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.