The Melungeons blog

Thursday, June 30, 2005

DNA Testing

"TallBear: Can DNA determine who is American Indian?

Posted: December 03, 2003 - 8:07am EST

by: Kim TallBear / Associate / Red Nation Consulting

There is talk in Indian country about how DNA can decide tribal enrollment and prove American Indian ancestry. Some of this is coming from DNA testing companies anxious to sell costly services to tribes. Self-determined tribes struggling to control identities and resources must make decisions about the risks and benefits of DNA testing. Some tribal decision-makers display healthy skepticism as they talk about the complicated nature of identity, family, and community. Biological connection is not the sole important factor in determining who belongs. Cultural knowledge and connection to a land base are also valued. Many Indian people are also concerned about loss of privacy and control if outsiders hold biological samples. Other tribal decision-makers have expressed interest in DNA testing and still others need more information.

Do Not Rely on DNA Testing Companies for Information

DNA testing companies are not in business to provide accessible and balanced information on DNA technologies. Their brochures generally contain shallow scientific detail. I suspect this is partly because these scientist-entrepreneurs do not know enough about the cultural politics of tribal membership to apply science to such questions.

At a recent 'tribal enrollment workshop' (that played out like a three-day sales pitch for DNA testing) a company representative claimed that DNA technology is '100 percent reliable in terms of creating accurate answers' to questions of tribal enrollment. But tribes should ask 'which questions can this technology provide answers to?'

Sometimes the biological connection of an enrollment applicant is in question. In"

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tennessee history, preservation and educational artifacts

"The D.N.A. study announced was the highlight of the Fourth Union and a milestone in Melungeon research,' said Winkler, ' but does not solve the mystery entirely. While it tells us a lot more than we know at present, there are variables that modern technology has not learned how to explain with D.N.A. and intermarriage since the Melungeons were first discovered with Native Americans and other Europeans have to factor into the results of those who were tested.'

Other present at the Fourth Union say they are skeptical of the results because of succeeding intermarriages with the families and the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that exists showing that they could have very well been the first successful colonists to make it in North America.

'Because oral history among the families was often not shared with succeeding generations, a lot has been lost that could have helped answer many questions,' said Terry Goins. 'As to African DNA, that is easily explained if we are of Moorish or Portuguese descent. I think Dr. N. Brent Kennedy's personal work on the subject is more believable to me and the fact that many suffered from the same disease he did and it went undiagnosed until he was able to identify it. As to intermarriage with Indians, that stands to reason since the first Melungeon colonists had to survive and options were limited in those days.'

In 1998, the Melungeons of Tennessee stormed out of a meeting of the then-operating Tennessee Indian Commission when they found themselves labeled as Native Americans' stating that those who had tried to put that label on them had no knowledge of the Melungeon peoples and, if they did, would know that they were not Native Americans. "

Los Lunas NM Decalogue Inscription

"The Los Lunas Inscription is an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque. The language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet, with a few Greek letters mixed in. See Cline (1982), Deal (1984), Stonebreaker (1982), Underwood (1982), and/or Neuhoff (1999) for transcriptions and translation, and Deal (1984) for discussion and photographs of the setting.

George Moorehouse (1985), a professional geologist, indicates that the boulder is of the same basalt as the cap of the mesa. He estimates its weight at 80 to 100 tons, and says it has moved about 2/3 of the distance from the mesa top to the valley floor since it broke off. The inscription is tilted about 40 degrees clockwise from horizontal, indicating that the stone has settled or even moved from its position at the time it was inscribed. (The above photograph was taken with a tilted camera.)
In 1996, Prof. James D. Tabor of the Dept. of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, interviewed the late Professor Frank Hibben (1910-2002), a retired University of New Mexico archaeologist, 'who is convinced that the inscription is ancient and thus authentic. He reports that he first saw the text in 1933. At the time it was covered with lichen and patination and was hardly visible. He was taken to the site by a guide who had seen it as a boy, back in the 1880s.' (Tabor 1997) At present the inscription itself is badly chalked and scrubbed up. However, Moorehouse compares the surviving weathering on the inscription to that on a nearby modern graffito dating itself to 1930. He concludes that the Decalogue inscription is clearly many"

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Re: Newman's Ridge

Re: Newman's Ridge: "You wrote:
'Matter of fact their kinfolk that went elsewhere were called Redbones, Brass Ankles, Carmel Indians, Lumbee, etc... not Melungeons'

So now, you say 'kinfolk' Interesting! Kinfolk have DNA that matches. You are proving my point. Melungeon is NOT a geographical place name; it is a FAMILIAL RELATIONSHIP and no matter what the name, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Redbones, Brass Ankles, Carmel Indians, Lumbee, Melungeons all share some of the same beginnings, similar cultures and similar treatment among other things.

