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DNA study seeks origin of Appalachia's Melungeons
MSNBC ^ | 5-25-2012 | TRAVIS LOLLER

Posted on 05/27/2012 4:49:30 AM PDT by Renfield

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 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.....

(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: genetics; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; melungeon; melungeons
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1 posted on 05/27/2012 4:49:38 AM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping for genetic study that might be of some interest...


2 posted on 05/27/2012 4:51:09 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield
Where the White Women?


3 posted on 05/27/2012 4:53:22 AM PDT by MuttTheHoople (Democrats- Forgetting 9/11 since 9/12/01)
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To: blam

Ping...Melungeons DNA Appalachia


4 posted on 05/27/2012 4:59:24 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum)
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


5 posted on 05/27/2012 5:03:34 AM PDT by Perdogg
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To: Renfield

Is that a Melungeon in the White House?


6 posted on 05/27/2012 5:05:05 AM PDT by BigLittle
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To: BigLittle

Boy, you could stir up a hornet’s nest by pursuing that one...


7 posted on 05/27/2012 5:10:20 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield

Dinah Shore?


8 posted on 05/27/2012 5:13:42 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Renfield

The article mentions 200 such communities in the eastern US. One of the larger ones, the “melange” is from southern WV was not mentioned. Scots/Irish, freed slave, and some Native American is the mix I have been told (family lore as it pops up in one branch of my family tree). Alot from WV came north to PA to work in the mills and surmanes were “Italianized” to “pass” and gain employment. It really is a fascinating story.

Now...i mentioned Family lore!?! Maybe I can now run for the Senate...OR get a sweet job at Harvard:)


9 posted on 05/27/2012 5:14:36 AM PDT by PennsylvaniaMom (Just because you are paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.)
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To: BigLittle

No, Melungeons are Americans, you racist.*
(/irony)


10 posted on 05/27/2012 5:16:38 AM PDT by dangus
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To: Renfield
People always tell me your great-great parents are so far back you aren't that much like them. But look how much the guy looks like his great, great grandma - it's astounding.


11 posted on 05/27/2012 5:17:46 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Renfield
MSNBC so naturally the basic purpose of the article is to impugne the country's racist past.
12 posted on 05/27/2012 5:17:46 AM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Renfield

My greatgrandmother’s family came from Switzerland in 1849, arriving in New Orleans that year from Genoa, Italy. Her father, who was Italian-Swiss, was very dark complected and his wife was fair, blond and with green eyes.

My greatgrandmother was divorced in the state of Ohio by her husband in 1890, who claimed she was colored, and of negro descent. She had her father’s coloring, with dark brown eyes and black, straight hair.

This was a devastating event for my grandfather, who at age 6 was sent to a boardinghouse in western Massachusetts, his father’s home state, to live among strangers while his father served with the U.S. cavalry elsewhere. My grandfather was blond, with very pale blue eyes.

Greatgrandma sought her son, reclaimed him, and they went to live in East St. Louis, where her parents maintained a business. Eventually they migrated to California. She eventually remarried happily in California to an emigrant from Austria.

My grandfather never had education beyond the 4th grade, but he eventually joined the U.S.Navy out of San Diego, taught himself to type and became the youngest CPO in WWI.

Our nation is made up of many different peoples, and their stories aren’t always happy ones or end well. Fortunately for my family, it did end well.


13 posted on 05/27/2012 5:35:13 AM PDT by SatinDoll (NO FOREIGN NATIONALS AS OUR PRESIDENT)
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To: Renfield

This is my gg-grandfather's sister on mom's side. She obviously ain't white. My g-grandfather on dad's side was very dark complected too, very Indian looking.

14 posted on 05/27/2012 5:54:03 AM PDT by Free Vulcan (Election 2012 - America stands or falls. No more excuses. Get involved.)
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To: Renfield

There has never lived on this earth a person who could vouch 100% for the morals of his great great grandmother. No one knows what he is ethnically for certain except perhaps for some remote tribe and even then paternity is uncertain.


15 posted on 05/27/2012 5:54:20 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: BigLittle

Obama’s a Melungeon Jim.


