1762 Indian Wars – John Martin Family Captured

The “History of the Church of the Brethren” tells us the following about a massacre and kidnapping of white settlers in 1762 in Great Cove in the Juniata Valley of Pennsylvania, by King Beaver and Capt. Shingas, who personally led the raids.

1762 Indian Wars

You can read more about the John Martin family here and here.

Posted in Delaware, Military, Pennsylvania, Shawnee, Tuscarora | 2 Comments

Jackson Purchase Negotiations with the Chickasaws

This was one of several articles found in an old scrapbook in the 1980s in the library at Tazewell, TN. I copied the entire scrapbook given that I realized many of the articles are of historical significance and the local newspaper office burned in 1923, so there were no archived issues of the newspaper.  While this article does not pertain to local residents, it does describe little known details of the negotiations of Andrew Jackson, Governor Shelby of Kentucky (who challenged Jackson to a duel) and the Chickasaw Indians.

This article describes the details of the 1818 negotiations for the purchase of what came to be known at the Jackson Purchase, in essence the western eight counties of Kentucky in an area bounded by the Ohio River on the north, the Mississippi on the west and the Tennessee on the east.

Jackson purchase

Posted in Chickasaw, Treaty | Leave a comment

Horse Shoe Jim, an Indian Chief, Claiborne County, Tennessee

During a visit to Claiborne County, TN is the 1980s, I happened across a scrapbook that had been contributed to the library. Inside the scrapbook were old clippings from the Claiborne Progress Newspaper that related to the residents and includes a group of historical articles.  I copied the entire scrapbook, although many of the articles were not in good shape.  I’ve found this treasure trove again recently as I was cleaning out some files, and have been transcribing the articles to preserve them.  Unknown to me at that time, the Claiborne Progress burned in 1923, so there are no archived newspapers.  Judging from surrounding articles, this article was probably from 1912-1916.

A Pioneer Home Goes Up in Smoke

“Holly Hill” or the Patterson home burned last Saturday night and was destroyed. The fire was discovered by 8 o’clock and flames when first seen were coming from the dining hall roof.  The fire had been in the ?? since the dinner hour.  How the fire originated will never be known but supposition that the match and the rat is responsible.  Insurance to the amount of $25,000 was carried on the building and furniture.  Comparatively nothing was saved.

The old Patterson home was situationed three ?? (probably miles) from the Gap. The brick portion was built by Elisha Walden in the early part of the last century and owned by his son John Walden until 1836 when it was purchased by Frances Patterson and his son James M. Paterson and has been in the hands of the family every since.

Probably no old home in this county has more interesting historical association connections with it. (missing)  Patterson home was never a hotel, it is safe to say that thousands of travelers, stock ?? and soldiers have slept under its roof (missing)

Almost under the ruins their lies the bones of a confederate soldier whose grave was covered with white roses, peonies, scarlet and yellow tulips. A little farther away is the grave of Horse Shoe Jim, an Indian Chief killed in an Indian attack and buried by Walden and his slaves.  On the State Road near the ruins is a grave marked on a crude tombstone “William Robinson, killed by Indians in 1786”.  The Indians had stolen Robinson’s horses in Virginia and he with others had followed them to their Indian village.  He became separated from his friends and was shot from a cane brake.  He wrote his on an oak tree with his own blood.  When found he was buried on the spot.

Roberta’s note: Elisha Walden is also known as Elisha Wallen.  Patterson Crossroads today is just east of the intersection of highways 63 and 25E. The “State Road” is now highway 25E.

Robinson was killed at Butcher Springs, just north of Arthur and you can see pictures of this area in my article about Lazarus Dodson who later owned this land.

On the map below, Butcher Springs is marked with the red balloon and you can see Patterson Crossroads in the upper right corner.

butcher springs

If this history is correct and Robinson did follow the Indians to their village, this tells is that the location of Butcher Springs, which is an excellent headwater on a flat area would have been the location at one time of an Indian village.

Butcher springs satellite

This overview shows Butcher Springs, Patterson Crossroads just east of 63 and 25E and Cumberland Gap at the top.

