Common Melungeon Surname List

As time permits my intention is to research as many of these families as I can. Please contact me if you have any information you would like to share or questions. I have added links to certain names that I have more information to share.

North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky

Adams, Adkins, Allen, Allmond, Ashworth,

Barker, Barnes, Bass, Beckler, Bedgood, Bell, Bennett, Berry, Beverly, Biggs,

Bolen/Bowlen/Bolling/Bowling

Boone, Bowman, Badby, Branham, Braveboy, Briger/Bridger, Brogan, Brooks, Brown, Bunch, Butler, Butters, Bullion, Burton, Buxton, Byrd,

Campell, Carrico, Carter, Casteel, Caudill, Chapman, Chavis, Clark, Cloud, Coal/Cole/Coles, Coffey, Coleman, Colley, Collier/Colyer, Collins, Collinsworth, Cook(e), Cooper, Cotman, Counts, Cox/Coxe, Criel, Croston, Crow, Cumba/Cumbo/Cumbow, Curry, Custalow,

Dalton, Dare, Davis, Denham, Dennis, Dial, Dorton, Doyle, Driggers, Dye, Dyess,

Ely, Epps, Evans, Fields, Freeman, French,

Gann, Garland, Gibbs, Gibson/Gipson, Goins/Goings, Givens, Gowan/Gowen, Graham, Green(e), Gwinn,

Hall, Hammon, Harmon, Harris, Harvie/Harvey, Hawkes, Hendricks/Hendrix, Hill, Hillman, Hogge, Holmes, Hopkins, Howe, Hyatt,

Jackson, James, Johnson, Jones,

Keith, Kennedy, Kiser,

Langston, Lasie, Lawson, Locklear, Lopes, Lowry, Lucas,

Maddox, Maggard, Major, Male/Mayle, Maloney, Marsh, Martin, Miles, Minard, Miner/Minor, Mizer, Moore, Morley, Mullins, Mursh,

Nash, Nelson, Newman, Niccans, Nichols, Noel, Norris,

Orr,

Osborn/Osborne

Oxendine,

Page, Paine, Patterson, Perkins, Perry, Phelps, Phipps, Pinder, Polly, Powell, Powers, Pritchard, Pruitt,

Ramey, Rasnick, Reaves/Reeves, Revels, Richardson, Roberson/Robertson/Robinson, Russell,

Sammons, Sampson, Sawyer, Scott, Sexton, Shavis, Shepherd/Shephard, Short,

Sizemore

Smiling, Smith, Stallard, Stanley, Steel, Stevens, Stewart, Strother,

Sweat/Swett, Swindall,

 Tally, Taylor, Thompson, Tolliver, Tuppance, Turner,

Vanover, Vicars/Viccars/ Vickers,

Ware, Watts, Weaver, White, Whited, Wilkins, Williams, Williamson, Willis, Wisby, Wise, Wood, Wright, Wyatt, Wynn

157 thoughts on “Common Melungeon Surname List

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  1. My Reeves family always claimed Indian descent. They came into Tennessee via Virginia. Can you help me determine if there are melungeon connections?

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    1. I, too, am kin to Reeves from the VA/WV area who claimed unproven Native blood, even though there descendants were dark-skinned, dark-haired, etc.

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  2. Hello, I was wondering if you could help me more with my roots. My grandparents are from Big Stone Gap Virginia. My grandfathers was a Falin, Gilliam, Cox, Mickelborough, Mayo, Hylton, Burnett, Pettus, Strachey, Ogilvie, Graham, Wells Witt, Skaggs, Hatfield, McCoy, Mace, and so on. King James IV is also my 14th great grandfather. But I am trying to find more about my Indian family, and am also related to Pocahontas through her daughter Kaokee. I have not had any DNA tests done, but again would like to know about my Indian family, and also about the melungeons as well.

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  3. If you are researching in Alphabetical order, let me know when you get to the Gibsons. My maternal grandfather was Clarence Gibson. While I have some information, I would like to trace him back to Ireland, as my DNA shows over 70% Irish.

