Dodipher Richards (1745 in Dover, NH - 1825 in Lincolnville, ME) married a woman called "Little Fawn" (which I believe is the English translation of her Native Am. name) Little Fawn is listed as being from Maine/New Hampshire, born in 1740- died in 1810.  Her father is simply listed as "Big Thunder" and her mother is Winusauwin.  The dates I have for Little Fawn's parents are incorrect though.  Little Fawn's English name (English given name) was Sarah Tarratine.  Apparently Dodipher was nursed back to health by Little Fawn and her family.  Does anyone know anything more about this woman and her family?  Dodipher and Little Fawn are my 8th generation grandparents (6 Greats added on).

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It was my great Aunt Gladys (Who's mother was a Richards born in 1800), who told me about the Richards' family in Camden, Maine (where we both lived).  She is the one that told me about an Indian Princess that married our ancestor who was the first to settle in Camden.  She had no computer with any internet, and no reason to give out false information.  She was simply passing on information by word of mouth as people have done for thousands of years... including Native Americans.  It wasn't like I just looked up a few random names on the computer and found this information either.  It was kind of suggested by Nancy Lecompte (earlier in conversation) that that is what I did.

You enjoy your weekend as well!

Hello folks... I just joined the site and like many of you are trying to find more info on Dodipher and Sarah (Little Fawn).  Here's an interesting note from 110 years ago or some 78 years after Dodipher's death. As you will read it's the story from a fairly close family member and "eye witness."  I received this from Barbara Dwyer, a distance cousin and former Selectmen of Camden.  I also have a (copy of a) general store ledger of Dodipher, and his sons, Jonathan & Benjamin.  I will scan this soon and post it if possible.  I am also looking for Philander French Richards (spouse: Priscilla Mansfield) info.  Peace, Dave



Born in Dover, N.H. 1745 --- Died in Lincolnville, Me. 1825


From the notes, at a Richards reunion of the family of Thomas & Charlotte House, Richards, in the month of July, 1903, at the home of a sister, Mary Ann Burgess, Searsmont, Maine.........


Dodavah, born in 1745; Joseph, born 1747, and James, born 1743, & their Sister Sarah, left New Hampshire, which was getting "over-crowed" went to Bristol, Maine 1767.  James, and his wife Elizabeth stayed in Bristol, but Dodavah, age 22, and his brother, age 20 went up the Georges River as far as place called Mague, Ar Maygag.  It lies between Appleton, and Searsmont.  Then they headed south by east until they came to what is called Camden; At that time it was Megunticook. 


That same year 1767, Dodavah & Joseph Richards,cleared a plot of land on which to build a cabin;  In those days a family with a cabin could claim and hold a certain amount of land,and in addition each member of the family as they were born could when married fence in and claim a parcel of land.  When the fall weather set in, Joseph went to Bristol to tell his brother James of this place, the timber, & ect... Dodavah, in the meantime was taken sick, and could not make the trip... Dodavah was taken in by some friendly Indians, who took him to what is now Beauchamp Point.  There was a cave on the East side, near Dedman's cove.  (The roof fell in about 1908) Dodavah had a high fever.  The Indians warmed up rocks from the shore, covered Dodavah with bearskins, and placed around him.  It was cold and blustery, Dodavah had the shakes, so a young Indian maiden got under the skins with Dodavah, to get him warm,and break the fever.  Dodavah survived the ordeal.  Later he took this Indian girl for his wife.  The story is---the Indians would name their children after anything unusual that happened about that time. So, the Maiden's father was known as "Big Thunder" as he was born during a thunder shower; the Indian maiden was "Little Fawn" as deer had its young at the same time that the Indian girl was born, so --- "Little Fawn."


Now in the spring of 1768, Joseph came back to Megunticook... Dodavah,and Joseph, with the help of the friendly Indians, cut logs, built a cabin, gathered rock for a fireplace, took clay from the river to chink the logs, and bond the rock in the fireplace.


In the fall of 1768, Joseph went back to Bristol, and told James that the cabin was ready for him.  Joseph then went back to the cabin, and found Dodavah with his Indian girl whom he now called Sarah.  In the

spring when James and his wife Elizabeth, came to Camden, May 8, 1769,the cabin was ready, the brush was burned, the wood was cut, and a garden spot was ready to plant.


The truth about James Richards Sr. son of John Richards, can be found in Genealogy Register of The Descendents of Several Ancient Puritans, Vol. 3, Page 185.


