Saturday, August 1, 2009

110 Year Old Melungeon Man Interviewed

Melungeons Ways Are Passing

News-Sentinel Staff Writer
Sneedville, Tenn

By Willard Yarbrough,
April 26, 1972

Spring air was nippy along Blackwater Creek in Vardy Valley. So chilly, in fact, that Howard Mullins lifted his hands with palms exposed to coal fed flames of the open fire. Such delicate hands, calloused from field work and 110 winters spent in isolated hill country where necessities of life long since have become luxuries to a mysterious people to whom Mullins belongs. He is one of the last of the Melungeons, oldest of them all in Hancock County, which has been home to the Melungeons for 200 years.

Those left in Snake Hollow, Blackwater, Vardy and Mulberry - are few in number, Most have left the hills for jobs in cities far and near. And time is catching up with those remaining. In 1931 there were 40 Melungeon families living on Newman's Ridge above their ancestral home. Today, only two families remain on the steep ridges. Genealogist William P. Grohse Sr., who lives near Mullins, estimates there may be under 200 families left in the country.

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1 comment:

Richard said...

My name is Richard.D.Goins Jr. I have been looking into my background for some time now. My family was allied with the Dodson clan in the 1800s. To this day we are friends with many of the Dodsons. The idea that there are fewer than 200 melugeon familys seems unlikely. The truth is I do not know this for sure. I would love to talk with you about this topic.