According to my source Newman Ridge took its name from one of the Long Hunters, named Walter Newman. There are no Newman's recorded in the area of Hancock County beginning say 1810 up to and including censuses 1830 through 1900. Newman Ridge extends through Hancock County west of Sneedville and east of Kyles Ford a distance of 28 Miles in which the eastern part of Newman Ridge extends about 7 miles into Lee County, Virginia. When the old authors, historians wrote about the Newman Ridge Melungeons they did not mean to infer they all lived on the Ridge, that was describing an area which included Kyles Ford, Fishers Valley, Flower Gap, Panther Creek (Old name was Buffalo Creek), the North Fork of Blackwater Creek in which most of it was in Lee County and the South Fork of Blackwater Creek which took in Vardy Valley and part of Snake Hollow. You will find the Melungeons were members (1803) of the Mulberry Gap church which was across Powell Mountain.
My research begins in this area tracing the migration of the historical Melungeons. I know by my own research there are millions of blood relatives who never came to Newman Ridge, then we have the descendants of the historical Melungeons. Just in the Newman Ridge area in 1830 we are looking at approximately 30 families who were labeled Melungeon by historians, those families had parents, grandparents, great grandparents etc,etc. I know from research that part of the children from these families migrated to Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina and into what is now West Virginia, while others went on to middle Tennessee. Several children split off before the others left for Newman Ridge. This is proven through court records, tax records, land grants, deeds, wills and Revolutionary war pension applications. And is the reason we formed the Melungeon Families DNA project is to find those kinfolks;
Micajer Bunch was recognized by William Groshe and others as one of the first Melungeons in the area 1789, his land entry was near Kyles Ford in Tennessee but he signed the petition 1793 to form Lee County, VA. Also Buck Gibson first land entry was on Blackwater Lee County, Va. very near the line, these folks were next door neighbors although they lived in Tennessee and Virginia. This was not a small area, neither was it a small group and some left early into KY, such as Micager Bunch who migrated to Cumberland County, Kentucky in 1799.
Lee County, Virginia tax list. 17th March 1795.
Drury Bunch (1 horse)
Micajah Bunch (1 horse)
Torel Bunch (1 horse)
Clem Bunch (no horses)
1797 Lee County, VA tax list Micajer Bunch, Isreal Bunch, Solomon Bunch, Claiborn Bunch, Jesee Bowlin, Zachariah Goins, he was son of John and Elizabeth Goins, of Henry County, Virginia. Jack Goins