Memoirs of Henry Timberlake – Cherokee Emissary

Timberlake map from bookI love digitization projects.  They bring history, especially long out-of-print documents to all of us.  The Memoirs of Henry Timberlake is one of these documents and it’s downloadable through the Internet Archive.

Henry Timberlake (1730 – September 30, 1765) was a colonial Anglo-American officer, journalist, and cartographer. He was born in Virginia in 1730 and died in England. He is best known for his work as an emissary to the Overhill Cherokee during the 1760s.

Timberlake’s account of his journeys to the Cherokee, published as his memoirs in 1765, became a primary source for later studies of their eighteenth-century culture. His detailed descriptions of Cherokee villages, townhouses, weapons, and tools have helped historians and anthropologists identify Cherokee structures and cultural objects uncovered at modern archaeological excavation sites throughout the southern Appalachian region.

During the Tellico Archaeological Project, which included a series of salvage excavations conducted in the Little Tennessee River basin in the 1970s, archaeologists used Timberlake’s “Draught of the Cherokee Country” to help locate major Overhill village sites.

The University of Pittsburg digitized this book, described thus:

The memoirs of Lieut. Henry Timberlake : (who accompanied the three Cherokee Indians to England in the year 1762) ; containing whatever he observed remarkable, or worthy of public notice, during his travels to and from that nation ; wherein the country, government, genius, and customs of the inhabitants, are authentically described ; also the principal occurrences during their residence in London ; illustrated with an accurate map of their Over-hill settlement, and a curious secret journal, taken by the Indians out of the pocket of a Frenchman they had killed (1765).

They note that the map is missing, but it isn’t. It’s actually in the first images, and above.  The Frenchman’s Secret Journal is missing, however.  Interesting how the words “secret journal” make you want to see it in the worst of ways:)

So here you go….download and enjoy.

Hat tip to Min for finding this document.

Posted in Cherokee | Leave a comment

Mary Richardson, Born Free of Indian Parents

From Lisa Henderson’s blog, we find the following record about Mary Richardson.

Headquarters Bureau Refugee Freedmen and Abandoned Lands SC

Charleston SC Aug. 11th 1866

Major General O. O. Howard



I have the honor to present the case of Mary Richardson an aged half breed now living in Manningsville this state.

She states that when she was about thirteen years of age and living with her parents in a village in North Carolina the name of which she has forgotten she was sent to a slave for articles and while there a stranger named Jacob Whitehead immediately caught her and placing her on a saddle with him carried her away against her will, riding all day and night crossing into SC, sleeping in the woods days and riding nights, in this manner until they arrived at his home in Manningsville SC. That Jacob Whitehead kept her as a servant in his house until she arrived at the age of puberty when he kept her as his mistress with the knowledge of his wife. After living with him for about seven years, she had a son born of him and the wife took charge of the child.

About ten years after the child was born the father Whitehead tried to sell her at auction in Charleston City SC but was unable to do so, she being free born of Indian parents and Whitehead being unable to show title.

Eight or ten years after this went the wife of Whitehead died and she (Mary) and Mr. W. were quarreling continually, and by some arrangement she was transferred to a Mr. John Reams of Manningsville, with whom she lived as a slave until Gen. Sherman went through.

She orates that her son is still living a man grown on the Santee River this state, but she has not seen him for many years nor has she heard anything of her parents since she was kidnapped. All of her repeated effort to learn of them and to tell them of her fate being intercepted before she began to grow old, by the post masters and others who were relatives and friends of Mr. Whitehead. After Mr. Whitehead sold or transferred her to Reams he married a second wife: Mr. W. died during the war and his widow now lives on the estate at Manningsville as does Nath’ Whitehead the son of the first wife of Jacob Whitehead.

She now asks that some measures may be taken to secure to her from Jacob Whitehead’s estate means of support in her old age as also to the son she had by Whitehead his just position and standing among his people.

I am General, very respectfully, your Obd. Servant

Brevet Major General, Asst. Com. SC

Records of Assistant Commissioner of the State of South Carolina; Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands; National Archives Microfilm Publication M869.

<End of record>

Manningsville is located near Sumpter and Mechanicsville in Sumter County, SC.  It is a historical location and I found it mentioned in testimony about the Civil War.

