Chowanoke Descendants Community


     Chowanoke genealogy has in the past been considered to be a hopeless venture, being that the tribal members scattered to so many various points that it is vitually untraceable, but cumulative research over the last century is beginning to show that, at least partially, we can begin to trace the migratory paths of the dispersion of the tribe. I suspect that most undocumented marriages occured between the white neighbors and the Chowans, one such known marriage being that between John Freeman and Tabatha Hoyter, the chief's daughter. There are others who we suspect but are unable yet to prove as of yet.

     The diminished Chowans stayed together for the most part until 1733, when things started to fall apart. They were in a state of poverty, devastated by property damage after the Tuscarora war. In this year, North Carolina gave permission for them to incorporate with the Tuscarora Tribe (not the same ones they were fighting against, these were a neutral band). We don't know how many exactly went, but from the sale of 1600 acres of land the following two years, we can surmise that a sizeable portion took up this offer. There are three possible ending points for these Chowans who went ot the Tuscarora. They could have gone north with the majority of their new tribe to New York to join the Iroquois.  Also, they could have gone to join the Mattamuskeet near the Alligator swamp, as some of these Tuscarora are said to have gone there. Also, some Tuscarora families are said to have stayed on their own plantations and blended in with white society, maybe later becoming a "tri-racial" group of people like the Lumbee. We don't really know any of this, it is speculation but merits further research.

     There were several families that remained on the Chowan reservation, namely the Robbins and the Bennets. They hung on until the early 19th century. The Bennets eventually went south to South Carolina and joined with the Pee Dee tribe, who today remembers their heritage of the Chowans. The Robbins never left the vicinity of the Chowan Rriver, and one of their descendents married a Meherrin Indian, and so the Meherrin Tribe today also remembers their Chowan roots. Therefore not all Chowanoke memory has been lost as some have led us to believe, but are a part of living history, maintining their Indian identity. The following information is compilations of genealogies on known lines of Chowan blood. Some of it is unsourced, being transcriptions of family trees, so bear with us as we make these lines firmly understood. If you have any new information or notice a correction that needs to be addressed we definetally want to hear from you! Contact me, Lars Adams, at

Branches from the Chowanoke tribe

Known Chowanoke People mentioned in Records (with surnames)

From Ralph Lane's accounty of the Roanoke expedition: 

1585 records - Menatanon (King) Skiko (son)

From a 1644 marriage record:

Mary Tucker (Chowanoke), who married Edward Basse (White)

From letters, council minutes and land deed sales,  1700s:

John Hoyter

Thomas Hoyter (possibly had daughter named Tabitha)


Jeremiah Pushing

Charles Beasley

James Bennett

John Reeding

James Robins

John Robbins

Benjamin Robins

George Bennett

Joseph Bennett

Nuce Will


Thank you Fletcher Freeman for the following additions (8/1/11)

Jonathan White was a Chowan Indian charged with illegally selling liquor in 1719
Robert Abrams was an Indian in Chowan county who was sued in 1738.  Since the Chowans may have been the only tribe in the county, he was probably Chowan
Thomas Durin sued fellow tribe member John Robins in 1736 for a debt.  Interestingly I know a Cherokee woman and an apache man named Duran and have seen that name many times in various tribal rolls.


From John Lawson's A History of North Carolina (early 1700s), he mentions a Chowan (he called Chuwau) Indian Shaman named Roncomock.


Names of white men owning land in or immediately surrounding Chowan Land. This list is ongoing as research continues (Some possibly took Chowan wives):

Michael Ward

John Freeman (Married Thomas Hoyter's daughter, Tabitha)

Henry Hill

William Hill

James Brown

Aaron Blanchard

Jacob Hinton

Samuel Lewis

Samuel Harrell

Benjamin Blanchard

John Campbell

Thomas Spivey

Francis Rountree

Rob’t Rountree

Robert Lassiter  (According to Eddie Davis (site member) Robert's wife was passed down as being "A Cherokee Indian of the Nottaway Tribe".  A confouding statement, indeed. Nottoway, maybe, and the Cherokee were a long ways away, but being next to the Chowan Reservation there is a possibility she was a member of this tribe, or maybe a tribal descendent.)

George Lassiter

Nicholas Stallings






As I find more names I will add them as I continue pouring through court records and deed records. Or if you know of more names email me!