The Melungeons blog

Monday, May 30, 2005

Ancestry Message Boards - Message [ Sephardim and Sephardic Judaism ]

"A Priestly Clan in Scotland, Ireland and Tennessee

A Priestly Clan in Scotland, Ireland…and Tennessee

We are confronted here with a Scottish “clan” that carried its knowledge of Jewishness from Scotland and Ireland to the Appalachians, where they became grouped together with Melungeons. While strictly not part of the Melungeon DNA project, the Cowan Surname Project participants were happy to make available their results. Promisingly, the Alabama branch of Clan Cowan emblazoned a Torah scroll on their Web page. To date, nearly 20 Cowan surname bearers have been tested. They may be divided into 6 haplotypes, of which Cowan IVa is the modal haplotype, representing 6 out of 19, or about one-third of the donors (see Fig.). With the exception of Cowan I and II, all the others are at one or two removes from each other.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Unexplained Mysteries Discussion Forums > Mystery of the Melungeons

"For more than 200 hundred years the mysterious origins of the Melungeons has mystified many who were searching for facts. Recent research compiled by the Melungeon Research Committee (MRS) reveals the most probable theory thus far.N. Brent Kennedy is the founder of the MRC, and author of 'The Melungeons, The Resurrection of a Proud People.'Kennedy's search for his heritage led to the conception of MRC in 1992 and the in-depth research performed internationally by the MRC team. Many members of this team, including Kennedy, are Melungeon.Hancock County Historian Dr. Scott Collins is a member of MRC.Kennedy consulted frequently with Collins when writing his book.According to information obtained from Collins, the research committee has discovered that Melungeons most likely descend from 16th century settlers, Portuguese and Spanish, who were abandoned or cutoff when the English overran the Santa Elena Colony, presently known as Beaufort, S.C., in 1587.The MRC believes these settlers came to the coast of South Carolina in 1567 under the leadership of a Spanish captain, Juan Pardo. The settlers consisted of approximately 250 soldiers, their wives and children. 'Several forts were built around the borders of South Carolina and Georgia, and one near Chattanooga,' Collins' information states. The settlers lived in and around these forts 20 years, 'until the English arrived and ran them out of the area.'In addition, the research committee has reason to believe several hundred Turks and other Muslim sailors were put off ships at Roanoke Island, N.C. in 1586 by Sir Frances Drake.'The evidence indicates that both (groups of settlers) intermarried with Native Americans, primarily Cherokees, Creeks, Catawba and Pamunkey,' the information states, 'and "

DNA Detectives - Mysteries of History - U.S. News Online

"Haven't got a clue? Maybe DNA will do Regular folks and history buffs play detective


Brent Kennedy is a man with a past, and he doesn't think it lies in the misty green hills conjured by his Celtic surname. Kennedy believes he's a Melungeon, one of a dark-skinned clan of enigmatic origin that has long been reviled by their Appalachian neighbors. The Wise, Va., college administrator is so intent on finding his roots that he's having his DNA analyzed for clues.
'I grew up learning in school that we're all Scots-Irish,' says black-haired, blue-eyed Kennedy, born and raised in this tiny town perched high in the coal-mining country of Southwest Virginia. He thinks the genes will reveal a different lesson-one of Turks, Portuguese, and Sephardic Jews, who sailed to the New World in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, stayed, and assimilated, and whose history was expunged by the burgeoning Anglo-Saxon majority.

Kennedy's quest is intensely personal. But around the world, the remarkable technology that allows for DNA fingerprinting is being deployed to answer some of history's legendary conundrums. Indeed, DNA analysis has become so sensitive that it's possible to identify an individual from the cellular spoor left on a discarded cocktail napkin.
That level of specificity has made the urge to exhume the past so overwhelming it seems no corpse can rest in peace. In 1995, George Washington University law professor James E. Starrs used DNA to show that the body in a Kearney, Mo., grave could be outlaw Jesse James. It could also be a James family member, so Bud Hardcastle, an amateur historian and used car dealer in Purcell, Okla., got a court order to dig up the Granbury, Texas, grave of J. Frank Dalton, who he thinks is t"

Linguistic Diversity in the South

"Linguistic Diversity in the South: Changing Codes, Practices, and Ideology

Linguistic Diversity in the South: Changing Codes, Practices, and Ideology. Edited by Margaret Bender. Southern Anthropological Society Proceedings, no. 37. (Athens, Ga., and London: University of Georgia Press, c. 2004. Pp. [x], 141. Linguistic Diversity in the South: Changing Codes, Practices, and Ideology

Eight essays and an introduction make up this concise but stimulating volume; it grew out of a session at the annual meeting of the Southern Anthropological Society in 2002. The essays address language issues relating to Lumbee Indians and residents of Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, black and white residents of the Appalachian Mountains, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Muskogee Nation in Oklahoma, the Melungeons and Scotch Irish groups in the southern highlands, and Cajuns in Louisiana. An essay by Blair A. Rudes reminds readers that from the beginning of its documented history, the South has encompassed many languages. At times the authors use the highly technical terminology of linguistic anthropology, but most of the essays are nonetheless accessible and informative to a general audience"

Hancock County


In the mid-1970's, when I developed an interest in the people called Melungeons, the only two books I could find on the subject were Jean Patterson Bible's 'Melungeons Yesterday and Today,' and Bonnie Ball's 'The Melungeons.' Today there are several available and you can type the name of the once-mysterious ethnic group into your computer browser and get thousands of references.

