Friday, February 29, 2008

Geographical Location Of The Melungeons

by Joanne Pezullo

Beginning in 1849 and to this very day the researchers have headed to Newman's Ridge to find the Melungeons.


You must know that within ten miles of this owl's nest, there is a watering-place, known hereabouts as 'black-water Springs.' It is situated in a narrow gorge, scarcely half a mile wide, between Powell's Mountain and the Copper Ridge, and is, as you may suppose, almost inaccessible. A hundred men could defend the pass against even a Xerxian army. Now this gorge and the tops and sides of the adjoining mountains are inhabited by a singular species of the human animal called MELUNGENS.


It appears that the Melungeons originally came into east Tennessee from North Carolina, and the larger number settled in what was at that time Hawkins County, but which is now Hancock. I have not been able to hear of them in any of the lower counties of east Tennessee, and those I have seen myself were in Cocke county, bordering on North Carolina.


The Ridge proper is the home of the Melungeons. These people, of whom so little is known, inhabit an isolated corner of the earth, known as Newman’s ridge, in Hancock county. First, I saw in an old newspaper some slight mention of them. With this tiny clue I followed their trail for three years. The paper merely stated that “somewhere in the mountains of Tennessee there existed a remnant of people called Malungeons,......I merely mention all this to show how the Malungeons of today are regarded, and to show how I tracked them to Newman’s Ridge in Hancock County.....


The Blackwater Valley lies between Mulberry and Newman’s Ridges, and is from half a mile to mile wide. Twenty years ago it was still a wilderness, but is now under good cultivation, and divided into small farms upon which are rather poor dwellings and outbuildings. In this valley and along Newman’s Ridge, reaching into Lee County, Virginia, are settled the people called Melungeons. Some have gone into Kentucky, chiefly into Pike County, others are scattered in adjacent territory.

OTIS 1900

These people are called the Malungeons. ................ ......The Malungeons number between 400 and 500. They live on Black Water Creek, in Hancock County, which section they have inhabited for more than 100 years. ................ The records of Hancock County show that the Malungeon ancestors came to Powell's Valley as early as 1789, when they took up lands on the Black Water.


Greasy Rock Creek, a name by which it has ever since been known and called since, and here is the very place where these Melungeons settled, long after this, on Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater. ............these friendly “Indians” live in the mountains of Stony creek, but they have married among the whites until the race has almost become extinct. A few of the half bloods may be found-none darker- but they still retain the name of Collins and Gibson, &c. From here they came to Newman’s Ridge and Blackwater and many of them are here yet....


The northern end is drained by Blackwater Creek, which winds its way leisurely northeastward through narrow strips of verdant meadow land. Here, along the banks of this sparkling stream and on the top and eastern slope of Newman's Ridge, is the home of the Melungeons.


Occasionally the student of ethnology may stumble upon a community that is a puzzle, as, for example, that one occupied by the 'Malungeons' of upper East Tennessee.


So far as is known they were first found in Hancock County on Newman's Ridge, soon after the Revolutionary War. Now they are settled in several counties, although still most numerous in Hancock County.

PLECKER 1942-1930

We have in some of the counties of southwestern Virginia a number of so-called Melungeons who came into that section from Newmans Ridge, Hancock County, Tennessee..............

August 5, 1930
Mr. J.P. Kelly.Trustee of Schools,
Gap,Lee County, Virginia

Dear Sir: office has had a great deal of trouble in reference to the persistence of a group of people living in that section known as "Melungeons", whose families came from Newman's Ridge, Tennessee.


It seems the Melungeons came into Hancock County between 1810 and 1851.


From what I gathered from Uncle Wash, the Melungeons started coming to Wise and Scott Counties about 1820. These people came in about equal numbers from Kentucky from Newmans’ Ridge and lower end of Lee County. A few came from North Carolina.


Whatever they are—the Malungeons still are on Newman’s Ridge, in Hancock, Rhea and Hawkins counties of Tennessee, and a few across the border in Virginia. Many are scattered by ones or twos miles from the isolated ridge top they occupied for so long.


The persistent folk tale, however, insists that the Melungeons are unusual racially; it identifies them as a dark-skinned people whose center is on Newman's Ridge in Hancock County. The Newman's Ridge-Blackwater area seems to be the locality where they have the deepest roots.


colony of folks in this end of Tennessee settled along Newman's Ridge, and on Mulberry Creek in what is now Hancock County, and a few miles out from Sneedville.

