Tag Archives: Melungeons

The Guineas of West Virginia

In American culture, if you can’t prove you’re 100% white or ‘pass’ for such, you get lumped into the minority by default.  This is a cultural bias the Chestnut Ridge People (CRP) of West Virginia have been familiar with for several hundred years now. “There is a clan of partly-colored people in Barbour County often […]


Just passing through—the Scottish Travellers

Oh, Lady Margaret she sat in her high chambers. She was sewing her silken seams. She lookit east and she lookit west And she saw those woods grow green. So, picking up her petticoat Beneath her harlin gown, It’s when she came to the merry green woods, There she let them down. Oh, she had […]


Educating the Melungeons

The Vardy School, completed in 1929 and in operation until the 1970s, was a mission school that offered educational opportunities to members of one of America’s least-known ethnic groups: the Melungeons. The Melungeons often faced discrimination, both legal and social, and tended to settle in isolated communities such as Newman’s Ridge in Hancock County, Tennessee. […]


Theirs was a hardy race

“Practically all Melungeons preferred a care-free existence with members of their own clan. For many generations they seldom married outsiders, and virtually all families in each area were related. Nearly all Melungeons, young and old chewed tobacco. They lived largely on bacon, corn pone, mush, and strong coffee. In early spring they gathered crow’s foot […]

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