Friday, July 10, 2015

Examining the Melungeon Phoenician and Carthaginian Origin Myth

One of the oldest myths / theories / folk tales about the origin of the Melungins, is that they originally came from Phoenicia (Canaanites)  then to Carthage then to Portugal, then to the East Coast of what is now the United States of America.

I've often wondered where this information has it's roots.  What documentation is this based on ? There doesn't seem to be any. I put a pencil to all this and here are the results:

Conservative historian's claim Phoenicia was founded about 1550 BC (some say about 3000 BC) and lasted until about 300 BC. Carthage was established about 814 BC and disestablished 146 BC

Using the 146 BC date and a conservative arrival date to the East Coast of America of 1700, that is a total of 1846 years. Using 25 years as being a generation, that calculates to 73.84 generations.

73 generations is going far back in time. I don't know of any genealogists that have been that lucky to go back 73 generations. I know a few descendents of the people who were called Melungins, most have a problem going back 10 or 12 generations, if that far.

This does not even consider that surnames weren't used that far back.

This brings us to the adage: 'genealogy without documentation is mythology'.

That's my 2 cents....

1 comment :

  1. I had never heard the Melungeon name until I started researching my father's side of the family. I am a descendant of Valentine Collins and his son Elijah Collins.