West Virginia Indian Tribes

Moneton Indians. Meaning “Big Water” people.

Connections. The Moneton belonged to the Siouan linguistic family; their nearest connections were probably the Manahoac and Monacan of Virginia and perhaps Ofo of Ohio and Mississippi.

Location.-Probably on the lower course of Kanawha River.

History. The Moneton were first mentioned by Thomas Batts in 1671. (See Alvord and Bidgood, 1912.) Three years later they were visited by Gabriel Arthur, an indentured servant of the trader Abraham Wood, and this is the last we hear of them as an independent tribe. They probably united with the Siouan people in the Piedmont region of Virginia.

Population. Unknown. Arthur calls the principal Moneton settlement “a great town.”

Cherokee Indians, Conoy (see Maryland), Delaware (see New Jersey), Honniasont and Susquehanna (see Pennsylvania), and Shawnee Indians settled in various parts of West Virginia from time to time, but none of them was established there at an early date for an appreciable period except perhaps the Conoy, whose name appears to be perpetuated in that of the Kanawha River. There is no information regarding the Moneton residence there other than the preservation of their name.



Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

35 thoughts on “West Virginia Indian Tribes”

  1. Christian Cherokee Burns

    Jane Vaughn was my momau. Her mom was Martha Bishop and her grandmother was Tennessee George. She was born in West Virginia.
    My great uncle was Bob Vaughn. My great aunt, her sister, was called


  2. Connie Williamson

    My great grandmother was Shawnee, Mary Hurley, not sure of spelling, I can’t find out anything about her on Ancestry. She was maybe married to John R Cook. She died 1936 , supposedly from Grundy or Ira Virginia or W. Va. Help!

  3. Katie, my name is Jim Jarvis. I am descended from Timothy Eagles and Huldah Eagles both of Cherokee ancestry. I have a partial genealogy my father’s West Virginia ancestry back to the 1700’s. Perhaps we can share information. I will contact you by email. -Jim

  4. My father Shirley Paul Campbell was a blackfoot. He was born April 251912. In Huntington, W.VA.

  5. to whom it may concern my name is eric childress my grandmother addopted me when i was 2 she died when i was a 9 but before she passed she told me a story about how i was to never let any one know who i was something about how i was to fight for our family and nothing more im 43 now and many years have passed she said she wasnt a indian but a blackfoot her name was juanita francis she said there was land in west virginia to be claimed by her youngest son which would have been me i suppose im not sure of it all and would like some help finding out all i can about this because i know this would be a great story to pass down to my children if it is all true so if possible please contact me at 16158886044 thank you and GoD bless

  6. I too am investigating ties to Cherokee roots that were told to me by family. I can only trace back to Greenbrier Co Richard Bird Benson b. 1798 m. 1852 Rebecca Mowery b. 1824. I find it strange people do not believe the Cherokee ties in WV just because they are not on the rolls. The “things” done to our Cherokee ancestors were horrible.
    Lora Hoffman

  7. I was telling my friend she needs to register as an Indian. I’ve looked online and im not sure what to look for exactly. I know both her grandparents we full blooded Shawnee her Grandpa was cheif big red in pleasnts county wv. If anyone has any info I could pass along to her it would be appreciated.

  8. Hello Lori…. Blackhoff (Blackhoof) family are still alive and doing well in Oklahoma… They come to Point Pleasant WV every year to pay respect to their Shawnee ancestors… They are enrolled with the Western Shawnee…. You can google them…

  9. Whenever I read the comment section to a post like this, I’m always amazed at what our ancestors went through to hide whatever ethnic blood they had. It isn’t any wonder that we can’t trace our family trees.

  10. Nancy. L. Sparks

    My Uncle “Satch ” told me many many moons before he passed away.. That I was Cherokee from his Grandmother’s side . or great-grandmother’s. Side.. I forget now… but I don’t know her name.. But none of his children seem to know anything about it.. .I can only think that he told me because he knew I had. Love for the Native Indian ways ..etc.. And maybe none of his kids had an instrest in The Native Indians.. I then Lived in Harman, West Virginia. . my Gramma Elizabeth “Betty”Harman was Adopted.. & not knowing her Natural Mother’s name. Or her Natural Grandmother’s name. . it is a brick wall for me ..that I don’t know how to get over…

  11. Sherrie Combs.. I was a Harman from Harman, W.Va. and we had Family members with the Last name of Clatterbuck. . a couple of them are buried in our Family Cemetery. At the Brethren Church …above Harman going toward The Mouth of Seneca, W.Va. hope that helps..

