The Tuscarora Surnames 1695 to 1892

While in the process of setting up the Tuscarora DNA project, I needed to find the names of the Tuscarora Indians who are documented in North Carolina before their removal to New York and in New York.

The first part was relatively easy, because I’ve already done that research and documented it in a series of articles titled Tuscarora People Identified in Land and Other Transactions.  The first posting is linked, above, and from there you can get to the rest.  There are a total of 15 segments of this series.

From those early documents, I found a total of 407 people in transactions.  Many were obviously the same people signing different deeds, for example, but there were were many different surnames.  These documents spanned the earliest mentions of  Tuscarora by English names beginning in 1695 and ending after 1831.  The transacations after 1802 involved people, chiefs mostly, from the NY Tuscarora reservation dealing with the land in North Carolina.

Surnames from the NC group, excluding the NY chiefs, include Allen, Basket(t), Blount/Blunt, Bridgers, Cain, Charles, Cope, Cornelius, Dennis, George, Gibson/Gipson,  Hancock, Harry, Hicks/Hix, Howett/Hewett, Jack, James (may be first name only), Joe as in Capt. Joe, Lawson (possibly), Lightwood/Litewood, Littlejohn (possibly), Lloyd, Miller, Mitchell, Netop, Oin/Owen/Owin/Owens/Owins, Pagett (possibly), Pugh, Randell/Randall, Rash, Rice or Hill, Robarts/Robards/Roberts, Rogers/Rodgers/Roggers, Seneca/Senicar, Smith,  Sockey, Squarehooks (possibly), Stone, Strawberry, Taylor, Thomas/Tommas/Tomas, Tuf(f)dick, Tyler (possibly), Walker, Wheeler/Whealter/Wheatter, Whitmeal/Whitmell, Wiggians/Wiggins/Wigans, Wineoak, Yollone

The surnames of the Tuscarora people who returned to NC from NY to deal with land sales and negotiations include:  Abraham (may be first name only), Big Fish, Billy, Casie, Chew, Cusick, Jack, Jacob, Johnson, Jones, Green, King (as in Young King), Lewis (may be first name only), Longboard, Lovedenny, Mt Pleasant, Printup/Prantup, Sacarusa, Sachem (may be a description, not a surname), Smith, Thomas (may be first name only), Warchief, William (may be first name only).

Tuscarora surnames recorded from NY in the War of 1812 include:  Allen, Beach, Blacknose, Cusick, Fox, Green, Henry, (possibly), Miller, Mount Pleasant, Patterson, Pemberton, Peter (possibly), Printup, Sky, Smith (possibly), Thompson, Williams.

The next record I was able to find was the Indian Census of New York from 1888-1891 in which I found the following Tuscarora surnames.

Alvis, Anderson, Beubleton or Bembleton, Bissell, Brayley, Bissell, Beaver, Cusick, Chew, Douglas, DeFeurest, Fish, Garlow, Green, Gansworth, Hewitt, Hill, Henry, Isaac, Jonson, Jack, Jones, Jacob, Johnathan, Jenison or Jemison, Lonto, Mt. Pleasant, Martin, Miller, Nash, Patterson, Printup, Peter, Racket(t), Sylvester, Smith, Seneca, Tompson, Williams, White.  In 1889, there were total of 404 Tuscarora and in 1890, 392.

Now for the interesting part.

Of the Tuscarora in NY who had claims from the War of 1812, three surnames were in common with the NC Tuscarora, Allen, Miller and possibly Smith.  Smith was listed as an executor, so may have been a surname from before leaving North Carolina. Looking at the War of 1812 records for the Seneca and Oneida, the tribes that adopted the Tuscarora, there were few if any English names, so the Tuscarora people may well have abandoned most English names from NC, returning to mostly Native names and later readopting possibly different English or French surnames.

Of the people in the 1888-1889 census, very few surnames were found when the Tuscarora resided in North Carolina, but those few include Hewett, Jack, Miller, Smith and Seneca.