We've been through this several times Joanne. Don't bother to post to my posts. We will NEVER agree and I personally think it is much better for us to just agree to disagree and leave each other alone. If you notice I haven't been posting to your posts even when I disagree.
Love and Health in family ties,"

The Multiracial Activist - August 12, 1942 Letter to Walter Plecker Regarding Melungeon Classification

The Multiracial Activist - August 12, 1942 Letter to Walter Plecker Regarding Melungeon Classification: "August 12, 1942
Mrs. John Trottwood Moore
Letter to Walter Plecker
Regarding Melungeon Classification

August 12, 1942

Mr. W. A. Plecker,
State Registrar
Bureau of Vital Statistics
Richmond, Virginia

My dear Sir:

The Secretary of State has sent your letter to my desk for reply.

You have asked us a hard question.

The origin of the Melungeons has been a disputed question in Tennessee ever since we can remember.
Hancock County was established by an Act of the General Assembly passed January 7th, 1844 and was formed from parts of Claiborne and Hawkins counties.

Newman's Ridge, which runs through Hancock county north of Sneedville, is parallel with Clinch River and just south of Powell Mountain. The only map on which we find it located is edited by H. C. Amick and S. J. Folmsbee of the University of Tennessee in 1941 published by Denoyer-Geppert Co., 5235 Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, listed as [TN 7S]* TENNESSEE. On this map is shown Newman's Ridge as I have sketched it on this little scrap of paper, inclosed. But we do not have the early surveys showing which county it as originally in. It appears that it may have been in Claiborne according to the Morris Gazetteer of Tennessee 1834 which includes this statement: 'Newman's Ridge, one of the spurs of Cumberland Mountain, in East Tennessee, lying in the north east angle of Claiborne County, west of Clinch River, and east of Powell's Mountain. It took its name from a Mr. Newman who discovered it in 1761.'

Early historians of East Tennessee who lived in that section and knew the older members of this race refer to Newman's Ridge as 'quite a high mountain, extending through the enti"

Friday, June 24, 2005

Louisiana Redbones


A Redbone is a person of mixed racial heritage who is a member of a group which defines its relationship to the dominant culture in a certain way.
The racial mix may be any combination of two or more of the following: Native American, European Caucasian, Asians (ie. English, French, Irish, Welsh), or Portuguese, Spanish, Moor, Turk), and any of the various Negroid sub-groups.
Physical characteristics are varied but typically include a dark skin, often with a copper hue, high cheekbones, dark eyes, dark straight hair, and no single body type. Less often they are of lighter skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. In those persons with some Negroid genetics Negroid features may be evident, such as darker skin, curly hair, wide nose, and thick lips.

The cultural milieu is one where the group members band together for protection against a perceived hostile dominant culture. They often, in times past, have isolated themselves from the dominant culture taking a physical stand to protect their territory and discourage intermarriage with members of the dominant culture and prohibit or try to prohibit intermarriage with persons of African heritage."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L Redbone Gathering

"From: 'Dennis Maggard'
Subject: Redbone Gathering
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 07:03:19 -0400
References: <>

The first Redbone Gathering, sponsored by the Redbone Heritage Association, will be held this weekend in Alexandria, Louisiana. You can read about it at the Melungeon Heritage Association web site,

The Redbones are a mixed race Louisiana group similar to Melungeons and some think there make actually be a connection between them -- certainly they have similar experiences. Brent Kennedy and Wayne Winkler will be in attendance and make presentations; I hope one or both of them will report back to us when they return.


Re: Hanged Indians--Minnesota Uprising 1862

"Posted by: Joanne (ID *****1128)Date: June 23, 2005 at 10:05:56

In Reply to: Re: Hanged Indians--Minnesota Uprising 1862 by Donna Delgadillo of 16262

'Excuse me, but if the US were invaded today, the government would surely wipe them (the invaders) all out.'

