A great new resource, an awful story about one of my direct ancestors

Gerald Thomas has authored several works in print and online that I have praised in previous blog entries. Now he has posted a thorough history of the Tuscarora reservation in Bertie County. I recommend it to anyone interested in Native American history of North Carolina. Having known of no ancestral connections to that part of Bertie County, I was shocked to find a direct ancestor, Luke Mizell, in quite a villainous role:

Altercations between Tuscarora Indians and white inhabitants residing near the Moratock reservation routinely transpired. Luke Mizell, Indian commissioner, in the spring of 1722 assaulted a member of King Blount’s tribe near Quitsna Swamp. According to an account of the incident, Mizell and two other men were in the woods near the swamp when they heard a gunshot. All three headed in the direction of the gunfire and came upon a Tuscarora Indian who had just killed a deer and was reloading his firearm. Mizell “bid” the Indian to go hunt on the other side of the swamp. The Indian’s responding with “some answer” prompted Mizell to snatch away the Indian’s gun and, using it as a club, strike him in the head. Mizell’s dog, agitated by the affray, came at the Indian and bit him on the leg. On June 14, 1722, Mizell was brought before the governor’s council, which, in hearing the complaint submitted by the Indian, ordered a constable to hold Mizell in custody and transport him to King Blount’s town on Tuesday, June 16, where John Lovick, Thomas Pollock, and Robert West (members of the governor’s council) were to examine the Indian’s complaint and render a judgment. No account of the proceedings of June 16, 1722, seems to have survived. Incidentally, Robert West was subsequently appointed as a Tuscarora Indian commissioner.21

Here is a link to the full paper which was presented at the Tuscarora Tricentennial conference in Windsor early this month:


“Genetic Communities” shows 95% confidence re Early Settlers of Eastern NC

Ancestry.com debuted a new feature this year, and my results indicate that their confidence levels are very conservative. With 3 of 4 grandparents with roots in northeast NC it was no surprise to see a 95% certainty of my connection (649 matches out of 79000 members of this “genetic community”) to Early Settlers of Eastern North Carolina. I was surprised that my one northern grandparent caused a mere 20% confidence that I belong to the Early New England and Eastern Great Lakes genetic community, even though there were 140 matches.