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History of the Tuscarora
The ancestral home of the Tuscarora Indian Nation was centered in the northeastern part of North Carolina.
Visit The Southern Band Tuscarora Indian Tribe Web page (www.southern-band-tuscarora-indians.com)for a more complete Tuscarora history and to see the variety of villages---hemp gatherers; people of the pines; people of the water. In 1701 John Lawson, Surveyor General, identified 15 major Tuscarora towns living along the waterways throughout North Carolina.
Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina has four (4) clans which are the Bear, Wolf, Turtle and Beaver
*Note the two very different uses of the terms Southern and Northern. Originally the Southern Tribes referred to those tribes south of Pamlico; the Northern Tribes were those between the Roanoke and Pamlico Rivers. When the Tuscarora moved north to New York state, the term "Southern Tribes" changed it's meaning and referred to those Tuscarora Tribes that remained in N.C. in contrast to the "Northern Band" living in N.Y. near Lewiston, Niagra County.
When the first settlers arrived in Bertie County, they settled along the Chowan River building their plantations and Mosely's early map shows the Indian tribes already relocated to the Roanoke River along Bertie's southern border.
White encroachment into their territory was the source of conflict between the Tuscarora and these settlers. For the most part, the Bertie County villages were under the leadership of Chief Tom Blunt (between the Roanoke and Pamlico Rivers) and were friendly to the colonists.
The Chief of the Tuscarora was a close friend and neighbor of the Blount family of Bertie. He admired the family so much that he was baptized as "Tom Blount" taking their name. On September, 1711 when the Tuscarora War started, Tom Blount refused to allow his people to take sides in it, warned the southern branch not to bring it into his territory, and actually posted sentries to prevent any other tribe from entering Bertie.
As a reward for his loyalty to the settlers, at the defeat of the southern band of Tuscarora under Chief Hancock, Blount was acceeded by the Legislature the title of "King of the Tuscarora" and awarded 56,000 acres on the Roanoke River in Bertie as a reservation.. "In perpeturity, so long as the sun doth shine. Sadly this did not hold true.
Chief John Hancock and his villages near the Neuse River felt continually pressured as New Bern grew. There was raiding of Tuscarora villages, kidnapping young men and women and selling them into slavery.
The Chiefs of the Tuscarora villages decided that their only recourse was to fight back. This leads to the Tuscarora Indian Wars (1711-1713).
Another pictorial map of the war
Excavation of Ft. Neoheroka Battle on March 21, 1713 - Col James Moore
A brief timeline of events:
For complete history and chronology see Marilyn Livingston's book "Onkwehonweh-the first people-Tuscarora"
- Sept 1711, Chief Hancock captures John Lawson, Baron Christoph von Graffenried, leader of the Wiss and Germon colonists at New Bern; and a black servant. Lawson was executed.
- Sept 22, 1711 - Chief Hancock kills 120 colonists, took others captive, burned houses, and seized crops and livestock in Bath County.
- White settlers retaliated
- Jan , 1712 - Col. John Barnwell (S.C. company) capture Ft. Narhantes after bitter battle
- Peace conference ends in tragedy as Col Barnwell's troops kill 50 Tuscarora men and seize over 200 women and children as slaves.
- Chief Tom Blunt is promised control over his own tribe if he will assist the Colonists.
- Chief Blunt captures Chief Hancock and the colonists execute Hancock
- March 21, 1713 - Col James Moore (S.C. troops) attack Ft. Neoheroka killing or capturing ove 900 Tuscarora. Survivors forced into reservation in Hyde County
Excavation of Ft. Neoheroka
- 1717 - Bertie Co. Indian Woods Reservation given to Chief Tom Blunt.
- 1717 - Many Tuscarora Indians left North Carolina to join the Five (Iroquois) Nations in New York.
- 1748 - Survey further restricts and defines the reservation
- Historical Letters
- 1760 - More Tuscarora chose to move to New York.
- 1766 - Lease and subsequent land deals show 18,000 acres but in actuality over 58,000 acres, leave the Tuscarora only 2,196 acres
- 1803 - Last of Tuscarora depart for New York. Remaining descendants blended into the population
- 1831 - Deed written in Niagra County, N.Y. (7 chiefs) gave up their rights to the land in Bertie County.
- 1917 - Tuscarora Chiefs from New York visit Bertie at the end of the 150 year lease
Tuscarora School Website on the Tuscarora Language.
Meaning of Indian Geographical NamesContributed by: Deborah Cavel-Greant email@example.com
One of my Bertie lines is that of the Casiah/Kesiah family. My 4X Grandfather Sandifer Casiah/Kesiah was born in Bertie in 1737. I believe he got his first name because of the family's friendship with the Sandifer family who lived near the Indian Woods Reservation. His brother Dunning, appears to have been named after the Bertie County Dunning family. Another family member, Buxton, is named after another Bertie County family.
Our Casiah's left Bertie in the 1760s but preserved the tradition of Native ancestry and continued to speak the Tuscarora language until my generation. In fact, late in life my father had a series of strokes and for a time reverted entirely to using Skarure. I am now studying the language, and thought some of what I have learned may be interesting to Bertie researchers.