The 1870 census does not show an elderly Mary Richardson or even a Mary Richardson who is a person of color.  She may have passed away by then, used a different name or moved.  The 1860 slave census in Sumpter County shows several Reems that do in fact own slaves.  John C. Reems owns a young slave family, it appears, with both the male and female age 28.  The oldest female owned by any Reems family member is a 40 year old mulatto owned by Elizabeth Reems.  This does not seem to correspond to the testimony given in 1866 by Mary Richardson.

From age 13, Mary moved forward a few years to bearing a son, then 10 years later Whitehead tried to sell Mary, then 8-10 years later, his wife died, then she was sold to Reams where she lived until the Civil War.  So she had to be over age 40 and from the description of “aged,” I would think more like over 60.

It’s unfortunate that Mary didn’t remember the name of the village where she lived in NC nor did she give her son’s name nor did she state how she came by the surname of Richardson.  I wonder if the Freedmen’s Bureau has any additional information or if Jacob Whitehead’s estate would hold clues or evidence of some type of settlement.  I also wonder if Jacob sold his (and Mary’s) son or how the son was classified.  Generally, the child takes the status of the mother, so he was likely enslaved as well.

Posted in Captive, North Carolina, South Carolina | 3 Comments

Mob Raitously Assembled in Bladen County, 1773

On December 18, 1773 the Governor sent a message to the Assembly enclosing a letter from Archibald McKissack, a justice of Bladen County, “relative to a number of free negroes and mulattoes who infest that county and annoy its inhabitants.”


McKissack’s list  was enclosed.

mob list

It is titled “A list of the mob raitously assembled together in Bladen County October 13th 1773.”  Listed in order are those rogues, raitously assembled:

  • Captain James Ivey
  • Joseph Ivey
  • Ephraim Sweat
  • William Chavours Clark commonly called Boson Chevers
  • Richd. Groom
  • Bengman [Benjamin?] Deel also possibly Dees
  • Willm. Sweat
  • George Sweat
  • Benjamin Sweat
  • Willm Groom Senr
  • Willm, Groom Junr.
  • Gideon Grant
  • Thos. Groom
  • James Pace
  • Isaac Vaun
  • [torn] Stapleton
  • Edward Lockelear
  • Ticely Lockalear

Also listed are “Harbourers of the rogues as follows:”

  • Major Lockalear
  • Richer Groom
  • Ester Cairsey

At the bottom: “The above list of rogues is all free negroes and mullatus living upon the King’s land.”

General Assembly Sessions Records, December 1773

Students of North Carolina Native history will recognize a number of surnames associated with the current Lumbee and Carolina Tuscarora tribes.

Posted in Lumbee, North Carolina, Tuscarora | 8 Comments

John Barnwell 1712 Letter Regarding Tuscarora War

fort barnwellAs historians of early North Carolina know, John Barnwell, from South Carolina, along with the Indians loyal to South Carolina, laid waste to the Tuscarora in North Carolina during the Tuscarora War which began in 1711, continued through 1712 and 1713 with the destruction of Fort Neoheroka by Col. Moore, and culminated in 1715 with a treaty.  The Tuscarora not killed were taken hostage and sold in South Carolina and the West Indies as slaves.  Few from the southern Tuscarora towns escaped, but the northern towns, friendly and loyal to the English, for the most part were spared and were eventually lodged on the Tuscarora Indian reservation, Indian Woods, in Bertie County.  This letter from John Barnwell describes plans for his second foray into North Carolina.  Col. Moore’s devastating attack in 1713 would be the third mission to destroy the Tuscarora.

In January of 1712, Barnwell led a militia of thirty soldiers and 500  Indian allies to attack the Tuscarora fort, Narhantes (also known as Torhunta), on the Neuse River.  According to Barnwell, Fort Narhantes was the Tuscarora’s largest and most warlike village.  Despite several casualties, Barnwell took the fort on January 29, 1712.

After the victory at Narhantes, Barnwell then advanced to the Tuscarora’s fort in the village of Catechna.  The Tuscarora successfully held off two attacks and, in order to save the white prisoners inside, Barnwell entered into a truce in exchange for their freedom.  As part of the truce, twelve prisoners were released immediately and twenty-two were to be delivered twelve days later at Bachelors Creek near New Bern.  When the appointed day came, the Tuscarora did not bring the prisoners.  In preparing to strike again, Barnwell built Fort Barnwell on the site of the abandoned Indian village of Core Town (probably the home of Tuscarora Chief Core Tom) near the mouth of Contentnea Creek on the Neuse River, shown on the map below.

fort barnwell map

From that base Barnwell planned to march once again on Hancock’s Fort.  On April 7, 1712, Barnwell led a ten-day siege against the fort.  On April 17, with his men starving, Barnwell accepted the Tuscarora’s conditional surrender by which they gave up all of their prisoners, agreed not to hunt or fish in the region between the Neuse and the Cape Fear, and surrendered their chief, King Hancock.  Many were critical of Barnwell for accepting the surrender rather than fighting on to total victory.  Barnwell broke the treaty when his men lured some Indians into Fort Barnwell under the pretense of peace only to capture them and carry them to South Carolina to be sold into slavery.

