Sometimes decisions about how to use one word Indian names is difficult. When the names are hyphenated, such as the Seneca name, Dah-gis-wus-heh, I don’t use the name. Chances of someone finding this name as an English name are pretty small.
However, names like Atteanis are somewhat different. It’s not an English or European looking name, but still, it’s one word and I’ve seen several instances where one person is listed by a word like this, and another from the same location is listed with it as a surname. A good example is a patriot in Maine who served by the name of Ambroice/Ambroise, and another was Frank Ambroise who served. With a one word name that is fairly easy to pronounce, it’s easy to anglicize it by giving the person a European first name.
It’s nice however, sometimes to find confirmation of the decision. One of the interesting aspects of this project is that as I build the file, which is well over 1000 pages now, I add to each surname. So in this case, I was able to see that I had an entry for a very similar surname, also in Maine, in WWI.
Here are the entries:
WWI Draft Registration Cards – 1917-1918 – registered as Indian
In Penobscot Co., Maine
- Leonard Weld Attean b 1899
- Joseph Stanley Attian b 1895 Maine
Atteanis, Penobscot Indian
Forgotten Patriots: African-American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War
Presuming this is the same family, I have to wonder if the men who registered for the draft in 1917 knew that they had an ancestor who volunteered and served in the Revolutionary War, some 135+ years earlier.