Archiver > MABARNST > 2002-04 > 1019403315

From: "Jane Mercier" <>
Subject: [MABARNST] Cape Cod Indians
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 11:45:01 -0400

Mercier, Jane



Indian genealogy is hard to trace after finding the history back several generations. Written records were not kept and only word of mouth, from generation to generation, brought forth the ancient traditions on which tribal history of all kinds was based. And today, 268 years since the death of Massasoit, we find people claiming to be his great-great-great-grandchildren.

In the first place, we must begin with the old Chief Sachem himself. History related nothing of his parentage or having sisters, but says he had two brothers, namely: Akkompom and Quadaquine. Some historians argue that he had three sons and two daughters. However, one thing is sure and that is that Massasoit was not his name. His real name was Woosamequin, Osamequin, Cutshamakin or Ousamequin. Ousa or wesau means "yellow" and mequin or kin means "feather"; thence, "Yellow Feather".

The name Massasoit is a title from massi or "great" and soit or "king". When he was introduced to the Pilgrims by their Indian guide, he was referred to as "Men wemasu sagimus," "Massi soit Ousa Mequin", or "Me beloved chieftain, Great King Yellow feather". The Pilgrims, not understanding the Wampanoag language, remembered only the "title" "great king" and thus they called him forever after.

1. Massasoit's two oldest sons, Alexander and Philip became Chief Sachems. The youngest son, according to historians, was killed in King Philip's War. One of his daughters
2. Amie, married Tuspaquin or Wattuspaquin, known as the "black sachem", a sagamoh, or division chief, under Massasoit. The had two sons, William and
3. Benjamin. Ben Tuspaquin married Weecum. Their children werre: Esther, Hannah, Mary and Benjamin.
4. Esther Tuspaquin married Tobias Sampson, a "praying Indian" of South Freetown, now East Fall River. He preached to the Indians at his home, which was called "Indian college".
4. Hannah married an Indian named Quam. Their daughter (5) Hope, acquired enough education to teach school at Indian Town, East Fall River.
4. Mary married Isaac Sissel. He received as his share, the twentieth lot, six acres and 128 rods, which was left to their daughters, (5) Mercy and (5) Mary.
4. Ben married Mercy Felix, daughter of Matwatcka Felix and Assametough, called "Betty" by the English.
5. Lydia, daughter of (4) Ben Tuspaquin married Wamsley. She died July, 1812, having had five children.
6. Zewiah Wamsley, daughter of Lydia (5), died July, 1816. She was wife of James Johnson of Gay Head.
6. Paul Wamsley, son of Lydia (5), married Phebe Jeffries. His sister Phebe (6) married Silas Rosier. Their first son, Martin, born Feb. 26, 1792, died July, 1792. Their second son John, was born September 15, 1793. He married his cousin, Jane Wamsley. John Rosier drowned in Assawompsett Pond Feb., 1851.
6. Phebe (Wamsley) Rosier next married Brister Gould. They had three daughters, Lydia, Melinda and Zerviah.
7. Lydia, born July 12, 1799 married Antonio D. Julio, a Portuguese. She died April 22, 1855.
7. Melinda, born April 23, 1805; died June 16, 1824.
7. Zerviah, born July 24, 1807 married Thomas C. Mitchell. Their daughter (8) Charlotte, otherwise Princess kWootonekanuske, is living today, claiming to be the oldest living descendant of Massasoit.

10. Chief Sachem Ousa Mekin or LeRoy C. Perry, present day Chief Sachem of the Wampanoags, is grandson of Wootonekanuske's cousin.

Returning again to (1) Massasoit and his daughter (2) Amie, we find that she had two sons: (3) Benjamin and (3) William Tuspaquin. Little is recorded of Mantowapuct or William, but Ben, whose Indian name was Pamantaquash, married Weecum. They had three daughters and a son. The daughters were: (4) Esther, who married Tobias Sampson, the Indian preacher; (4) Hannah, who married Quam; and (4) Mary who married Isaac Sissel, all great-grandaughters of Massasoit. The great-grandson (4) Ben Tuspaquin, was a direct great-great-grandfather of the present-day Chief Sachem of the Wampanoags.

The Quams lived in Indian Town, East Fall River where their daughter (5) Hope, taught school. Hope, some say married a Kehtiticut Indian named Prince. Their daughter (6) Susan married John Leonard, who lies buried at Nahteawamet, otherwise Betty's Neck, Lakeville.

