From the Editor: The third of the Explorers Club newsletter

Donald Yates

Donald Yates, Principal Investigator.

In our third issue of the Explorers Club Newsletter, the first in a new year, we pay tribute to a healthcare executive on the frontline of medicine. Dr. Andrew Ayers Martin (“Championing the Least of These”) has been known to many of us for years for his study of Cherokee history and North Georgia genealogy. We were surprised by the depth and diversity of his accomplishments. He is so busy running a clinical laboratory in rural Mississippi that we wonder how he has time for Facebook, genealogy forums, environmental causes, family vacations, professional activities and all his other interests. We learned about the physicians and ministers in his family history, and see that he has some big shoes to fill. Like so many of our essential workers these days, he exhibits the admirable quality of grace under pressure.

In “Unifying Histories: What’s in a Name,” readers will find an in-depth article about the Apalache Indians, Eastern North America’s oldest nation and one of the best-kept secrets in U.S. history. Yes, some of the first Indians came from Europe! Do we still call them “Indian”? Weigh in after reading this exciting probe into ancient origins.

Each issue we feature one piece of startling news in genetics, something that changes our thinking about the human past. This issue, it’s “Male Haplogroup Distribution vs. Mitochondrial Migrations (cf. last newsletter, “DNA Consultants Adopts New Human Migration Map to Reflect Neanderthal and Denisovan Interbreeding,” news item, Sept. 19). It goes to prove that women probably chose the move and new domicile, but men did the forging ahead! At any rate, male haplotypes are more informative and historically-revealing than female.

Since Brent Kennedy’s second edition on the Melungeons and Second Union in Kingsport, Tenn., it’s been twenty years that the Appalachian ethnic group has been a focus of anthropological research. Yet there’s been hardly much progress or consensus. Read our synopsis in “20 Years of Melungeon Research.”

We are proud to draw readers’ attention to an important Shawnee genealogical project, which has reached similar conclusions about the DNA of Eastern North America as our Cherokee project. At the center of this is Dorene Soiret and Carlyle Hinshaw.

The population of the month is Armenian. Did you know that the Armenian and Greek languages developed about the same time, about in the same place? Surprisingly, they are both reflected in the language of the Sea Peoples, along with other pre-Greek, Proto Indo-European and paleo-Balkan languages. Here, ancient linguistics explains the frequent Armenian matches Southeastern Indians receive.

The Children of the sun GeneOur rare gene of the month is The Children of the Sun. This was the chosen ethnonym of various ancient peoples, including the Egyptians, Hindus, Uchee Indians, Apalache Indians, Choctaw Indians, Armenians, Ionians and Scandinavians. An interesting “sleeper” of a book is W. J. Perry’s classic of diffusionism, The Children of the Sun: A Study of the Egyptian Settlement of the Pacific (London: Methuen, 1923).

Please read our letters to the editor, poetry and other news and let us hear from you. We pray that you and yours stay healthy during this terrible winter!