To look at me, you'd never think I was anything but Irish. But my great-grandmother's great-grandmother was Native American, and that has always meant something to me. Wondering where I got my name? Click here.
I know very little about her people, although I have visited the Penobscot Reservation once. I am learning more as I go. When I first started this page, the main things I knew were that they make exquisite baskets and that a tribal member was the first Native American to play professional baseball. I can spot the baskets from a mile away at Pow Wows, and often go over to examine them and see if there is anything else at the booth to tell me more about my heritage. I suppose I should strike up a conversation with the proprietors. But (despite spilling my guts on the World Wide Web), I'm rather shy, and don't know how my questions would be received. I have no illusions about becoming "recognized" as a tribal member on any level, nor do I have any intent on trying to "cash in" on any settlements, but I fear that is how some might perceive my search.
It took some doing to even find out the tribe she was from, and I may yet be wrong. It seems that one of my Irish ancestors went to Maine because of a construction project that was scheduled near Old Town. The project fell through, and he didn't have the funds to travel, so he settled there for awhile. During that time, he met and married my great-grandmother's great grandmother. Eventually they returned to Massachusetts with their children.
There are several possibilities, even just working from that story. She could have been from several tribes, but the two most likely are the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot. Penobscot just felt right to me, for whatever that is worth, so I have decided that is how I shall think of her.
Researching the Penobscot history has been quite a challenge, and I have to say I haven't made all that much progress as of yet. This is part of the motivation for creating this page. As I continue in my research, I plan to put that information here, so that others on similar searches (particularly with respect to Penobscot and other Abenaki history) may have an easier time of it. If you happen to have any information to share, or know of any resources I could turn to, please email me.
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