Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Native American Heritage Day

House-Senate Joint Resolution 62


This Act may be cited as the ‘Native American Heritage Day Act of 2008’.


Congress finds that--

(1) Native Americans are the descendants of the aboriginal, indigenous, native people who were the original inhabitants of the United States;

(2) Native Americans have volunteered to serve in the United States Armed Forces and have served with valor in all of the Nation’s military actions from the Revolutionary War through the present day, and in most of those actions, more Native Americans per capita served in the Armed Forces than any other group of Americans;

(3) Native Americans have made distinct and significant contributions to the United States and the rest of the world in many fields, including agriculture, medicine, music, language, and art, and Native Americans have distinguished themselves as inventors, entrepreneurs, spiritual leaders, and scholars;

(4) Native Americans should be recognized for their contributions to the United States as local and national leaders, artists, athletes, and scholars;

(5) nationwide recognition of the contributions that Native Americans have made to the fabric of American society will afford an opportunity for all Americans to demonstrate their respect and admiration of Native Americans for their important contributions to the political, cultural, and economic life of the United States;

(6) nationwide recognition of the contributions that Native Americans have made to the Nation will encourage self-esteem, pride, and self-awareness in Native Americans of all ages;

(7) designation of the Friday following Thanksgiving of each year as Native American Heritage Day will underscore the government-to-government relationship between the United States and Native American governments; and

(8) designation of Native American Heritage Day will encourage public elementary and secondary schools in the United States to enhance understanding of Native Americans by providing curricula and classroom instruction focusing on the achievements and contributions of Native Americans to the Nation.



(1) designates Friday, November 28, 2008, as ‘Native American Heritage Day’; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States, as well as Federal, State, and local governments, and interested groups and organizations to observe Native American Heritage Day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, including activities relating to--

(A) the historical status of Native American tribal governments as well as the present day status of Native Americans;

(B) the cultures, traditions, and languages of Native Americans; and

(C) the rich Native American cultural legacy that all Americans enjoy today.

To begin exploring American Indian web resources: Click Here.

For Wikipedia's extensive American Indian article: Click Here.

To visit the National Museum of the American Indian: Click Here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Classical Thanksgiving Harvest

A Musical Program Courtesy of National Public Radio

1 William Billings: 'An Anthem for Thanksgiving: Praise the Lord of Heaven'

Boston singing master William Billings published songbooks that were popular during the Revolutionary War. Some of his melodies were adapted by the Continental Army as marching tunes. This one fits the holiday perfectly.

Paul Hillier conducts His Majestie's Clerkes. (Harmonia Mundi HCX3957048)

2 Aaron Copland: 'Appalachian Spring'

A satisfying helping of Americana with Leonard Bernstein conducting music Copland composed for Martha Graham. She also suggested the title, which is based on a Hart Crane poem about a source of water, not a season.

Leonard Bernstein conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic. (Sony 46559)

3 Antonio Vivaldi: 'Autumn' from The Four Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi provided a snapshot of an 18th-century Italian harvest festival in one of his 'Four Seasons.' Vivaldi depicted each season in music with a concerto, and prefaced each with a sonnet. Usually you only hear the music, but this recording features Patrick Stewart reading the sonnet before each movement.

Musica Anima featuring Patrick Stewart and Arnie Roth. (American Gramophon 801)

4. Jay Ungar & Molly Mason: 'Autumn' from Harvest Home Suite

This superb collaboration with violinist Jay Ungar, guitarist-singer Molly Mason and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra evokes the warm feelings and golden light of the harvest season.

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. (EMI 56720)

5 Joseph Curiale: 'Joy' from Awakening (Songs of the Earth)

Music from American composer Joseph Curiale that kicks up the endorphins with its catchy melody and gorgeous orchestration.

Joseph Curiale conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. (Orchard Road 7157)

To listen: Click Here.

Note: A broadband connection is highly recommended.

Journal of Genetic Genealogy

The Journal of Genetic Genealogy is an open access online journal presenting original work involving techniques for analyzing the results of genetic testing.

