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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology



January 2011


Penny Ferguson has graciously given us permission to print her Study of the Posteskeet Indians which was originally published on the Historical Melungeons Blog at  This blog is an excellent resource for factual Melungeon information. 


Penny is a the co-founder of the Melungeon DNA project, as well as a founding member of the Melungeon Historical Society.  She has been researching this mysterious group of people for years, debunking popular myths about their heritage. 


One of the theories about the Melungeons is that they are descendants of the Lost Colonists.  The Melungeons did in fact claim that they were Portuguese, or at least "Portygee", which was interpreted at Portuguese. Of course, there are other legends as well, which may or may not be founded in historical fact. 


Penny wondered if there was any connection between "Portygee" and the various spellings and pronunciations of the Posteskeet tribe of Indians found in the same areas where the original Melungeon families were located in early Virginia near the North Carolina border.  The result is her "Study of the Posteskeet Indians".  Thank you Penny for allowing us to print this important research.


Study of the Posteskeet Indians
Penny Ferguson

While pondering why some of the Melungeon people would say they were Portugee, I thought I'd share some of the notes I've made on the Posteskeet Indians. This isn't in a time line, it is presented to show where and when they were mentioned, and to show their connection with the Nansemonds. The Nansemonds were associated at times with the Saponi, and no matter what tribe of American Indian occupied Fort Christiana they all seem have been recognized by outsiders as Saponi.


It is possible people who became known or were called Melungeon were saying the name of an Indian tribe. Notice in the notes below a band of Nansemond was sometimes called Pochick or Porchyackee. Mooney says the Posteskeets "occupied that portion of North Carolina north of Albemarle sound and extending as far westward as Edenton, between Albemarle sound and Pamlico river and on the outlying islands were the Secotan of Raleigh's time." This places them close to the "Lost Colony" which is interesting to me. Any quotes below from C.S. Everett were taken from the Appalachian Journal, Summer 1999, an article written by Everett titled, "Melungeon History and Myth."

The Indians occupying the coast of Virginia, and extending as far inland as the geologic structure line marked by the falls of the principal streams, formed the Powhatan confederacy, belonging to the Algonquian stock.  Adjoining them on the south were another Algonquian people, known to Raleigh's colonists of 1585 as the Weapemeoc, and at a later date as Yeopim (Weapeme-oc), Perquiman, Pasquotank, and Posteskeet, occupying that portion of North Carolina north of Albemarle sound and extending as far westward as Edenton; between Albemarle sound and Pamlico river and on the outlying islands were the Secotan of Raleigh's time, known afterward as Mattamuskeet, Machapunga and Hatteras Indians; while the Pamlico country, between Pamlico and the estuary of Neuse river, was held by the Pamlico or Pamticough, together with the Bear River Indians, the Pomouik or Pamwaioc of Raleigh's colonists; all these people being Algonquian….. The Souian Tribes of the East, James Mooney, p 7.

The link between the Saponi and Melungeons was noted by Cherokee scholar Robert Thomas when he surveyed the Indian groups in the Southern Appalachians where he concluded that the Melungeon Collins family were, "descendants of ... Collins who resided in Orange County, North Carolina in 1760; a family of Saponi Indians." Thomas also noted the Pochick and Nansemond association with the Saponi Indians in Granville County area around modern Kitrell, North Carolina. Everett p 366.

The Weyanocks began feuding with a segment of the Nansemonds called Pochicks in 1663 and with the Tuscaroras in 1667; in both those years they had to seek refuge among the English.  Pocahontas’s People, Helen Rountree, p 94.


. Thus, the Assembly's census of 1669 shows "(Christianized) Nansemonds" with forty-five bowmen living in Nansemond County and the other segment, called "Pochay-icks" or Pochicks, with thirty bowmen in Surry County, which then included the head-waters of the Blackwater River.  

A "King" of Nansemond signed both versions of the Treaty of Middle Plantation in 1677. The traditionalists may or may not have continued to intermarry with their Christianized relatives; however, toward the end of the century they became so embroiled in Nottoway affairs that they became speakers of Nottoway as well, and a single interpreter served the Nottoways, Meherrins, and Nansemonds. Pocahontas's People, Helen Rountree p108

Everett p 394-5, on the Saponi in southern Virginia where they were associated at times with the Nottoway and Nansemond, a band of which was sometimes called " Pochick” or “ Porchyackee," see, "Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia," ed. H.R. Mcllwaine et al. (Richmond. 1925-1966), Vol. IV, pp. 208-9, 269, 290-1 and Vol. VI, pp. 34, 38-9; "Observations of Superintendent John Stuart and Governor James Grant of East Florida on the Proposed Plan 1764 Regarding the Future of Indian Affairs," American Historical Review, 20:4 (1915), 815, and Hazel, "Occaneechi-Saponi descendants," pp 3-29.

Everett p 395, the Pochicks have variously been termed "Poachaick," "Poachyack," "Poaychick," "Pochickee," and possibly "Portoskite," and Poteskeet" (in association with northeastern North Carolina.)

Before the European settlement of northeastern North Carolina, the area now known as Currituck County was home to the Poteskeet Indian Tribe. Although the Poteskeet’s main village was located on the mainland, they used the northern Outer Banks, including the area now within the Reserve, as hunting and fishing grounds. Oyster shell middens and pottery fragments found at several locations in the northern Outer Banks are evidence that the Poteskeet used this area (Gale 1982). As English colonists began to settle in the area, documents dictate several nonviolent disputes over territory with the Poteskeet. By 1730, the Poteskeet had mostly disappeared from the Currituck area (Gale 1982).




The Saponi were primarily piedmont Indians. By 1714 several tribes, including the Occaneechi, came together under the name Saponi. They lived most often in the area that has become Virginia but traveled throughout the entire Virginia and North Carolina piedmont region. At times in the 17th century they were associated with the Monacan Indians of modern Amherst County, Virginia, as well as with the so called “Tutelo” in southwestern Virginia and northwestern North Carolina.


Later in the 18th century, the Saponi associated at various times and in various ways with Cheraw, Meherrin, Nansemond, Nottoway, Occaneechi, Pochick (or Poachyacke), and Tuscorara. Between about 1710 and the mid-1750's, remarkably active in colonial-Indian trade, war and politics, several bands of the Saponi Nation moved back and forth from Virginia where they had "reservations" from about 1714 to 1722 (though some Saponi were still present at least until 1728) and again briefly in the 1730's, to the Catawba Nation in what is now northern South Carolina. About 1731, some resided in the upper piedmont between the Roanoke and Appomattox rivers in Virginia and settled down briefly about 1732 near present Danville. Iroquois raids forced them to flee east again, and this time they evidently split up into several small bands.


In late April or early March of 1733, one group petitioned the Tuscarora Nation and the North Carolina Executive Council for residence on the Tuscarora Reservation in Bertie County. They were received by the Tuscarora and granted the right to remain on the Indian Woods reservation by the Executive council.


A few years later and further north, a 1737 Amelia County deed--recorded just southwest of Richmond in territory bordered by Cumberland County (see Jarvis above) --demarcated a boundary of newly purchased lands for Alexander Bruce as "beginning at a white oak above the Sappone Indians Cabbins." This deed evidently refers to another band of the same nation. Page 365-6 Everett.

Because of the virtual lack of records from the time of the Roanoke colony until the second half of the seventeenth century, we know nothing of the history of the Weapemeoc Indians for over 70 years. During this period the Weapemeoc were reduced in numbers, had been dispossessed of their originally held tribal lands, and had become separated into bands or divisions.


Currituck, Pasquotank, and Perquimans Counties, each set up as a precinct of Albemarle County in 1670, are usually said to have been named for Indian tribes inhabiting the vicinity of these political divisions (169), but the only record of native groups by these names is Lawson's reference to a "Paspatank" Indian town of 30 or 40 inhabitants, which he named after the river on which the town was located in 1709 (170).


