Ruth had a heart for everyone and she gave to anyone who needed anything. She was a Christian and was Baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In "My Melungeon Heritage" she tells what it was like to grow up and live in a place and time when life was much different than it is at the end of the twentieth century. A descendant of several of the first known settlers in Hancock County, she had spent a lot of time through the years reading the history of early settlements and colonization of the United States. Her ancestors include many Melungeons, and she had done much research on her family lines. Interested in the Melungeon history for years, she had corresponded with numerous writers dealing with genealogy and people searching their family trees.
Ruth who had lived in Kingsport, was a nurse. She was also an artist who enjoyed working in oils and watercolors. A special thanks to Brent Kennedy for his help and inspiration. To each of the doctors and nurses who had the pleasure of working with her, she thanks you. She also would like to thank Dr. Springer, Dr. and Mrs. Hemoke, Dr. Michigan, Dr. London, Dr. Jack Whitt and the many more. Preceding her to Heaven were her father and mother, Henry and Opal Johnson; brothers, Henry, Jr., Elmer, Gale and Rex; her sister, Phyllis Smith; nephew, Russell Gilliam; and niece Rebecca Gilliam. Surviving is her twin sister, Goldean White; sisters, Nellie Lynch of Florence, SC and Ivagene Gilliam and many nieces and nephews who she loved very much.
A private graveside service will be held in the Garden of the Mausoleum at East Lawn Memorial Park with Pastor Mildred Osborne officiating. Online condolences may be sent to the family. www.eastlawnkingsport.com. East Lawn Funeral Home; Memorial Park has the honor of serving the family of Ms. Mattie Ruth Johnson.
While I agree that politicians and reporters have always gone to Appalachia to find poor people, why stop with Richard Nixon? It is still occurring today. I am sure Diane Sawyer drove past beautiful expensive homes on her way to the rickety trailer houses. But she was looking for a story. And why are minorities always ignored? What's up with that?
Children in sepia-toned clothes with dirt-smeared faces. Weathered, sunken-eyed women on trailer steps chain-smoking Camels. Teenagers clad in Carhartt and Mossy Oak loitering outside long-shuttered businesses.
When policymakers and news organizations need a snapshot of rural poverty in the United States, Appalachia — the area of land stretching from the mountains of southern New York through northern Alabama — is the default destination of choice. Poverty tours conducted by presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon, almost every member of the Kennedy clan, and religious leaders like Jesse Jackson have all painted the portrait of Appalachia the same way: poor, backward, and white.
While the economic despair and major health epidemics are an unsettling reality for the region, a glaring omission has been made from the "poverty porn" images fed to national audiences for generations: Appalachia's people of color.
"When we tell the truth about Appalachia, it's only then that we tell the real story about who we are," said Aaron Thompson, executive vice president and chief academic officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.
Growing up as an African-American outside Manchester, Ky. — a coal town home to the lowest per capita income in the state, according to US census data — Thompson has become one of the few outspoken role models for young people of color in his mountain home. "There's no one story of Appalachia, no one voice. It's time for everyone to feel like they can speak up, like their story is important."
The Melungeon DNA paper, “Melungeons: A Multi-Ethnic
People,” was honored on October 20th by the North Carolina Society of
Historians at an awards ceremony in Mooresville, NC.
The North Carolina Society of
Historians is a nonprofit organization
founded in 1941 whose goal is to preserve and share the history of North
Carolina. One of the ways they do this is by encouraging the preservation
of history and research into historical topics by conferring awards annually on
worthy projects and their authors. Awards are granted to organizations
and individuals in 14 different categories and
the awards are presented at the annual meeting, which is a luncheon, in
This year’s banquet was held on
Saturday, October 20th in Mooresville, NC.
The Melungeon DNA paper titled “Melungeons: A
Multi-Ethnic Population” was granted the prestigious Paul Green
Multimedia Award. Jack Goins, the founder of the Melungeon DNA projects
and one of the authors of the paper accepted the award in Mooresville on behalf
of all four authors.
