Saturday, June 16, 2012

"A Little Common Sense"


The recent DNA Project paper and newspaper article that followed  would have you believe the Melungeons were descendants of 'Sub Saharan men and white women' because of their DNA haplgroups.

While technically the female haplgroups were European at least two of them [almost half] had proven Native American ancestry, that did not, and would not, have shown up in the test that was performed. They may also have had African ancestry but that would not have been apparent from the DNA test either.

"Footprints From the Past" by author Jack Goins
Page 230 
Quoting Penny Ferguson

"It is a great disappointment to discover that g,g,grandma's mtDNA is white European. The test only showed what her mother's mother and on back was. The only gauge our ancestors used to tell the degree of Native American blood was their phenotype.  She could have looked like a "full blood Indian" to them. Someone with a Native American haplogroup may not be more Indian than someone who doesn't test out with a NA haplogroup. So a little common sense has to come in play with all this."
 "Footprints From the Past" by author Jack Goins

Page 227 Jack Goins writes;

"The Core Melungeon DNA study confirms the Melungeons were a mixture of European, Native American, and African, as the various haplogroups reveal."

Page 233 Jack Goins writes; 
 " Male Y-chromosome DNA tests results, in our core Melungeon DNA Project, rejects all the theories of a certain ethnicity as being the source of the Melungeons, ........ but does identify African haplogroups which may be the source of the mulatto and free colored labels." (keyword; maybe)  

Yet the headlines read 'descendants of Sub Saharan men and white women.'?

Most of the paternal Melungeon families tested so far have European DNA, this does not of course mean they were *white* any more than the African DNA means they were *black*.

Proving Your Native American Heritage with DNA

by Roberta Estes

''This sometimes becomes confusing, because the single most common male  haplogroup among current Cherokee tribal members who have tested is R1b

Further complicating matters, there were numerous “lost” individuals of varying ethnicity in the very early years of colonization.  Specifically, Juan Pardo established forts in many southern states from Florida to Mexico beginning in 1566.  The Spanish settled Florida and explored the interior beginning in 1521, settling Santa Elena Island in present day South Carolina from 1566-1576.  Their forays extended as far North as present day East Tennessee.  In 1569, 3 English men arrived in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia having set out on foot with 100 men 4000 miles earlier in Tampico, Mexico.  These individuals are in addition to the well-known Lost Colony of Roanoke, and the less well-known earlier military expeditions on which several individuals were “lost” or left behind. 

What does this mean to the family historian who is trying to prove their genealogy and understand better just who they are and where they come from?   

If your family has a long-standing oral history of Native American heritage, it is probably true.  Historically, Native people were classified as “non-white” which severely limited (and sometimes prevented) their ability to function as free, white, people with equal rights.  This means that free “people of color” often could not vote, could not own land, and could not attend schools along with white people, if at all.'' ;


"In addition, the first example of African slaves' escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by Native Americans was recorded in 1526. In June of that year, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllón established a Spanish colony near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in what is now eastern South Carolina. The Spanish settlement was named San Miquel de Guadalupe. Among the inhabitants were 100 enslaved Africans. In 1526, the first African slaves fled the colony and took refuge with local Native Americans.[6]
Intermarriage between African slaves and Native Americans began in the early 17th century in the coastal settlements.[7] In 1622 Native Americans overran the European colony of Jamestown. They killed the Europeans but brought the African slaves as captives back to their communities, gradually integrating them.[8] Interracial relationships occurred between African Americans and members of other tribes in the coastal states.[7] Several colonial advertisements for runaway slaves made direct reference to the connections which Africans had in Native American communities. For example, ...ran off with his Native American wife..., had kin among the Native Americans..., part Native American and speaks their language good.[9]"

Some researchers follow the Walter Plecker thinking of the old 'one drop rule' and if a patriarch has an E haplogroup he cannot be an 'Indian.' 
I think a little common sense is in order here.

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