Unfortunately in this format I cannot reproduce the fonts used for Skurare. The 'e,' you see used below is actually a 'tailed' e, and is pronounced as is the 'i' in pizza. An accent mark before a vowel means the tone drops, an accent mark following a vowel means the tone rises. A : following a vowel prolongs the vowel sound. A question mark represents a glottal stop, the sound heard in English between the two syllables in the word uh-oh.
Casiah/KesiahTo begin with I'd like to address the Casiah/Kesiah name because of the questions about how the Cashie River got its name. One interpretation by Bertie County Historian Harry Thompson :
The Cashie River begins and ends in the county... Cashie is not an Indian name, as is commonly thought, but a corruption of the proper name, KESIAH, which appears often in the early records. Kesiah is the designation on the most reliable map prepared by Edward Moseley in 1733.
Deborah's statement: The original name of the Casiah River was drawn directly from the Skarure language. I would suggest that the river may have recieved its name when a European asked one of the Tuscarora, "What's this river called?" and the Indian thought the newcomer wanted to know the Skarure word for river and answered, "It-river," ("Kesh-hsh-ungh"). The settler, familar with a similar-sounding name from the Bible, wrote down "Kesiah" River.
The Skarure word for RIVER is -(i)yhnu- . The Skurare word "ke,'yhnu:?" has a literal translation of "it-river". The pronunciation of "ke,'yhnu:?" is: keh-hsh-ungh with a glottal stop on the end. Quishia, Casiah, Kesiah, Keziah, Kizziah etc. are all reasonable choices to represent the Skarure pronunciation.
It happened by the end of the 1600s because the Casiah River is documented as a landmark in Chowan County land records as early as 1707.CHOWAN CO NC LAND PATENTS DATE # ACRES PLACE OWNER Nov 4, 1707 640 Plantations lying on Casiah River John Hardy IIIWill of JOHN HARDY III OF CHOWAN CO., NC - 19th January, 1719
Item: I give & bequeath unto my loving Daughter Elizabeth Hardy both my Plantations lying on CASIAH River where Thomas Williamson now dwells and containing Six hundred & forty acres. Each as appears by the patents bearing date November the forth 1707,
(References: Colonial records Gallatin "keynugh" - refering to Cashie River; Chowan Co. Land Records, and the Blair Rudes Tuscarora- English Dictionary published 1999 by the University of Toronto.)
This does not necessarily mean that the Casiah *surname* was taken from the word for river, as there are a number of other Skarure words which sound similar. However it does seem a logical conclusion. The Tuscarora often adopted simple nicknames to use when dealing with the settlers. It may be that Casiah used as a nickname in one generation was adopted by the next generation as a surname.
We have documented seven Casiah siblings, born between 1730-1750, which points to a father named or nicknamed Casiah born abt 1700-1710. An additional four individuals have been uncovered who are either Casiah's children or grandchildren, but not enough information survives to determine which. One of these was a Tuscarora Chief who signed an Indian Woods Deed in NY in 1831. This document proves that the family was Tuscarora, ties them to Bertie County and shows that some members of the famiy migrated north.
Since he lived pre-history I had only my own family stories to go on. However, I found that when I compared our stories to those told by the Tuscarora in Bertie Co. (even though our Casiahs left Bertie in 1760) - the stories match. We preserved the tradition of the Casiah family being Deer Clan, as do the Bertie Co. Tuscarora. And now, to my amazement, when I translated the village name of Tandequemuc, which Tuscarora oral history says "Cashie" was Chief of at the time of its destruction... look what I found.English Spelling Tuscarora Spelling Translation Tandequemuc Ta'n-a'kweh-e? (Tan-ahk-weh-ee-ock) Village of the Deer Clan Tan = village akweh = deer e? = locator indicating "at"While searching Bertie Records I found the following record. There is an earlier reference but this one includes a description of where Cashoke was located. It is described as being in the same place as the old village of Tandequemuc is shown on maps.
Bertie County North Carolina Deed Book G page 299
John Sutton to James Lockhart of Scotch Hall May 17 1750. 15 pounds for 100 acres..." John Sutton of the province a'f'said son of Thomas Sutton, Senior.... whereas Mary Jones my aunt by her last will and testament .... bequeathed to me John Sutton....part of that plantation on which she had lived..." In CASHOKE. ADJ. HENDERSON's CORNER ON MORATUCK BAY at Spring Branch....Wit: George Lockhart, Nathaniel ?, Elizabeth Lockhart. August Court 1750.
Cashoke... In Skarure this form refered to the name of a village chief. "Ke" means "at", meaning the person is "at" this location, i.e. in this village, at this location. Hence Cashoke would almost certainly have had the meaning "Cashia's Village" or "Cashia is Chief here."
VillagesI note that there are questions about the meaning of some of the old Tuscarora village names. The names and terms which begin with "P", like poccosin, paricossy etc., are drawn from the Algonquin language. There is no "P" in Skarure, except for a very few borrowed words which came in after Europeans arrived.
