Town Meeting at Mashpee Town Hall, 1932
Pencil drawing by Ernestine Gray
From Son of Mashpee
Mashpee, Massachusetts, located on Cape Cod, has a unique character that has been strongly shaped by the very presence of its first inhabitants, the Mashpee Wampanoags.
Mashpee, previously known as Massipee or Marshpee, was incorporated as a town in the year 1870, to be governed the way the other New England towns were governed, the English, or Newcomers', way. Before that, however, Mashpee had long been the home of Native Americans, predominantly Wampanoags.
Ernestine Gray of Mashpee is very proud of her Wampanoag heritage and has dedicated herself to preserving that heritage as much as possible for future generations. She has been working tirelessly to educate young and old about the history of Mashpee and of the Wampanoags, and to preserve the historical landmarks of Mashpee. Saving the old South Mashpee School from further deterioration is her latest dream in action.
Ernestine Gray on the steps of the Mashpee Old Indian Meetinghouse. Photo by Alicja Mann
This 72-year-old great-grandmother, as she often calls herself, is lecturing, advising, consulting, researching, networking, and collecting old photographs and documents. She is always active, curious and ready to learn new things, and she simply loves to "connect with all kinds of people." She will continue to organize a variety of workshops, exhibit her old photographs, and work as a volunteer, as long as she sees that her efforts will benefit the future generations of Mashpee.
"I have been involved with several organizations for the last twenty years. The most rewarding experiences include lecturing to third grade, junior high and high school students. I have also lectured in various other forums. My lectures encompass the history, mythology and legends of the Mashpee Wampanoag people."
Ernestine Gray has been researching her own family history for several years, and with the help of The New England Historic Genealogical Society she learned fascinating facts about her ancestors. "Such research is tedious, time-consuming and frustrating at times," she admits. As a result of that experience, Ernestine decided to make such research a bit easier for others, to aid them in pursuing similar goals.
Receiving grant money from the Thanks Be To Grandmother Winifred Foundation made it possible for Ernestine and her project team to search for and record many old documents. After several months of hard work this information is now available on CD.
Military record - Mashpee veterans
Indian and Negro soldiers who were servants, 1723
1776 Town Census - shows the number of "Indians, Malatoes, and Negroes
belonging to Mashpee, June 24, 1776". This list was found in the papers of
Early 1776 Census of Indians, Mulatoes and Negroes
FBI Ethnology - early 1700 families in Mashpee according to FBA list.
Federal Census 1800 - free white males.
1808 Inhabitants of Mashpee
Earl - report of the commissioners relating to the condition of the Indian in
Massachusetts in 1849.
1850 Census - "Free Inhabitants in Marshpee 1850"
Bonds and Notes from the Massachusetts Treasury
Deeds, Allotments and Proprietaries Held in Severalty by the proprietors of
Descendants of the Fuller- Mingo Family
Fredrick W. Sawyer Proceedings on Marshpee
Freetown Intention and Marriage Certificates
Mashpee Intention and Marriage Certificates
Military record - Mashpee veterans
New Bedford Marriage Intentions
Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts
Petition of the Estate of Roxanna Mye
Petition of the Estate of William Mye
Poll taxes for Marshpee Plantation residents
Revolutionary War Pension Applications
Sepit Abstracts from Sandwich vital records
Various spellings on old petitions
Will of Nathan S. Pocknet
Writ of Barnstable County
Books & Other Publications
Listed in order of their publishing dates.
Author(s), title, subtitle, publisher, date of publishing, followed by short comments by Ernestine Gray.
From Biographies and Legends of New England Indians
- Pierce, Ebenezer W. Indian History, Biography and Genealogy. Zerviah Gould
Mitchell. North Abington, Massachusetts.1878.
A valuable account by a female descendant of an important leader of the 17th Century.
- Deyo, Simeon. History of Barnstable County 1890. H.W. Blake and Co. New
Extensive early geographic names and locations.
- Dykes, Hannah S.B. History of Richard Bourne. Privately printed by Benjamin
F. Bourne. Cleveland, Ohio. 1919.
- Beale, Samuel M. "The Man of Science." Jefferson Alumnae Magazine. 1963.
Another personal friend of Mashpee
- Bonfanti, Leo. Biographies and Legends of New England Indians. Pride
Publications. Wakefield, Massachusetts.
There are 6 volumes that were published between 1965 and 1980.
They provide valuable geographic coverage.
- Bingham, Amelia. Mashpee. Mashpee Historical Commission. 1970.
Well prepared early histories and treasured photos.
- Vuilleumeier, Marion. Indians On Olde Cape Cod. William S. Sullwold
Publishing. Taunton, Massachusetts. 1976.