DAVIS 1963

Trapped in poverty, snubbed by their fair-skinned neighbors, some of them withdrew to the poor land along Snake Hollow, deep in the rattlesnake-infested gorge in the shadow of towering Newman’s Ridge. Some of them settled along the northern end of the valley, at the Virginia line, where Blackwater Creek flows, and some settled on the Ridge.

BERRY 1963

For a century and a half, the prolific Melungeons have migrated in all directions from Newman's Ridge. .... There are fifteen hundred in Lee County, Virginia....Five hundred are in Scott Count, Virginia........A thousand are found in Wise County, where they are known as "Ramps."


The only true Melungeons left, however, reside in the nearby mountainside areas known as Snake Hollow and Mulberry Gap.


they occupied Newman's Ridge---rough and steep in places, but offering some table land and numerous hollows. Here they located near springs or creeks.

S. PRICE 1968

But whatever their origin, the group eventually settled in Hancock County, along Newman's Ridge and in settlements known as Blackwater, Snake Hollow and Vardy.


Newman’s Ridge overlooks Sneedville, a poor community of about 700 persons near the Virginia border. In the early 19th century nearly 350 Melungeons settled on the ridge, coming down into the valley only on rare occasions to forage for wild vegetables and sell moonshine whiskey. They lived apart from the whites for generations. The ridge was a hilltop sanctuary against the outside world and its prejudice.

FETTERMAN (Price) 1970

They bore the Melungeon names which appear on Newman's Ridge: Collins, Mullins, Brogan, Goins, Gibson, Bowlin. They were free of the restrictive legislation aimed at slaves and former slaves during the 1700s and 1800s.


Those left in Snake Hollow, Blackwater, Vardy and Mulberry - are few in number, Most have left the hills for jobs in cities far and near. And time is catching up with those remaining. In 1931 there were 40 Melungeon families living on Newman's Ridge above their ancestral home.

LYNCH 1973

And the white man forced them high into the Clinch Mountains, principally Newman's Ridge just outside present day Sneedville, Hancock County, Tennessee.

BIBLE 1975

In East Tennessee, they have spilled over into the neighboring counties in an extension of the Hancock County families...... ......... "Melungeon surnames were noted in southwestern Virginia as early as 1820, but the families were not classified until 1870, when the census enumerators in Lee County listed the county and state of birth of each person. Of forty-six families whos names suggest they were Melungeons, thirty had one or more members who had BEEN BORN IN HANCOCK or HAWKINS County. Eight had members born in Scott County, and at least one of these also had been born in HANCOCK COUNTY. One person was born in Letcher County, Kentucky of parents born in HANCOCK and Scott Counties. The adults of a Goins family (one of the few listed as mulatto) were born in Surry and Ashe Counties, North Carolina; their children were born in Knox, HANCOCK and Grainger Counties, Tennessee. This is the best direct evidence available to confirm the relationship between several different groups of Melungeons and the importance of NEWMAN'S RIDGE as a CENTER OF THEIR DISPERSAL, but it is evident that the secondary Melungeon localities were also fed from North Carolina and Virginia


Most of the mountain people refer to them as Blackwaters and Ridgemanites.” But even in that long gorge, winding some 20 miles in a half-mile-wide band between Newman’s Ridge and Powell Mountain there are few “pure Melungeons” left today.


The only people who were called Melungeon 100 years ago were those who lived in or near Hancock County, Tennessee--including Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties in southwest Virginia.

Historical Melungeons

Monday, February 25, 2008

Melungeon DNA Project

Melungeon DNA Project

Project Information and Goal

Amateur and professional genealogists and historians have been researching records, newspapers articles, Bibles, church records and more, plus listening to family stories for years to try and document the Melungeon people.

The Melungeon Project is a study of males and females who have proven known Melungeon ancestors, according to old records, and agreed on by some of the top serious Melungeon researchers. The participants must descend in a genealogical useful line; i.e., father to son to son, etc. for the Y chromosome testing and Mother to daughter to daughter, etc. for the mtDNA testing. The DNA results, combined with extensive genealogy research, hopefully will open some new windows for research on the Melungeon people.

DNA information is to be used in conjunction with historical and traditional research. DNA results do not often “prove” a relationship, but can be quite helpful in guiding research. If a profile does not match, obviously a hypothesized relationship may be incorrect. At other times it may point to an unknown adoption in the family, or some other so-called non-paternity event.
Everyone joining must present genealogy in a reasonable time. There will be two groups Group 1: Core Melungeon Group 2: Melungeon related.