Mooney referred to the Yeopim, Perquiman, Pasquotank, and Poteskeet as "bands or sub-tribes" of the Weapemeoc of 1585 (171), but his only authority cited is Lawson, who enumerated 10 "Paspatank" and 30 "Potaskeit" adult male Indians and 6 "Jaupin (Yeopim) people" in 1709. The Jaupin are not located, but Lawson referred to the Paspatank and Potaskeit as inhabiting towns on Paspatank (Pasquotank) and North Rivers, respectively. Lawson's names for these Indian groups were, with the possible exception of Potaskeit, place names already in use by the colonists. 


Only two of the four Weapemeoc bands above mentioned seem to have been commonly known by the names given them by Mooney. These are the Yeopim, who inhabited the Yeopim River region and in general the western part of former Weapemeoc territory, and the Poteskeet who lived in the eastern half.


In March, 1715, the Council of Carolina was petitioned by the "Porteskyte Indians" who complained that the white inhabitants of "Corratuck Bank" were hindering them from hunting on "those their usual grounds." The natives reported that white settlers had threatened to destroy the guns of the Indians, without which they could not hunt, and that "without the liberty of hunting" they could not subsist. The Council ordered that thenceforth the Poteskeet should be permitted to hunt on any of the banks without the hindrance of the English (172) .The reference is of interest in locating the Poteskeet in Currituck County and in indicating their possession of firearms by 1715.


There is also mention of trade with these Indians and of their sale of tribal lands previous to that date (173). Governor Burrington included the "Pottaskites" as one of the six Indian "nations" inhabiting Carolina in 1731 and stated that they numbered then less than 20 families. Twenty years earlier the Rev. James Adams had reported "about 70 or 80 Indians... in the Precinct arid Parish of Carahtuck ...many of which understand English tolerably well" (174).


Notes 169-174 are from the Algonkian Ethnohistory of the Carolina Sound by Maurice A. Mook, Part 4


Be Cautious When Using Deed Indexes

By Jennifer Sheppard


            Alphabetical listings known as indexes are excellent and all books should include one.  When I pick up a book that doesn’t have an index, I simply put it down, and wait until the end of my research time to check it out.  Indexes save everyone time, which can be a precious commodity when you have traveled far from home to do research and have a limited number of hours to devote to that visit  In some cases you might not even find what you are looking for, if it weren’t for those alphabetical lists in the back of the book.


            Courthouse records contain indexes as well.  The Deed Books have cross indexes to enable you to find the deed you are looking for.  There is a Grantor Index (seller/giver of the property) and a Grantee Index (buyer/receiver of the property) which shows the Deed Book and page on which you can find a copy of that deed.


            Although the deed indexes are great, you must be careful when using them.  I specialize in courthouse research, and nothing is more fun to me than spending a day at the courthouse looking through those dusty old books. 


            While working for one client, I spent two days at the courthouse in Martin County, North Carolina doing detailed research on deeds.  The purpose of my visit was to find a bill of sale for a slave, Luke Peal, an ancestor of the client’s spouse.  Consequently I proceeded to read all the Peal/Peel/Peele deeds from anyone, to anyone; from 1834 (when Luke was believed to have been born) and 1867 (two years after the slaves were freed at the end of the Civil War).  I always tell my students, in order to do a thorough job; you need to search both the Grantee and Grantor Indexes.  The reason for this advice came to light during that particular research trip.  During those two days, I found several deeds whose pages were incorrect as given in the Grantee Index.  I carefully checked and re-checked and sure enough the index listed the wrong page number.


            Discovering such errors in no way reflects negatively on current employees.  First of all, everyone makes mistakes.  It has always been my philosophy that – “if you never make a mistake, you’re not doing anything!”  Secondly all of these errors were made over 150 years ago.  As a matter of fact when I find an error, they are always more than happy to make a correction, when I show them where the mistake is.  Please Note:  Never make any corrections or deface any documents you find in any record repository.  If you find an error, do as I do, bring it to the attention of a person in authority and let them make the correction if they wish to do so.… they initial the change so that anyone seeing the change will know it was made by someone who had the authority to make that change to the “official” record. 


            The first error I found was in the index under the years 1841 – 1843 which indicates the deed is filed in Deed Book (D.B.) M, there it lists Noah Peel as the grantee (buyer of the property) and Asa Robinson as the grantor (seller of the property).  This index shows the deed should be found on page 409 of D. B. M, but it is not there.  This one was more difficult to find than most because when something like this occurs, it makes sense to check several pages before the page listed and several pages after the page listed because many times it will be only a couple of pages off.  Most often, it’s that close, but in this case I pulled the Grantor Index and looked under the sellers name, Asa Robinson to Noah Peel, under those particular years, and there it was – the page number was 284 which was way off from page 409!  Needless to say I probably would never have found the correct deed; for that reason I am grateful that the Grantor Index reflected the correct page number.  I spoke with one of the Register of Deeds’ Assistants and explained the situation. She graciously made and initialed the change in the Granteee Index.  My main concern was to make it easier for others to find that specific record without going through what I had to do to find it. 


            Also during that trip and in the very same index I found a deed to Noah Peal from Stephan Corey which was said to be on page 392 but the actual deed was found on page 393.  In addition, in the Grantee Index under the years 1851 – 1854 in Deed Book P, a deed is recorded as: - to Noah Peal from M. A. Roberson, which was supposed to be on page 515; however that specific deed was found on page 518 and not on 515.  I also found a deed listed under the years 1859 – 1867, in Deed Book (D. B.) S, which showed the deed to J. B. Peal from Dennis Peal, was located on page 385 when the deed was actually filed on page 389.  In most of those cases, the page numbers in the Grantor Index were correct, which helped a great deal in finding the deed I was seeking.


            When you are doing deed research, you should also take the time to look up the deeds that are listed in the indexes with initials only.  Over the years, I have found several deeds that were listed by initials only in the index, although the names were spelled out within the deed itself.  For instance under the years 1869 – 1867, D. B. S, I found a deed for J. B. Peal from S. P. Everett on page 371.  When I read the deed for J. B. Peal, it turned out to be Joseph B. Peal and the deed for S. P. Everett turned out to be for Simon P. Everett.  So you can see how tricky and involved deed research can sometimes be.  Good luck and happy hunting!


  The Pierce Family of Tyrrell County  

The Pierce family of Tyrrell County is known to be of Native Heritage.  The early records including the 1790 census records these individuals as Free People of Color (FPC) as do other records tax records.  Let's see what the official records of Tyrrell County show us. 

A letter written by Ann Brickhouse, or more accurately, by her assistant Melanie L. Armstrong,  then the register of deeds and assistant, respectively, of Tyrrell County, in 1992 provides us with some information. She checked by all variant spellings and came up with the following marriage entries:

·        Timothy Pearice married Sarah Simpson April 6, 1786

·        Mary Pierce married Jacob Simpson July 6, 1790, witness Andrew Bateman and Tom Mackey.

·        Dianah Pearce married Isaac Simpson Sept. 11, 1782

·        Caron Happy Pearce married Reddin Simpson May 10, 1786, witnesses Timothy Pierce and Tom Mackey.  Caron Happy is also spelled Karenhappuck.  Ann Brickhouse adds a note saying that Caren's family sold land to her ancestors, the land her great-grandmother's family owned. 

With so much intermarriage between these two families, it looks like the Simpson family might be Native as well.  The Tyrrell County will of Samuel Woodland dated October 1, 1777 provides us with a very important hint.  "I give my son-in-law Thomas Williams the land and plantation whereon Indaon Bet Simpson now liveth."  The Simpson family appears to be Native as well.

In the 1790 census in Tyrrell County, the following families were listed as "free colored":

Reddin Simpson (1 male>16, 3 females)

Jacob Simpson (1 male >16, 1 male <16, 1 female)

Elizabeth Will (1 male <16, 2 females)

Jack Williams (1 male <16)

William Foster (1 male >16, 4 <16, 2 females)

John Dempsey (1 male <16)

Phillip Biffins (1 male <16)

Jane Vollovay (1 male <16, no males)

Isreal Pierce (1 males >16, 2 males >16, 3 females)

Thomas Pierce (1 male >16, 3 males < 16, 3 females)

Bridget Bryan (1 female)


Neither Andrew Bateman nor Colonel Thomas Mackey, witnesses to the 1790 Pierce/Simpson marriage, were free people of color.  Both appear to be white, and Colonel Thomas Mackey prestigious, although Mackey is also a known Mattamuskeet Indian name.  Often the Native people took the surname of someone they knew and respected.

