Guide to the Vardy Valley Oral History Project Records, 2000

Summary Information

Title: Vardy Valley Oral History Project Records, 2000
Collection: AC.181
Extent: 0.02 linear feet (2 folders)

Vardy Valley Oral History Project Records contains "The Vardy Valley Oral History Project, And Other Research and Works" by Theresa Burchett for a Master's internship and the Vardy Historical Society. Vardy Historical Society consists of Melungeon residents of the Vardy Valley, near Sneedville, Tennessee who have worked to preserve the one-room Vardy schoolhouse, oral histories, photographs and other memorabilia.

Creator: Burchett, Theresa

Biographical/Historical Note

Melungeons are a group of inter-related families living in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. There have been many theories regarding their ethnic origins. Originally believed to be tri-racial from African, European, and American Indian roots, some argue that Melungeons are of Portuguese, Turkish, or Jewish origins.

Many Melungeon families resided and continue to live in Vardy Valley, which was named after one of the Melungeon families. In 1998, the Vardy Community Historical Society formed as a 501(c)(3) to preserve the preservation of the Melungeon heritage. It has worked to preserve many historical sites including the Vardy schoolhouse and the cabin of ancestor Mahala Mullins.

Scope and Contents

Theresa Burchett, a non-Melungeon native of southwestern Virginia, conducted an internship project the Vardy Historical Society and Appalachian State University's Appalachian Studies Masters Program in 2000. She conducted oral history interviews with residents Clellan and Oakie Collins, Charles Sizemore, Clara Belle Horton, David Swartz, DruAnna Overbay, and Gerldine Bell. Most identify themselves as Melungeon. Also included are Burchett's comprehensive bibliography on Melungeons, grant applications and overview of her internship.


Original arrangement is maintained.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for use in the Dougherty Reading Room without restrictions. An appointment for research is recommended. The Dougherty Reading Room is located on the 4th floor of Belk Library in Special Collections. Use of audiovisual materials requires the creation of a user copy, if none exists. The user copy will be maintained as part of the collection. Researchers desiring a user copy for their own use outside of the repository should consult the Application for Duplication of Closed Collection Materials information on the Special Collections website.

Acquisitions Information

Theresa Burchett donated the collection to the W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection in 2000. The accession number is AC.2001.066. This collection was opened to the public 22 October 2002.

Processing Information

Processed by Kathryn Staley, October 2002. Encoded by Kathryn Staley, January, 2005; revised 2008.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Vardy Valley Oral History Project Records, W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.

Container List

Collection 181. Vardy Valley Oral History Project Records. (2000)
Organized in original order. Included are six interviews of seven Vardy residents.
1   Oral histories.