Hyde County, NC Indian Families in 1850

A friend was looking through the Hyde County, NC, 1850 census and noticed something quite interesting.

On page 4 (at Ancestry.com) of the Currituck district, one entire page (except one person) is shown with M, for mulatto, overwritten over something else. That something else looks to be an F or an I.

I’ve put the three pages in sequence below. Only people with an M or B have a designation, so no designation appears to equal white, judging from the rest of the Hyde County census.

Note that the only options for the census takers relative to race are white, black or mulatto. Indian wasn’t added until 1870, so in 1850, there is no Indian designation.  The 1850 census instructions do not tell the enumerator how to determine which of those 3 categories a person falls into, so it was up to the enumerator or their assistant to make that determination.  Given that the enumerators lived in the county, they probably knew these families and “knew” who was mixed and who was not.  In essence, if you weren’t entirely white, and you weren’t entirely black,  you were mulatto.

On the bottom of the first page, below, the beginning of the family entry that continues onto the overstrike page is shown. This family head and his wife, John and Mary Berry are not shown with any designation, and neither is Elizabeth, so presumably white.

Hyde previous page

The family continues onto the next page, which is the full page shown below. On this page, every single individual except for one child, Henrietta Collins, had something written in the race column which looks to be an I or an F, and was subsequently overstricken.

My first thought was that they accidentally wrote F, for female in the wrong column, except many of the enumerants are males, so that doesn’t fly either.

Furthermore, it looks like Samuel Barber, living in the same house with John Berry, is listed as M, one of those people whose status of possible I, for Indian, an invalid entry, was overwritten or “corrected” to an allowable designation.

Hyde Indian

Here’s a better look.

Hyde Indian closeup

The Barrow or Banow family is being enumerated at the end of the page above, and on the following page, the family grouping now continues with child Malsey Berry, age 10, with no race designation.

Hyde page after

Frankly, this doesn’t make a lot of sense unless there are pages missing, and working the various original page numbers, while a bit confusing at first, doesn’t show any relevant pages to be missing.  What we can’t know is when the pages were numbered, or if the census was taken in household order.  In other words, the pages could have been numbered later and the census taken could have enumerated in whatever order struck his fancy or was convenient that day.

I checked each page individually, and sure enough, there was a second page in this district with families with their race over stricken to mulatto.  These families were also known to be of Mattamuskeet origin.  The Mackey and Longtom families are both reflected in the Mattamuskeet reservation land sales between 1737 and 1792 as Indians.

In fact, this page begins with Ann Banow which is the same surname ending the previous page with the overstrikes.

Hyde Indian 2 crop

If these census pages actually do show Indian people, reclassified as mulattoe, as is suggested by the overwriting and the full word mulatto written out at the top of both pages, then this suggests that all of these families have Native heritage, whether full or partial by intermarriage, in 1850.

What do we know about the various families listed? Previous research has shown the following about the various surnames listed.

  • Barber

John Durant, King, John Barber, John Hawkins, Harry Gibbs, George Durant, great men of the Yawpims came before this Board an acknowledged a sale of Land for six hundred and fforty Acres to the Honoble William Reed Esq’ part of a great Tract laid out to them by the Government and that they were Satisfyed for the same and this Boai’d being asked wither they consented to the said sale gave their opinion in the affirmative. [Colonial Records of NC, 1723, p 483]

In 1712, a peace treaty between the Tuscarora Indians and the State of North Carolina, is signed by Tom Blount, 4 other Indian men who do not have English names, and a 6th Indian transcribed as “Saroonha for Hernt Focker, absent.” It states that Blount’s segment of the Tuscarora who attempted to remain neutral will make war against those who attacked the colonists.  Those groups include the Catatkpncy, Cores, Nuse, Bare River, Pamplico and Matchepungo Indians.  It also states, among things, that they will “endeavor to bring in some of their towns alive,” then provides a list of Native names, some followed by English names as well that they are “called” by.  The English names are John Pagett, Lawson, Barber, Henry Lysle, Square Hooks and Young Tyler.  [Craven County NC, It’s Origin and Beginning by Dr. Charles R. Holloman]

  • Garner
  • Reed

Reed is found among the PeeDee and the Tuscarora.


Served in the Revolutionary War in New York:

This book notes that 50 Tuscarora warriors went to Valley Forge with the Americans, and with them went Augur, Daniel and Jacob Reed. The book does not specifically say these men are Native, but this sentence and the context certainly imply that they are.

