The connection between Indiana and the Delaware Indian communities
A compilation of emails from the Mitsawokett mailing list, with map (bottom of page).
From John Helmer Jhelmer@aol.com 22 Jun 1998
I was at the archives the other day looking up some families, and just happened across a Ridgeway as I was scanning. Thought I would post it in case it was of interest to someone.
1850, Wayne Twp. Hamilton Co., Indiana. Somehow missed the page number.
James Ridgeway, age 45, b. Delaware. Farmer
Rebecca Ridgeway, age 45, b. Penn.
Howard Ridgeway, age 11, b. Indiana.
Elisha Ridgeway, age 9, b. Indiana.
Hannah Ridgeway, age 5, b. Indiana.
Solomon Ridgeway, age 3, b. Indiana.
From Ned Heite Ned@heite.org 22 Jun 1998
This Indiana migration is interesting. Here again we have a related Delaware family moving to Indiana at about the same time as Thomas Counselor, son of Thomas of Bloomsbury.
The obvious answer is that the west was the land of opportunity. However, John Saunders' remark about visiting the Lenape in Indiana keeps haunting me.
That particular group was around Peru. So we don't really know if this fellow simply moved west, and just happened to arrive in Indiana because that was where the land was, or if he was following Indian movements. Judging from the dates, James Ridgeway moved before 1839, and they were 34 when the first surviving child was born.
From Charles Counceller, Connersville, Indiana, email@example.com 20 Sep 2000
You may want to check out the museum at Prophetstown. I believe this is the area Ned Heite has referred to in the past as being the area which John Saunders visited and stayed for awhile....
From Ned Heite Ned@heite.org 30 Dec 2003
There definitely is a connection between Indiana and the Delaware communities. We have an  interview of a local man in 1892 in which an old man related that he had visited Lenape people near Peru when he was young. I understand a group of Lenape still exists in that area, as Rebekah noted, because they just didn't bother to remove across the big river.
This whole Lenape diaspora business is fascinating; Mitsawoketeers have been some of the contributors to the evolving story.
From Josh Gray firstname.lastname@example.org 1 Jan 2004
There may be a connection. Chuck Martin and Chuck Counceller are still mulling that one over. Chuck Counceller is supposed to be a 2nd great grandson of Mary Conselor (September 20, 1797 - March 10, 1871) although the date of her birth is a bit foggy but she could be of Dutch ancestry!! I'm supposed to be a third great grandson of hers. She appears in your tome, from Mitsawokett to Bloomsbury ca 2000. The more we think we know, the less we are certain.
Thos. Conselor, her husband who died in 1853 may have had one wife named Mary Gray Conselor or possibly another called Indian Mary or as Chuck Martin says, possibly they were the same person. Whatever, when she married Tom, Sr., she showed up with a son, Philander Gray who was my 2nd great grandfather. That is fairly certain as he was in Grandma Gray's notebook which I have. Remember me: my wife and I sat behind you at the Lenape Symposium in was it Millville(?) a few years back but we have yet to meet face to face. But I can't say for sure that I have any Lenape connections. If I look around in church, it appears that the Lenape have left a mark.
We live in Springfield. Delaware County, PA less than 41 miles from Elsinboro Township, NJ which is slightly WEST of us Longitudinal-wise. We are slightly EAST of Salem, NJ. My mother's parents came from near Dublin, Ireland where they caught the Familial Essential Tremor from Vikings and my wifes parents came from Donegal, Ireland formerly of Major IRA affiliation leaving at the request of the Crown. I am a West-Bank-of-the-Mississippi boy.
One thing I can say almost for sure that is I am a member of the human race which might have appeared in Africa 222,000 years ago, maybe. Some think from Mars.
We have gone to the annual Counceller Family reunions twice. The second one was called the Counceller-Gray Family reunion. However, after the second one, my wife and I came down with "Economy Class Syndrome." I really enjoyed going but with the peripheral vascular distress going entailed , it would be best not to go any more. I was aware of the clot or clots' travel
every day down to my foot. When arteries bifurcate think of Yogi Berra's advice: "When you meet a fork in the road, take it!!"
