On the Internet you are likely to encounter sites suggesting that Melungeon people or their descendants are prone to several serious diseases. These claims should be taken with a large grain of salt. There is no proof of this theory other than anecdotal recounting of personal experiences. In other words, NO PROOF!!!!
This has led to a completely false characterizations of Melungeons as sickly and frail in fiction and even in non-fiction books.
On the contrary these people lived the harsh life of pioneers and still lived to advanced ages. There is no proof that Melungeons even have Mediterranean ancestry, so it seems foolish to include them as subject to acquiring any of these Mediterranean diseases. Could a person of Melungeon descent acquire one of these diseases? Of course, but it would not have anything to do with their Melungeon ancestry.
One contributing factor to this theory is the myth of Drake's Turks which has now been exposed as a vast exaggeration. No large group has been proven to have been dropped off on Roanoke or anywhere else on the Eastern Seaboard. Conditions existing there at the time render the survival chances of any such people nil.
NONE OF THESE DISEASES ARE MELUNGEON:
- Behçet's SYNDROME
- FAMILIAL MEDITERRANEAN FEVER
The Melungeon Historical Society, MHS does not endorse the theory of Melungeon people being any more prone to any diseases than the general populations.
This article is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis. Consult
a medical health professional if you think you might be suffering from a
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