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  4. So many questions, where to start,my maternal grammaw was a cogdill and married a Raines in cocke county Tennessee in a remote area known as the 15th (we still retain the property on the old 15th Rd, it lies between del Rio and grassy fork tn.) Her mother was Elmeda Johnson who died in childbirth,her father Jim cogdill went to ww1 and her grandparents raised her, family stories have suggested her mother was NA and I’ve seen the name Luna johnson in my search once , it suggested that Luna johnson was her grandmother or great grandmother, all my grandmother’s sons look very Hispanic in old photos but a lighter skin tone,say lighter than a Mexican’s but quite a bit darker than a regular Caucasian,she her self had what I’ve heard described as very ruddy complexion but to me she looked pure cherokee. I have noticed that it can be difficult to discern skintones in old black and white photos unless some one was very pale or very dark skinned depending on the photo.I was that way too, until I moved to Vermont 20+ yrs ago, the 9 month long Winters have taken their toll but a week of 80 degree sunny days and bam it’s back, LoL, lots of blue eyes and some green to, I have brown but it’s a pretty light colored brown, I grew up in the 15th from time to time(name comes from long ago, instead of a county they were numbered districts or something to that effect) my family also looked quite a bit different than most of the people in the grassyfork/ delrio/ Hartford tn area. My grandparents and all 13 kids used to go up to NJ and work the fields when jersey was the garden state still. My grandpaw was also a Pentecostal revival preacher who has been written about in several books about the Pentecostal snake handlers, I know one was by a fella named Jimmy morrow. But I believe the melungeon is on my grammaws side. Would love to do a DNA test but I’ll be honest, I work in the medical field and I worry that the insurance companies may use that against us someday, don’t really care about me but my kids on the other hand!
    I realize my writing style is very erratic (like somebody said squirrel in front of a hound,lol) and I apologise for that, but thank you so much for your time Mrs Gray, sincerely Edward Davis (P.S. I tried looking you up on Facebook but no luck, thought I’d send some pics to get your thoughts)

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  5. I would like to email you about my connection to the Shavers/Chavis/Chavers, Brown, Hall, Kelley and other family names in Alabama and Franklin County Tennesse. Andrew Jackson Chavers was my 2nd great grandfather. Are they Mulatto or Melungeon?

    Thank you,

    Judy

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  6. Recently made a trip to Clairborne County TN to travel the lands near the Cumberland Gap where some of my people are from. Surname is Goin. There is actually an unincorporated community named Goin that had a post office until the mid-sixties. A good deal of my research, in addition to Mulungeon, leads back to Cherokee heritage from northeastern AL. Would appreciate any comments/information you may be able to provide.
    Thank you. Take a look at this website: https://the-melungeons.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-best-of-will-allen-dromgoole.html?fbclid=IwAR3n_jqz-VJhuT8WDjuQJxnQmGUhh5C6azEmc687FNvJurqMwFqraBlIPDs

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    1. Are you able to expound a little more on the lineage of Melungeon peoples and the specific areas they inhabited? We’re most of these peoples of Native American ancestry?
      Thank you for your consideration.

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      1. What an interesting article. I never realized that tri-racial folks as these even existed. This article provides greater insight into my families probable history.
        Thank you for your timely response and for sharing.

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      2. My DNA test at age 80 found my paternal family..and every surname on the site. All the matches to me, thousands, had African blood. Right back to Newmans Ridge.

        That’s incredible

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Are you able to expound a little more on the lineage of Melungeon peoples and the specific areas they inhabited? We’re most of these peoples of Native American ancestry?
      Thank you for your consideration.

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  7. My family background is from West Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. My last name is Carter from my father’s sur name. On my grandmother side we are Callaway,Ray and Mitchell. Her father was surname a Steadman. On the early 1900s census our family was classified as mulattos born in Virginia/Western Virginia. Most of my siblings and I have those chestnut color eyes like our mother and grandfather. My mother never discussed what our family was mixed with or the tribe, when I asked. She just said, ” our only concern was surviving”

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    1. I have been doing a lot of research just using Family Search. It is part of Ancestry.com but the site is free. I have been able to trace lots of those names listed above back to the first settlers to this country. Also, I am related to the Bolling which go back to the Randolph and then to the Carters, and Hill last names. The other listed names are somewhere in between all of these. Jones, Smith, Martin, Osborne (was in the Revolutionary War) Stallard, Sizemore, Brown, Cooper, Perkins. The ones that I do not have in my lineage, my husband probably has a large number of the other names plus my son-in-law has a lot more of those other names. We just about cover all of those people.

      If you go on Family Search, try to think of the oldest person you may know that is in your family and who lived in the 1800’s and if you can come up with approximate birthdate and date of death, put those in and then after that push search. Also, if you know who they were their spouse, this will help even more. When some names come up, push the button for tree. If anyone has done in lineage on these people their whole lineage will pop up. Have fun tracing your lineage.

