An ethnic group living deep in the southern Appalachian Mountains that decends from 16th century Turks dropped off somewhere in the Carolinas by Sir Francis Drake, were joined by portugese pirates and others including Jews and Moors escaping the Spanish Inquizition, and intermarried with various Native American tribes as they migrated inland. They were later joined by escaped African- American slaves and others. It is also said that they partly decended from the lost colony of Roanoke, having spoke in Elizabethan english as late as the 20th century. Many were eventually assimilated into the predomminantly English/Scotch-Irish domminated Appalachian culture.
Melungeons are amongst the longest settled non-inigenous people in North America. When the first British settlers came from the Eastern Seaboard, they refered to themselves as "Portugee," which goes back to their Portugese origins.
The Melungeons are people from the Appalachians and the south. They are of triracial origin and possibly more. They have been found to be of European, Indian and in some cases African heritage. They are believed to also be of Turkish descent. They are truely mixed people and a remarkable representation of Americans. Some famous Melungeons include Elvis Presly, Abe Lincoln, and Tom Hanks. They generally appear white, but are of mixed heritage.
I'm a Melungeon so race does not mean much to me. I'm a melange/mix/mutt. I am what I am.