Also, the word "Ahotskey" is often assumed to mean horse, but it does not. The Skarure word for horse is "ahawth". Ahotskey is a mispronounced version of the Skarure word "Rahsuta'?kye" - Rah-soot-Ock-yeh - which literally means, "Our Ancestors" (plural), implying that this is the place where our ancestors lived. This was "King" Blunt's town in the 1700's.
(This is a start on village names. I can't guarantee they are 100% correct, but they are probably pretty close. )
Name - Alternate spelling - Skaure spelling = English translation Ressootska - Rehorseky "Rahsuta'?kye" = Our Ancestors lived here Taughousie - "tuhke,'yhnu:?" = Little River Cauteghna - Cotechney "kahtehnu?a':ka:?" = Loblolly-pine-is-in-water Kintaigh - Kenta "kine,ha'?he,?" = Many Creeks **also means* - Village of the Beaver Clan Unaghnaranara - "una?kw`e:ya?" = Cattails *Unaghnaranara is another name for Tandequemuc or if it was a different village. I can't find a reference which tells when Tandequemuc was abandoned, so there is no way of telling. I don't have enough information. Tasqui - Tastiahk - "tiwahsa':kye:" = So many feet Ohaunooc - = Where boats go in the water Toherooka - "tuher'hkwah" = So grassy Fort Neoheroka - "-ne- heruke," = Broken Pasture Rarookshee - "wa?ruh'-cre,h" = Gathering place Caurookehoe - Cheroohoka "ciru?e,ha':kaka:?" = Nottaway's town Eukurknormet -Runiroy
= Village of the Clan Mothers Chounanitz - Junitz = Nottaway's town All the Upper Nine Tuscarora Towns in 1711 translated: 1) Ressootska - = Our Ancestors were here (Blount's Town) 2) Eukurknormet - = Village of the Clan Mothers 3) Taughousie - = Little River 4) Chounanitz - Junitz = Nottaway's town 5) Caurookehoe - Cheroohoka = Nottaway's town 6) Toherooka - = So grassy 7) Cauteghna - Cotechney = Loblolly-pine-is-in-water 8) Kintaigh - Kenta = Many Creeks, Village of the Beaver Clan 9) Unaghnaranara - = Village of Many Deer ===============Personal Names============= These are good examples of how Tuscaroran names were simplified by English speakers. In the first name, the second word is dropped, in the second and third names syllables are dropped. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ December 2, 1711 Chief Tom Blount and Representatives Chongkerarise, Rouiatthie and Rouiattatt went to Williamburg Virginia to meet with Governor Spotswood on behalf of the Upper Towns of the Tuscarora. Chongkerarise - Skarure spelling: ce?natkehahs weh`eye Pronunciation: chonk-gnawt-kehahs way eh-yay Translation: One raises the dead (What an extraordinary name! Wouldn't you love to know HIS story?) Rouiattatt: Skarure spelling: ru'?ta?rw Pronunciation: Roo-tau-at (as spelled, compared to Lawson) Proper pronunciation: Roo-ah-tau-ahrff (Rudes) Translation: Hickory Rouiatthie: Skarure spelling: ru'?ta?rwy Pronunciation: Roo-tau-ooe (Lawson) Proper pronunication: Roo-ah-tah-rrwesh (Rudes) Translation: Walnuts ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ November 25, 1712: Preliminary articles of Peace signed between NC, Chief Blount and four other Chiefs: Saroona: Skarure spelling: Saw`a:nu Translation: Shawnee Pronounced: Chaw-ahn-oo Cited as not being present to sign the Articles: Sarrontha Horunttocken: Skarure spelling: Sawanu?a':ka:? Translation: The Shawnee Chief Pronounced: Cha-wan-oah-gah-ahk Heuhanohnoh: Skarure spelling: Uh`e:wekah`e:wa?ne? Translation - He is in the front of the canoe Pronunciation: Oo-eh-wikah-eh-waw-oc-naw-oc Neowoonttotsery - Skarure spelling: neyu?uwantah(-)e?n`a:weh Translation: Chief of two braided together Pronunciation: Neh-yoon-wan-tah-oc-n-ah-weh Cheutharuthoa: Skarure spelling: Cihehreh kw`e:ru? Translation: Black Rabbit Cihehreh = Black kw`e:ru? = rabbit Pronunciation: Chah-reh-gwahss-oo-ahk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
(Deborah Cavel-Greant firstname.lastname@example.org)
The accent mark after a vowel means the voice lifts. The 'ock' to represents the glottal stop in the pronunication. Think of the sound between the syllables in uh-oh.
