Ancient Appalachian people boasted of having Portuguese ancestry to avoid slavery. Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
Rhoda Ray, born slave referred 2 as- “Aunt Rhoda”. During th Battle f Wilson’s Creek, Rhoda & hr children sought shelter in Ray house, then helped treat th wounded after th house was occupied as a Southern field hospital. She was freed in 1865