From Rebekah Tanner email@example.com  27 Dec 2003
I hope nobody will be offended, as I am not really sure I belong on (this) list, but the work of Native Genealogy is so difficult, and by an odd turn in my research, I find myself among you.
I am Rebekah Tanner, the youngest daughter of Ollie Garland Tanner and Sarah Marcus. Through my paternal Grandmother I believe I have in-direct connections to some of you, and would welcome any assistance I can get in the further sorting out of a complex family tree.
My Dad passed when I was very young, and by the time I had interest in these things, many of his kin were gone, as well. The thing I was always told about him was that both his parents were descendents, through their mothers, of the Sandusky Ohio Band of the Wendat (also variously called Huron, Wyandotte, and Wyandot), and that in the 'West of the Mississippi" movement, caused by then President Andrew Jackson, my family stopped in south-central Illinois and never completed the migration to Kansas and Oklahoma.
Of late I have found myself increasingly interested in confirming these family stories, so I have been gathering lists of family history off the Internet, the World Family Tree CD collection, and etc. and comparing these to the information I have otherwise been able to obtain through individuals. One fact remains clear in all of them, that my Grandmother was the daughter of Joshua R. Ennis and Susan Ann Cook.
If the files I have found are to be believed, he was born November 22, 1825 in Sussex County, Delaware and she was born May 14, 1845, probably in Indiana. Further, Susan was the third of Joshua's four, possibly 5, wives. The second of his wives was Martha Prettyman, born May 9, 1827. In turn, Martha was the daughter of William and Rachel Prettyman. (All dates herein remain suspect until I have tracked down the primary documentation.)
So, there I was, looking for sources of Delaware documentation when I came across the name Prettyman in the Tax Role Pages of a site about Mitsawokett. That same set of Web pages also let me know the Yahoo! List existed. Then, just a few days ago, someone there mentioned the Kuskarawoak List, which really caught my attention, because its focus is Sussex County.
Now, in the tellings of things in my family it is said that Joshua had another Indian wife beside Susan, so I am taking a leap here and hoping that this would in fact be Martha Prettyman.
If so, and now knowing that there are these two Lists with folks doing collective research, I am hoping that someone may be able to assist me in finding information about my own family in that area of overlap where Joshua's ancestors are the ancestors of the children he had while married to Martha.
I have some information about them, but as that may well be seen as outside the concern of this list, as they would not have been Native, I am happy if you will just allow me to continue 'lucking around" as I pick up bits and pieces of Sussex County history.
Further, I would be very happy to correspond off-list with anyone how might be working on this material, to share what I know, and keep each other up as I learn more.
At present I have sent to the State of Delaware for two sets of probate records for Joshua's paternal ancestors. One never knows what these records will reveal until they can be examined so I have decided in my research to begin as far back as I know about in seeking original documentation, and work my way forward. Obtaining records can get expensive, and so some methodology is wise to employ.
So, that is my story, in brief- In essence, through Joshua Ennis some of you might in fact be distant cousins, and if so, I welcome the getting to know you.
To tell you just a bit about me: I have spent over 3 decades researching the Wendat, and am an active participant in the life of that community which is currently in a long awaited season of cultural and spiritual renaissance. I am also a librarian by profession, and formerly Curator of Photo Archives, Museum of the American Indian (prior to its being nationalized and joining the Smithsonian Institution) so am fully aware of the many difficulties of doing research on a small Nation, scattered early on in the period of European Contact. If I can be of more general assistance to anyone doing Native research, do not hesitate to call upon me.
One final note: Some of you may find the following document of interest, as it gives a potential context for the meeting of the Wendat and the Lanape in Indiana.
From Rosemary Dodd RosemaryDodd@webtv.net 3 Feb 2004
I did not to whom I should send this. I am having trouble with my genealogy. Supposedly William Cambridge Hunt on some papers and on others dropped the Hunt. bought land on the reservation in MD. Sanders is also mixed with them. Mulatto but was Indian. Sanders wnt to Indiana and stayed with the Indians. Not with black or white. Then from MD went to KY listed as white. Then Indiana as freedmen. I am a descendent. Any Info?
