Melungeon FAQ's

Melungeon Frequently Asked Questions

And Factual Resources


The Melungeon Historical Society was formed in 2008 in order to facilitate factual documented research and to dispel the many myths and inaccuracies surrounding the heritage of the Melungeons.

Melungeon DNA Project

Core Melungeon Surnames: Bolin, Bolling, Bunch, Collins, Denham, Gibson, Goins, Goodman, Minor, Moore, Mullins, Sullivan, Williams

Other names may be added as our research continues. If you have research to contribute or knowledge of additional names along with documentation, please contact us at

Melungeon Websites



  • Melungeons and Other Pioneer Families by Jack H. Goins
  • Melungeons: Footprints from the Past by Jack H. Goins
  • Melungeons: Examining An Appalachian Legend (second edition) by Pat Spurlock Elder
  • Lest We Forget by Jim Callahan
  • Melungeons: The Vanishing Colony of Newman Ridge by Henry Price.
  • Walking Toward the Sunset, A Comprehensive Portrait of the Melungeons by Wayne Winkler
  • Pocahontas’s People, The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries by Helen C. Rountree
  • Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner
While the MHS does not endorse the viewpoints of various authors, these books have been well researched and provide valuable information for the Melungeon historian.

Online Resources
Definition of the Melungeons by Jack Goins

Dr. Virginia Easley DeMarce articles:

What is a Melungeon?
Melungeons are a group of people referenced by that particular name, although at the time it was often in a disparaging or pejorative manner. They are found in Hawkins County, the portion now Hancock County, in Tennessee and into Lee County in Virginia
When did the Melungeons arrive in Hawkins County?
The first record of Melungeons is found in the Stony Creek church minutes in 1813 when a reference was made to “harboring them Melungins”. References were made in later unrelated records to several specific families. To date, only those families noted in the Melungeon surnames are found with specific references that indicate they are Melungeon.
Who were the Melungeons?
Lewis Jarvis[1] writes the following:
"Much has been said and written about the inhabitants of Newman Ridge and Blackwater in Hancock County, Tennessee. They have been derisively dubbed, with the name "Melungeon" by the local white people who lived here with them. It’s not a traditional name or a tribe of Indians. Some have said these people were here when this country was first explored by the white people and others that they are a lost tribe of Indians and have no date of their existence here. All of this is erroneous and cannot be sustained. They had land grants in places where they formerly lived. These people not any of them were here when the first white hunting party came from Virginia and North Carolina in the year 1761. They came here simultaneously with the whites between the years 1795 and 1812.
Jarvis goes on to describe them as the friendly Indians who came with the white immigrants who came to the New River and Fort Blackmore[2].
This definition combined with historical research gives us a clean list of surnames to work with. 
Where are the Melungeons today?
Melungeons no longer exist. Today there are descendants of Melungeons, but Melungeons were a particular clan of intermarried people who were known to have lived in a particular time and place. 
Where were the Melungeons before they came to Hawkins County?
Research is ongoing, but many of the families were found progressively migrating in family groups, first in Louisa County, Virginia, then in the Flat River area of NC, then into Wilkes Co., NC, in the New River area and then in the Fort Blackmore area of what are now Russell and Scott Counties in Virginia. Eventually they migrated across the border into what is now Hancock County, Tn., then part of Hawkins County, settled in the area of Vardy and are found on Newman’s Ridge and surrounding area and into Lee County on Blackwater Creek. However, before the 1813 church record referencing Melungeons, no records of these families ever having been called Melungeon has been found, so we refer to their ancestors as “ancestors of Melungeons”, not Melungeons. 
Are families who moved away still called Melungeons?
We have never found primary records that refer to anyone in families who moved away as Melungeon in any location other than in the Hawkins/Hancock County, areas. Families who moved away would be considered descendants of Melungeons.
What records are you referencing?
With the growing popular interest in the Melungeons and Melungeon heritage over the past several years, the topic has become rife with speculation and unfounded claims. Every place you look on the internet is another ever-growing list of Melungeon surnames and increasingly outrageous claims. Some misinformation has been as a result of drawing faulty conclusions, some as a result of poor or nonexistent research and some as a result of early, inappropriate, faulty and/or misinterpreted DNA testing. A great deal of information, both historical and genetic, have become available within the past few years. In the genetic genealogy community, many of the early theories and conclusions, especially surrounding autosomal testing for minority admixture have been discredited or called into question now that we better understand autosomal testing and what information it can and cannot reliably provide to researchers.
The Melungeon Historical Society is using only documented evidence based on primary[3] or secondary sources. We have also aligned ourselves with the largest DNA testing company in the world, Family Tree DNA, and are very careful not to over-speculate or overextend our conclusions beyond what proven scientific evidence and geneticists can support[4].

