Melungeon-L ArchivesArchiver > Melungeon > 2002-12 > 1040583157
From: "Pat Elder" <>
Subject: RE: [Melungeon] Genetic Markers
Date: Sun, 22 Dec 2002 13:52:43 -0500
Hi Dennis - glad to see you post that too!
I wasn't am/not involved in the Melungeon DNA thing but it was my impression
that it's purpose was to test the participants to see what the ethnic makeup
of Melungeons were. I guess I misunderstood the project. I would think any
Appalachian person or person with Appalachian ancestry would already know
that family units and neighborhood units have intermarried for centuries. I
still, however, have a problem with how the participants were selected and
how "Melungeon" was defined and the criteria of whether or not the
participants met that definition. But if it isn't a "Melungeon" product,
what is all the hub-bub about associating the test with Melungeon
participants. The aim of the test project has really gotten to confusing to
me but maybe I am the only one who feels that way.
I also don't understand how, for pretend example, that having 5% of
Whatever-continent-you-want-to-use ancestry can tell you much about where
you came from. If we can determine when that 5% entered it might mean more.
If 5% western European (for example) entered 300 years ago, it would mean
alot more about having western European ancestry than if it entered 35,000
Like I said. I am dense about some things.
From: Dennis Maggard [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, December 22, 2002 12:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] Genetic Markers
From: "Roger" <>
> Hello List.
> Genetic Markers aren't the last word.
> Don't feel bad if you don't posess any of the so called "Genetic
> Markers" that are supposed to prove or dis-prove things such as
> "American Indian",
There is a danger of falling into the fallacy of thinking these tests are
supposed to either prove or disprove Indian, or any other, ancestry. They
prove what they prove; no more, no less. If a given person tests as having
Indian mtDNA or Y-Chromosome DNA, then they can say with a reasonable degree
of certainty that they have some Indian ancestry (which on the Y-Chromosome
side will require the elimination of certain other possibilities, such as
Samoan ancestry), which may be exceedingly remote. If a given person does
not test as having Indian mtDNA or Y-Chromosome DNA, it does *not* mean they
have no Indian ancestry; they may, in fact, be virtually full-blooded.
Either way, these test cannot be used to establish that someone is an
Indian, let alone what tribe they belong to, as the paper rightly points
These tests are most useful for populations studies, such as the Melungeon
DNA study, including the mapping of population migrations. They are of very
limited use in determining individual ancestry, and anyone paying have them
done should fully understand those limitations before doing so.
There is no DNA test for "Melungeoness" and there almost certainly will
never be such a test.
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