Melanie then notes that Thomas Pierce lived in Chowan County before buying land and moving to Tyrrell, citing the deed dated 1755 and recorded in book 17, page 156. However the deeds referenced are not included with the copy of the letter contributed.

Kay Lynn Sheppard extracted the Pierce deeds from Tyrrell County for the period of 1735-1794 from "The Deeds of Tyrrell County, NC" by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., as follows:

August 3, 1739 - Gabey Ginnet, planter of Tyrrel Co., to Thomas Pierce, planter of Chowan Co., for 50 pounds, 127 acres joining John Ginnet, Jr. and John Jennet.  /s/ John Jennet.  Witnesses: Sam'l. Swann, John Whidbee, Sam'l. Gregory.  Recorded August 3, 1739.


October 24, 1739 - Jabez Jennet, yeoman of Tyrrel Co., to William Popewell of the same county, for 20 pounds, 138 acres on Alligator River joining Thomas Pierce.  /s/ Jabez Jennet.  Witnesses: Sam'l. Swann, Thomas Pierce, Thos. Leary.  Proved: Oct. 31, 1739


April 11, 1743 - Thomas Pierce, trader of Chowan Co., to John Pierce, planter of same county, for 150 pounds, 170 1/2 acres which was to have been conveyed to Saml. Swann but sd. Swann wished to have conveyed to sd. Pierce, and which was part of 235 acres called the Rich Land, the other part of which is owned by sd. Pierce & leased to David Powers, & which had been a patent on Alligator River in Tyrrel Co.  /s/ Thoms. Pierce.  Witnesses: Richd. Skinner, Jams. Skinner.  Registered May 29, 1745.


February 7, 1749 - Henry Bress of Tyrrel Co., to Thomas Perce, labourer of the same county, for 15? shillings, 100 acres on south side of Albemarle Sound joining Cypress Swamp and the land of Henry Bress bought from Thos. Long.  /s/ Henry [x] Bress & Dina [x] Bress.  Witnesses: Andrew Long, Joshua Long, Guiles Long.  March Court 1749  

There is some very interesting information contained in these deeds that may not be immediately evident.  For example, the fact that Thomas Pierce witnessed a deed in October 1739 tells us that he was not an absentee landlord, at least not entirely, and that he was not "of color", given that he witnessed a deed for white men.   

Perhaps even more telling though is the 1743 deed.  Thomas Pierce is listed as a trader of Chowan County.  The deed is to his son John who subsequently died in 1747.  We also know where the land is located and that at least part of it is being leased, so not farmed by John or Thomas Pierce themselves.  Notice that the Long family is involved with the 1749 land and also as witnesses, and in the following will of the Thomas Pierce who is a free person of color, the land he leaves his grandsons abuts the Longs land.  

Tyrrell County Wills 1729-1811, page 256, Thomas Pearce - Jan. 8 1795.  Weak of body.  I lend my plantation where I now live to my wife Man...? during her lifetime and then half of it to my daughter Sarah ??? joining Thomas Norman.  To my grandson C..? Simson the rest of my plantation.  To my grandsons Stephen Foster (?) and John Foster 40 acres joining John Long.  To my grandson John Simson 25 acres joining Stephen Foster.  To my grandson Hardy Simson 25 acres joining John Simson.  To my daughter Jimmine? Perce? ...?  to my son Isrel Perce 1 shilling sterling.  To my son Simonathe 1 shilling sterling.  To my daughter Ealler Simson 1 heifer.  To my granddaughter Mille Simson 1 heifer.  To my daughter Sarah Perce(?) 1...?  to my daughter Dianne Perce 1 grammar being the youngest.  To my grandson Isaac Perce...?  to my wife the residue of my estate and then to be divided among my children.  Executor My friend James Long.  Thomas (x) Perce

The reference to the land joining Stephen Foster and Thomas Pierce's grandsons, Stephen Foster and John Foster beg the question of whether the Stephen Foster who owned the abutting land is the son-in-law of Thomas Pierce.  In the 1790 census, William Foster is listed as free colored, so he is likely the son-in-law.   

Grandson Isaac Pierce would be either the son of Israel, William (deceased) or perhaps Timothy who may be a deceased son as well.  

On April 8, 1796, nine year old James Simpson, son of Sarah Pierce was bound to Isaac Bateman.  Since Sarah Simpson married Timothy Pierce in 1786, it's odd that her son was using her maiden name.  This may well be a remnant of a matrilineal culture.  While the child may have been legally James Pierce, he may have been known as James Simpson.  In 1820 a James Swinson was the head of a Beaufort Co. household of 2 "free colored".  This suggests, but is not conclusive evidence that Timothy Pierce is deceased requiring his son to be bound out.  

Frank G. Speck, an anthropologist, visited Hyde and Dare Counties on behalf of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1915.  He investigated reports of remnants of the Machapunga Indian tribe living near Nags Head, Ocracoke and on Roanoke Island.  There he found several families, namely Pierce, Pugh, Collins, Wescott, Daniels and Berry.  All claimed to be descended from a Pungo River (Machapunga) Indian named Israel Pierce.  These families he concluded were mixed to a great extent with Negro and White ancestry.  They could not speak any of the Algonquin language and they knew very little of the traditional arts and crafts.  

Israel was known as a Pungo River Indian.  English Christian names were common among the tribes of this general region as early as 1713 as noted in the North Carolina Colonial Records, Vol. IV, p 33-35 where Thomas Hoytes, James Bennett, Charles Beasley and Jeremiah Pushing, chief men of the Chowan Indians sold land to the settlers.  The Chowan Indians were neighbors of the Machapungo.   

In the index of the Wellfleet Chapter of Simeon L. Devo's History of Barnstable, Massachusetts, Isreal Pierce is given as marrying Bethia Swett.  Although this seems unrelated, there are Cahoons in the book as well, another Tyrrell County surname, and until proven otherwise, this can't entirely be discounted.  There are other Pierce individuals listed in this book that do not have familiar names, so it is an unlikely connection.  

Isreal Pierce's granddaughter, Mrs. M.H. Pugh was a very old woman in 1915 and Speck estimated her age to be about 80 years.  She was born and reared in the Pungo River district.  Later in her life she moved to Hatteras Island.  She had 4 sons and daughters and numerous grandchildren. 

Thomas Pierce's wife was said to be an Indian, and we know from his estate records that her name was Mary.  Israel's wife was also said to be an Indian.  Frank Speck gathered additional family information about the descendants of Thomas and Israel Pierce as well, providing us with an excellent genealogy if we can find a Pierce male from this line to DNA test.  

Israel Pierce was listed as "free colored" in 1790 in Tyrrell County, part of a family of 7 "other free" in 1800 in Hyde County, 11 in Hyde County in 1810 and 8 "free colored" in Beaufort Co in 1820.  On June 21, 1791 in Tyrrell County, he gave power of attorney to Samuel Warren, an attorney, to receive his final settlement due him as a soldier in the NC Continental line.   

Revolutionary War pension records show a final pension payment made to Israel Pierce of North Carolina made the fourth quarter of 1836.  Ordering service records for Israel Pierce, William Pierce and Isaac Simpson, all contemporaries who reportedly served in the Revolutionary War would be quite interesting.  It has been stated that Isaac Simpson is the husband of one of Israel's sisters, but that remains unproven.  