"The main emphasis of this journal will be to present a forum for articles that may not be appropriate for other established genetics journals since they may be based on datasets in which a statistically random sample cannot be guaranteed (i.e. surname studies). Articles on individual surname studies are welcomed if they illustrate an unusual success story, present a new method of analysis, or would otherwise be of general interest to the genealogical community. Other topics might include insights into mutation rates, geographic patterns in genetic data, information that help to characterize haplogroups, and studies involving mtDNA. Beyond Y chromosomal and mtDNA topics, we encourage articles on new tools that may include X chromosome markers, and ancestrally informative autosomal markers."

This journal is not for the casual reader or anyone without at least a minimal technical understanding of genetic genealogy, but it is one of the few professional journals which is freely available online, not only the current issue but all back issues as well, and those who have studied genetic genealogy in some depth will find it valuable.

To visit the journal: Click Here.

If you would like to first brush up on DNA testing and genetic genealogy: Click Here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hancock County Links

This rather Spartan looking web page has many good links to online historical and genealogical data concerning Hancock County, Tennessee and you may find it more useful than Hancock County's GenWeb site.

To visit: Click Here.

Note: Many of the Melungeon links are broken, and in some cases that is just as well. It is prudent to take most Melungeon web sites with a large grain of salt. For a few generally reliable Melungeon web sites, consult the Melungeon section of the MHS Blog's "Links of Interest" page, the portal to which can be found in the sidebar to the right immediately above the MHS Blog archives.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Freedmen's Bureau Online

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, often referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department by an act of March 3, 1865. The Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing and medicine. The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory. The bureau records were created or maintained by bureau headquarters, the assistant commissioners and the state superintendents of education and included personnel records and a variety of standard reports concerning bureau programs and conditions in the states.

To visit the Freedmen's Bureau online: Click Here.

To read a lengthy history of the Freedmen's Bureau: Click Here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Genealogy Search Help from Google

This free genealogy search site will help you use Google as an aid to your web research. It will create a series of different searches using tips or tricks that will likely improve your search results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google to find ancestry information on the Internet.

To try it: Click Here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Folk Medicine in Southern Appalachia

The piece published here yesterday in memory of Patricia Hopkins-Baldwin touched on folk medicine in Southern Appalachia. This is an interesting topic and the title of a fairly recent book by Anthony Cavender, published by the University of North Carolina Press.

To read a review of this book by Mountain Click Here.

For another look at mountain medicine published the West Virginia Historical Society Quarterly: Click Here.

To visit the online folk medicine archive at UCLA: Click Here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Patricia Hopkins-Baldwin, 1957-2008

It saddens me to announce the passing last Sunday of Patricia Ann Hopkins-Baldwin, a long-time Melungeon researcher and Melungeon Section Editor for the Appalachian Quarterly. She is survived by her husband Randy Baldwin, and she will be missed.

Twelve years ago Patricia Hopkins-Baldwin wrote a short piece talking about her memories of her great grandmother which is not only interesting in its own right but captures something of her spirit and of her life's work:

"In searching for my Melungeon roots, I have uncovered some good things and some disturbing. The good things were the memories that I have as a child, talking with and listening to my great grandmother speak of her family. She was the grand daughter of Hezekiah and Martha Cottle Wyatt. I remember her speaking of the way that her family did things, their lifestyle, hobbies, etc...

"One of the things that sticks out in my mind is that my great grandmother, Cynthia Ann, was a gifted jewelry maker. She worked with silver, gold and precious stones. I wear an opal and gold ring that she made for me when I was a child. I also have an opal filigreed necklace to match. I wasn't aware until the research that I've been doing on the Melungeon people that a known trait of theirs to work with silver and other metals. And this was exciting to me, bringing me one step closer to the truth about my family although, throughout my paternal side of the family there are Native American origins and I know that jewelry making is a practice of their's too. It's just with the now known traditions and practices of the Melungeon people that I lean more toward this heritage.

"Another thing that Cynthia Ann did was make almost all of the medicinal preparations. And keep alive the 'old ways' that went with them. For instance, she always wore charms (i.e. a 'medicine' bag) around her neck. It was filled with herbs, powders and what ever else she may have 'needed' to cure someone of an ailment. I know that this is also Cherokee or Native American practice. Her medicinal practices were sought by many. She was somewhat of the local 'healer'. I remember times when I was sick as a child that she would have me drink a mixture of whatever was in her 'bag of tricks'. This always seemed to make me feel better. One time in particular I was suffering with Bronchitis and was very ill. My Mother had taken me to the Doctor and the antibiotics he prescribed weren't working, as I grew sicker. I was taken to Cynthia Ann and she prepared for me a concoction of her herbs. And--passed me under a raspberry bush several times! I remember this very distinctly because it was in the 'dead' of winter and cold! I don't know if it was a combination of the herbs and the passing under of the raspberry bush or just plain faith but this made me better. Within a few days I was well. At the point of my sickest the doctor wanted to put me into the hospital and feared the worse. But my great grandmother made me well.