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  8. My family goes very far back in this area and I have many Names in the family tree you listed: Sizemore, Green, Robertson, Robinson, Bowlin, Jackson, Allen, Thompson, Collins, Hall, Jones, Martin, Perkins, Stevens,

    Other names to look at maybe that are very intertwined – Abbot, Stacey, Griffith, Griffin,Godsey, Lacy (maybe same as Lasie you have listed)

    Ethnically my immediate family is all some mix of Irish/ North African / Subsaharan African/ Eastern European/ Southern European/ Native American.

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  9. Just found out through 23 and me that I have spanish/portuguese ancestry. My grandfather had a very dark complexion and when I asked him about this he said these traits were “Black Dutch”. My family is from Tennessee and Northern Alabama. Clarks, Coopers, Saunders and Pruitts. I cannot find any info on early Portugeuse settlements in South Carolina or Virginia. Do you have any information? Just trying to find the source of my Spanish/Portugeuse heritage. Our roots go back to the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.

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  10. Thank you for posting this. My grandmother, a Chapman, when young was always asked if she were Jewish, to which she simply replied, “no.” In the early 80s when I was a little girl, I remember Papaw Chapman (her father) always saying we were Dutch Indian and Black Dutch. So here we are.
    What a great feeling you must be experiencing with this new found gem! So glad I could be of help.

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  11. You are very welcome, Taking a DNA test might very well help. Let me know how it goes. DNA study is not my strong suit!

    My maiden name is Barker. My mother was a Barnes. Her family is from the Cumberland Gap area of Kentucky. We have been told of Native American ancestry, but the rest is a mystery. I honestly believe we are Melungeon. Would taking one of the ancestry dna tests help determine this or just make it more confusing? Thank you for this site.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi. I’m a Brooks, Clark, and Cooper descendent. They, along with associated families, migrated to western NC from the eastern/coastal NC and borderline SC/NC. My Clarks were Portuguese/Croatan. These families settled in Lincoln Co and are mentioned in the Indian Commission Affairs and in a report by Robert K. Thomas.

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  13. My DNA has me 98% European and 2% Asian. My ancestors lived in Lee Co. and Scott Cos. VA then to Hawkins Co. TN. My grandfather was straight black hair, brown eyes, and really dark in the summer sun. Same with my father and his two sisters, but not as much as my grandfather. I have been wondering if we are Melungeons.

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  14. My family is from Wise Dickinson and Buchanan counties in Va. Surnames on my maternal grandmas side are Mullins, Stallard, Stanley and Roberson/Robertson/Robinson. My grandma also removed warts, used scripture to stop bleeding, blew the fire out of a burn. She was very religious. The Short surname was my maiden name. My grandpa Short had black hair and black eyes. Dad claimed their was Cherokee on his side but I have found no proof. I did DNA and I’m a mixture from the middle east as well as west asian, English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh. I had dark hair and green eyes from 2 blue eyed parents. All this is so fascinating to me. Am trying to find out much more. Thank you for your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ms. Lady Jae: Received some great information from you sometime ago for surname Goin. Simply wanted to reach out and see if you have anything on Sinnes to see if there’s a Melungeon connection. What I know this far is that there’s a definite Cherokee lineage with respect to Benjamin Sinnes (daughter, Jemima Sinnes-Goin). Thank you, Victoria Thornton

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

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  15. Hi Debby,
    I just came upon this site. I’m researching my Berry family from Hawkins /Tennesse and Virginia . My Grandfather was Cleo Berry Son of Lydia Price and Calvin Berry. Other Surnames in his line are Brewer, Davis, Seals, Phipps, Tagliaferro(toliver) and many more. Please let me know if you are still researching these families.
    Thank you,
    Christy

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  16. Hello
    I just came upon this site. I’m researching my Berry family from Hawkins /Tennesse and Virginia . My Grandfather was Cleo Berry Son of Lydia Price and Calvin Berry. Other Surnames in his line are Brewer, Davis, Seals, Phipps, Tagliaferro(toliver) and many more. Please let me know if you are still researching these families.
    Thank you,
    Christy

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    1. Hi Christy, I am still researching but it’s slow going. If I run across anything new I’ll shoot it your way or post it here on my site.
      Thanks for checking in!
      Joyceann

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  17. hello, my name is hannah Branham. my family comes from west virginia in the appalachian mountains and we are of native american descent through my grandma though i havent tracked down who yet. but im very sure my father is of melungeon descent, he is a dark ivory skin with dark hair and blue eyes.

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  18. Hello! I came across this site and am hoping to find some answers. I am a Johnson from Halifax county, VA. All of my paternal line are dark skinned, dark hair and blue eyes with a very specific nose. We have always been told we are of cherokee and possibly Saponi descent. I am looking for any leads towards a melungeon bloodline within my family because it would answer a lot of questions. They also have a very specific “twang” or dialect when speaking. Have you run across any melungeon Johnson’s in your research from that part of VA? Thanks!

