In the Bertie County, NC Heritage (1722-2010) book, I found a nice summary of a story that floats around the internet in pieces. I can’t vouch for accuracy, but I surely thought you might enjoy the story. It was submitted by Christine Cale Johnson from Windsor, NC, as follows:
This version of “The Legend of Cucklemakeer, an Indian Chief” was handed down through the following family line: Charney Cale b 1779, Duncan L. Cale b 1817, Franklin Pierce Cale b 1854, Albert Duncan Cale b 1891 and Christine Cale Johnson b 1918.
Legend has it that Cucklemaker, an Indian Chief of the Tuscarora Tribe, married a French Huguenot widow, Elizabeth Marie Calais Duneleaux, about 1775. Elizabeth Already had two children by Henry Duneleaux. Cucklemaker anglecized his name to John Cale in honor of Elizabeth’s father, Jean Calais.
The legend has been passed down through the generations in the Cale family that John, being an Indian, was not accustomed to the ways of the white man. He refused to pay taxes on his property. The sheriff confiscated John’s horses for payment of uncollected taxes. John did not think the land should be taxed. He believed the land belonged to “Mother Earth” and not any one man. Thinking he wasn’t doing anything wrong, he ‘stole back’ his horses. It appeared that this happened more than once.
Sometime later, on our about 1792, John Cale was killed by ambush. He was shot in the back while sitting on a log eating his lunch. The murder was said to have occurred near where Ross Baptist Church is today. John of John Cale’s descendants were told that he was killed by the sheriff because he kept stealing his horses back, but not all versions of the story agree with this. Others say he was killed by the “white people” of Bertie County for trying to remain neutral during clashes between the local Indians and the “whites.” The killer was never apprehended.
John lived near Cucklemaker Swamp, and it is believed that he was buried in an Indian burial ground beside the stream.
John Cale had two children, Charney and Tilury. Little is known about Tilury, but Charney became well known in Bertie County. He has many descendants who have been told the same story about the “Legend of John Cole, Cucklemaker, an Indian Chief.”
Charney married Elizabeth Harmon, and they had 13 children: Windfield, Duncan L., Gilbert Russell, Martha, Amilia, Mary E., Elizabeth, Robert M., James, Charney H., Sarah (Sallie), Penelope and Graham. Charney had two illegitimate children, Freeman J. and Jesse.
For reasons unknown, Charney changed his name to Charney C. Dundelow.” It has been said that by using the name Dundelow he gained respectability and disassociated himself from the Indian name “Cale.” He served in the army prior to and during the War of 1812 using the name Charney C. Dundelow. After using the name Dundelow for 40 years, he changed his name back to Charney Cale. The name Cale was carried on by his descendants.
<End of story.>
Not being able to just leave well enough alone, I had to see what I could find in the records about John Cale or Cucklemaker.
Cucklemaker married about 1775. His son was born about 1779. This implies that Cucklemaker was born at least by 1755, and likely significantly earlier, if he was a chief. A 20 year old chief would not have had time to prove himself worthy of the chief role, so let’s assume he was at least age 30 when he married.
In any case, the Tuscarora were signing deeds in Bertie County beginning in 1775 and ending with a petition in 1780. Of the final count of Tuscarora in Bertie Co., we have the names of 52 on various deeds. There is no Cucklemaker. All of these people have anglicized names. Of these, the chiefs and head men are identified as such. John Cale is not among them. There are two instances of a John Cain, and there are other Cain men as well, so this is likely not John Cale if he took the surname to honor his wife after his 1775 marriage to her.
The land owned by the Tuscarora was exempt from taxes. The Tuscarora sold the land in the 1770s in order to leave and migrate to New York. Those deeds and related legislative petitions are the only reason we have records of their names. The tribe did in fact leave, leaving only a few “old families” behind. They returned a final time to take those families with them in the very early 1800s. They declared that any who did not migrate were no longer in the tribe. There were only 3 individuals left that we know of, one Esther Gibson, one girl whose name is not mentioned, and one young boy who eventually betrayed the trust of the Tuscarora. Clearly none of these are Cucklemaker.
If Cucklemaker did stay in Bertie County, he would in fact have had to move from the former Tuscarora lands and he and his wife would then have had to pay taxes like all non-Indian citizens. Taxes were only exempt for Indians if they were living on a reservation. Tax lists do exist for some years for Bertie County. They have been transcribed for 1755-1764, 1765-1771 and 1772-1784. While he would not be on the lists through about 1777, he clearly should have been on the lists after 1777 through 1784. I don’t own a copy of the book of transcriptions, but checking the index of the book for Cale (or maybe Kale) of even Cucklemaker would be very enlightening. Failing that, I’d check for his wife’s surname. Maybe one of our subscribers has access to these records.
Marriage records also exist for Bertie County from 1762 through 1868. It’s very unlikely that a European woman would accept any type of marriage other than a legal one. Illegitimacy had ramifications other than social in that time and place. The mother could be and generally was prosecuted and whipped or fined, or both. The children were considered bastards and took the mother’s last name. They did not inherit from their father. Given the social stigma and legal issues conferred by not marrying within the system, marriage records should be checked. However, we have a fly in the ointment. In 1715, North Carolina passed a law prohibiting intermarriage between whites and black and between whites and Indians. Therefore, they could NOT have legally married within North Carolina. So maybe, they slipped over the border into Virginia. Nope, Virginia passed a similar law in 1691, and these laws were not repealed in either state until in 1967.
Ok, let’s try a different tactic. Let’s look at the North Carolina records known at the Tax Census. These records were taken between 1784 and 1789. We do find a John Kail in Bertie County, but near to him we also find a Cader Kail, Dempsey Kail and Rebecca Kail who was a widow. So this Kail family is clearly not that of John Cale who just adopted the surname in 1775 to honor his wife. This Kail family has several members and has obviously been in Bertie for some time, or a group of them arrived together from elsewhere. We know that Rebecca was not his widow as Cucklemaker’s wife’s name, according to this story, was Elizabeth.
We know that when the 1790 census was taken, the Tuscarora were long gone and living in New York. Cucklemaker, John Cale, would have been enumerated in the census, since he was not an Indian living on “Indian lands.” There is no John Cale, Kail, or anything similar in Bertie County. There are a number of Cale families in Perquimans County, but that’s not Bertie.
One last possibility exists, checking to see if a DNA project exists that includes the DNA of the Cale family. A Cale family project does not exist, so I checked the surname Cain. Checking the Cain family project, it does not appear that in or near Bertie County, a Cain family has tested. http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Cain-Caine/ Furthermore, there are no Cain family members who have Native American haplogroups.
And as a last resort, checking Ysearch for the Cale or a Native Cane family is futile as well.
There are however, in the various deed books, a Cucklemaker swamp and creek mentioned, so this legend is not new and existed as a place-name historically.
The Indian Mound reputed to be the burial location of Cucklemaker is shown on Find-A-Grave.
Charney Cale, son of Cucklemaker, is shown to be buried here as well, along with his mother and wife. Charney was a member of the Ross Baptist Church, shown on the map above in 1822.
You can read a slightly different story with some additional details here: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ncbertie/cuckle.htm