While I agree with much [not all] of what you write, I do not think that the government would bash in little babies brains or tomahawk defenseless women and children, nor burn them at the stake.

While defending one's land is understandable the above instances happened quite often. Killing defenseless women and children is no more acceptable today than it was three or four hundred years ago, by anyone.

Just my two cents.


Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Yahoo! Groups : HistoricalMelungeons Messages : Message 1994 of 1994

Yahoo! Groups : HistoricalMelungeons Messages : Message 1994 of 1994: "In a message dated 6/20/2005 8:11:42 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
kevinhayes@... writes:

On July 29th there will be a Melungeon gathering in Frankfort, KY.

Here is the website for those who would be interested in attending
this free event.

Hope to see you there.

Note the speakers at this 'free event' --- Elizabeth Hirschman, Manual Mira,
Wayne Winkler...... Frank and Mary Sweet

.....note the absence of the HISTORICAL MELUNGEONS researchers such as Jack
Goins, Jim Callahan, Pat Elder....."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Virginia Museum of Natural History

Virginia Museum of Natural History: "Indian Tribes of Virginia

'Coarse Ground Corn People'
Providence Forge, Virginia
Chief: Stephen Adkins
State Recognized February 25, 1983

The Chickahominy Indian Tribe is located in Charles City County between Richmond and Williamsburg. Some tribal members live in communities in other parts of the state. The tribe is governed by a board of directors consisting of both male and female members. The tribe values strong religious beliefs: community and civic involvement, the pursuit of higher education, and pride in America. It considers all of these as necessary ingredients in maintaining the health, growth, and unity of the tribe. The population is approximately 1,000 persons.


'Coarse Ground Corn People'
Providence Forge, Virginia
Chief: Marvin Bradby
State Recognized February 25, 1983
The Chickahominy Indians, Eastern Division, are located in New Kent County approximately twenty-five miles east of Richmond, Virginia. They are a small group organized for religious, educational, and benevolent reasons. The tribe, incorporated as a non-taxable organization to serve the needs of the community, is supported through contributions and dues-paying members. The population is approximately 150 persons.


Mattaponi Indian Reservation
West Point, Virginia
Chief: Webster 'Little Eagle' Custalow
State Recognized February 25, 1983
The members of this tribe live on a reservation that stretches along the borders of the Mattaponi River in King William County, Virginia. Presently they number about seventy-five. Many of the younger members have left the reservation to seek work elsewhere. The Mattaponi Indian Reservation dates back to 1658. In those early days, the people made their living"

Sunday, June 19, 2005

"Welcome to my website. It is still under construction and will always be changing, so visit back often.

Follow the links above, or click on the pictures to explore my site. Click on the 'JG' and it will bring you back to this home page.
My ancestors have been in Appalachia for many years, and in tracing them I have found a lot of interesting and sometimes unusual situations. One of these situations is when a lady at Stony Creek Church described a group of people as �melungin.�"

Astounding Tales --

"Here is the third and final installment in the Melungeon series. Wait till you see what happens in this one.

Virginia Dare

By Adrienne Ray, 2005

To be honest, Arvid Phelps did not feel at home at an Indian Powwow. Here he was, on one of North Carolina's Barrier Islands at night, surrounded by a bunch of people who wanted to be Indians, claimed to be Indians, but didn't look any more like Native Americans than Martha Stewart did.
Arvid's DNA testing had proven he was 3% Native American. So he belonged here as well as anyone. But he just couldn't get into this.
For one thing, a lot of the cultural decorations came from the Plains. It was explained to him that this was the kind of Indians people saw in the movies, so this was the kind of Indians tourists wanted to see at the powwow. To Arvid, this was like honoring your French heritage by serving sauerkraut.

Arvid never did well with group participation, anyway. As he watched the dancers frolicking about in their full regalia of buckskin and feathers, he thought, I have come to the wrong place.

The only reason he had come here at all was a peculiar coincidence he had had involving a dream and a phone call.
Monday night he'd had a dream about Mr. Ahriman, the man who had given him the picture of Arvid's great grandmother, Susan Harvey. Only this time Mr. Ahriman was dressed like a sultan or something.

'Mr. Ahriman!' Arvid had cried. 'What are you doing here?'

'By now you must realize -- I'm not exactly mortal,' the old Iranian said with a wink. 'You need to help a man named Eric Redwolf . . . well, his real name is Eric Williams. He's a Melungeon but he's lost his way. He thinks he's a Cherokee.'
'I don't know anybody by that name.'