  12. My Great Grandma was an Indian who lived in West Virginia her Indian name was Sina Fox, and her white name was Rublina Penegar
    I saw my Grandfather’s birth record and where it says Mother’s name it says Mother Sina Fox Indian woman Father’s name Perry G. Luzader Farmer. Yet all I see is Rublina Penegar no info on Sina Fox, my Grandfather’s name Scott Luzader he had two sister’s
    Bertha and Mae. He was born in Gaston WV can anyone please help me? Thank you

  13. I am also related to the Jarvis and Parsons from mid-WV area, near Moatsville. Is that where yours are from?

  14. My great grandmas name was GoldieHenthorne or Hawthorne. Heard both, she married my great grandpa Jessie Grimes. When my grandmother was alive she told me she was from Proctor West Virginia can someone help me find out my Native American heritage???

  15. Hi. My name is Debbie. My great, great grandfather was born in 1837. Family history has it that his parents were either killed or died and he was raised by a family named “WRIGHTS” in the northeastern part of West Virginia (Harrison and Marion Counties). His real name was “BRANT” and his mother was supposedly a full-blooded Native American Indian. I have nothing else to go on and I am pretty much deadlocked on where he really came from and who his bio parents were and if he had siblings and if they were part of the “taken in family” as well. My Great grandfather( his son) had definite American Indian facial traits and family history talks about my Great great grandfather being darker skinned than those of the other grandchildren. I don’t have a clue as to what tribe his mother may have been from. If anyone has any ideas as to how I can get going again on his genealogy please send me a line. Thanks!

  16. My g g grandmother was a Blackfoot Indian her name was snowbird also. She is buried in the Ketterman graveyard at big bend smoke holes in Grant county WV.

  17. My name is Janet and both sides of my family were in. Western Virginia for generations. My daddy’s side was Hughes and Greaser And my mom’s side was Turner and Varney. Any information about native roots would be appreciated

  18. My grandfathers name was Arvil or Orville Collins, and was married to Bernice Faye Abshire. We were also told growing up that we had Blackfoot and Cherokee blood, one or both sides.

  19. My DNA test shows 30% American Indian. I was always told by my Gran-father (born in 1883). Mason Co., Va. (now WV) that we were Cherokee Indian. He said he was told by his Dad that the Troops came up the Kanawha Valley early 1800s and took all Indian families away and was never heard from again.I can remember a Emma Snowbird as my g-g-grand mother. I believe she was a Jacobs, born in Greenbrier Co., Va. (Virginia Emoline Jacobs). She married George Christy my g-great-father. The families moved to Missouri, arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona,Texas, and Ohio.I have a large family in most of these states. I cannot find any records of the Indian blood, but have constantly been told we are Indian. I was called a black and Indian man all my life, I look just like an Indian. LOL. But I am very proud to be an Indian, mainly since I have my blood work done and proves I am Indian. I will appreciate any help from anyone and will try to help anyone else that I can. I was born and raised in Bancroft, Putnam Co., WV and lived there for 59 years and have now moved to Florida, so it is hard for me to do leg work on my family history. But I will try to do any -thing that I can. Good luck to everyone and may God Bless each and every one. Jim King..

  20. Thank you for your input. Unfortunately, My oldest sister stole the pipe and said she gave it back to the tribe, I think she has it.

  21. I have read quite a few books about colonial America,as I am a history buff.i think the name of your greatgrandfather might have been blackhoof or the indian name catahecassa .he was one of the greatest and most important Shawnee chief.there are a series of books written in the 1980’s by allen Eckert that tells at least part of the story of his life and of the Shawnee history.if the pipe is from blackhoof take great care of it,as it is surely an important piece of history.never read anything about a chief blackhoff.unless you spelled the name wrong here.

