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Melungeon DNA Study Reveals Ancestry, Upsets 'A Whole Lot Of People:

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posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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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.

And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn't sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.

"There were a whole lot of people upset by this study," lead researcher Roberta Estes said. "They just knew they were Portuguese, or Native American."

Beginning in the early 1800s, or possibly before, the term Melungeon (meh-LUN'-jun) was applied as a slur to a group of about 40 families along the Tennessee-Virginia border. But it has since become a catch-all phrase for a number of groups of mysterious mixed-race ancestry.

www.huffingtonpost.com...

First Off the above is a great example of why we need a history forum as it does not fit in the ancient Civ forum or neatly fit into the Social Issues box..ATS brass are U guyz paying attention.

Folks pls klik the link for more, the story of the Melungeons have been an interesting one, I had heard claims that they were descendants of Carthaginians some lost tribe of Israel or even Atlanteans but most popular is Portuguese , the truth of their story maybe just as exotic and colorful as it goes into the making of what was to become an American...long suspected of being the world's mutt but troubled with it's multiethnic past wrapped up in the ugliness of slavery and self loathing implied by such a connection turn inward, their story or history while not unique to the world is nonetheless an American story.
edit on Wed Oct 21 2015 by DontTreadOnMe because: trimmed overly long quote IMPORTANT: Using Content From Other Websites on ATS




posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 12:05 PM
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Why would they be upset?

Black and White is a great mix.

Nice find, Spider.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

Perhaps the social norms of the day prompted some families to exile white women impregnated by slaves(?) to remote areas of Appalachia. Maybe the "Portuguese" thing was a cover story to further obfuscate the truth.

Just a theory.

Hey, is Kardashian a Portuguese name? LOL
I'm joking people, relax.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 12:33 PM
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I know that I had ancestors enslaved during the Moorish invasions of Europe. Who knows what happened when they were slaves? Probably not anything good.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: Spider879

Seems like they suffer from Waterboy Syndrome:

"But mama said...but mama said...but mama said."

Hey, sometimes oral tradition based on apparent speculation is wrong--deal with it, as there's nothing wrong with being a mixed-race human being. You're still just a human being.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:31 PM
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I have only been able to trace the my grandfathers side of the family to Shooting Creek North Carolina some where around 1840. Considering my dark complexion, curly hair and other rather large attributes perhaps I have melungeon DNA to go with the English and Cherokee ancestry.
I don't really mind as most Americans and really just mutts anyway.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:37 PM
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originally posted by: Spider879
First Off the above is a great example of why we need a history forum as it does not fit in the ancient Civ forum or neatly fit into the Social Issues box..ATS brass are U guyz paying attention.

I don't know if starting a Racism Forum is a good move.
edit on 21-10-2015 by Blue Shift because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:42 PM
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I have known this for some time. I have melungeon ancestry. The DNA testing was done in the area where I was born about ten years ago and it shows African roots, but there were Native American markers in some families too.... but not all of them. My mother never wanted to admit to having the roots that she did for a long time, but she is ok with it today.

The area that I am speaking of is in Southcentral Pennsylvania, Fulton and Huntington counties.
edit on b000000312015-10-21T14:52:21-05:0002America/ChicagoWed, 21 Oct 2015 14:52:21 -0500200000015 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:50 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy

There were Native Americans in the slave population too. Not many but some and if there were Native Americans in the area, intermarriage was also going to happen.

I can see why some people would be upset at this both for racial and for the loss of mystique.

Which would rather tell people? My ancestors are a lost colony of Carthage or Atlantis or yeah, I have mixed heritage like a lot of other people ...?



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:53 PM
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There is a lot of melungeon ancestry in West Virginia as well. Irish free slaves (from the Caribbean), freed Black slaves, Native American and a lot of scots-Irish mixed in for good measure. Many headed north to the mills and factories of Pittsburgh area, around the 1900s (if they could "pass" for white as "eye-talians" as part of my family lore goes.). Remember there was a "one drop" theory in most of the last two centuries, and many who could "recreated" their family trees for employment opportunities.

For the sake of birth defects, anomalies, etc., DNA research is vital. Family "stories" too are Invaluable to our history. I learned so much about my roots via a family member who is a practicing Mormon and used LDS geneology to fill in our tree. It really is fascinating.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko
I can see why people would get upset.
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.




posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:15 PM
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a reply to: butcherguy


Many came north, and a lot stayed in the hollers of WV and went into the mines. A lot though came further north to PA to work in the mills (factories, on the rivers, and coal mines) and stayed in the "southern tier" of PA.

For me we are pretty assured that my maternal grandfather was melungeon. My maternal grandmother met him as she was a domestic (came over from Ireland as a teen) working in the kitchen in "one of the finest homes in Pittsburgh." Her husband to be worked in the families stables as a livery. Back in that day once married, the woman no longer worked (tho she took in laundry and eventually boarders when they had ahouse of their own). My mom and her only surviving sibling were given very Italian first names (as "cover "). Both my mom and aunt are both long gone, but they had the most beautiful olive skin and early onset pure white hair.

My mom was already deceased (but my dad sort of "knew") when my LDS relative by marriage shared that she found dead ends on the "Italian immigrant" front via her research. Sadly, even Mormon research doesn't get all the info as both black and white slaves/indentured servents were not always "recorded."



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.

Quite so. The problem starts when people start to rely on their ethnic or cultural background to give them a sense of identity or feeling ethnic "pride" for some reason. Then it's just a quick step from judging other cultures or ethnicities or religions to be inferior, or getting upset when somebody says "your people" are no good.

I'm just me. Don't judge me by my gene pool or by what crazy crap my stupid ancestors believed in.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:41 PM
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im surprised people are upset over this.. oh wait...

Strange how Centuries later people still have this sentiment below (not really strange):

from source:

The study quotes from an 1874 court case in Tennessee in which a Melungeon woman's inheritance was challenged. If Martha Simmerman were found to have African blood, she would lose the inheritance.

Her attorney, Lewis Shepherd, argued successfully that the Simmerman's family was descended from ancient Phoenicians who eventually migrated to Portugal and then to North America.

Writing about his argument in a memoir published years later, Shepherd stated, "Our Southern high-bred people will never tolerate on equal terms any person who is even remotely tainted with negro blood, but they do not make the same objection to other brown or dark-skinned people, like the Spanish, the Cubans, the Italians, etc."



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:45 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: ketsuko
I can see why people would get upset.
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.



classy... but explain why, not people, but certain people would get upset?
because i cant see why....



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 03:49 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: ketsuko
I can see why people would get upset.
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.



I have one whole quarter of my family tree that is more or less unknown seeing as how my paternal grandfather was basically a bastard in a day and age when that just didn't happen.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 04:02 PM
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originally posted by: odzeandennz

originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: ketsuko
I can see why people would get upset.
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.



classy... but explain why, not people, but certain people would get upset?
because i cant see why....


I don't know. Why do you think Elizabeth Warren got so upset when it was discovered that her Native American ancestry was based solely on old family tales and not on any reliable genealogical fact?

Why would she have been so upset?



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 04:10 PM
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There's only one race.

And that's Human.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 05:16 PM
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originally posted by: Blue Shift

originally posted by: Spider879
First Off the above is a great example of why we need a history forum as it does not fit in the ancient Civ forum or neatly fit into the Social Issues box..ATS brass are U guyz paying attention.

I don't know if starting a Racism Forum is a good move.

Why assume a history forum would be all about race and racism.



posted on Oct, 21 2015 @ 05:26 PM
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originally posted by: ketsuko

originally posted by: odzeandennz

originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: ketsuko
I can see why people would get upset.
As for me, I figure that we can't pick our ancestors. I yam what I yam.



classy... but explain why, not people, but certain people would get upset?
because i cant see why....


I don't know. Why do you think Elizabeth Warren got so upset when it was discovered that her Native American ancestry was based solely on old family tales and not on any reliable genealogical fact?

Why would she have been so upset?

Bragging rights, in my family's case Maroon ancestry is worn like a badge and folks in Jamaica with just a rumor of such connections hyped that tenuous link until it become fact.
It's kool to be a Maroon..



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