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About us

The mtDNA test for Core Melungeons is for a male or female being tested who goes in a straight line back to the Melungeon ancestor through a direct maternal line, meaning your mother, her mother, her mother, etc. on up the tree.  Mitochondrial DNA is passed from the mother only to both genders of her children, with no admixture from the father.  Only females pass mitochondrial to their offspring.  Because it is unchanged generation to generation, we can use this to see what the DNA of direct line maternal ancestors was like, along with thier ethnic genesis.

The Melungeon mtDNA  Project is a study of males and females who have proven known Melungeon ancestors, according to old records, and agreed on by some of the top serious Melungeon researchers.  The participants must descend in a genealogical useful line.  The DNA results, combined with genealogy research, hopefully will open some new windows for research on the Melungeon people.  Prior approval by the administrator is required for becoming a participant in this project and everyone joining must present genealogy when applying to join this project.  DNA results do not often "prove" a relationship, but can be quite helpful in guiding research.  If a profile does not match, obviously a hypothesized relationship may be incorrect.  At other times it may point to an unknown adoption in the family, several reasons can be explored when the results don't follow the genealogy you have.

If you can't test to show this direct line in your family, you may have someone tested who does.

If you have already been tested at Family Tree DNA and you want to join the Melungeon mtDNA project, there is a button on your personal page to click on to do this.  Request *Core Melungeon mtDNA Project*.  There is no charge for this service.  You will have to be approved by the administrator.

If you have taken or want to take the Y test (for males only), and you have a Melungeon ancestor in your Y  line, please go to this site for more information and join:

We have a "Melungeon Families of Interest": site you may join, if your Y or mtDNA tests won't show the Melungeon ancestor, go here for more information:

The goal of these DNA projects is to use DNA to better understand the origins of the Melungeon people, and this will be done by comparing the DNA with other project members, those outside of projects, and will incorporate relevant genealogical and historical research. All participants will be included in the ongoing studies and by joining the project, you are giving consent for your information to be anonymously included in ongoing genetic genealogy research. Your personal identity will not be revealed, but your results will be used to better understand the Melungeons as a people and their ancestors.

In 2012, Janet Crain, Roberta Estes, Penny Ferguson and Jack Goins co-authored the first academic paper to be published on the Melungeons titled "Melungeons: A Multi-Ethnic Population." Published in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy, this article defined the Melungeon families and then discussed what was revealed about each family line by their DNA results. You can download the paper at

We would like to thank all of our project members who made this research possible.

Melungeon research is a search for the truth and sometimes the truth is not what we expect, but wherever this research path leads, share it with us and come along on this journey.

Administrator’s  email addresses:

PLEASE NOTE:  The Melungeon DNA Project volunteer administrators receive no monetary or any other compensation for services or expenses involved with the administration of the Melungeon  mtDNA Project.