John Sevier, Tennessee's first governor, was told by the Cherokees that they had long referred to Melungeons as 'as blue-eyed Indians.' The term 'Melungeon' was probably given to them by French explorers, the first Europeans who ran into them, long before the Scotch-Irish arrived. Wherever it came from, it was a term of contempt, equivalent tp 'mongrel.'

They were spread throughout the Southern Appalachians under various names - Brass Ankles, Carmelites, Lumbee Indians and Redbones - but they were concentrated in what is now Hancock County, Tenn. They were mostly dark, Mediterranean-looking people, but blue, gray and green eyes often turned up among them. They would sometimes say they were 'Portygee,' when asked their country of origin.

When genetic testing became available, it was proven that many had come from Mediterranean stock - which likely included Moors, Berbers and even Serphadic Jews - who had probably fled religious or ethnic persecution and arrived by way of Portugal. But for 150 years, the so-called experts said such a heritage was not possible because people with Portuguese and other Mediterranean names had not been found on the passenger lists of European immigrants.

It didn't occur to the experts that a people who had already fled one place because of ethnic persecution might have used English-s"

Discover your ancestors at!

Kentucky Life 416: Melungeons

"In Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, people with dark skin and blue eyes have lived for centuries, representing a different ethnic heritage from the Scotch-Irish immigrants typically associated with the area. They are known as the Melungeons.

Exactly what ethnic heritage the Melungeons represent, though, is a matter of much research activity (and sometimes heated debate). In this special episode, Kentucky Life consults historians, archaeologists, and authors to discover who the Melungeons were -- and who they are today.
The arrival of the Melungeons in the New World may have predated the first settlement at Jamestown; some historical records indicate that Melungeons were living in Appalachia as early as 1567. One theory is that they are descendants of shipwrecked Portuguese sailors who intermarried with local Native American tribes. Other researchers contend that the Melungeons actually have Muslim roots -- in Turkey or elsewhere in the Middle East -- while some have speculated that they represent black/white intermarriage, 'hushed up' by later racism."

Was Elvis a Melungeon?

Was Elvis a Melungeon?

Elvis was born far from the hills of southwestern Virginia in Tupelo, Miss. But researcher Brent Kennedy, a college administrator in Wise, theorizes that the King, as well as Abraham Lincoln and Ava Gardner, might trace their ancestors to the mysterious Melungeons. These dark-skinned, blue-eyed people were first documented in Virginia�s Blue Ridge in the late 1700s. Over the years, various myths about their origin arose. Some believed they were either survivors from the Lost Colony of Roanoke or Portuguese shipwrecks. Others suggested they were descendents of one of the lost tribes of Israel or of early Carthaginian or Phoenician seamen.

Kennedy�s controversial 1994 book, The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People, is credited with reviving interest in this �little race.� He offered a theory, still debated today, that the mixed-race group can trace its lineage to Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the 16th century and perhaps their Turkish sailors and slaves. The Mediterranean and Middle Eastern settlers later intermarried with Native Americans and freed slaves. Prior to Kennedy, sociologists and anthropologists had referred to Melungeons as �tri-racial isolates,� with Scotch-Irish, Native American and African-American origins.

Kennedy, who is a native of Wise, became interested in Melungeons when he was diagnosed with a rare disease that was most common among African Americans, people of Mediterranean descent and New England�s Portuguese immigrants. He had always been told his heritage was Scotch-Irish, despite physical evidence--swarthy family complexions--to the contrary.

Not only is Melungeon racial heritage clouded in mystery, but even the term has obscure roots. In the 17th century, the French encountered Mediterranean-skinned peopl"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

If I have offended anyone...

If I have offended anyone...: "It has been brought to my attention that a post was made on another board (I did not see , as it was deleted) suggesting that I had caused some controversy on the Melungeon and AI boards. Something about working my stuff on these boards and trying to pick fights and I had picked the wrong victim and it was best not to converse with me. ??
I immediately felt a sense of being unwelcome.

I have made 6 post/responses on the AI board and 9 posts/responses on the Melungeon board. I went back and re-read my postings and could not find anything that suggested controversy or what I thought seemed the least bit offensive or disrespectful.

Since I am new to both these boards and do not know any of you personally . I was shocked to learn that I had been pre judged by this poster and labeled with these accusations.
Please know that my postings were geniune postings/reponses regarding genealogy and my intentions were not to offend anyone.