William Pierce died before April of 1784.  At the April court, T. Pearce was assigned as administrator, indicating that William did not have a will.  Bondsmen were James and Joshua Long.  In 1788, the estate of William Parce was sold in October and buyers were Thomas Parce and Finn? Parce.  In June of 1791, a document certified that Thomas became the administator of this estate in April of 1784.  On June 13, 1795,  "Thomas Pierce of Tyrrell County, administrator of William Pierce" gave power of attorney to Samuel Warren, an attorney, to receive final settlement for his service in the NC Continental line.  One researcher states that William died in the war, but we have no proof of such.  

It's reasonable to suggest that William was the son of Thomas Pierce and the brother to Israel.

Paul Heinegg at speculated that Thomas Pierce may have been the son of Deborah Pierce, born in the early 1700s and the servant (but not necessarily a slave) of James Halloway on June 19, 1729 when she was a witness for Christopher Needham in Elizabeth City County court.  This implies that she was not "of color" as people of color were not allowed to testify or witness for non-colored people.  On December 31, 1731 she was presented for having a "bastard child" and on June 7, 1748 she was presented for having a  "mulatto bastard".  The first child may have been Thomas Pierce and the second was Elizabeth who was bound to John Seldan on February 15, 1749.   

However in the Tyrrell Tides (Feb 2004), contributor Max Liverman provides us with additional information that appears to disprove Paul's postulation.  

Max tells us that Thomas Pierce was a Quaker farmer from Perquimans County and that in 1725, Quaker meetings were held at his house on the side of the Perquimans River.  Thomas was the son of Thomas and Mary Pierce and was born September 24, 1693.  His wife was Isabell (possibly Newby, unconfirmed) and he had one son John born in 1718.  There is no record of a marriage for John and he died on December 12, 1747.  Thomas had several daughters including Mary born October, 23 1722 who married Phineas Nixon, Sarah born September 9, 1725 who married John Morris in 1745, Jemima born August 21, 1728 who married Robert Newby in 1748, Keziah born March 15, 1730 who married Nathan Newby in 1751 and Karenhappuck, the youngest, born Feb. 11, 1737 and who married Cornelius Moore in 1757.  All of these daughters sold the land they inherited in Tyrrell County from their father.  

According to this record contributed by Kay Lynn Sheppard, Thomas Pierce was functioning in the area before 1725.  The estate inventory of Mary Simmons from the Early Records of NC, Vol. III; Loose Papers and Related Material 1712-1798 by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., showed the appraisers as Samll. Phelps, Charles Denman, Jonath. Evans and states some items sold Sept. 12, 1724; some sold at Chowan & some at Perquimans by Tho. Pierce.  Thomas may have been selling these items in his capacity as a trader, which would explain the dual location, as traders traveled throughout an area with horses and sometimes wagons carrying goods.


In 1739 Thomas purchased 137 acres of land at what is known as Gum Neck from Jabez Jennett bordering Camp Branch.  The same year he received a large land grant and in 1743 he deeded part of his land, 170.5 acres, to John Pierce, land known by the name of Richland on the west side of the southwest branch of the Alligator River.  

After John's death in 1747 this property apparently went to his oldest sister Mary and husband Phineas Nixon who later sold 235 acres to John Poole in 1766.  At this time the property was known as Kilkenny.  In 1758 they sold 250 acres to William Magound and in this deed established the date of their father's land grant as being November 30, 1739.  

Thomas Pierce received a warrant for 57 acres in Tyrrell County, NC on March 21, 1743.

In May of 1755, Thomas Pierce received a grant for 320 acres bordering on his own line beginning at Camp Branch and also bordered on the land owned by Jabez Jennett and purchased in 1739.  These two grants shows the division between Gum Neck and Kilkenny.   

This Thomas Pierce died in 1756 and lists property "up Alligator" and leaves "to my brother-in-law Peter Jones heirs, one half of the land lying on the north side of the southwest branch of Alligator River that was leased to James Cahoon.  To wife Isabel, one half of the dwelling homeplace (back in Chowan), the remainder of the estate divided between my 5 daughters."  

The similarities in the family names of the Quaker Thomas Pierce, the trader, and the "free colored" Thomas Pierce of the 1790 census whose will was written in 1795 can't be ignored.  Jemima is rather unusual, but Karenhappuck or Caren Happy is unique and compelling.  Was the "free colored" Thomas Pierce the son of John Pierce who was the son of Quaker Thomas Pierce, the trader?  Did John "marry" a Native woman?  How did "free colored" Thomas obtain his land? Free colored Thomas had children marrying as early as 1782.  Assuming he married at age 25 and his daughter married at age 20, free colored Thomas would have been born about 1738 or as late as 1742, maybe even as late as 1745 - certainly in the timeframe that he could have been a child of John Pierce who died in 1747. He could also have been older, but not younger.  

Was free colored Thomas Pierce the son of Thomas Pierce the Quaker trader and a native wife.  Planters who were also traders typically had native families in the villages where they lived and traded.  In the English world they were known as "country wives".  For traders to establish kinship, having a kin connection was essential.  

The first record that we can definitively assign to "free colored" Thomas Pierce is this one in 1774, contributed by Kay Lynn Sheppard.   

May 17, 1774 - Abraham Jennett & his wife Priscilla, Jesse Young & his wife Kezia, all of Tyrrell Co., sold to Joshua Swain of the same county, for 170 pounds proclamation money, 113 acres on Albemarle Sound joining Andrew Long, Isaac Long, and Thomas Pearce.  

In 1782, Thomas Pierce was taxable on 265 acres, 4 horses and 10 cattle in Tyrrell, which for the time and place was a quite respectable holding.  This cannot be the earlier Quaker trader Thomas Pierce who died in 1756, so this must be the free colored Thomas Pierce.  How did he obtain his 256 acres?  Perhaps the reason that Thomas was treated more like the white families than "colored", with white men witnessing the marriages of his children, is that the legacy of his white trader father who in some fashion provided him land extended to him the respect that came along with owning land, being a "planter".  

In his will written on Jan. 8, 1795, Thomas Pierce disposes of 90 acres plus the plantation "on which I now live" of unspecified size.  We don't know exactly when he died, but in January, 1797, Mary Pierce appeared in Tyrrell County court to claim her dower rights to two tracts of land.  In the court record she states that her husband died in 1795 owning 50 acres on the sound joining Thomas Norman and John Long and also 140 acres joining Samuel Chesson and Josiah Spruill.  Between 1782 and 1790, Thomas had acquired an additional 24 acres.  

In 1800 Mary Pierce was the head of a Washington Co. household of 2 "other free", confirming that both Thomas and his wife were "free colored".   

Other miscellaneous and tantalizing records exist as well, hinting at relationships, but not tieing the documents together.  For example, there is a record in the Beaufort County Orphans Book B, 1828-1837 that combines several interesting names.   

Account of sales of John Allen, decd, sold the 21st day of December 1831 at 6 months credit.  Purchasers Henry Davis, Isaac Simpson, Thomas B. Winfield, Smith Daw, John R. Davis, Israel Pearce, Jacob Paul, Hardy Davis, Frederick Allen, Martin Davis, Rheuben Allen, Thomas Allen, John Evertt, Willis Sawyer, Zach Corden, Kennedy Smithwick, Thomas Gurganus, Jeremiah Allen, Nathaniel Davis, Henry Davis.  Negro girl Elsy.  Notes against John Wilkinson, Polly Ebnorn, William H. Price, George P. Paul, Isaac Simpson, L.S. Eborn - Henry Davis Admin

The Gurganus family is also a family of interest to the Lost Colony project due to their history of Native heritage.  

An earlier record in Beaufort County lists Simon Pierce, born December 28, 1798 and Lewis Pierce, born September of 1801 as "free mulattoes" bound as apprentices to William and Mercer Cherry by the court in the September Minutes (Minutes 1809-1814,10th page of Sept. minutes).

A quick survey of Hyde County records does reveal a Thomas Pierce, but he seems to be unrelated, living on Blount's Creek and deceased by 1789, although he could be related to a Jonathan Pierce who may be from another Pierce family who may be related, according to Sheila Spencer Stover, a descendant of Jonathan.  However, the estate record of that Thomas Pierce shows that he was a slave holder and that he likely had two sons, Lazarus and George.  A record extracted by Kay Lynn Sheppard shows that included in his estate were negroes Ben, Mustopher, Jem, Murreah, Jenny, Will, Toney, Edney, Levy. Signed by Lazarus Pearce, Thos. Vines, George Pearce, executors.  