From John Carter firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Feb 2004
...The name Sanders/Saunders is somewhat familiar to me, as is the part about migrating to an area of Indiana populated by Indians. But as this is not one of my branches, I am not familiar with the specifics. I'm sorry I don't have more info for you, but please let me know if you have any other questions.
From: Charles Counceller, Connersville, Indiana, email@example.com 4 Feb 2004
You mention Jackson township, section 13. I live in section 29, which is exactly two miles south of the land you describe. In fact, I believe the parents of my daughter-in-law own and live on the portion of section 13 which you describe. Small world.
I am unaware of any Lenape settlements having been here in Fayette county, altho there were some Indian villages (as I recall from gradeschool) I have a map of the State of Indiana showing Indian settlements, trails and a lot of details (copyright 1930) There was an Indian trail from Fort St. Clair in Ohio to the White river (near Muncie) which passed thru Connersville. I also recall this from grade school studies (how I wish I could find my old book from gradeschool). The Lenape were invited by the Miamis into the area from Ohio to White River which begins east of Muncie, travels diagonally thru Indianapolis to southwestern Indiana. Many important Indian settlements were around Muncie which was originally a Delaware Indian settlement known as Munseetown. To the west from Muncie is Anderson also a Delaware settlement known as Koktownamund's or Anderson's town. Then also to the west is Nantikoke's town Nancytown). A very short distance to the north is Strawtown (Battleground). A very short distance to the south is where William Conner made his settlement now known as Conner's Prairie. All of this is probably within 50 miles, east to west. If you wish, I'll ask Jenny (my dau-in-law) if her folks have the abstract of their land.
From Dan Cambridge firstname.lastname@example.org 2 Feb 2004
Chuck, that's a very interesting coincidence. I sent the message before I delved a little further and learned that Connersville was founded by William Conner's brother and had no particular connection with the Lenape settlements in Indiana. It would certainly be interesting to find out if this is the same land your daughter-in-law's parents live on. I copied it from a handwritten notation I had made some years ago. Not sure of the source. Levin's widow and children may have sold or lost this land after his death in 1819. Land records starting in 1827 through the early 1840s have them in Franklin County, just east of the road between Brookville and Blooming Grove, about midway between the two towns. (I believe this road continues on past or near the land in question in Fayette County.) I have visited that area, but the roads that show on old maps have been mostly closed off because it is only a couple of miles from the reservoir. At any rate, if you have the time and interest to check, I would be most grateful.
From Ned Heite Ned@heite.org 4 Feb 2004
I'm familiar with the story of Cambridge/Hunt moving to Kentucky. Another descendant contacted me a few years ago. As for Sanders, there was the interview in 1892 with the elderly Sanders who said that he had lived as a young man among the Lenape in Peru, Indiana. I don't know of any connection between Sanders and Cambridge families, but it would not surprise me.
From Rosemary Dodd RosemaryDodd@webtv.net 4 Feb 2004
Tilghman Sanders, my great-grandfather, his son was Irvin and my grandfather. Tilghman's parents were Samson Sanders and Sarah Russell. I can not go back further on this side. Any help will be appreciated. I was from Indiana.
From Rosemary Dodd RosemaryDodd@webtv.net 12 Feb 2004
Ned I hope this helps. My grandfather told me we were English, Dutch and Blackfoot & Cherokee. This is eastern. Most of the family came from N.C. When the Delaware were around Noblesville, Indiana, the chief's daughter married a trader by name of Connor. There is a big farm that tourists go to south of town. But this woman was (possibly) some family.... She either could not speak English or, as Grandpa said, tongue-tied because when Connor gave the tribe horses to leave, she stayed. Her children were to inherit the farm. He married a white woman and built a brick house for her. His first wife peeked in the windows and said "tother Mrs. Connor" over and over. She could not understand how this could be since she was Mrs. Connor. Historians now say all of the tribe left. Dad always said he had a greataunt that was Indian and that would be from that tribe. I found one in graveyard that was Penina Pruitt Brown. Could this have any connection?