I’ve seen lists of Melungeons with a lot more surnames than is on your list? Why are there so few on your list as compared with others?
The list of Core Melungeon families is always open to revision with any documentation that any other family was referenced in any primary record as Melungeon. We took our list from the 1830 census[5], Lewis Jarvis’ records[6], court records[7], tax lists[8], Plecker’s lists[9], Droomgoole’s articles[10], the Shepherd Case[11], the 1890 census report[12], the 1880 census[13], voting records[14] and Eastern Cherokee Applications[14a] as well as other resources. Families who intermarried are not considered Melungeon, although their children would be considered descendants of Melungeons. Other researchers have included collateral lines with the list of Melungeons, and although they may marry into the Melungeon families, they are not referenced in primary or secondary sources as Melungeon.
My ancestor was the daughter of a family definitely referenced as Melungeon. She married a Campbell. Wouldn’t the Campbell family be considered Melungeon too?
No, her Campbell husband has no genetic or genealogical connection to the Melungeon families, and marrying the daughter of a Melungeon family does not make the resulting Campbell family Melungeon. The children of this family would be Melungeon descendants. If the Campbell family is found in primary or secondary historical sources referenced specifically as Melungeon, then they would be added to the Melungeon surname list, but only THIS Campbell family, not all Campbell families in the area. The reason some of the other Melungeon surname lists are so extensive is that they include all allied and intermarried families, and often extend the Melungeon designation to all families of the allied or intermarried surname, such as Campbell. In this example, the Campbell family would have Melungeon ancestors, they would be Melungeon descendants, but they would not be Melungeons unless source records show us otherwise.
What does DNA testing say about the Melungeons?
The Melungeon paternal families were both of European and African origin. To date, only one of the Melungeon related families, Sizemore, has been found with a Native American haplogroup[15]. However, at least one other ancestral family is documented in original records to have been Indian, but that family’s Y-line DNA is European in nature. Of course, the Native ancestry in that family may have been on the maternal side.
All families on the Melungeon surname list with proven genealogy on to the Hancock/Hawkins families are not yet represented in the DNA study.
In addition, we are actively seeking the DNA of the wives of these core families. The maternal mitochondrial DNA is every bit as important as the paternal lines, and many times the Native American ancestry is found in maternal lines.
For more information about DNA testing and the Melungeon DNA project, go to:
Article about DNA testing and Melungeons
Melungeon DNA Project
A forthcoming article, “Melungeons and DNA – 2009” reports on the most current findings. After publication in the MHS newsletter, the article will be available online at http://
What about autosomal testing that tells us what ethnic groups we fall into?
There are two types of autosomal DNA tests. The first test was by DNAPrint although was marketed by several other companies under different names. It was the only test to provide percentages of ethnicity for European, African, Asian and Native American. This company has gone out of business and this test is no longer available. While initially the genetic genealogy community was very hopeful that these tests were reliable and accurate, with time and several years of experience, the results unfortunately have come to be viewed increasingly as inaccurate and unreliable for the detection of minority ancestry admixture[16]. The only people who seemed to be happy were those who received results they were seeking. Others, such as an individual from Germany whose entire family had lived there for hundreds of years, received a report that said he was 35% combined Asian and Native American. He was understandably unhappy and exceedingly skeptical[17]. While these tests are interesting and perhaps hold promise for the distant future, the technology and underlying population data bases are problematic and the tests have difficulty in detecting minority admixture accurately, tending to report higher percentages than actually exist.
The second kind of autosomal testing provides you with a list of populations or geographic locations. Two companies provide this kind of reporting based on a standard Codis autosomal test[18]. The issues with this type of testing, or more specifically the interpretation of the tests, are that the population list relies on a number of factors which are problematic. 
1. The populations are taken from forensic and medical journals and are often small studies. The population from a small village in Northern Italy, with 20 people, may not be representative of all of Italy, for example. 
2. In other cases, the population identified may be ambiguous. For example, Lumbee is a designation. What does Lumbee mean? There is not a federally recognized Lumbee tribe with blood quantum membership criteria, so who is a Lumbee? The Lumbee group is known to have been extremely admixed as early as the 1880s[19], so today, what ethnicity is a Lumbee?
3. Who identified the individuals in the study as belonging to a specific ethnic or geographic group? The individual being arrested, the booking officer, the nurse in the doctor’s office? What criteria did they use to assign that person to that group?
4. How many people were involved in a reference study? One person or a thousand people?
5. We don’t know exactly how autosomal DNA is selected to be passed from parent to child, so what exactly are we measuring and what does it really mean?
6. Brian Burritt, the forensic police officer who created OmniPop, the tool upon which both companies analysis is based[20] has gone on record stating that he created Omnipop to differentiate between people, not to find their similarities, that genealogists are using his tool for something it was not designed for and they are overanalyzing the results[21].