According to a letter from Stover, a Jonathan Pierce estimated to have been born about 1755 someplace near Bath went North in time to fight in the Rev. War, falling with Brant's men at the battle of Minisink in June of 1779.  Stover believes he is buried in a mass grave near Goshen, NY. His name is on the Minisink Monument, put there by his granddaughter Hannah Pierce Kellam in 1833.  

Jonathan's son, Henry is said to have gone to Canada in the 1820s, settling at Brantford, named for the mixed blood Mohawk Brant family.  When he died is not known.  His daughter, Hannah was born in September of 1800 and lived her life in the US.  She had uncles or perhaps brothers, Job and Reuben born in either 1799 or 1801.    Stover finds them in Wisconsin among the Stockbridge-Munsee in Wisconsin who were a very mixed bag of Tuscarora, Lenae (Delaware), Mohican, etc., in the 1830s and 1840s.  Job and Reuben appear too young to be brothers of Jonathan, given the 45 year age gap between Jonathan's birth about 1755 and theirs about 1800, so they are more likely to be Hannah's brothers.  

Family tradition says that Jonathan Pierce's wife was a Tuscarora by the name of Mary/Maria Mann (Emanuel).  As the Mann name is very predominant in the Rampo Mountain Tribe of New Jersey, and according to Stover, always believed to be Tuscarora out of the south, which she states does fit the Northward Tuscarora migration pattern.  There are also Mann's from Mann's Cove, NC who repeat the same story known in the New Jersey group.   

Jonathan's wife Mary/Marie Mann (Emanuel) is said to have a brother/nephew by the name William Mann who "went west with the Cherokees".  There is a William Mann on the 1832 Cherokee list, but he does not appear to have made it to Oklahoma.  

Hannah Pierce married Jacob Killum who was a 50/50 mix.  His mother was a Lott and supposedly Shawnee.   

Shiela feels that it is highly possible that Israel and Jonathan were either brothers or Uncle and Nephew. If Jonathan were a brother to Isreal, he would surely have been listed in the 1795 will of Thomas Pierce.  If Jonathan Pierce is from Hyde County near Bath, born there about 1755 as Stover suggests, then he may be connected with the Thomas Pierce there who died in 1789 and owned land on Blount's Creek.  If Blount's Creek Thomas is related to free colored Thomas, it could be that their fathers were brothers and both names their sons Thomas.  However, Thomas Pierce the Quaker Trader only had one known son, John, who died in 1747.  Perhaps Quaker trader Thomas also had a brother who named his son Thomas - or perhaps these two Thomas Pierces, one in Hyde County and one in Chowan and Tyrrell were not connected or related.    

The late Chief of the Meherrin Indians, George Earl Pierce was descended from Israel Pierce.  In the mid and late 1990s, he was quite interested in the genealogy of the Pierce family and unraveling the threads, or maybe better stated, reweaving the cloth.  Sadly, he was killed in an automobile crash in 2007.   

A more recent tidbit came from Hatteras Island from Andre Austin, as follows:

Today on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Elizabeth City area, and Tidewater Virginia are some descendants of Israel Pierce. They are descended from Elizabeth Pierce Simmons, the daughter of Israel Pierce. Elizabeth Pierce married Asa Simmons. They lived on land that belonged to Israel Pierce in Beaufort County, N.C. near the Town of Pantego on the Pungo River. Asa and Elizabeth Pierce Simmons' daughter Anna "Annie" Simmons married Smith Pugh, a Hatteras Indian of Hatteras Island, Buxton, N.C. in 1857. This marriage was born Arrinda, Adaline, Luther, Darmon, M.H., Agenora, Margaret, and Jazinna.  

Annie Pugh was the "Mrs. M.H.Pugh" mentioned in the 1916 article by Frank G. Speck entitled the "Remnants of the Machapunga Indians." Annie considered herself Pungo Indian. Most of the people are descendants of the Hatteras and Roanoke Indians. Smith Pugh's mother was a Hatteras Indian woman and his father was white.


Smith Pugh

Smith Pugh's later life, from 1850 forward is relatively easy to track.  However, his younger years, and in particular, who his parents are is another matter entirely.  Sometimes we're lucky in a census, and find an elderly mother living with a child, but not in this case.

Kay Lynn Sheppard found some very interesting early information about Smith as a child.

Source: Hyde Co., NC Apprentice Papers (1771-1845)

26 May 1835

    Smith Pugh, free boy of color, apprenticed to Joseph T. Pugh

Hyde Co., NC County Court Minutes (1820-1844) Microfilm C.053.30003

May Term 1835
   Ordered that Smith Pugh be bound to Joseph T. Pugh with bond given of 250# with Little John Pugh & Dameron Pugh as security


Kay writes that Smith Pugh was apprenticed to Joseph T. Pugh as a young boy in 1835.  In 1850 Smith was age 22 which would mean he was about age 7 when he was apprenticed and born circa 1828.  At the age of approximately 13, Joseph T. Pugh was himself apprenticed in 1825 to Damon/Dameron Pugh.  I think this must be the same Dameron Pugh who signed as a security when Smith was apprenticed to Joseph T. Pugh.  All of these folks were living on Mt. Pleasant (Gull Rock) in 1835 and I believe Smith must have been there too.  I have a deed from Oct. 1835 where the land of James Pugh, deceased, is being divided among his children...Joseph T. being one of them.  Joseph received Lot #1 which was 10 acres and the house and lot #2 which was another 10 acres.  In June 1846 Joseph was living in Beaufort County and he sold this same land in Mt. Pleasant to Oliver O'Neal for $262.50.  I checked the 1830 & 1840 Beaufort census and there was not a single Pugh living there during those census years.


It appears that in 1830 Hyde there were only 3 Pugh's living in the Hatteras area--the rest appeared to be on mainland Hyde--but NONE of them had any "free coloreds" listed in that column.  The 3 Pugh's in the Hatteras area were:

    1. Joseph, age 20-30, with 1 female (10-15 possibly a sister), 1 female (20-30 probably his wife), 1 female (40-50 possibly his widowed mother)  [I think this is probably the Joseph that apprenticed Smith Pugh in 1835.]

    2. John Pugh, age 30-40 with 2 males (5-10), 1 female (0-5), 1 female (10-15), 1 female 30-40 assumed wife)

    3. Mary Pugh, age 20-30, with 2 males (20-30 one maybe a possible husband), 1 female (0-5), 2 females (15-20 possible sisters or sis-in-laws), 2 females 20-30 [one has to be Mary]


In 1840 Hyde there were no "free coloreds" living in any Pugh household.


In 1850 Hatteras Smith is now living with the Robert Rollingson family and is listed as age 22, laborer, mulatto.

So, it's likely that Smith Pugh came to Hatteras with Joseph T. Pugh to whom he was apprenticed. It's also remarkable that Smith's last name was already Pugh, and he was bound to Pugh males.

Dawn Taylor contributed the will of Dameron Pugh, a white slaveholder who died in 1838, approximately 10 years after Smith Pugh was born. 

