Tom King, Woccon Indian

William Byrd’s Book, “Villainy Often Goes Unpunished,” page 11, provides us with this information:


“The Honble. Landgrave Robert Daniell Esq

Govrnr of No. Carolina

The Humble Petition of Nicolas Dawe Sheweth

Whereas yr Honrs. Petitionr. Having Receaved Dammages to ye Value of five pound by Tom King of the Woccon Ind:  Most Humbly Craves yr. Honrs. mature Consideration in Reference to my Losses, so hereby I may receave some Satisfaction As in Duty bound Shall pray”

There is no date on this item, but Robert Daniel was governor of North Carolina from 1703 to 1705.

Hondius 2

Referring to the 1606 Hondius-Mercator map, Woccon is Ocracoke Island.  On Hatteras Island, at Indian Town, the second circle on Hatteras Island, above, we find Tom King’s Creek mentioned in several deeds, the first in 1716.

Patent Book 8, pat 2692, p 113 John O’neall  Oct 9 1716  440 ac at Cape Hatterass joining ye mouth and side of Tom King Creek, the sound, and ye woods.  Wit Charles Eden, N. Chevin, C. Gale, Fra. Foster, T. Knight

In 1756, the Hatteras Indians were involved with a court action regarding their land, where it became evident that while they had always lived there, they didn’t have a patent or land grant, and the Europeans were not recognizing their ownership.  They remedied that by requesting a land grant, which was given in 1759 and bordered King’s Creek.

Colony of NC 1735-1764 Abstracts of Land Patents, Volume One – B by Margaret M. Hofmann

Page 382, pat 5398, page 268, book 15, William Elks and the rest of the Hatteras Indians March 6 1759, 200 ac in Currituck including the old Indian Town, joining the sound side, the mouth of King’s Creek and Joseph Mashue.

While we never hear of Tom King again in the records, we do find his namesake creek, right in the middle of Indian town on Hatteras Island not long after, and on the land that would eventually be recognized as the Hatteras Indian village.

Tom King appears to be a Hatteras Indian identified by a European name.  King is not, however, a surname we find on Hatteras Island.  Did Tom King have descendants, and if so, what happened to them?

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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12 Responses to Tom King, Woccon Indian

  1. Thomas Robbins says:

    I have been researching some King Indians from close to the same area. This note came from the Chowanoke Descendants Community’s founder:
    “Jno King an Indian” complained to the governor’s council in 1695 that his people were “denyed their liberty of Hunting to which they pretent title by former agreement.” The Council ruled in his favor, saying “the Indians have liberty to hunt on all wasteland that is not taken up…” Michelle LeMaster, “In the Scolding Houses'” Indians and the Law in Eastern North Carolina, 1684-1760,” in The North Carolina Historical Review LXXXIII, no. 2, April 2006 Tribal affiliation not listed for King, but was apparently a leader of one of the tributary Algonquian nations of the Albemarle region, including Chowanoke, Yeopim, Hatteras, etc. Lars
    I have oral tradition of being Native through my King line but still uncertain of the tribe.

    Thomas Robbins

  2. Andre Austin says:

    There are individuals among the Machapunga/Mattamuskeet descendants who have the surname “King”. A Rodney King from Hyde County married a cousin of mine’s.

  3. Thomas Robbins says:

    I had been contacted by someone who descends from some Indians named King from the same area. She also had family from Hyde Co. named Elk and Squire. Her comments to me are found on the Chowanoke descendants website, I am Tomehawk. Still researching the King’s and their connections to tribes throughout the northeast NC quadrant. I had looked at some of the Machapunga but it is difficult to nail them down with the range and connections they had from Nansemond, VA to Perquimas, NC to the Bertie Chowan area. Land records show family on the Chowanoke reservation border and surrounding swamps, possibly even on the reservation.

  4. thomas robbins says:

    If you ever come across anything that references the Nottoway or Cheroenhaka, Chowanoke, Meherrin, and the KING surname, I would be interested and I continue to research the relationship of the KING, Powell, Benton and Moore families and possible Tuscarora ties.

    • thomas robbins says:

      P.S. King is listed on a site I found for a Cheroenhaka lady, specifically my Michael King. I also have a description of his grandson as dark skin, black hair, dark eyes but got his looks from his mother, who is a Powell.

  5. Alisa Austin says:

    My great-great grandmother, Mary Jane ? Tobin Gracey born 1820 in Kentucky named one of her sons Hatteras. Her father was born in Kentucky, and her mother was born in Missouri. I had my mother take a DNA test and she keeps getting matches to the surnames of King, Davis, Brown, and Moore. She also has advanced matching to people who are Lumbee Indian.

    • Thomas Robbins says:

      You have come to the right place. There are several of us researching the King connections to Native peoples. My King kin were scattered throughout the Albemarle area and the my line went south away from Bertie co. where they met up with the Moore in Johnston Co. I find King kin on the Indian Woods rez with Pugh and one married into the Skipper/Quick family. The Quick are Lumbee and Skipper is Cheroenhaka. I believe Mavi has King kin from Bertie and she is related to Elk from Dare Co or Hyde Co.

      • Alisa Austin says:

        Thanks for responding. I haven’t come across the names of Pugh, Quick, and Skipper as of yet. My theory is that Mary Jane’s ancestors were probably pre-America Spanish, Portuguese, and Berbers (galley slaves) that mixed with the Indians and the English/Scottish. Some people call them Melungeons. I also had my mother take a test. She got Chinese, Japanese, and Korean hits. I came across that the mound builders’ DNA had Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. So perhaps Mary Jane’s mother who was from pre-America Missouri was N.A.

  6. Thomas Robbins says:

    I have yet to find the King family listed on any of the early maps of the Albemarle area of NC but have seen families they married with, yet they have some decent land holdings in several counties and had lots of children. If any of you find a map with King on it, I would like to see it. I kind of expected to see them on the Mosley map but I admit, I cannot read most of it. The Kings and their holdings during that era were scattered, and some of them were with the Pugh, Thompson, Williams at Indian Woods. Perhaps that is why I do not see King on early maps.

  7. D.J.King says:

    Stumbled on this page and I don’t know how but I think its Gods work… I live in CA, grew up in the system but I’m a King… as I began my self identity journey Ive noticed some of your stories and the names you’ve mentioned are also some I’ve heard from my family before they passed…. I am the last King and as I know of that’ll pass down the last name and also the only out here in the West.. my family is from yalls area..

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