These Minutes of the South Carolina Commons House of Assembly [Extracts], include related instructions to John Foster and letter from John Barnwell to Edward Hyde

South Carolina. General Assembly; Hyde, Edward, 1667-1712; Barnwell, John, ca. 1671-1724

June 1712

Volume 01, Pages 897-905

[Extracts From Journal of South Carolina House of Assembly, 1712.]

[No. 4—Page 4—Page 363 in original.]

Upon reading the 4th paragraph in Govrs speech

Resolved ;

That the Governor & council be addressed to use what means they shall think most speedy & convenient to obtain intelligence from North Carolina of the state of our friends, enemies & our own army lately sent there, & that this House will readily concur in the charges incident to that design.

[Page 7—Page 368 original.]

Ordered That Thomas Nairne & Henry Noble Esqrs carry the following message to the Governor & Council ; vizt.

May it please your Honrs

The House of Commons taking notice of that part of yr Honrs speech recommending to us the consideration of some means, to be used to gain intelligence from North Carolina of the state of our friends, enemies & our army lately sent there; do not think we can more effectually answer that intimation, than by requesting yr Honrs to take such measure therein as you shall think most proper & expeditious, assuring yr Honrs that this House will readily concur with an order to defray the charges incident thereto out of the Public Treasury.

Wm RHETT Speaker.

[Page 8—Page 369 original.]

The House mett according to adjournment.

As Messages from the Gov. & council by Thomas Hepworth Esq. with a written message viz:


We are glad you concur with our opinion in sending to get the quickest intelligence from North Carolina, the endeavors, that have been used hitherto proving fruitless, we intend forthwith to send a vessel to Virginia believing the most effectual way to assure our end.

——————– page 898 ——————–

We have further under our consideration that it is necessary to send up to our Creek Indians, & use the best methods to keep them at home to prepare them to be in readiness to go to War against our Norther enemies, in case it shall be found requisite, when we have advice of the circumstances of our affairs in those parts.

We do further believe it advisable to send to our Northern Indians the Elaws & Wacksaws &c to assure them of our protection, & that we will take the best methods we can to keep them from the insults of their enemies, and encourage to plant good quantities of corn to supply our forces in case we shall have occasion to send any that way.


[Page 93—Page 77 in original.]

Ordered: That Mr Henry Wigington & Mr Ralph Izard wait upon the Govr & Council & acquaint them that if they have received any Letters or Memorials from the Government of North Carolina, they would please send them for the perusal and information of this House. Henry Wigington Esq & Mr Ralph Izard being returned informed the House that they had acquainted the Governor & Council with the Message of this House, who answered that this House should hear from them immediately.

[Page 78 in the original.]

A message from the Governor & Council by Thos. Hepworth Esqr who brought the following message in writing.


The private instructions of Mr. Foster received & signed by Governor Hyde, we send you with this upon which he grounded that address he delivered to you this day, indeed his credentials are short and not regular, but we attribute that to the circumstances they are under, some charges he was to answer if any complaint was made by Col. Barnwell either on the Govr or Government, but no such thing appearing before us in publick manner, we look only upon the means how to succor them & therein must desire yr assistance, that nothing may be wanting on our parts to save them & secure the province to the Lords Proprs



After having Canoe hands, provisions & other necessaries you are with the first conveniency & all the expedition you can make the best of yr way to Charles Town in South Carolina. When you are arrived deliver

——————– page 899 ——————–

yr Letters as they are directed & with all the expedition you can take the advice of some person you think most capable to advise you on the best & quickest methods in managing the concerns you go about which are: First; To obviate what misrepresentations & false aspersions may have been cast upon the Governor & Government (if any such be) by Col. Barnwell or any others. Then you are to use yr utmost endeavor to procure if possible 1000 Indians for our assistance with a few white men under a good Commander of known courage & conduct, that will not be biased by fear, friendship, or interest to represent to them that Col. Barnwell being much disliked here will not do well for that place.

