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home : community : community October 15, 2019

7/31/2019 12:01:00 AM
Melungeon Heritage Talk

Gaston County Public Library
Press Release


GASTONIA, N.C. - Have you ever heard of Melungeons?

Heather Andolina and her brothers Jacob and Andrew Gillen grew up hearing their grandmother suggest that the family had Cherokee ancestors. When a few of the family recently did DNA testing, they discovered that not only do they have Native American heritage, but also European, African American, Southeast Asian, and Iberian, among others.

Research has revealed that they are members of a little-known ethnic group called Melungeons that developed in the Appalachian area of Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.



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Descending from their great-great grandfather, Jesse Gibson, the siblings set out to learn more about this multi-racial group. With Heather's background in history, and her brothers' expertise in filmmaking, the result is a documentary that they are producing to tell the Melungeon Story. It is called Infamous Characters, Notorious Villains. The three will share this story at the Gastonia Main Public Library on Saturday, August 3 at 3 p.m.

Intertwined within their own personal story, they will be telling the history and stories of the Melungeon people. Where did they come from, what are typical Melungeon surnames, why was the Melungeon name synonymous with contempt and disdain, and how did racism and prejudice play a role in their decision to hide the truth of their ancestry? We hope you can join us to hear this fascinating story.

Gaston County Public Library is located at 1555 East Garrison Boulevard in Gastonia. For more information call (704) 868-2164 or email brian.brown@gastongov.com or visit one of the following sites:

https://gastonlibrary.libcal.com/event/5307870

https://clclt.com/charlotte/new-documentary-tells-story-of-mysterious-mixed-race-people/Content?oid=10518364

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiAIThQZwIE


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