Friday, November 6, 2009
The Melungeons - Sizemores & Cherokee
If the families who were dubbed with the name Melungeons were Indians and were traveling together for decades - would you not assume they descended from the same 'tribe'? There was probably very little mixing with the *white folks* and if these Indians were living next door to Indians, is it not likely they were mixing among themselves?
The Sizemores --
I posed a question on one of the lists that since over 2000 Sizemores filed Cherokee applications and the Gibsons, Collins, Coles, Lawsons, and other Melungeon families also filed Cherokee applications it seems the Sizemores would be considered Melungeons.
They are associated with these early Melungeon families back to the 1600s and are living side by side over the years. These families, including the Sizemores are found in the area of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, an old Cherokee Indian town also known as Mulberry Fields and Keowee. And where did they go when they left North Carolina? The Cherokee lands on Newmans Ridge. But according to Joy King they were NOT Cherokee or Melungeons.
Joy does not know who Ned Sizemore's parents or grandparents were -- but she *knows* they weren't Melungeons or Cherokee, I guess she received this information via osmosis. In 2004 Joy wrote; "I doubt we'll ever know exactly which tribe this ancestry actually came from."
Interesting -- she *knows* it wasn't Cherokee but she doubts we will ever know the tribe? The first Sizemore that I found so far was Martha Sizemore living with [apparently a housekeeper] of the Rev. Alexander Whitaker who converted Pocahontas to Christianity. After Pocahontas was captured she was placed in the home of Rev. Whitaker and his housekeeper Martha Sizemore.
Although Joy King does not mention this most intriguing connection on her Sizemore History website she claims she has had the information for many years and promises she will update sometime in the future.I have to wonder why in the world a researcher would not share this valuable piece of history? Apparently she never shared it with fellow Sizemore descendant and researcher Jack Goins as he doesn't mention it in his book. Nor can I find where she has posted it on any of the discussion lists although she is a frequent poster -- definitely makes you go hmmm.
After posting this on the Melungeon list the only feedback was from Joy King - however the Melungeon Historical Society must have thought it important as they quickly added the item to their blog claiming the "authorities" do not recognize Sizemores as Melungeons. I'd like to know who these "authorities" are -- I've never seen the "authorities" name the Bolton, Perkins, Shoemakes, Nickens, etc., Melungeons either. There are a lot of "authorities" on the Melungeons and very few agree on anything.
Many "authorities" still believe they were a 'mysterious tribe' found only on Newman's Ridge.
Check out Documenting the Melungeons