The Melungeons blog

Thursday, March 30, 2006

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L Message from Richard Kennedy (Brent's Brother)

RootsWeb: Melungeon-L Message from Richard Kennedy (Brent's Brother): "Brent is really doing well at Shepherds Center. His vision and hearing

are almost, if not completely, normal. He is now in wheelchair several times

a day and can hold himself up and erect in it. They are designing a

motorized wheelchair that they believe he can operate. He can fully shake

his head yes and no and is beginning to spell words by pointing at letters.

He is placed on a motorized bike which moves his legs. He had surgery last

week to repair his voicebox (damaged from the original trach) which the

doctors believe is the reason he has been unable to speak. Oh, how wonderful

if he can speak and the prognosis is good that he will. He also looks very

good - just like Brent. I don't think you would recognize him from the last

time you saw him. He is still very disabled but the improvement from the

coma to awareness to this progress has been absolutely amazing. I've been

down the last two weekends and have seen so much in just those two weeks.

What an amazing man my brother is. He'll be BACK!! Richie"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Craddock Center, Enriching Lives through Service

Craddock Center, Enriching Lives through Service: "This year the Craddock Center is honored to welcome historian and teacher Darlene Wilson who will speak about Melungeon women in Appalachia at the Helen Lewis Lecture. Ms. Wilson is a nationally recognized historian of Appalachia, race and women. She is the founder of APPALNET, a listserv for the Appalachian studies community. She has also served as Director of Institutional Advancement and Effectiveness, as well as having been a faculty member for Southeast Community College in Cumberland, KY. A respected author, Wilson�s writing has appeared in numerous books and journals including the Journal of Appalachian Studies. We are thrilled to welcome her."

One Hundred and Sixty-nine URLS for Melungeon Research:

One Hundred and Sixty-nine URLS for Melungeon Research:: "One Hundred and Sixty-nine URLS for Melungeon Research:
WEBSITES with Melungeon information:
This list is divided into parts:
1.General Melungeon Research
2.Common Melungeon Surname Research
3.Geographical and Place Name Research of areas where Melungeons may be found.
4.Melungeon Mailing Lists
5.Possible Ancestors of Melungeons: Native American Research/Portuguese/Spanish etc.
6.DNA "

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spain Makes a Stand

Spain Makes a Stand: "In the foothills of the Appalachians, I park in a cornfield just off an unmarked dirt road. A canvas canopy is the only structure visible in the quiet valley, where two dozen archaeologists and community college students are braving the July sun in loamy trenches. The team is uncovering the ruins of Fort San Juan, the oldest known European settlement in the interior of the United States.

The fort, five miles north of Morganton, North Carolina, was part of Spain�s attempt in the 1560s to extend its domination of the Americas north into what is now the southeastern United States. Until now its location was only hypothesized.

Archaeologist David Moore, a lanky transplant from California who has acquired a courtly North Carolina accent, first came to this site in 1986. He was interested in the history of Native Americans in the region. A century earlier, a Smithsonian scientist had documented an Indian mound here, so Moore thought it would be a good place to look. During a few weeks of digging, he found plentiful evidence of a large and vibrant 16th-century Indian town, including one particularly intriguing find�an iron knife of European origin. Moore assumed that the knife, which would have been extremely valuable to the Natives, made its way to the village through trade with Spanish explorers or later English settlers."

RLA - The Journeys of James Needham and Gabriel Arthur

RLA - The Journeys of James Needham and Gabriel Arthur: "The Journeys of James Needham and Gabriel Arthur

Contained in a letter from Abraham Wood to John Richards, August 22, 1674 "

Thursday, March 09, 2006

eMedicine - Mongolian Spot : Article by Zeina Tannous, MD

eMedicine - Mongolian Spot : Article by Zeina Tannous, MD: "Background: Mongolian spot refers to a macular blue-gray pigmentation usually on the sacral area of normal infants. It is usually present at birth or appears within the first weeks of life. It typically disappears spontaneously within 4 years but can persist for life.

Pathophysiology: The Mongolian spot is a congenital, developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. It results from entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest into the epidermis.

