Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 108

Dark and Thorny is the Desert 
Music composed by Charles Crozat Converse, Sung by Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys

Dark and Thorny is the Desert 

Dark and thorny is the desert
Through which pilgrims make their way
Yet beyond this vale of sorrow
Lie the fields of endless day

Oh young soldiers are you weary
Of the roughness of the way
Does your strength begin to fail you
And your vigor to decay

Jesus Jesus will go with you
He will lead you to his throne
He whose thunder shapes creation
He who bids the planets roll

Around him are ten thousand angels
Ready to obey his command
They'll all be there to hover round you
Til you've reached the heavenly land

There on flowery hills of pleasure
Lie the fields of endless rest
Love and joy and peace forever
Reign and triumph in your breast

Thursday, September 22, 2016

10 Melungeon Myths and Legends

The 10 most common present day myths and legends concerning the historic people who were called Melungeons:
1. The Melungins descend from prisoners dropped of by Sir Francis Drake on Roanoke Island in 1586.

2. The Melungins descend from the Moors.

3. The Melungins descend from the Turks.

4. The Melungins descend from the Roma's (Gypsy's)

5. The Melungins descend from the Portuguese

6. The Melungins were crypto-Jews.

7. Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln descend from Melungins

8. The Melungins were a tribe that had Kings.

9. The Melungeons had their land taken from them by their  'white' neighbors.

10. Melungins descend from the first Muslims that came to North America.

Not one of these myths can be proven by documented facts, they are in fact all myths and legends.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 107

He Holds Me in His Hands
Written by  Edd Easter, James Easter and Russell Easter, sung by The Lewis Family featuring Jeff and Sheri Easter  

He Holds Me in His Hand

When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Yet He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand

I often think about the Great Creations
how God made the mountains and the sea
well He made us all and everyone is special
there's not another person just like me

And When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Yet He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand

So when it seems I'm caught up in the middle
of a troubled world with people all around
Then it's good to know I'm one of His creations
He sees me and He knows just where I am

And When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Yet He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand 

And When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Yet He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand 
 Oh yes He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand 
and He holds me in His hand 
And When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Oh Yes He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand
And When the Lord looks down from the Heavens to the ground,
I'm no bigger than a little grain of sand
Yet He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand
 Oh yes He knows me and He loves me and He holds me in His hand 
and He holds me in His hand

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 106

The Family Who Prays
Written and sung by Charles and Ira Louvin, The Louvin Brothers 
Dedicated to the Bonee family reunion taking place today in Terre Haute, Indiana

The Family Who Prays

The family who prays
Will never be parted
Their circle in heaven unbroken shall stand
God will say "enter, my good faithful servants"
The family who prays
Never shall part

Satan has parted Fathers and Mothers
Filling their hearts with his envy and hate
Heading their pathways down to destruction
Leaving their children like orphans to stray

The family who prays
Will never be parted
Their circle in heaven unbroken shall stand
God will say "enter, my good faithful servants"
The family who prays
Never shall part

Wars and tornadoes are taking our loved ones
Leaving us tearful with sad aching hearts
But we shall join them over the river
For the family who prays
Never shall part

The family who prays
Will never be parted
Their circle in heaven unbroken shall stand
God will say "enter, my good faithful servants"
The family who prays
Never shall part

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Appalachia in the British media....again

I had written a review recently , reviewing an article about the people who were called 'Melungeons' in the British newspaper 'The Economist'.

Just today I received a link to another article published in The Guardian, another British newspaper, sent to me by a Caudill cousin.

The article is in the form of  captioned photographs, titled "Life in Appalachia: Walmart, church, politics and a tight community – in pictures". All the photos were taken in Prestonsburg, Floyd County, Kentucky.

"Prestonsburg is a small coal mining town in the Appalachian hills. It has undergone drastic changes in recent decades but a sense of community remains, much of it centered around the shopping plaza on the outskirts or one of its more than two dozen places of worship"

Click here to see the photos: "Life in Appalachia: Walmart, church, politics and a tight community – in pictures"

Maybe the Brits have found a new interest in Appalachian history and culture.

