Kathleen McGowan writing for Discover on Where do we really come from?:
Brent Kennedy’s 19th-century ancestors stare out from his photo albums with dark eyes, high cheekbones, olive skin, and thick black hair—a genetic riddle waiting to be solved. It comes as no surprise that Elvis Presley, Ava Gardner, and Abraham Lincoln may be among their kin, yet the members of this tribe have never fitted properly into American racial categories. Depending on the census taker or tax man, they were classified as white, “free persons of color,” or mulatto, often drifting across the color line as they moved from county to county.
The history of Melungeons is both rich and tragic. An interesting book on the topic is Mike Nassau’s Melungeons and Other Mestee Groups.
Link courtesy of the Rootsweb – Melungeon mailing list.