The Melungeons blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 home home: "Melungeon' is a term whose origin is still debatable to this very day. No one knows with certainty where and how the term came about, and perhaps we never will. At the present, modern science is trying to unlock the DNA of people who claim to have inherited the Melungeon culture from their mixed ancestry.

The photo on the right is of Newmans Ridge, Tennessee nearby the town of Sneedville. This area is just one of many places where Melungeons still exist to this very day. Melungeons have lived and died in these majestic mountains ridges for centuries. You can find hundreds of old family cemeteries scattered throughout the isolated Appalachian Mountain peaks and valleys. Each cemetery is filled with clues that reveal a community. Each grave holds a unique story of a life that once existed at some moment in time. We can learn a lot from these aged family cemeteries. Time and weather has taken a toll on the oldest headstones, each years hundreds of inscriptions are no longer legible.

Sneedville is the county seat of Hancock County. The tucked away town has an elevation of 1169 feet and an estimated population, in 2003, of 1,328. Hancock County was formed in 1844 from Hawkins and Claiborne Counties. Unfortunately, the older records documenting the area's history was lost to a fire. Recently efforts to save historical documents were taken to task by local historians and genealogists. Volunteer archivists on treasure hunt through Hawkins County Courthouse. "


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