The truth about James, Dodavah, Joseph, and Sarah their sister can be found in Little's Genealogy and Family History of Maine.


From Dodavah Richards Jr. on down can be found in the Searsmont Village Records, even includes the birthplace of Charlotte House, Richards. She was born in Boston, Mass. 1807- died in Searsmont, 1893.  My father & my mother knew her well, as father was 34 years of age when she passed away.  My mother was 27 years of age at the time.  She was grandmother to both my father and mother.


According to your version of the story, Dodivah was the settler of Camden.  Barbara Dyer is also the town historian.

The problem with the story is that it very much resembles every other families native american relatives.  Guy gets sick, the Natives take him in and an Indian woman nurses him back to health, man married Indian woman...  The only thing that can be proved with basic genealogical methods is that Dodivah married a woman named Sarah.  It is said that she is a Native American.  Ben, in his response above was able to back up the Native American theory by having had access to family records describing the woman (Dodivah's and Sarah's daughter) and her talents.  The Little Fawn/Big Thunder story is almost exactly like the scam described in the article on the following site, posted as a response above by Nancy Lecompte, Research Director for Ne-Do-Ba  Check out the site and let me know what you think.

The Native Americans on the East and during that time period did not have names like "Little Fawn" and "Big Thunder".  However, I have noticed that through other genealogical studies and history studies, the settlers did sometimes use their real Indian names when they could, or as close to it as they could get.  And, in some stories, a notable Native American would get a "white man's" name.  Of course this is done by the settlers and not the Natives because as we know, the Native language is difficult and at that time in history, were probably hard for them to pronounce at a time when they could barely spell their own names.  They spelled things phonetically back then

Although there was probably a lot of truth in the stories told at that family reunion, I still would question the validity of some of the details since some of it doesn't quite jive with other historic accounts of the settling of Camden.  However, I am not about to discount it all and tell you it is a bunch of bull either.  I would need proof to say either way.  Did Barbara Dyer write an article about this family reunion and those details?  If so I'd be interested to see it.

I will have to take note of the other sources and check them out.

Thanks for your input on this family mystery!


Here is a store ledger from 1794 with Dodipher Richard's account (his signature) st the bottom with his son's Jonathan & Benjamin accounts as well.  I received this copy from cousin Barbara Dyer of Camden many years ago.  It is in the Adobe attachment.  Enjoy!



Hi My Aunt is Barbara F. Dyer of Camden Maine and she knows some of the History of Sarah Little Fawn and her Father Big Thunder

I am NOT saying I buy into the "Big Thunder" thing, however, I know that there was a woman called Sarah who was married to Dodipher Richards.  I hadn't bumped into it in a while, but I just came across the "Big Thunder" family tree.  The names themselves are totally ridiculous without sounding anything.  Not to mention, every member of that family was born in a different state, not in the same vicinity of the other at all.  Obviously that part is fake.  And let's face it, Dodipher isn't the only one back then that had a weird name. I won't get into that here. Sarah was said to have been a Native American, born in Bristol, Maine in about 1740.  She and Dodipher had several children together.  If you look back in these posts, someone has a journal that describes Sarah and Dodipher's offspring, and she sounds like she has Native American traits, and is a master basket weaver.  Hmm.  Fake?  No.  Sarah (with or without the "Little Fawn" part which is left out of resources and family stories) was a real person.  There is mention of Dodipher marrying a Native American in a few old resources.  So again, I am arguing that Sarah, wife of Dodipher, was a real person who was believed to be a Native American.  Changing what the NeDoBa website says doesn't change a thing in real life.  In most resources I've seen, there is never a mention of a "Big Thunder" or any of those.  You cannot discount a family tree totally just because in a few variations someone decided to get creative with some words and names.  At some point, there is truth.  Sarah is a real person.

What this site originally said was that Dodipher (Dodivah) was married to a Sarah.  Now it says that they never said Sarah "Little Fawn" was real, and they removed their original posting.  And it was changed because of us.  Maybe none of these ridiculous names I've seen on other trees are real, but Sarah was real.  Just because the rest of her made up family is a scam doesn't mean she was too.

Heather, you seem bent on making me out as a bad guy here when I was only trying to help you understand the dynamics of your situation.

Neither I, nor Ne-Do-Ba has ever claimed Dodipher did not have a wife or that his wife was not Native. All that has been stated is that her name is not "Sarah Little Fawn" and the ancestors she has been attached to in dozens of online family trees can not possibly be accurate.

