One thing that many Americans [USA] are lazy about is learning a second language, i.e., a language other than English. With a little bit of an effort, most can learn a language. When my maternal grandmother died, I stopped speaking Portuguese until I decided I needed to resurrect that knowledge so I could start researching my family's history. I went and bought one of those cassette sets and began the task of learning Portuguese. I may not be able to write it well, or speak it perfectly, but I learned enough to understand and be understood and to read enough to make things out. Everyday, I watch the 2 Portuguese channels on my cable system, RTP being one of them. So, I encourage all those English-only speakers here at least to try to learn a little Portuguese.
Hello Mr. Mira,   My BOLTONS are called Melungeons. My records say they are of Portuguese, Spanish and German ancestry. However Bolton is also an English name & does not sound like a name of these nationalities. Would there be another way to spell it in Portuguese or Spanish?
   This family is included in many books written about Lewis Sheppard's 1872 Chancery Court case in Hamilton County, TN. This was a very famous case in which an inheritance was awarded to the daughter of a Melungeon mother and a white father.
   My earliest known BOLTON is Spencer BOLTON. This is my lineage from him:

  1. Spencer BOLTON b. ca 1735 on the Pee Dee River (Cheraw?) SC. Marr: #1. Mary HARRIET. #2. ? German ancestry.

  2. Solomon BOLTON b. 17 Sept. 1791 St. Georges Parish, Georgetown District, SC. Marr: Rachael DAVIS b. 1792 SC. Spaniard ancestry.

  3. Sara Ann Abigail BOLTON b. 11 Nov. 1837 Blount Co. TN. Marr: #2 John Franklin SKELTON b. 28 June 1841 Hendricks Co IN.

  4. Frank SKELTON b. 22 May 1871 Independence Co. AR Marr: Mary Etta FERGUSON b. 18 June 1876 Union Co. MS

  5. Raymond Avril SKELTON b. 13 Sept. 1905 Hunt Co. TX Marr: Minnie Oneida JAY b. 24 Mar. 1916 Newton Co. MO

  6. Ivelyn Kay SKELTON b. 8 Feb. 1936 Caddo Co. OK Marr: Robert Acie BLANTON b. 28 Aug. 1932 Fresno Co. CA

   I would appreciate any help on Spencer's parents & siblings. Also when and where my Boltons came from.
Ivelyn Kay Skelton Blanton


Dear Kay,
   Thank you for your letter. The name Bolton may also be spelled as Bollen, Bolin, or Bolden. The letter "V" in the north of Portugal and Spain is often pronounced with a "B" sound, so you should not disregard the possibility of changing the spelling to begin with a "V". A very common name in Portuguese is "Volta," and when pronounced in certain parts of Portugal it sounds like "Bolta." The name "Volta" means "return."
   Let us know when your book will be ready, as we would like to post it on the web site. Our second book, "The Portuguese Making of America," should be ready by the end of this year.
   Good Luck with your book and research. "Felicidades" in Portuguese.
Manuel Mira
Please keep me posted on your activities and information concerning Luso-American subjects. My maternal roots are Azorean Portuguese and we descendants are numerous in the New England region, although often our surnames may belie this fact. Thank you for your wonderful work!
Rev. Raimundo


Hi Manuel. I have a book almost completed on the Melungeons, hopefully it will be the first book written by a descendant who can prove it. I don't think the Melungeons were Redbones. My bunch is the real Melungeons who came to Newman Ridge circa 1790's from around the New River, They moved to the New River in 1767 from the Flatt River in NC. I trace individual families to their original homeland in Virginia, using the nationality they claimed to be, which was Portuguee and Indian.
Jack Goins
Mr. Mira, I always read your letters. I find you to be the most enlightened on the history of the Melungeon people. I have several stupid questions for you. I cannot ask a person who considers themselves a Melungeon because I find every person I speak to has chosen the race they want to be instead of actually tracing the history of how the people got there in the first place. I have started a few race riots on their list.
Thank You,
Deloria Doolin












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    November 18, 2011