In addition to Jack, the authors are Janet Crain, Roberta Estes
and Penny Ferguson. Each author received an individual award recognizing
Jack said that Elizabeth Sherrill, the Society President, had
many complimentary things to say about the paper, and that she showed an
impressive pile of papers and projects that represented the other entries that
were rejected. Apparently, the competition was stiff. I know they
have hundreds of entries every year.
Each project or paper that receives an award also receives the
judges collective comments. Here’s what they had to say about
“Melungeons: A Multi-Ethnic Population”:
“This paper is definitely not for
the “faint of heart,’ nor can it be considered ‘light reading.’ It is an
in-depth study of the Melungeons in the Carolinas and surrounding states that is geared toward those persons with a serious interest in tracing these people by taking a DNA approach. It is an academic paper that is the result of a monumental study that took in many different avenues of research. We found this work to be absolutely brilliant and data pertaining to North Carolina was exciting. We understand that this study is still a work-in-progress, and we look forward, with great anticipation, to future papers chronicling additional information discovered/uncovered regarding this fascinating race of people.”
The authors would like to
collectively thank the North Carolina Society of Historians, not only for the
award, but for their dedication to the preservation of history and fostering an
environment that rewards people
for doing so.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Bridges Funeral Home.
Visitation: 5:00-7:00 PM Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Bridges Funeral Home.
Nelson, Shirley Rebecca “Becky” - age 61, of Knoxville, entered into eternal peace on Monday, February 17, 2014, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.
Becky was born on June 26, 1952, a daughter of the late Emma Jane Kennedy and Neal Franklin Kennedy. She graduated from Holston High School in Knoxville. Becky was a very kind and gentle soul; she had a loving and generous heart, and she had a special love for all animals. She was a professional dog groomer, and she was the long-time owner of Top Dog Styling and Grooming in Knoxville. She was loved by all her clients and their dogs. Becky was the founder and Vice President of the Pet Stylists of Tennessee association and was actively involved in and enjoyed planning an annual training conference for professional groomers for many years. Becky enjoyed genealogy research and was also very active in the Melungeon Historical Society, where she served as the first Secretary/Treasurer of the Society and later as a Board member. She enjoyed researching Civil War records, courthouse records, family archives, and especially loved conducting interviews. All of us in the family are proud of Becky and the research she has done. Because of her, our family history will be passed on through many generations.
Becky was predeceased by her beloved mother, Emma Jane Kennedy in 2005; her loving grandmother, Mae Kennedy; and two special aunts, Helen Ruth Dickens and Ina Bell Brewer. Everlasting loving memories and special times shared with Becky will be cherished by her beloved son, Jerry Nelson; her devoted soulmate of 36 years, J. D. Reynolds; her beloved father, Neal Kennedy; and her sisters, Peggy Jackson (Randy) of Maryville, Tennessee, Lana Doncaster (Raymond) of Louisville, Tennessee, and her brother David Robeson (Nancy) of Louisville, Tennessee; adorning niece Lisa Madden and her children Corbin, Alayna, and Emmalee; nephews Steven Davis and wife Kathy and their child Haylee; Eric Robeson and wife Valerie and their children Shaunee and Roxanne; niece Heather Doncaster (Joe) and their children Dalton and Emma. Becky is also survived by her special pets she loved and treasured: her dogs Star, Venus, and Diesel; and her cats Ruby and Diamond.
Funeral Services will be 7:00 PM Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at Bridges Funeral Home with Rev. Mark Large and Rev. Pete Daniels officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, P.O. Box 51723, Knoxville, TN 37950. Family and friends will meet 10:45 AM Thursday at Sherwood Memorial Gardens for an 11:00 AM interment. The family will receive friends 5:00-7:00 PM Wednesday at Bridges Funeral Home, 5430 Rutledge Pike, 865-523-4999. www.bridgesfuneralhome.com
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, P.O. Box 51723, Knoxville, TN 37950.
