This is the story of “Thomas the Melungeon,”a brave young man who enlisted as a Civil War Union Soldier in North Carolina on his eighteenth Birthday. Thomas fought for years to receive his military pension and his life and family are chronicled here in many generations.
Some ofThomas’s ancestors were said to be Catawba-Cherokee and Lumbee Indian. His family was born into freedom, during a time when many people of African descent were enslaved. The Lucas family defied many obstacles and challenges of their day. Being “Free” did not exempt them from the trials and tribulations of being bound out, forced into military service, sued, physically attacked and the kidnapping of their children and themselves. Their history is related here from a variety of sources garnered by me, Thomas’s second great granddaughter. I performed extensive research motivated by a family surname puzzle and in search of my second great grandmother, whom everyone had forgotten.
In this book, I trace their lineage from the Colonial period in 1646 to the present day. Melungeon lineage has been documented by DNA, yet it still fosters heated discussions, disputes and tales of Native American and Portuguese ancestry.