FORMER TERRITORY OF THE POWHATAN CONFEDERACY
The Pamunkey are the remnant of the nucleus tribe of the old confederacy, and the lineal descendants of Powhatan and his successors. They have maintained their organization as a tribe under colonial and state government, and have kept up more of the Indian form and tradition than any of the others. They have a state reservation of some 800 acres, the same which Jefferson described in 1781, in a bend of Pamunkey river, in King William county, Virginia, with postoffice and railroad station at White House, 24 miles eastward from Richmond. They derive their living almost entirely from the water, taking large quantities of herring and shad by seine, according to the season, with ducks, reedbirds, and an occasional sturgeon for disposal to Baltimore commission houses. Their fields of corn and beans are cultivated chiefly by hired negro labor. They neither vote nor pay taxes, but are governed by an elected chief and council, subject to the supervision of trustees appointed by the state. Deer and wild turkey are still found in their country, and, in continuance of the old colonial allegiance, they make an annual Thanksgiving present of game to the governor of the state. Their chief in 1900 was Theophilus Dennis, who has since been succeeded by George M. Cook, his brother-in-law. They number at home and abroad about 150 souls.
According to the statement of former chief Terrill Bradby of the Pamunkey, aged sixty-six in 1899, the numerous Bradbys of the Pamunkey and Chickahominy tribes all have descent from a white man, his great-grandfather, who, about the Revolutionary period, married a Chickahominy woman, by whom he had three sons, one of whom was Terrill’s grandfather.1
- Allmond, E. R. (Mattapony), w and 6 c.
- Bradby, Wm. Terrill (ex-chief), and 6 c and step-c; scattered.
- Bradby, Wm. S. (w white).
- Bradby, Cruzetta, and 5 c.
- Bradby, Riley, and 2 c.
- Bradby, James E., w and 2 c.
- Bradby, Roger, and w.
- Bradby, Charles S. (ex-chief), w and 4 c.
- Bradby, Evans, m and 3 c.
- Collins, Simeon, w and 6 c.
- Collins, Ellen.
- Collins, Emma J.
- Collins, Union, w and 4 c.
1 Abbreviations: m = mother; w = wife; h= husband; s= son; d = daughter; c = child or children; grc = grandchildren; grs = grandson; b = brother;sr = sister.
- Collins, John T., w and 4 c.
- Collins, Alfonzo (w Mattapony); Philadelphia.
- Cook, Mindora.
- Cook, George M., m, w and 5 c.
- Dennis, Theophilus (ex-chief), and m.
- Dennis, John T.
- Dennis, Thomas.
- Dennis, Elizabeth (Philadelphia?).
- Hawkes, Delila (h alien mixed-blood); Petersburg.
- Holmes, Richard L., w and 6 c.
- Langston, John (w Mattapony), w and 9 c.
- Langston, Lucy A., and 6 c.
- Langston, Wm., and w.
- Langston, James H. (Richmond).
- Miles, Rev. James P., and 3 c.
- Miles, Jacob (w white), and 5 c.
- Miles, Robert W., w and 5 c.
- Page, A. J., w and 1 c.
- Page, Ellen.
- Page, James E., and 1 c (New York).
- Page, Leroy (Newport News).
- Sampson, Richard, and 1 c. (New York).
- Sampson, Sterling Y. (w white), and 1 c.
- Swett, W. G., and 4 c.
- Swett, George A. (w Mattapony), w and 1 c; Pinner’s Point, Norfolk co.
- Swett, Frank.
- Others with Mormons in the West.
The present Mattapony are chiefly an offshoot from the Pamunkey. They have state recognition as a tribe, without citizenship or taxes, and have a small reservation of some 50 acres, with larger personal holdings, on the south bank of Mattapony river, King William county, about 10 miles distant from White House. They live principally by lumbering and farming, and have no chief or council, but combine their affairs with the Pamunkey. They number about 40 souls.
- Allmond, Thornton, w and 3 c.
- Allmond, Caley, m, 6 b and sr.
- Allmond, Esten, and 1 c; also married d with 1 c. in Philadelphia.
- Collins, Abbie (h Pamunkey).
- Costello, Norman, and 2 c.
- Costello, Epharis, w and 5 c.
- Langston, Mary Eliza (h Pamunkey).
- Major, Lee, w and 3 c.
- Reid, Blanche (h white), and 1 c; in Texas.
- Tuppins, Nannie, 1 c and nephew (Baltimore?).