Cumberland overview

Elisha Wallen, the longhunter, died in 1814 in Missouri, at 84 years of age.  He began longhunting in the area that would become Claiborne County, TN in 1761.  However, the nephew of the longhunter Elisha Wallen, also named Elisha Wallen, lived in Claiborne County, served in the Revolutionary War and testified after 1814 and prior to 1841 as to the service of Alexander Ritchie.  You can read more about Elisha Wallen and Indian attacks in the 1770s and 1780s here.

Posted in Tennessee | 1 Comment

Further Analysis of Native American DNA Haplogroup C Planned

Haplogroup C is one of two Native American male haplogroups. More specifically, one specific branch of the haplogroup C tree is Native American which is defined by mutation C-P39 (formerly known as C3b).  Ray Banks shows this branch (highlighted in yellow) along with sub-branches underneath on his tree:

C-P39 Ray Banks Tree

Please note that if you are designated at 23andMe as Y haplogroup C3e, you are probably C-P39. We encourage you to purchase the Y DNA 111 marker test at Family Tree DNA and join the haplogroup C and C-P39 projects.

It was only 11 years, ago in 2004 in the Zegura study, that C-P39 was reported among just a few Native American men in the Plains and Southwest.  Since that time The American Indian DNA project, surname projects and the AmerIndian Ancestry Out of Acadia DNA projects have accumulated samples that span the Canadian and American borders, reaching west to east, so haplogroup C-P39 is not relegated to the American Southwest.  It is, however, still exceedingly rare.

In August of 2012, Marie Rundquist, co-administrator of the haplogroup C-P39 DNA project performed an analysis and subsequent report of the relationships, both genealogical and genetic, of the C-P39 project members.  One of the burning questions is determining how far back in time the common ancestor of all of the C-P39 group members lived.

C-P39 MCRA

When Marie performed the first analysis, in 2012,, there were only 14 members in the project, representing 6 different families, and they had only tested to 67 markers. Most were from Canada.

C-P39 countries

My, how things have changed. We now have more participants, more markers to work with and additional tests to bring to bear on the questions of relatedness, timing and origins.

Today, there are a total of 43 people in the project and their locations include the Pacific Northwest, Appalachia, the Southwest and all across Canada, west to east.

If you are haplogroup C-P39 or C3e at 23andMe, please join the C-P39 project at Family Tree DNA today.  I wrote about how to join a project here, but if you need assistance, just let me know in a comment to the blog and Marie or I will contact you.  (Quick Instructions: sign on to your FTDNA account, click on projects tab on upper left toolbar, click on join, scroll down to Y haplogroup projects, click on C, select C-P39 project and click through to press orange join button.)

Marie is preparing to undertake a new analysis and provides the following announcement:

The C-P39 Y DNA project is pleased to announce a forthcoming updated and revised project report.  The C-P39 project has established a 111-marker baseline for our 2016 study and analysis will include:

  • 111 marker result comparisons
  • geo-locations
  • tribal / family relationships
  • C P39 SNP findings
  • new SNPs and Big Y results

The current C-P39 Y DNA study has a healthy diversity of surnames, geo-locations, and tribal / family lines represented.

The C-P39 Y DNA project will cover the costs of the necessary 111 marker upgrades by way of Family Tree DNA C-P39 Y DNA study project fund.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the project fund and to participants who have funded their own tests to 111 markers as part of our study.  To voluntarily contribute (anonymously if you like) to the C-P39 Y DNA project funds and help our project achieve this goal, please click on the link below and please do make certain that the “C-P39 Y-DNA” pre-selected project is highlighted when you do:

https://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Y-DNAC-P39

Thank you to project members contributing DNA test results to the C-P39 study and for encouraging friends and relatives to do the same!  Thank you also to Family Tree DNA management for their ongoing support.

The project needs to raise $3164 to upgrade all project members to 111 markers.  Many participants have already upgraded their own results, for which we are very grateful, but we need all project members at the 111 level if possible.

Please help fund this scientific project if you can.  Every little bit helps.  I’m going to start by making a donation right now!  You can make the donation in memory or in honor of someone or a particular ancestor – or you can be completely anonymous.  Please click on the link above to make your contribution!!!  We thank you and the scientific community thanks you.

