All Blog Posts (45)

Invisible History of the Human Race by Christine Kenneally published today, 10/9/2014, with entire chapter on Melungeons

A MUST READ for all interested in Melungeons. Prepublication reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews were encouraging but did not mention the thirteenth of fourteen chapters, which is about Melungeons and features extensive interviews with…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on October 9, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Melungeon metadata as of 8/26/2014

Here are the latest state rankings for Google searches of the word Melungeons. Note that 100 is always the number of the top ranked state, and each subsequent number is the percentage of that number found in each of the other states.  Hence there were 80% as many Melungeons searches in Kentucky as in…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on August 26, 2014 at 3:52pm — No Comments

Creoles and Melungeons: More Important Than Ever to America-- by Nick Douglas

Creoles and Melungeons: More Important Than Ever to America

The unique origins of Creoles and…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on August 22, 2014 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

In Memory of Mattie Ruth Johnson

Mattie Ruth Johnson, age 73, died Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Holston…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on August 18, 2014 at 3:30pm — No Comments

18th Union Registrations by State

107 individuals from 14 states attended 18th Union. Friday's free events at the Vardy Community Historical Society and Mountain Empire Community College did not require registration but VCHS counted 60 in attendance through the day Friday.  36 attended the Friday evening reception at  MECC. The pie chart…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on July 3, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Stability Despite Controversy

The latest data from Google Trends shows that online searches for the term Melungeon have been fairly stable over the last five years. (The one exception is a spike in searches in spring 2012 inspired by the AP story about a DNA study.) This indicates that public interest in Melungeons has neither increased or decreased during this time frame, which is reflected in comparable stability in Union attendance and MHA membership and finances. There has been considerable online commentary and…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on June 8, 2014 at 9:00am — No Comments

Shepherd/Shepard/Sheppard family


My maternal ggrandfather was George Henry Shepherd, born Feb 1842 in Christian Co, KY, and died 7 April 1927.  He married Eugenia "Denie" Hopson in 1867.  I have not been able to connect any heritage further back than George with any confidence.  The area also had another George Shepherd and this confuses information.  I was told that having a…


Added by Linda Townsend on May 28, 2014 at 6:05pm — 2 Comments

Seeking Roots in Shifting Ground-- Dr. Laura Tugman's topic for 18th Union, June 28

Dr. Laura Tugman will discuss her doctoral dissertation, entitled Seeking Roots in Shifting Ground: Ethnic Identity Development and the Melungeons of Southern Appalachia. Her research examined the experience of Melungeon ethnic identity development through ethnographic interviews with Melungeon individuals in Southern Appalachia. Her study concluded that the identity development process and group dynamics occurring within the Melungeons present challenges to the current multicultural…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on May 20, 2014 at 4:54pm — No Comments

Abijah Alley of Long Hollow-- 18th Union Presentation by Nancy Gray Schoonmaker, Ph.D.

As MHA returns this year to the Melungeon heartland, we welcome a presentation on a unique and little-known figure in the history of far Southwest Virginia, whose family belonged to the same small church as the first recorded Melungeons, in Scott County.

Abijah Alley of Long Hollow

Abijah Alley spent several weeks in heaven conversing with angels in the early 1840s. Back home in Long Hollow, he wrote a book about it. The Alleys were deeply…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on May 1, 2014 at 5:30am — No Comments

"The Melungeons of Vardy Valley" lecture and screening featuring MHA Board Member Todd Beckham 2/27/2014

MHA Board member Todd Beckham was guest lecturer on mixed race ancestry on February 27, 2014 at  Woods Hole, MA at the Marine Biology Laboratory …

Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on March 15, 2014 at 6:30am — No Comments

Appalachian Voice Online story by Kimber Ray, "Handing Off and Holding On: Melungeon Identity in Appalachia"

This new article from the online journal sponsored by Appalachian Voices features photographs from researcher Tammy Stachowicz and her mother Sylvia Ray, who participated in 16th Union in Big Stone Gap, and whose subsequent discoveries will be of great interest to those who attend 18th Union there this summer.

Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on February 20, 2014 at 6:31pm — No Comments

Dates for 18th Union??

Do we have dates for 18th Union ?? Have someone who is interested...

Thanks, Lynda

Added by Lynda Logan on October 15, 2013 at 12:26pm — 2 Comments

Becoming Melungeon: Making an Ethnic Identity in the Appalachian South by Melissa Schrift published today

The University of Nebraska Press has just published a new study that I hope many of us will be reading and discussing in the weeks ahead.  Melissa Schrift is an associate professor of anthropology at East…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on May 1, 2013 at 8:00pm — 1 Comment

State Rankings in Google searches for `Melungeon'

As of November 21, 2013, the search volume for six states and the District of Columbia registered on Google Trends as follows. Tennessee as highest-ranking is assigned 100, then Kentucky's search volume is 93% of Tennessee's etc.



Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on April 30, 2013 at 10:30pm — No Comments

NYU graduate student in search of recipes from Melungeon communities and families

Justin Kennedy, formerly of Abingdon, VA, is a student at New York University whose current research involves Melungeon history. This flyer provides contact information and details.…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on October 4, 2012 at 1:11pm — No Comments

MHA board consultant Dr. Arwin Smallwood's new article, "A History Long Forgotten"

Those of us who have been fortunate to hear Dr. Smallwood's presentations at Melungeon Unions will find much familiar material in this article published by Oklahoma Humanities this summer, "A History Long Forgotten: Intersections of Race in Early America."  The events calendar has been update to include Dr. Smallwood's June 2013 trip to Canada as…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on October 2, 2012 at 11:25am — No Comments

2002 and 2010 DNA studies confirmed tri-racial roots of Melungeons

In 2002, Brent Kennedy issued a statement about the first Melungeon DNA study. Excerpt:

The long-awaited DNA results are in and as many of us have maintained, the Melungeons are indeed a mixture of all races and many ethnic groups.…


Added by Melungeon Heritage Association on July 25, 2012 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Google Books Ngram shows a tenfold increase in book mentions of Melungeon 1995-2005

The vast database of Google Books allows for tracing the appearance of different words over time in literature.  The Ngram program as applied to Melungeon for the period from 1970 through 2008 shows a dramatic increase beginning in the mid-1990s.…


Added by K. Paul Johnson on June 11, 2012 at 6:38pm — No Comments

Finding my Melungeon Heritage

Years ago, I was reading a Parade Magazine article about Melungeons.  The writer was Brent Kennedy from Wise, Va.  I am from Grundy, Va originally.  I was fascinated about this.  Sometime later, I was browsing in a bookstore in Middlesboro, KY and came across the book "The Melungeons:  The Resurrection of a Proud People."  As I perused the book, I came across Brent's Osborne genealogy.  The names sure looked familiar; we were distant cousins.…


Added by Sharon Osborne Riley on June 10, 2012 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

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