A very exciting and definite paper has just been published by Nature, today, titled “The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana,” by Rasmussen et al. The authors conclude that the DNA of a Clovis child is ancestral to Native Americans. Said another way, this Clovis child was a descendant, along with Native people today, of the original migrants from Asia who crossed the Bering Strait. All four types of DNA were tested; Y chromosome, mtDNA, autosomal and X. Everything tested as having come through the Bering Strait from Asia. There was no European admixture. This information is very important to a number of academic disciplines. I am sure much more remains to be explored and explained, but we can rest assured in this fact:
"The researchers concluded that the Clovis infant belonged to a meta-population from which many contemporary Native Americans are descended and is closely related to all indigenous American populations. In essence, contemporary Native Americans are “effectively direct descendants of the people who made and used Clovis tools and buried this child,” covering it with red ochre.
Furthermore, the data refutes the possibility that Clovis originated via a European, Solutrean, migration to the Americas."
Johnnie Clyde Gibson Rhea, age 82, of Sneedville, passed away on January 18, 2014 at Lakeway Hospital. She was born on May 23, 1931 to John and Martha (Goins) Gibson. She professed her faith at an early age at Howards Quarter Baptist Church where she still remained a member.
She was a beloved mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend. Throughout her life, she enjoyed being a housewife and working with genealogy. She was a life-long member of the Melungeon Heritage Foundation. She was a charter member of the organization and important contributor to the First Union in Wise Virginia. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother, sisters and husband.
The family would like to thank Home Health Choices, Dr. Short, Nurses, Hancock County EMS, special friends; neighbors; caretaker, Freda Davis and all other who have assisted in anyway, Survivors include; Children; Margaret Trent, Evelyn Lawson, George (Sled) Rhea Jr. , Evia Ruth Phillips, Hazel Drinnon; Malena Cloud. Grandchildren; Tammy; Ashley Trent, Nikki; Steven Lawson, Greg Rhea; Melissa Seals, Randy; Rusty Stanton, Josh; Brock Williams, and TJ; Isaiah Cloud, 15 Great-Grandchildren, Sister; Betty Mahan Brother; Willie Jack Gibson Nieces; Judy Goodman; Deanna Carroll and Many special friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the McNeil Funeral Home Chapel Rev. Phillip Roberts; Rev. Darrell Ramsey officiating Special music will be provided by the Douglas Family. Interment will follow in the Old Yellow Branch Church Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be her grandsons. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be her great-grandsons The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 at the McNeil Funeral Home.
In Memorandum: Johnnie Clyde Goins Rhea b. May 23, 1931 d. January 18, 2014
By Johnnie Clyde
On May 23, 1931, I was born in Virginia to John and Martha Goins Gibson. My grandparents were Andy and Emily Long Gibson and Alex and Merky Collins Goins. I have researched back to my 6th
owned one car back in the late 30’s. They never had another
one so we did a lot of walking.
I was raised on
Blackwater and Newman’s Ridge. We never owned a tractor; it
was a red mule! I went to school at Elm Springs, Vardy, Sneedville
and Howard’s Quarter School; never got through the 7th
I washed on a washboard and cooked on a woodstove. I sawed wood to cook with and to keep warm. I washed by a spring and carried water because we never had running water in the house or an inside toilet. I plowed with a mule, I turned ground, and I shocked hay, worked on straw stacks, threshed wheat, cut corn, and pulled fodder corn. I made my toys out of corn stalk. I walked to school two miles there and back and was picked up by a truck for four miles there and back, to go to school. I used a saw to cut wood for wood to sell. My games at night were by a coal oil lamp where we played Hully Gully with parched corn. I took a bath in an old wash tub on Saturday night. We had an old victrola with a Carter Family record. We finally got a Sears Roebuck radio run by a battery that lasted three months. We never had a store bought sled or wagon, but would go to the woods and make our sled and wagon from wood. We lived in the woods, and never learned to climb a tree or swing on a grapevine. I had to pull weeds for the hogs to eat. We had two hogs killed in the fall and two cows gave milk and butter. All we bought from the store was a little coffee, salt and sugar. Taking history back, we grew our own corn and wheat for making our flour for bread, made molasses and maple syrup. To dye our clothes, we used walnuts, rye or goldenrod. We had to spin our wool from sheep. We made our quilts out of worn clothes to keep warm. We lived in a house that when it came a snow we would wake up with snow on our bed. We had chickens to kill and eat, and sold eggs. You made your own food to eat in the winter out of the garden, berries and apples; we dried our beans or we would go hungry. I can say I never went to bed hungry or went naked.