- Tuppins, Alice.
The Chickahominy, although without regular organization or state recognition, are the largest of the existing bands, occupying individual holdings along both sides of the Chickahominy in Charles City and New Kent counties, besides about 20 persons in neighboring counties. A few Pamunkey reside with them, and both bands are much intermarried. They divide their time about equally between fishing and farming, according to the season. Within the last few years they are making an effort to effect a tribal organization, under the leadership of William H. Adkins. They number in all about 220 souls, of whom nearly three-fourths bear the family names of Adkins and Bradby.
- Adkins, Wm. H., chief (Bradley’s Store P. O., Charles City co.),w, m, and 7 c.
- Adkins, Spotswood, w and 8 c.
- Adkins, James E., w and 11 c.
- Adkins, Thomas Allen, w and 5 c.
- Adkins, Thomas (senior), w and 4 c.
- Adkins, Henry E., w and 11 c.
- Adkins, Allen, w and 3 c.
- Adkins, Aurelius, w and 2 c.
- Adkins, William, w and 7 c.
- Adkins, Prince Edward, w and I c.
- Adkins, Tazewell, w and 2 c.
- Adkins,Edward (Providence Forge P.O., New Kent co.), w and 9c.
- Adkins, Robert, w and 3 c.
- Bradby, Sanford (Bradley’s Store. P.O., Charles City co.), w.
- Bradby, John Williams, w and 2 c.
- Bradby, Burrell, w (a Pamunkey) and 8 c.
- Bradby, John A., 1 c.
- Bradby, Porterfield, w and 3 c.
- Bradby, Allen.
- Bradby, Henry Tazewell (Blair’s Wharf P.O., Prince George Co.);w was a Canadian Indian, 6 c.
- Bradby, Bolen (Bolling?), Fergusson’s Wharf P.O., Isle of Wight co.; w white, 1 s.
- Bradby, Luella (mouth of Chickahominy, James City co.), 5 c.
- Bradby, Maria J. (Providence Forge P.O., New Kent co.), 4 c.
- Bradby, Alexander J. (Boulevard P.O., New Kent co.), w and 6c.
- Cotman, Robert (Roxbury P.O., Charles City co.; some “foreign” Virginia tribe; grandfather white), w and 3 c.
- Holmes, Elias (Newport News, Warwick co., from New Kent co.), w and 3 c.
- Holmes, Irene (Newport News), 2 sr.
- Jefferson, Thomas (Bradley’s Store P.O., Charles City Co.), 2 b,1 sr.
- Jefferson, Peter (Westover P.O., Charles City co.).
- Jefferson, Sherman, w and 2 c.
- Jones, John (Bradley’s Store P.O.), w and 5 c.
- Miles, Graham (Bradley’s Store P.O.), w and 8 c.
- Miles, Graham B. (unmarried nephew of above), 2 b, 5 sr.
- Miles, Harold (a Pamunkey, Newport News), w.
- Miles, Jesse (Westover P.O., Charles City co.).
- Stuart, John, and w (Providence Forge P.O., New Kent co.).
- Swett, John J., w, m, and 1 c.
- Thompson, William (half-brother of Jesse Miles), Westover P.O.
- Wynne, Ferdinand (a Pamunkey with Chickahominy w,Providence Forge, New Kent co.), w and 11 c.
- Wynne, Winslow (Pamunkey, brother of Ferdinand Wynne, widower of Chickahominy w ), 1 d (adopted in Pamunkeys), 2s; Tunstall P.O., New Kent co.
The Nansemond have no state recognition or tribal organization, and reside chiefly in the country southwest from Portsmouth and Norfolk, in Norfolk county. They are all truck farmers, shipping their produce to Norfolk commission houses. Many also have served from time to time as sailors on coasting vessels. Although without any regular chief, their principal man is probably A. A. Bass, of Bowers Hill, Norfolk county. They number about 180 souls. The comparatively large number of family names is due to the frequent intermarriage of children of the original stock, chiefly Bass and Weaver, with “whites” in Portsmouth and elsewhere. In consequence of this dispersion, those at home have lost trace of the names of some of the younger generation abroad, so that the whole number may fairly be placed at 200 of the mixed blood.
- Bass, A.A. (w white), and 8 c.
- Bass, Jesse L. (b of above), w white.
- Bass, Azriah (b of above), m and 6 c.
- Bass, Winfield.