You may notice that two of these names, Miller and Smith, are names that were also in common between the NC group and the War of 1812 records.  Granted, Miller and Smith are both very common names, but there is what appears to be continuity.

It looks like there is a good possibility that five Tuscarora surnames survived the migration from NC to NY and are likely found in descendants today.  It is also very likely that the DNA of proven Tuscarora paternal lines will match that of descendants, possibly carrying different surnames, in the Carolinas where we know that some of the Tuscarora remained or married and assimilated.

In fact the records tell us clearly that William Cain, a Tuscarora youth remained and we know he reached the age of majority, declined to move to NY and was last seen heading for Raleigh.  A woman named Esther Gibson remained and at least one other female child.  Others likely remained as well, but aren’t named in financial records or had married and assimilated or moved elsewhere in earlier generations, between the Tuscarora War in 1711 and the official final removal to NY in 1802.

Advertisements

About Roberta Estes

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

48 Responses to The Tuscarora Surnames 1695 to 1892

  1. Craig Howell says:

    When trying to trace the lineage of David Howell, 1750, in Bedford Va., He lived in same area as reported Tuscarora Indians returned from NY and given refugee by the Monacan Indians.
    I also found a Chief Thomas Howell who signed to sell part of the ” Woods” reservation in NC to move to NY.
    When Virginia ratifielded it’s race law’s in 1823, half his decendants moved to KY and IN. The remaining Howells did continue to freely marry with local Indians.
    My DNA shows about 11% native, 2% asian.

  2. Denise says:

    Thank you, this is helpful.

  3. shantell kolb says:

    have you found any Indians from the towpath area between WV and Virginia, in Jefferson county. Family background is supposed to be Tuscarora or Shawnee, from that area. Surnames, Mitchell, and Reynolds. Had an uncle that spent his life researching our background and took all his info found to the grave with him. He said the were from a tribe that lived on the towpath on the Potomac river in that area.

  4. Pingback: Borderlands Deeds and the Cain Surname | Native Heritage Project

  5. Gene Dorris says:

    I am descended from William Cane who died in 1732 in Bertie Precinct NC and married an Elizabeth Hardy. Are we talking about the same William Cain or Cane? Thanks

  6. Could you please tell me if the surname “Wilson” was ever a Tuscarora name. My family is Native and lived in Maryland in 1800. Later they migrated to New York. Any information would be helpful.
    Thank You.

  7. Tash says:

    Hello, is anyone familiar with the Jumper family that were Tuscarora? I am a descendent of that line. However, I didn’t see the surname listed here. I know they once resided in Dinwiddie Virginia and later migrated to Pittsylvania/Henry County. Today, there is a large population of “Jumpers” in Rockingham County and many are aware of having both Native and African American heritage. Any additional information would be appreciated.

  8. Janet says:

    All the jumpers I know of are Cherokee check the Cherokee east roles for your ancestors

  9. My ancestor, THOMAS RASH came to America in 1695 supposedly. My family ended up in EUREKA, TX. MY NAME IS BILLY NEAL RASH, SR. DO YOU KNOW WHAT OUR SURNAME CAME FOR OR ANYTHING. THOMAS RASH CAME HERE WITH A MAN THE LAST NAME OF THOMAS WHOM WAS GIVEN LAND TO HELP SETTLE LAND FOR A OR THE KING OF WALES. MY FAMILY I BELIEVE WAS GIVEN 600 ACRES. THANK YOU

  10. Sandy says:

    does anyone know how the name Cusick got to be native, I have got Cusick on both sides of my family.. some were in the states and in the civil war. I have a book called Seven Generations of Iroquois Leadership, Lt. Cornelius Cusick is in it.. on the front page of the book is a picture of him and he looks as English as an English man can, he is wearing an army coat with medals , he was born on the Tuscarora Reserve.. his grandfather was Nicholas Kaghnatsho Cusick.. I am trying to find out how the name became native and if the two sides of my family Cusicks are related.

