Indians of Massachusetts

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Indians of Massachusetts

Learn about the Indians of Massachusetts, tribes and bands, state recognized tribes, records, reservations, and repositories.

The name Massachusetts originates from an Indian word meaning "at or about the great hill"

Tribes and Bands of Massachusetts

The following list of tribes and bands of American Indians who have lived in Massachusetts has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico...[1] and Swanton's Indian Tribes of North America[2].

  • Mahican
  • Mashpee 1660 a reservation was established for Christianize Indians from a number of tribes that sought sanctuary. These Indians were known as Mashpee. Three communities live in Barstable County (Mashpee, Yarmouth, and Waquiot) and a community in Bristol County near Fall River.
  • Massachuset
  • Nauset
  • Nipmuc Live in the central part of Massachusetts near Grafton, Worcester, Gardner, and Mendon.
  • Pennacook
  • Pocomtuc
  • Stockbridge a tribe of the Mahican Confederacy. In 1785 moved to New York and taken in by the Oneida.
  • Wampanoag Many Wampanoag live in Martha's Vineyard at Gay Head. They own their own small town.

Massachusetts State Recognized Tribes

Reservations

Reservations were established as westward expansion and settlement occurred. Tribes ceded land and were removed to restricted and reserved land. Reservation status ended in 1869 for all Indians Statewide.[3]

The following reservation names have been compiled from The National Atlas of the United States of America[4], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[5], and American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas[6]. [7]

  • Gay Head Reservation -- An 1860 census of the residents of Gay Head Reservation was published in Mass. Senate No. 96 publication, March 1861 and has been transcribed and made available online.
  • Hassenamisco Reservation
  • Mashpee  (Cape Cod) Wampanoag Tribe Date Allotted or lost 1842
  • Harring Pond Allotted or Lost 1850
  • Yarmouth assimilated or joined Herring Pond
  • Fall River established 1701
  • Dartmouth established 1861
  • Namatakeeset established 1675 Clark Island
  • Oynkaagog Sold 1840
  • Natick Sold last land 1828
  • Hassanamisco 1848
  • Chappaquiddick (Martha's Vineyard) established 1849
  • Christiantown
  • Gayhead established 1849
  • Wampanoag Reservation

Records

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Family History Library

FamilySearch Catalog Massachusetts Native Races

See Also:

Massachusetts-History for a calendar of events

Massachusetts-Military for a list of forts

References

  1. Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  2. Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online..
  3. Watson, Larry S. Researching Indians of the Northeast-A Basic Approach. Journal of American Indian Family Research, Vol.7 No. 1 1986 FHL 970.1 J825j
  4. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  5. Isaacs, Katherine M., Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations, Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991. [[/w/index.php?title=Special:Booksources&isbn=1558883363|ISBN 1-55888-336-3]] LOC E154.045 1990
  6. Tiller, Veronica E. Velarde., American Indian Reservations and Trust Areas. C. 1996, Tiller Research Incorporated. Family History Library book 970.1 T463a No ISBN, or LOC #
  7. Watson, Larry S. Researching Indians of the Northeast-A Basic Approach. Journal of American Indian Family Research, Vol.7 No. 1 1986 FHL 970.1 J825j

Bibliography

  • "Accompanying Pamphlet for Microcopy 1011", National Archives Microfilm Publications, Appendix.
  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
  • Gilbert, William Harlen, Jr. Surviving Indian Groups in the Eastern United States. Pp. 407-438 of the Smithsonian Report for 1948. Available online.
  • Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
  • Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
  • Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
  • Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  • Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.
  • National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online
  • Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.