7. OmniPop can legitimately be run with three different sets of marker criteria, all of which are “correct”, but the results of which will be significantly different[22]. Determining which one is “right” and presented to the customer may be a function of which one best reflects what the customer is looking for in their results.
Again, satisfaction with these tools seems to be a function of how closely the results reflect the desired finding of the individual being tested.
For additional information about autosomal DNA testing in general or in relation to Native Heritage, go to and scroll down to see the various articles.
I’ve been told my family is Black Dutch (or Black Irish or Black German). Is that the same as Melungeon?
Black Dutch is a common term in Appalachia for anyone who might be “too dark” to be all white, but needed some European (read non-African or non-Indian) affiliation that explained their dark features. Many people were referenced as Black Dutch, probably some of the Melungeon families as well as many others. Black Dutch does not equate to Melungeon, but it may well indicate some mixed heritage.[23] In the Melungeon areas, as well as other areas of Appalachia and among the Cherokee of Oklahoma, this label was prevalent and often used by families in order to hide mixed heritage for fear that their land would be taken from them.

Are the Melungeons Portuguese?
At least some of the families indicated on the 1880 census that they were Portuguese. Some also have an oral history that they carry Portuguese heritage. We know that Juan Pardo’s men were abandoned at various forts in western North Carolina (Morgantown), one perhaps as far north and west as eastern Tennessee. Some of the men may have been Portuguese. These men, if they survived, would have had to have assimilated into the Native population and take Native wives, as there were no European women available in 1566. There is also other oral heritage that indicates that the Portuguese ancestry may have come from a shipwreck. To date, there has been nothing to confirm their Portuguese heritage or to eliminate it as a possibility.
Are the Melungeons Turkish or Middle Eastern?
Recent speculation, misinterpreted early DNA results and problems inherent in autosomal testing have led to a significant amount of misinformation about the Melungeons having a Turkish or other Middle Eastern heritage.
There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever of any Turkish or Middle Eastern heritage in the Melungeon community. If there was an early Turkish ancestor in one of the Melungeon families, their DNA would be diluted by 50% in each generation as children were born to parents. By the time the 6th generation was reached, that Turkish ancestor would only contribute 1.5% of the DNA of an individual living today. For us, 6 generations is our great-great-great-great-grandparents. Using a 25 year generation, which is typical and an accepted calculation in genealogical circles, that 4th great grandparent was born in 1834. In 1834, the Melungeons were already living as a clan in Hawkins County Tennessee. Where did a Turk come from and how did he (or she) appear unnoticed?
If a Turkish or Middle Eastern ancestor was further back in time, say another three generations, or 75 years, back to 1759, then they contribute less than one fourth of one percent of our DNA to the current generation. One fourth of one percent is not detectable genetically. Typically anything beyond the 4th or at most 5th generation in autosomal testing is not detectable with any level of certainty[24].

Do the Melungeons descend from Raleigh’s Lost Colony of 1587?
We don’t know. The search to determine whether the Lost Colonists survived is ongoing. Visit the Lost Colony website at
If the colonists survived, they would have assimilated with the local Indian Tribes.[25]

Did Sir Francis Drake deposit Turks on Roanoke Island in 1586?
There is documented evidence that Drake did indeed have Turks on board his ships that encountered a terrible hurricane along the Outer Banks in 1586. However, there is also documented evidence that the Turks were ransomed back to their home country by Queen Elizabeth upon their return to England in exchange for Englishmen languishing in foreign prisons. The Turks were valuable to England and would not have been set ashore in Roanoke.[26]