Hat tip to Janet Crain

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Melungeons Revisited By Richard A. Pence, Revisited

 I was going through my files and found this gem of an article by the late Richard A. Pence. I know this article has been posted on other web sites and blogs, but I think it is worth being 'revisited'........

"The late Richard A. Pence ( October 17, 1932 - November 25, 2009) was a former editor of the National Genealogical Society Computer Interest Group newsletter (the NGS/CIG DIGEST), was the founding system operator of the NGS Bulletin Board System and was a current co-sysop, was co-moderator of the National Genealogy Conference (GENEALOGY) and the GENSOFT (genealogical software) conference on the FidoNet amateur BBS network. He was co-author with Paul Anderick of the first edition Computer Genealogy (Ancestry, Inc., Salt Lake City, 1985) and editor of the revised edition (1991) of the book. He has been a frequent contributor to the quarterly Genealogical Computing(Ancestry, Inc.) and a contributor to the NGS Quarterly. He was editor in 1984 of the widely acclaimed The Next Greatest Thing, a pictorial history of rural electrification in the United States."

This article was published in the December, 1998, on-line publication of the International Internet Genealogical Society:

The Melungeons Revisited
By Richard A. Pence

When I first noticed the title of the article by Nancy Sparks Morrison in the October Newsletter, I thought: "At last." At last, I hoped, someone has graced the Internet with some genealogically factual information on the Melungeons.

I was mistaken. It's another rehash of a discredited book.

"The Melungeons," writes Ms. Morrison, "are a people of apparent Mediterranean descent who may have settled in the Appalachian wilderness as early or possibly earlier than 1567, according to N. Brent Kennedy in his book The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People."

While there may be some basis for supposing these people are a distinct and identifiable ethnic group, no documentation is provided by Ms. Morrison other than quoting Kennedy's book - where documentation is suspect or nonexistent. His book is a "believe it or don't" collection of folklore, mythology, legend and hand-me-down hearsay - large portions of which are demonstrably inaccurate.

In her lengthy bibliography, Ms. Morrison cites two National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) articles by Virginia Easley DeMarce, who is a historian with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and an authority on multi-racial ancestry in America. As importantly, she is a well-known genealogist with such credentials as being a past president of the NGS. Unfortunately, Ms. Morrison failed to include the most illuminating of Dr. DeMarce's articles on this topic: a review of Kennedy's book, which appeared in the NGSQ more than two years ago (Vol. 84, No. 2, June, 1996, page 134).

To put it succinctly, this critical essay absolutely demolishes most of what Kennedy has written - and does so by employing the traditional tools of a genealogist: research in the original records.

Dr. DeMarce begins by noting that Kennedy's "chronological leap over several centuries enables [him] to propose an exotic ancestry for '200,000 individuals, perhaps far more' (p. xv) - an ancestry that sweeps in virtually every olive, ruddy, and brown-tinged ethnicity known or alleged to have appeared anywhere in the pre-Civil War Southeastern United States."

She later examines Kennedy's own claimed ancestry and declares: "Those who already have conducted solid research on these lines will be dismayed at the extent of the genealogical errors set forth in so few pages."

In short, Dr. DeMarce concludes that Kennedy has invented "a new and historically nonexistent oppressed minority that belies his own ancestry."

Ms. Morrison cites Kennedy's "known or alleged" ethnicities and joins him in placing the Melungeons early in east Tennessee. Even if each of Kennedy's and Morrison's statements were accurate, a fatal logical flaw exists in this tale of exotic origins:

One cannot simultaneously be descended from an isolated group of Tennesseans and, as in Kennedy's case, descended from numerous families whose ancestry can be traced as far east as the Tidewater areas of Virginia and North Carolina with only a modest amount of research. If you are to believe Kennedy (and Morrison), then you must suppose that this tiny isolated inland band - after having been first created by the joining of peoples from several states as well as Central America and then reaching Tennessee in the 17th century - moved back to the east in such large numbers and with a gene pool so dominant that it affected huge numbers of early isolated groups - most of them with Scotch-Irish or English surnames.

