Melungeon-L Archives

Archiver > Melungeon > 2011-08 > 1313963777

From: Janet Crain <>
Subject: [MELUNGEON] Validity of the Term Core Melungeon
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:56:17 -0500

This attempt to define a core group of Melungeons over and against
others that might well share the same ancestry is, in my view,
misguided and futile.

Trevor Zion Bauknight
Sumter, S.C.


I for one still think Core Melungeons is a legitimate term and goal.
You have to have some standard to judge other people's results
against. We include the surnames and descendants of the two groups
actually proven by old records to have been called Melungeons. It is
regretful that no Boltons, Shumakes, etc. have joined but perhaps they
will someday. THIS PROJECT IS NOT FINISHED. Nothing is written in
stone. New DNA tests are made available, new research turns up new
evidence, etc.

The term Melungeon was becoming meaningless in the 1990's when it came
to "include every olive, ruddy, and brown-tinged ethnicity known or
alleged to have appeared anywhere in the pre-Civil War Southeastern
United States". (to quote Dr. Virginia DeMarce). People were claiming
to be Melungeon whose had no ancestors who had ever heard the word or
any ancestors ever near any Melungeon populated areas.

If you study mixed blood people in the Americas, even if you narrow it
down to the Pre-Civil War South, you will discover many different
groups. The Gens de Coleur in Louisiana are very different from the
Red Bones for instance. Different ancestors, different challenges,
different advantages, different values, beliefs, you can't just say;
"They are both from Louisiana, so they are the same people". It is
ridiculous. Are the Amish and the Mormons the same? Both of European
ancestry, religious groups.,practice Endogamy, have large families.
but miles apart genetically. Your conception of who we should test
most likely is below in this past message you posted.

Please realize we couldn't please everyone. We had our own specific
goals in 2005. They haven't changed.

You wrote:

From: Trevor Zion Bauknight <>
Subject: [MELUNGEON] Another question
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2010 12:10:09 -0400

....I just noticed that Joy King pointed out that the Sizemore family
"has never been considered Melungeon."

Is what we're encountering here a conflict between people whose
understanding of the word Melungeon is very specifically to do with
the handful of families that settled Newman's Ridge and people whose
understanding of it is more generally applicable to the whole
population of people in the southern Appalachians and elsewhere around
the southeast that share a Sephardic Jewish/Moorish/Turkish ancestry
against all odds?

Are there big-M Melungeons and small-m melungeons?

Nobody in my family has "ever been considered Melungeon" either, but
that doesn't change the facts on the ground.

This thread: