If you want to discover your genetic history and where you came from... you’ve found the right place!

888-806-2588

review of scientific and news articles on dna testing and popular genetics

Melungeon Riddle Solved by Autosomal DNA Project

Thursday, September 16, 2010

After many years in development, the results of a DNA ancestry project enrolling 40 Melungeons were published and made public, marking the end of an attempt to solve the mystery of a Southern U.S. ethnic group with autosomal DNA.

Seeming to lay to rest an old controversy in American history about Melungeons, the scientific data supporting a genetic mixture of white, American Indian and Sub-Saharan African were placed online today by the organizers of DNA Consultants' Melungeon DNA Project.

The data report a sample of 40 Melungeons' DNA fingerprints. Population analysis of the participants' DNA fingerprints was used in an article for Appalachian Journal. Titled "Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Eastern Tennessee," the study was co-authored by Donald N. Yates, principal investigator of DNA Consultants, and Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, a professor at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

"This is a giant stride forward in understanding the mixed ancestry of Melungeons," said Donald Yates, co-author. "Never before has autosomal DNA been used in attacking the problem."

The 40 participants' names were:

Anonymous, Mabel Bentley, Judy Douglas Bloom, Leah Laura Bulgariev, John (Dick) Caldwell, John R. Caldwell, Sr. (deceased), Virginia Caldwell, William Collins, Mary Goodman, Floyd Milton Grimwood (deceased), Ann Reagan Haines, Linda Barnett Hall, Nancy E. Hammes, Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, Pat Goin Jones, Brenda LaForce, Everett LaForce, Jessica Kiely Law, Bonnie J. Lyda, N. Brent Kennedy, Richard Kennedy, Margaret E. Kross, MeriDee Orvis Mahan, Karen Mattern, Sebenia Ann Milbacher, Nicolas J. Millington, Holli Starnes Molnar, Nancy Sparks Morrison, Teresa Panther-Yates, Billy Starnes, Julia Starnes, Keely Starnes, Phyllis Starnes, Richard Stewart, Doretha J. Thornton, Kaye M. Viars, Celia Wyckoff, Wayne Winkler, Betty Yates Adams, Donald N. Yates.

Participants were qualified by their genealogies and included many names familiar to those who follow Melungeon genealogy discussion groups on the Internet, including Brent Kennedy, author of the book 1996 book that started the Melungeon Movement, his brother Richard Kennedy; Elizabeth Hirschman, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., along with several members of her family; Wayne Winkler of the Melungeon Heritage Association and author of Walking Toward the Sunset; and Nancy Morrison, creator of the online Melungeon Health referral service.

More information on DNA Consultants' Melungeon DNA Studies page.

 

Melungeon family in Tennessee about 1900.

 

More information about Melungeons
Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Southern Appalachia
Melungeon Studies
Melungeon Match

Comments

naturedoc commented on 17-Sep-2010 12:20 PM

You have a great blog! I enjoy your articles and they are well written.

Anonymous commented on 19-Sep-2010 01:28 PM

What exactly is the controversy about Melungeons? What's the big "mystery"? What can a Melungeon do with this info?

Karen Virginia commented on 11-Dec-2010 08:48 AM

Nice website: I really don't think this should mark the end "of an attempt to solve the mystery of a Southern U.S. ethnic group with autosomal DNA" though but I tend to see this leap as one of a great beginning, and not an end. Thanks for sharing

DJ Thornton commented on 11-May-2011 10:10 PM

This is quite a coup and I have great satisfaction in participating in this study along with many friends that became relatives over the last 10 years of researching and corresponding in discussion groups about this mystery. We all felt related and now
there is validation. I look forward to all the news that comes out of this research. I read the article in the Appalachian Journal Fall 2010 I recomend it as well search this blog to purchase

Bob Mitchell commented on 28-Sep-2011 08:51 AM

My Mother's family is from Hawkins County Tenn.I'm pretty sure we have some melungeon ancestry.I have shovel teeth,and the bump on the back of my head.My sister was diagnosed with some rare blood disease.They checked her DNA and found sub-saharan african
traits,,not real sure how much.We were always told we were part Indian.I think there's more to it than that.My mother was a Robinson.We are kin to the Lawsons,Rymores,Stapeltons Sizemores,Manis,ect.Not sure about the spelling on some of these sure names.I
want to know more about my own DNA,Heritage,and just where we come from and who are we.Richard Jessie Robinson was my Grandfather,and he raised me.But i think there was some things he never talked about.Lol! Would like to hear from other Melungeons who may
be able to help me on this path I have started down.I want to know who my people are.Anybody out there that might be able to help,or have suggestions,my e-mail is fenderbender6@yahoo.com. thank y'all.