Core Melungeon:

Bunch, Goins, Gibson, Minor, Collins, Williams, Goodman, Denham, Bolin, Mullins, Moore, Shumake, Boltons, Perkins, Mornings, Menleys, Breedlove, Hopkins, Mallett, with various spellings of these names.

More names may be added as this is an ongoing research project and these names will be in Group 1. If these names are in your family but are not in a direct line that follows Y DNA or mtDNA testing you will be in Group 2.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Foreign Lobby Interests Using Private Citizens for their own Agenda

July 20, 2007

Advocacy groups have asked Americans to tell their congressmen plenty of things. "I’m opposed to recognizing the Armenian Genocide" may be one of the strangest.

In a video posted on the Capitol Broadcasting Service Earlier this week, Former Rep. Bob Livingston (R, Louisiana) makes an 8-minute plea for Americans to urge their legislators not to make a colossal mistake: endorsing the bill that would officially acknowledge that Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

The issue has been controversial in Washington for years. While the "supposed-genocide" is routinely denied by Turkish government officials – whom Livingston has represented for more than seven years – most credible historians have gone out on a limb and described the genocide as fact. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"In what would later be known as the first genocide of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were driven from their homes, massacred, or marched until they died."
Not all of Livingston's address is devoted to casting doubt on the genocide’s occurrence -- he also argues that the symbolic resolution could have tangible consequences. Given that Turkey is an ally in a very unsteady part of the world -- and that the nation currently has troops massed on the border of Iraqi Kurdistan -- Livingston's case against unnecessarily angering them highlights valid strategic concerns.

But some of the statements the former congressman makes veer into ideological territory.
"Nobody really knows, in this day and age, unless you're a historian, what really happened 90 to a hundred years ago," Livingston, whose family roots in America date back to the 17th century, declares.

And while he attributes the argument to “The Turks and many historians,” Livingston comes awfully close to suggesting that any possible killing of Armenians would have been committed in self defense: "It was simply a lot of Turkish people getting fed up with their people getting killed and massacred," he states.There’s also a linguistic case to be made against the genocide, Livingston observes: It couldn’t have happened, he said, because the word “genocide” didn’t exist yet. The term, he correctly notes, "was coined in 1947, long after the instance of 1915 and so forth."

A rose by any other name, indeed.The video has already prompted a response by The Armenian National Committee of America, which can be seen here.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Research Notebooks pt. 2

Arlene Eakle’s Virginia Genealogy Research Notebooks pt. 2:

Now you can get extra help with your Virginia genealogy research using these aids collected by and used daily by Dr. Arlene H. Eakle. Maps, little-known name lists, migration patterns, record checklists, jurisdiction facts, source collections, surname lists by locality–aids that will shorten your prep time and ensure that you find your hard-to-find ancestors.


V: Map: Land Claimed by the Indiana Company. Land Speculations–Assets for Quick Return. Indiana Company Accounts. A Select Guide to the Manuscript Court Records of Colonial Virginia. Court Chart for Virginia. Maps: Virginia in Context, Virginia Migration from Tidewater Settlements, Gloucester County Churches, Mitchell’s Map of North America 1775: Virginia Section. Soldiers at the Battle of Point Pleasant. West Augusta: Research in Virginia’s District of West Augusta. Original Map of District of West Augusta, West Augusta and Ohio Valley Surnames–An Alphabetical List. Maps: French Occupation of Ohio Valley, Western Land Cessions 1780-1802, Western Parts of Colony of Virginia. Muster Rolls–Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio 1777-1778.

VI: The One Hundred Wealthiest Men in Virginia. The First Residents of Jamestown. The History of Virginia from Its First Settlement to the Present Day. Map: Virginia. Names of the Adventurers for Virginia As They Were in the Year 1620. Virginia Genealogy Resources: The Antient Press, Jeannette H. Austin, Marian Dodson Chiarito, Genealogical Books in Print, Amelia C. Gilreath, Iberian Publishing Company, Peggy S. Joyner, Mrs. John C. Mullins, Rocky Ridge Press, Shenandoah History, T. L.C. Genealogy.

VII: Virginia Colonial Censuses. Virginia Censuses and Indexes. Virginia Census Information by County. Virginia Churches. Ages of Lower Norfolk County People. Potomack Company: Workmen at the Great Falls, 1786-87. Virginia Sources. Early War Records. Virginia Military District Records. Southside Virginia Publications. Genealogical Research in Virginia: A Migrational Approach.

