Monday, May 25, 2009

Croats and Melungeons

Croatia and Croatians and the Lost Colony 1585-1590 (with connections to the Melungeons)
by Adam S. Eterovich
Ragusan Press
San Carlos, California
copyright 2003
Some notes from the above mentioned book, plus some notes that Evelyn Orr, noted Melungeon Researcher, had been researching on the Croatians. Both she and Brent Kennedy thought that more research should be done on these folks but Evelyn did not have time, I was interested, so she gave me her notes. I have not had time to do anything with them either. Going over some of these noted I found the following:
Some research she quotes comes from Charles L. Prazak from what is noted as the
Carologue, Summer 1993 Journal
Prazak is a resident (at that time) of Berwyn, Ill, a retired teacher, who has done graduate work in Linguistics and Literature. Apparently he passed away and his daughter sent some of his research to Evelyn. She said he taught among other things English as a Second Language and had had Croatian students. He referenced other researchers in his work. Just SCANNING thru these papers I found the following notes:
April 2000 Notes for Brent and Carroll - Prazak Research - deceased March 1997
Prazak noted: "Louis Adamic article in SVETU J(Y)ugo-Slavian Magazine, April 1992 subject - 5 ships from Dubrovnic, Croatia  1449 - 3 return and tell of 2 ships wrecked in large bay. Adamic believed to be Chespeke - plans for rescue abandoned because of upcoming war with Turks.  This Adamic article, and original documents need to be found. 1995 SVTU defunct for several years."
Another note:
Prazak himself refers to two more voyages from Croatia 1470 and 1530. Roanoke given as both places of landing. (SAYS) "I did not catch the source in his papers. May have from letters with Vincent Sinovic, 1995 or the Adamic research .... Needs to be pursued."
Another note:
Letter to Roundtree,  Oct 28, 1995, he mentions Brent Kennedy's tribe traced in  his book. The melungeons, I showed him; "that melun, with no respelling is the Croat word for GNOME, and zeljan prounced ZHEOYN, means Desirous, or devoted to reaching goals. Kennedy will cite my material in his new edition of his book
(SO, we have another possibility for the meaning of Melungeon and you know I like this one better than some of the others - Melungeons were noted as being small:-)
From another page Prazak notes:
Powhatan Family names:
Matoaka - Capt John Smith spelling
Matorka, in Croatian  means "Big Little Girl", a nickname used in Croat families today.
Pocahantas - Smith spelling - in Croatian means "Little Flirt"
At age 14,  she was named Amonate, Croatian-Latin for amo, love, plus nate, birth or being born.She was thus called "Born of Love'  and this same endearment is also common in Croatian families today.
Prazak speaks of his article "Croatians in America Before Columbus: 1449"  gives no indication where published. Writes inquiry to the Georgia Journal with incontrovertible etymological proofs, that scores of unmistakenly clear lexical specimens that attest to the accuracy of revelations made by Jugo-Slav author Louis Adamic regarding a trans-Atlantic expeditionary fleet of five Croatian-Damascan ships as recorded in the archives of 1449 at Triest and Dubrovnic.
Prazak believe many Indian place names/words were influenced by Croats. Gives examples
Article notes"
Jugo-Slav writer Louis Adamic found in the archives of the old Croatian-Dalmatian ports of Dubrovnic, and at Trieste, records of a trans-oceanic voyage dated 1449 A.D. by five shiploads of Croatians, of which two shiploads stayed abroad. He pursued the matter, sought out a small number of words and names from the area of the Lost Colony of Roanoke 1589 that are undeniably Croatian words, starting with the name "Croatoan" carved on a wood plaque at the site of John White's ill-fated colony. It was obviously not carved by an Englishman, he pointed out, but by an Indian who wrote Serbo-Croatian: It was spelled
KROAT (OMEGA SYMBOL) AN.  The long "O" in S-C is the omega of the Cyrillic alphabet.
Prazak says he has found additional evidence to prove beyond all doubt that a Croatian population, at least a population including Croatians, pre-existed in America when Columbus arrived. Much proof appears to be lexical.
Prazak quotes Gunnar Thompson - American Discovery: Our Multicultural Inheritance
(1994) - speaks of his -Prazak's, work being disdained for over 20 years by editors addicted to traditionalism and Columbus-adulation. Speaks of his South Carolina article printed by Carologue and 2 other articles scheduled to be printed. Says Gunnar Thompsons, does NOT discount his (Prazak's) linguistic evidences as mere accidents. - Says Croatians Were The Discoverers of America. (This is a long piece and I have not read the rest of it. I hope to add more notes as time allows.)
Prazak also quotes David Beers Quinn for the English discovery of America in 1481 - new letters found in 1956 by Dr.Louis Andre Vigneras from an English merchant John Day written in Spanish to a Spanish official called Almirante Mayor whom Vigneras thought was Columbus.(this too is a long article and I have not read the rest of it.)
He mentions Adam Eterovich, the author of the book I have. - said sent him some materials. Adam and Brent had corresponded for some time.
From Eterovich's book; p.102/103
quotes the "so-called Melungeons were discovered in the Appalachian Mts in 1654 by English explorers and were described as being 'dark-skinned with fine European features.'
Says: Melingi is a Slavic tribe in the mountains of the Peloponnesus which unlike most of the other Slavs of Greece did not become hellenized but retained its identity and remained Slavic-speaking throughout the Middle Ages into the Ottoman Turkish period.
More notes on this to come!