This site is for those seeking to research Native American ancestry deriving from the Piedmont of Virginia and North Carolina. These are Siouan people, commonly referred to generically as the Saponi, Tutelo, Occoneechee, Eno, Cheraw. The identification of ” Blackfoot ” is carried by many families connected to these bloodlines. Virginia and North Carolina, especially Southside VA, has thousands of descendants of these people. Some of these people are in state recognized tribes. The vast majority of these people are not formally organized in tribes. We have found migration trails into all of Appalachia — West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee; on into Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa. Some are even known to have settled in Alberta, Canada. There are historical records and family genealogies involving New York. The historical records note the main body, referred to at that point as Tutelo, being adopted into the Haudenosaunee Confederation (Six Nations) in Ontario. It is believed that many surviving Tutelo descendants were adopted into some of the Six Nations, particularly the Cayuga and Seneca. There are also migration patterns into South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.
The Eastern Siouan of the VA/NC Piedmont (Saponi, Tutelo, Occoneechee, Catawba) are notable historically, by our limited historical record. Events of note include the massacre of the Occoneechee at Occoneechee Island in Clarksville, VA (Mecklenburg County). Also their stay at the Saponi Reservation commonly referred to as Fort Christanna (Saponi Town) in Brunswick County, VA. For their journeys through the Susquehanna Watershed and the eventual adoption of some bands into the Haudensaunee Confedereacy (Six Nations) in Canada. However, many never left Virginia and North Carolina, with some staying in tight-knit communities. There is a growing body of evidence for the survival of many descendants whose families migrated out in many directions across the country. As noted above, often as distinct communities which held together for many generations. Some of these communities were designated racially as “white,” some were noted as “colored” “mulatto” or “black.” Sizeable, intact communities are noted in Ohio and Missouri, in particular.
These tribes of the NC/VA Piedmont spoke Siouan languages, of them only a small portion of the Tutelo language was recorded. ” Blackfoot ” is an identification found among descendants also aware of their Saponi origins. Blackfoot is a designation reported among many native-descended people with ties to Southeastern states.
Saponi people have also been identified as the founding core of some groups termed “Melungeon” in Appalachia or “Portuguese” communities in the South. Communities exist in pockets on or near the former Fort Christanna reservation, which descend from these Indians. The Fort Christanna Saponi-Occoneechee Indians, still living on the reservation land, are one of these tribes. Several state recognized tribes, the Haliwa-Saponi, the Sappony of Person County NC and Halifax Co VA, the Eno-Occoneechi and the Occoneechi Band of the Saponi Nation in Hillsborough, NC descend primarily from these tribes.
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