Lastly; You (are) must endeavor to procure us 10 or 12 Barrels of powder, with shot answerable, & 2 or 3 thousand good gun flints.

For the first you must endeavor to find out what false representations or reflections hath been cast upon the Governor or Government, by Col Barnwell or any other & seeing the only thing he seemed to complain of here & to lay as the cause of his bad success, especially in not taking —— Fort was his want of provisions, If so, you must lay before the Governor & Council, That by reason of our disturbance last summer with Col. Cary & by reason of the great drought we had there were very small crops of corn made here, & likewise the Assembly a short time before Col. Barnwell’s arrival, refusing to agree to the raising of men & provisions for the defence of the Country & then having no notice of Col. Barnwell’s coming until his arrival, was the reason we were not so well provided at his arrival as we would otherwise have been.

And then we must lay before them that before the men appointed by the Assembly, that was after Col. Barnwell came in [Page 79—in original Page 95] could secure the corn to be spared in each of their Districts all of the people that had any corn to spare had laid it out with the vessels, & it was conveyed out of the country. But you may assure them that the Govr used his utmost endeavor both himself & by his friends to supply them. You may likewise lay before them that the fewness of the vessels here, & the difficulty and tediousness of the passage from this Country to Pamplico & Neuse, with the greatness of the number of the people there to be maintained was a great hindrance. That Col. B’s army (may be) was not as fully provided for as we desired.

You may likewise lay before them that they were never in such great want of provisions as to hinder them from any action as particularly at Hancock’s where you having been present can particularly inform them that the whole forces stayed there 3 or 4 days after the fort could have been taken.

——————– page 900 ——————–

Then as for procuring assistance from these you must lay before them we are in great need of assistance as ever, Our greatest & most numerous Enemies the Tusquerora Indians being little or nothing, either weakened or discouraged having lost but about thirty men by the best information we can hear, since Col. B’s arrival here & then Col. B & all his forces having been against Hancock fort twice & not taken it hath much encouraged them.

Then as for the pretended peace that Col B said he had made with them, that there is nothing in it, Barnwell himself saying it was a sham business to put them off until he was better prepared for them, neither hath he ever yet given accounts to us what it was, & then if there was a peace Col. B himself hath broken it by killing & taking several of the Indians since, who being along with Tusqueroras in Hancock Fort, were equally concerned in the peace with them.

You may likewise lay before them the late massacre of the people at Neuse & the shooting of some negros at Movetticos so there is great necessity of present help, which we the more earnestly desire of them, not only as being under the same Queen, the same Lords Proprs in the same Province but because we hope they will finish a good an honorable work as they have begun.

And likewise represent to them that help from Virginia or from the Cyneper Indians by means of the Govr of New York [Page 96—Page 81 original] would not do so well, neither for us, nor them, it being a fair way for the Lords Proprs to lose their Province to the Queen by reason of not being able to defend it. And that if the five nations of Indians should come in and destroy the Tuscaroras they would not only have all the advantage of the slaves but by pretending a privilege in the Tusquerora country that they had conquered, they would become bad neighbors to their Indians, either to destroy them, join with them against the Government.

Then you must lay before them the great advantage may be made of slaves, there being many hundreds of (them) women & children may we believe 3 or 4 thousand.

Next you may represent to them, that for their Indians subsisting when they come in, the Tusqueroras for their own relief, as we are informed have planted great quantities of——which is generally ripe next month, as also generally here their is appearance of good crops of wheat which is safe got in (no grain being to be transported) will be sufficient to maintain them.

——————– page 901 ——————–

Then lastly as for the ammunition, you must lay before them the general want of it, & that the effects of this country not being very vendible in Virginia will not purchase it. But knowing that they are generally in want of corn, if they send in ten or 12 barrels of powder, with shot answerable, and 2 or 3000 flints that the Government will take care here if they will send in Vessels & take their price for it next Spring, or they shall have it here in Indian corn, at country prices which is twenty pence a bushel, otherwise the Govern will send next Spring effects to raise the money as to pay for it.


[Page 82 in original.]

Ordered; That the said message be read, which was read accordingly, as also the said instructions.

Ordered; That Mr Sam1 Wragg & Henry Wigington Esqr carry the following message to the Govr & council.

