Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Tribe

Sometimes this project takes you down paths on journeys you didn’t anticipate.

Today’s journey was to the Paugussett Tribe in Stratford., Ct.  While searching for works by Wesley (White) Taukchiray Jr. in 1975 and 1988, which I never found, I instead found a document entitled The Final Determination for the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe.

http://www.bia.gov/idc/groups/xofa/documents/text/idc-001604.pdf

In essence, in the 1990s tribal members applied for federal recognition.  For a variety of reasons, it was denied, but the history and genealogy, as best can be documented, is included in the findings. 

In 1762 the general assembly set aside 80 acres as a reservation for the benefit of the Indians at Stratford.  By 1763, non-Indian settlers were occupying all but 8 acres of the 80.   Sarah Shoran and Eunice Shoran, the “surviving heirs of the Pequanok/Paugussett Indians” petitioned to have the land reclaimed.  At this time, Eunice who had married Thomas Sherman and their children were the only Indians remaining and they were given a place to live at Golden Hill.

Sarah Shoran married Elijah Wampey, a Brotherton Indian, and moved to Oneida, NY.  She was no longer found in the Connecticut records.

Eunice died before 1797 and Tom Sherman, her husband, died in either 1800 or 1801.  It is unknown if he was all or part Native, and if so, what tribe.  After his death, the “remainder of the tribe” which consisted of their 4 children and a man named John Chops petitioned for the land to be sold.  It was, and the proceeds were put into a fund for the benefit of the Indians.

In the 1840s, two additional individuals were identified as descendants, Ruby Mack or Mansfield and Nancy Sharpe alias Pease.  A Henry Pease who was somehow related to Nancy is also documented as being a tribal member.

A William Sherman appears on the scene about this time.  The current tribes consternation revolves around this man, whether he was a descendant of Tom Sherman’s wife, who was documented as Native, and if so, how. The descendants who were applying for tribal status in 1996 apparently all descended from this man who was documented to be Indian in at least two places, the 1870 and 1880 census, but in others was documented as white. 

Additional information is available in the document, if you are interested. 

The outcome of this particular petition was that tribal status was denied based on a number of factors, the first being their inability to document his descent from Sarah Shoran and Tom Sherman, their inability to document him as Native without conflicting evidence and the fact that a tribe, as was defined at that time, could descend from one person.

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About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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16 Responses to Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Tribe

  1. Linus Leavens says:

    See the Google book Rolls of CT Men in the French & Indian War (search vols 1 & 2 seperately). They can be searched for names. search both Tom & Thomas. Tom Sherman is listed five times- twice as an indian, three times there is no mention of that fact.

    The men on the rosters include many other Indian names…including John Chops. Specifically, see page 156 of volume 1- Talker Metauk, Tom Shermon, & John Chops are specifically identified as being Indians.

    Tom/ Thomas Sherman/ Shirman/ Shearmon, John Indian, Charles Pawheag, Robert Pow/ Powe, John Towump/ Torump, John Chops/ Chapts, & Talker Metauk all appear to serve together repeatedly in sev units during the war 1755- 1761).

    * I am currently researching David Wheeler Morehouse & connections to the Sherman & Phillips families- all belived to be Indian or part Indian.

    • I tried searching google books, and I did find the document, but could not get the search for the word “Indian” to work. Any suggestions? I would like to transcribe the Indians mentioned in that book as Indians. If you have already done so and would let me publish it on the blog, I’d be grateful.

  2. Linus Leavens says:

    There are two volumes…you will have to search each volume seperately. If my original search comes up in the search box, delete it & replace it with your own. I just posted the names I was certain were Indian. There are doubtless more names I don’t recognize as Indian. Search Tom Sherman in the index to find the rosters of the companies that had Indian warriors. The names I mentioned are on rosters appearing with Tom Sherman (a subject of my research). There are multiple rosters for the same units, and many rosters are missing. The entire group of rosters came out of a huge attic find in the 19th century. Priceless. 1755-1761

    It is the finding of the names in combination again & again that I find interesting. They were fighting alongside other Indians & presumably whites- most probably they all knew each other quite well before the war. Kinship, intermarriage, all can be useful in combination. The rosters are a freeze frame of Western CT mixed blood culture. By 1760, hostilities on the North American mainland had all but ceased. On the 1761 roll of deserters from Col. Nathan Whiting’s 2nd CT regiment of militia appear the following names, and this is so important that when I first found this, my jaw literally dropped:

    Thomas Sherman
    Thomas Warrups
    Andrew Vangilder
    Chickens Warrups

    For the first time in the written record, we see the name Andrew Vangilder in direct association with Tom Sherman and the Redding Ridge Warrups family Tom Sherman (& his son Tom?) came back to find their wigwam pulled down & were thrown off their own land. They brought claims, & eventually a reservation of 80 acres on Golden Hill was established.

    Volume 1 is at:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=7R4WAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA279&lpg=PA279&dq=charles+brewster+french+%26+indian+war+ct&source=bl&ots=0awD83uqMa&sig=i3A56dILhYknpqWeS8ZDVSPG1Q8&hl=en&ei=85GtToP7IOfy0gGKtLCLDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=charles%20brewster%20french%20%26%20indian%20war%20ct&f=false

    Volume 2 is at:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=tR8WAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA435&lpg=PA435&dq=rolls+of+connecticut+men+in+the+french+and+indian+war+morehouse&source=bl&ots=ll-VKYT5KO&sig=cDQYU6s5Xe8n_wy0gnnoLBP6IAE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qBTkUK3CM-LC0QHb4YCAAw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=rolls%20of%20connecticut%20men%20in%20the%20french%20and%20indian%20war%20morehouse&f=false

  3. Linus Leavens says:

    There is one other possibility here. What if these are the rosters for the Stockbridge Indian Company? Then ALL the names are Native American. Wow! Maybe not, but worth considering.

  4. twyrch says:

    I have a William Henry Pease (1831 – 1905) who was a Brothertown Indian. I don’t know who he married, but there weren’t many Pease in the Brothertown Indian tribe.

  5. Andrew Van Gilder’s father was Mohican and Wappinger. At that time the central fire of the Mohican nation was in the Sharon-Salisbury of Litchfield County.

  6. I need to correct my previous message. Andrew Van Gilder’s father was Mohican and Wappinger. At one time the central fire of the Mohican nation was in the Sharon-Salisbury of Litchfield County. The Mohicans definitely moved north about the time of the Westenhook treaty in 1722. The Van Gilders lived in the Town of Egremont in Berkshire County. It is thought that the Van Gilder men had connections with the Allen men in the Sheffield area prior to the American Revolution.

  7. Donna says:

    WOW so cool, I have been researching Thomas Sherman from Stockbridge. He was married to Yonoka Stockbridge Indian. Thomas and wife owned land in West Stockbridge in 1750. He “abandoned” his Indian wife and two children shortly after. Since he never returned, his assets were court ordered to be given to his wife. This is all I know about him but he would seem to fit into the Thomas Sherman disserted the military, who died in 1801, mentioned above. I am member of the Stockbridge- Munsee Tribe (WI) doing research on Sherman line – hoping Thmoas may be the direct line of Basheba Sherman (Stockbridge Tribe), possible his grandaughter, who married Joel Wright.

  8. I’m trying to find out my father link to the Golden Tribe as told to me. He was born inn Statford, CT. His mother and her brother last name is Pease. How can I find out information on this valuable heritage.

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