Tennessee MinoritiesEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Tennessee  Gotoarrow.png  Minorities
Arch Goins family, Melungeons of Graysville, TN ca. 1920.

Records and histories of minorities and ethnic groups may provide clues to immigrant origins, migration information, and previous research. Research on minorities for the most part consists of consulting the same types of records for non-minorities.

The purpose of this section is to identify a few of those sources that influence minority research in Tennessee. See the United States Minorities article for sources and suggestions for searching minorities.

Adopt-a-wiki page
TGW 45x45.jpg This page adopted by:
TNGenWeb Project
who welcome you to contribute.
Adopt a page today


The Melungeons are believed to be of a mixed ancestry living in Appalachia: the mountains of eastern Tennessee and Kentucky; West Virginia; and western North Carolina and Virginia. The Melungeons are of apparent Mediterranean descent who intermarried with the local American Indian tribes. Many believe that they are descended from Portuguese sailors. The Melungeons are believed to have settled the area as early as 1567. Often the Melungeons were confused with other races, such as African Americans, resulting in loss of civil rights and property. For further information about the Melungeons, see:

Ball, Bonnie S. The Melungeons: Their Origin and Kin. [Berryville, Virginia: Virginia Book], 1977, 1969. FHL book 973 F2bLL. The record contains a brief history, a bibliography, and the names of Melungeons in Tennessee.

Melungeon Internet sites contains queries, research helps, historical background, and legislation affecting Melungeons:

UPDATE: Melungeon Origins

DNA studies have documented Melungeons in Hancock County, Tennessee, Hawkins County, Tennessee, and Lee County, Virginia descend from African males and European females. Conclusions of this scholarly study were published in The Journal of Genetic Genealogy (April 2012). Read more at DNA study seeks origins of Appalachia's Melungeons (AP).

People of African Descent

See African Americans.

Other Minority Records

See United States Minorities for additional resources. Other records and histories of ethnic, racial and religious groups in Tennessee are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:







Or see the Subject Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:





Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.

Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 18 July 2014, at 22:57.
  • This page has been accessed 3,730 times.