I had good
parents that provided for me. I am thankful for that. We
didn’t have anything fancy. We just had a phone, old rough
stuff to eat, didn’t go to the store for food. We didn’t
have any electricity. We had a spring where we put milk and
butter we made. Three times a day we brought it to the table
and took it back to the spring. The spring was our
So—I was that Melungeon, raised up poor and hard, still Melungeon made and proud to be one, too!
(Johnnie Clyde Gibson Rhea)
at the John Goins Cemetery on Newman’s Ridge, April 2003.
This article was originally published in the MHS Newsletter Winter 2009
I could think of nothing more fitting to honor Johnnie than these words penned by a friend:
For those of you who knew Johnnie Rhea, she passed away this evening. As a Newman's Ridge native and one who had mostly Collins, Gibson and Goins ancestors, I sometimes referred to her as one of the "last of the Melungeons." :)
As a short testimonial, Johnnie was the first who was most helpful to my finding my Hancock Co. unique heritage over 20 years ago. As one who loves heritage and history, I owe Johnnie a lot for being the link between me and my ancestry since she knew some of my ancestors that I never knew. When she was able, we spent countless hours going thru cemeteries in the county finding and recording my deceased kinfolk. She always knew where to find them. She also held on to (and shared) many of the old, long gone (and lost) ways of home remedies, making homemade lye soap, molasses, apple butter...the list goes on...Just the other day she told me to find some catnip and make tea for my croup-cough and bronchitis. Always there, willing to dig up whatever she may have had in her home or at the courthouse to help me with family records, free of charge. Before the age of internet, there wasn't a day that went by where she didn't get numerous letters from those searching for their Hancock heritage. She was also upfront and didn't mind giving her two cents on things, in which I appreciated. She believed in old fashioned virtues, was a trustworthy person and a good friend. She was one of the few actual, older natives of the ridge who was always proud of her heritage no matter what was discovered. May she rest in peace.
Anyone who has ever looked into the people who were called 'Melungins', has probably come across a photo taken by photographer Doris Ulmann. Sometimes called 'Melungeon Boys' or 'Melungeon Man and Boy'; this photo is all over the internet:
So how did this photo of these two boys become the template of the Melungin phenotype ?
Who are these boys ? Why are they called Melungin boys ?
This photograph was first published in 1971 in the book “The Appalachian Photographs of Doris Ulmann” by John Jacob Niles, Plate 40, named “Two Melungeon Boys”. Did Niles and the Ullman Foundation label this photo ?
The photo surfaces for a second time in 1997 on the KET (Kentucky Educational Television) 'In Search of Origins, Melungeons' produced by Ernie Lee Martin. 'Melungeon Boys' photograph is shown. Does Mr. Martin know who these boys are, by name, what makes him think they are of Melungin descent ? The start of the Melungin phenotype starts here. This falls right in line with the“PBKN” era (Post Brent Kennedy Nonsense) a phrase coined by Mullins researcher Gary Mullins, thanks Gary, and the start of the 'Melungeon Movement' or as I call the Melungin train wreck, and the foundation is laid for the modern 'construct' of Melungeons, or what a Melungin might look like.
The third time this photo is published is on the cover and on page 230 of the book by Manuel Mira titled ““The Forgotten Portuguese, The Melungeons and Other Groups, The Portuguese Making of America”. Mira changes the name of the photograph to “ Melungeon man and boy” and states the photo was taken in the 1920's. So is Mira suggesting these boys are not only Melungins, but are also 'Portuguese' ?