Forgotten Patriots: African American and American Indian Patriots in the Revolutionary War

  • King

“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…” 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.

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.

Request for satisfaction of losses (5 pounds) caused by Tom King of the Wotton Ind. made by Nicholas DAWE. No date. Request directed to Robert DANIELL, landgrave.

Commentary: This appears to be about 1703.


Woccon is an early name for Ocracoke Island. On Hatteras Island, at Indian Town, 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.


  • Freeman

In 1733, John Freeman, a Chowan Indian, signs a land deed. In 1774 Freeman is found in Bladen, some free persons of color and some white.  In 1802, they are near the Waccamaw.  They are found among the Lumbee.  [Estes, Families of Interest Index]

John Freeman, a white man, possibly married Chowan chief, Thomas Hoyter’s daughter, Tabitha.


Additional information about the Freeman family is available here:


This Freeman line has been proven Native through Y DNA testing, haplogroup Q.

The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Second Series, Volume VII entitled “Records of the Executive Council,” on page 416, has a deposition given by Richard Booth in which he states that in the year 1667 he took a canoe with trade goods to the Meherrin Indian Town down the Blackwater River. On his right the Weyanoake River joined in about 13 miles north of the Meherrin River. Accompanying him on this journey was “a Certain Weyanoake Indian Called Tom Freeman.”

Weyanoke Indian Tom Freeman by Fletcher Freeman


Freeman first appears in Bladen Co. NC with Abraham, Samuel and William, all of mixt blood on a tax list in 1774. In 1775, Abraham was a free person of color, possibly black and in 1776 Roger Freeman appeared in a tax list of Bladen with a family of 8.  Benjamin and William Freeman, white, in Barnes district of S Robeson Co. NC in 1776.  Abram and James Freeman of current Bladen signed a petition regarding road work around the Waccamaw in 1802.  1850 Robeson census gives all as white and dates back to before 1790 in the area.  Self identified as Indian in the 1900 Robeson census and on the 1900 Indian census schedule.  Death records show name as Indian in 1919 and 1940 in Alfordsville, Fairmont and Thompson Twp.

Implosion, the Secret History of the Origins of the Lumbee Indians by Morris Britt

  • Tyson
  • Chance

Found among the Cherokee in WWI draft registrations.

  • Collins

Source: Hyde Co., NC Court Minutes 1757-1788; Book III by Weynette Parks Haun

Page 55 (Item #111)  March Court 1765 – On motion Patrick Gordan ordered that William Gibbs be summoned to next court to shew cause if any he has why Cate Collings an Indian woman now in his service should not be set free.

Page 58 (Item 117) June Court 1765 – Ordered that William Gibbs have timely notis [sic] that he shew cause why Cate Collins an Indian woman be not set at liberty.

  • Good
  • Barrow
  • Banow?
  • Hill

Tuscarora People as Identified by Land and Other Transactions by Roberta Estes (2012) – Individuals from North Carolina primarily, some from New York.

First Last (or one name only) Year Comment
John Hill 1777

Tuscarora People as Identified by Land and Other Transactions by Roberta Estes (2012) – Individuals from North Carolina primarily, some from New York.

First Last (or one name only) Year Comment
James Rice or Hill 1777

Found among the Tuscarora in the Indian census in the 1880s and 1890s.

Indian surnames enumerated in the 1888-1892 New York Indian census from original National Archives documents indexed at http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1059