Here there are a number of choices, none of which fit Runaroy exactly, but you can take your choice... The Tuscarora trilled their r's at the end of words, as do the Italians.
runa'wher (pronounced roona'-ffarr) high-bush blueberry
rune,hn`u:re,'? (pronounced rooneh-hin-'oo-ri-ock) White Oak
runya'?rha?r (pronounced roon-yaw'-ock-rhaw-ockrr) golden robin
runehu'hu (pronounced rooneh-hoo'-hoo) turtledove
ra'?kwihs (pronounced raw-ock-kwess) means Turtle Clan
(Deborah Cavel-Greant email@example.com) The accent mark after a vowel means the voice lifts. The 'ock' to represents the glottal stop in the pronunication. Think of the sound between the syllables in uh-oh
Personal NamesPeople traditionally got their names in various ways, mostly governed by the Clan system, sometimes through extraordinary feats, through physical characteristics or dreams/visions, but it was the Clan Mother's privilege to bestow names. The Clans owned certain names. The rights to use a name were acknowledged and repected among the Tuscarora just as the Europeans used and respected property. Here's some vocabulary regarding names: WORD SKARURE SPELLING PHONETIC PRONUNCIATION Name uhs`e:neh ooh-seh-neh Clan ur?e'hseh oorth-ih-sheh My Clan akir?ehse':te ah-dir-ahk-eeh-see'-taw Your Clan sir?ehse':te seer-ahk-eeh-see'taw The Tuscarora have several Clans within the Tribe. A Clan is comprised of the maternal descendants of one woman and is named after a guardian animal spirit. The NC Tuscarora have the Bear, Beaver, Turtle, Wolf, Deer, Snipe, and Eel (Nottaway) Clans. A child belongs to their mother's Clan. Members of a Clan regard themselves as brothers and sisters, so members always marry outside of their own Clan. The Clan Mother is the eldest woman in the Clan, and she is the one who names Clan members. A newborn child is given one of the clan's names that is not currently in use (that is, a name belonging to someone who has died or a name that has been given up for a new name by someone still living). It is my understanding that the child was traditionally looked over for characteristics which would be a clue as to whose spirit it housed before it was named. The ancestors were given some time to look the new one over and decide who was going to take up residence. This is why a name was never in use by two people at one time. Clan Mother ukuwana'?tha? oodoo-wawnaw-ahk-tha-ahk Chiefship (the title) kuwane'hcreh gu-wawn-ah-chreh mother - ene en-ay my mother - akene ahk-aynah father - ria ree-ah my father - akrie ahk-ree-ah grandmother - gusud goo-sood grandfather - ryasud ree-ah-sood nephew - ka?nu?ne?a'h caw-ahk-nuk-ahk-neh-ahk-ah Certain names carried special responsibilities, such as those belonging to chiefs. When a chief died, the women of his clan decided on a successor, a member from their clan. Rank followed the female line; and the successor might be any descendant of the late chief's mother or grandmother - his brother, his cousin or his nephew - but never his son. If the successor was approved by the other chiefs, he was given the name of the deceased chief. Bear Clan Uhcihre? ooh-chi-reh-ahk Beaver Clan Kine?aka:? kinahk-awk-ahk Turtle Clan Ra'?kwihs Raw-kwiss Wolf Clan (-)kwar`i:ne Thu-kwar-ee-neh Deer Clan ahkwahte?a'h ahgwah-teh-ahk-awh Snipe Clan Tawi'stawis Dawis-dawis Eel Clan Akunehukwatiha:?' Ah-du-nehoo-kwadi-hah-ahk (Akunehukwatiha:?' refers to the way they prepared their corn. Just think, your children for *generations* named for your corn recipe! She must have been SOME GREAT COOK!) Hereditary names for Clan Chiefs: Bear Clan Chief's Names: Chief of the Bear Clan - Nekaye':te? - Neh-kawyee-teh The Bear Cub - Utekwahte?a'h - Ooteh-gwahteh-ahk-ah Beaver Clan's Chief's Names: He Anoints the Hide Nihnuhk`a:we? - Nee-nook-awee-ahk It Goes Along Teaching Karihe':tye? - Karrri-hay-dye-ahk Twenty Canoes Nekahewah(-)the: - Neh-kaw-hia-wath-tha Snipe Clan Chief's Name: One is Holding the Tree Karetawa'?ke Kaw-reh-daw-ah-ahk-keh Turtle Clan Chief's Names: He Holds the Multitudes Hutyuhkwawa'ske Hoot-yoo-gwah-wah-skeh His Voice is Small Nihaweha?ah Nee-haw-weh-ahk-ah Spear Carrier Sekwari?(-)re: Seh-gwahr-ih-ahk-thray Wolf Clan Chief's Names: It Is Bent Neyucha'?kte Neh-shu-cha-ah-kuhteh Chief of Wolf Clan Nayuhkawe'we'?ah Naw-yuh-gaw-weh-weh-ahk-ah
Indian Woods ReservationBounded by the Roanoke River and Roquist Creek, the reservation contained some of the more fertile land of the county, and it was not long before whites began to encroach upon this territory. As early as 1721 interlopers threatened to "create Feuds and disturbances" among the Indians.
Reservation life was not satisfactory. By 1731 the original 800 Indians under King Tom Blunt, the Tuscarora chieftain, had been reduced to 600.
By 1748 continuing friction prompted the assembly to pass legislation to define more exactly the boundaries of Indian land.See Reservation Map created in 1748 by the General Assembly of North Carolina.
