My field of study has been population genetics, also called statistical genetics (not the new, high-tech, glamorous biochemical genetics), which deals with probablities, micro-evolution (changes in populations over a finite time), and selection (in agriculture).My statement that all Melungeons are part Black is simply a statement of well-known fact.So are most "White" Southerners.
Once more, if one allows 25 years to a generation, there are 10 generations in 250 years.Therefore each person born today has approximately 1024 (2 to the 10th power) ancestors in 1750, each person born in 1950 had about 1024 ancestors in 1700.Now, when I say "ancestors", I mean branches on one's family tree.Of course, for most of us, the same person is sometimes going to appear on more than one branch, since their great-grandchildren will have married each other, etc.
None of us can know all 1024 ancestors from 250 years ago.Even if we have the records for all 1024 putative ancestors, that does not mean those are the real ancestors.Secret adoption has been common until very recently, pregnant teens frequently giving their children to other women (usually relatives, but not always) to raise.People do not always have the fathers they think they do for other reasons, including rape and secret liaisons.
The immigrants from Europe were more frequently male than female, these men found women locally who were not always what they said they were.By 1700 there were hundreds of mixed women in eastern Virginia and North Carolina who were part Indian, part Black and part White.The Indians of this region today all have more Black than Indian in them.They are Indian as an identity based on being part of a community which was originally Indian but which was genetically swamped by Black and White inputs, largely from free Mulattos joining them.When one sees someone in their genealogy from this region described as an Indian, one needs to understand that this is an ethnic description, what they identified themselves as, but in fact they would actually have both more Black and more White than Indian.
Panmixis means freely mixing, that all members of a group will soon have all the earlier members of the group as ancestors.Humans are not panmictic in the short run because of ethnic, class, race and religious barriers to intermarriage.A small amount of mixing does occur across even the most rigid barriers, however, even if only wartime rape.Give enough time, everyone has everyone from an earlier time (who left descendants at all) as an ancestor.If one goes back 1,000 years, each of us has some 1,000,000,000,000 branches to our family tree.I don't know how many people there were 1000 years ago, but certainly less than 1,000,000,000.That means there is room on everyone's family tree for every person in the world 1000 times over just 1000 years ago.All Europeans have thousands of Black ancestors if one goes back 2000 years.But that is thousands, compared to millions of White ancestors.
All Portuguese have a significant amount of Black ancestry from the time of Moorish rule.Yes, I know that the Moors were Berbers and Arabs, not Black African.But their empire extended down to the border of Senegal and they had many Blacks that came to live in their cities, some as slaves, some as Muslim scholars from centers like Timbuctu and Sokoto.For that matter, the Carthaginians and the Romans both brought many Black Africans to Iberia from the Sahara.
Anyone who has most of their ancestors in the Southeast from before 1800 is going to find where their European male ancestors married American women who have no surname or no recorded genealogy.These women were mostly part Black in the more limited sense that they had Black African ancestors that came to America.Everyone who is part Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, South French, Greek, North African, Austrian or south German has a significant amount of Black African ancestry in these lines due to the African presence in Roman, Carthaginian and Egyptian armies and maritime fleets.
If you say you are part Virginia or North Carolina Indian, you are saying you are part Black.If you say you are part Portuguese, you are saying you are part Black.How much is a different matter, but the presence of some Black ancestry is simply a statement of known fact.
Thomas Brown is right, incidentally, the Black component went in very early, not after the Civil War.The mixed race groups which formed along the Virginia and North Carolina border were descended from earlier mixed race groups on the coast of Virginia.These formed largely by free Mulattos joining Indian groups.I have never heard of anyone identified as Black joining the Melungeons after the Civil War, though members of other Mestee groups like the Brass Ankles did.