Becky Fox Shuff
Fayette County, WV"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pocahontas Baptist Church

Pocahontas Baptist Church: "Pocahontas Baptist Church

The Pocahontas Baptist Church was located in Tazewell County, Virginia. The church was a mission church because of its location in a distressed mining town. The history of the church began in the late 1700�s when Reverend M. A. Wilson held a rival meeting to teach his Baptist faith. Many Baptist from neighboring towns came to the rival meeting to hear the Reverend evangelize. Several conversions to Christianity resulted from the breathtaking sermon. The newly formed Baptist congregation decided to construct a church in the heart of the town so that the Reverend Wilson could hold revival meetings. The funds for building the church were lacking, but faith kept the congregation together. The church was constructed and in a few years it was paid for by noble men such as John Baber, Walter W. Odor, Fredrick H. Baker, Henry Smith Sam B. Cook, James S. Hensley, William W. French.
Another well known mission church was built in the mid 1800�s by Powhatan Baber. Powhatan Baber was a Baptist minister of the largest Baptist Church in Princeton, West Virginia. Powhatan and his wife Caroline Tuggle Baber lived in Monroe County, West Virginia. "

Baber Origins

"Baber, an old English name, dates back to the Hundred Rolls of the year 1273, where can to be found the name of Henry Baber. Only the best families or those of royal birth were entered in the 'Hundred Roll'. The name Baber in England has its main history beginning in Somerset. Although other spellings have been seen the Surnames of Baber and Babers are the only ones featured on this website.

Many American Baber families' folklore maintains that the first Baber to come to America was Edward Baber, from Somerset, England. Edward Baber was a stockholder in the London Company. The London Company was an association of 'noblemen, gentlemen, and merchants.' In 1606, King James I of England granted the association for settlement in North America. It founded the Jamestown colony in 1607. Edward Baber of Somerset County was a subscriber to the Third Charter of the Virginia Company of London in 1612. Edward Baber's name appears on the 1611 Virginia Colony census.
Most stockholders did not want to make the long voyage to the colonies themselves. It is said that they assisted the poorer relatives and friends to make the harsh journey. Some seem to have gone to represent business activities of the Baber family.

The founders of the London Company believed that precious metals existed in the Americas. They spent about ten thousand dollars to send three groups of emigrants to America. By 1608, King James threatened that if the colony did not make money, the colonists should be 'left in Virginia as damaged men.' Two new Charters one in 1609, and one in 1612, reorganized the company, but it still failed to make a profit.
King James had no sympathy for the hardships of the unsuccessful colonists. The swampland, the "

Friday, May 20, 2005

For Dead Sea, a slow death - Highlights -

"'The situation of the Dead Sea is something that happened because there's a water shortage and it's needed for other uses,' Cohen said. 'You can say, 'Don't think of anything else. Let the Dead Sea have the water,' but no one will listen. They'll say, 'So we won't have water in Tel Aviv or the Negev or where?' '

The best hope for a solution, some believe, is to pump salt water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea via a proposed 120-mile Red-Dead Canal, a $5 billion project that the Jordanian government is pursuing with international donors. The World Bank will help fund a $20 million study of the idea.
But Israeli experts say similar proposals -- including a Med-Dead canal to pump water from the Mediterranean -- have been around for more than 30 years and are unlikely to work. According to Amos Bein of the Geological Survey of Israel, chemical and biological reactions produced by mixing Dead Sea water with seawater could change the blue color of the Dead Sea to white or red or create deadly gases.

In the end, he said, the sea will continue falling about three feet a year for the next 150 years or so, until the water becomes so supersaturated with salt that evaporation effectively stops. At that point, according to Bein, the surface of the Dead Sea will be one-third smaller and about 434 feet lower than today.

'It's possible to see the half-full part of the glass,' he said. 'The Dead Sea will never dry up.'"

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Jewish Journal Archives

Jewish Journal Archives: "In 1905, a group of Lithuanian Jews sat around a table in Cape Town, South Africa, their home of five years. They left their native lands to escape rampant anti-Semitism, inspired by dreams of owning and working a land where they could practice their religion untormented. Contrary to expectations, however, they found themselves working in retail in Wynberg, a suburb of the Cape, when they stumbled across a pamphlet that would change their lives forever. Issued by the Canadian Department of Immigration, it promised prospective immigrants 160 acres of land for $10. These intrepid few long harbored the desire to farm a land of their own, and well recalled how they were denied this opportunity by the governments of Eastern Europe. The offer of land ownership in a country of equal opportunity was one they could not refuse. They formed an 'on-to-the-land' movement, gathered fellow enthusiasts and soon embarked on a journey that would take them into the heart of northern Saskatchewan.
In the years that followed, these peripatetic people built their homes alongside the banks of the Carrot River, a land located 20 miles from the nearest village, Star City, and one rich in forests and water. In 1907, a bridge was constructed over the river's rushing waters, providing employment for most of the new settlers, who welcomed the opportunity to earn direly needed cash. With the opening of the post office a year later, the new settlement needed a name. Canadian officials were intent on avoiding names designating ethnicity or religious affiliation, and refused to permit 'Jewish Bridge' or 'Israel Villa,' the pioneers' first choices. Eventually they allowed the name 'Edenbridge' to represent the colony, unaware that it was a subtle version of 'Yiddenbridge', a bridge of Jews. It was a bridge of shared Jewish heritage and"

Bones raise questions on origins of man - The Washington Times: World Briefings - October 05, 2004

"MEXICO CITY - For decades, Federico Solorzano has gathered old bones from the shores of Mexico's largest lake — bones he found and bones he was brought, bones of beasts and bones of men.

The longtime teacher of anthropology and paleontology had been sifting through his collection one day when he noticed some that didn't seem to fit: a mineral-darkened piece of brow ridge bone and a bit of jaw that didn't match any modern skulls.

