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The Pilgrim Stephen Hopkins and Chief Quadequina of the Wampanoag Nation Connection

Our  earliest  ancestors  in  America.....a trip back into recorded history, meet our ancestors then look them up on the internet on your own.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth
by (1914) Jennie A. Brownscombe

The connection to our Pilgrim and Native American ancestors has just been made, literally in the last few days, as of August 22, 2009 by our sister Judith Arnold, I am so grateful and thrilled.
I always knew the connection would be made, I just did not know how. Having so many early emigrants in New England in 1628  (the Calvert's of Maryland) and in the 1630's (the Towne's and Wentworth's of Massachusettes).
 I have always been certain the pilgrim connection would be made to our earliest arrivals. But never in my imagination did I think we would find our own Native American connection. The genealogists' dear wish and  myth of finding their precious Indian princess seemed just too unattainable for our family, but I was wrong again.
We have by virtue of our Towne lineage, our own Lydia Hopkins, who married Israel Towne,  is descended by way of Stephen Hopkins, the quintessential early American. Stephen Hopkins arrived for the third time in America onboard the Mayflower, having been an early Jamestown survivor and shipwreck castaway at Bermuda and finally arriving with family in tow at Plimouth Rock in 1620.
He would join the father of our Margaret Wampanoag, the brother of King Massasoit (pronounced Mass-A-SO-it),  our direct ancestor, called Quadequina, future Chief of the Wampanoag Nation, our own 10th great grandfather all by way of famed Catherine Whelden, one who is as likely descended from same Native American royalty as not, we would certainly like to think so.

A Peaceful Treaty written originally in 'Olde English' by pilgrim Edward Winslow:
  The Wampanoag/Pilgrim Treaty

About an hour after noon on a fair, warm day on March 22/April 1, 1621, Samoset and Squanto appeared in the village of Plymouth with some skins and newly caught and dried herrings to trade. They told the colonists that the great Sachem Massasoit was nearby with his brother Quadequina and all their men. About an hour later Massasoit came to the top of the hill with some sixty of his men. However, the Pilgrims were not willing to send their governor to meet them, and the Indians were unwilling to come to them. Squanto went again to Massasoit and brought back word that Massasoit wished to have trade and peace with them, asking the Pilgrims to send someone to parley with him.

Edward Winslow agreed to serve as diplomatic ambassador and went to Massasoit. The scene was described by Winslow in his Journal as follows:

“We sent to the King a payre of Knives, and a Copper Chayne, with a jewell at it. To Quadequina we sent likewise a Knife and a Jewell to hang in his eare, and withall a Pot of strong water, a good quantity of Bisket, and some butter, which were all accepted: our Messenger [Winslow] made a speech unto him, that King James saluted him with words of love and Peace, and did accept him as his Friend and Alie, and that our Governour desired to see him and to trucke with him, and to confirme a Peace with him, and his next neighbour: he liked well of the speech and heard it attentively, though the Interpreters did not well expresse it; after he had eaten and drunke himselfe, and given the rest to his company, he looked upon his messengers sword and armour which he had on, with intimation of his desire to buy it, but on the other side, our messenger shewed his unwillingness to part with it: In the end he left him in the custodie of Quadequina his brother, and came over the brooke, and some twentie men following him, leaving all their Bowes and Arrowes behind them. We kept six or seaven as hostages for our messenger.”

Captain Standish and William Brewster met the king at the brook with half a dozen musketeers, where they saluted him and he them. With Standish on one side of Massasoit and Brewster on the other, they escorted Massasoit to a house which was just being built. On the floor, the Pilgrims had placed a green rug and three or four cushions.