16 posted on 05/27/2012 6:03:56 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Georgia Girl 2
>"Obama’s a Melungeon Jim.

Are you implying the Sheriff is near?

17 posted on 05/27/2012 7:03:11 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Renfield
I have often wondered if my paternal grandfather was of Melungeon ancestry. His family came out of Tennessee to Arkansas and the to Texas very early but we had no idea where they came from before that. Recently my brother discovered that the first family member was in Isle Of Wight Va. in the mid 1600. Pure Brit, I am guessing.
18 posted on 05/27/2012 7:15:24 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Renfield

Why would MSNBC run this article now?.....hmmmmm....Elizabeth Warren......the old media is better at providing cover fire than a division of tanks.


19 posted on 05/27/2012 7:17:19 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Ditter

Your paternal grandfather (your father’s father) had the same Y-chromosomes as you do. You could do a Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA or one of those, and learn more about your paternal line.


20 posted on 05/27/2012 7:28:21 AM PDT by Old_Grouch (64 and AARP-free. Monthly FR contributor.)
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To: Old_Grouch

I am a girl would they be the same? (Kinda foggy on this DNA stuff)


21 posted on 05/27/2012 7:35:06 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

I’m a bit foggy on it too. Still, it would be extremely interesting to me to see “whatever it is” you know?
One site sends you a kit, and results in a few weeks for @ a hundred bucks.
Sounds like it would be worth it!
(can’t vouch for the integrity of any of the places that do DNA research, though)


22 posted on 05/27/2012 7:47:34 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: I still care

That’s what they SAY, but you know how it is with ‘experts’; most of what they think they know is borrowed rhetoric.

Nobody in my family has hair like mine. The color alone is something I’ve never been able to closely match even in human hair, hair pieces. Combine the color with the texture and thickness/thinness and it’s..well, unique within my family or so I thought until the day when my grand aunt pulled a braid out of a small box. It was my great-grandmother’s hair and it was exactly like mine in every way. I could pin that braid to my hair and you could not tell it wasn’t mine.

So, I can’t help but wonder, how else am I like her, physically? She died a few months before I was born so I never got to know her. I don’t look like her that I can see, but not all traits are visible.

Interesting article, for sure!


23 posted on 05/27/2012 7:48:51 AM PDT by PrairieLady2
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To: spankalib

Be careful what you ask for, my husband sent off his DNA and expected to get back where his origins were, instead he got back where his surname was in more recent centuries. He was so disgusted he threw the whole thing away so I can’t even tell you what outfit it was!


24 posted on 05/27/2012 7:55:08 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: SatinDoll

Your great grandfather sounds like a worthless piece of humanity. Hope he was miserable for the rest of his days.


25 posted on 05/27/2012 8:04:41 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Free Vulcan

my grandmother looked a lot like the woman in the picture and she was from around Keiv.

All this melange is why I say this race thing is completely bogus. It’s a heart that matters. Have you heard the pale skinned people that you would believe were black on the phone and when they show up they are white? And have you heard those on the phone you thought were European show up and they are dark? It’s all meaningless, you cannot tell anything about anybody by their color, their speech, it is by their fruits they are known as it says in the Bible.


26 posted on 05/27/2012 8:09:11 AM PDT by yldstrk ( My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: SatinDoll
Very interesting family history you have there.

Mine is all the same on all sides as far as I can tell. All arrived on American soil very early, mid 1600’s,. All walked, rode a horse, drove a wagon and all arrived in Texas 1830/40’s. We all are still here, end of story.

I heard a really interesting family history recently. A large family decided to leave central Europe prior to 1900. Large group traveled to the nearest port to take a ship to America. They could not get on the same ship and because of language barrier, one group ended up in NYC, the other group ended up in South America. It was over 50 years before the 2 groups found each other.

27 posted on 05/27/2012 8:16:47 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: Ditter

I have a friend who is of melungeon heritage, and she is
absolutely gorgeous. It would be interesting to know
where their distinctive traits come from.


28 posted on 05/27/2012 8:56:37 AM PDT by sarge83
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To: Ditter

I have a friend who is of melungeon heritage, and she is
absolutely gorgeous. It would be interesting to know
where their distinctive traits come from.


