Melungeon-L ArchivesArchiver > Melungeon > 2002-12 > 1040688802
From: "Jack Goins" <>
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] DNA question
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 19:13:22 -0500
References: <004901c2aab6$d3a32750$447ffea9@pat> <OE13zi95HfqR77bieLY00001d76@hotmail.com>
----- Original Message -----
From: Ernest Hurst <>
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002 4:52 PM
Subject: Re: [Melungeon] DNA question
> Hi Pat
> If you're really looking for "expertise" in this area, I'm probably not
> one to ask. I can, however give you my opinion, which others may not agree
> with, along with some facts about my situation.
> First & foremost, there seems to be several definitions of Melungeon and
> many opinions about who should be considered a Melungeon descendant (I
> believe anybody could be considered a Melungeon today - thus the use of
> "descendant"). By one popular opinion, I might be a Melungeon descendant
> because I had ancestors in Orange/Caswell NC in 1770s/80s, in SW VA in
> 1800s, in Hawkins/Claiborne/Morgan?Rhea TN from 1812 & on, and several of
> them were, or probably were according to records, mixed race, both NA & AA
> in there with English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and God knows what else.
> Another opinion, which is probably more logical is that Melungeon
> descendants are only those folks who descend from those first families
> were referred as Melungeons in East TN. I'm sure there are probably at
> a half dozen other opinions. I agree with Dennis, there couldn't be any
> "Melungeon genes", regardless of which definition you go by.
> A Y DNA test on people that have a verifiable "paper trail" as MALE
> descendants of the original males on Newman's Ridge might be of some
> if you could get enough of them to spend the money for a 25/26 marker
> This would tell you who was really related to who and "might" establish
> pre - Newman's Ridge connection with some families.
> In my opinion the MT DNA test is probably less valuable, since it is only
> passed on by the mother to her children. While male ancestors are
> difficult to locate in records, it is almost impossible to really trace
> female ancestors due to the fact that marriage records are few & far
> (earliest I've found in Hurst line was 1st ggp, 1870s in Rhea County) and
> wives were seldom mentioned by their maiden name in any documents.
> There was no value to me of either of these, because my "said to be
> Cherokee" ancestor was my 3rd ggm, Priscilla, who married Jeremiah Hurst.
> the way, none of the VA or TN Hursts will "claim" him as a member of their
> line, possibly because he married an Indian. Their son, Simeon, my 2nd
> married a Jane Human, who I have been able to trace back a couple
> generations. Her grandfather was listed as "mulatto" on tax lists in 1785
> 90. As you can see, I didn't have a straight line on either Y or MT to get
> to either of these folks so nothing about race could be learned there. If
> more folks start participating in the Hurst surname study (Y DNA), I will
> probably spend the money on that. The best that could do, as I understand
> it, would be to tell me that I and other tested male Hursts had a common
> but not necessarily exactly who he was or when it was.
> So I tried the AncestrybyDNA test, and should have read the fine print.
> state that anything under 5% is unreliable or not counted. The people that
> was looking at as possible pure blooded "other than European" ancestors
> would have both made up considerably less than 5% of my inherited genes.
> Sounds like you would have a similar situation to me, on all 3 types of
> Instead of shedding any light on this I probably turned the lights off &
> you to sleep. As far as the Melungeon DNA study that has been done goes, I
> am not really convinced that it will show anything at all. A test of
> hundred (or thousand) people in East TN, KY & Southwest VA might show the
> same percentages, race wise, as it did. I really do look forward to the
> "final report" to see how it compares with other groups - like all TN, all
> USA or all world and to see how many of the folks tested do, in fact,
> common ancestor.
## I agree with Earnie's above summation. The Y test is the best if you
select people who descend from a known Melungeon. In the U.S, News story Dr.
Jones was quoted as saying he wanted to know the population make up. In my
opinion the major flaw in this was not using a 5 pedigree chart like the
Mormons do, because these present day mothers, mothers may have been in
another area during the time of the Melungeon, or would you need to say the
makeup of the Melungeons. I think all these test could be useful to the ones
who were tested if they were given the markers, but i don't know of anyone
who has been given the markers, but that another issue. Jack
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Pat Elder" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, December 23, 2002 2:09 PM
> Subject: [Melungeon] DNA question
> > Hi Ernie.
> > If we don't know when the "Melungeon" line entered a family (Melungeon
> > family by a definition of your choosing), how can we know which DNA test
> > product to use in order to make a statement about Melungeons? Let's say
> > earliest Goins ancestor is John Goins, who was listed as fpc and would
> > Melungeon. What if the Melungeon genes were introduced into John Goins's
> > line by his great-grandmother Fifi Smith, who I don't yet know existed.
> > What if the factors that make a person a Melungeon came from Fifi's
> > grandfather? It won't mean much either for my male cousin to use a
> > Y-chromosome test for the same reasons will it?
> > It still seems to me that we need to know when the so-called "Melungeon"
> > genes entered otherwise it is just a sample of selected people from
> > Appalachia but I may be wrong.
> > Even with a super-duper documented pedigree chart, "Melungeon" testing
> > have to stop with the last person who can be identified as a Melungeon.
> > if you or I define "Melungeon" as "Native American" it might be
> > understandable that you can group the results with the products from
> > DNA testing but then you have the problem of tribal affiliation and not
> > tribes were alike. This is why I gave the Sizemore family data as an
> > of what great things can be done with DNA testing but I don't think they
> > claiming anything about being Melungeon by using the data. I think they
> > looking at Sizemore family group data. Maybe I'm wrong.
> > Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
> > Pat
> > ==== Melungeon Mailing List ====
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > The MELUNGEON LIST HOMEPAGE:
> > http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~mtnties/melungeon.html
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