Winslow described Massasoit and his men as “...a very lustie [strong] man, in his best yeares, an able body, grave of countenance, and spare of speech: In his Attyre little or nothing differing from the rest of his followers, only a great Chaine of white bone Beades about his neck, and at it behind his necke, hangs a little bagg of Tobacco, which he dranke and gave us to drinke; his face was paynted with a sad [dark] red like murray, and oyled both head and face, that he looked greasily: All his followers were likewise, were in their faces, in part or in whole painted, some blacke, some red, some yellow, and some white, some with crosses and other Antick [antique] workes, some had skins on them, and some naked, all strong, tall, all men in appearance…”

Immediately, Governor Carver came to the house with drum and trumpet after him and a few musketeers. Governor Carver kissed the hand of Massasoit and Massasoit kissed Carver before they sat down.

Governor Carver called for some strong water, and made a toast to Massasoit. Massasoit drank deeply of the liquor which made him sweat. Then, Carver called for fresh meat, which Massasoit ate and shared with his followers. Later in the text, Winslow remembered additional details: “ thing I forgot, the King had in his bosome hanging in a string, a great long knife, hee marvelled much at out Trumpet, and some of his men would sound it as well as they could…”


Following the introductory ceremonies, Carver and Massaoit agreed upon the terms of a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. The treaty of mutual support they negotiated said in part:

1. That he nor any of his should do hurt to any of their people.

2. That if any of his did hurt any of theirs, he should send the offender, that they might punish him.

3. That if anything were taken away from any of theirs, he should cause it to be restored; and they should do the like to his.

4. If any did unjustly war against him, they would aid him; if any did war against them, he should aid them.

5. He should send to his neighbors confederates to certify them of this, that they might not wrong them, but might be likewise compromised in the conditions of peace.

6. That when their men came to them, they should leave their bows and arrows behind them.

7. That King James would esteem Massasoit as his friend and ally.

Winslow concluded his account of the treaty signing as follow: “Wee cannot yet conceive, but that he is willing to have peace with us, for they have seene our people sometimes alone two or three in the woods at worke and fowling, when as they offered them no harme as they might easily have done, and especially because hee hath a potent Adversary the Narowhiganseis [Narragansetts], that are at warre with him, against whom hee thinkes wee may be some strength to him…”

This is actual journal entry of Edward Winslow regarding treaty meeting between Pilgrim leaders and Wampanoag Indians, altho the olde style of English may be a bit difficult to interpret it is important to read the true account.


The descendancy from Quadequina and Stephen Hopkins to our family is listed here:
Quadequina,  Chief of Wampanoag  b. 1576
Margaret "Oguina" Wampanoag b. 1604
Catherine Whelden b. 1618  m.  Giles Hopkins
(Giles is son of Stephen Hopkins)
William Hopkins b. 1659  m.  Deborah
Benjamin Hopkins b. 1701 m.  Hannah Wilson b. 1698
Lydia Hopkins b. 1737 m.  Israel Towne b.1736
Benjamin Towne b. 1767 m. Hannah Frost
William Towne b. 1795 m. Nancy Young
Eliza Jane Towne b. 1833 m. George W. Wentworth b. 1834
Minnie Wentworth b. 1881 m. William T. Patten b. 1872
Edith Minnie Patten b. 1904 m. Charles E. O'Neall b. 1900
William Glen O'Neall Baker b. 1924 m Marylou Wright b. 1927
Jill b. 1952, Jack b. 1955, Janet b.1958, Jean b. 1958,
Judith   b. 1962    Baker

From Wikipedia:  On Stephen Hopkins, pilgrim and man of adventure, our direct ancestor, another 10th great grandfather~

Stephen Hopkins (born about 1582 – 1644), was a tanner and merchant who was one of the passengers on the Mayflower in 1620, settling in Plymouth Colony. Hopkins was recruited by the Merchant Adventurers to provide governance for the colony as well as assist with the colony's ventures. He was a member of a group of passengers known to the Pilgrims as "The Strangers" since they were not part of the Pilgrims' religious congregation. Hopkins was one of forty-one signatories of the Mayflower Compact and was an assistant to the governor of the colony through 1636.

