Date: Tue, 9 Jul 1996 15:07:35 -0500

From: Anita Puckett apuckett[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]VT.EDU

Subject: Melungeons

I cannot add to the ADS sources already given, but I can suggest some

interesting additions to the origins of the East Tennessee/North

Carolina/Southwest Virginia Melungeons whom I've encountered primarly as

residents of Hancock County, Tennessee. A 10/15/95 newspaper article in

the Dickenson County, Virginia paper by NPI Media Services writer Mike

Still wrote:

"Mustafa Siyahhan, director of the Turkish Tourism Office in Washington,

D.C., came to Wise [Virginia] the weekend of Oct. 14 in what may well be

the first official government recognition that the Melungeons are in fact

descendants of Turkish and Moorish sailors captured, freed and

unintentionally stranded in the New World by English mariner and sometimes

pirate Sir Francis Drake. . . .While genetic and genealogical research by

Clinch Valley College administrator Brent Kennedy and scientists in the

U.S. and Turkey is confirming the Mediterranean origins of Melungeons,

Turkish officials are embracing the theory and fact of that origin." The

major theme of the article is that such a Turkish link will open up

possible tourism/cultural exchange developments between Wise, VA, and

Cesme, Turkey. . . . . However, if the genetic evidence, which I have not

had time to track down, has any validity (and a colleague at U. Tennessee

suggests it does), then pinning down a possible origin of Melungeon is

slightly more likely.

No additional suggestions as to the origin of "Melungeon" are offered in

this article, and, frankly, I've forgotten the 10 or so I've encountered

over the years--they all seemed to lack serious credibility.

I have the article only as a photocopy; Allen, if you or anyone else wants

a copy, just let me know.

Anita Puckett