Monacan Tribe

Monacan Indians (possibly from an Algonquian word signifying a digging stick or spade). A tribe and confederacy of Virginia in the 17th century. The confederacy occupied the upper waters of James river above the falls at Richmond. Their chief village was Rasawek. They were allies of the Manahoac and enemies of the Powhatan, and spoke a language different from that of either. They were finally incorporated with other remnants under the names of Saponi and Tutelo. The confederacy was composed of the Monacan proper, Massinacac, Mohemencho, Monahassano, Monasiccapano, and some other tribes.

The Monacan proper had a chief settlement, known to the whites as Monacantown, on James river about 20 miles above the falls at Richmond. In 1669 they still had 30 bowman, or perhaps about 100 souls. Thirty years later, the Indian population having died out or emigrated, a Huguenot colony took possession of the site.

For Further Study

The following articles and manuscripts will shed additional light on the Monacan as both an ethnological study, and as a people.

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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3 thoughts on “Monacan Tribe”

  1. Jerry C. Cummings

    I firmly believe that my Stone family – Cuthbert Stone 1758 – 1844 – married into the Monacan (family) tribe. I do not know which Stone married into the Monacans but it is thought to have been Sally Sission.
    If there are any Stones who are researching this connection I would dearly appreciate it if you are willing to share your data. My own ggrandfather is Henry Enoch Stone and grandfather is Samuel Sylvester Stone.
    Jerry C. Cummings

    1. I am researching my grandfather who was a Stone from Roanoke, Virginia. My mother shows native north in multiple test and had claimed this heritage. The tribe within closest proximity would be Monacan, I had noticed in a dna group, there was a Stone in a project that showed the surname Branham which is a stereotypical Monacan surname. I had wondered if my line was connected. If you have done dna or have a family tree to see if our lines connect feel free to reach out, I am still looking into it.

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