'I used my powers to lead him to your Melungeon"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Who Are The Melungeons? There Are As Many Theories As Researchers On Puzzling Question

"Who are the Melungeons? Where did they come from? There are as many theories as there are researchers concerning these questions. The writer has done much study concerning the Melungeons and has come to the conclusion, that there is no 'absolute' proof where this mysterious group has immigrated from. (The writer of this article became interested in the Melungeons when he discovered that his wife was a descendant, through the Goins family, of these mysterious people.)

There were tales of a tri-racial group of people in Virginia in the 1700s. This mysterious assemblage was shoved higher in the mountains as the Scotch, Irish, English and other settlers moved into the area where the mystifying people had been living for centuries. While being pushed up into the mountains, these undemanding people lost their rights and lands, and were forced to leave the area where they had lived for centuries; thus, a new life was to begin.

No one seems to know the exact origins of the Melungeons. They seemingly spoke an earlier form of English, but with dark skin they certainly did not look like white Europeans. History still has not 'accurately' discovered their origins or how long they have lived on this continent. These people were found to be friendly with the Indians and thus intermarried, while their descendants married the local Negroes and the whites. This mixture set the stage for the present day Melungeons.

Up to date 'popular' theory supports the fact that the Melungeons were descendants of Portuguese and Spanish settlers. The English word 'Melungeon' has both Arabic and Turkish roots meaning 'cursed soul'. In the Portuguese language the term 'Melungo' means shipmate. In the Turkish language Melungeons are called Melun-can, 'Melun' being "

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Re: Melungeon (Cherokee, Kurdish)

Re: Melungeon (Cherokee, Kurdish): "''I have done some digging on the internet for the connection between Kurdish and Cherokee and the closest I have came is the articles on Melungeon''


There are many stories, myths, and legends about the Melungeons on the internet, most have no truth to them whatsoever.

I have never seen any connection between the Kurds, Cherokee and Melungeons in all my years of research.

Good luck

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L KY History Center & KY Archives

"Briefly, if you are interested in learning about the state of KY, visit the KY History Center in downtown Frankfort diagonally from the Civic Center. If you have KY ancestors and want to research vital statistics records, court documents, etc, head to the Archives on Coffee Tree Lane. The Archives hold everything that the county record offices have. The KY History Center and the KY Archives are a short distance from each other, as Frankfort is a small town.

The KY History Center is in the process of being named for KY Historian Laureate, Dr Thos D Clark who is the author of prolific writings on KY, though he is a MS native. A couple of his works include The History of KY and The History of Laurel Co. Dr Clark formerly was the head of the history department at the University of KY and has, also, taught at the University of Indiana. He is very well-known and honored in his field. On the second floor of the history center is a unique bench honoring him in which three dimensional items are attached to it. You'll want to check it out. He will be 102 years old in July and was in good health until just recently when he
went into the hospital to have work done on his knees and came down w/ a staph infection. As a result, he is recovering in a nursing home in Lexington.

As you enter the KY History Center you are greeted w/ portraits of all of KY's governors. The theme is 'A River Runs Through It', and pay special attention to the floor as you enter the main area.

Downstairs is a nice interactive tour of KY's history that's interesting for all. KY's students make it a school trip quite often. The Stewart Home Store that sells KY based items is"

Melungeons, history, genealogy, research, articles - Frankfort Gathering

"Melungeons: Fact or Fiction? July 29-30, Frankfort, Kentucky

The Melungeon Heritage Association is proud to present Melungeons: Fact or Fiction?, Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Kentucky History Center

This is a free event, but your pre-registration will help us make plans; you can pre-register online.

Our usual “off –year” events (the three-day Unions are held every other year) are one day affairs. However, the proximity of this event to the Kentucky History Center and the Kentucky State Archives argued for an additional weekday to allow participants to take advantage of these resources. On Friday, July 29, we will have to opportunity to do individual genealogical research at these facilities. Both the History Center and the State Archives contain records for surrounding states, not just Kentucky. Kentucky historians Jim Pritchard and Ron Bryant will be on hand to give us some tips on making the best use of these two facilities.