On Mom's side I found her father which an aunt told me was Indian. He was a Sanders. His Dad was Tilghman Sanders and his mother was Frances Cambridge, descended from KY-MD. Tilghman's father I think was Samson Sanders by the papers that I found, married to Sarah Russell....
From email@example.com 24 Feb 2004
Ned Heite once mentioned about the group of the Delawares living in Peru. I've just come across the webpage where they are mentioned shortly -- Woodland Cultures. It'd be interesting to know more about them.
From Ned Heite Ned@heite.org 26 Feb 2004
Our new member in Indiana has opened quite a window to the westward migration of Delmarva people during the early nineteenth century. There definitely is a connection between Delmarva and the Peru area of Indiana. She reports Sanders and Cambridge in her own lineage. We have the account of a Sanders from Cheswold, whose father was from Sussex, visiting Lenape people in Peru, Indiana during the early nineteenth century.
I'm fascinated by the fact that a white trader, named Conner, founder of Connersville, had a wife and children among the Lenape. At Bloomsbury there was a Conner family who were close friends with the local Native American people. Is the Conner in Indiana related to the Conner at Bloomsbury? Apparently there are some social dynamics at work in Indiana that foreclose researches into the background of Conner and his Indian family.
From Bruce and Brenda Sampsel firstname.lastname@example.org 26 Feb 2004
With regard to "Walking The Knife-Edged Path The Life Of William Conner," this article says that Wm. Conner's father, Robert, was born in Maryland abt. 1718. This would make Robert a man about the time the Delaware & Shawnee were moving westward into Ohio????
Also...don't know if he is related to Robert & Wm., but Charles Hanna shows a Charles Conner as licensed to trade in Chester Co. PA 1730 & 1731. Hanna, Charles A. THE WILDERNESS TRAIL, VOL. 11, 1911, reprinted 1995, p.329
I've often wondered if the trading life was a family affair....
Walking The Knife-Edged Path: The Life Of William Conner
From: Charles Counceller, Connersville, Indiana, email@example.com 26 Feb 2004
Regarding Peru, Indiana: There seems to be conflicting info concerning the Conner family. John Conner was a son of Richard Conner. Richard is believed to have been born in Maryland. John Conner in one publication is written born in Connerstown Ohio (Coshocton County) abt 1786. Another claims he was born in Schoenbrunn, Ohio, a Moravian settlement in 1775. It is believed Richard Conner was a son of Richard Conner who died in Prince George County, Maryland in 1721.
For furthur information, consult "Sons Of The Wilderness," by Charles N. Thompson, or "History of Fayette County Indiana," by Frederic Irving Barrows.
From: Rarihokwats firstname.lastname@example.org 26 Feb 2004
In the 1970s, I was part of a Mohawk delegation who met with Lenape people near Fort Wayne, Indiana, who showed us ancient birchbark walum olum scrolls. I can't think of the names right now but they will come back to me. I have lost contact with them, but I am sure their children must still be there.
From Michael Helton Michael_E_Helton@ffic.com 2 Mar 2004
I have been able to do a little bit more research lately and ran across some interested items.
First, I came across 4 census records regarding the Grand River Reserve (the Brant Reserve) in Canada. 1785, 1810, 1811 &1843. Each one lists the number of Delawares and Nanticokes on the reserve during each census. I have contacted the National Archives in Ottawa to get a copy of it. When I do I will scan it and email it to you.
Second, the Dissertation of Roger Ferguson in 1972 Ball State, "The White River Delawares of Indiana" mentions one of the nine Delaware towns as Nancy's town (A Nanticoke village with James Nanticoke the headman of the village). I am trying to get more information on that town hoping to get more names. When I do I will email that to you as well.
I found a list of Delaware, Munsee &Stockbridge Indians who attended the Carlisle Indian School. Would you like to have it?
