Thursday, January 13, 2011

The "York Tribe" in Indiana

<-- Yorktown, Indiana today.

Andy Olson, a reader from Indiana, contacted me a few months ago to tell me about his research of the New York Indians in Indiana. Although he was asking for some help with his project, I have also been able to learn things about the New York Indians from him, most significantly that the allied Brothertown, Stockbridge and Munsee Indians may have stayed in Indiana for longer than historians realize. Back in the 1820's they were known as "the York Tribe" and the modern town of Yorktown, Indiana (located in the Muncie metro area) is named after their settlement. (Of course, "Muncie" is one of the ways that "Munsee" used to be spelled.)

Andy Olson writes that he is part of the Kilgore family which owned a farm just outside of Yorktown from 1825 to 2002. And there was a " Kilgore family legend passed down" in the family that suggested that "David Kilgore [Olson's great, great, great grandfather] made a 'pact' with a departing 'York Indians' chief that neither Kilgore nor any of his descendants would disturb a burial ground on his property."

That is where it began for Andy Olson. He has now read a lot of papers at the Indiana Historical Society.

As you may remember, by the time the Stockbridges and other New York Indians made it to Indiana's White River, that land had already been purchased by the federal government for white settlement. While tribal petitions to re-designate the land did not accomplish their goal, the bureaucrats of the day at least left us with a record of New York Algonkians (men only) that were settled in the White River area as of 1819. This list is provided here courtesy of Andy Olson:

Jonas Littleman, Nicholas Jourdan, David Abrams, Johiakim Youcum, Jonas Thompson, John Littleman, Cornelius Aaron, Jehoiakim Abram, Sampson Pauskemp, Thomas Hickman, James Joshua, Henry Sukhukowrooh, Joseph Pewauqkuewheek, Abram Konnookhauthe, Cornelius Doxstater. David Neesonnuhhuk, John Baldwin, Abram Kauwaukheck, Daniel Aupehiheukum, John P. Konkpot, Aaron Nohsowwaunmut, Absalom Quinney, Isaac Littleman, [and] Sampson Owwohthemmauq.

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