Internationally: The prevalence of Mongolian spots varies among different ethnic groups. This condition is most common among Asians. It also has been reported in 80% of East African children, in 46% of Hispanic children, and in 1-9% of white children.

Mortality/Morbidity: Mongolian spot is not associated with mortality or morbidity.

Race: Mongolian spots are observed in more than 90% of infants of the Mongoloid race (ie, East Asians, Indonesians, Polynesians, Micronesians, Amerindians, Eskimos).
Sex: No sex predilection is reported.

Age: Mongolian spot is usually present at birth, but it can also appear within the first weeks of the neonatal period. "

A Spot of Identity

A Spot of Identity: "A SPOT OF IDENTITY

by S Levin. M.D.

Who would have thought that an obscure German anthropologist called Baelz, living in Tokyo 100 years ago, could have disturbed ashes and the memories of 500 years and unsettled the placid thoughts of a Portuguese family from Maputo living in Johannesburg today? Well, he did, in a very round about way, and it is an interesting story.

In 1885 Baelz published a paper in a German anthropological journal calling attention to a hitherto unrecorded feature among Japanese babies. Very often infants are born with a dark blue stain, a birthmark, low down on the back or legs which gradually fades and disappears over the course of about a year.He called the stain 'Mongolische Flecken'-- Mongolian Spots. During the early years of the 20th century these stains were described in many other peoples, from Negroes to North American Indians. It is also common in Asia: among Iranians, Turks, Arabs and Sephardi Jews --and also Spain and Portugal, where Sephardi Jews had been compelled by the Church to give up their identity and become Roman Catholics. Accordingly, from the 16th century, there have been few or no Jews in Spain and Portugal, but their genes, their hereditary characteristics, have continued to be transmitted, so that the Mongolian/Semitic Spot or Stain is found, fairly often in the babies of Portuguese and to a lesser degree in the Spanish. These often feature family names like da Silva, Pereira, Carvalho, Gomes, da Costa, Mendes, Barbosa, da Sousa, Hendriques and Pinto.

I have met a young Portuguese doctor, devoutly Catholic, whose two daughters, he told me, had the characteristic 'birthmarks', and he knew that he was of Jewish origin. I know of an elderly Portuguese lady who, on becoming a grandmother, asked if the newborn infant had the 'family mark'. In "

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pop and Politics

Pop and Politics: "Got Indian in Your Family?

by Cherryl Aldave

Growing up in the sweaty-neck, dusty leg town of Tarboro, North Carolina, I quickly learned that Bible belters don't mince words when it comes to race.

In Southern towns like Tarboro it's not unusual to hear the question, 'Do you have Indian in your family?' especially if the person asking suspects you're 'too light to be all Black' or 'too dark to be all White.'

I was asked this a lot as a child, and my mother insists that one of our ancestors was indeed Native American. But in doing research for my forthcoming book of essays I discovered that, while thousands of Americans share this history of Indian ancestry, sometimes 'Indian' may have been Melungeon.
I know. What the heck is a Melungeon?

As I discovered, Melungeons are a group of ethnically diverse people who came together early in American history to form one community. According to Dr. Brent Kennedy, author of two books on Melungeon history, 'Melungeons are a mixed ethnic population pushed together through the mutual experience of discrimination.'

There isn't a lot of scholarship on Melungeon history, so there's still a lot of debate about who exactly the Melungeons are, even amongst themselves. But current research suggests that they were among the first pioneers to settle in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky. These early settlers could have been a mix of Mediterranean, Jew, Gypsy or Rom culture people, Portuguese, Moors and Africans, with some Northern Europeans in the mix as well.