- Bass, Paul, and w.
- Bass, Eli N., and w.
- Bass, James N. (w white), and 2 c.
- Bass, J. T. (w white).
- Bass, Fred.
- Bass, Josephine.
- Bass, Iverson (b of A. A. Bass), w white, and 3 c.
- Bateman, Cornelia (h white), 2 c and 3 grc. Some in Portsmouth.
- Bateman, Charles (f white); Baltimore.
- Bateman, Lewis (f white); Suffolk.
- Bateman, Hal (f white); Suffolk.
- Bissell, Edward (w white), 3 c.
- Bissell, Walter (m white).
- Bissell, Mit (m white).
- Bond, Ellen (h white), and 5 c; 3 others married to “whites”.
- Bond, 2 grs of Ellen Bond (in white).
- Bond, Lemwood, and 2 s (m white).
- Bright, Elizabeth (h white), and 4 c.
- Bright, Louisa, and 5 c.
- Bright, Harlan.
- Bright, Eva, and 2 b (grc of Elizabeth Bright, m white).
- Brady, Ella, and 1 c (h white).
- Caple, Emma, and 1 c (h white).
- Collins, Kerry (w white); Portsmouth.
- Collins, John, and — c; Baltimore.
- Collins, “Bird”, and — c; Baltimore.
- Collins, Maggie, and — c; Baltimore.
- Craigins, Mary (h white), and 3 c; Savannah.
- Gaylord, Maggie (h white), and 3 c.
- Gray, Harriet Ann (h white), and c; Portsmouth.
- Green, Jurutha (h white); Portsmouth.
- Harmon, Edward (white? his wife is a Weaver), w and 5 c; Portsmouth.
- Harmon, Edward, Jr (grs of above); Portsmouth.
- Holloway, Missouri (h white), and 10 c; Brambleton.
- Howard, Sarah (h white), and 5 c.
- Jones, Emma (f white).
- Okay, Maggie (h white), and 2 c; Portsmouth.
- Osborn, Emma (h white).
- Porter, Amanda (h white), and 3 c.
- Price, John (f and w white), and 3 c.
- Price, George (f and w white), and 2 c; Portsmouth.
- Rowland, Fannie (h white), and 1 c; Portsmouth.
- Sawyer, Emerson (w white), and 2 c; Brambleton.
- Sawyer, Samuel (w white), and 5 c; Baltimore.
- Scott, Gertie (h white).
- Sebastian, Ann.
- Simcoe, Mary (h white), and 2 c.
- Weaver, W. W. (last speaker of the language, died 1902, aged 84), and w.
- Weaver, James E., w and 4 c.
- Weaver, W. W. Jr; Portsmouth.
- Weaver, Cornelius (w white), and 4 c; Philadelphia.
- Weaver, Henrietta.
- Weaver, Lavinia, and 3 c; Baltimore.
- White, Emma (h white), and 2 c; Portsmouth.
- White, Lovey Ann (h white), and 3 c; Portsmouth.
- Wilkins, Molly (h white).
- Williams, Drusilla; Portsmouth.
Besides the four larger bands, we have information orally and by correspondence of several other small groups or detached families of mixed-blood stock of the same Powhatan origin, numbering altogether possibly 120 souls. What seems to be the largest of these, according to Pamunkey information, resides on Mattapony river, about Aylett postoffice, in upper King William county, the principal family names being Adams and Holmes. They are said to number about 40 in all, and to be in very backward condition as compared with the Pamunkey, with whom they have little communication, although sometimes visiting the Mattapony.
Another band of nearly the same number is situated south of Rappahannock river, about Lloyd or Battery postoffice, in upper Essex county, the most common family name being Nelson. They are said to show as much of Indian blood as the Pamunkey, holding themselves apart from both white and negro, and are represented as fairly prosperous and intelligent. They are probably the descendants of the old Nantaughtacund tribe, known later, with others, under the name of Portobacco.
Another small group is reported on the head of Pocoson river, York county, northwest from Hampton, the principal family name being Wise.
On the north side of York river, at Gloucester Point, Gloucester county, are the descendants of a family of Sampsons, whose ancestors came originally from the Pamunkey reservation.
On the Eastern shore there are said to be a very few mixed-bloods still living in the neighborhood of Accomac Courthouse (Drummondtown), in Accomac county; and also a few bearing the family name of Miles near Fisher’s Inlet, in southern Northampton county.
Bureau of American Ethnology