"These people," writes Morrison (or perhaps Kennedy; there is a beginning quote but no closing one), "survived by blending into the surrounding groups of peoples. Over time, they were put into one of four permissible, inflexible and artificial racial categories: White (northern European), black (African), Indian, or mulatto, a mix of any of the first three. By the time the first U.S. census was conducted, there had been 200 years of admixture and cultural fusing. This ensured that the story would remain hidden and buried, and that no amount of census research could ever tell the story accurately. Traditional genealogy can not be used to find these people. There are no written records, no censuses, no marriage or death notices for many of them."

Hogwash. This contention is simply not true, as has been amply demonstrated by Dr. DeMarce. For example, she took the time to check the census records for each of the ancestors claimed by Kennedy. She also traced his actual ancestry in those numerous instances where he had obviously and hopelessly erred. Kennedy repeatedly maintains that his ancestors were for generations uniformly consigned to the status of "free people of color." As such, he says, not only do records not exist for them, they were consistently subjugated, persecuted, had their lands and other property confiscated and were forced to migrate ever-westward to seek refuge.

More hogwash. When Dr. DeMarce examined the census records of Kennedy's claimed ancestors - a basic bit of research that Kennedy totally neglected - she found the exact opposite: In EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE Kennedy's claimed or actual ancestors were shown as white on the records. This was true not only in the case of the censuses, but in cases where separate white and nonwhite marriage books were maintained. Beyond that, Dr. DeMarce found their names recorded among the deeds, wills and other county records at least to the same extent as their contemporaries, their supposed subjugators. And, contrary to Kennedy's claim, his ancestors were not disenfranchised because of their "color," for his ancestors could be found among the officeholders, both locally and statewide. In one instance, Dr. DeMarce notes, Kennedy claims that the family of a particular ancestor was forced from its lands because of legal edicts against nonwhites. The census-taker who enumerated this white family conveniently recorded that this couple's son was the sheriff of the county!

For emphasis: Among Kennedy's claimed or actual "persecuted" ancestors, in EVERY single instance these ancestors are shown in the ample records to be white. Not a single one - nada, zilch, zero, not any, none at all- is shown as being in any other ethnic or racial group.

The fact is that "traditional genealogy" can be used to trace these people. As Dr. DeMarce shows, not only did Kennedy fail to use any of these standard and basic avenues, he demonstrates his almost total lack of understanding of genealogical research in general by repeatedly falling into the common novice genealogical traps of "generation gap," "same-name syndrome" and too much reliance on oral tradition. Any genealogist should know this is a prescription for disaster.

Ms. Morrison notes that Kennedy's interest in the Melungeons began with a mysterious illness that was said to be found primarily among "Middle Eastern and Mediterranean peoples" and, he later learned, the Portuguese.

"How could a southerner, born and bred, have a Mediterranean disease?" asks Ms. Morrison.

There are perhaps 2,000 non-Melungeon answers to that question - one for each of the ancestors Kennedy had in the mid-18th century, both within and outside of Colonial America.

The question Ms. Morrison neglected to ask is far more revealing: Why is there no mention of any incidences of this rare disease among his near-relatives or extended family? These people obviously draw from the same "Melungeon" gene pool as did Kennedy. How could it be that the records for these are silent on this ailment? If it were an identifiable hereditary characteristic among Kennedy's claimed kin, surely by the time he contracted it, the symptoms would have been well-known to every parent, uncle, aunt or cousin in the family.

Skipping over the obviousness of the preceding and ignoring the possibility of genetic mutation or other logical explanations, Ms. Morrison goes on: "It was this question that Dr. Kennedy set out to answer, by tracing his family background, and in the process he rediscovered his heritage. His book ... is not about historical research, but is his family's genealogy and some very interesting theoretical problem solving."

The blunt truth is that not only did Kennedy not trace "his family background," he invented his heritage and his "interesting theoretical problem solving" is what is sometimes politely abbreviated as a WAG. (Sorry, if you don't know what that is, you'll have to ask someone.)

Ms. Morrison goes on: "If your family has an Indian Grandmother(father) 'myth' which you have been unable to prove, an adoption story that is unprovable, or an orphan myth, and they have been hard to trace and they lived in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia areas in the early migration years or if they seem to have moved back and forth in these areas and if they share any of the mentioned surnames and characteristics, you may find a connection here."