One of several publications by Friends of Mashpee--revolving about
religious and humanitarian issues.
- Travers, Milton A. One of the Keys. Dartmouth, Massachusetts Bicentennial
Commission. ISBN 0-8158-0326-5.
- Chase, Henry E. Note on the Wampanoag Indians. From Papers Relating to
Anthropology. Brookline, Massachusetts.
Informative. Many references listed. Obtained from Neil Good of
- Crosby, Constance A. "From Myth to History". The Recovery of Meaning:
Historical Archaeology in the Eastern United States. Smithsonian
Institution Press. Washington D.C.
- Peters, Russell M. The Wampanoags of Mashpee. Nimrod Press.1989.
A 20th Century resident's view with interesting "then and now"
- O'Connell, Barry. In Our Own Ground. The University of Massachusetts Press.
Amherst, Massachusetts.1992. ISBN 0-87023-766.
Account of Native American human abuses and collections of the writings of William Apess.
- Crosby, Constance A. "When Their Ancestors First Came". Society for
American Archaeology Annual Meeting 1992. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Crosby, Constance A. "The Algonkian Spiritual Landscape". Algonkians of New
England Past and Present. Boston University. Boston, Massachusetts. 1993.
Local oral traditions.
- Carpenter, Delores Bird. Early Encounters. Michigan State University
Press. Lansing, Michigan. 1994. ISBN 0-87013-351-9.
An interesting combination of Nickerson Histories and clergy on Cape Cod.
- Burns, Rosemary H. 1870 Mashpee 1995. Town of Mashpee. Mashpee,
A celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Town of Mashpee.
- Time-Life Books. Algonquians of the East Coast. Time-Life Education.
Richmond, Virginia. 1995. ISBN 0-8094-9738-7.
- Mills, Earl Sr. and Mann, Alicja. Son of Mashpee. North Falmouth,
Massachusetts. 1996. ISBN 965-4360-0-4.
A fresh new perspective on old Mashpee.
|Nanneta C.W. Vanderhoop Anna Louise Two bright Gay Head Girls||circa 1935||1A
|Campfire held by Indian girls in council meeting-Gay Head Nov. 8||circa 1935||1B
||Mashpee boy six killed in his yard ||11/25/35 ||1C
|Pipe of Peace Rites to note Indian day Chiefs, James, Oakley, Howard ||11/25/35 ||1D
|Island Indians open Pow-Wow/Vanderhoop, Jeffers, Mars ||8/24/35 ||1E/F
|Lemuel Fielding of Norwich Connecticut ||ND ||1G
|The Indian Not Lost (Upton Sinclair) ||ND ||1H
|Naragansett Indians Unite & Recite Tribal Charter ||ND ||1I pt 1
|Old Ritual to be Used at Wedding of Indian Maiden ||1936 ||1I pt 2
|Esther Courchene-Assibone Indian Haskell Institute ||ND ||1J
|Neigh To Aid, Mashpee ||March 16 ? ||1K
|Black Hawk Defends Race (special to standard) Fall River ||Dec. 19 ? ||1K
|Scalping is thing of the past, say Indians ||ND ||1K
|Four Generations of Indians, Eastport ME ||ND ||1K
|The Only all-Indian G.A.R. post in the United States-Wisconsin ||ND ||1L
|Adam and his horse ||ND ||1M
|Chief Two Guns White Calf's Death alters Methodist's visit ||ND ||1M
|Beth Peace-Crow Reserve Montana, first Indian stewardess ||ND ||1M
|Pirate Pistols Uncovered ||10/14/36 ||1N
|Cape Cod Folks Take to Archaeology ||10/14/36 ||1N
The purpose of this Web site is to inform the public about what kinds of documents are available and where to find them. For information about the availability of the CD, or any other inquiries, please contact Ernestine Gray.
Ernestine Gray would like to thank the following persons for their support, inspiration, for their time and for providing the information:
Rosemary H. Burns Mashpee, Massachusetts, Mashpee Archives, Historic Commissioner
Mark Choquet Lakeville, Massachusetts, Genealogist
Helen Edwards Mashpee, Massachusetts
A friend Mystic, Connecticut
Charles Hareld Jr. Providence, Rhode Island
Alicja Mann Tucson, Arizona, Word Studio, Director
Hope Morrill Wellfleet, Massachusetts, Cape Cod National Seashore, Curator
Everet "Tall Oak" Weedon Charlestown, Rhode Island
Ann M. Whitlow Mashpee, Massachusetts, Mashpee Archives, Historic Commissioner
©2001 Mashpee Yesteryear, all rights reserved.