Drake also had Moors, blacks and Indians on board, and what became of those individuals is unknown. Many may have drowned as the hurricane sank several of Drake’s smaller ships. Some may have been released or escaped. If they did, they would either have been killed by Indians, perished on their own or assimilated into the local Indian population. If they assimilated into the local Indian population, this would have been 423 years or about 17 generations ago. One ancestor 17 generations ago would contribute about 1/1000th of the DNA of someone living today, so would be undetectable using current autosomal DNA technology. However, the Lost Colony DNA project is working with people who live in and descend from the area in question, especially individuals with Native heritage, testing their Y-line and mitochondrial DNA which would remain virtually unchanged in those 17 generations. Y-line and mitochondrial DNA testing is the only reliable way to positively identify Native, African, European or Asian ancestry, because it remains unchanged as it is passed from parent to child, and it confers the added benefit of identifying the exact line where that ancestry originated in your family tree.
I have the lump on the back of my head called the Anatolian Knot. I heard that is a Melungeon trait. Doesn’t that prove I’m a Melungeon descendant?
The Anatolian Knot is another myth. All individuals have a detectable bump on the back of their head just above where their spine connects with their skull. In Anatolia, modern day Turkey, there is a group of individuals whose skulls apparently have a larger than normal bump. While searching for evidence that Melungeons were from Turkey or the Middle East, researchers discovered and published this information as related to the Melungeons. Unfortunately, since everyone has some amount of elevation in this area, everyone feels their head and then believes they are a Melungeon descendant.
I have shovel teeth and somewhat slanted eyes. Are those Melungeon traits?
Some traits such as shovel teeth and the epicanthal eye fold that is identified with “Asian eyes” are found in Native American groups. Given that we know that some of the Melungeon families have Native heritage and others have the (as yet unproven) oral history of Native heritage, it’s not surprising to find these traits among the Melungeon descendants of today. However, many people who are clearly, unquestionably, not Melungeon descendants have these same traits. These traits are not unique to Melungeons and cannot be used to identify someone with Melungeon heritage. 
What about Sarcoidosis and Familial Mediterranean Fever? I heard they are Mediterranean diseases and are found in Melungeon families.
There is not one documented case of either of these diseases in any descendant of a genealogically or genetically proven Melungeon family.
In an effort to better understand the occurrence levels of diseases that have been associated on various internet sites with Melungeon heritage, Kathy James[27], called Dr. Dunn at the Department of Health and Environmental Control in Nashville, TN in June of 2009 and inquired about statistics on Sarcoidosis, a disease that some have suggested is a “Melungeon disease”. He advised that this was not a reportable or recordable disease in the state of Tennessee and they were not keeping records on it and had never kept records on it.
Kathy further searched and found one study on the internet in 10 centers in the United States known to have patients with Sarcoidosis and none were in the state of Tennessee.
She then called a long-time physician in Hancock County, now retired and inquired as to how many cases he had seen in his career and he said, "two or three".
If Hancock County’s own physician who is clearly able to diagnose the disease has only seen 2 or 3 cases in his entire career practicing in Hancock County, Sarcoidosis is clearly not of epidemic proportions in the Melungeon descendant population.
For more information and updates, visit
Did Melungeons have 6 fingers or toes and do their descendants have them today?
There is no genealogically or genetically proven Melungeon family or descendant who has reported any occurrence of 6 fingers or toes within their family.
My ancestor looks dark or Native. I’m sure they were but don’t know how to prove it. They were from Appalachia, which is why I thought they might be Melungeon. What do I do next?
Remember that the term Melungeon is only representative of a small clan of people who lived on or near an isolated ridge in Hancock County, Tn. in the period of time from about 1800 to about 1900 when the families both dispersed and intermarried outside the Melungeon community. Melungeon was a name for a group of people who had white, African and Indian ancestors during a specific time period in a particular location.
Your family may have white, Indian and African ancestors as well. You need to follow the same practices the Melungeon Historical Society is following to find your ancestors and their heritage. Be aware that any evident admixture “not white” is considered to be a “person of color”.
1. Check all relevant records including wills, tax records, deeds, court notes and the census for any county in which your ancestor lived. Tax records often identify “people of color” or mulattoes.
2. The census indicates at least the three primary racial categories of white, black and mulatto. If your ancestor was dark, they would probably not have been classified as white. In some census your ancestors may be designated as white and in others a different category. Also be aware of other families with the same surname as they are possibly related and their information pertains to your ancestor as well, assuming they are related.
3. Were your ancestors allowed to vote? If not, in some locations at certain times in history, this may have indicated that they were considered “not white”. Both laws and practices varied from state to state and over time. In Tennessee Free Persons of Color (FPCs) could legally vote prior to 1835. One of the things the Tennessee state constitution of 1834 (ratified in 1835) did was to legally disenfranchise FPCs. Even so, Melungeons won most court cases challenging their right to vote.
After the Civil War, people of color voted freely during Reconstruction, in Tennessee and throughout the South, at least as long as Federal troops were around to protect them. Even after Reconstruction, non-white voting couldn't be explicitly banned due to the 15th Amendment. Legal roadblocks, like literacy tests and poll taxes, were erected to discourage non-white voting, as well as extra-legal impediments involving intimidation and assault; but there was always at least a trickle of non-white voting throughout the South, and more than a trickle in some places, especially in big cities, where the “colored” vote could be significant - Memphis being one example. And of course non-whites could vote freely in the North after the Civil War, and before it, too, in many Northern states.
Nonetheless, voting records, or lack thereof, can give you important insight into the racial classification of your ancestor.
4. Were your ancestors allowed to attend white schools? If so, they were not considered people of color. In some cases, Indian schools were established as well.
5. Check death records for your ancestor and their siblings. Death records reach back in time sometimes nearly a century. Virginia and Kentucky death records originated in the 1850s and 1860s. Tennessee did not begin birth and death registration until in the 19-teens, and then not consistently.
6. World War I Draft Registration cards show race and these individuals, for the most part, were born in the late 1800s. These are online at
7. Test your Y-line (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) DNA
I’ve tested by Y-line and mitochondrial DNA, and I was sure my ancestor would be Native, but they aren’t. Now what do I do?
The Y-line and mitochondrial DNA are the only definitive tests for European, African, Asian and Native American ancestry. However, they only test two lines, the paternal (surname) for males, and the maternal for both males and females. However, you can create a DNA pedigree chart and find appropriate family members and cousins to test for your various lines, filling in the slots on your pedigree chart. Instructions for how to do this are found at
How do I join the Melungeon Core DNA Project?
If you haven’t DNA tested with Family Tree DNA, go to this link and “click to join project” on the left hand side.
If you have already tested with Family Tree DNA, log on to your personal page. On the left side, click on “join projects”. If your surname is in the core project, then the Melungeon Core Project will appear as one of your options.
If your surname does not appear, and it won’t if you’re a mitochondrial participant, then click on “join projects”. After the next page is returned, scroll down and under “Dual Geographical Projects” click on “M”, scroll down and you’ll see the Melungeon Core project. Click to join. You will be asked to provide your genealogy before joining so that the project can remain focused.
I just want to compare my results to the Melungeon project results. Can I do that without joining the DNA project?
Yes, indeed, you can see our results at these two links:

[1] Lewis Jarvis was a respected local attorney in Hancock County. He knew and lived among the Melungeon families. His mother was a Collins. Without his historical notes, much of the Melungeon history would have been lost.

[2] Located in Russell County, Virginia when built before 1774, now in Scott County, Va. One of the earliest Forts in the area.

[3] A primary record source is the original record, such as original church membership records or the original census records. A secondary record would be a transcription of those records. Both primary and secondary sources can include items such as old letters written by individuals who had first hand knowledge of events and people who are conveying their knowledge to another individual. Oral family history is neither a primary or secondary source. This does not mean that it should be ignored, just that it cannot be used as a primary or secondary source. It may constitute a genealogically important hint, but it isn’t considered to be documentation.

[4] Our DNA advisor and board member, Roberta Estes owns DNAexplain, founded in 2004. Her company has teamed with Family Tree DNA to provide the Personalized DNA Report product to Family Tree DNA customers.

[5] Families later identified as Melungeon are typically noted as “other than white”.

[6] Lewis Jarvis, local attorney, knew these families personally.

[7] Various records include but are not limited to a case about voting fraud (people of color not allowed to vote) and others questioning “mixed race” marriages.

[8] Various tax lists in different locations where ancestors of Melungeons and Melungeons were noted variously as Indian, mulatto, free people of color and sometimes white.

[9] Walter Plecker (1861–1947) was a physician and public health advocate who served as first registrar of Virginia's Bureau of Vital Statistics, from 1912 to 1946. In the 1940s Plecker created a list of surnames, by county, in Virginia of those who he considered “not white” who were attempting to intermarry with whites, attend white schools, record their race as white on birth, marriage and death certificates and other actions he considered inappropriate and were prohibited for nonwhites.