"A little background of my great grandmother's family is as follows.

4. HEZEKIAH WYATT B. CA. 1817 N.C. (I don't know where)
5. MARTHA COTTLE B. CA. 1823 N.C. (I don't know where)

"Much research has yet to be done on this branch of my family. I am always searching for 'leads' into piecing together my family history. It seems as if the farther back I try to go the more obstacles I come across. From the censuses to court records to family recollections. But I persevere. And will piece this beautiful family quilt of memories all together someday."

Patricia A. Hopkins-Baldwin, 1996

To view some of her family photos, including one of her great grandmother Cynthia Ann: Click Here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cumberland Gap DNA Project

The Cumberland Gap DNA Project is using DNA testing to explore the ancestry and relationships of the early pioneer families who settled in the Cumberland Gap area, which includes Hancock County and Newmans Ridge. The project consists of both a Y-line study and an mtDNA study.

To view the Y-line study: Click Here.

To view the mtDNA study: Click Here.

If you have no idea what Y-line and mtDNA mean: First Click Here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hancock County Genealogy

Many Hancock County, Tennessee records have been lost and many early records are in Hawkins County, of which it was originally a part. Its GenWeb site is a bit limited but should not be overlooked.

To view: Click Here.

To locate GenWeb sites for other counties of interest: Click Here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Civil War Soliders and Sailors System

The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a computerized database containing very basic facts about servicemen who served on both sides during the Civil War. The initial focus of the CWSS is the Names Index Project, a project to enter names and other basic information from 6.3 million soldier records in the National Archives. The facts about the soldiers were entered from records that are indexed to many millions of other documents about Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration.

To visit the CWSS System: Click Here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Find a Grave

With 27 million grave records online, "Find A Grave" is a resource for finding the final resting place of family, friends, and 'famous' individuals. With millions of names and photos, it is an invaluable tool for the genealogist and family history buff. "Find A Grave" memorials can contain rich content including photos, biographies and dates. Visitors can leave 'virtual flowers' on the memorials they visit, completing the online cemetery experience.

To search this unique database: Click Here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

History of the Banjo

One of the primary instruments for the playing of both mountain music and bluegrass is the banjo.

For a history of the banjo: Click Here and Click Here.

The premier banjo player of the modern era is undoubtedly Earl Scruggs. To read about him: Click Here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bluegrass Music

In the early 20th century, country music, rooted in Appalachia, enjoyed popularity as country singers brought their craft to the cities. Country music was characterized by two or three-part harmonies sung over acoustic instruments.

In the 1920s, the Monroe Brothers rose to popularity with Charlie Monroe on guitar and his brother Bill on mandolin. Finally in 1938, the brothers split to form separate bands. Having hailed from Kentucky (the “Blue Grass State”), Bill named his band Bill Monroe & the Blue Grass Boys. This original band implemented elements of Gospel, work songs, folk, country, and blues, and showcased various types of vocal harmonies. They experimented with many acoustic instruments, but eventually settled on guitar, bass, fiddle, mandolin and banjo. By the '50s, Bluegrass had begun enjoying extensive popularity.

For a brief history of bluegrass music and links to other bluegrass web sites: Click Here and Click Here.

The former is a better history but the latter has better links.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Note on the Melungeons

By Swan M. Burnett, M. D., Washington
Read at a meeting of the American Society of Anthropologists
February 5, 1889

Legends of the Melungeons I first heard at my father’s knee as a child in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, and the name had such a ponderous and inhuman sound as to associate them in my mind with the giants and ogres of the wonder tales I listened to in the winter evenings before the crackling logs in the wide-mouth fireplace. And when I chanced to waken in the night and the fire had died down on the hearth, and the wind swept with a demoniac shriek and terrifying roar around and through the house, rattling the windows and the loose clapboards on the roof, I shrank under the bedclothes trembling with a fear that was almost an expectation that one of these huge creatures would come down the chimney with a rush, seize me with his dragon-like arms, and carry me off to his cave in the mountains, there to devour me piecemeal.