How can he take that liberty, with out
knowing who these boys are, what their names are, who their families
In 2003, a discussion on the Rootsweb Melungeon List about the Ulmann photo between Kentucky natives Pat Spurlock, Cleland Thorpe and Brent Kennedy and Helen Cambell:
Kennedy never gave a straight answer to any of the questions asked him. If he would have stopped his verbalizing and done some research, he would have found out that Ulmann didn't always label her photos, and most of her photos were developed AFTER her death, literally thousands of photographs. After her death, the Doris Ulmann Foundation was formed and took over management of her vast portfolio.
“Upon Ulmann's death, a foundation she had established took custody of her images. Allen Eaton, John Jacob Niles, Olive Dame Campbell (of the Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina), Ulmann's brother-in-law Henry L. Necarsulmer, and Berea schoolteacher Helen Dingman were named trustees. Samuel H. Lifshey, a New York commercial photographer, developed the negatives Ulmann had exposed during her final trip, and then made proof prints from the vast archive of more than 10,000 glass plate negatives. (Lifshey also developed the 2,000 exposed negatives from Ulmann's last expedition, and produced the prints for Eaton's book.) The proof prints were mounted into albums, which were annotated by John Jacob Niles and Allen Eaton, chair of the foundation and another noted folklorist, to indicate names of the sitters and dates of capture. Some 3,000 prints were also produced for Berea College in Kentucky, an institution with which Ulmann had worked with in the last year of her life to document the local crafts traditions. Columbia University was able to provide storage space for the Ulmann materials until the 1950s, when the Foundation was asked to seek a permanent home for the collection. Eaton, who had formerly taught at the University of Oregon, doubtless assisted in attracting the interest of the UO's Martin Schmitt, curator of Special Collections and an early proponent for recognizing historical value within photographs. Although many institutions expressed an interest, the University of Oregon was willing to commit to preserving the collection in its entirety, and became the permanent home of the Doris Ulmann Collection. However, prior to shipping the collection the Foundation made the decision to reduce the weight of materials being shipped by selecting and destroying some 7,000 glass plate negatives. Approximately 2,500 platinum prints docurmenting Ulmann's work in her New York studio were deposited with the New-York Historical Society.
The Ulmann collection includes 2,739 silver gelatin glass plate negatives, 304 original matted prints, and 79 albums (containing over 10,000 Lifshey proof prints) assembled by the Doris Ulmann Foundation between 1934 and 1937. The silver gelatin glass plate negatives are the only known remaining Ulmann negatives. Of the 304 matted photographs, approximately half are platinum prints that were mounted and signed by Ulmann; the others are silver gelatin prints developed by Lifshey. The general breakdown by subject of the Library's glass plate negatives is: Appalachia 70-75 percent, South Carolina 10-15 percent, celebrity portraits ten percent, Landscapes and still lifes five percent. The numbering system used is that devised by the trustees, based on the order the proof prints were placed in the albums.”
An inventory of Ulmann photos at the University of Oregon Library …...
“Please be aware that the information available is limited to notes made years after the images were taken, by Ulmann's trustees, and therefore much is inaccurate. Doris Ulmann left no inventory of her images and her own descriptions exist only for the images she published in magazine articles.”
Here is another interesting find. In 1929, Ulmann published a photo named “Monday” , in the final issue of 'Pictoral Phototograpy in America' (an image of a woman at her laundry). With the stroke of a pen it's relabeled “Monday, Melungeon Woman, probably North Carolina” in 1996, in the In Focus Doris Ulmann, Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum. I don't know if 'Monday' is this woman's name or is it the day of the week the photo was taken ?
Another is a photo by Ulmann labeled “Melungeon Girl, East, North Carolina”.
Photo is in the Photograph Collection
at the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA.
These are the only 3 photos by Doris Ulmann labeled 'Melungeon', I've been able to find.. I see a pattern here, three photos, no names , no real locations and not a one taken in the historical area where the people who were called Melungin lived, that being Newman Ridge in old Hawkins Co. TN, now Hancock Co. TN or the Blackwater TN/VA border area. Who labeled these photos ? Ulmann and Niles were never in the historic Melungin area.