May it please yr Honrs The House of Commons is ready to concur with you in prosecuting the most speedy means for the relief of the Government & people of North Carolina, & in order thereto, this House prays a grand conference of both Houses this evening at such place as yr Honrs shall direct.

[Page 99—Page 85 original.]

Friday August 8th 1712.

The House met according to adjournment.

Read: The petition of Col. John Barnwell.

Ordered: That it lie upon the Table.

[Page 101—87 in original.]

The House resuming the Debate on the affairs of North Carolina, & the assistance of that Government again implore from hence.

Resolved: That this House will again assist their Brethren of North Carolina, & prosecute the war against the Tusqueroras by applying the money yet unexpended of the sum of £4,000 raised for the relief of that Government.

[Page 226—206 original.]

Thursday Dec 17th 1713.

Upon motion

Ordered: That a Bill be drawn and prepared for settling a communication between this Province & North Carolina & that committee be appointed for that purpose, & that Col. Robert Daniel, Col. John Fenwick, Maj. George Evans, Mr Arthur Langhorne, and Mr Benj. De La Consseilliere, or any three of them be the said committee, and they to bring in the same next session.

——————– page 902 ——————–

House of Assembly, No 4, 1712.

[Page 102.]

The House taking under consideration the great service performed by Col. John Barnwell in the late expedition against the Tusqueroras for the relief of the Government of North Carolina.

[Page 89 in the Original.]

Resolved; That the thanks of this House be given to the said Col. John Barnwell for his said services.

Ordered; That Col. John Fenwick Capt. Peter Hann & Mr Benjamin Godin wait upon Col John Barnwell & return him the thanks of this House for his great services performed in heading our forces in the late expedition against the Tusqueroras for the relief of the Government of North Carolina.

The House adjourned to the Morrow morning 8, o the clock

Saturday August the 9th 1712.

The House met according to adjournment.

[Page 140—Page 129 in Original.]

The House taking under consideration the great service performed by Col. John Barnwell, a member of this House, in the late expedition to North Carolina against the Tusquerora Indians in actual rebellion against that Government.


That the sum of Sixty pounds be presented to the said Col. John Barnwell, by the Publick Receiver, out of the Publick Treasury as a Publick mark & testimony of the acknowledgement of this House for his extraordinary services performed in the late expedition against the Tusqueroras.


That an order be drawn to that purpose, & signed by Mr Speaker and sent to the Govr & Council for their Concurrence.

[Page 158—Page 147 in the original.]

A message from the Governor & Council by Thomas Hepworth Esqr with a written message relating to Col. John Barnwell with several papers &c.


——————– page 903 ——————–

That the said message & papers lye upon the Table for the perusal of the members of this House.


I will be always with the greatest regret when I am obliged to lay anything before the House that may touch any members of that Body, where I have received so many favours, & for whom I conceive so just a respect. The Honor of your House being concerned as well as my own makes me send you the enclosed papers, that you may better know how much Col. Barnwell hath done in the service of his country & what reward he meets. I always thought both Houses readily concurred in sending another army to North Carolina, but I find by Col. Barnwells Letter to Col. Hyde, that it was wholly owing to the great interest he had in the assembly, otherwise our Brethren had been wholly neglected by us; they had suffered more had he been absent from Parliament, than South Carolina did by his being sent thither.

[Page 159.]

But, whatsoever, affront he put upon Mr Hyde when in his Government he intended to have made satisfaction by preferring to this. I must own his country would have been obliged to if he had succeeded in his design, but I have not faith enough to affirm his Interest would have prevailed.

When I reflect after what manner he hath treated you Gent. I can hardly stop my resentments, but by remembering he is one of yr body for whom I have so great a veneration.


Ordered: That the papers sent by the Governor to this House together with the said messages, be read, and accordingby the following papers were read, viz.:


South Carolina, Augst 18, 1712.