The light is beginning to come on. Since almost anyone in the United States either falls into one of the above categories or thinks that he does, the Melungeons - at least Kennedy's brand of them - can be used to "clean up" almost any existing genealogical puzzle. Simultaneously, you can claim that because these people were discriminated against there are no records to substantiate (or disprove) your claims. In addition to having the mystery "solved," you are relieved of the chore of actually doing any research. No wonder so many people are jumping on the "Melungeon" bandwagon!

Ms. Morrison claims: "Dr. N. Brent Kennedy's book ... is a genealogy and theoretical search for answers and is a must read for anyone who is connected to this group. ... From some information in Dr. Kennedy's book ..., you can see the necessity for these people to hide."

Aside from the fact that they didn't hide - at least to no greater degree than any of the families around them - one is constrained to ask which of the following attributes of Kennedy's work makes it "a must read":

1. It is probably one of the best contemporary examples of how not to conduct and present genealogical research; therefore, it can serve as a guide for what you should avoid.
2. Its "imaginative problem-solving" might give you some good ideas for spicing up your own genealogy with a collection of folklore, myths, legends, anachronisms and WAGs. (Jump around as much as you like and don't bother to cite any authoritative sources.)

There follows in Ms. Morrison's essay a long litany of perceived injustices inflicted, both socially and legally, upon these "proud, strong, courageous, people" (many of whom, you will recall, are historically nonexistent). Again, this is drawn from Kennedy's book and "these peoples" include his considerably enlarged definition of "Melungeon." Many no doubt have these noble traits. However, try as she might, Dr. DeMarce notes she was unable to find a single instance where the records support a Kennedy claim. To the contrary, every record she did find - and there are as many for this supposedly "hidden" group as there were for any contemporary group - directly contradict Kennedy's contentions.

To quote Dr. DeMarce once again: "The early families of which he [Kennedy] writes were large ones, moving in groups to areas they thickly settled; their numerous children married into other pioneer families of Appalachia. After eliminating the collateral relatives, who was left to oppress them?"

Regarding Ms. Morrison's list of surnames associated with "the Melungeons" (apparently taken from Kennedy, who seems to have expanded on another published source without attribution), it likely could pass as the surnames in a passenger list for most any 18th century vessel carrying immigrants to the American Colonies. Ms. Morrison's admonishment that not everyone with these surnames is of Melungeon descent is one bright spot in a rather cloudy essay in "genealogy" - a discipline which admonishes you to take great care in attaching any significance to similarities or differences in surnames. (Kennedy, in explaining away a discovered inconsistency, says of an ancestor: "Surely he would have known how to spell his own name.") As you quickly learn in genealogical research, the one certainty is that spelling is, at best, "inconsistent." Even if a person "knew" how to spell his name, the one recording it likely didn't know - or care - how to spell it. (Dr. DeMarce's comment was that apparently Kennedy's research failed to bring him to discover the remark of Andrew Jackson, who declared he didn't trust a man who only knew how to spell a word one way.)

I have my own "must read" recommendation for anyone who suspects a mixed racial ancestry. First, you must read Dr. DeMarce's critical essay on Kennedy's book. Her informed and documented comments on his work will quickly disabuse you from following his prescription for discovering your heritage or your ancestry. You should also take a look at Dr. DeMarce's other two Quarterly articles:

Virginia Easley DeMarce, "'Very Slitly Mixt': Tri-Racial Isolate Families of the Upper South - A Genealogical Study," NGSQ, Vol. 80, March 1992, pp. 5-35.

DeMarce, "Looking at Legends - Lumbee and Melungeon: Applied Genealogy and the Origins of Tri-Racial Isolate Settlements," NGSQ, Vol. 81, March 1993, pp. 24-45.

In these articles, Dr. DeMarce documents the origins of some of the "tri-racial isolates" - many of whom Kennedy and Morrison claim for the Melungeons - using genealogical research techniques rather than relying on the generalizations of myth and legend. Not only does she show it can be done, she does so quite convincingly.