Onboard ship Sea Venture A Shipwreck and Mutiny

Hopkins had made a previous attempt to reach the New World in 1609 aboard the new flagship of the Virginia Company, the Sea Venture, on which Sir George Somers took the helm. Hopkins had embarked as a Minister's Clerk on the "Sea Venture", the Admiral of the Fleet. The ship was on the way to the Jamestown Colony in Virginia with much needed supplies when it was deliberately driven onto the reefs of Bermuda to prevent its foundering as a result of the damage it had sustained during a severe storm. All aboard, 150 passengers and crew and a dog, survived. The ship's longboat was fitted with a mast and sent to Virginia for help, but it and its crew were never seen again. Hopkins attempted to start a mutiny while stranded on the island. He was sentenced to death when this was discovered but was eventually set free after complaining of the "ruin of his wife and children". Hopkins and the remaining survivors spent nine months on Bermuda building two smaller ships, the Deliverance and Patience, from Bermuda cedar and materials salvaged from the Sea Venture. He and the other castaways eventually made their way to Jamestown, where Hopkins appears to have stayed for (some say) two years before returning to England. The Hopkins family is considered one of the First Families of Virginia. The story of the Sea Venture shipwreck (and Hopkins' mutiny) is said to be the inspiration for The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

Diplomat and Veteran

Hopkins was respected for his previous experience with Indians and was elected ambassador for native relations. When Squanto arrived in Plymouth he resided with the Hopkins family. In 1621 Hopkins, Edward Winslow and William Bradford were delegated by their associates to treat with the Indians in the Plymouth vicinity on behalf of the Pilgrims and succeeded in winning the friendship of Chief Massasoit (1580-1661), concluding a peace treaty on 22 March 1621 in the Hopkins home. He later served in the Pequot War of 1637.


1. Mary: She may have died while Hopkins was on his first attempt to reach New World.

2. Elizabeth Fisher: married Hopkins at St. Mary Matfellon, Whitechapel, London, on 19 February 1617/8, and was a Mayflower passenger who died in Plymouth, 1639.


Stephen and Mary had three children:

Stephen and Elizabeth had eight children:

  • Damaris b. England, 1618; Mayflower passenger.
  • Oceanus b. en route to Plymouth onboard the Mayflower.
  • Caleb b. Plymouth, 1623; dead by spring 1651.
  • Elizabeth b. Plymouth, 1623.
  • Deborah b. Plymouth, 1626, married Andrew Ring, son of William and Mary Ring
  • Damaris b. Plymouth, 1628, married Jacob Cooke, son of Pilgrim, Francis Cooke and Hester Mayhieu (Cooke)
  • Ruth b. Plymouth, 1630.



Our Native American's in 1620 Massachusettes
About the Wampanoag  (pronounced: wam-pah-NO-ag):

See also: Massachusett.

Leader of the tribe was called Massasoit (pronounced:  Mass-a-SO-it) or sachem.

The Wampanoag were semi-sedentary, with seasonal movements between fixed sites in present-day southern New England. The "three sisters," corn (maize), beans and squash were the staples of their diet, supplemented by fish and game. More specifically, each community had authority over a well-defined territory from which the people derived their livelihood through a seasonal round of fishing, planting, harvesting and hunting. Because southern New England was thickly populated, hunting grounds had strictly defined boundaries. Land was hereditary and descent was reckoned matrilineally, wherein both hereditary status and claims to land were passed down through women. Mothers with claims to specific plots of land used for farming or hunting passed those claims to their female descendants, irrespective of their marital status.[2]

The work of making a living was organized on a family level. Families gathered together in the spring to fish, in early winter to hunt and in the summer they separated to cultivate individual planting fields. Boys were schooled in the way of the woods, where a man's skill at hunting and ability to survive under all conditions were vital to his family's well being. Women were trained from their earliest years to work diligently in the fields and around the family wetu, a round or oval house that was designed to be easily dismantled and moved in just a few hours.

