Collection: The Appalachian Colonists

Appalachian Colonists from the Mediterranean Basin

Throughout the Southeastern United States can be found “old families” in rural areas whose appearance is not quite the same as the European or African peoples who colonized the region, but also not what a person with substantial indigenous ancestry looks like either. In earlier times they might have called themselves Cajun, Black Irish, Redbone, Black Dutch, Portughee, Old Spanish, Melungeon or Part Injun. In more recent years they are likely to say that their great-grandmother was a full blooded Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Catawba, Shawnee or Blackfoot. She may have been, but that is not always the case....

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Andrew Ayers Martin’s DNA Results

Andrew Ayers Martin (Cherokee) I would be happy to share these profiles with Dennis. I am attaching the initial analysis on my DNA done at Ancestry as well as the breakdowns done on the FTDNA results by analysis at GedMatch. The proportions of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean DNA are relatively stable. Some others not related to me whose families have traditions of being part Cherokee show similar percentages. The stable proportions are consistent with the Hardy Weinburg principle of biology. Only my uncle [kit 185473] shows detectable Amerindian DNA at 1.83%. My uncle and daughter show Red Sea [Jewish]...

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Charlie Whitener’s DNA Results

Charlie Whitener (Eastern Band of Cherokees) I appreciate all your writings on southern Native Americans. My family reflects all your writings. We believed we were all northern European with a strong Cherokee heritage. My dad once lived on the reservation land in Murphy, NC But between my dad and mom and myself we reflect southern European and SE European and North Africa and Sudan and Arabia and SA and Tuscan and Italian etc. My dad has since past.   He did the National Geographic DNA test. My mom and my identical twin used the Family Tree DNA lab. However, the results were very similar. Her mtdna we thought would be native but it’s H7. This likely H7b. which is...

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Richard Stewart’s DNA Results

Richard Stewart (Shawnee or Cherokee Descendant) My name is Richard Stewart.  I have had several ethnicity DNA tests done, but I find my self less than satisfied with the results.  I will attempt to find other test results in my archived mail.  My first DNA test showed 8% NA but came out East Asian as is often the case. Another test showed three NA matches out of a total of 20.  Below is the last test I’ve taken.  This was done in part to determine a base line for Melungeons.  I do not strongly identify as a Melungeon.  I was...

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Jeanne Pappas DNA Results

Jeanne Pappas (Creek-Sephardic-Northern European) The family of Jeanne Pappas had always assumed that their ancestry was a mixture of Anglo-Saxon, Scottish and Creek Indian.   However, what the DNA labs told her was that she had a very diverse heritage that included many DNA test indicators typical of the Iberian Peninsula and Mediterranean Basin. She appears to have substantial Sephardic Jewish heritage. There is no one in her family tree, whose last name is obviously Spanish or Sephardic Jewish. That has led her to conclude that the Jewish ancestry came through her Creek Indian ancestry. This image represents the Eurogenes...

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Cindy Henderson’s DNA Results

My mother is of Irish/German and Italian ancestry. Her father is a 1st generation Italian, the family is from Abruzzo Italy. The colonial line, her mother who is partially Irish/German was from Roane, TN. Her (grandmother) father’s family is from Old Fort McDowell NC. They moved to the Tennessee area. My father’s maternal line, his mother was Black American and born NJ. Her father (my great grandfather), I don’t know his origins other than he was Black. Her mother (my great grandmother) was born in Washington DC and moved to NJ. My grandmother’s birth was the result of an...

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Cherokee DNA

First, the readers should understand that if any commercial DNA lab returns tests results that state a percentage of DNA for a particular Southeastern Native American tribe, the report should be considered fraudulent. The American Society of Human Genetics has not certified any DNA test markers to be associated with a particular Southeastern American Indian tribe. 1Marks, Jonathon & Shelton, Brooks Lee, Genetic Markers- Not a Valid Test of Native Identity The technique for creating indigenous DNA markers is to sample a statistically reliable number of “ethnically pure” members of a tribe than average their DNA profiles. Since the...

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The word, Melungeon, dates at least back to the late 1700s and has several interpretations. The most obvious is that it is frontier derivation of the French word, mélange, which means “blend.”

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What Happened to the Sephardic Jewish Colonists?

There has never been a scientific study to determine the post-colonial history of the Sephardic communities in the Southern Piedmont and Appalachians. Anything that can be said must be in the realm of speculation, based on the known cultural history of the Southeast during the Colonial and Antebellum Eras. The only significant religious-based persecution in the Lower Southeast was between the Sephardic Jews and the Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe. A Protestant minister in Savannah wrote, “Some Jews in Savannah complain that the Spanish and Portuguese Jews should persecute the German Jews in a way no Christian would persecute...

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Who Really are the Cherokees?

In 1976, while writing his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Archaeologist Bennie Keel was under heavy pressure to state that the Cherokees had lived in western North Carolina for at least 1000 years. 1Keel, Benny, Cherokee Archaeology: A Study of the Appalachian Summit, Knoxville: UT Press, 2001. That was a new policy adopted by the State of North Carolina. What Keel did say was that only three probable Cherokee structures in North Carolina had produced radiocarbon dates before the 1720. Keel noted that there was a century long gap between the archaeological record of large towns with multi-roomed...

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The Battle of Taliwa

Georgia historical markers and history books proudly proclaim the Great Cherokee Victory at the Battle of Taliwa, where they won all of North Georgia! The description of the conflict describes an attack on the Creek town of Taliwa by brave Cherokee warriors. They were supposedly outnumbered 3:1 and were led to victory by a teenaged Cherokee girl named Nancy Ward. The Cherokees immediately established the town of Long Swamp Creek to confirm their conquest.

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A Mysterious Young Lady Named Liube

On one of the six main boulders of the Track Rock petroglyphs near Brasstown Bald Mountain, GA and across Track Rock Gap Road from the Track Rock Terrace Complex, a Jewish girl carved her first name, Liube, and the date, 1715.  The drawing of the petroglyphs was prepared by South African archaeologist, Johannes Loubser, as part of a contract with the U.S. Forest Service.  The six drawings are published on a public USFS web site. 1Track Rock Petroglyph Web Site Liube is a Jewish female name that is mostly used in Slavic countries. 2Stone inscription proves early presence of Jewish settlers in the AppalachiansIt means “beloved” and in the past was a name that rabbis liked to give one of their daughters. Why a Jewish woman named Liube was on a trail near Brasstown Bald Mountain in 1715, one can only speculate. It was a dangerous time for any European to be in the wilderness. The inscription was made 260 miles as a crow flies from the nearest English settlement . . . in the midst of the one of the bloodiest wars between Native Americans and European settlers ever fought.  At the time, the Southeastern tribes were killing all the South Carolina traders in their midst, but usually not harming traders from Virginia. Perhaps Liube’s father was killed and she was taken captive.   “Liube 1715” is highly significant and probably...

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