In April of 2012 the peer reviewed
paper “Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic
Population” is published in JOGG, the Journal of Genetic Genealogy,
written by Roberta J. Estes, Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson, and Janet
On page 89 the Ulmann photo is published again, labeled “Photo of two “unidentified Melungeon boys” taken about 1934, used with special permission from the Doris Ulmann Foundation and Berea College, Berea, KY. Young men identified as the descendants of Thomas Gibson (row 38 in Patriarch's Table) by Johnnie Rhea, 2011.
In May 2012 “Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population” hits the news via the AP wire service, the story goes viral and appears in newspapers worldwide, and on numerous Internet News sites. Ulmann's photo is shown world wide. The “Two Melungeon Boys” becomes the poster boys of what a Melungin might look like. Unlike the courtesy the paper made by stating the boys were 'unidentified'
Please note there is no proof whatsoever that the people who were called 'Melungins' by their neighbors ever self identified as such.
So who are these two boys ? I surely still don't know. Why was the original focus on the State of Kentucky? The colloquial term 'Melungeon' was not used in Kentucky.
only document where I've seen it used in Kentucky is in Harry M. Caudill's Book
“The Mountain the Miner and the Lord”, on page 93, where a Betty
Sexton Fields is mentioned as being in Letcher Co. KY. Mr. Caudill
states; “They left the old settlements too late in the year and
passed through Pound Gap in the Pine Mountain”.
states “They are found in many parts of the Appalachians and are
called by many names. In some places they are known as “Guians,”
in others as “Red Bones,” “Ramps,” “Wooly-boogers,” and
“Portagees.” Caudill understood that these mixed bloods were
called different names in different areas.
My research shows there was a migration from the Newman Ridge area into Kentucky in the early 1800's to old Floyd Co. and Clay Co. Other counties were formed from these counties as time went on such as Morgan Co., Johnson Co. , Pike Co,. Perry Co., Magoffin Co., Letcher Co., Lawrence Co., where descendents of these early migrants are later on US Census records.
With the exception of Letcher Co., there in no evidence of Doris Ulmann being in or taking photographs in any of these Counties.
men identified as the descendants of Thomas Gibson (row 38 in
Patriarch's Table) by Johnnie Rhea, 2011.” This is the very first
mention I've found to identify these boys, but 'where's the beef ',
no names were given. I am so ever thankful to the authors of this
paper, to at least give researchers something to look at.
Thomas Gibson was the father of Bryson Gibson (b. abt.1782
d. 1867 in Morgan Co., KY). Were these boys descendents of Bryson Gibson ?
“If Vardy Collins and Buck Gibson were the 'head and source' of the Melungeons then Valentine Collins and Bryson Gibson are likely the 'head and source of the Carmel Indians or as they were called in Kentucky, 'The Brown People of Magoffin County. '
Gibson and Valentine Collins both have the same Y-DNA Haplogroup,
Collins (my 4th Great Grandfather) also lived and died in Morgan Co., KY. Below is a photograph of two of his descendents (my Uncles William 'Cline' Collins and Tinbrook Collins Jr.) taken about the same time as the two Melungeon Boys photo (early 1930's), at Bear Holler in Lewis Co., KY.
So are the two Melungeon Boys in fact descendents of Old Thomas Gibson ? With more research we are sure to find out. I'm hoping a descendent will read this essay and identify who they are, by name.
my efforts reach that goal.
1882: Doris Ulmann is born May 29, 1882, on New York City’s Upper East Side.
1928: Doris Ulmann and John Jacob Niles take their first of at least seven summer road trips to the South. On this one they visit, Louisa (Lawrence Co), Hazard (Perry Co), and Whitesburg (Letcher Co) , KY. They also visit the Hindman Settlement School in Knott Co, KY.
1929: In the fall of 1929 Ulmann is in North Carolina photographing 'vanishing types'. Ulmann visits Pembroke and Elrod , Roberson Co. NC to photograph 'Robeson Indians', at the time known as 'Cherokee Indians of Robeson County ', that name was changed in 1953 to 'Lumbee Indians'.
The photograph 'Monday' is published in
the 1929 issue of 'Pictorial Photography in America'.