  • Clagton
  • Braddock
  • Davis
  • Mackay/Mackey

In 1715, at the close of the Tuscarora War, defeated, the Mattamuskeet were given permission to settle at Lake Mattamuskeet in current Hyde Co., NC. In 1724 King Squired and King Mackey requested that the land be surveyed, but in 1727, when the reservation land was finally granted, it still had not been done.  In 1715, the Mattamuskeet and the Coree, traditional enemies settled on the reservation.  The Tuscarora were living there as well until 1722 when they received their own reservation. The Coree, traditionally allied with the Tuscarora, likely went with them to Indian Woods in Bertie County.  In 1731, there we only 20 families at Lake Mattamuskeet and in 1755, only 8 to 10.  The Mattamuskeet who appear in deeds and records between 1721 and 1792 are as follows, with the first year they appeared in a record following their name.  King Squires (1721), King Mackey (1721), John Squires (1731), John Mackey (1731), Long Tom (1731), Charles Eden (1739), Charles Squires (1740), son of John Squires per a 1746 deed that says “by order of his father John Squires, George Squires, 1746, son of John Squires  per a 1760 deed, Joseph Russell 1747, Joshua Squires, 1752, Timothy Squires, 1752, James Tom, 1760, Jemina Squires, 1762, Jean Longtom, 1792, Martha Longtom, 1792, John Longtom, 1792, Patience McKey (Mackey), 1792 and Tabitha Timothy, 1792.  The 1792 deed held no names or prior signers.  There had been 30 years between the 1792 deed and the previous deed signed in 1762.  [Estes, Mattamuskeet Unraveled]

  • Longtom

See Mackey, above.

  • Powers

Hat tip to Justin for finding the Hyde County overstricken census records and thanks for passing the information along.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Algonquian, Bare River Indians, Bay River Indians, Catatkpncy, Cherokee, Chowan, Coree, DNA, Hatteras, Lumbee, Machapunga, Mattamuskeet, Meherrin, North Carolina, Pamplico, Peedee, Reservation, Tuscarora, Waccamaw, Weyanoke, Woccon, Wynganditoian, Yawpim, Yeopim. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Hyde County, NC Indian Families in 1850

    • Indeed, it was. It also shows us that even almost 100 years after the Mattamuskeet sold the last of their reservation, the local people still knew they were Indian. Also shows why we need to read original documents whenever possible. Three cheers for Justin!!!

      • Lisa Marie says:

        My family is the mattamuskeet Indian’s In NC.

      • Anatole Larokko says:

        My Grandmother and Great-Grandmother were Native American from the Currituck Township a District of Swan Quarter, Hyde County, North Carolina. All census documentation up until 1930 is listed this way. After 1935 the listing changed to Scranton or Germantown. Can you tell me more about Currituck Township & Sladesville and why the name change. Can you also tell me if this was the area where the Tuscarora lived right after the Tuscarora war of 1712-1715 along the Mattamuskeet Lake. I know the Tuscarora was from the area known as Indian Woods Township, Windsor,Bertie County, North Carolina who’s leader was King Tom Blount. That is also the are where my Great-Grandfather comes from.

    • Ron Clark says:

      I am froml Leechville, NC, located at the end of the Pungo River. We were raised on salt herring and deer. Every year the people gathered at the end of the Pungo River to catch the spalding herring . We called the annual event and the location, “Herring Run”.

  1. Andre Austin says:

    1860 Hyde County Census. Sladeville Post Office. Page 119. Household No. 732. Douglas, Turna? 72 male Indian Douglas, Olivia 77 female Indian Barber, Marina 50 female mulatto. Barber, Sally. 15 female mulatto Turner and Olivia Douglas are listed as “mulatto” in the 1850 census

  2. Dee says:

    I hope that you someday do a little research on Surry and Stokes County NC. A lot of FPOC seemed to have settled that area, and it appears that they may have originated from the areas you often mention. Others seem to float between Va. and NC, but a lot of Sizemore and Donahoo applications were made to Guion Miller from this area. There were many others from various well known claimants such as Revel, Bryant, Payne, Strickland, Johns, Carter, Donathan, Barber, and Hill. I found quite a bit on the Hill family there, and there seemed to be movement between Surry NC and Wythe County Va. I found Merilla Hill in as early as 1810 Surry with 9 “Other Free” listed in the home, but I think that they pre-date 1810 and were marked as White.

    On down into Stokes there are further extensions of these FPOC families like Mitchell, Evans, Stuart/Stewart, James, Hill, Riddle, Goins(tons), etc… of which Benjamin Evans and Lucy Mitchell are my ancestors who show a marriage in Granville NC

  3. My people descend from Tuscarora-machapungo- Mattamuskeet indian nations. Our names are Boston,Brooks,Pierce,Mackey,Smith,Cordons,Cotanch,Biggs,Shephard,Barber,Chance,Reid,Wiggans,Blount and James. The names above we are related too small world.

    • Zach Squires says:

      I am a descendant of King John Squires of the Mattamuskeet-Machapungo, and i am also a descendant of Chief Nicholas Casiah of a southern Tuscarora tribe located in what is present day Bertie county.