Posted in Canada, Cree, DNA, Miawpukeks, Micmac | 9 Comments

Native American Haplogroup X2a – Solutrean, Hebrew or Beringian?

I was very pleased to see the article, “Does Mitochondrial Haplogroup X Indicate Ancient Trans-Atlantic Migration to the Americas? A Critical Re-Evaluation” by Jennifer Raff and Deborah Bolnick.

This is one of those topics that gets brought up over and over again and is often presented in the form of an urban legend with some level of bias based up on the agenda, exuberance or opinion of the person who is presenting the evidence. In other words, it makes for good click-bait.

Personally, I don’t have a horse in this race. I care about the truth, whatever it is, being discovered and unraveled.  I think the authors of this paper have done a good job of presenting the evidence in both directions then drawing conclusions based on scientific data as we know it.  There has been new evidence emerge in the recent past and there is likely to be more in the future which, depending on the evidence, could cause a re-evaluation of this topic.

Why has haplogroup X2 been so contentious and controversial when the other Native American haplogroups have not?

There are two primary reasons:

  1. There is no clear-cut genetic path across Beringia to the New World for X2a, meaning that X2a is not found in Siberia in the areas bordering Beringia. The ancestral form of the other Native American haplogroups are found there, indicating a clear migration path. Having said that, haplogroup X2a and subgroups is very clearly the rarest of the Native American mitochondrial DNA haplogroups and it’s certainly feasible that not enough testing has been performed on living or ancestral people to discover X2 or X2a directly ancestral individuals. It is also possible that line has died out, but hopefully we will still find examples in skeletal remains as more are DNA typed.
  2. Many of the early carriers of haplogroup X2a were found in eastern maritime Canada, a prime theoretical landing location for Solutreans.  This certainly fanned the Solutrean flame.  However, more recent discoveries of haplogroup X2a and subgroups have been more widely geographically dispersed.  Neither is there a path or ancestral form of X2a found in Europe or the Middle East.

Looking at the X2a subgroups (X2a, X2a1, X2a1a, X2a1b, X2a1c, plus three forms of X2a2) in the haplogroup X project at Family Tree DNA, the American Indian project, GenBank and various academic papers, we find the following locations identified for X2a and subgroups, moving west to east:

  • Saskatchewan
  • Pasadena, California
  • Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Selkirk, Manitoba
  • Manitoba (2)
  • La Pointe, Wisconsin
  • Ontario
  • Ontario border with Michgan (Manitoulin Island)
  • St. Ignace, Michigan (near border with Ontario)
  • Manawan, Quebec
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Newfoundland (Island) 2
  • Cape Breton, Canada
  • Nova Scotia, Canada

Although not in the haplogroup X project, X2a2 has also been found among the Navajo and Jemez in the American Southwest and in Kennewick Man found in Kennewick, Washington. Other tribal affiliations include the Chippewa, Ojibwa and Sioux.  Given the Newfoundland and Canadian seaboard locations, the Algonquian speaking Micmac and Beothuk populations would clearly be involved as well.

X2a map

Note on the X2a map above reflecting the oldest known ancestral locations, that no locations appear outside of North America.

Haplogroup X2a is believed to have developed in Beringia during the period of isolation of approximately 8,000 years experienced by the people who were to become the “First Nations” and “Native Americans” in North America. This is the reason, not just for X2a, but for other haplogroups as well, that some subgroups exist only in Native people in the New World and not in Asia from whence they came.  Those haplogroup identifying mutations occurred during their long stay in Beringia.

We know from archaeological excavations along with genetic analysis in some cases that the Native people by roughly 14,000 years ago had emerged from Beringia, trekked southward and were in Monte Verde in Chile. The Native population seems to have diverged into two groups, one in South America who likely arrived via a western coastal route, and one who migrated more eastwardly, the ancestors of Anzick Child who lived about 12,500 years ago in Montana and whose DNA has been tested.

Kennewick Man who carries the oldest form of haplogroup X2a yet found in the Americas was dated to be about 9,000 years old and was found in Washington State, so clearly X2a was present in the Native population 9,000 years ago and on the western side of the continent.