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  19. Greetings,
    I am looking for information on the Jones, Barker, and Smith lines specifically but I cross about 15 of these families in my tree several times. My grandmother was adopted and sadly was a victim of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and was stolen from her family. My grandmother’s biological family is originally from Wise Virginia and Morristown, Tn areas. I am from these areas as well on both sides of my family, paternal and maternal, back 8 generations. I am actually stuck on my grandmother’s maternal line, my great grandmothers maiden name was Jones and I am unable to find any information on her mother and her mother’s line. I know she had children in Wise, Virginia as well as in Haticus, W Va, and Morristown, TN between the years of 1915-1935 with my grandmother being the youngest in 1935. My great grandmothers name was Elizabeth Katherine Jones Mink King. We think she was born in Wythe County, Va in 1927 and was married to my great grandfather John Rufus Mink, Sr around 1913-1914 as she had their first child in 1915. We are looking for information on these family lines not to upset current family members, or to find living people, nor to upset lives. We are just looking to complete our family trees, our heritage, and to find medical information as well because we have several relatives that have odd illnesses that have no known origins. I was led to this site through research and also as a result of our unexpected DNA results as well which have been a wonderful surprise and way to help me find our family lines and also some small medical answers. The biggest thing I am trying to accomplish, however, is to help my grandmother find closure and to find her family so she can have peace before her time comes. She is 86 years old and sadly, that time is coming closer than we want to admit and I would love to help her find her moms family before it is too late. I have found a lot of information for her father and his people, but her mother is a big mystery. Any help would be greatly appreciated from anyone who may be familiar with these family lines. Thank you for your time and any help in advance.
    Sincerely,
    April Pilkey Williams
    ajpilkey76@gmail.com

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      1. I am so sorry that it took me a bit to see this response. It never went to my email. 😦 I am trying to see if I can locate my Great Grandmother. Elizabeth Katherine Jones supposed DOB was February 27, 1901. I say supposed because there is a discrepancy. I did find her husband and kids. I was looking to see if anyone that is connected to the Jones line. I can not find any information about Elizbeth Katherine’s birth, or her as a child, it is as if she just appears as an adult out of the blue. I have looked through the regular channels on Ancestry and also in records local to me but have yet to drive over to Lee County, Va or to Hancock county to look at physical records but it is in the plans at some point. I am just trying to think of other places to look, other avenues to try. It is like her whole Jones line does not exist. I was thinking maybe someone would see my ost any maybe have some new ideas of where I can search for records or what to look under as the regular ones do not pan out.

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  20. My grandmother is Bessie Zackery and her mother was Elizabeth Collier or Dicey Elizabeth Collier and her mother was a Mary Ann Norris. I am stumped here and can’t seem to find much on them. I do know they all did come out of Tennesee and settled down into Kentucky.(pulasky County). Now my Grandfather was George Denham and his father was Edward Denham and mother was Betty Collins. I can’t find nothing on Betty Collins. All I know about her is that she was a female paster and could ‘levitate’ things when she would get really caught up in preaching the Word.

    My dad was always told we had Cherokee in us. I did a DNA but found there was very little…like 1 or 2%. Anyway if you are able to help me find more information about Betty and her Collins and the Colliers and Norris, I would really be grateful.

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  21. Do you have any information on the Bunch family? Bunch shows up as a Melungeon last name.
    My paternal grandmother’s grandmother was a Bunch from Indiana. Her father (my grandmother’s great grandfather) was from Kentucky and his grandfather, Calloway Bunch came from Bedford, VA according to Ancestry. Supposedly Calloway’s father was John Henry “Jeremiah” Bunch (again according to Ancestry family trees) who may have been Melungeon – at least a tree has that in their comments. Another tree said his daughter Lizzie was Cherokee so I’m not sure how much can be believed from what Ancestry shows because of lack of documentation. Thanks!

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  22. I am seeing several surnames from my sides. I wish I knew more about, but anyone I can ask are now passed. I have been trying for so long to do this on my own. Wish I knew of someone that could help point me in the right direction. Someone told me a while back I had the Melungeon “background”.

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  23. Hello,
    My name Christy
    I am researching the following names of my Hancock/Hawkins Tennessee ancestors who apparently had ties to the border areas in Virginia and Noryh Carolina as well . The family names from your list above are: Berry, Davis, Jones, Tolliver (Sara Isabelle Tagliferro is my ancestor via the Berry Line), Phipps, Osborne, Richardson and many more.

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