In 1760 many of these decided to also move to New York, and for a 150 year lease on approximately 8,000 acres, Robert Jones, William Williams, and Thomas Pugh advanced the 155 Indians sufficient money to make the journey. Only 100 older Indians remained. A deed signed in 1766 listed the names of the Tuscarora Chiefs who took part in the property transfer. These included: Chiefs: William Chew, Nicholas Casie, George Warchief, Jonathan Printup, Matthew Jack, William Johnson and Isaac Miller.
A series of exploiting land deals using long-term leases (misrepresenting the amount of acreage) and compensating very poorly, (between 1775-1777) led to the House of Commons appointing a commission to superintend Indian Affairs.
Harry Thompson in his new book Bertie Folklore pg 75-85 gives history of the events in Indian Woods, and also includes a story of "The Indians Gallows Tree". He also refers to an epic written on this subject by William H. Rhodes in the mid 1800's. This famous landmark tree is mentioned in Rich Square newspaper June 3, 1897: "has at last yielded to old age and decay."
Under a Treaty directed by Thomas Jefferson in 1803, many of the remaining Tuscaroras left North Carolina, leaving the remaining reservation land, or the Indian Woods area, which is near Woodville.
In 1831 by a deed written in Niagara County, NY, seven Tuscarora chiefs sold to the people of North Carolina all their rights to the land in Bertie County.This deed covered about 2,000 acres.Sources: Alan Watson " Bertie County: A brief History"
The Encyclopedia Americana
The Southern Band of The TuscaroraVisit the webpage of the Southern Band Tuscarora Indian Tribe. Chief Samuel Smith, the last Chief of the Indian Woods Reservation, died there in 1803. The Tuscaroran Smith's were the Bear Clan, called the Medicine Clan. The Tuscarora had a matriarchial society, following their mothers Clans. The Clan mothers were and are still held in high regard among the Tuscarora.
The Southern Band Tuscarora are the descendants of those who did not migrate north. We have the Bear, Deer, Wolf, Big Turtle, Sand Turtle, Snipe Clans.
A history book of the Tuscarora Confederacy called:
Onkwehonweh-the first people-Tuscarorahas a wealth of historical information including maps, deeds, villages, names, languages, and where the Tuscarora are today has recently been written by Marilyn Livingston. (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) It is for sale for $35.00 plus $6.00tax shipping and handling. To order send check or money order to:
Southern Band Tuscarora Tribe
832 US 13N
Windsor NC 27983
Census ResearchThe following is from NORTH CAROLINA RESEARCH-GENEALOGY AND LOCAL HISTORY by Helen F. M. Leary (well known N.C. Scholar) page 10.
"During the early nineteenth century, Native Americans were described by federal census takers as free persons of color, mulattos, or whites simply because no correct racial category was included in the government's instructions. Consequently, genealogist searching for their minority or mixed-blood ancestors and local historians interested in ethnic representation within the community often must depend on present-day descendants' oral traditions, which are not primary sources but are nevertheless essential to these kinds of investigations".
As noted earlier by "The Miller Book" this also was the case in the eighteenth century.
1984 Webster's definition Mulatto: 1: the-first generation offspring of a Negro and a White 2: a person of mixed Caucasian and Negro ancestry.Shared by Neil Baker
Tracing your Native American GenealogyTracing your Native American Genealogy can be difficult because many families chose to blend into the population rather than be transported to the Six Nations. There were many instances of intermarriage and denial of Tuscarora blood.
Marilyn Mejorado-Livingston (firstname.lastname@example.org) is always happy to work with you on your genealogy questions. She has helped a number of individuals with their heritage lines.
Placing a QUERY is a good way to ask questions and share information.
Follow the link to SURNAMES and you'll find the QUERY PAGE.
Links to Help with Native American Research
- Federally recognized Tribes by State
- USGenWeb Native American Page Post queries on Native Americans of all tribes.
- Tuscarora and Six Nations of New York
HOMEPAGES OF BERTIE CO NATIVE AMERICANSEmory and Pam Thomas Family page of Thomas, Cale, Salmons, Price and Vanhoy [NEED URL]
Excellent page of information!
Two Water's NATIVE AMERICAN Home Page. NOT WORKING. NEED NEW URL.
Chief Cucklemaker - his story and descendants - Stanley Hoggard
Research from Bertie-L Mailing ListThere are varying opinions represented on our Bertie Mailing List, so these comments are meant to be suggestions for further research only! Investigate and make your own determination!
New tests are available for various kinds of DNA testing, including one that detects the presence of Native American ancestry. Unfortunately, that one only works on the maternal line (mother's mother's mother) whereas the oral traditions about Indian blood in my family come through my father's side. But it might be worthwhile for anyone whose mother's mother's mother is in a line alleged to have NA ancestry. Info is at http://familytreedna.com
Have seen statistics to the effect that on the whole, African-Americans are genetically 70% African, 30% other. Would like comparable statistics on the percentage of Native American and African ancestry in "white" (European) Americans. Also on how much of that non-African 30% in African-Americans is Native American versus European. I gather that in Bertie today, claims of Native ancestry are equally common among black and white families? Since there is so much oral history about Native ancestry in the county, it would be interesting to know what genetic evidence can be found to confirm it. Contributed by Paul Johnson.
