Roberta Estes, Penny Ferguson, Betty and Jack Goins, Cleland Thorpe, and Tari Adams. Photo taken on the Ridge before the Board meeting June 11, 2009.
Katherine Vande Brake
The Melungeon Conference held yesterday, June 12, at the Hawkins County Rescue Squad meeting room in Rogersville, Tennessee was very successful. Near one hundred were in attendance and the presentations by Roberta Estes, founder of DNAExplain, a Michigan company that analyzes and interprets individual DNA tests, Katherine Vande Brake, author of Through the Back Door, Kathy James, Genealogist specializing in the Gibson and Collins families, Wayne Winkler, MHS President, Kathy Lyday-Lee, a professor at Elon University who taught a course on Melungeons and Jack Goins, Hawkins County Archivist and author of Melungeons and Other Pioneer Families were very well received.
President Wayne Winkler stated:
We had an outstanding conference yesterday at Rogersville with about 100 people in attendance, and great presentations by Jack Goins, Roberta Estes, Kathy Lyday-Lee, Katie Vande Brake, and Kathy James.
I truly believe yesterday was a milestone in Melungeon history. It was just a small, one-day event, but it was a significant first step toward establishing an honest historical portrayal of our people. I truly believe it's only going to get better. Yesterday was the realization of what we all hoped MHS would be - we worked together efficiently, presented some valuable information, busted a few myths, and are ready to not only continue the work of preserving the true history of our people, but creating some history of our own.
I couldn't be prouder of MHS. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this important event.
More pictures to come.
Wayne Winkler,MHS President
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