Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Information Delight: A Web Site that Gets It Right

The web is full of misinformation about Melungeons, everything from tales of stranded Turks to Melungeon diseases to bumps on the backs of Melungeon heads. Therefore it is a pleasure to find a general information web site where someone has taken the trouble to do the research to get it right. Such a site is InformationDelight.com. To quote just one short paragraph:

"A common belief about Melungeons is that they are an indigenous people of Appalachia, existing there before the arrival of the first white settlers. However, as evidenced by a range of tax, court, census and other records, the ancestors of the Melungeons followed the same migration paths into the region as their English, Scotch-Irish , and German neighbors."

It is incredible how many web sites claim the Melungeons were found in situ in Eastern Tennessee by 17th century English explorers, speaking Elizabethan English and bowing to a bell, etc. The evidence against this myth is overwhelming, yet over and over again the myth, and the romance that goes with it, triumphs over the truth and is so often repeated that many take it for common knowledge and are thereby seriously misled.

To read Information Delight's Melungeon article: Click Here.

It should be noted that the Information Delight article draws heavily on Wikipedia's Melungeon article, which is also pretty good -- perhaps surprisingly so given the nature of Wikipedia.

To view it: Click Here.

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