Anthropologists and sociologists work with large groups about which they can make broad generalizations, sometimes using "hearsay" evidence. They do so in the knowledge that the individual mistakes tend to cancel each other. But these anthropological or sociological theories cannot substitute for the research required to determine your own ancestry. As a genealogist,you should realize that unsubstantiated generalizations can fatally flaw your work. Genealogical mistakes don't cancel each other - they just keep piling up.

That appears to be what is happening with the literature on the Melungeons being fed genealogists on the Internet. It's getting higher and deeper.

The study of legends or mythology can be fascinating in and of itself. But genealogy will be better served by those who stay within the practices and dictates of that discipline and avoid the realm of WAGs.

copyright Richard A. Pence

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 105

If You Miss Heaven
Written by Dale Fox, Diane Floyd and Tommy Floyd, sung by Loretta Lynn

If You Miss Heaven
If you're tired of sinnin' take your Savior's hand
There's a mansion worth winnin' in the great Promised Land
Many doubters are grinnin', don't you slip and fall
If you miss Heaven you'll miss it all

If you miss Heaven you'll miss it all
For me to reach Heaven, I'd gladly crawl
The smallest and weakest who love him or toss
If you miss heaven you'll miss it all

If you miss Heaven you'll miss it all
For me to reach Heaven, I'd gladly crawl
The smallest and weakest who love him or toss
If you miss heaven you'll miss it all

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An American mystery ? a review....

I recently received an email from a Goins family researcher labeled "They are still in Denial" the email only contained a link:

So I clicked on the link, it opened an article titled "An American mystery, Down in the valley, up on the ridge", published on a site from their 'print edition', 'The Economist'. What mystery ? I had never heard of the 'Newspaper' before, so I looked up who they are  'The Economist' :

"The Economist is an English-language weekly newspaper owned by the Economist Group and edited in offices based in London.  Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843. For historical reasons, The Economist refers to itself as a newspaper, but each print edition appears on small glossy paper like a news magazine. In 2006, its average weekly circulation was reported to be 1.5 million, about half of which were sold in the United States......

The Economist claims that it "is not a chronicle of economics." It takes an editorial stance of classical and economic liberalism which is supportive of free trade, globalization, free immigration and cultural liberalism  (such as supporting legal recognition for same-sex marriage or drug liberalization). The publication has described itself as  "a product of the Caledonian liberalism of Adam Smith and David Hume......

On the contents page of each newsmagazine, The Economist's mission statement is written in italics.
It states that The Economist was "First published in September 1843 to take part in 'a severe contest
between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.".......

The publication belongs to the Economist Group. It is 50% owned by the English branch of the Rothschild family and by the Agnelli family through its holding company Exor. The remaining 50% is held by private investors including  the editors and staff. The Rothschilds and the Agnellis are represented on the board of directors."

 I have no idea who wrote this article, as it appears to be written anonymously. Why that is I have no idea. I thought I'd write  a short review of this classic example of 'yellow journalism'. With that said, I was glad the writer went to the Newman Ridge/Blackwater area to write this article

If you have read this blog before, you would know that I believe there never were a people who identified or called themselves Melungeons, In fact the opposite it was a term that others called them, to the people who were called Melungeons it was an insult, could maybe even get you killed.

I'm a traditionalist in my work with my families history. I don't go for all the haywire unproven theories. The truth is in the history and genealogy of each family line, and this includes genetic genealogy. "genealogy without documentation is mythology” 

I descend from Valentine Collins and Ludicia (Dicey) Gibson. Who left the Newman Ridge/Blackwater area of East Tennessee and migrated to the hills of Eastern Kentucky in the early 1800's.

On with my review, this article is horrible, not historically accurate, and repeats myth after myth, that has been proven to be myth. It's more like a cheap gossip column.

"The story of the Melungeons is at once a footnote to the history of race in America and a timely parable of it. They bear witness to the horrors and legacy of segregation, but also to the overlooked complexity of the early colonial era. They suggest a once-and-future alternative to the country’s brutally rigid model of race relations"

Pure race baiting, Americans didn't write the race laws in colonial Virginia, the British did. Europeans brought racism to America, it wasn't created here. All the early racial slave laws and mixed marriage laws were written a 100 years before The United States of America was founded. They were British laws.

