DNA Study Finds Origin of Appalachia’s Melungeons

The following excerpt is from an AP article published in the May 24, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.

A new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy has found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.

Read the full article.