On Friday evening, we’re all invited to a “Melungeon mixer” at a private home in Frankfort. We’ll have a chance to meet and socialize – something we don’t get to do nearly enough. MHA will provide light refreshments. The mixer will begin at 7 pm; directions will be available at the Holiday Inn the day of the event. If you have musical instruments, bring them along; we’ll see if we can get a jam session started.

Saturday brings a full day of presentations in the meeting rooms at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza. Speakers will include:

Elizabeth Hirschmann, author of The Melungeons: The Last Lost Tribe of Israel
Manuel Mira, author of The Forgotten Portuguese
Wayne Winkler, author of Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia
DruAnna Overbay, editor of Windows on the Past
Researcher James Nickens
Historians and entertainers Frank and Mary Sweet
Historians Ron Bryant and Jim Pritchard
…and more.

This event is free. However, we do need to know how many people will be here on Friday for the research sessions and the mixer. Please fill out the form so we’ll know to expect you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L Sephardic Jews and "Bloodline of the Holy Grail"

"Hi Don and Melungeon Listers,

I've just finished reading through Lawrence Gardner's (2004) book, 'Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail', which is the second book I've read on the subject ( the first was 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail'). With the film version of 'The DaVinci Code' coming out soon, I wanted to provide some opinions on the topic.

First, it is very useful to compare the Jewish historical version of what events occurred in Narbonne, Septimania and Languedoc in southern France with the 'Holy Grail Bloodline' Christian versions. According to the Jewish historians, a Talmudic Jewish Academy was founded in Narbonne, France around 750 - 950 CE, was headed by a Master Teacher (termed a Rabban or Makir) who had come from the Babylonian Talmudic Academy (which did exist) and was of Davidic (i.e., Jewish King David) descent. This Narbonne academy is well-documented, as it became a center of not only Talmudic, but also Kabbalistic, learning and had students and teachers from Iberia, France, Italy and Jerusalem. Indeed, it was the primary Kabalistic center in Europe. (Kabbalah is the branch of Judaism which deals with spirituality and mysticism)."

Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L Sephardic Jews and "Bloodline of the Holy Grail"

"According to Jewish historians, the Davidic-descended Makir of the academy did marry, have children and at least one of the male children married into the Carolingian (Charlemagne) royal family, serving as Chamberlain of the Court. From this marriage descend the Counts of Toulouse (France) and Boudoin/Baldwin (France), some of whom became Kings of Jerusalm during the Crusades. So, from Jewish sources which I deem to be reliable, there was/is a Davidic bloodline in France which is carried by the descendants of the Jewish Academy's Makir. Notably, there are also some Sephardic Jewish families (e.g., Abravenel, Sasson, Charlap) who do claim Davidic descent from this source.

However, for me to be convinced that this is correct, I would want to see DNA studies on descendants of these families and those of the Toulouse and Baldwin lineages. If, by some miracle, they all had matching DNA scores, then we would have something remarkable to discuss! (Indeed there are some ultra-Orthodox Jews who believe that if all the Davidic descendants were gathered up and returned to Israel, then the Messiah would come...)

The Christian version of these events, is that Joseph of Arimethea (the brother of Jesus) and Mary Magdelene (who was believed to be Jesus's wife)came to southern France shortly after the Crucifixion (not a complete impossibility, in that France/Gaul was then ruled by Rome, and Mary and Joseph of Arim. were citizens of Rome and could freely travel there.)According to the Holy Grail, Mary either bore Jesus's male child in southern France and/or Jesus survived the crucifixion (via coma-inducing "

The Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed
The Illustrated Bloodline of the Holy Grail: The Hidden Lineage of Jesus Revealed

Monday, June 13, 2005 - Memorial website in memory of Brent Morgan (1987-2004)

"This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Brent Morgan who was born in Ohio on August 05, 1987 and passed away on June 20, 2004 at the age of 16. We will remember him forever.

Full name: Brent Allen Morgan
Birthday: August 5th, 1987
Birthplace: Bryan, OH
Hometown: Montpelier, OH
Favorite food: He loved almost everything especailly pizza
Favorite sport: He loved track, football, and wrestling.
Favorite color: Green
Favorite Season: Summer
Favorite song: 'Why Can't We Be Friends?'
Favorite car: Dodge Viper
Favorite motorcycle: Crotch Rocket
Quotes: 'Live life to the fullest, you never know what one will be your last', 'Never give up because if you give up you may as well just lay down and die' or something like that
Hobbies: Working out, looking at body in mirror, eating food, hanging out with friends, and much more.