    • got2bjb says:

      Perhaps he studied Tuscarora Culture, life & hardships of this tribe. found a book David Cusick wrote. here is the link if interested.
      http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=libraryscience
      looks like you will have to copy and paste this into your browser

    • got2bjb says:

      Sketches
      , see Susan Kalter, “Finding a Place for David Cusick in
      Native American Literary History,”
      MELUS
      27:3 (Fall 2002),
      pp. 9-42. Page images of the 1892 edition, edited by William
      M. Beauchamp and including extensive annotations, may be
      seen at http://www.canadiana.org/ECO/mtq?doc=04555.
      In earlier editions, a line was apparently dropped follow-
      ing “i.e. Big Neck.” at page 25, line 25 of the present edition;
      a conjectural reading (“He attacked the Sah-wau-noo”) has
      been supplied in brackets.
      No attempt has been made to correct or regularize spelling
      and punctuation or to standardize the language and syntax of
      the original; some typographical errors have been corrected

  11. got2bjb says:

    I believe Witmell Tuffdick and Sam Smith (Died 1802?) were North Carolina’s Tuscarora Chiefs.

  12. Sheila Blount says:

    Have been doing my Family Tree and hit a wall at my 4th Grandfather Reuben(Rubin) Blount/Blunt (born abt.1765_1775 in NC). No where can I find in charts or Books that he is of Europe descent. Some researches have pointed me toward the Tuscarara Tribe. Some believe his Father was name James. My father said i have indian blood,but would like to know if there are any records to search or Test. I have no males left in my Family…any Help????

    • You’ll have to go up the tree and back down to find a Blount male. Seldom do any genealogies state that someone is of European descent. That is assumed, unless they are labeled as African or Indian or something else.

  13. James Morrison says:

    I have always been told that we were of Cherokee descent but the cope name seems to be Tuscarora. Does anyone know if this is true. My great great grandfathers name was William Cope.

  14. Edie Springer says:

    Do you know of the name “Taconte” or Davonte”. As a child my family visited the Tuscarora Reservation and Church in about 1950 and met Louise Taconte (or Daconte). She was supposed to be a cousin. It is possible that my Grandmother, Edith M. Smith (later Schmitt), of the Tuscaroras attended Carlisle Barracks and was brought to Ohio by my Great Grandfather, Rev. Charles C. Schmitt, a German Reformed Preacher.

  15. Winston Chestnut says:

    My Great Great Grandmother was Addie Roberts also Tuscarora Indian , looking for any information on her side of the family

  16. Diane Noah says:

    Does anyone have any information regarding Grace Verona (Williams) Miller of the NY Tuscaroras? She was born c.1905 in Lewiston, Niagara County. I am trying to trace my native heritage and she is as far back as I have information about (maternal grandmother). Any details or assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Jeanne Domek says:

    I am looking for information on the Anderson family. My mothers grandmother was Victoria Anderson, her father was Thomas G.Anderson. They are both listed as Native American on the 1890 marriage records for Victoria and her marriage to James Newcomb. Thomas G. Anderson was born in New York City in 1835. Thank You for any help.