But Mr. Solorzano found a perfect fit when he placed the brow against a model of the Old World's Tautavel Man, a member of the species Homo erectus, which many think was an ancestor of modern Homo sapiens. "

Brit-Am Now 336

"Subject: Re: Jewish DNA among Southeastern Indians

Author: Donald Panther-Yates

Date: 10 Dec 2003 4:37 PM GMT


DNA analysis of over 150 prominent surnames in the Melungeon DNA Project reveals a Jewish and Moorish settlement pattern in Glasgow, Perthshire and Aberdeen from the Norman period onward. Some Scottish clans appear to have had ethnically Jewish founders. Crypto-Jewish practices are documented in many of Scotland's guilds, merchant societies, burial grounds and Templar activities. Sephardic Jews, Moors, Muslims and Marranos from the Continent found a welcome in Scottish society during the English, French and Spanish persecution of Jews beginning in the 13th century. These same families were influential in shaping Presbyterianism, establishing the Ulster Scots plantations in Ireland, and developing international trade. After
immigration to America, they dominated the westward movement on the frontier, including the assimilation of American Indian tribes, land development, and introduction of manufacturing, from Tennessee to Texas.

Best regards,

Donald Panther-Yates

Elizabeth Hirschman and I have written a 380 page study of the origins of Scotland, its clans and its mercantilism, connecting many famous names in her history to the Davidic state in France ca. 750 and settlement of Jews in Glasgow, Perthshire and Aberdeen during the various expulsions and pogroms in Europe. The manuscript has been accepted by a major publisher of Judaica and will be introduced by Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer, an expert on Chinese Jews. After that we plan to look at the Sephardic contribution to the Plymouth Colony, Jamestown, Charleston and western movement in America. Whether with Beth or not, I also wa"

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

RaceSci: History of Race in Science: In Media

"Geneticists Report Finding Central Asian Link to Levites


New York Times 09/27/03

A team of geneticists studying the ancestry of Jewish communities has found an unusual genetic signature that occurs in more than half the Levites of Ashkenazi descent. The signature is thought to have originated in Central Asia, not the Near East, which is the ancestral home of Jews. The finding raises the question of how the signature became so widespread among the Levites, an ancient caste of hereditary Jewish priests.

The genetic signature occurs on the male or Y chromosome and comes from a few men, or perhaps a single ancestor, who lived about 1,000 years ago, just as the Ashkenazim were beginning to be established in Europe. Ashkenazim, from whom most American Jews descend, are one of the two main branches of Jews, the other being the Sephardim, whose ancestors were expelled from Spain.

The new report, published in the current issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, was prepared by population geneticists in Israel, the United States and England, who have been studying the genetics of Jewish communities for the last six years.

They say that 52 percent of Levites of Ashkenazi origin have a particular genetic signature that originated in Central Asia, although it is also found less frequently in the Middle East. The ancestor who introduced it into the Ashkenazi Levites could perhaps have been from the Khazars, a Turkic tribe whose king converted to Judaism in the eighth or ninth century, the researchers suggest.

Their reasoning is that the signature, a set of DNA variations known as R1a1, is common in the region north of Georgia that was once occupied by the Khazar kingdom. The signature did reach the Near East, probably before the founding of the Jewish community"

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

John S. Kessler(1)
and Donald B. Ball(2)
Paper presented Saturday, May 20, 2000, at Melungeon Heritage Association Third Union convened at University of Virginia's College at Wise, Wise, Virginia.

Abstract. Recent research into the history, origins, and lifeways of the Carmel Indians of Highland County, (south-central) Ohio, has produced the most comprehensive study to date of this little known Melungeon-related settlement since the studies of Berry (1963), Gilbert (1949), Morgan (1946; 1955), and Price (1950a; 1950b). This effort draws upon archival sources, firsthand observations of the group as it existed in the 1940's and early 1950's, and more recent fieldwork. The present comments have been extracted from a more detailed study of this group scheduled to be released by Mercer University Press in late 2000. "

African Americans at Jamestown


The first documented '20 and Odd' Blacks that arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in August of 1619 are not known to have been immediately enslaved. As an institution, slavery did not exist in Virginia in 1619. Slavery as we know it today, evolved gradually, beginning with customs rather than laws. To further shed light on how this institution evolved legally, from indentured servitude to life long servitude, the following laws and/or facts are given as well as other sources on 17th century servitude among Blacks in Virginia."

Access's Research Books

DNA Activation For Healing

Gregg Braden - Science of Emotions

Note: The science 'ordered' holographic program results of the SmogBuster
do not seem so mysterious after you read the below article...


Self Healing DNA Discoveries

The omnipotent healing power of visualizing Heaven on Earth, and most importantly, FLOWING WITH FEELINGS of this vision being real, is explained below:

Below are three astonishing experiments with DNA which prove that DNA can heal itself according to the 'feelings' of the individual as reported recently by Gregg Braden.

In his recent program entitled Healing Hearts/Healing Nations: The Science of Peace and the Power of Prayer, Gregg Braden discussed how in the past we lost huge amounts of information from ancient spiritual traditions (when the library at Alexandria burned we lost at least 532,000 documents), and that there may be information in those traditions which could help us understand some of the mysteries of science. To this end he reported on three very interesting experiments. Gregg Braden started off as a scientist and engineer, before he began pursuing these larger questions.