You must remember that there are a lot of Johnsons, Johnstons in Bertie over the years. John Johnson (Johnston) settled in Bertie and established a large plantation called "Saponia" which was adjacent to the Indian Reservation. He was the brother of Samuel Johnston, Governor of the colony of Carolina, and Brother to Hannah Johnston - who married James Iredel who became the first chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court during the Revolutionary War. John became a noted Bertie County Clerk of Court. He was NOT Indian, nor did he in any way descend from Indians. My sister-in-law was a Johnson. Her Uncle was Rhodes "Mhoon" Johnson for whom I was his Estate executor. This entire group of Johnsons were Mhoons, and Rhodes Grandfather changed his name from Mhoon to Johnson in order to avoid the Confederate Draft. I have been to the cave or dugout where he and others hid out to avoid conscription. The Mhoons were a very old prominant family with thousands of acres of land in Bertie. One became the Treasurer of the State of NC and later sold his land to the Rascoe Family who still own the land today, and still have the original deed from that transaction. The Mhoons were NOT Indian either. Hawkins were of old English stock, and who came here with a land grant. I have owned the Hawkins tract, maintained the cemetary where they and Marcus Johnson are buried. Marcus joined the Union Forces, survived the war, and returned home with $500.00 in Union Gold money in his pocket, bought 700 acres of land, and raised a large family on them. Neither had any Indian blood that I know of, and I spent 20 years researching them both. Indian people who remained in Bertie after the end of the Tuscarora Wars started in 1711, had a tendency to take english names of people they new and liked. A case in point. King Tom Blount took the name of his good friend and neighbor Blount - and was baptized with that english name. One Indian took the name Johnson after John Johnson who lived at Saponia. Butler was an old English name and acquired by the Indians. Both Johnson and Butler signed a deed from the Tuscarora to Settlers. Thus it has arisen that all people with these names must be Indian. Not true, for they are all good English and Scottish names. In an attempt to adopt the English customs, religions, and ways, the Indians chose new names. Harry Thompson Wed Feb 28 06:37:38 2001 archive/latest/157
There was a WILLIAM TAYLOR who was on a list of "chieftains of the Tuscarora Indians" that sold 8000 acres for 1800 pounds to the Province of NC 12 July 1766, proved in Sep Ct. 1767. This is from Bradley's Deeds of Bertie County 1757-1772. I have also run across this William Taylor in other places in connection with Indian-related affairs. Researcher: Bill   BLinder777@aol.com
Kenneth Johnson email@example.com In the course of researching my ancestors, I found that family traditions about Native American ancestry were strong in several of my lines. All my father's people were from the area north of Windsor and east of present-day US 13; Johnsons, Dunlows, Whites, Hugheses, Millers, Perrys, Cobbs, Willifords, and Butlers to name the major 19th century families. Of these, I find that Dunlows have preserved, in several independent lines, traditions about Indian ancestry although they are vague about details. To a lesser extent, this is found among Johnsons. I've been told it's true of Butlers, and of course know it is true of Cales and Castellows. What I'd like to know is what other families from the Marvel Swamp/Pell Mell Pocosin area (around present day Askewville) have a traditional claim to Indian ancestry. So far it all seems to go back to the Butlers; that is the Dunlows intermarried extensively with them in the 19th c., and the Johnsons to a lesser extent, and belief in Native American ancestry seems to be stronger in these lines the closer you get to Butlers. (For example, Josiah Dunlow was called "half-Indian" in family traditions, and this was alleged to be through his mother, Susanah Butler.) Are there any other similar traditions in nearby families? Paul Johnson PS-- I went to the Haliwa-Saponi Pow Wow this weekend in Warren County, NC, and since this tribe absorbed some Tuscarora long ago, I talked to several Saponi about family names that might have come from that tribe. No one recognized any of the Bertie County names listed above, except Johnsons which they said they had some of in their community. Mostly Richardsons and Lynches as best I can tell.
Lea Dowd ....Native American Intermarriage and Land Ownership. ....It has only become "popular" in the last century for one to have any NA blood. However, by opening one's eyes and accepting whatever you find that is documentable; the "brick wall" can be broken through and lead to a fabulous history and story!
The first intermarriage that would disprove this theory would be the most publicized.... Pocahontas. This marriage was legal and accepted. John Rolfe's son even came back from England to claim his land, given him by his grandfather, Powhatan. Among that re-claiming of land, you will aslo see mention of his Aunt, who had also intermarried with an English colonist. All of this was documented and in legal records. As a daughter of a "King" she was regarded as Royalty and accepted by the Queen herself.
A search in any State Archive would turn up several intermarriages which lead to thousands of NA descendants. These intermarriages were even encouraged by the English which can also be found in legal records. For thousands of years, intermarriages with an enemy was commonly practiced in Europe. As you are dealing with Europeans, why would this mindset change? Additionally, as many of these Tribes were matrilineal, IF a NA woman married a white, he became a member of her Tribe and that entitled him to live and own NA land. This worked well to the colonist's advantage. The Colonists had outlawed whites living within a specific radius of NA land, so why do Colonial Records show whites owning land in these areas?