Right Hon1 It is seven weeks since my misfortune, & I fear it will be as much more before I recover my limbs, which the chirurgeon gives me hope of recovering In the meantime I suffer inexpressible torments, that I write this in great haste. I hope you will find (me) that I have been a faithful friend to you in all respects which I would be more able to be, had I been well and done myself the Honr of waiting on you. I am not able to enter into particulars, because of my pains, only I assure

——————– page 904 ——————–

you that notwithstanding all the good diligence of our two good friends the Governor and Mr Hart, our Assembly would let the war fall, except only by the Indians. Had I not taken the part of poor North Carolina & represented yr case & by my influence which is considerable, caused them to exert once more, which if it does not succeed, I did engage, if I recover to go myself, at my own charges. I am sorry I cannot enter into particulars. Mr Mitchell’s deposition is truth, only I am sorry he is so reserved as not to tell all, I affirm upon interrogatory examination, you would be surprised to find the time & alteration that would be given to the whole proceedings, he was my bosom friend, and knows the very bottom of my designs. I did nothing without his advice & consent, and even when I hesitated about anything, he would tell me, lay him in the Gapp—I took him to be a gentleman of Honr & probity and do still believe upon occasion he would do me justice.

As to the other Deposition, I am loth to say the Gent swore [Page 160—Page 150 in original] falsely it may be it was to the best of their knowledge. Prejudice caused them to see them in another (light) dress than they were designed, but as they swore several matters of fact most falsely, so I can procure twenty evidences to the contrary. I am not ignorant what was the design of these depositions, & I call God to witness my sincerity in serving you, & North Carolina that I did not deserve such unkind usage from thence. It is my comfort that my country has resented my service after another manner, & tho’ yr Honr had the benefit of them yet in a most solemn & hon1 manner, they returned me their thanks &c, & I hope by this time you will likewise have another opinion of me, and as I have done on yr acct. here all the friendly offices I could, you would be pleased to intercede in my behalf, with yr Assembly to do me Justice. If this misfortune had not befallen me, I should never trouble them, but this having disappointed all my projects, I am forced to become supplicant to you, & if I live to go to Great Britain I do not doubt so to represent you, that if the Lords proprietors do not find a more advantageous way of rewarding industry of serving their interests, that at least South Carolina may be offered you, besides my blood lost in South Carolina, & the misery I do still undergo for their sakes. I lost five horses that cost me £84. I disbursed about £50 at several publick works of which I have a voucher of £39. for Corefort, the rest being small sums, I disbursed for rum & other necessaries for the sick & wounded men to Capt. Drinkwater & others about £16; for this I have the voucher, & by an act of Assembly, I was to have 20s a day. I crossed Neuse River 28th day of January, and was wounded the 5th day of July, 3 days before I got into South Carolina Government.

——————– page 905 ——————–

I could have most of these demands paid me by the Treasury here, only I was willing the money should be employed in a second expedition, on condition the Government would address you to get me paid in North Carolina. I will not apologize for giving you this trouble because I hope to give you sufficient proofs of my real friendship, so that you may have no reason to repent of doing me a kindness; wishing you succession of health & prosperity I conclude

Your Honrs most affectionate
friend and faithful servant


Hat tip to Mavis for this document.

Posted in Tuscarora | 1 Comment

The Tuscarora Surnames 1695 to 1892

While in the process of setting up the Tuscarora DNA project, I needed to find the names of the Tuscarora Indians who are documented in North Carolina before their removal to New York and in New York.

The first part was relatively easy, because I’ve already done that research and documented it in a series of articles titled Tuscarora People Identified in Land and Other Transactions.  The first posting is linked, above, and from there you can get to the rest.  There are a total of 15 segments of this series.

From those early documents, I found a total of 407 people in transactions.  Many were obviously the same people signing different deeds, for example, but there were were many different surnames.  These documents spanned the earliest mentions of  Tuscarora by English names beginning in 1695 and ending after 1831.  The transacations after 1802 involved people, chiefs mostly, from the NY Tuscarora reservation dealing with the land in North Carolina.

Surnames from the NC group, excluding the NY chiefs, include Allen, Basket(t), Blount/Blunt, Bridgers, Cain, Charles, Cope, Cornelius, Dennis, George, Gibson/Gipson,  Hancock, Harry, Hicks/Hix, Howett/Hewett, Jack, James (may be first name only), Joe as in Capt. Joe, Lawson (possibly), Lightwood/Litewood, Littlejohn (possibly), Lloyd, Miller, Mitchell, Netop, Oin/Owen/Owin/Owens/Owins, Pagett (possibly), Pugh, Randell/Randall, Rash, Rice or Hill, Robarts/Robards/Roberts, Rogers/Rodgers/Roggers, Seneca/Senicar, Smith,  Sockey, Squarehooks (possibly), Stone, Strawberry, Taylor, Thomas/Tommas/Tomas, Tuf(f)dick, Tyler (possibly), Walker, Wheeler/Whealter/Wheatter, Whitmeal/Whitmell, Wiggians/Wiggins/Wigans, Wineoak, Yollone

The surnames of the Tuscarora people who returned to NC from NY to deal with land sales and negotiations include:  Abraham (may be first name only), Big Fish, Billy, Casie, Chew, Cusick, Jack, Jacob, Johnson, Jones, Green, King (as in Young King), Lewis (may be first name only), Longboard, Lovedenny, Mt Pleasant, Printup/Prantup, Sacarusa, Sachem (may be a description, not a surname), Smith, Thomas (may be first name only), Warchief, William (may be first name only).