From: Don Ahshapanak email@example.com 3 Mar 2004
Chuck, What can you tell me about the Conners family that settled your area in Indiana? Reason for my question is that we have an original allottee in the Anadarko Area, Harris Conner, Wichita Allottee No. 861, b. 1879, d. 4/18/1929. He married a Caddo original allottee and they have descendants in this area. Though he was a Wichita Allottee, he actually is Delaware. It would take some time to explain how the Delawares were allotted as either Wichita or Caddo. His paternal great grandfather is John Conner. Though we don't know the date of birth or death for John it is probable he was born some 20 years prior to Harris, so that would make it about 1860. Some of his descendants changed their surname to Delaware, but some remain as Conners as the surname. I am wondering if you can tie him into the group at Connersville, Indiana. Don
From Dan Cambridge firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Mar 2004
Levin Cambridge, (c. 1765-1819) son of William Cambridge (Hunt) (c. 1727-1786) of Worcerster County, Maryland, who is included in Ned Heite's research, moved from Worcester County, Maryland, to Bracken County, Kentucky, around 1799-1800. Around 1810-1811, Levin moved to Franklin County, . 8/25/1815 it is recorded that he bought the NE 1/4 of Section 17 T13N/R13E. This was then in Franklin County, but in 1819 became part of Fayette County. It is in Jackson Township, a few miles south of Connersville. Levin died in 1819, the same year that this land became part of Fayette County. In the 1820 census, his widow and children are found in Blooming Grove Township, Franklin County, , where they stayed until moving to Iowa Territory in 1843. Levin's nephew, William Cambridge (III), grandson of William Cambridge (Hunt), apparently moved from Bracken County, Kentucky, to Fayette County, (specific location unknown) for a few years (long enough to be recorded there on the 1830 census) before moving back to Bracken County, Kentucky. It's unknown whether this has any relation to a Lenape settlement or presence near Connersville, Fayette County.
From: Charles Counceller, Connersville, Indiana, email@example.com 4 Mar 2004
Dan, you mention Jackson township, section 13. I live in section 29, which is exactly two miles south of the land you describe. In fact, I believe the parents of my daughter-in-law own and live on the portion of section 13 which you describe. Small world.
I am unaware of any Lenape settlements having been here in Fayette county, altho there were some Indian villages (as I recall from gradeschool) I have a map of the State of showing Indian settlements, trails and a lot of details (copyright 1930) There was an Indian trail from Fort St. Clair in Ohio to the White river (near Muncie) which passed thru Connersville. I also recall this from grade school studies (how I wish I could find my old book from gradeschool). The Lenape were invited by the Miamis into the area from Ohio to White River which begins east of Muncie, travels diagonally thru polis to southwestern. Many important Indian settlements were around Muncie which was originally a Delaware Indian settlement known as Munseetown. To the west from Muncie is Anderson also a Delaware settlement known as Koktownamund's or Anderson's town. Then also to the west is Nantikoke's town (Nancytown). A very short distance to the north is Strawtown (Battleground). A very short distance to the south is where William Conner made his settlement now known as Conner's Prairie. All of this is probably within 50 miles, east to west. If you wish, I'll ask Jenny (my dau-in-law) if her folks have the abstract of their land.
From: Charles Counceller, Connersville, Indiana, firstname.lastname@example.org 5 Mar 2004
In looking at the map closer, Straw's town, Nanticoke's town and Nancytown may all be the same place. I have not had time to refer to books to better determine this. However, I'll ask my brother since he is very knowledgable about the settlements in that particular area.
From Rosemary Dodd RosemaryDodd@webtv.net 5 March 2004
Could Nancytown have been Noblesville as the way I have known it? I was born at Noblesville, Ind.Strawtown is north of there. Connor's trading post was south. I never heard of Nancy's town.
From Rosemary Dodd RosemaryDodd@webtv.net 6 March 2004
I am going to try to forward you a group site. On my Dad's side was supposed to be Blackfoot Cherokee. I told you about my Mother's side of Sanders-Cambridge-Hunt side and some info on the Delawares in Noblesville .
Map of the area under discussion -- note the legend, highlighted in aqua, "The Delaware - Leni Lenape, or 'Real Men'"
(thanks to Chuck Counceller)