To read more: Click Here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Queer North Carolina Race

Are These Descendants of Members of the Lost Colony of Roanoke?

New York Sun
November 15, 1894

There live in the swamps of Robeson County, North Carolina, a strange race of people. Their manners, customs and personal appearance are unlike those of any other race on the American continent. They live within themselves, and their intercourse with their neighbors, both white and colored, is limited to the extent which necessity demands. Among the citizens of the county they are called Portuguese and mulattoes. They are neither. Recent investigations by antiquarians who have closely studied their characteristics, in cline to the opinion that they are the descendants of the Croatan Indians and the lost colony of Roanoke Island.

It is an historical fact that on the arrival of the relief expedition fitted out by Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Richard Grenville the colony planted on Roanoke Island a few months before had totally disappeared. Years afterward, when the country had become sparsely settled by the English, and when the Tuscorora Indians were the dominant tribe, it was a tradition among them that in the interior there were white men who wee members of a smaller tribe of Indians, and that these men possessed many of the gifts of the English. It is generally thought that when the English vessels sailed to England for supplies for the infant colony those left on Roanoke Island were too weak to defend themselves against the Croatan Indians, their nearest neighbors, and that in an incursion the men were killed and the women and children carried away into captivity.

Whatever may be the supposition, the fact, nevertheless, remains, that in this remote county of the Old North State, thee exists today a strange and peculiar people. Their associations have, in the main, been with those who, previous to the war, were known in the Southern States as free negroes. They inter-married with these free negroes and the majority of them are more or less tinctured with African blood. this admixture, however, does not change their characteristics. There are among them certain families who have held aloof from such alliances, and these occupy a position of superiority. while they are not, in the strictest sense, tribal in their government, they bow in implicit obedience to their rulers who are always members of the pure blooded families. These pure bloods in personal appearance resemble the Portuguese, but in every other characteristic they are more like the Indian. They are brave, generous, natural hunters, fine
shots and very truthful. The swamps abound in game, such as bear, deer, ducks, turkeys and smaller animals and birds. They never forget an injury and treasure up their feelings of vengeance till they find a way to gratify it. They live in houses of peculiar architectural design resembling the "dug out" of the primitive Western settler.

A few years ago these people became a source of terror to their white neighbors. One of their principle men, Henry Berry Lowrey, organized a band of them and wrought as much crime in Robeson and the adjoining counties ad did the James gang in its more extensive field of operations. This man, on account of a real or fancied wrong, waylaid and murdered a wealthy and influential white man, a Mr. Townsend. The horrors of an Indian war, except the scalping of the victims, followed. Women and children were killed as well as able bodied men. No race was exempt. It was a war of extermination. Houses were burned, stock destroyed, and the country laid waste. After committing depredations, the band would return to the swamps, which are almost as impenetrable as the jungles of India. they are covered with dense underbrush, and only those familiar with their recesses are able to find the hidden paths that lead into their depths. Lowery possessed
considerable intellect, and, being familiar with every inch of the ground, showed himself an adept in the warfare. His second in command, Stephen Lowery, his uncle, was a capable lieutenant, and was often sent on a marauding expedition with a part of the command, while the chief would strike at a distant Point.

This was continued for several years, and became so disastrous to that portion of the state that the Legislature passed an act granting amnesty to all the desperadoes except Henry Berry and Stephen Lowery, for whose capture of death a reward of $10,000 was offered. This action of the State had desired effect and the war came to an end. What became of the leaders is not known. they were never captured and no one ever claimed the reward for killing them. they disappeared, and their followers resumed the even tenor of their way.

These people are legal citizens of the United States, but seldom avail themselves of their privileges. They take no interest in either local or national affairs. They have fought against all efforts for their improvement, and live today the same lives their ancestors did.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Earliest New York Times Reference to Melungeons

A recent MHS Blog article raised the question of when Melungeons were first mentioned in the New York Times. The 1897 article transcribed below, found and kindly provided by Joanne Pezzullo, appears to be the earliest:

Georgia Crotan to be Executed Next Month for Murder.
New York Times
February 28, 1897, Wednesday
ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 27. -- For the first time in fifty years an Indian is under sentence of death in Georgia. He will be hanged in Glynn County next month. Marcellus Lowry, the condemned man, is a Crotan Indian from the celebrated band in North Carolina, many of whom have drifted with the turpentine and timber men into Southern Georgia, where they are called "Melungeons."  Lowery and a white man named Patrick Burns were working in the woods together and Burns went to Lowery's camp and entered his shanty to get something to eat.  The Croatan Indians are a fierce, treacherous and vindictive race and once their anger is aroused they do not hesitate to commit murder.