1930: Doris Ulmann takes a photograph titled “Melungeon Girl, East, North Carolina”.
Photo is in the Photograph Collection
at the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA.
1931: Probably travels to South Carolina to work with Julia Peterkin on their book 'Roll, Jordan, Roll', which was published in 1934. Ulmann and Niles visit New Orleans, LA, and Mobile Al.
1932: Ulmann and Niles travel to Whitesburg (Letcher Co.), Hazard (Perry Co.), Cumberland (Harlan Co.), and Kingdom Come (Letcher Co.) KY, to work on a project to take photographs for Allen H. Eaton's “Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands” that was published in 1937.
1933:Ulmann and Niles travel to Hazard (Perry Co.), Quicksand (Breathitt Co.), and Berea (Madison Co.), KY. In Tennessee they travel to Gatlinburg (Sevier Co.) and Norris (Anderson Co.), in North Carolina ,Murphy (Cherokee Co.), Brasstown (Cherokee and Clay Co.'s), in Virginia, Richmond.
1934: On a trip lasting from April to August, Ulmann and Niles work in Berea, Harlan, Lexington and Pine Mountain KY, Brasstown, NC and Gatlinburg, TN.
Doris Ulmann fell ill while working in the North Carolina mountains during the summer of 1934 and died shortly after her return to New York City on August 28.
1971: “Appalachian Photographs of Doris Ulmann” is published by the Jargon Society of Highlands, NC. Plate 40: “Two Melungeon Boys”
1996: In Focus Doris Ulmann, Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum is published by the
J. Paul Getty Museum. On page 48 there is a photograph titled: “Monday, Melungeon Woman, Probably North Carolina” Before 1929. This photo was first published in the 1929 issue of 'Pictorial Photography in America'
1997: KET (Kentucky Educational Television) Airs 'In Search of Origins, Melungeons' produced by
Ernie Lee Martin. 'Melungeon Boys' photograph is shown.
1997: Manuel Mira publishes a book “The Forgotten Portuguese, The Melungeons and Other Groups, The Portuguese Making of America” , Doris Ulmann's 'Melungeon Boys' photograph is on the front cover dust jacket. Mira states on the inside of the front dust jacket “a photo of Melungeon man and boy(courtesy of Berea College and the Doris Ulmann Foundation). On page 230, same photo as on cover , states photo was taken by Ulmann in the”1920's”. Page 232 photo of the older boy Mira calls “Melungeon young man” “ca.1930”
1998: KET (Kentucky Educational
Television) publishes a VHS Video “Melungeons : people of the
legend” , produced by Ernie Lee Martin
2003: January, Native Kentuckians Cleland Thorpe and Author Pat Spurlock have a discussion with Brent Kennedy about Doris Ulmann's 'Melungeon Boys' photograph, on the Rootsweb Melungeon List.
2005: Ulmann's photograph of “Two Melungeon Boys” appears on page 38 of a dissertation by Katherine G. Vande Brake , named “Through The Back Door: Melungeon Literacies and 21st Century Technologies”. Photo is
photo called “Melungeon Boys” was taken by Doris Ulmann; it shows the striking appearance of some who bore the “Melungeon”
Ms. Vande Brake writes “Doris
Ulmann’s photo, “Melungeon Boys,” taken in Kentucky in the
1930s is an unforgettable image. The boys’ dark skin and fine
features mark them as different from other mountaineer”
2011: Kentucky Explorer March Issue, Volume 25 No. 9, Page 32 “Doris Ulmann Captured The Rich Culture of Appalachia” . Photograph “Two unidentified Melungeon boys” is shown.
2012: Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population , by Roberta
J. Estes, Jack H. Goins, Penny Ferguson, Janet Lewis Crain, is
published. On Page 94, “Photo of two “unidentified Melungeon boys”
“Photo of two “unidentified Melungeon boys” taken about 1934, used with special permission from the Doris Ulmann Foundation and Berea College, Berea, KY. Young men identified as the descendants of Thomas Gibson (row 38 in Patriarch's Table) by Johnnie Rhea, 2011”