In the 1869 Cherokee West Census, there are two families who took the surname Shotpouch.  It’s interesting that before the European settlement, the Indians didn’t have firearms, so the word shotpouch would have been culturally new to them, 200 years after becoming armed, they took the Shotpouch surname.

What was a shotpouch?

The earliest weapons required black powder which was carried in a powderhorn.  The shotpouch was the accessory that held the tools with which to load the gun from the powderhorn. 

I found some examples of Native shotpouches, but none as beautiful as this beaded Cree shotpouch and powderhorn set.  I do believe, given that it came through the family of the governor of Ohio, that it was probably given as a gift. 

This item was sold at auction for a measly $15,000 plus change.  You can read more about it here:

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Cherokee, Cree, Names. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Shotpouch

  1. Bill Keys says:

    I am descended from Cherokee fullblood Bill Shotpouch who is on the Cherokee rolls in 1880, 1896, and Dawes is testimony in 1900. Bill later changed his name to Bill Keys. I’ve never hear of a western Cherokee roll from 1869. Can you share your source for that? I’d be very pleased to review it and try to figure out if it refers to my great-grandfather Bill Shotpouch or his father Jack Shotpouch. Thanks, Bill Keys – Tahlequah, OK

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