The wreck that claimed Brent and his best friend Roger's that occured outside of Montpelier, Oh on County Road 10 is currently still under investigation. There have been rumors and all of them are probably not true. Roger died the day of the wreck and Brent died on June 20th, 2004. While in Medical College of Ohio located in Toledo, Brent remained in a coma and sadly never came out. He will be loved forever. RIP to both Roger and Brent. We miss you and love you guys!
P.S. If you have any pics of Brent you would like added on the site please send it to or thanks

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Museum Displays Pocahontas' Earrings - Yahoo! News

"LONDON - A pair of mussel shell earrings set in silver and believed to be among the only surviving possessions of legendary American Indian princess Pocahontas went on display at a London museum Friday in their first public showing since 1907.

Each earring is formed of a double mussel-shell, the rare white kind found on the eastern shore of the Berings Strait. They are set in silver rims, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and are worth approximately $500,000.

Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Algonquin Nation, gained fame for keeping peace and serving as an 'ambassador' between American Indians and British settlers.

Little is known with any certainty about her, but her life has been memorialized in stories, songs and images.
By legend, she saved Capt. John Smith from execution in 1607 before being captured by the English in 1612 and used as a pawn in dealing with her father. She converted to Christianity in 1613 and married tobacco planter John Rolfe a year later.

She sailed for London in 1616 to great fanfare in a trip aimed at obtaining funding for a Jamestown Christian school for American Indian children. She may have received the earrings during that trip. She died in 1617 and was buried at St. George's Church in Gravesend, near London.
The earrings were handed down through the Rolfe family and now belong to the Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities.
'She is often referred to as an ambassador between two cultures. You can see her coming (to London) and dying here and being buried here as evidence of that, as sort of a link between the two countries,' said Bly Straube of the Virginia antiquities group.

Legend has it that Pocahontas' link to the colonists began when she flung herself over Smith"

Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown
Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown

100 Hot Books

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Re: MORE 5th Union - Machado-Joseph's Disease

"More from my mother: Kat

HI Guys!

Marie Boutte - her last name is pronounced (boo-tay) and I have been corresponding for a couple of years, periodically on Machado-Joseph's Disease - MJD for short. This is the first time that we have met and she is a lovely woman, very intelligent, a teacher able to explain things so that they are easy to understand, caring and careful, a researcher who travels all over the world!! I told her I would love to have her job!! :-)

She and I discussed the need to note that THERE ARE NO MELUNGEON DISEASES since such things can be stigmatizing to any group. Some illnesses are familial and/or inherited and therefore come in clusters but we can not identify a disease with a group, a nation, or a people.

At 10:30 am June 17, 2004, Marie gave a talk to a full room on Machado-Joseph's Disease.

MJD is a rare illness. To date Marie said that she had not identified this illness in any Melungeon family and she was researching in order to do so or eliminate this illness. It would be very important if any of you know of families who have been diagnosed or who have the symptoms to get in touch with her and you can do so from a link on my health page url. The following are from my notes. I was getting tired by this time so I hope I am not getting something wrong here. Will correct this later if I do.

In the mid 1980s a black family from North Carolina whose last name was Joseph were diagnosed as having MJD. Back in the 1970s a family of Portuguese in New England and later in CA and whose name was Machado were also diagnosed with MJD.

The CA family never talked about the disease outside of the family. It was considered the 'family secret.' But in the early 70s many neic"

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L medical survey question

"The survey referred to by Mctill2109 comes from Dr. Marie Boutte of the University of Nevada-Reno. She studies genetic diseases, particularly
Machado-Joseph Disease. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the concept of 'Melungeon diseases.' Rather, Machado-Joseph seems to be
almost excusive to Portuguese from the Azores; thus, if it showed up in Melungeon populations, it would pretty much prove Portuguese ancestry
for at least some of our ancestors. Of course, absence of the disease in this population would not disprove Portuguese ancestry, since the vast
majority of Portuguese don't have it. Dr. Boutte is working with MHA to conduct this survey; the mailing list is made up of people who have
signed up to receive mail from MHA. As we have stated before, MHA does not endorse the idea of 'Melungeon diseases;' we are, however,
interested in anything that might indicate the origin of some of our ancestors. Since the idea of Portuguese ancestry has been associated
with the Melungeons since the mid 19th century, this is certainly a worthwhile avenue to explore.