VIII: Map: Historic Virginia: Counties, County seats, Cities. Historic Virginia: “The Mother State of the Nation:” General Description of Virginia, Names–County situated and Population of 217 Virginia Towns and Cities. Records Lost in Virginia Counties, Benjamin R. McBride. Separate Jurisdictions. County Tax Lists: Personal Tax List: Fayette County (now part of Kentucky), 1787, Land Tax List of Charles City County, 1787, Land Tax List of Campbell County, 1782, Land Tax List of Westmoreland County, 1782, Land Tax List of King and Queen County, 1787, Land Tax List of King George County, 1782, Personal Tax List: Fayette County, 1788. List of the Original Members of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia. Virginia Stations: Place Description, Date. Map: The Colonial Churches of Spotsylvania and Caroline Counties, George Carrington Mason. Virginia Censuses and Indexes.

IX: New Sources for Virginia Research: Online Virginia Resources, New Resources for Virginia Research. Map: Enrico County Virginia. Heads of Families–Virginia Tax Rolls Used as Substitute Census, 1790. Personal Property Taxes on Microfilm, Library of Virginia. Land Taxes on Microfilm, Library of Virginia. Virginia County Marriage Records. Map: A New and Accurate Map of Virginia and Maryland From Surveys, Eman Bowen. Virginia Land Records in Kentucky and Ohio: Richard Clough Anderson Collection. How to Find Your Property on the Ground. References Bibliography. Pioneer Possessions: A Study of Wills and Appraisals of Southwest Virginia, 1745-86: A Review. Virginia County Records. Why Genealogies are Important. Why County and Local Histories are Important. Using the Virginia Historical Index. Computer News from Virginia. Burned Counties, Lost Records, and Substitute Evidence. Newly Discovered Records for Virginia. Abridgment of all the Public Acts of Assembly of Virginia, 1759–Counties, County Courts, Ferries, Parishes, Inspectors’ Notes: Tobacco Warehouses, Papists, Soldiers. Map: Colonial Gloucester. VIRGINIA: Contents. Virginia Genealogy: Sources and Resources.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Arlene Eakle's Virginia Genealogy Research Notebooks

Arlene Eakle’s Virginia Genealogy Research Notebooks

Arlene Eakle’s Virginia Genealogy Research Notebooks: Now you can get extra help with your Virginia genealogy research using these aids collected by and used daily by Dr. Arlene H. Eakle. Maps, little-known name lists, migration patterns, record checklists, jurisdiction facts, source collections, surname lists by locality–aids that will shorten your prep time and ensure that you find your hard-to-find ancestors.


I: Maps by John R. Hildebrand: Benjamin Borden Grant, Conveyances in Borden Grant, 1741-80, Meeting Houses in Beverly Manor and Borden Grant, Beverly Manor. Map Portfolio, 1853: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee. Pilgrimage for Mothers and Widows, 1917. Virginia Women, West Virginia Women. Records Lost in Virginia Counties. Guide to Counties of Virginia. County Records in Virginia State Library. Notes on the State of Virginia Population. Newspapers, West Virginia, 1858.

II: Virginia Migrations–into Woodford County KY, into Rowan County NC, Scots-Irish, from New York. Boundaries–Lost State of Franklin, Fincastle County. Settlements–Treaty Line of 1763. Proposed Franklin. Land Companies: West Augusta, Loyal Land Company, Greenbrier Company, Ohio Company of Virginia, Transylvania, Kentucky, Vandalia, Westsylvania, Indiana. Votes on Federal Constitution, 1787-1789. Map Portfolio: Virginia Military District, Ohio, Virginia/Maryland 1831, Counties in 1775, Highways into New Lands. Justices of the Peace, 1757-1775. Virginia Parish Registers, Publications List of Virginia State Library. Births and Deaths 1712. Early Virginia Families–by Region. First Settlers at Jamestown. 100 Wealthiest Planters.

III: First Meeting: Society of the Cincinnati in the Commonwealth of Virginia, List of Members. Virginia Soldiers in the U.S. Army 1800-15. Map: Virginia and Maryland. In the Beginning, All Was Virginia. Iberian Publishing Company: Virginia Marriages. Map: Indian Localities. Earliest English Names. Charter: 23 May 1609, List of Subscribers. Population in Virginia–Number of Tithables. Map: Route of George Rogers Clark. Map: Historical Diagram of Virginia. Tories and Soldiers in Virginia. Cursory Analysis of Adventurers of Purse and Person. Map: Tidewater America. Engagement of Northampton–A List. A List of the Fleet from Virginia 9 June 1700.