  18. Talib Cornelius says:

    Surnames from the NC group, excluding the NY chiefs, include Allen, Basket(t), Blount/Blunt, Bridgers, Cain, Charles, Cope, Cornelius, Dennis, George, Gibson/Gipson, Hancock, Harry, Hicks/Hix, Howett/Hewett, Jack, James (may be first name only), Joe as in Capt. Joe, Lawson (possibly), Lightwood/Litewood, Littlejohn (possibly), Lloyd, Miller, Mitchell, Netop, Oin/Owen/Owin/Owens/Owins, Pagett (possibly), Pugh, Randell/Randall, Rash, Rice or Hill, Robarts/Robards/Roberts, Rogers/Rodgers/Roggers, Seneca/Senicar, Smith, Sockey, Squarehooks (possibly), Stone, Strawberry, Taylor, Thomas/Tommas/Tomas, Tuf(f)dick, Tyler (possibly), Walker, Wheeler/Whealter/Wheatter, Whitmeal/Whitmell, Wiggians/Wiggins/Wigans, Wineoak, Yollone
    I am through Ancestry and FTdna ,Related to the Gibsons, Hicks, Owens, Rogers,Stone, Walker and Wheeler’s. As you know I was R-m269… The other person in charge of the Iriquois dna would let me in the group saying that the nearest Native in my male line would have been 5 generations. Which would be exactly correct for this. The Tuscarora have little knowledge but have suggested I come look through paperwork. In addition I can prove marriage and family association with all these families too.
    Any help finding Cyrus (Cyranius) Cornelius 1825 would be helpful.

  19. Charlene Roberts says:

    Can anyone tell me if the surname Harris is of Tuscarora lineage…my great grandma lived in Windsor, NC and Indian Woods, NC and not sure if she was Cherokee or Tuscarora. Thank you

  20. William Small says:

    Can Anyone tell me if the last name Bond is of Tuscarora linage. My GG Grandmother, I was told Effy Bond was from Indian Woods Reservation. She was the house Keeper on RL Speller Farm.

    • JR says:

      Mr. Small, my G grandmother was Clara Small and I am a Ruffin and the Smalls, Bonds and Smallwoods are said to be related families so if you find any info on anyone from the India Woods area please send me an email (josh3609@gmail.com) sir…thanks in advance!!

      • William Small says:

        Was Small your grandmother’s maiden name or Surname? The Small’s are not related to the Smallwood ‘s. They are related to the Speller’s and Bond. Effy only had two children that took the name Small.
        Most of your information is being taken from my ancestry.com posting, and some from FaceBook.

    • Pura Fe says:

      Yes…Bond is Tuscarora…and Outlaws…Joyner…Cherry…Cooper…lots are missing. But I believe they are gathering what exists in both Indian Woods and Lewiston NY. There are more names as well on the 6 NATIONS reserve. Like Monk…Coles…Bissell and Strickland. But most of those names are in Johnston County. Another main municipality of Tuscarora during the 1712 War. Right on the Nuese…between Raleigh…Smithfield…Kinston…Goldsboro….is a big time Tuscarora Territory and several old villages.

  21. Jay Daniel says:

    Does anyone know of any of the Allen’s of Southern Band of Tuscarora that moved to Richmond, VA? I can’t imagine their were too many more Allen’s of the Tuscarora that moved to Richmond city specifically. I imagine any families in Richmond from the Tuscarora background with that same surname would have descended from the same original Allen family that originally moved their. My ancestors specifically moved from Craven County, NC to Richmond city, VA. I could use any help that is willing to be offered. I am having a few road blocks. Thank you.

    • Brenda Finnicum says:

      Just found this Allen post. My ggggrandfather was a Solomon Allen. Census states he was born in Orange Co. NC. Married a Lamb in Robeson Co. in the 1840s.

  22. Margot Anderson says:

    I am looking for any information on the parents of Roger Pugh and Hattie Pugh. I do not know Hattie’s maiden name. It appears Hattie was born in NY, however, I’m pretty sure she was born in NC in 1871. I can’t get any further in ancestry.com than this…so it kind of seems a shame to spend so much money on info I already know and can’t get back any further. So…is there a number or place we can call to ask the Tuscarora band if they have any info? Not sure if a lot of records were destroyed at the time.

  23. Amy says:

    Is the name Lassiter out of Bertie County NC associated with the Native Americans in that area.

  24. Kimberly locklear says:

    Yes Tuscarora people are still in N.C.

