Archiver > NCLINCOL > 2004-12 > 1103285824

From: "Lynn E.Wesson" <>
Subject: RE: [NCLINCOLN] Indian capture>>>> Melungeons
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 07:17:04 -0500
In-Reply-To: <002f01c4e3e8$0281df00$0300a8c0@Default>

I am not sure this is a question that can be answered here, but does anyone
on the list know if there were Melungeons reported to be as far east as
Lincoln Co. in the 1820s?
Lynn Wesson

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert and Sue Carpenter [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2004 10:25 PM
Subject: Fw: [NCLINCOLN] Indian capture>>>> Melungeons

Dear folks,

I have been reading some of your writings over the last few nights but have
not had time to make comments. I have now found some time.

First, the issue of an Indian capture in the 1830's or so. This would be
highly unlikely in the Gaston-Lincoln-Catawba County area. This is the
period when the Cherokees were removed west. Any contact with Indians would
have been in western NC. The Cherokee posed a serious threat to white
settlers until the American Revolution. While the major Cherokee War which
occurred in 1760-61 was cited here, the Cherokees did pose a threat upon the
frontier in 1775-76. But the frontier at this time was not Lincoln and
Catawba County but rather present Burke and McDowell Counties. The Indians
raided white settlements at Old Fort and at Pleasant Gardens at that time
and General Griffith Rutherford took a 1000 man militia force over the
mountains. His soldiers did not fight many Indians, most of whom had fled.
But rather they simply burned villages and crops. Their destruction in the
Cherokee Expedition of 1776 left the Cherokee nation much weaker. But near
the end of the Revolution in 1781 and 82 rumours of Indian activity
resurfaced upon this western frontier. Again local militia officers from
our area raised units and marched westward destroying towns, crops, and
women and children. The Cherokees never again were seen as a serious threat
to the white settlers. But whites continued to trade with them, to marry
them, and to come into contact with them.

Melungeons -- what an interesting topic. This unusual group of mixed race
people from the mountains of Appalachia has been the source of much
confusion. I have read Brent Kennedy's book and find the research
fascinating. Unfortunately without DNA evidence or archaeological evidence
I suspect that the truth may remain unconfirmed. Little written information
about these people exist and most of it was written by the Melungeon's
adversaries. The suggestion that they may descend from Portuguese and
Spanish explorers who lived in western NC with Juan Pardo is possible but
also questionable. Too little evidence yet exists to prove their unique
existence except as a mixed race people of the Appalachian Mountians. Of
course that makes DNA testing suspect.

DNA testing is another tool for genealogists. I have tested my DNA at the
request of a Carpenter descendant from California. He traced his line to
Georgia, to a John T. Carpenter who was born in NC. He could not trace any
further back. He suspected that he was descended from a Lincoln County
Carpenter but could only find circumstancial evidence. He talked me into
having my DNA tested. If we matched we could surmise that he was related in
the manner he suspected. We did in fact match with only one marker off. We
have since concluded that he belongs to our Carpenter family. We are
encouraging other Carpenters from this area to have their DNA tested so that
we might prove that all the descendants of the earliest Carpenter/Zimmermans
are closely related. So far three of us have matched. We need, like Mr.
Cosner, more people to be tested. I encourage anyone who is interested to
get tested.

Our test is the Y chromosone test which applies to males only. There is a X
test for females. I am not as familiar with that test except that it is

I have enjoyed all the discussions.

Robert Carpenter
----- Original Message -----
From: "Derick Hartshorn" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2004 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: [NCLINCOLN] Indian capture>>>> Melungeons

> One of the most recent History Channel presentations was on a subject near
> and dear to the hearts of researchers in this area:
> the Melungeon
>$::BISKIT%3E&CONTEXT=cat&cat=10023 as
> studied in DNA.
> Abe Lincoln is said to be a Melungeon. They quote:
> WEIRD U.S. continues with an investigation into the Melungeons. In 1673,
> when the "first" settlers arrived in Appalachia, they discovered an entire
> group of people already living there. These people -- the Melungeons --
> were of unknown ancestry. They had physical traits common to Northern
> Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans, as well as unique physical
> characteristics like "shovel teeth" and a prominent bump at the back of
> skull. Yet, where had they come from? Were they descendants of early
> sailors? Were they a lost colony that no one knew about? Today, many
> in the south think of Melungeons as little more than mythical trolls who
> lived in the mountains. Yet, the Melungeons were real and their ancestors
> are alive and well. The WEIRD U.S. team undertakes the mission of figuring
> out who these people really were utilizing modern DNA testing procedures.
> [see for listings].
> --Derick
> At 02:25 PM 12/14/2004, wrote:
> >Right on, Crystal. You've just described the process of genealogical
> >research whether we are looking for Indian, Polish, Italian, or
> >fill-in-the-blank ancestors. Most of us on this List are wandering around
> >out there with you!
> >
> >The original inquiry produced some interesting exchanges, and I've
> >the messages.
> >
> >Kathy Sullivan
> >
> >>In a message dated 12/14/2004 11:07:03 AM Eastern Standard Time,
> >> writes:
> >>
> >>Almost any family lore that includes Indian relationships or experiences
> >>requires cautious (skeptical) examination.
> >>
> >>Kathy Sullivan
> >>*********************************************
> >>
> >>My family, both sides, have told stories over the years of our Indian
> >>heritage. I do believe there is Indian blood, but do I believe it
> >>as it has been carried? No. I believe you have to look under stones not
> >>yet turned over. I believe you have to definitely read between the
> >>Go places no one else has gone. All of this is necessary in tracking
> >>down Indian Ancestors. Even then, there is a strong possibility that
> >>you know in your heart to be true, may never be proven. There were too
> >>many secrets. Too much shame placed. Too much running from the truth.
> >>Crystal Murphy
> >>Lincoln Co. NC Descendant
> >>Wandering around in search of lost Ancestors
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >==== NCLINCOL Mailing List ====
> >==== LINCOLN Co., NC Mailing List ====
> >Sharing information on Historic Lincoln Co., NC
> >For further info, see
> >Our thanks to RootsWeb for hosting this list and web page
> >
> ==== NCLINCOL Mailing List ====
> ==== LINCOLN Co., NC Mailing List ====
> Sharing information on Historic Lincoln Co., NC
> For further info, see
> Our thanks to RootsWeb for hosting this list and web page

==== NCLINCOL Mailing List ====
==== LINCOLN Co., NC Mailing List ====
Sharing information on Historic Lincoln Co., NC
For further info, see
Our thanks to RootsWeb for hosting this list and web page

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