The Melungeons blog

Saturday, March 01, 2008 Feature of the Month

European Tapestries, Middle Eastern Kilims,
and Appalachian Quilts: The Weaving of America

by Phyllis and Julia Starnes


"My family has lived by and played in and on the banks of the Clinch River and Stony Creek for generations—the same Stony Creek where the old Primitive Baptist church of the same name once stood—the same Stony Creek church that is often put forth as the place where the earliest known written reference to the word “melungins” occurred in 1813. The listing of membership from that time is a “Who’s Who” of mine and my husband’s family trees. The original church building was washed away by floods a long time ago. My husband’s family and my mother were members at the Pine Grove church that replaced it. My mother sometimes took my daughters to services there when they stayed with her during summer breaks. It was still a one room church house with a curtain to pull for Sunday school, and an outhouse. Baptisms were still performed in the deep spot right behind it in Stony Creek—the same deep spot that served as a swimming hole on Saturdays."