The "secret" here is that MOST of these intermarriages involved the NA being "Christianized". Upon being "Christianized", these people were given English names, and accepted. Once Anglicized, their NA ancestry was lost to most researchers. They became white. Only their Angliziced names remain, leaving us genealogists trying to find a connection to a surname, where none exist. Talk about beating your head against a brick wall......
Another example, Capt. John West can be found http://www.baylink.org/treaty/signes.html The original document stands for itself. Study the original records on this one and you will be amazed at who you find here and the "whole story".....
My personal favorite can be found in the Maryland files and the Court Records involving Margaret Brent in the early 1600's. Now SHE was the first Woman's Liber in this country. I am just saddened that I could not have descended from her, she died a spinster. She took on the government of MD and Lord Calvert and won.....
Maryland Liber ABH, Folio 63. Immigrated 1638. On two occasions in the capacity of Chief Judge, Giles Brent issued orders to the Sheriff to attach goods of Gov. Leonard Calvert to satisy certain civil suits, one of which was brought in behalf of an Indian girl, Mary Brent (Kitomaqund), the daughter of the Emperor of the Piscataway Indians. Following the example of her father, she had embraced Christianity at an early age, and her guardians were Leonard Calvert and Margaret Brent (Gile's sister).
Another example would be my favorite, the BASS family. Their ancestry has been proven without a doubt, all through legal records spanning hundreds of years. http://www.nansemond.nativeland.com/bass.htm
For those more interested in NC records, I suggest following the Chowan Land and the Tribal members signing off on it..... Then go to the VA records where they discuss the boundary lines between VA and NC. Look at the testimonies given and who gave them....
Among the Cherokees, we have Sequoya and McIntosh, both a result of white and NA liasons. Did you know that the Cherokee were also in early Virginia, as well as North Carolina?
The Colonial Records are a vast source of information, naming names and placing these very people. As being NA was not popular until recently, one does have to remember that much of our history was written by people who did not want to acknowledge this heritage, "We don't talk about that...". Not all of the Tribal members died, they were Anglicized and assimilated into the English culture. It was their only means of survival. Study the Census Records and State records regarding the Southampton Reservation of the Nottoway and Nansemond Tribes. It gives new meaning to being a chameleon. Granville Co., NC is another excellent example of this. The early census records did not list a column for being a NA, you were either black or white... however some of the census records were extended to list a column as a Free Person of Color. Again, I suggest reading the VA legal definition of the term mulatto, it also gives new meaning to doing genealogy, especially if looking for NA connections.
.... Not all liasons between a white and a NA resulted in marriages. The court records show this aspect as well. They were also bastards produced, but how many people doing genealogy want to trace themselves back to a bastard child of a white and a NA fling? I haven't read a family history book yet that talks about this one, why I don't know. Many of the people listed in Burke's Peerage were actually a result of a liason and not a marriage and that is acceptable....
Genealogy is a very personal thing. It is done for many reasons, too vast to even fathom. For those who are really interested in a possible NA connections, the records can be found, just not on the Internet. They are buried among miles and miles of dusty folders and papers and will require a deep desire to know and hours and hours, even years, to prove. It involves the tracking of NA lands over a period of years, learning where these tribes were and when and more importantly, learning their history. They were as motile as our own English ancestors. They had almost no rights, so they are far more difficult to find.... The ethnohistorians have done a magificent job in saving the NA history, but most of them were not genealogists... there is a difference. Helen Rountree has done a wonderful job at sharing some of these names in her book, "Powhatan's People". firstname.lastname@example.org Sept-1999
East Carolina project: To get meaning of all the names in the Tuscarora homeland, not just Bertie County. A graduate student is doing her master's thesis on an ethnography of the Tuscarora and she is working closely with informants who speak the language.
Free men on Census 1810.... that Indians were called freedmen, or free persons of color, and were not listed as black or white, nor taxed as either.    Marilyn Livingston
There were two Tuscarora Chiefs named Nicotaw-Warr, and Carrowhaughcohen and one Clanmother named Eruetsahekeh who leased to the Wyanokes, who had been run out of VA, hunting and fishing rights on their land on Tuscarora path called Auhotsky Swamp also referred to as Cochawaesco on nearby Cutawhiskie Swamp, between the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers, in 1645 for 30 strings of beads.
The Wyanoke spent 4 winters there without paying tribute, then the Wyanoke sold the land to Henry Plumpton, and Thomas Tuke. Then the Tuscarora attacked the Wyanoke running them off their lands. Unfortunenantly the settlers refused to give the Tuscarora their lands back. This led to a lot of hostilities between the Tuscarora and these settlers illegally residing on their lands.     Marilyn Livingston
Most of the Indian names on our rivers and swamps came from the Tuscarora.. ie. Roquist - Turtle in Tuscarora, Roquista - Little Turtle.
An East Carolina University professor is working on this subject. He has maps and names of all trhe Indian Villages. It is believed the Meherrin were not Tuscarora, but cousins, and the Halawi-Saponi were not Tuscarora either.