Tuscarora surnames recorded from NY in the War of 1812 include:  Allen, Beach, Blacknose, Cusick, Fox, Green, Henry, (possibly), Miller, Mount Pleasant, Patterson, Pemberton, Peter (possibly), Printup, Sky, Smith (possibly), Thompson, Williams.

The next record I was able to find was the Indian Census of New York from 1888-1891 in which I found the following Tuscarora surnames.

Alvis, Anderson, Beubleton or Bembleton, Bissell, Brayley, Bissell, Beaver, Cusick, Chew, Douglas, DeFeurest, Fish, Garlow, Green, Gansworth, Hewitt, Hill, Henry, Isaac, Jonson, Jack, Jones, Jacob, Johnathan, Jenison or Jemison, Lonto, Mt. Pleasant, Martin, Miller, Nash, Patterson, Printup, Peter, Racket(t), Sylvester, Smith, Seneca, Tompson, Williams, White.  In 1889, there were total of 404 Tuscarora and in 1890, 392.

Now for the interesting part.

Of the Tuscarora in NY who had claims from the War of 1812, three surnames were in common with the NC Tuscarora, Allen, Miller and possibly Smith.  Smith was listed as an executor, so may have been a surname from before leaving North Carolina. Looking at the War of 1812 records for the Seneca and Oneida, the tribes that adopted the Tuscarora, there were few if any English names, so the Tuscarora people may well have abandoned most English names from NC, returning to mostly Native names and later readopting possibly different English or French surnames.

Of the people in the 1888-1889 census, very few surnames were found when the Tuscarora resided in North Carolina, but those few include Hewett, Jack, Miller, Smith and Seneca.

You may notice that two of these names, Miller and Smith, are names that were also in common between the NC group and the War of 1812 records.  Granted, Miller and Smith are both very common names, but there is what appears to be continuity.

It looks like there is a good possibility that five Tuscarora surnames survived the migration from NC to NY and are likely found in descendants today.  It is also very likely that the DNA of proven Tuscarora paternal lines will match that of descendants, possibly carrying different surnames, in the Carolinas where we know that some of the Tuscarora remained or married and assimilated.

In fact the records tell us clearly that William Cain, a Tuscarora youth remained and we know he reached the age of majority, declined to move to NY and was last seen heading for Raleigh.  A woman named Esther Gibson remained and at least one other female child.  Others likely remained as well, but aren’t named in financial records or had married and assimilated or moved elsewhere in earlier generations, between the Tuscarora War in 1711 and the official final removal to NY in 1802.

Posted in Tuscarora | 9 Comments

Part 8 of the Series, The Autosomal Me, Published

step 8 - 4A

For those of you who have been following along as I extract my Native American segments from my DNA in order to find out which of my genetic and genealogical lines carried Native ancestory – Part 8 in the series was published today.

Part 8 builds on Parts 1-7 of course.

In this segment, Part 8, I extracted all of the Native and Blended Asian segments on all 22 chromosomes, but I only used chromosomes 1 and 2 for illustration purposes and even that made for quite a long article.  Then I clustered the resulting data to look for trends.  This article tells you, step-by-step, how to do the same thing so you can determine which of your family lines carry minority admixture, and which of your genealogical lines it comes from.

In Part 9, to be published in the future, we’ll be using this clustered data to compare our autosomal genetic matches from either 23andMe or Family Tree DNA’s  Family Finder test to determine which lines include a Native ancestor.

So come on over to the blog and see what all of the excitement is about.  You can see all of “The Autosomal Me” articles in the series but be aware that using this link, the most current article is shown at the top, the oldest at the bottom, so you’ll want to read the series from the bottom up.