IV: Virginia Names. Established Churches in the Colonies 1775. Estimated Religious Census 1775. Map: Church on the Eastern Shore. Map: James City Virginia. The Meeting of the Merchants 1770. List of the House of Burgesses 1723. The Association in Williamsburgh 1770. Williamsburgh Signatories. Map: Indian Demarcation Line 1763. Virginia Colonial Abstracts. Maps of Virginia Territory in Ohio: Highland County, Ross County. Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations. Draper Manuscripts. Lists of the Living and the Dead in Virginia 1623. Some Grants of the Virginia Company. Virginia Cavalcade.

V: Map: Land Claimed by the Indiana Company. Land Speculations–Assets for Quick Return. Indiana Company Accounts. A Select Guide to the Manuscript Court Records of Colonial Virginia. Court Chart for Virginia. Maps: Virginia in Context, Virginia Migration from Tidewater Settlements, Gloucester County Churches, Mitchell’s Map of North America 1775: Virginia Section. Soldiers at the Battle of Point Pleasant. West Augusta: Research in Virginia’s District of West Augusta. Original Map of District of West Augusta, West Augusta and Ohio Valley Surnames–An Alphabetical List. Maps: French Occupation of Ohio Valley, Western Land Cessions 1780-1802, Western Parts of Colony of Virginia. Muster Rolls–Frontier Defense on the Upper Ohio 1777-1778.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


by Jack Goins

The purpose of this article is to reveal the factual history of the Melungeons using the same records early historians used to locate and Identify the Melungeons. These records establish the beginning of the only settlement of people who were known and called Melungeons 1800-1900. They were identified in court, newspapers and census records as free persons of color and it was common knowledge who some of them were and where they lived. The records included in this article are the only reason we are discussing Melungeons today, because if not for these records in Tennessee no one would have known the Melungeons ever existed. Military, land, tax and court records established the fact that the Melungeons came with and were part of the original pioneer settlers as they moved west. No records have been found calling them Melungeons in all the other places they lived prior to settling on Newman Ridge and Blackwater areas of East Tennessee and adjoining Lee County, Virginia. This gives credence to the old witnesses who said they were given this name by their white neighbors who lived here among them.

Hopefully all who are interested in the Melungeons will read this and begin their own research. Researching Melungeons from a historical and genealogical standpoint is identical to researching any other family. If you have a Melungeon ancestor, he or she will eventually show up. Also, you do not need to be a Melungeon descendant to research Melungeons. Some of the early authors of Melungeon books and magazines were non Melungeon descendants, such as William Warden, Henry Price, Bonnie Ball, and Jean Patterson Bible, just to name a few. Other researchers who are not Melungeon descendants believe they share Melungeon ethnicity and culture.

The Gowen Research Foundation formed the first organized Melungeon Research team in 1990, headed by Evelyn McKinley Orr. As a member of this team we examined old and new theories on the Melungeons. Ruth Johnson’s article in Vol 2, 1990 Gowen Newsletter “Proud to be a Melungeon” detailed where the historical Melungeons were located. Evelyn Orr’s Article July 1994 on her distant grandfather seemed to be the spark that ignited the Turkey theory “Was David Goings A Turkish Melungeon?” “Research Find Offers Portuguese Angolans as Melungeon link” was written by the editor Arlee Gowen in the Jan 1999. Almost all the old theories were examined and discussed by this research team. A valuable collection of family history and genealogy was gathered during this time, but no mystery concerning the Melungeons was solved. This little bit of history is to show the part this organization played in Melungeon research and reunions held by the Gowen foundation.

The Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter May 1997 in an article written by Dr. Charles K. Stallard, announced that Melungeon researchers convened to form the first family meeting, “but referred to as First Union. “ The event will be held in the heart of Melungeon country in the town of Wise, Virginia on July 25, 26 and 27” This was the beginning of the Melungeon Heritage Association at Wise.

Surfing the Internet for the last few months and visiting Melungeon web sites, Rootsweb message boards etc., and reading the various definitions on the Melungeons, I am convinced that the Melungeons historical identity has been distorted. Researchers who insist upon historical documentation to identify the Melungeons are accused of using propaganda to promote their definition of who the Melungeons were. I'm sure you have seen the following quote on various websites."