You will note that in the list of X2a results given above, none of the locations are any further south than Chichuhua, Mexico.  Based on the locations of these most distant ancestors, a primary west to east migration path just north of the present day border between the US and Canada is suggested, along with a secondary path southward along the Pacific coast or western corridor.

Here are the salient points listed by Raff and Bolnick in support of haplogroup X2a and subgroups originating in Asia, along with the other Native American haplogroups, and arriving together in the same settlement wave:

  1. Haplogroup X2a is present in the Americas in pre-European contact skeletal remains confirming is it not a result of post-contact admixture.
  2. While the Altai, considered to be the original Asian homeland of today’s Native American people, do carry haplogroup X2, the linking mutations between X2 and X2a have not been found in that or any other population group today. Haplogroup X itself originated in the Middle East before X2 evolved, but that is not indicative of Hebrew or European ancestry.
  3. X2a is not found in the Middle East, and therefore could not have been part of a theoretical Hebrew migration from the Middle East 2500 years ago. Haplogroup X2a was found in Kennewick man who lived 9000 years ago, in Washington State, so X2a in the Americas predates the proposed Hebrew migration by some 6,500 years.
  4. The oldest and deepest rooted X2a result, relative to the haplotree, is Kennewick man whose remains were found in the western US. If X2a was the result of a Solutrean migration during the Pleistocene 23,500 to 18,000 years ago with a landing base in Newfoundland or someplace on the east coast, the oldest and deepest lineages should be found in the eastern population, not on the west coast.
  5. Based on coalescence dates and demographic history, X2a is likely to have originated in the same population as the other American founder haplogroups.
  6. Kennewick Man was explicitly tested for his affinity with European and Polynesian populations and that hypothesis was rejected.
  7. Studies have indicated that a population found in central Asia contributed strongly to both the Native American population and the European population by moving from central Asia into both Europe and Siberia, but that does not equate to Europeans being ancestral to Native Americans. Instead, a common ancestral population often referred to as the “ghost population” was part of the founding group of both Europeans and Native Americans as described here and here. This means that later European populations, such as Germanic people who do show small amounts of “Native American” admixture are probably more closely related to Native Americans than earlier populations from before the central Asian people arrived and settled en masse in Europe.
  8. No Solutrean skeletal remains have been recovered in Europe in order to facilitate a direct comparison. However, if Solutrean people did arrive in the New World on the east coast, one would not expect to find a European/Solutrean signature equally distributed among all native people, but instead distributed in a gradient pattern with the highest levels closest to where the Solutrean people lived, meaning their landing point.  In other words, it would radiate outward like ripples from a rock thrown into water.  However, the genetic signature of West Eurasian ancestry in Native American people is found equally in all Native American genomes tested to date, and as such, predates the evolution of regional genetic structure within North and South America as reflected in migration patterns.
Posted in Algonquian, Anthropology, Anzick, Archaeology, Archaic Indians, Asia, Beothuk, Canada, Chippewa, Clovis, DNA, Europe, History, Jemez, Kennewick Man, Michigan, Micmac, Migration, Montana, Navajo, Ojibwa, Sioux, Solutrean | 4 Comments

Samson Occom, the Presbyterian Mohegan

Samson Occom

Born in 1723, Samson was a member of the Mohegan nation from near New London, CT and became a Presbyterian minister.  Occum was the first Native American to publish his writings in English, and also helped found several settlements, including what ultimately became known as the Brothertown Indians. Together with the missionary John Eliot, Occom became one of the foremost missionaries who cross-fertilized Native American communities with Christianized European culture.

Elliott published the first Bible in the US, which just happened to be written in Algonquian.

Born to Joshua Tomacham and his wife Sarah, Occom is believed to be a direct descendant of Uncas, the notable Mohegan chief.

In 1743 at the age of 20, Occom heard the teachings of Christian evangelical preachers in the Great Awakening. He began to study theology at the “Lattin School” of Congregational minister Eleazar Wheelock in 1743 and stayed for four years until leaving to begin his own career. In addition to improving his English, Occom learned to read and speak Hebrew. As a young man, the only book he owned was the Bible. From 1747 until 1749, Occum worked under and studied with the Reverend Solomon Williams in New London, Connecticut.

