Melungeon Mystery Revealed
12/1/2002
Following centuries of speculation about its ethnic origins, a multiracial group in southern Appalachia known as the Melungeons may finally have some real answers about where its people come from.

Following centuries of speculation about its ethnic origins, a multiracial group in southern Appalachia known as the Melungeons may finally have some real answers about where its people come from.

Kevin Jones, a biologist at the University of Virginia's College at Wise, completed a two-year study of Melungeon DNA and announced the results to the Melungeon Heritage Association this summer. Among 150 people studied, 5 percent of Melungeon DNA is of African descent, 5 percent is Native American and 90 percent is Eurasian, according to Wired News. Previously, it was thought that European men had intermarried with Native Americans and African-Americans to produce the Melungeons. Now Jones plans to research genetic links between Melungeons and unusual diseases, such as familial Mediterranean fever.