Monday, July 28, 2014

Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population...... Revisited Part One


Well, it’s been just over 2 years (April 2012) since the paper "Melungeons, A Multi-Ethnic Population" was published in the 'Journal of Genetic Genealogy '.

In May of the same year this report hit the media through an Associated Press news release and the manure hit the fan.

As one of the early participants of this study, I thought I might talk about this from the view of a participant.

I first got involved with Genetic Genealogy in June of 2003. Self identified Melungin Dr. Elizabeth 'Shiksa' Hirschman posted on the Rootsweb Melungeon list that she was offering to pay for a 12 marker Y DNA test, for Melungin descendents. I applied, was accepted and it’s all history from there.

A few weeks later I received my swab kit and mailed it back to FTDNA, and in early September 2003 my results were emailed to me by FTDNA, showing that my haplogroup was E3a. I had no idea what that meant, but quickly found out what E3a was:

"Haplogroup E3a is an African lineage. It is currently hypothesized that this haplogroup dispersed eastward and southward from western Africa within the last 3,000 years, by the Bantu agricultural expansion. E3a is also the most common lineage among African Americans."

My haplogroup’s name evolved over the years from E3a to E1b1a to E1b1a8a and now is shown as E-P278 (shorthand).

I was a little surprised at those first results, as my family’s story was "Our Collins, were once Indians". I just switched gears and dealt with the new facts. I'm still looking for the Native American female.

When my first results came back from FTDNA, I emailed Ms. Hirschman, she told me my results were really 'Jewish' and had some song and dance about France and Portugal, she told me she would run my results past Brent Kennedy, that was the last I heard from her.

I still have copies of her emails to me, with headers, complete in their original form.

That 'researchers' project never went anywhere, it was orphaned.

In fact, this cretinette was data mining for her book, along with Donald 'meshugganah' Yates,"When Scotland Was Jewish". I was appalled to find my DNA results published in this 'book', and to be labeled 'Portuguese' ? 

No one in my family ever claimed Portuguese, there is no Genetic evidence of any relationship to Portugal, or to Jews for that matter. No matches in FTDNA’s Family Finder atDNA test, nothing on Ysearch, nothing on GEDmatch ,no connection what so ever.

The fact is, my Collins line is brick-walled in the mid 18th century, so there is no paper trail to prove this constructed myth.

What gets me is these people never asked my permission to publish this data in a book, nor did I sign any type of release form.

In hindsight it was foolish of me to trust these snake oil salesman. I guess these 2 'scholars' either failed or didn’t take any courses in ethics.

Never the less, I am thankful this first experience got me on my 'learn as I go' Genetic Genealogy path. I made lemonade from lemons.

What was the Melungeon Heritage Association thinking when they had Hirschman speak at their 2014 'Union' ? On Melungeon DNA no less ?

My first connection with the 'M' DNA project was with Kentuckian Penny Ferguson. She graciously shared all her knowledge of Genetic Genealogy, and really was of great help to me. She told me of the Rootsweb Genealogy DNA list, aka the BIG DNA list, she referred me to the informative book "TraceYour Roots with DNA" by Megan Smolenyak, Ann Turner. Most importantly she was of great encouragement to me.

If my memory serves me right, the original crew was Jack Goins, Penny Ferguson and Janet Crain. Shortly there after Roberta Estes came on board as an adviser. And the project started in July of 2005. A little later Kathy James joined as a Group Co-Administrator , focusing on the Gibson surname participants.

As time went on I had more markers tested, I went from 12 to 37 to 67, now I’m at 111 markers tested. My very first 12 marker match was in March of 2004 with a Bunch family member. That was exiting, as it was another Melungin ‘Core’ surname.

The next break through was when the results came back from a Vardy Collins descendant, and was a different Haplogroup than my Valentine Collins.

It was thought they were brothers, well at least they didn’t share the same Father. Since neither the Mother’s of Vardy or Valentine Collins are known, the connection is still unknown. More on this later on.

The next thing I did was track down another Valentine Collins descendant , but from another son, besides my David Collins, I was successful and found a direct male descendant from David’s brother Joshua Collins. In November of 2008 his results came back from FTDNA, and at 37 markers it was an exact match, I paid for a upgrade for his test to 67 markers, came back as genetic distance of 2.

Next came searching for a mtDNA direct line female to test. No such luck after months of searching. In my Collins line, it’s just not there. Valentine Collins took his mtDNA to the grave. Both his parents are unknown, and I have no information if he might have had a sister. A complete dead end.

Before the 'paper' was even written , Roberta Estes had participants fill out what she called a 'Proof Table', below are screen shots of both the Y and mtDNA forms, or the top of them anyway.

I filled in the Y form and emailed it to the project administrators.

That was it, I did my part.

I’ll say this, I didn't get involved with all this to find out anything to do with 'race'. I understand Genetic Genealogy is a ‘tool’ to aid traditional Genealogy.
"I'll know what they were, when I know who they were" A simple doctrine.

The News Release

In May of 2012, an Associated Press news release hit both the printed and online media. I was a little surprised by some of the race baiting head lines, here are 2 good examples: 

"DNA study seeks origin of Appalachia’s African-Americans"

Then in the text of these articles it states: 
"Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin." 

I guess the Halplogroup of Melungin patriarch Vardy Collins was over looked. I bet Ms. Loller doesn't even know who he is.

I have no idea if the AP reporter Ms.Travis Loller has any knowledge of the people who were called Melungins, or even any knowledge concerning Genetic Genealogy ? 
Both are very complicated topics, hardly a topic one could be knowledgeable about by reading a press release. Did she even read the complete study and have a complete understanding of it ? It sure doesn’t look like it.

I have no idea who wrote the press release, did it state ‘African Men and White Woman’ ? As no where in this study is that statement made, plain and simple.
As of July 26, 2014 the Melungeon Core Y results show these totals:

54 with European Haplogroups
36 with African Haplogroups
1 with Native American Haplogroup

As of July 26, 2014 the Melungeon mtDNA results show these totals:

Haplogroup H….16

Haplogroup I....2

Haplogroup J....2

Haplogroup K....5

Haplogroup L....2

Haplogroup M....1

Haplogroup T....4

Haplogroup U....4

Haplogroup W....2

See this map for mtDNA Haplogroup migrations:

So what happened ?, did the politically correct news media put a spin on this study ? Looks like it to me.

Stay tuned for part two of this article, I need to go collect a half ton of pine knots.

    That's my 2 cents..... 

No comments :

Post a Comment