  22. My grandmother, Arminta, was born in Mason County, WV about 1877. There is no birth record. She had a sister, Arletta. Arminta and Arletta were found in a hollow log by a man named Joseph Pounds and taken home to his wife Lydia. They raised the girls as their own. Does anyone know anything about her or her relatives in that time period? She told my mother that she was Shawnee. My mother had my GGgrandfather’s peace pipe, His name was Chief Blackhoff. Please, any information would be appreciated. I’m trying to find my Indian family but have hit a brick wall. It’s thought that when the white man forced the native’s to travel the trail of tears, their mother or both parents hid them in the slim hopes of the girls surviving, knowing they would’ve probably died on that terrible trip.

  23. My great great grandfather JAMES MONROE CLEAR OR CLEARWATER BORN TAZWELL COUNTY VIRGINIA. SPOUSE TABITHA ROSE. my great grandmother Arminta Catherine ( CLEAR ) Bates. Was told she Cherokee. Buried at HANGING ROCK CEMETERY. PLEASE I NEED MORE INFORMATION.

  24. my Great, Great, Grandmother was said to be Cherokee, her name was Mae Jarvis. She married a Jarvis. My father was Cherokee, his last name was Parsons. People said his people was given the Parsons name from a English man that came here in the 1800`s , I wish I knew more. The Englishmen would cut the heads off of the Cherokee, to keep count of the Cherokee. Do you know anything about this?

  25. Roberta L Collins

    My background from my mom’s side sounds like yours. I get told it’s nit real Indians. This many people can’t be getting it mixed up. I was told Cherokee and Blackfoot and my father in laws claimed the same about his father’s side.

  26. Looking for my True Grandfather, Full Blood-ed Indian in West Virginia. My Grand Mother, born Ina Rosa Bell told me that her Father(cherokee) and Mother(White Italian) were from Garwood Missiouri, the place she was born. Her father tried to c ut her head off twice, so her mother Mary ga ve her away to a Black American traveling by, who took her to Michigan. She had siblings.

    In fact, thru Ancestry.com, we met the 1st cousins(to my Aunt and Uncles) and my 2nd cousins living a state over. Thru their research the story was a bit different.
    Supposedly, my Grand Ina Rosa was the product of a ‘rape’ or ‘affair’ between my true Great Grand ma Mary( born in Italy) and a Black Man. I’ve done the DNA and Yes I have White Italian and Cherokee Blood(First Nations test-Canada; plus it shows my Black foot connection from my Dad)

    So, infact –my Grand Ma was the product of Native and White Italian. Her father was Cherokee like she said—full. NOw the Man(her perceived father thought he had a reason to kill her for her skin being darker than two white italians from Italy.

    My Grand Ma was born in West Virginia, unlike she stated with being in Garwood(the town was Carter Missiour) She left the reservation at 9.5 she told us. So if the ‘rape”afair’ went down it would have been in 1918 in West Virgina , her birth place and then they traveled to Missiouri.
    Needle in the hey stack to find relatives from the reservation. She stated that where she stayed. help

  27. I have a four page letter about my 4th great grandmother Running Deer from West Virginia not known exactly where. But She and her sister married two men who came from Kentucky and one who married her was a George Massie/Massey. He would be my 4th great grandfather. They had a daughter named Doe later named Mary who married a William Issac Vaughn. This is all on my mother’s side. I have a lot of family who know the stories but no one knows where from in West Virginia. Trying to find out where.

  28. My Great uncles name is Frank Ailstock he had a brother named George and 2 sisters minnie and geogia, He told me he was cherokee and had been a chief. I was told that we were part of the tribe in west virginia that the goverment talked 3 chiefs to surender and be hanged and they would quit chasing the rest of the tribe. So It was. Any information would be nice

  29. My great grandmother was a full blooded Cherokee from Rosedale area of West Virginia. Her last name was Copen. Married a white English man by the name of Peter Jarvis. Anyone have any information on the Copen family? If you do please email me at Kjarvis8805@gmail.com. Good luck to everyone!

  30. Rose Brownfield

    inquiring for a friend. Looking for Isreal Thompson born Montgomery Virginia 24 Nov 1772 died 20 Feb 1846 Macoupin co IL.

  31. My grandfather was Cherokee he grew up in West Virginia I heard stories when I was a child that I had a great great great grandfather he was a chief I seen a old picture of him don’t know what happened to the picture, my grandfathers name is Worley scalf he passed away 27 years ago how can I find out more about my familys history?

  32. My grandmother was Shawnee and lived at Cabin Creek in 1910 . I suspect this is the area that is spoken of. My Mother talked of growing up there when she was alive.

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