Author Archives: justinpetrone

Blackwater Swamp

I WAS ABLE to get a hold of Pocahontas’s People, Helen Rountree’s 1990 book on the Powhatan Indians of Virginia. This is a highly influential book, because in it she creates the narrative of the “Christianized Nansemond” (in reality, the … Continue reading

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Whither the Pretendians?

  THIS TOPIC is in the air, so I might as well address it. It so happens that a great many people in the US claim to be descended from indigenous people, and some maintain this as their primary identity … Continue reading

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Algonquian Families

WHEN I WAS DOING my own family’s genealogy, I started to look into what researchers call ‘collateral lines,’ other branches of the family, to see into what families the siblings and cousins of my ancestors married. I was surprised to … Continue reading

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‘Where It Divides in Two’

COLONIAL RECORDS are packed with references to different Native American groups, often named according to their place of residence. Modern-day narratives take these fragments and construct trajectories for people based on land deeds, surnames, and tenuous links afforded in old … Continue reading

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Cate Collins, an Indian woman

THE NAME COLLINS is not listed on any of the deeds associated with the Mattamuskeet Indian Reservation in Hyde County, North Carolina, such as Squires, Barber, Mackey, and Longtom. However, in March 1765, a woman named Cate Collins made an … Continue reading

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Thomas Bennett, an old Indian man

THE NAME BENNETT appears on multiple documents related to Native Americans in northeastern North Carolina. These include the following: James Bennett, on the Chowan Indian land conveyances in 1733-1734 George and Josiah Bennett, described as Indian boys in Gates County apprenticeships … Continue reading

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A quick one

I’LL MAKE THIS BRIEF. One of the most frequent questions that people, particularly of mostly European descent, have about their admixture results is where their purported Native American ancestry disappeared to. Some actually have documented ancestors, some are enrolled members … Continue reading

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