"Where did the Melungeons come from? And do they still exist?"

They didn't came from anyplace, they never did exist, it was a word a small group of mixed blood families were called by others. People who were called Melungins were 'Made in America'. They didn't come from some other place.

This article then goes on to rehash all the old myth's of Phoenicians, Moors, Portuguese, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake. shipwrecked pirates  Madoc, crypto Jews, the lost tribe of Israel and the biggest myth of all, pre-Columbian Turkish explorers (making them America’s first Muslims).

The truth is the people who were called Melungeon were a  mixed blood people who mixed in the early 1600's , the mixture being of Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans.  DNA doesn't lie.

This writer includes a Doris Ulmann photo that they they have re-captioned "Daughter of Appalachia". There is no proof what so ever this woman in this photo has anything to do with the people who were called Melungeons in East Tennessee. If fact it is unknown where the photo was taken and who she is by name

Ulmann published this photo named “Monday”, in the final issue of 'Pictoral Phototograpy in America' (an image of a woman at her laundry). With the stroke of a pen it's relabeled “Monday, Melungeon Woman, probably North Carolina” in 1996, in the 'In Focus Doris Ulmann, Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum'. I don't know if 'Monday' is this  woman's name or is it the day of the week the photo was taken ? Monday used to be known as laundry day.

“Please be aware that the information available is limited to notes made years after the images were taken, by Ulmann's trustees, and therefore much is inaccurate. Doris Ulmann left no inventory of her images and her own descriptions exist only for the images she published in magazine articles.”

So my question is, why did this writer include this photo in an article written about the people who were called Melungeons of East Tennessee ? Doris Ulmann was never in Hawkins or Hancock Counties.

And what about the map used where the Cumberland Gap is shown way off mark ? The Cumberland Gap certainly isn't south east of Tazewell, TN, It's father west and north from where shown, where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia meet. Looks like someone needs to take a refresher course in Appalachian geography.

"Then again, a hard-core “ridge only” faction repudiates the valley-dwellers."

 I have no idea who this writer is, but this statement is ridiculous, the term 'Ridge Only' means the people from the Newman Ridge area, after all Vardy Collins lived in 'the valley'. The Ridge Only argument came in resent times. The phrase was coined by researcher Joanne Pezzullo. The people who lived up on 'the ridge' and the people 'in the valley', were all interrelated. 

" Still others reasonably note that, especially during the exodus of Appalachians after the first world war, many Melungeons moved away. Racism, and the chance to “pass” for white elsewhere, gave them an added impetus."

What ? that is nothing more than 'race baiting' .  The fact is most if not all where enumerated as 'white' on the 1920 US Census. Their leaving Appalachia to go other places usually had to do people looking for work and getting jobs to feed their families. It just wasn't the mixed bloods that made the trip up hillbilly highway to find work in industry up north.

"Scott Withrow, the MHA’s hospitable president, says he, too, never heard of the Melungeons as a child, discovering them only as an adult. He has traced an 18th-century North Carolinian ancestor named Collins, one of the core Melungeon surnames, who may have been related to the Collinses of Hancock County, though incomplete records mean Mr Withrow can’t be sure. He hasn’t done a DNA test—though what, really, would it prove? His tolerant organisation does not require a pedigree: “We don’t get into who’s more Melungeon than others.” The Melungeons, he says, inarguably, “are part of the fabric of Appalachia. The fabric of America.” "

" He hasn’t done a DNA test—though what, really, would it prove?"  What would it prove ? If he took an atDNA test such as FTDNA's Family finder test, he for sure would find out if he is kin to the Collins' of Hancock Co TN, that were called Melungeons, plain and simple."

" His tolerant organization does not require a pedigree: “We don’t get into who’s more Melungeon than others.” The Melungeons, he says, inarguably, “are part of the fabric of Appalachia. The fabric of America.” "

"Tolerant" ? Oh please, enough of this Politically correct rubbish. The MHA should require a family tree for each member, other wise how would they know who descends from the people who were called Melungeons ?

