Monday, June 18, 2012

There Will Be No Criticizing My Project!


Or; No I won't answer your questions they are silly, stupid and a waste of time!

When the Melungeon DNA Project by Dr. Kevin Jones and Brent Kennedy went viral in 2002 the Melungeon list at Rootsweb exploded.  Brent Kennedy tried to answer each persons tough questions, criticism, etc., never insinuating they were stupid or silly, and he never said responding to them was a "useless waste of time".

The biggest critics of the Jones-Kennedy DNA project was none other than Jack Goins, Janet Crain, Penny Ferguson and myself and it continues today by Crain, Goins and Ferguson in their recently published article where they write on page 72 of Kennedy‘s project; “No genealogy information was collected, nor was any Melungeon heritage confirmed. “

In  July 2002 Jack Goins wrote to the Melungeon list regarding the Kennedy and Jones DNA Project.

“I personally would love to see the list of all  the ones who gave a sample for both these dna test. They would have to agree for their names to be released and I believe most will do this, This would allow genealogist to examine those famlies used in the study, when did they migrate to this area? etc,etc.. 

Yet when Goins is questioned on the list regarding the genealogies of the people he has in his project he wrote; 

“The Administrator of any DNA project knows who the person is who gives the DNA sample, their genealogy and the ones they match.” 

Apparently Goins believes  that he and is Co-Administrators are experts in the field and do not need to provide the information to genealogists so they can confirm Melungeon heritage, when they migrated to the area etc. 

Janet Crain has written more than once they were ‘not allowed to speculate’  in this paper, yet the genealogies contained therein are nothing but speculatons.  Use your find button and search for ‘probably’  ‘possibly’ ‘thought to be’ -- everyone is thought to be his son, probably his daughter, possibly his brother, etc., etc., etc.  

A month after submitting this paper to JOGG for ‘peer review’  Janet Crain, administrator of the Melungeon List wrote; 

‘’I am calling an end to the criticizing of Melungeon DNA Projects; past, present or future. I have had my say and if you have anything else to contribute please do so by midnight tonight.’’
In fact we were not even allowed to discuss the genealogies that were presented in the report on the list because it was part of a 'Melungeon DNA Project'. 

This past week two people were put on ‘moderation’ by Janet Crain because they used the ‘d word’ (DNA) on the list, effectively shutting down any criticism of “her project”.  In the year following the Jones-Kennedy project there were almost 18,000 posts to the Melungeon list, most regarding DNA and many of them posted by Crain, Goins and Ferguson. 

That amounts to almost 1,500 posts a month and apparently was quite effective as you don’t see too many articles claiming the Melungeons carried Turkish, Siddhi or exotic DNA these days.  

Looks to me like these authors learned their lesson and cut off the possibility of anyone criticizing their project as soon as they submitted it for peer review.  Did they really think *we* had more tough questions than the peers reviewing their article?


  1. An excellent, penetrating and concise critique/review of the inadequate editorial control policies and the failure of intellectual honesty from these so called "researchers" who refuse to come forward with any answers to these important and necessary questions.

  2. on any case study all information is to made public so if all one in the future wants re-do/verify the findings it can be done so as not to commit plagism if this study is peer reviewed

  3. It is obvious that this whole endeavor of Jack Goins and Roberta Estes is a sham, a fraud, a scam. If they were honest and truthful then they wouldn't be trying to hide anything and they would be more than willing to answer the hard questions. They would have also stressed the fact that these DNA tests only give you a small fraction of the ancestry of the people they are testing. They therefore could not, on any level of honesty, give a conclusion based on this small fraction of ancestry, the convuluted nature of their interpretations of the historical record or the manner in which they put the project together without genealogy.

  4. Bravo, JoAnne! I've tried to gather my thoughts but I'm still having anger issues, not to mention the disappointment of waiting several years for a treasure and getting slop instead. Katy Brown


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