29 posted on 05/27/2012 8:56:56 AM PDT by sarge83
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To: SatinDoll
My grandmother's father was a boat captain on the Erie canal. He married an Algonquin indian woman somewhere in Canada, we believe. She bore him two children, my grandmother was the oldest. After that, his wife died.

After her death, my great-grandfather marched the two kids over to an orphanage in Watervliet and dropped them off. He never came back for them.

My mother said she met him (her grandfather) once, and said he was not a very nice person.

30 posted on 05/27/2012 9:22:53 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (FUMR)
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To: Ditter

Well there ya go! Thanks for that Ditter.

I wonder if there might be any FReeper to have a recc. for the “right place to use” for this sort of thing...


31 posted on 05/27/2012 9:31:49 AM PDT by spankalib (The Marx-in-the-Parks crowd is a basement skunkworks operation of the AFL-CIO)
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To: sarge83

My grandfather was a handsome man. Tall and very slender, square jawed with dark hair that never turned gray even though he lived into his 90’s. His complexion was olive. Can’t remember what color his eyes were. He was a very distinctive looking person. He died about 1959.


32 posted on 05/27/2012 10:55:58 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: PrairieLady2

That is SO interesting. Also, what about psychological or character traits? My family, generation after generation, is found in the military, strong people of faith, interested in politics, and real readers. I mean REAL readers. These traits will skip a generation and hop right back in, so you can’t say it is nurture.


33 posted on 05/27/2012 11:11:03 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Renfield

I believe Elvis was of melungeon ancestry


34 posted on 05/27/2012 12:47:09 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: muir_redwoods
Technically you're right. I have no suspicions about my great-great-grandmothers, but I can't prove anything. I never even met any of them, although I inherited mitochondrial DNA from one of them.

I know the names of all 8, of which only 2 were born in the US. For one of them I have a photo and know a fair amount about her--she had 12 children (of whom only 4 were still alive when she died). My great-aunt was 15 when she died and told me a number of stories about her...very old-fashioned and very religious, married at 17, not likely to have gotten into much mischief.

35 posted on 05/27/2012 3:55:12 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

No offense to your gg-grandmother (or mine) but most of us have something to hide and I think that’s always been true. One need only stumble once to add something to the family gene pool


36 posted on 05/27/2012 4:52:28 PM PDT by muir_redwoods (I like Obamacare because Granny signed the will and I need the cash)
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To: Renfield; Perdogg; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Renfield and Perdogg.

It's been quite some time since a topic about this, so I'm pinging it. To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


37 posted on 05/27/2012 7:51:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: muir_redwoods
I'm sure you're right. That's one of the themes in Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men.

Each generation back you have twice as many ancestors (unless you had some who were marrying their second or third cousins)...sooner or later there is bound to be someone you'd rather no one knew about.

38 posted on 05/27/2012 8:22:50 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: I still care

President William Henry Harrison

Grandson, President Benjamin Harrison

Greatgrandson Russell Harrison

These are NOT Melungeons, but look at how the nose is carried through 4 generations of the Harrison family.

39 posted on 05/28/2012 1:43:42 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Renfield

If they swabbed Lizzy Warren’s High cheekbones what would they find? Her DNA would show she is a dummy with the distinct proclivity to lie.


40 posted on 05/28/2012 2:15:52 AM PDT by Safetgiver
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To: afraidfortherepublic

I love stuff like that.


41 posted on 05/28/2012 4:44:13 AM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: Ditter
I am a girl would they be the same?

I teach genealogy classes, and warn students that just as with anything found in research, be prepared to be shocked or disgusted with what you find.

There are several companies doing dna testing, and the more reputable ones (i.e FTdna) can provide basically three important things.

1. ynda mapping which basically allows you to link with other relatives to a common male ancestor.

2. mdna (mitochrondrial) Which does similar the same on the female line.

3. And most important to many, your haplogroup which provides the general location of your line. Like in my case, I am R1b1c1, which basically with general certainty is a celtic line that lived in western Europe, and most likely in the British isles, and very common in Scottish and Irish people. (no big shock there). Once you know your Haplogroup, you can check the migration maps for details.