Jo Hendren commented on 16-Nov-2011 11:05 AM

I am writing in response to Bob Mitchell's post--I was surprised to find a cousin here. Like my cousin, I have shovel teeth and a bump on the back of my head, although very small. Neither one of our grandparents talked much about their ancestors. In fact,
my grandfther told me when pressed for information that when your family had mixed blood "you didn't talk about it back then." His family tree includes Robinson, Gonce, Rimer, Manis and Couch. His wife's family included Lawson, Stapleton, Singleton, Manis
and Sizemore I've been researching this family tree for years. So many roadblocks, particularly on the Robinson side. If anyone can shed some light on Robinson migration from North Carolina to Grayson County, Virginia to Hawkins County, Tennessee I would truly
appreciate it.

Autumn Bond commented on 28-Dec-2011 03:33 AM

i am very interested in finding out for sure if i have melungeon ancesrtery. I am from sw virginia, scott county . i would like to have a DNA done. i have the bump on the back of my head , i have dark hair, dark blue eyes and rh negative blood. however
my skin is very pale if anyone can lead me in the right direction, i have no idea where to begin, my email is autumnbond79@yahoo.com. thanks

Jim McCord-Denver commented on 03-Jan-2014 04:37 PM

Am trying to find anything on my grandmother from W Va. Cynthia (Cindy) Allie, or perhaps Collie. The odd thing is her husband, my granddad, Lewis McCord was in the Indiana KKK for a while. I had always been told that she was half indian and her Dad's pic hung in the entrance to her kitchen. Now, with only an aunt and an uncle left, no one admits that it was ever there nor do they admit she was part Indian. Melungeon was never mentioned. Any direction would be most appreciated.


Please tell us what you think

Name, website, and email are optional; if we publish your comment, your name will be shown, and may be linked to your website if provided, but the email you enter will not be published.





