I Need Some Advice

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    I know I’ve been researching my possible Saponi ancestry, but just this morning I ran into another genealogical dilemma. I have read online that my Robinson family of Kent county may be of partial Native descent. My ancestor Lydia Martha Robinson was born in Delaware in 1852. Her parents were Rebecca McClement and Samuel Robinson, born abt 1831 in Kent co. His parents were Rachel and Samuel Robinson sr, born in Kent 1795.

    I heard there could be a connection to the Lenape tribe. This Robinson line of mine was a free family of color. Related surnames to this family are Carney and Johnson. What’s more, one of the people on Ancestry.com goes by the username “lenninape” is also related to my Robinson family. This doesn’t mean that person has Lenape ancestry, but it seems to hint at it. I contacted three other people related to my Robinson family, and one {only one that replied so far} said they have no documented proof of ancestry but rather cultural and/or oral history indicating their connection to this people. I’m still waiting to hear back from the person at Ancestry and the two other people related to my Robinson line that claim to have Lenape ancestry.

    Is it any coincidence all these people- related to my Robinson family- believe they have Native American ancestry? To make things even more problematic, I don’t know exactly if my Robinson line specifically has Native ancestry or if only the Johnson and Carney lines they married into do. How should I proceed?


    Contacting Robinson descendants seems the best place to dig. Keep in mind that oral history and documentation are given equal weight by some genealogists, especially in NA genealogy. Often there is no paper record.

    The Lenape are the tribe who made the famous deal with William Penn. Lenape Chief Tamanend (Turtle Clan) signed a peace treaty with Penn in 1683.

    If any of these ancestors were Quakers you might be able to find more info in Monthly Meeting records. On Ancestry.com you can search Hinshaw’s Encyclopedia of Quaker Records.

    Coming from Delaware these ancestors could also be Nanticoke or Munsee.

    It can be hard to definitively prove what nation or tribe specific ancestors descend from. Historical accounts I have seen show many mixed-tribal villages by the mid 1700s in PA.

    It is not a coincidence that these families are interconnected. Mixed families are known to be an endogamous group even into the 1900s. It’s another clue that points to mixed ancestry.


    Thank you. I did recently post a new thread. I might have made a breakthrough with my research on the Morris/Stewart connection.


    Here’s the new information I found. I posted a thread earlier on it but didn’t get any replies. So, here it is.

    My Morris family of Powhatan county, Virginia, is connected somehow to a Saponi descendants’ Stewart family who also living there. I am in contact with this descendant and her ancestors was John Peaterson Steward {born 1757 in VA} who married Dinah Stewart in 1778 in Virginia and later married Frances Dungey in 1797 on April 20 1797. He had children with both of them, as well a daughter named Sussannah Dungey with an unconfirmed spouse. The marriage of Frances Dungey and John P. Stewarts’ line is through her descent comes from. I match this descendant genetically at the 4th to 5th cousin level. However, she is much older than me, so there’s a give or take a couple generations difference.

    My ancestor is Virginia/Jenny/Jane Morris, and it appears she never married. She was the daughter of Edward and Rosanna “Rose” Morris. She owned the land she lived on, was a free person of color who was born in Virginia around 1795 and lived in Jefferson, Powhatan, Virginia in 1840. Her son Edward “ned” Morris was my ancestor and was born around 1830 in January. He married a woman named Lucy from Amelia county, Virginia and their descendants became my Morris line. Somehow my Morris line is connected to the Stewarts. However, Ned’s father is unknown- but tonight I may have found a clue.

    There was a Billy Stewart living in household number 152 in My District, Powhatan County, VA in 1850. Jane Morris live in household number 401 at that time. Billy Stewart was also a free person of color. According to the 1850 Census he was born ca. 1795 in Fauquier County, VA. His wife Lucinda was born ca. 1800 in Amelia County, VA. Billy Stewart was a wagoner (he made wagons). Billy Stewart lived in Richmond, VA during the years 1820 and 1830. His whereabouts in 1840 are unknown. Another free person of color, Peyton Stewart, lived near Billy Stewart in Richmond, VA in 1830. Peyton Stewart lived in Petersburg, VA in 1840.

    I don’t know if these Stewarts are related to the Stewart family I mentioned above, though. Seeing how they are both Free families of color with the same surname within the same county, it seems probable. Billy Stewart seems to be about the right age to be Ned’s father, however. Does any of this seem logical? And does anyone have any information they’d like to share, that would be most welcome.

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