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Wabanaki Genealogy Tip
Native Groups & Regions

Last updated 11-AUG-1997

Your ancestor came from Quebec, Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont. It is likely you have Abenaki ancestry, but other Native groups are also very likely. Mi'kmaq (MicMac), Mohawk, or Huron would be the next most likely groups. But any group from New England or Eastern Canada is possible, as well as Cherokee, Blackfoot, Cree, etc. etc. etc..

In the publication "New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America", Colin Calloway writes that King Philip's War

"... an Algonkian diaspora as Indians from southern and central New England fled north into Abenaki country.... Tribal groupings broke down, and fluidity and connections between groups increased. Individuals who lived and moved in this world often assumed multiple identities in the historical records. An Indian might be described as a Nipmuc, a Sokoki, a Pennecook, a Penobscot, or a St. Francis Indian, or as all of these, depending upon whether Europeans saw him in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, or Quebec."

Source: New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans,
and the Remaking of Early America

By the 1800s traditional Native living patterns could no longer support the people, but they often adapted traditional ways to the white man's world. Wabanaki People were semi-nomadic hunter/gatherers, traveling seasonally to wherever resources were abundant. As they assimilated, they often served as migrant workers, traveling seasonally to wherever work was abundant. Any area that had lots of seasonal jobs generally attracted Native Peoples. Trains could carry family groups hundreds of miles from their traditional homelands in a day.

Even before trains were invented, Abenaki People were on the move, as Colin Calloway points out in "New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans, and the Remaking of Early America".

"... Other Abenaki ventured far afield. An Abenaki accompanied La Salle on his expedition down the Mississippi; Abenaki were living in Indian communities in the Midwest in about 1750; and Spanish records report Abenaki west of the Mississippi after the American Revolution..."

Source: New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans,
and the Remaking of Early America

In 1827 we find Francois Annance (an Abenaki from Odanak) as a clerk for the Hudson Bay Company at Fort Langley on the Fraser River in British Columbia. The Hudson Bay Company and similar enterprises offered jobs which took Abenaki men to far off places, some never returned, others returned with wives and families.

In researching your Native ancestor it is important to learn about the history, culture, and assimilation techniques used by the Native People of the area. This will help you to see important clues when you stumble across them.

Written by: Canyon Wolf for Ne-Do-Ba