State of North Carolina }

           Hyde County        }

     In the year of our Lord, September 24th day 1837.  I, Dameron Pugh, a citizen of Mount Pleasant, county and state above mentioned, being now in a low state of health but in perfect senses, mind and memory, do make, ordain and declare this instrument which is written with my own hand and subscribed with my name to be my last will and testament revoking all others.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


Item 1st:  To my beloved daughter Sally Erby Midyett, wife of Daniel Midyett, when she was married I gave her then, as much of my property as I have now left for each other heir, to wit--I give unto her, my before mentioned daughter Sally Erby Midyett, six head of cattle, one mare, one bed, bedstead & furniture and fifty acres of land given in a deed of sale to Daniel Midyett as was their choice.  The above I consider as her legacy of my estate.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


Item 2nd:  My beloved daughter Bethany M. Paine the property given to her, falling to her husband William Paine, they both being now dead, the property falling to one child they left has been sold by me, admr., all but the lands owned by William Paine and also the land given to them by me the amount due their heir William Rebeccah will be settled by my executors if not done by me in their lifetime which will be her legacy of my estate.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


Item 3rd:  To my beloved son Daniel Shaw Pugh, I give and bequeath all my lands to the southward of Daniel Midyett, given to him by me as his legacy of my lands now in my possession.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


Item 4th:  To my beloved daughter Seneth M. Pugh, I give and bequeath my land as follows, beginning on the line between me and Oliver O'neale at a cross ditch, the bottom of my field as it now stands and with the lower part of my field to the slash then with the slash to the main road out by Marches place and with the main road back to my and Oliver's lane then with the land to the first station.  Also my land adjoining Israel Brooks containing ten acres marked off and distinguished by lines all around it, this I give as her legacy of my hand.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


Item 5th:  What property I die leaving not disposed of, I wish to remain and be dealt with agreeable to these directions.  My house and land whereon they stand, my half of the windmill my household and kitchen furniture of every description, stock horses, ploughs and all other property, nets, canoes and negros to all remain together as I leave them for my wife to keep house & raise & educate my children with during her life or widowhood and to sell and dispose of anything that she finds to be of no service, to keep my vessels or boats, should I leave any.  I wish to be immediately advertized long enough to give notice at Ocracoke and at Washington and sold on a credit of six months to the best advantage by my executors.  All my debts, should I leave any, to be paid out of the sale of my property as soon as collected unless I should leave enough on hand to do it.  I want my debts punctually paid.


Item 6th:  Whenever my wife marries or dies then of my negros and stock, household & kitchen furniture and all my property both within and without doors, windmill excepted, to be sold on a credit of six months and the amount equally divided between my wife, Seneath M. Pugh, Daniel S. Pugh, Thos. P. Pugh and Little John Jackson Pugh, or among as many of these five as are then living.  The house and plantation and windmill to belong to Thomas P. Pugh & Little John Jackson Pugh.  Should one of them die, the other to have all.


I constitute and appoint my executors to this my last will and testament, my beloved wife Zelpah Pugh, Little John Pugh, my brother and Sparrow M. Paine. In witness to the above I have here subscribed my name.  Day and date above mentioned.

    /s/ Dameron Pugh


State of North Carolina} Hyde Co. Court Of Pleas & Quar. Sess. - Feb. Term 1838

    Then was this last will and testament of Dameron Pugh, dec'd., exhibited into court by little John Pugh and Zylpha Pugh, two of the executors therein named, and it appearing upon the examination of Caleb Spencer, Samuel Brooks, and Samuel Pugh on oath, the paper writing is all and every part thereof in the hand writing of the said testator, Dameron Pugh, and it also being proved to the court that said will was found among the valuable papers and effects of said testator, it is ordered & adjudged by the court that the said will is duly proven and that Letters testamentory issue to the said executor & executrix, they having taken the oaths prescribed by law for their qualification.  Ordered to be recorded.


Source:  Hyde Co., N.C. County Court Minutes (1820-1844)  Microfilm C.053.30003

February Term 1838 (Feb. 26, 1838)

    Ordered that Daniel Midyett be appointed guardian to Rebecah Paine.

    The last will & testament of Dameron Pugh, dec'd., was exhibited in court by Little John Pugh & Zylpha Pugh, executors.  It appearing upon examination by Samuel Brooks & Samuel Pugh to be the handwriting of Dameron Pugh, it was proved & ordered to be recorded.

    Ordered that commissioners audit the accounts between the executors of Dameron Pugh, former guardian of Rebecah Paine, and Dan'l. Midyett, her present guardian.

This is particularly interesting in light of the naming patterns of Smith Pugh's children, below.

Margaret born about 1857

Adaline born about 1858

Dameron born in 1860, died in 1861

Arrinda born about 1862

Nancy born about 1866

William Damon born about born 1866

Maria Simmons born about 1870

Milton H. born about 1870

Jazana born about 1871

Arigenora born about 1875

Ada or Ida V. born about 1877

Luther born about 1881

Notice that Smith Pugh's firstborn male child was named Dameron, even though Dameron Pugh died when Smith was about 10 years of age, and he was not bound to Dameron, so was not raised by him.  Not only that, but Smith them named a second boy Damon, possibly Dameron, as a middle name.  In the 1870 census, he is called Damon, not William and I only discovered the name William by a later census in the 1900s.

Why would Smith Pugh name his child Dameron if there was no connection? Furthermore, Milton's firstborn son born in 1896 was Jackson Pugh, later known as Walter Jackson Pugh.  Little John Jackson Pugh is a son of Dameron Pugh, so the Jackson name is found in that family as well. 

I was unable to find Luther Pugh beyond 1910 where he was still unmarried.  William Damon had a son named Dewey A. Pugh in 1901 that I have been unable to track forward in time. 

If we can find a male Pugh who carries the surname, and with it the Y chromosome of Smith Pugh, we can determine whether his father was indeed a Pugh male. 

Ironically, unless through some small miracle, or family Bible that surfaces, it's the identity of Smith Pugh's mother that connects us to the Hatteras Indians, and her identity and genealogy may forever be lost in the mists of time.

Smith Pugh's mother was said to be a Hatteras Indian, although it appears that she was probably living on the mainland in Hyde County at the time when Smith was born.  The Indian people were considered to be people of color, and she may well have been free and possibly already admixed with other people of color.  Looking at the 1830 census, Dameron Pugh did own slaves, but he did not have any free people of color living with him at that time.  There was a free female living a few houses away with John Burson.  Smith's mother could also have been one of Dameron's slaves.  Dameron was obviously involved in some way with Smith as he signed as the bond for his apprenticeship.

The Mount Pleasant Area of Hyde County

Lewis Forrest of the Mattamuskeet Foundation ( was kind enough to provide some information about the area known as Mount Pleasant and Gull Rock in Hyde County.  This area is located across the sound from Hatteras Island.  As we know, Hatteras Island was the home of the Croatoan Indians, later known as the Hatteras.  Mount Pleasant was part of the area owned by the Mattamuskeet Indians.  The Mattamuskeet and the Hatteras were related tribes.  In 1585-86 when Raleigh's military expedition first arrived, the Croatoan lived on Hatteras, but interacted regularly with the various villages on the mainland.  They were probably inter-related at that time, We know they were later. 

In the Hyde County Historical Society Journal, High Tides, Vol. 8 #1, Spring 1987, they provide a great deal of information about the Mount Pleasant area, it's history and people. 

The following information is extracted from that issue and augmented by other genealogical records and resources. 

In an article by R. S. Spencer, Jr., he states that prior to 1729, there are no land grants that have been found that pertain to Mount Pleasant.  Mount Pleasant is actually a ridge that comprises about 4000 acres and runs northeast-southwest with an elevation today of 1 to 5 feet.  When the first settlers arrived in 1739, it is thought to have been higher, maybe 8 to 10 feet above sea level.  Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, it was extensively farmed. 

Four thousand acres is not a large area.  There are 640 acres in a square mile, so this ridge area would have been approximately 1 mile wide by 6.25 miles long, or 2 miles wide by about 3 miles long.  Divided into farms of 200 acres each, this is only enough land for 20 farms.  The ridge is then surrounded by swamps and the sea.

Following the Tuscarora War of 1711-1713, Mount Pleasant and Gull Rock were part of the reservation provided for the Mattamuskeet Indians.

In 1727, a significant amount of land, the reservation, was granted to the Mattamuskeet in the following land grant.

Patent bk 2, pat 954, p 149 - King Squires and the rest of the Indians commonly called the Mattamuskeet Indians -  April 1, 1727 for 2 buckskins and the fee rent of 1 shilling per 100 acres yearly every 29 September, 10,240 acres at Mattamuskeet on Pamplycoe sound, joining the mouth of old Mattamuskeet creek, the side of the creek and the northernmost branch of it to the head, the Lake, Matchapungo Bluff woods and the said sound.