The witnesses in the case testified on the trial that as Burns left the shanty Lowery shot him in the back, having concealed himself behind a tree. As to the origin of the difficulty between them very little was brought out, but so far as can be ascertained it was simply the ungovernable temper of the Indian.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Civil War in the Mountain South

By Wilma A. Dunaway
Wilma A. Dunaway. "Slavery and Emancipation in the Mountain South: Sources, Evidence and Methods," Virginia Tech, Online Archives

Southern Appalachia may have been harder hit by the Civil War than any other section of the country. On the one hand, Southern Mountain counties were deeply split politically over secession, and local populations divided their loyalties between the Union and the Confederacy. On the other hand, this region lay geographically at the heart of the Civil War. Both armies moved repeatedly up and down the valleys of Virginia and Tennessee. In addition, both armies targeted numerous sites within the region as strategic occupancy points because they were located on major rivers, were railroad junctures, or were the sites of important resources such as the national rifle works, saltworks, mineral springs, or mines. By the end of the War, eighty Appalachian counties had been devastated by major battles or campaigns or had been overwhelmed by the establishment of military facilities . . . The "official" battles between the two armies probably brought less devastation and destruction to most mountain counties than did the frequent and continuing raids and assaults by guerrillas, partisans and robber bands.

To continue reading: Click Here.

This article is offered in honor of Veterans Day, but in the fierce guerrilla warfare which engulfed the mountains of Southern Appalachia during the Civil War, it often made little difference if one were in or out of uniform, man or woman, elderly or a child; and everyone who was caught up in the struggle became, in a very real sense, a veteran of the Civil War.

My own great grandfather as a boy of 11 in Letcher County, Kentucky had the barrel of loaded pistol shoved into his mouth by band of Confederate partisans wanting to know where his uncle, a civilian Union man, was hiding. Fortunately, they did not pull the trigger, but his uncle was not so lucky: He was eventually captured and summarily executed with a bullet to the back of his head fired by a 16 year old boy.

It was a very nasty war. All wars are nasty, but none are nastier than civil wars.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mountain Music

Music has always been an important part of Appalachian life. The last blog entry, about the Museum of Appalachia, featured a number of pictures of the instruments used to make mountain music.

For a very readable overview of Appalachian music: Click Here.

For a list of Appalachian music sites on the web: Click Here.

To download and play samples of Appalachian music: Click Here.

Note: In order to play the music samples, your system must have an MP3 player, and you must have Java Script enabled. A broadband connection is recommended but if you have the patience to download the music over a dial-up connection, your patience will be rewarded.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Museum of Appalachia

The Museum of Appalachia, located in Clinton, Tennessee, is a living history museum of pioneer, frontier, and early artifacts of mountain life in the Southern Appalachians.

To visit the museum online: Click Here.

To see a number of pictures taken at the museum: Click Here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

East Tennessee Guide

A vacation guide to East Tennessee, including a History and Heritage section, and Music and Arts section, and a listing of local festivals. The parent page has guides to Middle and West Tennessee as well, but why would go looking there for Melungeon heritage?

To visit the East Tennessee guide: Click Here.

Note: For some inexplicable reason the Sneedville Fall Festival is missing from the festival listing. This should be made the subject of a politely incensed letter to site's webmaster via the feedback link near the bottom of the page.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Scott County Genealogy

Scott County, Virginia is another fine GenWeb site, and one which is very important to Melungeon genealogy.

To visit Scott County: Click Here.

To locate GenWeb sites for other counties of interest: Click Here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Melungeons in the New York Times

By MHS President Wayne Winkler

Calvin Beale died on September 2, 2008, at the age of 85. A demographer with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Beale was best known for his discovery that decades of rural-to-urban migration patterns were being reversed in the 1960s. However, for many of us, his most significant work was with the Melungeons and other mixed-race groups. As his obituary in the New York Times said, “He wrote, for example, of a mixed-race people called Melungeons, reputedly of white, black and Indian descent. They are found from the Tidewater areas to the Piedmont and the Allegheny-Cumberland Plateaus. ‘Some are landless, some landed,’ he wrote. ‘But they are all marginal men — wary until recently of being black, aspiring where possible to be white and subject to rejection and scorn on either hand.’”