Wayne Winkler"

Re: MORE 5th Union - Machado-Joseph's Disease

"Marie Boutte - her last name is pronounced (boo-tay) and I have been corresponding for a couple of years, periodically on Machado-Joseph's Disease - MJD for short. This is the first time that we have met and she is a lovely woman, very intelligent, a teacher able to explain things so that they are easy to understand, caring and careful, a researcher who travels all over the world!! I told her I would love to have her job!! :-)

She and I discussed the need to note that THERE ARE NO MELUNGEON DISEASES since such things can be stigmatizing to any group. Some illnesses are familial and/or inherited and therefore come in clusters but we can not identify a disease with a group, a nation, or a people.

At 10:30 am June 17, 2004, Marie gave a talk to a full room on Machado-Joseph's Disease.
MJD is a rare illness. To date Marie said that she had not identified this illness in any Melungeon family and she was researching in order to do so or eliminate this illness. It would be very important if any of you know of families who have been diagnosed or who have the symptoms to get in touch with her and you can do so from a link on my health page url. The following are from my notes. I was getting tired by this time so I hope I am not getting something wrong here. Will correct this later if I do.

In the mid 1980s a black family from North Carolina whose last name was Joseph were diagnosed as having MJD. Back in the 1970s a family of Portuguese in New England and later in CA and whose name was Machado were also diagnosed with MJD.

The CA family never talked about the disease outside of the family. It was considered the 'family secret.' But in the early 70s many neices and nephews began to show signs of the disease. One of th"

Genealogy By Genetics

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When there are no records and the paper trail dead ends, we are offering an opportunity to utilize a revolutionary strategy. This tool places you on the cutting edge of scientific technology and can be your only means of establishing familial connectivity. Using an 12-marker test, relationships can be determined over a period in excess of a few thousand years. If someone has the exact DNA markers as you, you have an extremely high likelihood of sharing a common ancestor with that person, from a time period ranging from a few generations back to about 900 years. "

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Report: Israel to adopt 'Lost Tribe'

"A special team of rabbis from Israel will soon be sent to the Indian-Myanmar (Burma) border in order to convert thousands of members of a local tribe who have been recognized as Jews by Israel's chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar, The Times of London has reported.

According to the report, the tribesmen have been defined as members of the lost tribe of Menashe. Once converted, they would be able to immigrate to Israel based on the Law of Return. The mission is reportedly funded by a group of Christian Evangelicals.

About 800 members of the 'Bnei Menashe' have been brought to Israel from northeast India over the last decade by a group called 'Shavei Israel.'
According to 'Shavei Israel,' there is ample evidence to show that the Bnei Menashe are of Jewish descent. Their customs, including mourning rites, hygiene and the use of a lunar calendar, closely mirror Jewish traditions.

According to scripture, during the reign of King Solomon, the tribes of Israel split into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judea in south. In 723 B.C. the Assyrians conquered the kingdom of Israel and took 10 of the 12 biblical tribes into exile, where they dispersed among the nations.

The return of the 'lost tribes' to their ancient homeland is viewed by some as the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and a herald of the Messiah.
The Bnei Menashe were animists when they were converted to Christianity by British missionaries in the 19th century. In 1953, a tribal leader named Mlanchala had a dream in which his people would return to Israel. The tribe then adopted or perhaps readopted Jewish traditions.

However, their links to the Jewish people could not be proved, so they were not deemed eligible to immigrate "

DNA Clears the Fog Over Latino Links to Judaism in New Mexico

"ALBUQUERQUE As a boy, Father William Sanchez sensed he was different. His Catholic family spun tops on Christmas, shunned pork and whispered of a past in medieval Spain. If anyone knew the secret, they weren't telling, and Sanchez stopped asking.

Then three years ago, after watching a program on genealogy, Sanchez sent for a DNA kit that could help track a person's background through genetic footprinting. He soon got a call from Bennett Greenspan, owner of the Houston-based testing company.

"He said, 'Did you know you were Jewish?' " Sanchez, 53, recalled. "He told me I was a Cohanim, a member of the priestly class descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses."

He launched a DNA project to test his relatives, along with some of the parishioners at Albuquerque's St. Edwin's Church, where he works.

As word got out, others in the community began contacting him. So Sanchez expanded the effort to include Latinos throughout the state.

