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.”
But really - if she was an Indian, those court records (in my opinion) and her troublesome neighbors would certainly call her so and even worse names. If you read these 17th Century court records you will see neighbors generally had no problem calling a kettle black and Indians are labeled. Also very likely the husband and family would suffer great discrimination from their neighbors. Interracial marriage certainly was not accepted by church and government.
Look for things that show the family is treated different from other neighbors. Look to see if they are living on the fringe of the community. Look to see if they have front row pews in the church or are standing in the back. Are they even members of the church? Look at Flander's and the kid's occupations. Are they general laborers or a gentlemans? The community would not likely allow them to have any sort of successful professional career and certainly would not allow them to be a town selectman, etc.. (In my educated opinion)
Where they married in the Church? If so, then certainly not an Indian woman. Is there any historical documentation (documents created while she was living) to support her maiden name of Sandusky? If not, when did she first acquire the name? Probably not until some descendant decided to do a family genealogy and "help" the oral history into a more legitimate light.
Anything is possible and I certainly don't want you to give up trying to prove it, but don't get your hopes up.
Your comments about religion, etc. were right on the money:
STEPHEN FLANDERS was born about 1595 in the Dutch Netherlands. He arrived in New England prior to 1646, and is first recorded as a resident of Gorgeana, now known as York, Maine. Stephen Flanders married Jane "Sandusky" prior to 1646. Stephen Flanders, his wife and two children moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1649-50. There is no record of his ever becoming a “freeman” at Gorgeana or Salisbury. Church membership was a requirement for “freeman” status, and Steven Flanders never joined the local church. On February 8, 1651, he did take the "Oath of Fidelitie." Stephen Flanders’ occupation was recorded as that of a planter. He was also apparently a man of some education, because he could read and sign his name, and he seems to have parlayed this education into some wealth. In 1650, his holdings were only an acre and a half for a house lot, but by 1684, at the time of his death, he owned 74 acres of land and his estate was valued at 300 pounds. Stephen Flanders died on June 27, 1684 at about age 89 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Your research has been a great help. My dad's family was from Freeport, Maine, and often surmised there was an Indian (with some pride, I might add). I'm descended from Stephen Flanders and Jane Sandusky through their son John.
There is no such thing as an "Indian Princess" There were no chiefs or kings among the native inhabitants of this land before the Europeans showed up. The Europeans gave titles to people who were considered "Leaders" (because they had shown wisdom and were good at giving advise and making choices) so that they would have someone to sign away lands. It is good that you have found a truth about your ancestry and I pray it helps you better understand yourself. Sadly many who find these truths think it will entitle them to money from one tribe or another. This is not the case. A few tribes have done well and can offer their members help but for the most part the Indians of Turtle Island are still being held down under the boot of oppression.
Interesting. We have Native dna and have been unable to find the source, assuming it was from Maine as that's where the family stories originated. Jane Sandusky is in our tree so maybe she is the source. If anyone else has had dna done and lists Jane in their tree, maybe we can work back and see if she is a possible link.
I am new to this site. Jane Sandusky is my 9X great grandmother on my father's mother's side.
I have had my DNA tested but there is no Indian evidence.
I would be willing to compare DNA results to find any connection.
My grandmother was Thompson from Buzzell from Page from Flanders.
Jane Sandusky is my 9th great grandmother as well through Steven Flanders, Jr as my 8th great grandfather.
My DNA results through 23andMe were 97% European French/German and British/Irish with 2.9% broadly european and .1% unassigned dna. My maternal haplogroup was C5b1 which is one of the 5 haplogroups found in native americans. However, this isn't helpful for my paternal ancestry.
My experience in breeding livestock. Starting with 2 different purebred animals bred together will create a F1 animal. If the offspring is then bred back to the same breed of only one of the purebred parent and 5 generations later will result in a purebred animal again. Statically the other breed's dna is bred out of the genetic pool. I'm assuming this is the same for my DNA with 9 generations back. The percentage I was told would be less than .1% like a grain of sand. My paternal haplogroup was G-L30 which is a common among europeans and the other males from the DNA database from 23andMe. So it would be very difficult for a male to pass on the genetics of the female lineage through the paternal DNA. Since every generation cuts half of the DNA of the X chromosomes from the male side. The results might be different from a female carrying DNA from the paternal lineage from Jane Sandusky Flanders.