[10] Will Allen Dromgoole (female) (1860-1934) was a reporter who visited several Melungeon families and stayed for a few days. She later wrote a series of articles that portrayed the Melungeons in an unfavorable and derogatory light.

[11] The Shepherd Case was an 1874 court case where the inheritance of a young woman was dependent on a racial classification of her Melungeon family.

[12] The 1890 census, although lost, was transmitted with a series of letters from the census enumerators and contained reports about the Indians in every state. Carroll D. Wright included information about the Melungeons in the 1890 census in a letter to the Hon. Hoke Smith., Secretary of the Interior. More information can be found here

[13] The 1880 census lists many of these families as Portuguese. For example the Hancock County census, District 4, page 278, ED 90, page 8, page 278r, ED 90, page 10 show Goins and Minor families’ racial designation overwritten from Portuguese to “W”, indicating white.

[14] Various cases between 1840 and 1846 accused and convicted various individuals of illegal voting. Nonwhites were not allowed to vote. The most infamous case was a Supreme Court case in 1846. Several Melungeon families were involved.

[14a] 1906-1909 Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims ("Guion Miller applications") NARA M-1104 rolls 1-348.

[15] The Sizemore family is ancestral to some of the identified Melungeon lines. For example George Sizemore’s daughter Aggy married Zachariah Minor whose family was identified as Melungeon. The Sizemore family themselves were never identified as Melungeon, but their ancestry was a contributor to some of those families that were identified as such.

[16] Many postings on the Rootsweb Genealogy-DNA list chronicle the unfolding issues with the DNAPrint test. One thread can be seen here, and searching on DNAPrint will reveal others of interest. Further analysis is provided in the paper “Autosomal Testing and Analysis” by Roberta Estes at as well as the forthcoming article mentioned in footnote.

[17] For in-depth analysis and understanding of the results of autosomal testing, see the forth coming article Revealing American Indian Heritage using Y-line, Mitochondrial, Autosomal and X Chromosomal Testing Data by Roberta Estes. This article is currently in the academic review process and awaiting publication. The article tracks a single individual’s DNA and genealogy through all of the autosomal tests available and uses the results of all of the companies results combined with genealogy to evaluate the results.

[18] The Codis test is typically used for siblingship testing and forensic applications. It is available independent of any interpretation at

[19] McMillan, Hamilton. Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony: An Historical Sketch of the Attempts of Sir Walter Raleigh to Establish a Colony in Virginia, with the Traditions of an Indian Tribe in North Carolina. Indicating the Fate of the Colony of Englishmen Left on Roanoke Island in 1587. Wilson, NC: Advance Press, 1888. Online here

[20] Both companies have enhanced Omnipop by adding more records from more articles. DNATribes may have replaced Omnipop with their own software that operates differently. However, regardless of the tool being utilized to “crunch the data”, the fundamental issues remain with the populations upon which these results are based. Adding more data does not alleviate or address the inherent issues.


[22] Revealing American Indian Heritage using Y-line, Mitochondrial, Autosomal and X Chromosomal Testing Data by Roberta Estes

[23] In Search of the Black Dutch, James Pylant (1997), American Genealogy Magazine 12 (March 1997): 11-30. In his article, Pylant states that Anglo-Americans loosely applied the term Black Dutch to any dark-complexioned American of European descent. The term was adopted as an attempt to disguise Indian or infrequently, tri-racial descent. By the mid-1800s the term had become an American colloquialism; a derogative term for anything denoting one's small stature, dark coloring, working-class status, political sentiments, or anyone of foreign extract.

[24] Revealing American Indian Heritage using Y-line, Mitochondrial, Autosomal and X Chromosomal Testing Data by Roberta Estes

[25] See Where Have All the Indians Gone? What We Know and What We Don’t about Native American Eastern Seaboard Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA by Roberta Estes, scheduled for fall 2009 publication of JOGG, the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, found at [26] David Beers Quinn addresses this eloquently in his article, “Turks, Moors, Blacks and Others in Drake’s West Indian Voyage”, which appeared in the “Terrae Incognitae Journal for History of Discoveries”, [Vol. XIV, 1982], Wayne State University Press, available at

[27] Kathy James is a MHS Board Member and Vice President of Heritage. She also co-administrator of the Melungeon Core DNA Project, along with Penny Ferguson, Janet Crain, Jack Goins and Roberta Estes.

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