Of the 78 people tested, 30 are positive for the marker of the Cohanim, whose genetic line remains strong because they rarely married non-Jews throughout a history spanning up to 4,000 years.

Monday, June 06, 2005

In DNA, New Clues to Jewish Roots

"The new study, by Dr. David Goldstein, Dr. Mark Thomas and Dr. Neil Bradman of University College in London and other colleagues, appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics this month. Dr. Goldstein said it was up to historians to interpret the genetic evidence. His own speculation, he said, is that most Jewish communities were formed by unions between Jewish men and local women, though he notes that the women's origins cannot be genetically determined.

'The men came from the Near East, perhaps as traders,' he said. 'They established local populations, probably with local women. But once the community was founded, the barriers had to go up, because otherwise mitochondrial diversity would be increased.'
In ancient Israel, the Jewish priesthood was handed from father to son. But at some time from 200 B.C. to A.D. 500, Jewish status came to be defined by maternal descent. Even though the founding mothers of most Jewish communities were not born Jewish, their descendants were.
'It's precisely that custom that allows us to see these founding events,' Dr. Goldstein said.

Like the other Jewish communities in the study, the Ashkenazic community of Northern and Central Europe, from which most American Jews are descended, shows less diversity than expected in its mitochondrial DNA, perhaps reflecting the maternal definition of Jewishness. But unlike the other Jewish populations, it does not show signs of having had very few female founders. It is possible, Dr. Goldstein said, that the Ashkenazic community is a mosaic of separate populations formed the same way as the others.

Dr. Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist at New York University, said the 26 specific genetic diseases found among Ashkenazim, usually attributed to 'founder effects,' could be"

Jewish Genes

The most recent genetic research consists of obtaining DNA samples, and doing laboratory analysis and comparison of the DNA markers on the Y-chromosome -- which is passed from father to son, and on the mtDNA (mitrocondrial DNA) -- which is passed intact from mother to son and daughter. This genetic anthropology promises to be particularly informative for tracking the history of Jewish populations, and helping to resolve the debate on the origins and migrations of Jewish communities in the Diaspora.
The researchers proposed to answer the question whether the scattered groups of modern Jews can be identified as the descendants of the ancient Hebrews of the Bible, or whether their common ancestry has been diluted through influx of converts and through intermarriage so that little remains of their 'Jewish genes.'

The complex recorded history of dispersal from the Land of Israel and subsequent residence in and movements between various countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is expected to produce a complex pattern of genetic relationships among Jewish populations as well as between them and the non-Jewish peoples among whom they lived.

The research was based on samples from 29 populations, 7 Jewish, categorized into five major divisions: Jews, Middle-Eastern non-Jews, Europeans, North Africans, and sub-Saharan Africans."

Why Should We Expect to Find Jewish DNA in Native Americans?

To test the Book of Mormon's claim that Israelite colonists arrived in America anciently, flourished as nations, and their descendants survived in the people without a name, generally called the Indians or native Americans, it is proposed that we could just check the DNA of some of the local tribes that still exist in out-of-the-way places, and compare them to samples of DNA from modern Jews, and see if the Book's true or not. Simple, eh? Yes, the essence of an experiment designed by a grade school child. But as with many things in life, the real situation is just a bit more complex.
Let's consider exactly what the Book of Mormon says in terms of DNA contributors, male and female. I mention this because, as unbelievable as it is, some 'scientific' [discussions] flatly ignore this little datum.

Following is a little worksheet listing the genetic contributors of the Lamanites. I will note the racial origin of all those we can identify [in square brackets], the rest I will indicate with three question marks [???]
The Jared party -- Book of Ether:
[???] Jared
[???] The Brother of Jared
[???] Other individuals of the Jared party, about 22 ( Ether 6:16)
All we know about the Jaredites comes to us from the record left by the Nephites, their successors.
Some will object that according to the Book of Ether, all the Jaredites were killed but two (Ether 15), but this is the understanding of the author of the Book of Ether, who could not have known everything that happened on the entire continent. [Webmaster's note: There is no reason why many others could not have fled, and we later find many Jaredite names still cropping up in later Book of Mormon times, showing that Jaredite influence survived.] "

Tracing Your Jewish DNA For Family History & Ancestry: Merging a Mosaic of Communities
Tracing Your Jewish DNA For Family History & Ancestry: Merging a Mosaic of Communities