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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Afrigeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

We have found a major point of agreement. Clearly there were never any large groups of Gypsies, Turks, Portuguese, etc. recorded on the colonial American scene. There are a great number of people who are sadly disappointed that I have not been able to construct a whole historical and genealogical scheme which would validate such a preferred history for the Appalatian people who have come to be called Melungeons. Or for the Turks of Sumter County, SC, etc. The reason for my failure was that clearly no such large populations ever existed.

What can be proven by primary 17th century documents, and your work, is the extensive diaspora of Gypsy descended people. Most notable is the presence of these people in complex ethnic populations formerly known as tri-racial isolates. This is not to say that some or all may not have Negro ancestry. From your records clearly some do. What historical documents do demonstrate is their persistence as a non-African ethnic identity within those Free Persons of Color which whites perceived to be generic free Negroes.

Please note that I don't have a dog in this fight. There is no tradition whatsoever in the Broken Hills of any exotic origins whatever. This included Judith Nickens Watkins, who lived past 90.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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