  25. Laura says:

    According to family lore, we are of Tuscaroran descent. My dna with Gedmatch shows Native American ancestry. The family surname is Guy and they lived in Virginia in the 1800’s. I have traced back to Branson Guy, born 1812 (either PA or VA, now WV) and cannot find anything further back. I believe he is the Native American. Are there any Native American’s with the Guy surname from Frederick County, VA (now WV)? Thanks in advance for any assistance. The first record I found for him is the 1840 census, which has very little information outside of who lived in the household and then he was gone by 1850 (presumed dead).

    • Brandy says:

      @Laura, I believe I am related to you through Branson Guy, and am excited that someone else in the family tree has the family lore that there is Native American ancestry. (Perhaps there is truth to this lore?) My ancestor was Sarah Jane Guy, whose parents are listed on her death certificate as Adam and Eliza; however, the information was supplied by her husband and it should likely have been Branson and Eliza. (Since Branson died years before she married, it would make sense the name was wrong.) My family legend says that her daughter Malinda L. Shipe had a mother named “Morning Star”, but the English name was Rebecca (in actuality Sarah), who was a full blooded Cherokee. They always cited the darker complexion of Malinda in pictures as proof. I’d be VERY interested to hear of your family lore in regards to this as Branson is a brick wall for me.

      • Laura says:

        Hi Brandy! That is very interesting. I am descended from Charles Wesley Guy, who is Sarah Jane Guy’s youngest brother and both are Branson’s children with Eliza. We were told that Charles Wesley was full Tuscarora, but I believe it was his father, Branson who was the full Native American. They did settle in Martinsburg, WV, which I believe, has a connection with the Tuscarora.

  26. Chris Campbell says:

    Could this Esther Gibson by chance be one of the pocket of Indian family’s recorded as living near Sumter SC in 1800. With what I believe to be an evolved name of Gibbs.

  27. Cassie Cade says:

    Hi. I’m looking for more information on Blount/Blunt Surname. My Great-Grandfather was Matthew William Blount and his father was Matthew Blount. My Great -Grandfather married Romaine Newsome in 1912. On the 1920 census he is listed as Black and she is listed as Mullatto. I have alwasys been told she was of Indian descent. (However on her Death certificate is states Black.) They are both from the Bertie, North Carolina Area. Any information would be most helpful! Thannks

    • jacquelyn afari says:

      Indigenous people were listed as black, mulatto, colored, negro..depending on the actual time. There was no designation for an Indian outside of those categories because the aim was commit genocide via the pen. The truth of the matter is that the predominant slave trade involved the natives of this land and that is not taught to hide their identities. However, it is actually documented in several books and it is not hidden..just not broadcasted. As for dna…hmmmf…native american dna uses western tribes as the standard. Nobody who resembled Sitting Bull ran through the southeastern part of the United States. Dna testing done on eastern woodland tribes, therefore, shows little to no so called native american dna and a strain only shows ancient intermixing with asiatic tribes.

      • jacquelyn afari says:

        my maternal ancestry hails from eastern NC and not a single person from there has NOT heard of “Indian” ancestry; it is a given. Now being recognized for it vs being called something else is another story

      • The Native people all came from Asia and there wasn’t anyone else to mix with, so until Europeans arrived, their DNA was still that original Asian DNA.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    To Roberta or anyone else-
    I am looking for lineage on the Chief Samuel Smith line if anyone knows where to find it. Anyone know who Chief Samuel Smith Married? My Smith line comes out of Bertie county, looking for more info on Tuscarora Smiths. Let me know if yal have any info !

  29. Lee McDaniel says:

    I’m lookimg for Mary Dennis, born around 1784 in the Bertie County area. I was told she and her daughter were both Tuscarora.

  30. Josephine Franco says:

    I am the 5th great granddaughter of Da’ke Boston,( Tuscarora) her granddaughter was Elizabeth Boston Brooks who married a Tuscarora, George Washington Brooks who was bonded out and fought with the Confederates. The Pierces, Brooks, Barber, Berry, Smiths, Rogers we are related.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I’m a Brooks and my Smith’s are Tuscarora but can’t figure out where the Tuscarora Smith’s line starts. What state are your Brooks from?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s