      • Gloria Squires says:

        The DNA is Inconclusive for Squires-My Husband was in the Project their research showed up mostly English and they said they know they were from the swamp and physical evidence and History says they are But they haven’t been able to prove it through the FDNA they said their is a lot more to learn about the DNA- My husband is Jayhew M Squires.

    • Alicia Grimes says:

      I am a descendant of the Cotanch family and would love to get additional information

  4. I forgot to include that my Family is from Free Union/ Pineywoods, Jamesville,N.C

  5. My name is Eugene Armstrong Jr.
    My great great grandfather George Sutton wife named Rosetta Perry
    Born in Perquiman County 1832.
    The 1850’s census says same as this article.
    He was a private in the US Colored Troops.
    I’m seeking information about his indengenous heritage if any.
    Also his father may have been a confederate white soldier named Thomas Sutton who relocated to Tennesseesee
    Thank you

  6. Talib Cornelius says:

    I have Mackey (Mckee) in my family line. Through my mother and her mother and pretty sure Patience is one of the names. Seems that the tribes in NC mixed a lot with Scotish.

    • Barbara J. Mackey says:

      Hello! My name is Barbara Mackey of Mattamuskeet decent. Growing up in Washington North Carolina, my father, Julian Cecil Mackey constantly reminded us children about our Mattamuskeet heritage. After his passing in 1982, I began an extensive search on our heritage. Other than identifying the Mackey name as one of Scotish origin, I’ve found nothing else about how we intermingled. If you could/would, would you communicate any information to me about such through my Email? I’d be overjoyed!!

  7. Mary Russ says:

    My paper trail show’s my parents and their parents are INDIAN all the way back to 1806 where Antony Freeman show’s mulatto he and milly had some kids two of the brother’s one was Joe Huggies Freeman Elbert Freeman they both brother’s and my great grandpa and their children are INDAIN my show’s different?

  8. Zach Squires says:

    I found this very helpful, but i am curious if you have done any findings into the Squires family?
    I am a descendant of the Squires of the Mattamuskeet area. I know that King John Squires was my ancestor but i am curious about his descendants and if census records exist marking them as mulatto or other? I have been searching for such records but cant seem to find them. I recently did a DNA test and it showed some Native American DNA.
    Sincerely, Zachery Squires

    • The Squires family has not tested paternally Native, meaning the Squires surname. There was a white Squires in Hyde County at the same time as the Native Squires family – and that’s probably where the surname was adopted from. No Native paternal line has yet tested.

      • Christine Squires says:

        The Native line for the Squires would be in the mitochondrial DNA. King Squires’ father, Jonathan Squires was an Englishman and his mother, Ethelia, was a Native–on both her maternal and paternal sides.

    • Danyell Mackey says:

      Zach this is Danyell Mackey I thought about you when I was reading about King James Mackey. All the Hodges, Elks, Squires and like to others are all Indians I thought could be wrong. But you’re the only Squires I know from down there. Emily Elks descends from Sir Samuel Elks which sold Gum Branch and moved to Chocowinity. All my family are from Mattamuskeet and Currituck County. My family reunion is held in Hyde County.

    • Josephine Cerdan-Franco says:

      If you are Squires, Mackeys, Barber, Keys, Pierce, Brooks,Collins,Smith, Jacobs, You are 2to3% Native America, I am 3rd Granddaughter of George Washington Brooks and Elizabeth Boston Brooks, and I am 3% Native. Josephine Franco

  9. Forest Hazel says:

    I believe the letter is an “F”, possibly for “Free” Compare it to the “F” in the column for sex next to the race column. I am certain that some of these families WERE of Indian descent; the Barbers, Mackeys, and Collin among them. But My interpretation is that the enumerator began by using the “F” for all free colored families, then realized that was not the way the categories were set up, and went back and changed what he had written.

  10. Roberta,
    My King family that were on Bennett and Catherine Creeks can be traced also through deeds to Somerton Creek with the Meherrin, Parker’s Ferry and Meherrin town before my line ended up on Indian Woods, and there was a line that went Orange, NC close to my 8th great uncle Jeremiah Bunch.
    Ironically, a mill at Snakebite had been owned by Jeremiah, had also been owned by my John Robbins, originally from Orange, VA, and a Freeman.