The Mattamuskeet lived on their land for several years, but in 1731 (not recorded until 1737, 1731 could have been mistranscribed as 1731), they started selling the land. 

The first sale was from John Squires, King of the Indians, to William Spencer in 1737.  That was followed by sales later in 1739 to William Spencer and Henry Gibbs (from Hatteras), then to George Turner.  There is no preceding deed, but according to the Turner deed, David Jones already owned adjoining land as well.  Later deeds are to Morris Jones, David Jones, Samuel Stowe and Joshua Walls [Wallis, also from Hatteras].

Sales continued to William Browning, Wateman Emery, James Baker, Joseph Persons, Thomas Lowther, John Simmons and Henry Gibbs (from Hatteras).

In 1740 Squires sells to Jacob Farrow (from Hatteras Island, born about 1715) and then the next day to Joshua Walls.  Sometime before 1747, Browning sold his land to Hezekiah Farrow (born about 1716), Jacob's brother. In 1747 Morris Jones bought land from Jacob Farrow, abutting Hezekiah's land. 

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 709, Sept. 1731, July 5, 1737, John Squires, King of Aromallsket (sic) Indians with advice and consent of John Mackey and Long Tom to William Spencer Jr. all of Ct [Currituck County], for the consideration of 20 pounds, land on the North side of old Aromattskeet Creek called Table of Pine Creek, 140 acres, total cost 180 pounds, rest to be paid later.  Witness John Solley, Henry Gibbs, signed John x Squires [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 710 p 76, May 14, 1737, July 3, 1737, John Squires, King of Aromattskeet Indians, with advice and consent of John Mackie and Long Tom, to William Spencer and Henry Gibbs, 20 pounfd, land on the North side of New Aramottaskeet Creek..., 640 ac wit John Taylor, Henry Gibbs Jr., signed John x Squires [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed book 3, deed 603 page 1, April 3, 1739, June 21, 1739, John Squires of Ct to George Turner, 20 pounds, land on Morris Monkeete (sic) North side Weesockin Creek, 500 acres, adjoining David Jones, Main Creek, back of a grate savana, witness Samuel Stow, James x Poyner, John Brooks, signed John x Squires, Charles S. Cordon  (Who is Charles S. Cordon, note that he can write.)  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 606 p 3, April 3, 1739, June 28, 1739, John Squires, King of the Aramatskeete Indians, and Charles Eden, to Morris Jones, 12 pounds, 100 acres bounded by Cedar Creek, head of Lone Creek, witnesses Thomas Lowther, Samuel Simmons, signed John x Squires, Charles x Eden (note that this is not the governor Charles Eden as he cannot write) [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 607 p 3, April 4, 1739 June 28, 1739, John Squires, King of the Arromoskeet and Charles Eden of Ct to David Jones of Ct, 50 pounds of Great Britain, land at Arramuskeet Ditch and Down, adjoining Samuel Stow, Main Creek, signed John x Squires, Charles x Eden [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 608 p 4, April 1739, June 1739, John Squires King of the Aramoskeet Indians and Charles Eden to Samuel Stow, 20 pounds sterling, land on Northeast side Weesocking Creek, head of Cedar Creek, [ ] acres.  Witness Thomas Lowther, Samuel Simmons, signed John x Squires, Charles x Eden. [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 611 p 6, Jan. 15, 1738/39, June 28, 1739, John Squires King of Arramoskeet Indians, to David Jones, 20 pounds current money of NC, 300 acres on the South side Rattlesnake homack Creek adjoining aforesaid Jones on North side.  No wit, signed John (I with crossbar) S: Squires. [I and S: appear to be his mark]

Currituck County Deed book 3, deed 634 p 23, June 24, 1739, June 26, 1740, John Squires and Charles Squires with consent of the rest of the Mormeskeet Indians of Ct to William Browning, 10 pounds sterling of Great Britain, 500 acres on Marmoskeet upon Hogg Island on a ridge called English Mount Pleasant, South side bounded by the bay, 500 acres of swamp and marsh, witness William Shergold, T. Lowther, signed John x Squires, Charles x Squires  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 649 page 32, April 3, 1739, June 28, 1739, John Squires King of the Aramoskeet Indians and Charles Eden to Joseph Persons [indexed as Parsons], 11 pounds NC money, 200 acres on a ridge called Mt. Pleasant.  Witness T. Lowther, Samuel Stow, signed John x Squires, Charles S Eden [x and S appear to be their marks]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 652 p 34, April 3, 1739, Nov. 1, 1739, John Squires, King and Charles Eden of Aramoskeet Indians to Thoms Lowther, 30 pounds, a tract of land part of the Indian Town old field adjoining John Dixon, sound side, Lake, wit Samuel Simmons, Samuel Stow, signed John x Squires, Charles x Eden.  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 654 p 35, April 3, 1739, Nov. 1, 1739 John Squires, King of the Marremiskeet Indians to John Simmons of Norfolk Va, 50 pounds, 300 acres land between old Arromuskeet and new Aromuskeete, between Seaderhamack and Wm Spenser's.  Witness Nickles Lund, David Jones.  Signed John x Squires  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 658 p 38, July 2, 1739, Nov. 27, 1739, John Squires King of Arromoskeet Indians with advise and consent of John Mackey and Longe Tome in Currituck Co to Henry Gibbs of same place, 100#, land on a ridge called Indian Ridge, 136 acres... witness John Taylor, James x Baker, signed John x Squires  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 659 p 39, July 2, 1739, Nov. 8, 1739, John Squires, King of Arromoskeet Indians with advise and consent of John Mackey and Long Tom to Henry Gibbs of Ct, 20 pounds, proclamation money of NC, land at the mouth of a little creek going out of the main creek called Spencer's or Midle Creek...444 acres, witnesses John Taylor, James x Baker, signed John x Squires  [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 627 p 18, April 3, 1740, June 17, 1740, John Squires, King and Charles Squires with consent of Aramoskeet Indians to Joshua Walls of the same place, 20 pounds current NC money, land in Hogg Island bay known as Mount Pleasant beg "at a large pine tree that was marked by the white folks and the indians", 200 acres, witnesses William Shergold, William Parker, signed John S: Squires, Charles S: Squires  [S: appears to be their mark]

Currituck co deed [632] DB3, p. 22: 2 Apr 1740, 3 Apr 1740, 26 June 1740; Charles Squires, Indian, to Jacob Farrow, cons. 100 pounds NC money, land [no acreage mentioned] in Aramoskeet, adj. Wm. Browning, Joshua Wall’s line, Sypris Swanp; wit: Cornelius Jones, Thos. Dudley; signed: John S: Squires. [S: is his mark]

Currituck Co deed [635] DB3, p. 24: 2 Apr. 1740, 1 Apr 1740, 22 Aug 1740; Jacob Farrow to Charles Squires, Indian of Arromuskeet in CT, cons. 100 pounds, 200 acres on Hatteras Banks, beg. at North side of Cutting Sedge Marsh, by a house that Valentine Wallis built, the sound side, Callises Dreen, Sea Side; wit: Cornelius Jones, Thos. Dudley; signed: Jacob Farrow.

Currituck Co Deed bk 3 deed 641, p 29, Oct. 9, 1740, Feb 14 1740, John Squires, King of Aramoskeete Indians, and Charles Eden to Wateman Emery, 100 pounds, 640 ac bounded by the mouth of Back Creek a mile southwest to Pamlico Sound to Seader Busk Creek.  Witness Thomas Lowther, Andrew Duke, signed John x Squires [x is his mark]

Currituck County Deed bk 3 deed 643 p 30, Jan. 8, 1740, Feb. 16, 1740, John Squires King of Arromosket Indians and Charles Eden to James Baker of Ct, 8 pounds Virginia money, 200 acres on south side Back Creek adjoining Pamlico sound.  With Thomas Lowther, Henry Gibs Jr, signed John x Squires (Note that Henry Gibs could sign his name.)  [x is his mark]

The entire ten thousand acres has never been properly accounted for, although the balance of the less desireable land appears to have been twice sold, once in 1761 and again in 1792.