“One can always define the word Melungeon to mean only the residents of one particular ridge -- this is common propaganda technique known as "victory by definition"

Notice that the person and or persons who make these statements always use the word Melungeon. Where did they get this word? Was it not the same word originally given to those residents of that one particular ridge mentioned? This statement is pure propaganda used to support their version of who the Melungeons were. My challenge to such statements is to ask the proponents of this new Melungeon definition to present a written document that predates the old ones named in this study. Which begs this question, who was the old historians and authors who visited and wrote about these recently created “Melungeons”? Comparable documents to the ones I will use in this study should be presented, if they exist.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hidden treasures discovered in search of Hawkins records

Published 05/06/2006 By JEFF BOBO

Hawkins County Archivist Jack Goins and volunteers with the Hawkins County Records Commission are in the process of sorting tons of historic documents that have been stored in the basement of the 170-year old Hawkins County Courthouse. David Grace photo.
ROGERSVILLE - It's always been assumed that historical documents dating back to the 1700s that were stored in the basement of the 170-year-old Hawkins County Courthouse had been picked through by treasure hunters looking for signatures of presidents and other valuable records.

If there were treasure hunters pilfering the courthouse basement in the past, they missed a few hidden treasures, which volunteers with the Hawkins County Records Commission have uncovered during its first year and a half of existence.

The Records Commission is in the process of preserving, copying, indexing and storing tons of documents dating from 1790 to 1930.

Probably the most valuable treasure discovered thus far is a land grant in Hawkins County for a man named Thomas Rogers which was signed by President James Monroe in 1820.

Hawkins County Archivist Jack Goins, who is overseeing the Records Commission's document preservation effort, said he's found similar James Monroe documents for sale on eBay. Such a document has been selling for prices beginning at $1,500.

This document won't be going up for sale on eBay, Goins added. It has been framed and is hanging on the wall in the Records Commission office in Rogersville.

Also hanging on the wall at the Records Commission are two other Hawkins County land grants for a man named Samuel Riggs which were signed in 1857 by then Tennessee governor and future President Andrew Johnson.

Another interesting land grant found among the courthouse documents was signed around 1820 by former Tennessee governor and Rogersville resident Joseph McMinn, who served in office from 1815-1821.

All four grants came to be stored in the courthouse basement because they were later used as evidence in court cases.

Much of the other historical finds would probably only be of interest to county or regional history buffs. For example, there were photos of Main Street Rogersville taken in 1922 discovered among evidence that was used when Rogersville sued the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Co. for damages caused to the street when telephone poles were installed.

Full Article Here:

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Affrimation of the Armenian Genocide

"I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915."Henry Morgenthau, Sr., U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire

April 24, 1915

April 24 symbolizes the beginning of an organized campaign by the Young Turk government to eliminate the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire became the target of heightened persecution by the Ottoman Turks. These persecutions culminated in a three decade period during which the Armenians were systematically uprooted from their homeland of 3,000 years and eliminated through massacres or deportation. Sultan Abdul Hamid's brutal reign ended in 1908 when a coalition known as the Young Turks came to power and established a new constitution. Initially there was tremendous support for the new rulers who promised many reforms and appeared to favor fraternity among the various nationalities within the empire. However, by 1914, the triumvirate of Young Turk dictators, Talat, Enver and Jemal Pashas, had adopted pan-Turkism as a nationalist ideology and set out to Turkify the country's minorities, beginning with the Armenians. Before World War I, they had already declared that the war would create an opportune time to pursue a final solution to the Armenian Question. These premeditated, well-planned decisions were put in effect and deportations and exterminations started under the Ottoman Government's order and supervision.

Full Article


Key Clinton Backer Guilty in Sibel Edmonds Case

The Melungeon Community does not at present endorse any candidates for election. This article is being published here in the interest of public awareness of foreign interests meddling in our citizen's affairs. And the gullibility of some citizens to allow this. We appose the ATAA. We recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Key Clinton Backer Guilty in Sibel Edmonds Case

Posted by lukery in General Discussion
Wed Feb 13th 2008, 08:15 AM

The UK's Times has already run three bombshell articles on the nuclear black market element in the case of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds this year, and we are expecting more fallout in the near future as new evidence and witnesses come forward.In the meantime, another important angle to Edmonds' case has opened up. Earlier this week, the New York Post ran a Page 6 piece, ODD FILM BY HILLARY BACKER, which highlights the close relationship between Hillary Clinton and Chicago-based Turkish businessman Mehmet Celebi. Celebi, "one of the national leaders of the Turkish-American community in the US," is a key fundraiser for Clinton, and is one of Clinton's Chicago delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Celebi was also heavily involved in the controversial 2006 movie "Valley of the Wolves: Iraq" which has been widely regarded as "anti-Semitic, anti-American, conspiratorial agitprop."Mehmet Celebi is also a key figure in the Sibel Edmonds case - he is heavily involved in the narcotics trade in the US and the corruption and bribery of high-level US officials.According to Celebi's bio:

He has been serving as the President of the Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) since 2000, and as Member of the Board/Vice-President of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), a Washington, D.C. based umbrella organization representing 57 organizations.The Chicago-based Turkish-American Cultural Alliance (TACA) and the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA) both figure prominently in Sibel Edmonds' case. Both are reported to be front groups for criminal activity involving illegal weapons sales, narcotics trafficking, and the bribery and corruption of high level US officials.Mehmet Celebi first came to my attention in my first interview with Sibel in January 2006. My notes from that interview read:

"Sibel mentioned the mafia nature of the Turkish business establishment - in particular she mentioned Celebi as one of the key players - apparently they are involved in an arms trading cartel, and they ship narcotics in the cargo of their planes as they zoom around.One of the Celebi family members (Mehmet Celebi) is chairman of the Turkish American Cultural Association (TACA) in Illinois. (Sibel has often pointed to both Chicago, and also to 'cultural exchanges')."TACA and the ATAA were both targets of an FBI counter-intelligence operation investigating the corruption and bribery of high-level US officials from 1997 onward, including the period when Celebi had high level positions at these organizations.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Did Speaker Hastert Accept Turkish Bribes to Deny Armenian Genocide and Approve Weapons Sales?

August 10, 2005

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds is accusing the FBI of covering up improper contacts and financial dealings between certain Turkish nationals and the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert. We speak with Sibel Edmonds and Vanity Fair journalist David Rose.

Former FBI translator turned whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds is now appealing her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. In March 2002, she was fired and she has been fighting now for nearly 3 years to blow the whistle on US government failures prior to 9-11. She has faced fierce opposition from the Bush administration, the FBI and some in Congress. This week, she grabbed headlines again after Vanity Fair published a major story about her. What is making news from that piece are allegations surrounding Illinois congressman and Republican Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

Vanity Fair alleges that Hastert may have been the recipient of tens of thousands of dollars of secret payments from Turkish officials in exchange for political favors and information. In the article, titled “An Inconvenient Patriot,” Edmonds says that she gave confidential testimony about the payments to congressional staffers, the Inspector General and members of the 9/11 Commission. Edmonds says that she heard of the payments while listening to FBI wiretaps of Turkish officials who were under surveillance by the FBI.

Sibel Edmonds speaks Farsi, Turkish and Azerbaijani. She was hired after September eleventh by the FBI to translate pre-9-11 intelligence gathered by the agency. She has publicly accused the U.S of having considerable evidence that Al Qaeda was planning to strike the United States using airplanes as weapons.

Democracy Now contacted Congressman Hastert’s office and the Turkish Embassy for comment. They did not return our phone calls.

  • Sibel Edmonds, former FBI translator who was hired shortly after Sept. 11 to translate intelligence gathered over the previous related to the 9/11 attacks. She speaks fluent Farsi, Turkish and Azerbaijani.
  • David Rose, investigative journalist and author of “An Inconvenient Patriot” published in the September issue of Vanity Fair magazine.

  • Continued Here:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Free

by Khatchig Mouradian

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

George Orwell

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Martin Luther King, JR.

If you want proof that telling what one is convinced is the truth can cost one his/her job in the US State Department, then a public reference to events that happened 91 years ago is as good as any. The latter, it appears, has sealed the fate of John Evans, the (soon-to-be former) U.S. ambassador to Armenia. A career diplomat, Evans had taken up that post, his first ambassadorial appointment, in August 2004. A few months later, during a tour which took him to some of the most vibrant Armenian-American communities throughout the United States, he uttered the following words at a public gathering hosted by the Armenian Studies Program at University of California, Berkeley: “I will today call it the Armenian genocide.” He was describing the deportation and mass annihilation of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire. An estimated one million and a half Armenians fell victim to this state-sponsored decimation, which is now recognized as genocide by most Holocaust and genocide scholars,[1] many parliaments around the world, and even 39 of the 50 states in America.

The Melungeon People condemn the Armenian Genocide.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dennis Maggard's Resignation from MHA Letter

I want it on the public record and in the archives of this list that I have severed my ties with the MHA. My letter to the MHA president, SJ Arthur, is appended below.