The first experiment he reported was done by Dr.Vladimir Poponin, a quantumbiologist. In this experiment, first a container was emptied (i.e. a vacuum was created within it), and then the only thing left in it were photons (particles of light).

They measured the distribution (i.e. the location) of the photons and found they were completely random inside the container. This was the expected result. Then some DNA was placed inside the container and the distribution (locat"

DNA Study Yields Clues on First Migration of Early Humans - New York Times

"The geneticists say there was only one migration of modern humans out of Africa; that it took a southern route to India, Southeast Asia and Australia; and that it consisted of a single band of hunter-gatherers, probably just a few hundred people strong.

Because these events occurred in the last Ice Age, when Europe was at first too cold for human habitation, the researchers say, it was populated only later, not directly from Africa but as an offshoot of the southern migration. The people of this offshoot would presumably have trekked back through the lands that are now India and Iran to reach the Near East and Europe.

The findings depend on analysis of mitochondrial DNA, a type of genetic material inherited solely through the female line. They are reported today in Science by a team of geneticists led by Dr. Vincent Macaulay of the University of Glasgow.
Everyone in the world can be placed on a single family tree, in terms of their mitochondrial DNA, because everyone has inherited that piece of DNA from a single woman, the mitochondrial Eve, who lived some 200,000 years ago.

There were, of course, many other women in that ancient population. But over the generations, one mitochondrial DNA replaced all the others through the process known as genetic drift.

With the help of mutations that have built up on the one surviving copy, geneticists can arrange people in lineages and estimate the time of origin of each lineage. "

Thomas et al., Lemba and the Cohen Modal Haplotype

"The Lemba are a traditionally endogamous group speaking a variety of Bantu languages who live in a number of locations in southern Africa. They
claim descent from Jews who came to Africa from 'Sena.' 'Sena' is variously identified by them as Sanaa in Yemen, Judea, Egypt, or Ethiopia. A previous study using Y-chromosome markers suggested both a Bantu and a Semitic contribution to the Lemba gene pool, a suggestion that is not inconsistent with Lemba oral tradition. To provide a more detailed picture of the Lemba paternal genetic heritage, we analyzed 399 Y chromosomes for six microsatellites and six biallelic markers in six populations (Lemba, Bantu, Yemeni-Hadramaut, Yemeni-Sena, Sephardic Jews, and Ashkenazic Jews). The high resolution afforded by the markers shows that Lemba Y chromosomes are clearly divided into Semitic and Bantu clades.

Interestingly, one of the Lemba clans carries, at a very high frequency, a particular Y-chromosome type termed the 'Cohen modal haplotype,' which is known to be characteristic of the paternally inherited Jewish priesthood and is thought, more generally, to be a potential signature haplotype of Judaic origin. The Bantu Y-chromosome samples are predominantly (>80%) YAP+ and include a modal haplotype at high frequency. Assuming a rapid expansion of the eastern Bantu, we used variation in microsatellite alleles in YAP+ sY81-G Bantu Y chromosomes to calculate a rough date, 3,0005,000 years before the present, for the start of their expansion."

Experts Say Genealogy can be Traumatic

"Experts Say Genealogy can be Traumatic

Apr 24, 2005, 22:28 GMT

printer friendlyemail this article

LONDON -- British Genealogists say that researching family history can be traumatic, uncovering secrets like bigamy, adoption and crime.

The Society of Genealogists and other organizations suggest that in some cases counseling or psychotherapy may be needed, the Sunday London Telegraph reports.

'Burying secrets causes problems, and you have to be incredibly sensitive when dealing with such issues,' Else Churchill, a genealogy officer at the society, told the newspaper.

One woman, who did not want her name used, started her research by getting her own birth certificate and discovered that the man she thought was an uncle was her father and her cousins were actually half-siblings.

Sally Angel, an officer at Firebird, a genealogy archive, told the Telegraph she is training as a psychotherapist to help people struggling to cope with unpleasant discoveries.

But there is another side to it.A survey last year by a genealogy Website found that 10 percent of those doing research are hoping to find a bad apple or two on the family tree." News - Sci-Tech - DNA shows Celtic hero Somerled's Viking roots

"DNA shows Celtic hero Somerled's Viking roots


A HISTORIC Celtic hero credited with driving the Vikings out of western Scotland was actually descended from a Norseman, according to research by a leading DNA expert.

According to traditional genealogies, Somerled, who is said to have died in 1164 after ousting the Vikings from Argyll, Kintyre and the Western Isles, was descended from an ancient royal line going back to when the Scots were living in Ireland.

But Bryan Sykes, an Oxford University professor of human genetics who set up a company called Oxford Ancestors to research people’s DNA past, has discovered that Somerled’s Y-chromosome - which is inherited through the male line - is of Norse origin.

Prof Sykes’ studies of three Scottish clans have also led to the conclusion that some 500,000 people alive today are descended from Somerled - a number only bettered by Genghis Khan, who, among historical figures studied to date, has an estimated 16 million living descendants.

