Stephen, Again, I am NOT saying that YOUR Adkins line is of Melungeon descent. I didn't come here to argue. If you think they are not, well fine. But both sides of my family came from Wayne Co., WV!! You are right that no one there likely ever heard of the Melungeons. That would not be unusual; it would be the norm. I have spent not hours but YEARS in Wayne Co.,WV and I can tell you that I have seen a LOT of folks from there who I am now sure were of Melungeon descent. PROOF? Not yet.
<<2 of my 3rd cousins live here in the same town I do and I recently aske them about it and they never heard of it. Amazing when a race of people appear in the past few years, and no one who is supposidly part of it knows anything about it.>> None of my family has heard of it either. Doesn't mean it didn't occur. PEOPLE HID THIS ANCESTRY.They were ASHAMED of it, and if it had been known, they would have lost their rights. NO ONE IS GOING TO ADMIT SOMETHING LIKE THAT!! And NO ONE is going to tell their kids we are Melungeons either. People moved away from their families and started new lives in different places to protect their children from that stigma.
Let me see if I can take your questions one at a time: 1. <> BECAUSE Stephen they didn't become Melungeons until they got to AMERICA.In Portugal they were Portuguese which is what the first Melungeons said they were. Still in the process of being proven.
2.<> THERE ARE!! Anyone with Mediterranean ancestry can have any of these illnesses. One of the diseases called Machado Joseph's disease has been traced DIRECTLY back to ONE Portuguese man. It is similar to Parkinson's Disease. But the other diseases are there too.
4. <> Yes, depression can be a part of many illnesses, but there are SPECIFIC symptoms that can diagnose this and the other inherited illnesses, although not many doctors know about or recognize them in the United States NOW. I think that will be changing as we educate them. :-)
5. <> Stephen that depends upon what you mean about documentation. If you put the term MELUNGEON in google.com in 0.5 seconds you will get 70,100 sites on that term. Put in MelungeonS and more will come up. More and more research is being presented EACH and EVERY Day. The Melungeons are NOT a MYTH. Some of their history seems mythological.
6. Back to this again, <> Yes, people from Wayne county DO NOT WANT TO have ANY black ancestry even from generations ago. I do beleive that we have Melungeon connected families and some of them came from Wayne Co., WV.
7. <> Stephen, an illness does NOT make one a Melungeon descendant and no one ever said that it did.
My maternal grandmother's line (bSeptember 10, 1885, Ebenezer, Wayne Co., WV) has a couple of well researched family lines, but the one whose mtDNA I had run goes back 10,000 years to the Syrian Plains, and from there the clan traveled through what is NOW Turkey, Spain and Portugal before spreading around the world. I think I got one of the necessary genes for my illness from that line. I don't know that that line is of Melungeon descent but I don't know that it isn't either.
We simply do not know enough YET, to understand all there is to know abt our ancestry or the Melungeons. I NEVER heard anyone in my family mention this term. But that does not mean that they were not of Melungeon descent.
If I can help further, please feel free to let me know. Love and health in family ties, Nancy