Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Indian Princess Finally Makes Her Entrance!

I remember sitting on the front porch with Grandma Kelly, sitting in the swing that overlooked West Main Street in Frostburg, Allegany County, Maryland. Main Street was, well, the main street and even though it's name was changed from Union Street to Main Street, it was the number one thoroughfare in the little mountain town in Western Maryland.

"Yooo-hooo!" Grandma would wave and call out to all foot traffic. She loved greeting people and more likely than not, she knew absolutely everyone who came past. And if she didn't, she'd ask, "Now Dear, who are your people?" And they'd tell her. Frostburg was like that then in the 1950s.

One summer day when we were sitting there she told me that there was an Indian Princess in the family, and by that I was sure she meant the Workman side of the family, her mother's people. She knew all about them. Grandma told me lots of good stories about all of the families going back generations on her side and on Grandpop Kelly's side too. I remember and have proven all of them except for the Indian Princess story.

But that's typical, isn't it, in American genealogy? There's a fictitious Indian Princess in just about every tree, isn't there? I'd never been able to find one on our tree, but suddenly that changed because of a Facebook post recently.

I posted something to my Facebook page and Cousin Glenn popped up and commented that he just found out that there is an Indian Princess on the tree in the Workman line, so off I went to find out what he was talking about! After a couple of emails, he sent a link to an obit of a Susan Workman's husband, Noah Alan Skidmore, and in the obit it says that Susan's mother was an Indian Princess!

Here's the link and check out the obituary: http://www.whilbr.org/itemdetail.aspx?idEntry=4118

Here's what it said:
Susan was born in the year of 1822 on June 21. She was 18 years old and Noah 24 years old when they were married. Susan was the daughter of William and Teraca Workman. She was born in Dutch Hollow, a small community two miles below Frostburg, Maryland. Susan’s mother was a Cherokee Indian Princess. Susan and her family were living in Kernes, West Virginia. when Susan and Noah were married. Susan was dark skin [sic] with very high cheek bones and jet black hair. Susan wore her hair in long braids. Susan was a talented artist, painting birds and animals. Susan’s father, Bill Workman, was also known as Indian Bill. He was a Revolutionary soldier. He received 800 acres of land for services to the government and he sold all of the land for a barrel of whiskey.

So Susan's mother was Teraca, or Tereca. I flew so fast to Google that name! And yes, she's the real deal!

Teraca's father was Chief Lonacona, aka. George Washington Cresap Fish, of the Fish Clan in the Turtle Tribe, born about 1700. His brother was Chief Nemacolin who is famous in Western Maryland.

But wait, as soon as I get that nailed down, this pops up and I'm not sure who is the father and who is the brother. This is from http://www.genealogy.com/forum/general/topics/ai/13566/

I would love to find other descendants of this Lenape chief, who was born 1715 in a village on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania and died 1767 on Blennerhassett Island, in the Ohio River between the states of Ohio and West Virginia.He is in the history books:

"A Delaware Nation Chief, Nemacolin played an important part in the blazing of trails into the American wilderness. In 1752, he was hired by Thomas Cresap and Christopher Gist to act as a frontier guide. Together, he led the team along existing Native American footpaths in the Allegheny Mountains. From these explorations, they carved a major pathway into the west. The trail they blazed became to be known as Nemacolin's Trail."

Nemacolin was the son of another, and more important chief, Checochinicon, and the father of still another, Lonacona, a.k.a. George Washington Gist. Lonacona's daughter was named Tereca, and she married William Workman. They migrated to West Virginia and raised six children. William and Tereca were my great, great grandparents.

Obviously, I need to do a lot more digging about this family.

See what happens when an Indian Princess pops up?!

5 comments:

  1. Hello! I am also related to William and Tereca Workman! I have been doing geneology research for months now! So glad you posted this.

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  2. Hello! I am also related to William and Tereca Workman! I have been doing geneology research for months now! So glad you posted this.

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  3. I am a descendant of William and Tereca Workman. They are my 4x great grandparents on my mother's side. I'm very interested in their lives and all they did.

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    1. Not sure why it didn't publish my name

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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