Captcha Image


Recent Posts


Tags

health and medicine Belgium Gregory Mendel private allele Teresa Panther-Yates National Health Laboratories Thuya Bureau of Indian Affairs seafaring myths Gravettian culture Micmac Indians Harold Goodwin Rich Crankshaw Choctaw Indians ISOGG French DNA Henriette Mertz DNA testing companies James Shoemaker Holocaust John Wilwol Hertfordshire Plato Cismar Patrick Henry Sir Joshua Reynolds Oxford Journal of Evolution Irish history IntegenX New York Academy of Sciences Moundbuilders Arabic Nature Communications Science magazine Rutgers University Celts Finnish people Italy Washington D.C. Pueblo Grande Museum Nadia Abu El-Haj American history rapid DNA testing Freemont Indians Marie Cheng Barnard College andrew solomon Miguel Gonzalez haplogroup X BBCNews Hispanic ancestry N. Brent Kennedy oncology Virginia DeMarce Etruscans Stephen Oppenheimer Mark Thomas statistics autosomal DNA Bigfoot AP Joseph Jacobs Penny Ferguson Early Jews of England and Wales genealogy When Scotland Was Jewish aliyah Nikola Tesla Ron Janke Phyllis Starnes District of Columbia Hohokam Indians Stone Age haplogroup Z Jack Goins Slovakia Zuni Indians Cajuns England New York Review of Books familial Mediterranean fever Terry Gross Wendy Roth crypto-Jews Tutankamun Sam Kean CODIS markers Rafael Falk Henry VII Phoenicians Kitty Prince of the Bear River Athabaskans Nayarit BATWING Leicester Genex Diagnostics Acadians Amy Harmon Zizmer ancient DNA Iran palatal tori Melungeon Union King Arthur Dragging Canoe Cismaru horizontal inheritance Gypsies Albert Einstein College of Medicine Algonquian Indians Clovis Michoacan Discovery Channel Melungeon Heritage Association Harry Ostrer Cherokee DNA Project Melanesians John Butler North Carolina genetics microsatellites Timothy Bestor DNA Fingerprint Test family history Colima mental foramen Romania Tintagel forensics Wales prehistory Chris Stringer pheromones Richard Dewhurst Black Dutch Mother Qualla Maui Sea Peoples Elizabeth DeLand Pima Indians anthropology methylation Les Miserables Sonora consanguinity Melungeons American Journal of Human Genetics Holocaust Database FDA Scientific American Life Technologies Russia Tifaneg Theodore Steinberg Epigraphic Society Austro-Hungary Waynesboro Pennsylvania Arizona 23andme Germany haplogroup J Bryony Jones Yates surname Arabia haplogroup N Melba Ketchum Virginia genealogy Promega Eric Wayner Neanderthals Peter Martyr Ripan Malhi Janet Lewis Crain powwows Altai Turks Lebanon Henry IV Bentley surname research Nephilim, Fritz Zimmerman Erika Chek Hayden Charles Darwin Wikipedia Stacy Schiff Olmec Anasazi phenotype M. J. Harper university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Jan Ravenspirit Franz Jesse Montes Colin Renfrew human leukocyte antigens Current Anthropology Old Souls in a New World Discover magazine Daniel Defoe Irish Central Donald N. Yates Riane Eisler admixture Britain haplogroup B Asiatic Fathers of America Family Tree DNA mummies ethnic markers Kennewick Man Svante Paabo Paleolithic Age hominids DNA Forums European DNA Ireland DNA magazine Michael Schwartz origins of art Monya Baker Native American DNA Test Alec Jeffreys Elzina Grimwood Muslims in American history Chromosomal Labs Bode Technology Barack Obama Bulgaria Rush Limbaugh Akhenaten Normans genetic memory human migrations EURO DNA Fingerprint Test haplogroup U Stony Creek Baptist Church Magdalenian culture Bryan Sykes cannibalism breast cancer Abraham Lincoln Havasupai Indians Roma People FOX News FBI X chromosome Egyptians Austronesian, Filipinos, Australoid haplogroup C Cleopatra Asian DNA alleles Richard Buckley Sizemore Indians London Rare Genes Science Daily, Genome Biol. Evol., Eran Elhaik, Khazarian Hypothesis, Rhineland Hypothesis Salt River haplogroup H Chauvet cave paintings Elvis Presley DNA Monica Sanowar Black Irish Harold Sterling Gladwin Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Shlomo Sand B'nai Abraham Ancestry.com Nature Genetics Jews Kate Wong ethics Taino Indians Oxford Nanopore George van der Merwede Colin Pitchfork Grim Sleeper hoaxes Denisovans Keros Charlotte Harris Reese linguistics Texas A&M University Solutreans corn Phillipe Charlier Philippa Langley Chris Tyler-Smith prehistoric art Luca Pagani Hawaii peopling of the Americas Wendell Paulson climate change population genetics Bode Technology Patagonia Lab Corp Walter Plecker Horatio Cushman First Peoples African DNA Jewish novelists Peter Parham clinical chemistry New York Times single nucleotide polymorphism Gila River Arizona State University William Byrd Jewish genetics Telltown personal genomics Charles Perou Kari Schroeder Constantine Rafinesque mutation rate Zionism Y chromosomal haplogroups Jim Bentley Stan Steiner MHC National Geographic Daily News population isolates ENFSI Sizemore surname Majorca Isabel Allende Tennessee El Castillo cave paintings Mexico Sasquatch Robinson Crusoe DNA databases ethnicity haplogroup L surnames Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma INORA epigenetics Panther's Lodge Publishers Mucogee Creeks New Mexico Cave art medicine Marija Gimbutas Ari Plost religion Comanche Indians Cohen Modal Haplotype Louis XVI Beringia Tom Martin Scroft King Arthur, Tintagel, The Earliest Jews and Muslims of England and Wales Puerto Rico Helladic art Khoisan Early Jews and Muslims of England and Wales (book) DNA Diagnostics Center Sinaloa India Melungeon Movement history of science Chuetas Israel Carl Zimmer Nova Scotia Hopi Indians Kari Carpenter GlobalFiler Ancient Giantns Who Ruled America Gunnar Thompson North African DNA Central Band of Cherokees Native American DNA clan symbols University of Leicester HapMap Jone Entine Irish DNA Bradshaw Foundation Fritz Zimmerman Anne Marie Fine megapopulations China Elizabeth C. Hirschman Phoenix haplogroup E Roberta Estes Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America Cherokee Freedmen Indo-Europeans Russell Belk Scotland Tucson Douglas Preston Columbia University Ostenaco Ananya Mandal Greeks immunology DNA Fingerprint Test Sinti Khazars Maronites Daily News and Analysis PNAS Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Lithuania Maya Victor Hugo Kurgan Culture Douglas Owsley Secret History of the Cherokee Indians Genome Sciences Building giants Smithsonian Magazine Sorbs Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies NPR Johnny Depp Cherokee DNA Bill Tiffee human leukocyte testing far from the tree Neolithic Revolution Jewish contribution to world literature Kentucky genetic determinism Europe Israel, Shlomo Sand Jalisco mitochondrial DNA Ukraine Pomponia Graecina National Museum of Natural History Ziesmer, Zizmor Abenaki Indians genomics labs Dienekes Anthropology Blog occipital bun research Anglo-Saxons Middle Ages David Cornish Great Goddess Smithsonian Institution Hohokam Caucasian cancer Brian Wilkes haplogroup T race Cornwall Alabama haplogroup M Navajo Population genetics Richard Lewontin Mary Settegast Richmond California The Nation magazine Basques Bering Land Bridge education DNA security Cancer Genome Atlas Middle Eastern DNA Juanita Sims Michael Grant Jewish GenWeb bar mitzvah Y chromosome DNA Cooper surname Richard III polydactylism archeology news Turkic DNA Anacostia Indians Valparaiso University Mary Kugler bloviators art history Jon Entine Sarmatians Ashkenazi Jews George Starr-Bresette French Canadians Pueblo Indians rock art Panther's Lodge haplogroup R Applied Epistemology evolution

Archive