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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If the "Little Fawn" thing is fake, then where do I go for an accurate record of my family tree.  I have researched my tree very carefully.  I know Dodipher (or Dodivah as one person said his grave stone says) Richards is a real person.  Everywhere I look, I keep seeing he is married to "Little Fawn".  Perhaps her parents are incorrectly listed.  I do not have a list of her siblings, but have a list of Dodipher's and Little Fawn's children.  I can see what is available for records as Dodipher and his family settled in the Camden, Maine area where my family still lives.  Could it be that perhaps this Little Fawn thing isn't entirely fake???

First, let us discuss this "fake" issue honestly.

I ask you, if any of the folks posting these on-line trees and messages had real information and sources to work with, why would need to make things up!

We can easily tell her names are fake. The name "Little Fawn" is NOT the type of "Indian" name the Wabanaki of this region use. Same goes for the father's name. These are dime novel, western "Indian" type of names. The only time you find names such as these used by Wabanaki People is when they are involved in the entertainment business and need stage names the general public will believe are "real Indian names" - a bit ironic that real Native People of this region needed to change their names before the public would accept them as "real"! Anyway, local Wabanaki did not get involved with stage names until the mid-1800s. So, this tells us someone created this name for her in the mid 1800s or later - decades after her death. Second, the name "Sarah Tarratine" is also made up. "Tarratine" is a word used for the Penobscot People, but it is an old word found only in "white" documents of the late 1500s and 1600s. Native People have never used this word to refer to themselves. This word has been incorrectly applied by New England historians to the Penobscot People during the 1800s. The average person never heard the word until historians started using it and once again this did not happen until long after the woman died. So, it must be a name made-up for her by someone that came after her.

Now, this is not to say the woman is not Native American, only that she is not who everyone is claiming she is.

So, what does a descendant do?

Since none of these on-line trees and message boards ever provide any proof or documentation or even suggestions of circumstantial evidence to support their claims, it is up to you to go searching for possible sources that will provide information about her heritage, If you want to know the truth about your possible Native heritage you must learn to perform serious in-person in-depth research and search for non-traditional data sources or hire a professional genealogist to do it for you.

There are no "Indian" records of genealogical value for this region in the 1700s (when she was born and married) and the chances of ever learning the names of an "Indian" parent is extremely slim to none. This is another way we can spot these tress as being fake. They all show both parents and the tree goes back a number of additional generations - complete with lots of biological impossibilities! Sorry, this is not genealogical information, it is mythology.

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.

Before taking on this project, you must be prepared to follow all clues and let the clues lead you to the truth, no matter what that truth might be. You must be prepared to accept that she might not be Native and if she is Native American, you may never be able to prove it. If you accept this challenge with an open mind, you may just be the one to discover the truth about Sarah Richards, wife of Dodipher Richards.

You need to take the blinders off to solve this brick wall. Researchers stand a much better chance of getting to the truth of the matter if they stop searching for "Indians" and concentrate on locating all possible historical documents that might identify the "wife of Dodipher Richards".

Your answer will not be found on-line and especially not in on-line trees with no documentation.

I wish you the best of luck and if you accept the challenge, don't hesitate to contact me for assistance with specific questions.

Nancy Lecompte

Research Director for Ne-Do-Ba

Hi My Aunt lives in Camden maine and her name is Barbara F. Dyer she has done the family tree of Sarah Little Fawn right to to the Ricards. 

My Aunt  Barbara is related to her Father Big Thunder. 

Honestly speaking,  

Whether Sarah is just Sarah, or whether she is also "Little Fawn" matters very little to me.  What matters is that I get the correct information down in my notes.

The name Sarah is a given.  I have found that it is sometimes extremely difficult to find the women in my family tree as it seems their maiden names and parentage seems to disappear as soon as they marry.  I have quite a few "mystery women" I am presently working on.  Some are even from the era where census records are available.  Personally, I don't care if Sarah is a Native American or not.  It would be kind of neat, but that's all. In the meantime I know her name is Sarah.  Since the Richards' were a key family in the development of that area there have been plenty written about Dodipher and his family.  The whole thing about her last name as being Tarratine was not a name she was born with.  That was a name given to her.  She was supposed to be a "Tarratine", so that made sense. That of course was added on as well. The person I work with also took note of the names when we first saw them on an online tree.  We didn't think the "Little Fawn" and "Big Thunder" names sounded right for the time period and area. We never saw a tree where it actually listed out a bunch of "Indian" names for offspring though either, and the mother appeared to have a Native American name.  It is obvious that the evil white man created those other names, probably because they had a hard time remembering the real names of the native Americans. They could barely spell their own names for crying out loud.

Ne-Do-Ba (well, those don't look like "indian" words to me!) on it's own page on the "Big Thunder" hoax notes that there are some truths in that bunch of bull.  The last mentioned was that there was a woman known as "Little Fawn" that married a man named Dodipher Richards.  Her name was Sarah.  I believe Dodipher Richards (or Dodivah) is buried in a cemetery in Searsmont, Maine. I will check my reliable resources, but that is where he is recorded to have raised his family.  