"We don’t get into who’s more Melungeon than others.” What a ridiculous thing to say, it has nothing to do with who is 'more' Melungeon than others, it has to do with who descends from from the people who were called Melungeon. Maybe Mr. Withrow should examine the name of the 'Melungeon Heritage Association'. 

"The Melungeons, he says, inarguably, “are part of the fabric of Appalachia. The fabric of America."

I couldn't agree more, as long as the true history is stated !

Be sure and read the comment section of  The Economist article, here are my two favorites;

" Who created this astoundingly erroneous map?! Cumberland Gap is at the point where Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky meet - not in the middle of East Tennessee! . . . what else is completely unreliable in this article?" another reader post this answer:

"Probably most of it is unreliable, given that everything that TE publishes has a progressive motive behind it. It will be a day worth celebrating when TE becomes a true academic publication that honors academic truth over liberal political bias."

My message to the writer of this article, nice try, but a very poor job, better luck next time.

That's my 2 cents....

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 104

Jesus Savior Pilot Me
Written by Edward Hopper, sung by Ralph Stanley and The Clinch Mountain Boys.
Featuring  Keith Whitley

Jesus Savior Pilot Me

Jesus Savior pilot me

Jesus Savior pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea
Chart and compass came from thee
Jesus Savior pilot me

Unknown waves before me roll
Hiding rocks and treacherous shoal
Chart and compass came from thee
Jesus Savior pilot me

When at last I near the shore
And the fearful breakers roar
May I hear thee say to me
Fear not I will pilot thee

'twixt me and the peaceful rest
Then while leaning on thy breast
May I hear thee say to me
Fear not I will pilot thee

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890

Recently I received an email from another Collins researcher asking "Was there such thing as a widow census ? " I had never heard of one, so I looked into it, turns out there was in 1890. It was called " United States Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War, 1890"

"Often confused with the 1890 census, and more often overlooked or misjudged as useless, are nearly 75,000 special 1890 schedules enumerating Union veterans and widows of Union veterans.

The U.S. Pension Office requested this special enumeration to help Union veterans locate comrades to testify in pension claims and to determine the number of survivors and widows for pension legislation. (Some congressmen also thought it scientifically useful to know the effect of various types of military service upon veterans' longevity.) To assist in the enumeration, the Pension Office prepared a list of veterans' names and addresses from their files and from available military records held by the U.S. War Department.

Nearly all of the schedules for the states of Alabama through Kansas and approximately half of those for Kentucky appear to have been destroyed before transfer of the remaining schedules to the National Archives in 1943. Fragments for some of these states were accessioned by the National Archives as bundle 198."

I found this link where you can run a search on the Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War :

I ran a search on my second Great-grandfather, Hiram Collins, and 'bingo' I found this record:

 Here are links to an informative article in 3 parts from the National Archives:

The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 1

The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 2

The Fate of the 1890 Population Census, Part 3

I hope this article might be of help to any researcher who descends from a Union Civil War Veteran and their widow. 

Hat Tip to Dianne Hart

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Morning Mountain Gospel Music 103

If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
Written by James Rowe, sung by Loretta Lynn with Geraldine Wilburn
If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again

How sweet and happy seem those days of which I dream,
When memory recalls them now and then
And with what rapture sweet my weary heart would beat,
If I could hear my mother pray again.

If I could hear my mother pray again,
If I could only hear her tender voice as then
How happy I would be, ’twould mean so much to me,
If I could hear my mother pray again.

She used to pray that I on Jesus would rely,
And always walk the shining gospel way;
So trusting still His love, I seek that home above,
Where I shall meet my mother some sweet day.

If I could hear my mother pray again,
If I could only hear her tender voice as then
How happy I would be, ’twould mean so much to me,
If I could hear my mother pray again.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Original Lists from Her Majesty's Public Record Office, England 1600-1700

If your family lines go back to early Colonial America, this list could be of interest and a good research tool.

"The original lists of persons of quality; emigrants; religious exiles; political rebels; serving men sold for a term of years; apprentices; children stolen; maidens pressed; and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700 : with their ages and the names of the ships in which they embarked, and other interesting particulars " by Hotten, John Camden, 1832-1873
Published 1874.

 Click the link below to go to the download page: