You Might Be Melungeon If . . .

Real People’s DNA Stories

More “You Might Be Melungeon If” Rules
By Kari Carpenter

Kari CarpenterMy husband and I just had a good laugh reading over your “You Might Be Melungeon If…“ article. It inspired me to write up a few “real-life” examples from my own family. These are individual experiences of myself, my mother or my sister.

You might be Melungeon if . . . 

You and your cousins called your grandmother “Mammy”.

Your Southern granddads found it prudent not to enlist as Rebel soldiers—instead they retreated deep into the mountains and waited until the Civil War was over before returning home.

Your ancestors and relatives have names like:  Abel, David, Solomon, Milton, Emmanuel, Vito, Vida, Verdo, V.T., Orvia, Rozella, Permelia and Rhoda.

Your children are born with odd-looking dark spots and your Asian doctor looks at you funny when you tell her that both you and your husband are Caucasian.

Your Native American neighbor sits you down and gently explains to you that you are a mixed-race person.

While at a Protestant church service, an evangelical prophet points you out and addresses you as a “Mother in Israel.”

There’s no world cuisine that you won’t eat.

You feel uncomfortable living in an all-white population—even though you’re “white”.

In college, your Jewish boyfriend repeatedly asked:  “Are you sure you’re not Jewish???”

While all the other girls your age wanted to learn how to bake cookies—you had an inexplicable desire to learn how to make bagels.

Does anyone know if any of the Stony Creek Primitive Baptist Church Kitchens have descendants that have DNA tested or might be willing to DNA test?  I have 2 male Ketchand cousins who might be willing to test (if I ask nicely).

Your California Melungeon Cousin, Kari Carpenter


  Comments: 4

  1. I can relate to a few of your experiences Kari and hey ya cousins!

  2. I’m not sure I’m Melungeon, but I found that I have some of the ancestry mentioned in the article about Melungeons, such as Arab, Mizrahi Jewish, North African, West African, Iberian Peninsula (Spanish and Portuguese), etc. The only ancestry I don’t have is American Indian. There’s no food I won’t eat, either. 😊

  3. My Conrad family had to go into exile during the Civil War. My 4th great grandfather Rev William Conrad was arrested as a Confederate sympathizer and sent to federal prison. For some reason my 3rd Joel Conrad was allowed to keep running the family farm in Grant County Kentucky while the rest of the family had to hide. Rev William Conrad was eventually released from federal prison. He was known for starting several churches up and down what would be I-75 KY.

  4. My 3rd greatgrandad was lusted as melungion on 4th or 5th was named George reeves, rives, Reaves. Etc..I do have the melugion bump on back of head..I have some dna matches named Powell who came from islands and are incisors seem to be shovel like..notvsure what to think..early family from Tennessee and associated with cherokee nation..has a whole page on cherokee dawes rolls..holts…some have told me my life seems cursed..yet I have had some powerful spiritual happenings one could describe as miracles..I try to follow the Red Road and vzvd searched records to enroll in tribe..if anyone can help with my search for melungon ancestry and has info on their lives and beliefs that would be great..I also have collins and carpenter on dna match list..what it means and how relates to me I am not and info would be great..AHo..

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