The production of food among the Wampanoag was similar to that of many Native American societies. Food habits were divided along gendered lines. Men and women had specific tasks and Native women played an active role in many of the stages of food production. Since the Wampanoag relied primarily on goods garnered from this kind of work, women had important socio-political, economic, and spiritual roles in their communities.[3] Wampanoag men were mainly responsible for hunting and fishing, while women took care of farming and the gathering of wild fruits, nuts, berries, shellfish, etc.[4] Women were responsible for up to seventy-five percent of all food production in Wampanoag societies.[5]

The Wampanoag were organized into a confederation, where a head sachem, or political leader, presided over a number of other sachems. The English often referred to the sachem as “king,” a title that misled more than it clarified since the position of a sachem differed in many ways from that of a king. Sachems were bound to consult not only their own councilors within their tribe but also any of the “petty sachems,” or people of influence, in the region.[6] They were also responsible for arranging trade privileges as well as protecting their allies in exchange for material tribute.[7] Both women and men could hold the position of sachem, and women were sometimes chosen over close male relatives.[8] Two Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Wampanoag female sachems, Wunnatuckquannumou and Askamaboo, presided despite the competition of male contenders, including near relatives, for their power. These women gained power because their matrilineal clans held sway over large plots of land and they themselves had accrued enough status and power—not because they were the widows of former sachems.

In addition, polygamy was practiced among the Wampanoag, although monogamy was the norm. Even within Wampanoag society where status was constituted within a matrilineal, matrifocal society, some elite men could take several wives for political or social reasons. Multiple wives were also a path to and symbol of wealth because women were the producers and distributors of corn and other food products. However, as within most Native American societies, marriage and conjugal unions were not as important as ties of clan and kinship. Marriages could be and were dissolved relatively easily, but family and clan relations were of extreme and lasting importance, constituting the ties that bound individuals to one another and their tribal territories as a whole.[10]


The Wampanoag originally spoke a dialect of the Massachusett-Wampanoag language, which belongs to the Algonquian languages family. Currently English speaking, the Wampanoag are spearheading a language revival under the direction of the "Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project."

The decline of the Wampanoag language began to accelerate rapidly after the American Revolution. At this time, New England Native American communities suffered from huge gender imbalances due to premature male deaths, especially due to military and maritime activity. Consequently, many Wampanoag women were forced to marry outside of their linguistic groups, making it extremely difficult to maintain the various Wampanoag dialects.[11]

In 1997, Jessie Little Doe Baird (Mashpee Wampanoag), instituted the "Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project", along with Helen Manning, (Aquinnah Wampanoag). Baird's stated purpose was the revival of the Wampanoag language; that Wampanoag tribal members should once again become fluent in Wampanoag and speak Wampanoag within their tribal territories. Seventeenth century printed texts provide a basis, including the translation of the 1663 Eliot Bible (a Bible translated into Wampanoag by Wampanoag converts under the direction of missionary John Eliot), as well as examples from related neighboring Algonquian languages. Today Baird's teaches classes in Mashpee and Aquinnah. Only Wampanoag is spoken during the lessons, and only Wampanoag people are permitted to attend classes. Baird is also compiling a Wampanoag dictionary which currently contains roughly 8,600 words, and through the initiative of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, has begun to implement a language reclamation project there.


Email me if this is your line as well, Jill O'Neall Ching.

The Mayflower and Thanksgiving

The Pilgrims left England where they were sorely persecuted and separated from the state church, onboard the seaworthy Mayflower by way of Holland,  and arrived at Plimouth Rock on December 26, 1620.  The were met by friendly natives who wanted the Pilgrims on their side in the event of a fight with their own native enemies.
Chief Massasoit and his brother Quadequina helped the Pilgrims to survive and in time the first Thanksgiving feast was given, a holdiay we celebrate today in America.

Please use information freely for your own personal research, in the spirit of FREE GENEALOGY. Do not profit monetarily from data garnered solely herein.