Kinfolks: Falling Off The Family Tree
The Search For My Melungeon Ancestors
Lisa Alther, novelist, has written her first non-fiction book and may have created a new genre. Kinfolks is neither fish nor fowl and tastes better than either. This last sentence is the kind of quip she injects into her delightful book.
Her account describes her search for her Melungeon ancestors involving traveling down the Appalachian roads of sensitivity, denial, subterfuge and struggle with ancestors who themselves are struggling to avoid the prejudice of a society that is still influenced by its racist past.
Kinfolks will serve well as a primer for those who are beginning the search for their own ancestors, especially Melungeon and other “mixed blood” ancestors. For those seasoned Melungeon researchers it will serve as an overview of the tremendous amount of work already accomplished and it will highlight the ongoing search for a definitive answer to who the Melungeons are and where they came from.
Did the butler do it or was it the Spaniards, Portuguese, Indians, Africans, Scots or Jews.
Enjoy a different kind of book.
Don C. Marler
Author of Redbones of Louisiana