Venture Smith – From African Prince to Connecticut Freeman

From the connecticuthistory.org website Although I didn’t know it at the time, my best friend from grammar school is a descendant of Venture Smith. She and other family members recently journeyed to Africa to witness the beginnings of their ancestor’s incredible life. You can read about the trip in the New York Times Travel Section by following this link. Venture Smith was born about 1730 … Continue reading Venture Smith – From African Prince to Connecticut Freeman

Nipmuc Angenettes

Angenette is a popular name in my family; I have a sister Angenette and another sister whose middle name is Angenette (don’t ask!). The first Angenette in my family was born Angenette Briggs White in 1829 Webster, MA. She was a member of the Pegan Band of Nipmuc Indians and the daughter of Betsey Pegan Caesar and step-daughter of Henry White. She married twice – … Continue reading Nipmuc Angenettes

Suicide by Drowning in the Charles River

While collecting vital records on my Storms ancestors, I came across The above is from the Massachusetts death records. The date of death was February 18, 1884. The town of Boston records included his burial site which was Mt. Hope Cemetery in Boston. There was no indication of who his parents were or where he was born in either record. I also couldn’t find any … Continue reading Suicide by Drowning in the Charles River

Unraveling Six Generations of Nipmuc Sarahs

Because land passed through the females of our matriarchal tribe,  Sarah Robins (abt. 1689 – bef. 1750),  Sarah Muckamaug (1718 – 1751),  Sarah Burnee (1744 – 1812), and  Sarah Boston (abt. 1787 – 1837) all occupied the “Muckamaug Allotment” in what is now Hassanamesit Woods in Grafton, MA. The total allotment was approximately 197 acres including the 106 acre plot shown below. Sarah Mary Boston … Continue reading Unraveling Six Generations of Nipmuc Sarahs

Nipmucs in the Civil War

I have several direct and collateral ancestors that served in the Civil War. One of those relations was Christopher Vickers (sometime spelled Vicars). There are several Christopher Vickers that were born and died in the same parts of New England and around the same time periods. I’d like to tell you a little about the Christopher Vickers that was born in Thompson, CT on the … Continue reading Nipmucs in the Civil War

My Favorite Resource for New England Native American Research

My favorite record group for tracking Native people in New England is housed in the National Archives down in Washington, DC. It’s part of Record Group 75 also known as the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The pages known as 75.12.2 are the Records relating to Kansas claims of New York Indians. Below is the front page of one of the many records found … Continue reading My Favorite Resource for New England Native American Research

Family History Writing Challenge

This is my second time participating in this yearly challenge. This year I want to write a bit on two of my favorite families – the Toneys and the Storms (I’m doing two because I couldn’t decide on one). Caesar Toney and Primus Storms are my 5th great grandfathers. Without them, I wouldn’t be me. I don’t know as much as I’d like to about … Continue reading Family History Writing Challenge

Introducing My Brick Wall – Molly Pegan

I am an enrolled member of a state-recognized tribe, the Nipmuc Nation, also known as the Hassanamisco Band of Nipmuc Indians. We have a reservation in Grafton, MA that has been occupied by our people since long before recorded time. (See http://nipmucmuseum.org/blog/2011/11/10/hassanamisco-reservation-on-the-national-register-of-historic-places/). Many members of my community have tried to unravel the mystery of Molly Pegan/Piggen Pollock Woodland (abt. 1753 to after 1841) but none have succeeded, … Continue reading Introducing My Brick Wall – Molly Pegan

Looking for Your Native American Ancestry in Massachusetts? Aquinnah (Gayhead) Wampanoag

Until 1869, Massachusetts Indians were wards of the state, not subject to taxation and disenfranchised. The Enfranchisement Act of 1869 changed that – not only did the law make citizens of the Commonwealth’s Native population, it also opened up communal lands held by Natives for sale to non-Indians. Committees were formed to investigate Indian lands that might be subject to sale. One such investigation on … Continue reading Looking for Your Native American Ancestry in Massachusetts? Aquinnah (Gayhead) Wampanoag