I don’t know how many times I have to say it people, the concept of race is just plain silly. Race, as commonly used, just doesn’t exist. The question isn’t where are your people from, it’s how far do yo want to go back? All too often, people want to stop their genealogy at a point that they prefer, not where it really goes. Cuz if they were fully looking, they just might find they are not so easily defined. Take the Melungeons.
For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned residents of the southeastern Appalachia region, once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.
Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogyattempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
And that report, which was published in April in the peer-reviewed journal, doesn’t sit comfortably with some people who claim Melungeon ancestry.
“There were a whole lot of people upset by this study,” lead researcher Roberta Estes said. “They just knew they were Portuguese or Native American.”