A long-held “rumor” in the Lunney Family of Maine was that Mehitable (Pattee) Taylor, the grandmother of Susan (Taylor) Lunney, was a Native American Indian. As I researched the Pattee family genealogy, I at first concluded that the “Indian” rumor was false. The Pattee’s were a very old New England family of English and French Huguenot origins. It was not until I had researched back seven generations of the extended Pattee family tree that I found the Native American ancestor:
Mehitable Pattee married Isaiah Taylor.
Joseph Pattee married “Polly” Lowe and had a daughter, Mehitable Pattee.
John Pattee married Mary Hadley and had a son, Joseph Pattee.
Joseph Hadley married Hannah Flanders and had a daughter, Mary Hadley.
Joseph Flanders married Esther Cash and had a daughter, Hannah Flanders.
Stephen Flanders, Jr. married Abigail Carter and had a son, Joseph Flanders.
Stephen Flanders married Jane “Sandusky”, “Indian princess”, and had a son, Steven Flanders, Jr.
JANE “SANDUSKY”, “Indian princess”, was supposedly born around 1622 at “Gorgeana”, now known as York, Maine. Her name was recorded as “Sandusky”, but she probably did not have a surname, since she was supposedly a Christianized Indian of the “Sandusky” tribe. It is likely that she was technically a Mohawk or Seneca Indian of “Sandusky” descent. As late as the end of the 1500′s, the Sandusky tribe lived on the banks of the Sandusky River, south of Lake Erie.
The Old Sandusky tribe split apart before 1600, with some going west and others northeast into upstate New York. Early missionaries from the Jamestown Colony reached that area of New York and took some of the Sandusky descendants into upper New England to become Christianized, which explains how a "Sandusky" could have been in Maine.
Jane “Sandusky” married Stephen Flanders prior to 1646 at “Gorgeana”. Stephen Flanders, his wife Jane and two children moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1649-50. Stephen and Jane “Sandusky” Flanders had seven children:
Jane “Sandusky” Flanders died on November 19, 1683 at about age 61 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Some genealogists doubt that Jane “Sandusky” Flanders was an “Indian princess”, or any kind of Indian. Colonial records indicate that she had an excellent command of the English language. On the other hand, she was recorded as being an exceptionally fierce and violent woman, characteristics not usually associated with Puritan female colonists:
She was referred to by colonist William Osgood as “a foresworn wretch.”
A complaint to Salisbury court brought by Goodwife Flanders against Samuel Gachall and his wife for calling her vile names: “She and her daughter went into Gachell’s field to see where their cattle had broken in and Goodwife Gachell met them and asked if they had come to steal their corn. I said no, I haue no need of yor corn; then shee said ‘Geet of my ground thou pennycoinquick – I am sheure you are com to stell my corn.’ Shee had a pumkeng in har hand. She held it up & said shee woold staue my hed wth it. Then I said if my Cattell haue stooid your corne your piggs haue stooyd mine wheat. Then shee said ‘Com doun St Donstone to heare how the Deuill lies’ & Likewise good man gacheall doe often prouocke mee by calling my Children Deuills etc .” The epithet “pennycoinquick” that Goodwife Gachall hurled at Jane Flanders, when Jane and her daughter allegedly entered the neighbor’s cornfield in search of the Flanders’ cows, is a mystery. It sounds like it could be an Indian word, but could also be some obscure English insult. There was a prison at ”Pennycomequick” near Plymouth, England. “Pennycomequick” comes from the old Celtic name “Pen y cwm coet”, meaning “the head of a wooded valley”, or “Pen y cwm gwyk”, referring to a nearby creek.
On October 16, 1649, Jane was also brought before the local Court for abusing her husband and neighbors.
Excerpt from The Flanders Family: From Europe To America (2nd ed. volume I) by Stephen M. Flanders (2000): “Jane Sandusky, was purported to be of Indian descent. This is a tradition in the family; however, there has never been a tribe of Sandusky Indians in the region of New England she was found in. However, there has not been enough evidence found to refute it either.”…“A ready tongue, together with no hesitancy to use it, were attributes that could not pass unrecorded in a community of Puritans, who tolerated nothing. That Jane possessed these attributes cannot be doubted, after reading the old court records. The offenses for which she was charged were commonplace and an everyday occurrence in New England during this period. The lives of constant struggle against hardships of deprivations and the constant harshness of the Puritan code, coupled with the cultural and language differences Jane experienced, would account for much of the discord with her neighbors.”
There is a GEDCOM listing for a “Jane ‘Sandusky’, Indian”, who married Stephen Flanders, which is documented. It says that she was Iroquois of Sandusky descent. It quotes as sources: Eunice Allen, genealogist, Mary Parrish, Genealogy Files of Mary Parish, Columbus, Wisconsin and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Ancestral File.
According to Henry Howe, an early Ohio historian, the origin and meaning of the name “Sandusky” was also a matter of some dispute. However, William Walker, principal chief of the Sandusky Wyandot tribe living at Upper Sandusky, Ohio in 1835-36, claimed that it meant, “at the cold water,” and should be pronounced “San-doos-tee.”
Nancy, I have been following this as I have Jane Sandusky in my tree through Flanders. I have invested in DNA and still do not quite understand it all. I appreciate your knowledge and I am glad that you share it. I, for one, come here to learn. It is hard to find someone to help and as far as I am concerned you did not waste your time. Thank you very much!
Thanks Jason, nice to know someone took the time to read it ;-)
Jane's in my family line too. Thanks for the info. I've always loved family stories.
Some people in this thread were curious about tracing back the line to Jane. Here's my line. Does anyone have any intersections?
Jane Sandusky + Steven Flanders = John Flanders
John Flanders + Elizabeth Sargent = John Flanders
John Flanders + Judith Merrill = Abra Flanders
Abra Flanders + John Welch = Benjamin Welch
Benjamin Welch + Thankful Durgin = Sally Welch
Sally Welch +Andres Truax = Nancy Truax
Nancy Truax + Samuel Harriman = Caroline Harriman
Caroline Harriman + Edward Brazo = Cillana Brazo (Brazeau)
Cillana Brazo + Louis Greenough = Katherine Greenough
Katherine Greenough + James Wilson Cox = my paternal grandparents