The Legend of Chief Kinnekeet

Historian David Stick, in 2005, prior to his death in 2009, had begun to write a series of biographies of “Outer Banker” families.  Unfortunately, he discovered a computer virus on is system which wiped out all of his work.  He had information he was compiling for an additional 160 families as well.  In 2007, he managed to obtain copies of the original 18, and retyped them, but by then his interest had waned, and he put aside the biographies.  His intention was for them and his research work to be donated to the Outer Banks History Center, but it is unknown if that actually occurred or not.

Some of these histories have been donated to the Hatteras Island Genealogy and Preservation Society by families.  In the biography for Charles Thomas Williams Sr. (1865-1941) and Charles Thomas Williams Jr. (1892-1984), we find a very interesting piece of information about Kinnekeet.

“Among the tales passed down from the earlier generations, Williams said there was one about an Indian village where Kinnakeet is located.  “The Big Chief Indian was named Kinnakeet and his tribe was called Kinnakeet in his honor”, he recounted.  However, the definitive Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico makes no mention of Kinnakeet, the closest being “Kinikinnick” an Indian preparation of tobacco, sumac leaves. And the inner bark of a species of dogwood, which the natives used for smoking.”

The former village of Kinnakeet is currently named Avon and is located just north of Buxton on Hatteras Island.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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4 Responses to The Legend of Chief Kinnekeet

  1. Bobbi…

    The Outer Banks History Center does have the collection of 18 biographies from all over Dare County. Next time I’m up, I’ll check out which ones they do have.

  2. robin Grace says:

    This is great. I am a living relative of those who still live in Hatteras/Avon. Am going to be there and will take a look at what David Stick has found. What a treat for find some history of it all. We were always and still are called Kinnakeeters.

  3. bebo says:

    Very curious as one of my parents was from there.

  4. Shane of Kinnakeet says:

    As I can trace my family back to living in Kinnakeet since the 1700’s. I can speak for myself and other original locals who are very proud to be of the Kinnakeet tribe.

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