From 1749–61, Occom became a teacher, preacher, and judge to Pequot Native Americans in Montauk, eastern Long Island. He married Mary Fowler, a local woman, in the fall of 1751. Occom helped the Pequot to assimilate and adopt European-style houses, dress and culture.

He was officially ordained a minister on August 30, 1759, by the presbytery of Suffolk. Occom was never paid the same salary as white preachers, although promised that he would be. The “Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge” also gave Occom a stipend, but he lived in deep poverty for much of his life. In 1761 and 1763, Occom traveled to the Six Nations of the Iroquois in upstate New York to preach. Winning few converts, he returned to teach at Mohegan, Connecticut near New London.

Meanwhile, in 1754, Wheelock had established an Indian charity school in Lebanon, Connecticut with a legacy from Joshua Moor, among others. Wheelock persuaded his former pupil to travel to England to raise money for the school. Occom preached his way across Britain from February 16, 1766, to July 22, 1767, delivering between three and four hundred sermons, drawing large crowds wherever he went, and raising over ₤12,000 (pounds) for Wheelock’s project. King George III donated 200 pounds, and William Legge, Earl of Dartmouth subscribed 50 guineas. However, Occom on his return learned that Wheelock failed to care for Occom’s wife and children while he was away. Furthermore, Wheelock moved to New Hampshire and used the funds raised to establish Dartmouth College (named after the generous aristocrat) for the education of Englishmen, rather than Native Americans as originally promised to Occom.

This disappointment was followed by the Connecticut Colony’s ruling that the Mohegans would not be compensated for land they sold to the colony. The colony then backed an unpopular candidate for Mohegan Sachemship. This led the Mohegans to decide that no Sachem was better than a colonial puppet. With the Tribe increasingly penniless and powerless, Occum accepted an invitation in the 1780s for his group to resettle with the upstate New York Oneida. He hoped their new home in Brothertown, New York would free them from additional disappointment. His legacy for the Mohegan people who remained in Connecticut was a reputation for being Christianized, which helped them avoid later relocation, although not forever.

Upon his return from England, Occom lived with the Mohegan. After Wheelock’s betrayal, Occom worked to organize Christianized Indians of New England and Long Island into a new tribe, located in western Connecticut. Under continuing pressure from settlers following the American Revolutionary War, in 1785 they migrated at the invitation of Christians of the Oneida tribe to their reservation in central New York state. Occom, his son-in-law Joseph Johnson (Mohegan)(a messenger for General George Washington during the American Revolution); and his brother-in-law David Fowler (Montauk) led the emigrants who built a new settlement called “Brothertown” (originally nearby Waterville, NY). The Oneida also invited other Christian Indians to live with them, namely the Stockbridge Mohican from western Massachusetts and two Lenape groups from southern New Jersey. The Mohicans founded what they called New Stockbridge in New York, near Oneida Lake. Occom not only assured these villages received civil charters in 1787, but also evicted white settlers from Brotherton on April 12, 1792.

Occom died on July 14, 1792, in New Stockbridge. He is buried just off of Bogusville Hill Road outside of Deansboro.

In the 1820s, many Brothertown Indians and some Oneida accepted payment for their land from New York State and removed to what is now known as the Town of Brothertown in Calumet County, Wisconsin. In the modern era, the Brothertown Indians petitioned the federal government for recognition as a tribe, but were denied and have appealed.

Posted in Brothertown, Iroquois, Lenape, Mantauk, Mohegan, Mohican, Oneida, Pequot, Six Nations | Leave a comment

First Bible Printed in US is Algonquian

Elliott Algonquian Bible

The Elliott Bible, translated into Algonquian by John Elliott,  a Puritan missionary known as the “Apostle to the Indians,” was the first Bible printed in the colonies in 1663 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  John used this Bible in his missionary efforts.

The Indians of course had no written language, but John Elliott learned Algonquian with the help of an Indian captive named Cockenoe who spoke both Algonquian and English.  Specifically, John wrote this Bible in what he perceived to be the Massachusetts language.

Eventually, John succeeded in converting 14 towns into what were known as “praying Indians.”

That Bible today resides in the Library of Congress.

Hat tip to Don for this information.

Posted in Algonquian, Massachusetts | 5 Comments