John and Susan Prince Leonard were parents of three daughters: (7) Mercy, named for Mercy Sissel, daughter of Mary Tuspaquin; (7) Hannah, named for her great-grandmother (4) Hannah Tuspaquin, great-grandaughter of Massasoit; and (7) Sarah; and one son (7) Charles.

Hannah Leonard, granddaughter of Hope Quam married John Chummack. They had one son (8) Andrew who married his cousin Lydia Leonard, daughter of Charles Leonard. Hannah next married Warren Scott of Kehtiaumet, or Manomet Ponds and had daughter (8) Lucretia.

Lucretia Scott married Fred Cushing and had son (9) Charles, who married Louisa Corrier, granddaughter of Charles Leonard, his cousin. They had six children. Lucretia (Scott) Cushing's next husband was David Jones. Her third and last husband was William R. Manuel, a Ponkapoag Indian and cousin to Jeremiah Bancroft, last chief of the Ponkapoags. William R. and Lucretia S. Manuel had two daughters, (9) Angeline B. and (9) Sarah E.; and two sons (9) Ulysses G. and (9) William R. Jr.. William R. Manuel Jr. was an herb specialist and married Mrs. Dora Pells of the Mashpee Wampanoags.

Angeline B. (9) Manuel married Calvin Cromwell, an Indian who died in 1885. In 1898 she married Louis B. Tinkham and had one daughter, (10) Lucretia E.

Lucretia E. (10) Tinkham, tenth in descent of the "great and good" Massasoit, was married Jan. 9, 1927 to Clarence M. Wixon, the present Chief Sagamore, second in command and secretary of the Wampanoags, she is better known by the title of Princess Maunanata or "Starlight", the wife of Chief Red Shell.

As to (7) Hannah Leonard's sister Sarah, we find she became the wife of Warren Scott after the death of her sister. Their daughter Martha, married Horatio Melix. They had two sons, Horatio and Henry. Henry departed to the Happy Hunting Grounds several years ago. Horatio's body was found in a dense swamp in West Brewster in the winter of 1928. Horatio's first wife was Frances Harlow. They had one daughter Maude and three sons, Harry, Alonzo and William.

(7) Charles Leonard, brother of Hannah, had three daughters: Mary, Melinda and Lydia; and a son Amos. Mary married Daniel Corrier, their daughter Louisa married Charles Cushing, grandson of Hannah. Two of their children, Frederick and Louis are residents of Brockton. The Prince family of Norwell are descendants of Charles Leonard, through his daughter Lydia. So, we find today, 268 years after the death of Massasoit, the Mitchell, Manuel, Tinkham, Prince, Cushing, Melix and Perry families claiming direct descent from that famous Chief Sachem. And better still is the fact that Chief Sachem, Yellow Feather, 10th in descent from the illustrious Chief Sachem Yellow Feather of 1629, better known as Massasoit, is today the Supreme Chief of the Wampanoags, being unanimously elected to that office October 14, 1928, by the descendants of that once great Indian Nation. That Indian Nation still exists, its members bound together by the tie of blood inheritance, and anyone in doubt!
may read the names of the Pondville Indian choir, composed wholly of Wampanoags, all memebers of the Herring Pond Reservation. They are, namely:
Princess Little Squirrel, director
Princess Pechikonoh or Blue Eagle
Keesomeesi or Sunbeam
Peshimequin or Blue Feather
Metawa or Little Dove
Minnehaha or Laughing Water
Wapamequin or White Feather
Soo-Wis-Ho-Wun-Nan or Night-Hawk
Sukokeham or Gray Owl
Sylvester DeGrasse
The last five are men. Mr. DeGrasse is treasurer of the Herring Pond Reservation and Nashaumet is secretary of all councils of the Herring Pond Reservation.

Treaty with Massasoit, March 2, 1621:

1. That neither he, nor any of his should injure or do hurt to any of ours. (The white people)
2. That if any of his did any harm to any of ours, that then he should send the offender unto us for punishment.
3. That if any English took any goods belonging to Massasoet, or his Indians, they should restore them again and he oblidged himself to do the like.
4. That if any of the neighbors of the said Massasoet should make war against him, the English should assist him and he oblidged himself to assist the English on like occasions.
5. That he should inform his neighbors and confederates of this covenant, that they might be scareful of wronging either party.
6. That when any of his Indians come among the English, they should have no arms with them.
7. That is so doing, our sovereign, Lord King James, would esteem him as his friend and ally.

The next chapter, Chapter 15, will be entitled "King Philip's War".

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