The MacDonald, MacDougall and MacAllister clans all claim descent from Somerled and Prof Sykes found that between 25 and 45 per cent of them shared the same Y-chromosome, of a kind normally found in Norway but rare in Scotland and Ireland.

By analysing the rate of mutation in DNA samples from clan members, Prof Sykes was able to show that the Y-chromosome came from a common ancestor who lived roughly 1,000 years ago.

He then tested five chiefs from the clans and discovered they all shared the same chromosome, which convinced him that the common ancestor must be Somerled, Lord of the Isles, in keeping with clan histories.

However, the analysis threw into doubt Somerled’s own origins. Prof Sykes told The Scotsman: "In the traditional genealogy, Somerled is a great Celtic hero who drives the Norse from Scotland, but his Y- chromosome is definitely Norse. The genealogies trace him back to a long line of Irish kings. But that’s not what the Y-chromosome says.

"He is certainly of Norse Viking paternal origin."

It is open to question whether Somerled, who made driving the Vikings from western Scotland his "cause célèbre", would have known the truth.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Home Page

"THE DRAPER MANUSCRIPTS: What are they? Where are they? We've all heard about them; will they help us in our Kentucky research?

The Draper Manuscripts (often referred to as the Draper Papers) were compiled by Lyman Copeland Draper. He had planned to do a book which he had named 'Sketches of the Lives of the Pioneers'. The book was never realized. But, his collection of interviews does exist. The collection is a series of interviews which he conducted, many in person, some in letters, about the old pioneers. The time frame is expansive - from the 1740's through the War of 1812 time frame. The territory covered is just as impressive - 21 states east of the Mississippi River, Iowa, Missouri and parts of Canada! The papers also include documents, 575 early maps and manuscripts. His interviews ranged from the heroes of the time to the unknown little settler. And, bless his historical heart, he sensed that we in later years needed more than a list of their names. He included their names, parents
and grandparents; sometimes more.

When Draper died in 1819, he had been working on the manuscripts for over 50 years. Draper himself, a New York man, was so intent on his research that he caught the attention of his cousin's husband, Peter Remen. Having the finances to help, Remen was a strong supporter of Draper's quest. "

Rouquette Papers - Tulane Manuscripts Department


Manuscripts Collections 267

Rouquette, Adrien Emmanuel 1813-1887

papers 1842-1942 (bulk 1850s-1880s)
.5 linear feet (one manuscripts box)

Processed by Mary LeBlanc

May 1995

Letters poems, articles, clippings and other documents pertaining to Adrien Rouquette, New Orleans-born priest, poet, and missionary who worked among the Choctaw Indians. The Choctaws gave him the name "Chahta-Ima." Also includes papers of his biographer, Dagmar R. Lebreton. Correspondents include Orestes Brownson, Abbé Perché, Monseigneur Blanc, John Dimitry, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Mainly typed transcripts and translations. French and English.


TNGenNet Map Project. Maps Tennessee. Old time maps.

"Welcome Friend

Your Hosts are Dr. Wayne C. Moore, Charles A. Reeves, Jr.

and Fred Smoot.

Tennessee Maps"

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BBC News | SCI/TECH | Europe's seven female founders

"DNA from outside the cell nucleus was used in the study

Everyone in Europe is descended from just seven women.

Arriving at different times during the last 45,000 years, they survived wolves, bears and ice ages to form different clans that eventually became today's population.

These are the claims of Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University.
Calling them 'The Seven Daughters of Eve', Professor Sykes has individually named them Ursula, Xenia, Tara, Helena, Katrine, Valda and Jasmine.

Professor Sykes arrived at his conclusion by studying mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from mothers to children.

From 6000 random samples, and allowing for naturally occurring mutations, he established seven different clusters of DNA. "

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry
The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Science That Reveals Our Genetic Ancestry

Melungeons, history, genealogy, research, articles - J. P. Bible - Review

"Melungeons Yesterday and Today - Thirty Years Later

by Wayne Winkler

A few weeks ago, my mother was visiting our home to meet her new grandson. We talked about my late father�s Melungeon family, and my mother mentioned one uncle whom she was pretty certain would never have acknowledged his Melungeon heritage. I went to a bookcase and pulled out a book -- Jean Patterson Bible's Melungeons Yesterday and Today -- and showed the title page to my Mom. The uncle in question had signed the book when he gave it to me nearly thirty years ago. It was his way of acknowledging our family heritage. It was also a testament to the impact this slim volume had on our people.

Melungeons Yesterday and Today was published by its author, Jean Patterson Bible, in 1975. Thirty years later, it remains a landmark work. It has served as the foundation for Melungeon researchers ever since it first appeared.

Brent Kennedy, author of The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People, says, 'Jean Patterson Bible performed a great service in trying to instill pride among Melungeon descendants, as well as preserving as much of their culture as she possibly could. She provided a strong foundation for later researchers, all without the benefit of electronic research tools exemplified by the Internet, photocopiers, and so on. She is truly an icon in Melungeon research.' "

The Melungeons
The Melungeons

Thursday, May 12, 2005

::DNA = The physical carrier of inheritance

"Anthrogenealogy? Anthropogenealogy? "



The science of Genealogy by Genetics

In order to keep our members up to date on the latest techniques associated with genealogy we are including this page on DNA genealogy.
As your webmaster I am not an expert on this subject so I will be placing links and interesting items on the web site to keep members informed. .
Family Tree DNA has launched a free online Y-DNA database called Ysearch. Users can enter their test results and search for potential relatives. This should be very useful as the database is expanded.