If you take the time to re-read my original post in this forum it is pretty hard to miss my bolded text statement "Now, this is not to say the woman is not Native American, only that she is not who people are claiming she is."

I tried to help you by suggesting the types of sources that might help you find evidence to support the idea she is Native. "If the woman is Native, you may find neighbors making statements about her in diaries, journals, business accounts, land deeds, wills, etc. etc. etc.. You should attempt to locate enough circumstantial evidence to satisfy your own mind."

It is sad you can not see my comments as helpful. I have kept my mouth shut for many months while you continue to treat me as the enemy in these posts by making false statements about what I believe or what I said. Enough is enough, it is time you stop putting words in my mouth.

It was the new comment and the subtraction of some of the old stuff from that particular article that bugged me.  Now it says that NeDoBa never said that Sarah was real. She's real, but what people have put down as her family are not. I agreed that the names that came up (not right away in my searches either mind you) as Sarah's Native American family is so totally bogus, and obviously so.  It surprises me that people are still putting those names on their tree.  All I have is word of mouth of family members, some town history accounts, and other circumstantial evidence to say that Sarah was a Native American.  One family journal sounded very promising, but circumstantial.  And no copy of the journal, but I am familiar with the history of this part of the family tree.  Before genealogy went digital, and online, there are sources saying that she was a Native American.  The simple fact that there is NO information on who her parents were helps denote that.  In my research, it says that Sarah was born in Bristol, ME or Dover, NH.  This makes total sense since the Richards family lived and traveled through these areas.

I don't believe I have "continued to treat" you as the enemy for "Many Months".  I haven't directed anything to the NeDoBa article in quite a while.  The last comment I made on the topic was not to you, and that was in July.  At the same time I also posted the NeDoBa link for someone to read because the story he had sounded a lot like a fake to me.  I have been dealing with other peoples records and recollection of the family arrangement. I was looking for the article/page to share with after I came across another bogus tree. I went to the page to get the link to post, and upon reading realized that it was different now. I wanted the original that said that Dodipher did indeed marry a Sarah. Word of mouth has stated that she is a Native American. And I wanted the list of some of the bogus names and dates that don't make sense.  I did end up sharing the link, but now it reads that they never said Sarah existed.  She existed. The bogus family does not exist.  Finding evidence of Sarah (which is a name Dodipher gave her, and that I have seen in some fairly reputable sources) being a Native American would be helpful.  Family members had recalled her being a Native American.  If other names are thrown in there I tend to not take that as evidence. Regardless, if I leave the tree right there with Dodipher marrying a woman he called "Sarah",  that tree is factual.  Since the Richards family is known to be the first white settlers of Camden, Maine, the family history is fairly known.  Evidence swamps Vital Stats for Camden and Lincolnville.  My Great- Grandmother was a Richards. 

I am sharing the NeDoBa link to that article to hopefully let people know about this problem and to pay attention to the information they accept into their tree as fact.  That is one thing that I notice a lot is that people just blindly accept information from other trees with out looking at the information.

I am not out to get you.  I am only out to find the truth.  Please tell me where I am "putting words" into your mouth and I will figure out best I can where that came from, but that may be difficult since that page has been changed since this originally came up.

Take Care.



If I did not value your information, I would not refer people to NeDoBa at all.  The fact is, I refer people to that link all the time.  I have heeded its warning myself.



Hello all.  I want to clarify to Ne-Do-Ba and whomever else reads this thread, that my reading comprehension is not stunted.  After several paragraphs instructing readers to critically examine sources and claims regarding family trees, and to be honest and forthright when making any ancestral determinations, Ne-Do-Ba then stated that Dodipher Richards actually lived.  Nothing more was extrapolated.

I have been researching family history for a bit now, and Dodipher Richards' wife is a mystery; and as stated in earlier posts, I have some reason to suspect she may have been Native American based on obtained information regarding Dodipher's progeny in Utah.  Therefore, as I believe she may have been Native American, and Ne-Do-Ba states that an ancestor of mine, who is linked to the various Big Thunder trees did actually exist, my intrigue grows.  That's all I took from the webpage. 

I'm quite proud of my Scotch-Irish lineage, and spend time researching every ancestor I can find anything about.  They are all interesting in my book, and when there are question marks I do what I can to ascertain the truth.  

Thanks Ben.  I pretty much came to that conclusion too.  Your input has been helpful.


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