Deed Abstract; 8 June 1761: Hyde County Deeds, Vol. A, Part II, pp. 793-796.  ... this Eighth Day of June in the year of Our Lord one Thousand and Seven Hundred and Sixty one Between George Squires, Charles Squires, Timothy Squires, James Tom, John Squires and Josses Russell of the tribe of the Malimuskeet Indians and heirs of John Squires deceased of the one part and Thomas Jones and William Cummings Esquires & Bartholomew Coin of the other part... for and in Consideration of one hundred pounds Lawfull Money of great Britain in hand paid... all that tract of Land for Ten thousand two hundred and forty Acres Begining at the Mouth of Old Mallimuskeet Creek Runing up the Northernmost Branch of the Said Creek to the head thence Southwest to the Lake along the  Said Lake Southerly to the Westernmost part of Machapongo Bluff Land thence Along the Meander of the Sea Shore to the first Station ...  with the Messuages Farmes Planations houses out houses Estates Rights and Emoluments thereunto belonging...

witnesses                               Signed in order

Thomas Spencer                          Charles (his mark) Squires   {Seal}

John Spencer                            George (his mark) Squires    {Seal}

Sarah (her mark) Spencer                Timothy (his mark) Squires   {Seal}

                                        James (his mark) Tom         {Seal}

                                        John (his mark) Squires      {Seal}

                                        Joses (his mark) Russell     {Seal}

Deed Complete; 21 November, 1792: Hyde County Record of Deeds, Vol.I, p.51. - To all to whome these presents shall Come Know ye that we Mary Longtom, Jean Longtom, Martha Longtom, John Longtom, Tabitha Timothy, Patience McKey for & in consideration of the Sum of fifty Pounds in hand pd by Hutchens Selby the Receipt thereof We do hereby Acknowledge ourselves fully satisfied & Contented therewith have bargained & Sold and by these presents do bargain Sell & Convey unto Hutchens Selbv his heirs Exs Admrts & Assigns A Tract of Land Containing by Estimation Ten Thousand two hundred & Fifty Acres Lying at Mattamaskeet, on Pamplico Sound Begining At the Mouth of Old Mattamuskeet Creek Runing the Creek & the Northernmost branch up it to the head thereof. Then to the Lake SW ___   Poles then down the Lake Southerly to Matchapunga Bluff Woods thence Pamplico Sound to the first Station, being the Land Granted to the Mattamaskeet Indians the first Day of April Domo 1727 -  To have and to hold unto the Said Hutchens Selby his heirs and Assigns free and Clear from Claim of any of us the Said Mary Longtom, Jean Longtom, Martha Longtom, John Longtom, Tabitha Timothy & Patience McKey our heirs Apers & Admn Warrantry and Defendery Unto the Said Hutchens Selby his heirs & Assigns the Above Bargained Land In Witness whereof we have hereunto put our hand and Seals this 21st day of November 1792... Signe Seald and Delivered in the Presents of us ...

Witness                                 Tabithy (her mark) Timothy    {Seal}

Za Spencer                              Patience (her mark) McKey     {Seal}

Hyde County Nov 1792                    Mary (her mark) Longtom       {Seal}

This deed from the Indians of           Jean (her mark) Longton       {Seal}

Mattamuskeet to Hutchens Selby          Marthey (her mark) Longton    {Seal}

was Proved in Court by the              John (her mark) Longtom       {Seal}

Zachariah Spencer a witness

Let it be Regestd                                   

Spencer reports that Joshua Walls was living in Scuppernong in 1715 and died in 1747, leaving a will.  He is accurate.  I show several transactions on Hatteras Island with Joshua Wallis, also alternately spelled Wallace, who was not literate and did not sign his name.  There is also a very interesting early mention of a cabin on Hatteras inhabited by one Valentine Wallis.  This following deed is the only record of land on Hatteras being sold to an Indian.  This was the same day that another transaction was recorded between these two men as well for land at Mattamuskeet.

Currituck Deed Book 3 deed 635 p. 24 April 2, 1740, recorded Aug. 22, 1740 - Jacob Farrow to Charles Squires, Indian, of Arromuskeet in Ct, 100#, 200 acres on Hatteras Banks beginning a the north side of Cutting Sedge Marsh, by a house that Vallentine Wallis built, the sound side, Callises Dreen, sea side, wit Cornelius Jones, Thomas Dudley, signed Jacob Farrow.

Currituck Deed Book 3 deed 632 page 22 April 2, 1740, recorded June 26, 1740 -Charles Squires, Indian, to Jacob Farrow, 100# NC money, land, [no acreage mentioned], in Aramoskeet adjoining William Browning, Joshua Wallis line, Syrpis [cyprus] Swamp, with Cornelius Jones, Thomas Dudley, signed John S: Squires (sic).

The S: is the above document is likely his John Squires mark, not a middle initial.  This pair of transactions is quite interesting.  A deed from Charles Squires selling the land on Hatteras Island has never been found.

Given the above transactions, it's very clear that the men of Hatteras Island were very involved in the purchase of Indian lands at Mattamuskeet, in the area that was known as the "English Mount Pleasant".  The Indians didn't just disappear, although they had probably been declining for years.  They stayed and continued to live on the land, perhaps removing a bit more distantly, or perhaps working for the English who established plantations on the land that was formerly theirs.  In many cases, the record books give us peeks of the Indians, then called "free persons of color".  Many times, it's the apprenticeship bonds that tell us the most.  This is very likely the case with Smith Pugh.  His mother was likely native.  Indeed, that is the oral history as well.  We know she was free, as he was free and slavery descends maternally. 

The Hatteras Indians could have intermarried with the English settlers, with the slaves they held, with the Mattamuskeet, and likely all of the above. 

Before the Revolutionary War, more Hatteras surnames appeared at Mount Pleasant, including John Jennett and Stephen Brooks.  Brooks obtained a land grant in 1773 and Jennett purchased his land.  John Jennett had originally purchased land from Joshua Walls [Wallis] in 1739 in Tyrrell County.  Before 1800, these folks were joined by the O'Neals (Neals), the Pughs and the Midgett's.

Alton Payne provided information that showed Dameron Pugh, the son of George Pugh, residing in Hyde County in 1820.  Dameron was a miller and was elected to the NC assembly to represent Hyde County.  James Pugh was also the son of George, as was Little John Pugh who was also elected to the assembly. 

In an article about the Bethany Methodist Church at Mount Pleasant, we discover that it was established prior to 1800 on land owned by William Brooks (1756-1838) who was the grandson of Jacob Farrow through his mother Mary Farrow.  William's father, Stephen, was born in Connecticut.

I'd love to know how Jacob Farrow knew the Indian Chief, John Squires.  Did they trade?  Was there a blood relationship?  Why did he sell the chief (or his son) land on Hatteras Island?  Why were so many Hatteras men involved with land purchases at Mattamuskeet?  And where did the Indians go? 

By the 1790 census, not one Squires, Timothy, McKey, Mackie, Longton, Longtom, Tom, Eden or Russell remains in Hyde County, yet in 1792, many of these individuals signed a deed.  In 1790, they must have been enumerated as free people of color on someone else's land, or they were simply ignored.  There is not group of "free people of color" recorded, nor is there a cluster among families living in Mount Pleasant. 

The 1800 census does not show these individuals either, but in the early 1800s, the surnames of both Mackey and Longtom are repeatedly in the court records, their children being bound out as apprentices, one Longtom male in 1804 to Little John Pugh.

These names remain, identified as Indians or free people of color, or both, into the 1850s.  This apprenticeship legacy is likely the swan song of the Native cultural heritage, it being "bred out of them" by removing their children and educating them in the "more proper" ways of the non-Native world.  The last apprenticeship in Hyde county of a child of these surnames was of William H. Mackey, described as a "free boy of color", age 18 months in February of 1854, bound to William Creedle to be a farmer.

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