There was a note we found last week that said that Dodipher's family took a while to get over him marrying an "Indian".  That sounds like it could be true.

From the Hardy Family Tree:

Dodipher Richards [Parents] was born 1745 in Dover, Strafford, New Hampshire. He died 1825. Dodipher married Little Fawn Sarah about 1760 in , , Maine.

Other marriages: 
Wentworth, Mary 

Little Fawn Sarah was born about 1745 in Bristol, Lincoln, Maine. She died about 1793. Little married Dodipher Richards about 1760 in , , Maine.

They had the following children:

  M i Jonathan Richards was born 2 May 1761.

(I search on)

Here "Big Thunder" is mentioned as being from the "Tarratine" tribe.  The use of this word fits the era in which Dodipher and Sarah (Little Fawn- believed to be a translation of her Indian name) were alive and raising a family.


I never said that these were their "REAL" Indian names.  I am suggesting that these were  names made up by the settlers to make it easier for them.  Since Sarah married into a family of early settlers, it makes sense that she would be called, first Sarah, then Sarah Tarratine, and also Little Fawn. 

I might also mention that Dodipher's name is spelled several different ways in every book, document etc. I have read.  A reliable source told me that  his name is actually "Dodivah".  I can verify that at the cemetery next time I head down that way if it isn't too snowy. 

The native Americans aren't the only ones that had names mutate.  I could make a list of other surnames from my family that have changed as well, but it doesn't mean they aren't who they are.  It was their way to fit in with the English speaking environment as well.  In the meantime, I will continue to research my family tree by whatever sources I can find available, and take some information with a grain of salt.

I think what the commentor was getting at was that Wabanaki people did not give themselves names like "yellow wolf". Wabanaki people's names have been skewed quite a bit and changed mixing French, Wabanaki languages, and english. I have never heard of any Wabanaki person with names like you mentioned. It is not to say, they were not indigenous, but most likely not, Wabanaki. Francis, Aqcuin, Saulis, Wallace, Perley, Paul, Bernard... These are Wabanaki surnames. I would agree with the commentor, in that I too would be very skeptical that these people were Wabanaki. I do not doubt your research but sometimes we need to be a bit cautious with the sources.

We know this already, playa.  Your comment is generic.  I've done enough looking into my family lineage to determine what warrants merit and what is hogwash.  The name Sarah Little Fawn appears on many family trees, but I posit it originated with the Richards tree; and Ne-Do-Ba, or whatever the site is, seems to corroborate this assertion.  Dodipher Richards helped settle a rural area and was likely in contact with many folks who won't appear in census forms.  Not all of us are trying to be something we are not, and we don't need you stepping in to correct our egregious follies.  Names mean nothing to me, look more into particulars before you make blanket statements.  You aren't as informative as you may believe. 

Hello there,

My 3rd great-grandfather, Mormon pioneer Willard Glover McMullin (b.1823, North Haven, Maine) married Martha Richards (b.1814, Searsmont, Maine).  Martha's parents were Josiah Richards (b.1785, Maine) and Ruth Richards (b.1789, Lincolnville, Maine).  I have Josiah listed as the son of Dodipher and Sarah Little Fawn, while Ruth is listed as a grand-daughter of Dodipher and Sarah (fancy that).  Back to Willard and Martha...they arrived in Utah in 1848, and were sent to help establish the community of Harrisburg, Utah, in the late 1850s. From what I've read about Martha, she was an expert basket maker/weaver and was given a name by local Native American groups that translated to "Golden Woman", due to them always being welcomed at her door.  I've seen her photo, she had a dark complexion and straight, black hair.  If Sarah Little Fawn was both Martha's grandmother and great-grandmother, it makes sense she would have been an expert basket maker/weaver and a friend to the local Native American groups.



Thank you for that information!  I know that the Richards' were friendly with the Native Americans and read something that it took a while to the family to get over Dodipher marrying a Native American, which for that time and age does not surprise me at all.  If you can find any of the sources for this info and post links I'd love to see them and maybe post them to my blog.  I recently read an article my sister sent me about your part of the family, so am familiar with the family becoming Mormon and moving to Utah.  That is an interesting bit of info I would have never known about!  It could be that maybe Little Fawn wasn't her name if indeed it matches an Indian Princess family tree scam, but I'm thinking that otherwise, Sarah was a Native American which is why I can find nothing of her last name (beyond Little Fawn in some versions).

So glad you could share that information with me, and meet yet another family member!

Yeah, the name is not significant, and I've seen it listed in scam trees with varying timelines.  Who knows?  My grandfather McMullin's cousin gave my father a binder containing family history information about 10 years ago.  We didn't even know this lady, and it got me started looking into my genealogy.  She lived in southern Utah, was elderly, and carried around a binder of family history, so I assume she is a credible family source.  Haven't looked into it for a while, decided to internet search today and your comments appeared; much to my delight, I learned quite a bit.  Will do some digging and see if I can send you anything substantial.  Great to chat, enjoy your weekend! 


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