1740 several Indian families moved North of Penn. before going further North to NY What I have is a BIA listing with names of Indian families of different tribes here in NC. After the Nat Turner Rebellion after 1831, It says the Indians were threatened to be placed under bondage and immigrated to the Quaker settlements in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. On down it list some of the Indians in Ohio, in Highland Co., Ohio, in 1807-?Also in Greene Co.Ohio before 1832, today the area is called Cedarville township in Greene Co. Ohio. the "heart of a Quaker Community". Also some were in Indiana, Randolph Co. in the 1820's. There is a side note that Indian families resided in Lake, Logan, Summit, Highland, and Ross Counties, Ohio after the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Nat Turner Rebellion of 1831, and the NC Disenfrachisement Act of 1835... Some of the Indian families names that were "relocated" are:Dempsey, Hathcock, Turner, Brooks, Williams, George, Tudor, Hill, Buck, Clearwater, Cummins, Jones, Mitchell, Crew, Head, Griffin, Teedrough, Collins, Hunt, Cowger, Coker are listed in the heart of a Quaker Community. As well as James, Sarah, Macklin, Jeffrey's and Decator, Washington, listed in Greene Co. Ohio. Hathcock, Headcock, Barnes, Parker, McGinnis, Reed, Coe, Paine, Manly, Eaton, Rown, Hawkins, Helmer,Watson, Sweet, Jones, Hill, Martin, James, Nichols, Austen/Austin, Brown, Hawks, Jordan in Montgomery Counties, NY. There are also Johnsons, Norton, Whitmore, Mohack, Morgan, Chavers, Colley, Silverlock, Top, Long, Paine, Mullins, Thorne, Eaton, Bowin, Barnett, Parker, Duck, Austin, Simmons, Shumake, Melton, Brewington...These are a few names listed in the BIA records as having their land taken by land grants in VA, which made the land grab in NC easier... As of yet the BIA will not give any Natives our listings of our ancestors sold and or taken out of NC, or removed or sold into slavery in Barbados. I do have a partial listing of Native American family surnames, but they are from every Tribe in NC and quiet numerous.   Marilyn
There are statements and allusions in the Native American stories that list Chief "Cashie,"and that Cashie gave rise to Chief Cucklemaker. This is purely false, and is not even legend.
"Cashie" was a product of the fictional writer, William H. Rhodes of 1857. He never existed. Cucklemaker did exist, and married a French lady, taking her father's name "John Kale. They had as offspring Charney Dundalow alias John Cale as is proved in the pension and service lists in 1814.
William Rhodes' works are copyrighted, and recently republished. He used the names "Cashie" and "Roanoke" in honor of our land between the rivers upon which Bertie is now situated.
In book L-2 page 56 of Bertie County Deeds. James Allen,John Wiggins, BillyGeorge,Snifnose George, BileCainCharles Cornelius,Thomas Blount,John Rogers,George Blount,Wineoak Charles,Bille Basket, Bile Owens, Lewis Tuffdick, Isaac Miller, Harry Samuel,Bridgers Thomas, Seniear Thomas Howell, Bille Sockey, Bille Carelius, John Seniear, Thomas Baskett, John Cain, Billy Blount, Tom Jack, John Litewood, Billy Roberts, James Mitchell, Capt. Joe, William Pugh, as chieftans of the Tuskarora Indians, to Robert Jones Jr. attorney of NC province,& William Williams & Thomas Pugh gent. of same. 12 jul 1766. 1800 pounds proclamation. 8000 acreas on north side of Roanoke River, joining Deep Creek ( Called Falling Run). Wit. David Standley, Samuel Wynnes, James Bate. Sept Ct 1767
Cusick, David. Ancient History of the Six Nations. Niagara County Historical Society, 1961. Duvall, Jill D. The Tuscarora. Chicago: Children's Press, 1991. Graymont, Barbara, ed. Fighting Tuscarora. NY: Syracuse University Press, 1973. Grinde, Donald A. Jr. The Iroquois and the Founding of the American Nation. The Indian Historian Press, 1977. Hill, Tom and Hill, Richard W. Sr. ed. Native American Identity and Belief. Smithsonian Institute Press, 1994. McCall, Barbara. Native American People: The Iroquois. Rourke Publishing Inc. 1989 Schaaf, Greg. The Great Law of Peace and the Constitution of the United States of America. North Bend, WA 98045 Stannard, David E. American Holocaust. Oxford University Press, 1992. Swamp, Chief Jake. Giving Thanks. NY: Lee and Low Books Inc., 1995. Tehanetorens. Tales of the Iroquois, Volumes I and II. Akwasasne Notes Mohawk Nation, Rooseveltown, NY 1976 Tuscarora-English/English-Tuscarora Dictionary. University of Toronto Press, 1999. Weatherford, Jack. Native roots: How the Indians Enriched the Americas. Fawcett Publishing, 1992. Witt, Shirley Hill. The Tuscaroras. Crowell-Collier, 1972. Yolen, Jane. Encounter. NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1992. "1491 America Before Columbus." National Geographic, October, 1991.
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