So how did some members of this diverse population magically become 'Indian?' And why?
Questions like these were at the heart of 'Melungeons: Fact and Fiction,' held the weekend of July 29th in Frankf"

Memorial to be built near Geronimo\'s birthplace

Memorial to be built near Geronimo\'s birthplace: "SILVER CITY, N.M. - A memorial is planned at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument to mark the birthplace of Chiricahua Apache leader Geronimo. \'We put oral history and written history together to find the birthplace,\' said a descendant, Harlyn Geronimo. \'We made a trip up the canyon to the confluence of the middle and west forks of the Gila River, where history said my great-grandfather was born.\' He said the birthplace was told to him through family history from his mother and grandmother in the 1950s. Geronimo was born in 1829. \'It has always stayed with me that I wanted to come see the place,\' Harlyn Geronimo said. Geronimo and small band of followers surrendered to Gen. Nelson Miles on Sept. 4, 1886. The band was moved to Fort Sill, Okla., where Geronimo died in 1909. Fran Land, chairwoman of The Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway Committee, said those backing the memorial want a bronze statue of Geronimo. A photo of Geronimo, from the National Archives, will be engraved on a plaque. The memorial is a joint effort of Geronimo\'s family, the U.S. Forest Service, The Trail of the Mountain Spirits Byway Committee and the Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce. The memorial\'s dedication set sometime in early October, which is Native American Month. "

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Geronimo's grandfather was Maco was the Chief of the tribe. Maco passed away when his father was a young warrior, and Mangas-Colorado became chief of the Bedonkohe Apaches. Picture courtesy of Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-86461

Geronimo's Request

Geronimo's Request: "Geronimo is being degraded to just an 'urban legend' because of a bitter battle to retrieve parts of his remains from a secret society called 'The 'Skull & Bones.' The secret society was founded at Yale University in 1832. A search on the Internet will return well over fourteen thousand pages devoted to Geronimo and the Skull and Bones Society, even CBS 60 Minutes has covered the strange secret society. A quick search on the Skull and Bones Society will bring forth forty-four thousand pages. Seems everyone has a variety of facts but which are true is up to the reader, those who do serious research will have a better understanding of this intriguing piece of history of America's past.

A friend sent me an email about an online petition, Petition to Repatriate Geronimo's Skull, by Will Russell. The petition alleges that the skull of Geronimo was taken from his grave and now resides in Connecticut at Yale University inside of a building called 'The Tomb,' pictured on the left. I emailed Will Russell to verify the petition was authentic. He has convinced me that the records prove that Geronimo's skull is in 'The Tomb.' "

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Update on Brent Kennedy February 27, 2006

Robyn taking photo of her husband Brent Kennedy 2004

UPDATE from Nancy Morrison

Brent was moved to The Shepherd Center in Atlanta today. He left
Bristol this morning and was settled in his new room by this afternoon. The
Shepherd Center has a unique approach to rehab. They want to stimulate the
patients extensively during the day and so therefore Brent is in a room with
three other patients. They will start physical therapy tomorrow.

Robyn will be staying with a close friend for the first few days. Her
friend lives very close to the hospital.

Shepherd Center: Letter From Alana Shepherd

Shepherd Center: Letter From Alana Shepherd: "

Dear Visitor,

You've probably arrived at this page because someone you love is in trouble. A family member. A friend. An important person in your life. An unexpected accident or illness has resulted in a spinal cord injury, a brain injury, or a neurological condition that may change that person's life forever.

The questions and concerns facing you seem overwhelming. What do you do? Where do you go for help? What does the future hold for your loved one?

In this time of crisis, it may be reassuring to know that we've been in your shoes.

In 1973, our son James suffered a spinal cord injury while surfing in Brazil, part of a trip to celebrate his college graduation. His incomplete quadriplegia required immediate medical attention and months of rehabilitation therapy.

James recovered at a hospital in Denver, and today walks with the help of leg braces and a cane. But the fact that James had to leave the Southeast for high-quality specialty care left us frustrated --frustrated enough to galvanize our family and the Atlanta medical community into starting a specialty hospital here in Georgia.

We were committed to bringing high-quality spinal cord injury care close to home, and soon we opened �Shepherd Spinal Center� in a wing of an Atlanta hospital in 1975. We moved into our own facility in 1982, and expanded our space a decade later to 32,000 square feet.

Now, as we celebrate thirty years of growth, our catastrophic care expertise extends to brain injury (which often times coincides with spinal cord injury) and other neurological illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, transverse myelitis and Guillain-Barr� syndrome. In that time, we ha"