Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Are Redbones, as well as, Melungeons related within their own groups? Yes/no?

Realize that some Redbones were only related to other Redbones not because of a blood relationship, but only by association, as were Melungeons. Whether this association was because of a business relationship or just living in a given area would not have made much difference -- once tagged as a Redbone or Melungeon, it stuck.

Now granted, I would not think that there would be that many "Redbones or Melungeons by association," but it must have been a pretty handy curse when you needed to put someone in a can due to, as some folks would put it, "complexion."

At the same time, I think it was also possible for Redbones and Melungeons, to pass as White because of disassociation and more acceptable coloration's to the dominant, in charge, class of folks.

But getting back to being related within groups. Although Redbones and Melungeons, more often as not, married amongst themselves and traveled with members of other tribes, they didn't have to have blood relationships. In many cases, there were no blood relationships, yet there were relationships by marriage, just like there would be in any small town.

If, you have tied your Redbone cousins to a computerized Genealogy program, run a kinship report, and see who you are closely related to and who you are not so closely related to. Find out who is married into the family that you are not related to.

First cousins are pretty closely related, but don't let the business of one, two, three, four, five times or more "removed" throw you. We're just talking about generations away from you -- it's only an expression of time between your generation and theirs.

I was surprised to discover a relationship between Elisha Ryan Rigmaiden (wife of Thomas Rigmaiden) and myself. We are first cousins, six times removed. Also surprising was my connection with Isaac Ryan (d. 06 Mar 1836 in San Antonio) who died in the Battle of the Alamo.

Isaac was the brother to Elisha Ryan Rigmaiden, and therefore the brother-in-law to Thomas Rigmaiden. If it had not been for the date of death and the place of death, I never would have followed up on it.

If I had not included that family line, and had not run that kinship report, I would never have had a clue. But, if you think about it, everyone really is related, both near and far -- to everyone else.

Are you blood related to a Redbone?

Gary J. Gabehart, Mishiho (Mish-eh-ho)

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