I would ask that if you come across anything in your travels that merits adding to this section please e-mail me the link to it."

The Melungeons

"The word 'Melungeon' probably originates from the Arabic ‘Mudajjan’ which means one who is dark, gloomy, tamed, servile, domesticated. A variation of this word ‘Mudajjal’ from which ‘Mudejar’ is derived was widely used in fourteenth century for all the Muslims in Spain who continued to live outside the remaining Muslim kingdom of Granada. It was originally used as a term of ridicule for the Muslims who made pacts with the Christians and fought their fellow Muslims while siding with the Christians. It was also used to describe all the Muslims who remained in the North after first wave of persecution by the Church, and who worked for the Christian nobles on their large country estates. The Turkish term 'Melun-can' which is pronounced identically to Melungeon means "one who has been abandoned."

It is likely that Muslims who spoke Spanish preferred the term ‘Mudejar’ over ‘Mudajjan’ in view of their prevailing circumstances, and it would have been much preferred by their descendants a few generations later who probably had little if any direct contact with their fellow Muslims in southern Spain before the fall of the Muslim Kingdom of Granada in 1492. A large population of Muslim Granada knew only Arabic as recorded in the 1499 campaign of Cardinal Ximenes to convert them all to Christianity. These Arabic speaking Muslims and their descendants in their prevailing sad state of affairs would have either used or accepted the term ‘Mudajjan’ to identify themselves wherever they settled. This would also be the case for those Arabic speaking Muslims - Spanish, North African and Turks - who were taken as captives by sea pirates in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic close to northwest Africa, and may include some of those who were already settled in the Carribean about whom Christopher Columbus wrote in his travelogue.

Genetic and medical studies suggest that there is no significant difference between Melungeons and populations in the Galician Mountain region of Spain and Portugal, Morocco, Libya, Syria, Northern Iraq, Northern Iran, Turkey and Greece. Cultural and linguistic evidence suggest the Iberian (Moorish) and Ottoman origins. Many American words originally used by various Indian tribes and Melungeons have close linguistic connection with Turkish and Arabic words, e.g., Allegheny (Allah genis), Alabama (Allah bamya), Arkansas (Ar Kan Sah), Appalachian (Apa-la-che), Cherokee (Shar-kee), Lenni-Lanape (La-ani la-nabi), Micanopy (Mekka-nabi), Meherrin (Muharrem), Marrapough (mar-rah-pooch), Vallah olum (Wallahu Aalam), Kentucky (Kan Tok) and Tennessee (Tenasuh)."

The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey
The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey

Monday, May 09, 2005

Ancestry Message Boards - Message [ Sephardim and Sephardic Judaism ]

"A Priestly Clan in Scotland, Ireland…and Tennessee

We are confronted here with a Scottish “clan” that carried its knowledge of Jewishness from Scotland and Ireland to the Appalachians, where they became grouped together with Melungeons. While strictly not part of the Melungeon DNA project, the Cowan Surname Project participants were happy to make available their results. Promisingly, the Alabama branch of Clan Cowan emblazoned a Torah scroll on their Web page. To date, nearly 20 Cowan surname bearers have been tested. They may be divided into 6 haplotypes, of which Cowan IVa is the modal haplotype, representing 6 out of 19, or about one-third of the donors (see Fig.). With the exception of Cowan I and II, all the others are at one or two removes from each other. "

Friday, May 06, 2005

Yahoo! Groups : HistoricalMelungeons Messages : Message 1887 of 1889

"Location: McKee, Jackson County, Kentucky

Ah, the Glory of the Mountains!

From the book 'Greetings from Old Kentucky,' by Allan M. Trout.

Talk about the glory of the mountains! Ah, friends, it lies deeper than bright sunshine on corn in the shock. It lies deeper than the soft carpet of leaves nature weaves, then gently spreads in the cove and up the hillside. It lies deeper than the red of bittersweet, the scarlet of sumac, or the gold of pretty maples.

On one morning of October 29 I was sitting on the back row in the circuit courtroom in McKee. Up front, Congressman John M. Robinson, of Barbourville, the tall sycamore of the Cumberlands, was making a political speech. Mr. Robinson was talking about the God-blessed privilege of living in the mountains, where the air is clean and friends are true."

Read Actual Newspaper from 1815-1985!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

"Melungeon event set for July

By ROBERT BAIRD, Staff WriterMay 05, 2005

Email to a friend Voice your opinion

Individuals interested in Melungeon heritage and history should mark their calendars now for a July event to be held in Frankfort, Ky.
The event sponsor is Wise-based Melungeon Heritage Association, which also hosts Melungeon gatherings called 'Unions' that are held every two years.

The firm date for this summer's event is Saturday, July 30, according to MHA President Wayne Winkler. Activities might be held on Friday, July 29, too, but that's still tentative. More details about the July event will be available soon, Winkler said Tuesday.