Posted in DNA | 2 Comments

Wanted – Henry Berry Lowery – $300 Reward

henry berry loweryHenry Berry Lowery is a well-known villain or hero, depending on your perspective.  He is clearly a legendary ancestor of the tribe now called the Lumbee.  Lots has been written about Henry.  One point of contention is whether or not he survived the Civil War era.  Stories exist that he did in fact survive, even returning home to Robeson County, NC some years later for a funeral.  More than one family claims descent from him after he disappeared, or died.  And DNA testing proves that in at least one case, the family in question definitely descends from that Lowery family.

Unfortunately, we don’t know for sure, and may never know, if Henry Berry Lowery survived or not.

There are several sources that claim Henry Berry Lowery descended from the Tuscarora Indians.

During the Civil War, the situation in Robeson County was volatile and as things escalated, Henry Berry Lowery’s gang embarked on a series of raids and retribution against the white establishment.  Right or wrong, Lowery’s gang killed a white neighbor, James Barnes, as well as a white sheriff.  One way or another, at that point, his fate was sealed.  His father and brother were subsequently killed, and a bounty placed upon Henry’s head.  Most of his gang was killed or captured.

After the 1865 killing of William and Allen Lowry (Henry’s brother and father), two local white ministers wrote a letter to the Freedmens Bureau describing the Lowry family’s racial status (c. 1867).  The ministers wrote, “We would premise, in the first place, that the Lowrys are free from the taint of negro blood. They are said to be descendants from the Tuscarora Indians.  They have always claimed to be Indian & disdained the idea that they are in any way connected with the African race.” (Gerald Sider, Living Indian Histories of Lumbee and Tuscarora People, 2003, pg 170)

This 1867 document is important because it precedes by more than 15 years the later attempts in the mid-1880s to obtain schools for the Native people of Robeson County.  During this time, Hamilton McMillan claimed that the (now) Lumbee were Native, not of African descent, and used their claimed descent from both the Lost Colony and the Native people as justification for them not having to attend schools for black children.  Because they were considered to be “of color,” they were not allowed to attend white schools and McMillan lobbied, successfully, for them to have separate schools.  While this indeed was a noble goal, it also taints his documents of that time period with that agenda.  This 1867 letter is the earliest contemporaneous documentation I’ve seen of Native ancestry.

An 1875 statement signed by nine witnesses said that Lowery’s grandfather was of Tuscarora descent, as were several of the women in the area.  (Mary Normant, The Lowry History, 1875)  Another account said of Pop Oxendine (a member of the gang) that “like the rest……he had the Tuscarora Indian blood in him”.  (George Townsend, The Swamp Outlaws, 1872)

In February 1872, Henry Berry Lowery robbed the sheriff’s safe of $28,000 and then disappeared.  Some say he accidentally shot himself, which is certainly possible, but unlikely for a man with his level of experience with a gun.  Many believe his wife Rhoda visited him out-of-state for years.  Others believe he started a new family.

Henry lived for years with a bounty on his head, a virtual Robin Hood to the mixed race families of Robeson County.  Recently Lisa Henderson discovered this announcement of a $300 dollar reward for Henry offered in 1866.  I wonder how much the reward increased after he stole the $28,000 from the sheriff’s safe.

The photo of Henry is not a part of the reward article, although today, it surely would be and would be mounted as a “wanted” poster.

State of North Carolina.

$300 REWARD.


By his Excellency JONATHAN WORTH, Governor of North Carolina:

Whereas, it has been represented to me that HENRY BERRY LOWRY, a free negro, late of the county of Robeson, in said State, stands charged with the murder of James P. Barnes, of said county, and other crimes, and that the said Lowry is a fugitive from justice:

Now, THEREFORE, in order that the said Henry Berry Lowry may be arrested and brought to trial for said alleged crimes, I, JONATHAN WORTH, Governor of said State, do issue this, my proclamation, offering the reward of


For his arrest and delivery to the Sheriff of the said county of Robeson.

In witness whereof, His Excellency, JONATHAN WORTH, Governor of said State, has hereunto set his hand and caused the Great Seal of the State to be affixed.

Done at the city of Raleigh, this the 11th day of December, A.D., 1866.

By the Governor:   JONATHAN WORTH.

Wm. H. Bagley, Private Secretary.

Description. – Henry Berry Lowry is five feet eight or nine inches high, heavy built, copper color, long, coarse, bushy hair, Indian like, black eyes, high nose, with a bold look; has a scar under one of his eyes.

Dec. 13.

The Daily Journal, Wilmington, 28 December 1866.

Posted in Lumbee | 4 Comments