Thursday, May 24, 2012

DNA study seeks origin of Appalachia's Melungeons

Jack Goins, a Melungeon descendant, holding photographs of his step great great grandfather, George Washington Goins and his great great grandmother, Susan Minor Goins. Jack has studied the melungeon people for about 40 years.

DNA study seeks origin of Appalachia's Melungeons

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.

Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.

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The study referenced is here:

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