  11. Brent Stanley says:

    My is Brent Stanley aka Peppy I’m kinda new to genealogy. But I notice a lot of the surnames folks are droppin are the same as mine. Brief history of my folks. THE REDBONE & MELUNGEONS OF BEAR HEAD CREEK, STARKS, LOUISIANA. AKA MIXED BLOODS!!! Just got my DNA! All I can say is WOW. Looks to me long ago we were the mutts of the Mediterranean & North Atlantic mixed with Native or at least my make up. Surnames in my tree are Stanley, Bass, Perkins, Ashworth, Dial / Doyle, Hoosier, Gibson, Gill, Collins, Mullins, Brown, Bell, etc. I have traced us back to the tribes of the Colonial Virginia’s and Carolina’s. Wow what a history!! First and Foremost these are the people who made us we should ALL be proud. No Matter What!!!! I know I am!!! The problem I’m having is with Jeremiah Bass Sr. 1724 son of Edward Bass and Elizabeth Goins. I can’t find good info. Can anyone help! Sincerely Just Another Redbone Looking For Roots……

  12. Miles King is a common name in my King line, not as common as Michael or John but several are Identified. My King were friends with and married to Pugh and Parker. You can find these King in every identified Meherrin town and reservations. My direct line went to Indian Woods, then later around 1749 moved to Duplin Co, Sampson Co, etc. where one of the William King was a chief. Robert Estes, your E-mail address is in my Gedmatch list managing a man named Luntz?? I think. Justin does good work and finds good data!

  13. Teresa Burgess says:

    The story of my family is that my ggg grandfather was an adopted child of a Cherokee indain princess. She was raped by a white male of unkown name. They killed the white male, but when she gave birth the indains or whites did not want the baby. The Nichols family was crossing the NC mountains to TN and took the baby and gave it the Nichols name. Would love any information.

    • Kyra Lynn says:

      Based on your last name I wonder if you are talking about Keziah Burgess. My family oral history was that Keziah Burgess and 2 other children were bonded to the Nichols family. Keziah had 4 children. All “bastards”. My family told me she was of Native descent.

  14. Kathi Bobb says:

    Has anyone seen any information on the Covel family listed in this census?

  15. Ezekiel Hall says:

    Does anyone have any specific information pertaining to a Cati Collings (Collins), a Native woman, whom may have been an apprentice or a slave to William Gibbs from possibly circa 1765 to 1767? Was she her Native tribe? Any family information? Any information in general would be appreciated.

  16. Phyllis Harper says:

    I grew up on Bay River in Pamlico County, NC. My dad used to scold us kids for digging up arrow heads and stuff like that. He told us that there was an Indian burial ground where we were finding this stuff. I have wondered if that was the site of Raudauquaquank, where the Bear/Bay River Indians lived.

  17. Leslie B says:

    Anyone have information on the Saddler/Sawyer families. I know my grandmothers grandfather was indigenous people of Hyde county. I think she said there were names changed to English back then. We are related to the Collins family somehow. All of my family is from the area.

    • Debra Kinney says:

      My grandmother is the daughter of Joseph Willis Sawyer (1850-1932) and Missouri Bell. Joseph Willis Sawyer was the son of Hardy and Delila Sawyer but I have no further information to substantiate this. Is this the Sawyer family you are looking for?

      • Josephine Franco says:

        Hi Debra, when you get a chance give me a call I am First Nation Descendants of those people in Hyde County, Martin County, and Beaufort County. My Number is 1-302-670-6717, if i don’t answer, leave a message and I will get back to you.

  18. Ken Green says:

    My 3rd great grandfather Robert Green (born in Chatham County NC, 1787) was described by his great-granddaughter, as “a little Indian man.” She was told, by her mother (Robert Green’s granddaughter) many years later, that Robert was indeed an Indian, supposedly a Cherokee, which seems unlikely being from Chatham County. But..
    His (Robert’s) mother is proven by DNA and other records to have been Margaret Crutchfield, whose parents were both almost certainly (ALMOST certainly) of recent English descent – 2 generations (Robert’s father, who must have been of mostly Native American ancestry, is believed to have been William Green). My question – how likely is it that a North Carolina Indian – William – would marry, in 1780 or thereabout, a white woman – Margaret – who came to Chatham County from Virginia, with her older brothers, as an orphan, a decade or so earlier?

  19. Thanks for sharing. Let’s talk sometime.

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