42 posted on 05/28/2012 6:25:44 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: Verginius Rufus
sooner or later there is bound to be someone you'd rather no one knew about.

I can give a 12-15 cases of where library patrons where I volunteer got downright angry with me when I helped them find facts about their ancestors that they weren't too proud of. My favorite was the names I was called by the lady where I disproved her DAR line.

I also will not help people find their biological parents anymore either.

43 posted on 05/28/2012 6:32:40 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
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To: catfish1957

Holy crap! You sure know some stuff!


44 posted on 05/28/2012 6:36:51 AM PDT by Lazamataz (People who resort to Godwin's Law are just like Hitler.)
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To: Renfield

Holy mackerel!

This was one of those stories that circulated around the campfire back in the 70’s. Rumor was that in Western PA was this group (I heard it pronounced “Melosians”) to whom was attributed all sorts of, shall we say, backwards/backwoods behaviors.

Always took it as one of those “scary tales” like the hook in the car door thing.

Funny how stories tend to morph and propagate, eh?


45 posted on 05/28/2012 6:46:09 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

William Henry and Russell (at least) both have that cleft in their chin. The beard of Benj leaves his chin a ??? Maybe there’s a younger/beardless pic available?


46 posted on 05/28/2012 6:53:24 AM PDT by EDINVA
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To: spankalib

>> I wonder if there might be any FReeper to have a recc. for the “right place to use” for this sort of thing. <<

Family Tree DNA (www.familytreeDNA.com) is absolutely the best company in this field — excellent customer service; largest variety of tests; biggest customer database for seeking matches; and a large number of “surname projects” where volunteer administrators will usually give you free help.

Moreover, unlike some of the competition (e.g., Ancestry.com), FTDNA doesn’t over-promise. They are careful to warn you that — like Ditter’s husband — a lot of test participants will NOT find useful DNA matches, at least not at first.

Last but not least, nobody should expect DNA testing to be a “magic wand” for solving genealogical problems. It almost never gives “breakthrough” results unless combined with careful and old-fashioned research in the traditional sources like the census; deeds and other county archives; family Bibles and oral legends; and tombstone inscriptions.


47 posted on 05/28/2012 6:55:48 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: Safetgiver

>> If they swabbed Lizzy Warren’s High cheekbones what would they find? <<

If one of her GGG-grandparents had 100% Cherokee blood, then a test of Libby’s autosomal DNA actually would stand a pretty good chance of picking up tiny a trace of Indian ancestry.

But:

By the time her GGG-grandparents lived, most of the Cherokee already had partial-European ancestry, thanks to the many English and Scottish traders who began “marrying” Indian women during the 1600’s and who continued to father mixed race children up through the early 1800’s.

Bottom line:

Even if Libby truly had N. A. ancestors (and maybe she did — just like me and almost everybody else with connections to 19th century Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas) the odds are AGAINST finding that ancestry in her DNA, because after about four or five generations, the “Indian DNA” becomes too diluted to be detected by today’s technology.


48 posted on 05/28/2012 7:11:14 AM PDT by Hawthorn
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To: MuttTheHoople

It was, “Whey de waht wimmim at?”


49 posted on 05/28/2012 7:21:10 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: afraidfortherepublic
My husband's lineage prior to the Civil War is almost impossible to trace, as he is African American. I am white and have been able to trace many of my lines back 10 and 12 generations. Interestingly, I found one line back in Virginia whose last name was the same as my husband's middle name. Of that family, one son and his family moved to Mississippi in the early 1800's, to the same county where Mr. RightField's family was during slavery days. Did one of my ancestors own some of my husband's ancestors? We have looked into it, but can't find anything at all after their move to Mississippi. He doesn't look much like a slave, does he?

Photobucket

I also have the classic case (in another family line) where two brothers fought against each other in the Civil War.

50 posted on 05/28/2012 7:29:57 AM PDT by RightField (one of the obstreperous citizens insisting on incorrect thinking - C. Krauthamer)
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