A Melungeon descendent, Winkler is station director of the WETS-FM public radio station in Johnson City, Tenn., and author of 'Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia.
Organizers hope to make this a free event if possible, according to the Melungeon Heritage Association's Internet site,

Scheduled speakers include Winkler, Elizabeth Hirschmann, Manuel Mira, Phyllis Morefield and James Nickens. More will be announced later, the Web site says. On Saturday, July 30, presentations will be made in the Holiday Inn Capital Plaza Conference Center in Frankfort.

This Holiday Inn - online at - has special room rates available for the July gathering. Use this Web link to get hotel information, but make a reservation by telephone to get a special discount."

For Furthering reading about the Melungeons:

Walking toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia
Walking toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia

The "Turks" of Sumter County, SC are descendants of American Indians"

"The 'Turks' of Sumter County, SC are descendants of American Indians'

By Steven Pony Hill

The information I have gathered on the so-called 'Turks' is due to an attempt to locate the original ancestors of my Indian community here in northwest Florida. Isham Scott, Absalom Scott, Joseph Scott, Moses Manning, John 'Capt. Jack' Ayers, and Henry Stephens moved down here in 1828 from Sumter, SC.

The only 'oral tradition' that exists in my family is that we originated from Indians. No one ever mentions our white ancestors (although it's obvious that we are far from full-bloods). I descend from the Isham Scott family and the James Moses family who lived in Sumter from 1810 to about 1820, after moving down from Halifax NC and then moving on to Florida. The Moses family lived about 10 households down from the Benenhaleys in Providence, Sumter.
As far as the 'Yusef Ben Ali' reference, I can find no documentation of this earlier than Brewton Berry (1960's). I believe it originated with him, and even he said 'Joseph Benenhaly...possibly Yusef Ben Ali' as he tried to make a case for possible Arab ancestry to justify the Turk label. If his name had actually been 'Yusef Ben Ali' I believe it would have appeared as such on some, if not all, of the documentation (census, court, land etc.). Brewton Berry also misrepresented that the 1790 petition of 'Sundry Free Moors' came from the Turks (which it did not...I have also seen this falsehood recounted in other books, and on the net as truth) and Berry mentioned the old 1820's case involving a voting dispute and referred to him as 'Joseph Benenhaley'. I'm sure if those old records had mentioned Joseph claiming his name was originally 'Yusef' and he was Arabic, that B"

Monday, May 02, 2005

latin origin with the first and second syllable "Mal" and ang or ung

"I am not an expert at this and the spelling I commonly find is no help. But if the word has it's origin in any of the romance languages(French, Spanish, Portuguese) the it would derive from Mal, which means badly in French and not 'mel'.

I can do this much with 'mal', and perhaps a bit on the second syllable Ang, ung etc.

It would be derived from the latin, Malos Malo Malus; as it is used in terms of a descriptive then, it would mean
Bady, evil, wicked, or ill in the following forms:

male(Mal) peius(derives words such as piety or it's opposite, pessime badly, ill, wrongly, ie, an example is pessimism. maligo-are would be the verb form which is to plan evil or contrive while malum would be misfortune, misdeed, crime or injury. Malus is bad and pessimus is Evil.

I base this spelling on the word Mal, ie, Grand Mal as we are all familiar with the term, ie, siezure as my starting point and using the text showing the spelling in a news article as Mal and not Mel.

Some of the other origins, I must admit sound intriguing but the people were not characterized as Black or of Slave origin so doubt the African origin of the usage but that is my general view. They were derisively addressed as Blacks who are free or slaves prior to the Civil War even though melungeon might have been derogatory."

Re: Richard Henry King Son Of----


Vol 40 2002

pag 327-328

Transcribed by Wesley E. Pippenger

In King George County Court, September 34d 1840. It is ordered to be certified that James Marshall, late of this County, a midshipman in the Army of the Revolution, died Intestate in the said County some time after the close of the Revolutionary War, say about the year...., leavng a Widow, by whom he had no issue, and two brothers; John and Richard and three sister namely; Joannah, Nancy and Elizabeth. John left the county of King George and went to King and Queen many years ago unmarried, and is believed to be dead; Richard married Anna Ross both of whom are dead Intestate leaving one child named Frances; Joanna married Thomas King by whom he [sic] had one child named RICHARD HENRY -- [WOO HOO :-) ] the said Richard Henry King died Intestate leaving a widow named Mary and the following children namely Edwin, Ugenia, Joanna, James and Norvel. Nancy Marshall married William Rollins both of whom died Intestate leaving three children namely; Sally Rollins [who died without issue] Lucy Rollins, and Nancy Rollins. Lucy Rollins married Robert Crismond, both of whom are dead intestate leaving two children namely; Sally and Catherine who are alive. Sally married Gabriel Levi. Catherine married James Henry Stephens. Nancy Rollins married Bennet Crismond both of whom died Intestate leaving four children namely Robert M. Crismond, Wm. W.M. Crismond, Elizabeth Crismond and Suckey Crismond, Elizabeth Crismond intermarried with Thomas Crismond. Suckey not married. Elizabeth married William Trigger both of whom are dead Intestate leaving no issue. It therefore appears that the above named person are the only heirs of James Marsahll, dec'd., to wit; Frances Marshall only child of Ri"

Last Revelation
Last Revelation