Sunday, July 5, 2015



        First, I have a few comments on a review written by Joanne Pezzullo on her
website. She uses Will Allen Dromgoole who visited Newman Ridge in 1890
for her 1st source. Dromgoole does not mention Mahala Mullins who was still
living and was at that time the most famous Melungeon on Newman Ridge.
Dromgoole describes the four branches of the Melungeons, which is spurious
considering the person giving Dromgoole this information was Calloway
Collins, a Great Grandson of Benjamin Collins. Calloway surely knew that 4
of his great uncles were tried for illegal voting and described in the court
records that they being colored and was not allowed to vote, or testify in
court against a white man. Five descendants of Benjamin Collins tested in
our core DNA project, their group Ethnicity was E1b1a7a of sub-Saharan African
       Pezzullo continues quoting Brownlow and others who were stating opinions,
all of which was proven false by this DNA project. On page 2 quoting
Pezzullo; “Someone over at the Native Heritage Project has declared the AP
reporter made a “slight error”  in not reporting the project shows an over
whelming number of European males”  The AP reporter was correct, here is
the reason. *On page 48 of the peer review-Vardy Collins group R1a1,
consist of eight Collins. *page 53, Primary Gibson Group R1b1b2ab5, this
group had fifteen individuals. More descendants in the European haplogroups
tested, but those totals from each group counts as one, which is that groups
paternal ancestor. If Pezzullo was doing an honest review she should have
pointed this fact out to the Native Heritage project. The continued claim that
the project was not finished when presented for a review is misleading,
because the first and foremost goal of our project was to find the Origin of
the core group originally named in our project. The Core Melungeon DNA project
began July 25, 2005, so almost 7 years later we concluded that the core group had
been tested, thus their origin was known. This met our goal of knowing the Origin of the
individual core Melungeon families.  We then presented those results for peer review.
Our first goal had been finalized, It was never our intention to shut the project down,
those tests results contained matches and participants were notified of those matches
in both the paternal and maternal test and most were actively contacting their matches.
And the added Family Finder test would find  their cousins. Another goal of our DNA
projects  was to find the beginning point of the first mulatto group and their location.
Everyone tested in our project knew the origin of their most distant known ancestor
before the review. Those results plainly show an almost even mixture of European and
African males and all the maternal test were European.  When presenting those results
to  a peer review board you must use the test results found in the project. Those DNA
results show the Melungeons of the early 19th century were the offspring of African-
American men and European-American women. When this group eventually migrated
to Newman Ridge and Blackwater beginning 1795 their African features, except for the
dark skin was almost gone, even though most were enumerated free colored on the
1830 US Census. The 1840 census showed most of the same people were enumerated
        Trying to justify her denial of African DNA in the core group by quoting
Brownlow, Humble, Droomgole and others who said they were Portuguese or
Indians, has nothing at all to do with the core Melungeon DNA results, but
does show her biased opinions, based on old legends which has been proven
wrong by this DNA project.
        The Melungeons according to Joanne from her website: “From my research I hope
to be able to show that the Malungeons were in fact Portuguese Adventurers who
intermixed with the local Indians in the Carolinas, I believe I can.”
It is very doubtful this mixture described by Joanne would form a free colored clan,  they
would most likely be known as Indians.  This statement also confirms that she ignores
DNA and shows why she has tried to discredit the core Melungeon DNA project, it
eliminates all of her theories. The proof is in the DNA tests from descendants
who submitted their DNA to the core Melungeon project. If your paternal or
maternal genealogy (Y or mtDNA tests) won't show a Melungeon ancestor named in the
core project, you are welcome to join this Families of Interest site by going to:

     Having both groups increases the interest in the Family Finder project which
documents by DNA  that these families were related, thus mixed. All the older
generation shows some African and the ones who have Haplogroups R-European & E-
African are finding relatives within each group.

 I especially want to point out one Family Finder test -This person attended Vardy
School and by documentation is blood related to Vardy Collins, Shep Gibson, Joseph
Goins and others to numerous to name. And presently lists 1762 cousins. Most of these
cousins are descendants of the old Melungeons who lived 1800s in Hancock County,
TN. This persons Origin 89% European and 11% African, a child of said tester shows
93% European and 4% African. (The administrators are not permitted to give the
persons name who submitted the DNA sample. FTDNA suggest you list your most
distant known Ancestor.)

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