Feb. 4, 2008

Ms. SJ Arthur, President

The Melungeon Heritage Association

Wise, Virginia

Re: My Status as an MHA Consultant

Dear Ms. Arthur,

As you doubtlessly know, two and a half weeks ago it came to light that Turkey has been claiming for quite some time that the MHA is lobbying US politicians on its behalf in support of its on-going efforts to deny and cover up the genocide it conducted against the Armenian people, and others, in 1915 and the years following. I was appalled to discover that the Turks were using the MHA's name -- and, by association, my name as an MHA consultant -- on behalf of any political purpose, let alone one so morally reprehensible.

As you also doubtlessly know, this matter was immediately brought to the attention of MHA vice-president Wayne Winker who assured me that no such lobbying effort on behalf of Turkey had taken place, and I assumed the MHA would speedily act to set the public record straight and to restore its good name, and mine. Unfortunately, however, the MHA response to date has not been nearly as clear, vigorous or timely as I expected.

Therefore, in all good conscience, I cannot continue my association with the MHA and must ask that my name be removed forth with as an MHA consultant, and that my name also be stricken from the MHA's membership roll.


Dennis Maggard

(posted with permission)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wayne Winkler Melungeon Heritage Association Resignation Letter

Wayne Winkler
Feb. 11, 2008

On Tuesday, 5 February, I resigned from the board of directors of the
Melungeon Heritage Association. It is with great regret that I leave
this organization for I am quite proud of the work MHA has done over
the past decade in organizing events for the presentation of
information about the Melungeons. However, the consequences of MHA's
association with the Association of Turkish-American Associations,
along with the board's failure to promptly and properly respond to
the revelation of these consequences, have left me with no choice. As
such, I cannot nor wish to speak on behalf of the Melungeon Heritage

Obviously neither I nor the MHA knew all we should have known about
the connection between MHA and ATAA. No motion concerning official
support for any Turkish political position was ever proposed,
discussed, or voted by the board, so it came as a complete surprise
to learn from Joanne Pezzullo's post of 17 January that as far back
as 2000, "one of the leaders of Melungeons society, who participated
in the meeting of the Assembly of American-Turkish Associations
(ATAA) said that they support Turkey regarding the issue of the draft
law on so-called genocide on Armenians."

No one at this meeting was speaking for MHA in any official capacity,
and we don't even know if the quotation accurately reflects what was
said, but that is of little or no consequence. The implication is
that Melungeons, as represented by a group which by obvious
implication is MHA, supported the Turkish position on this issue.
That is simply unacceptable to me, as it is to many others. And
although it feels much like thanking the person who tells you your
spouse is cheating on you, I want to thank Joanne for bringing this
to my attention. I have passed this and other information found on my
own concerning ATAA to the board members and I hope they will take
appropriate action, whatever that might be at this point. We should
have known about this long ago; I am quite certain it would have
affected MHA policy, or at least my own actions.

I believe that in the beginning Brent Kennedy merely sought research
assistance for his work concerning the Melungeons and was encouraged
by the positive response of the Turkic World Research Foundation,
ATAA, and others. In hindsight, however, it was a bad idea for MHA to
connect with any such organization or to allow such a connection to
be made on their behalf. While I had doubts about the hypothesis of a
significant Turkish connection with the Melungeons, I failed to take
seriously the implications of the emphasis which was often placed on
this hypothesis.

One sometimes joins an organization – a church, a political party, a
civic organization, whatever – and sees flaws in that organization or
areas of disagreement, but maintains affiliation for what one
believes is the greater good. In this case, the greater good was the
service MHA performed in holding annual events for the presentation
of information and the opportunity for fellowship among Melungeons.
At this point, in light of a completely unacceptable and unauthorized
association of the MHA with a Turkish political position, I can no
longer balance the flaws against the perceived good. I hope MHA can
regroup and rededicate itself to presenting information about our
people. They are good people who have done good work, and I hope they
can continue to do so in some form. I simply can no longer be
associated with the organization.

It is pointless for me to apologize for the actions of others, of
which I knew nothing until recently, but I do apologize for not
knowing what was being done in our name at the time it was being
done, and for participating in the organizational inertia that kept
this connection prominent long past the time when the hypothesis of a
Turkish-Melungeon connection it represented had been marginalized, at
the very least. I look forward to the more of the promising research
coming from Joanne, Jack Goins, James Nickens, and others

(Posted with Permission)