To continue reading: Click Here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Melungeon DNA Project

Jack Goins, Principal Administrator
Roberta Estes, Technical Adviser

Project Goals:

To establish modal DNA results for the Core Melungeon lines of Goins, Gibson, Minor, Bunch, Bolin, Bolling, Collins, Williams, Goodman, Denham, Bolin, Mullins, Moore, Shumake, Boltons, Perkins, Mornings, Menleys, Breedlove, Hopkins and Mallett, including variant spellings, and other families with these names in their lines.

To learn more and see current results: Click Here and Click Here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What Blood Won't Tell: A History of Race on Trial in America

Harvard University Pres, 2008

By Ariela J. Gross
John B. and Alice R. Sharp Professor of Law and History
University of Southern California

Is race something we know when we see it? In 1857, Alexina Morrison, a slave in Louisiana, ran away from her master and surrendered herself to the parish jail for protection. Blue-eyed and blond, Morrison successfully convinced white society that she was one of them. When she sued for her freedom, witnesses assured the jury that she was white, and that they would have known if she had a drop of African blood. Morrison’s court trial—and many others over the last 150 years—involved high stakes: freedom, property, and civil rights. And they all turned on the question of racial identity.

Over the past two centuries, individuals and groups (among them Mexican Americans, Indians, Asian immigrants, and Melungeons) have fought to establish their whiteness in order to lay claim to full citizenship in local courtrooms, administrative and legislative hearings, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Like Morrison’s case, these trials have often turned less on legal definitions of race as percentages of blood or ancestry than on the way people presented themselves to society and demonstrated their moral and civic character.

Unearthing the legal history of racial identity, Ariela Gross’s book examines the paradoxical and often circular relationship of race and the perceived capacity for citizenship in American society. This book reminds us that the imaginary connection between racial identity and fitness for citizenship remains potent today and continues to impede racial justice and equality.

For more information: Click Here.

Note: Melungeons are specifically discussed in Chapter Four: Citizenship of the "Little Races".

It is encouraging to see a professional historian discussing Melungeons in a scholarly work published by a major university press.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Genetic Genealogy on the Web

As a follow-up to Roberta Estes' terrific article of this past Wednesday, "DNA Testing and the Melungeons," I would like to highlight the two genetic genealogy web sites listed on the MHS Blog's "Links of Interest" page, the portal to which can be found on the sidebar to the right:

International Society of Genetic Genealogy

The mission of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy is to advocate for and educate about the use of genetics as a tool for genealogical research, and promote a supportive network for genetic genealogists.

To visit: Click Here.

The Genetic Genealogist

The Genetic Genealogist examines the intersection of traditional genealogical techniques and modern genetic research. The blog also explores the latest news and developments in the related field of personal genomics.

To visit: Click Here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


What is "Foxfire"?

• The term "foxfire" is a name commonly applied to several species of bioluminescent fungi that grow on rotting wood in damp forests.

• "Foxfire" is the name that an English class picked, in 1966, for a student-produced magazine they chose to create, containing stories and interviews gathered from elders in their rural Southern Appalachian community.

• "Foxfire" is the name of a series of books which are anthology collections of material from The Foxfire Magazine. The students' portrayal of the previously-dismissed culture of Southern Appalachia as a proud, self-sufficient people with simple beliefs, pure joy in living, and rock-solid faith shattered most of the outside world's misconceptions about these "hillbillies".

• "Foxfire" is a museum in the small northeast Georgia town of Mountain City.

• "Foxfire" is a method of classroom instruction.

• Most importantly, "Foxfire" is the living connection between the high school students in the magazine program and their heritage, built through continued interaction with their elders.

To visit the web page of this nationally known Appalachian educational endeavor: Click Here.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Letcher County Genealogy

Letcher County, Kentucky maintains one of the most comprehensive GenWeb sites. If you have Letcher County connections, Melungeon descended or otherwise, you do not want miss it.

To visit Letcher County: Click Here.

To locate GenWeb sites for other counties of interest: Click Here.