The Ashkenazi Jewish Origins of the Native American Levy Family

The Levy family came to Granville County well after the Native community had been established. Before that we find ancestors of the Levy family in Fayetteville, Wilmington, Guadeloupe, London, and Holland. The reason for this is that although the Levys were Native American/”free colored” people, they also were of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. This unique and fascinating aspect of their heritage will be documented in this blog post.


Jacob Levy (1780-1850)

The story of the Native American Levy family in North Carolina begins in Wilmington. But the Ashkenazi Jewish origins of this Levy family take us back to Holland. It is there that Jacob Levy , progenitor of the Native American Levy family, was born. We know a bit about Jacob Levy’s life from the biography of his great nephew Confederate Statesman Judah P. Benjamin (1811-1884) found here. Additionally, Jacob Levy is discussed quite a bit in this text about Jewish American history in North Carolina, so I have also used this for source information as well.

Jacob Levy was living in Holland in the late 1700s when his sister Eva Levy married a Sephardic Jewish man named Solomon de Mendes. They had a daughter named Rebecca de Mendes and the family moved with Jacob Levy to London, England soon after 1790. In London we learn that Rebecca de Mendes married a Sephardic Jewish man named Phillip Benjamin by about 1807. The following year, Phillip and Rebecca Benjamin moved to St. Criox, now part of the U.S Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean and that is where their son Judah P. Benjamin was born in 1811. This was during the Napoleonic Wars and St. Criox which was Danish territory yet British occupied, was under heavy guard by British war ships. As a result, the Benjamin family moved to the United States in 1813.

Map of the Caribbean Islands. St. Criox which is today part of the U.S. Virgin Islands is circled. Source: http://www.shipdetective.com/maps/caribbean.htm
Map of the Caribbean Islands. St. Criox which is today part of the U.S. Virgin Islands is circled.
Source: http://www.shipdetective.com/maps/caribbean.htm

Rebecca (de Mendes) Benjamin’s uncle Jacob Levy was already situated in Wilmington, North Carolina and it was probably he who persuaded the Benjamins to leave St. Criox. I do not know the exact year Jacob Levy left London to come to the United States and I have reason to believe he also likely came to the West Indies before coming to the U.S. The first records for Jacob Levy in the U.S. are in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1799 when it was published in the paper that he was dissolving his business relationship with Abraham Isaacs. Wilmington was home to a small yet thriving community of Jewish (Ashkenazi and Sephardic) merchants who mostly dealt with West Indian trade goods (nearby Charleston, SC had the largest Jewish population in the U.S.).

Jacob Levy's announcement of the opening of his store. Source: The Wilmington Gazette, 24 Dec 1801, Thu, Page 4
Jacob Levy’s announcement of the opening of his store.
Source: The Wilmington Gazette, 24 Dec 1801, Thu, Page 4

In 1819 a fire destroyed Jacob Levy’s store, so he moved up to Fayetteville and his niece Rebecca Benjamin, along with her husband Phillip Benjamin and son Judah Benjamin (and siblings) relocated to Fayetteville as well. Jacob Levy opened a store there and the Benjamins resided on the second floor. Jacob Levy paid for Judah Benjamin to attend Fayetteville Academy and Jacob was a well respected member of the community who was praised for his skills as an auctioneer:

In this letter to the newspaper, we learn more details about the Jacob Levy and the Benjamins. Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 10 Feb 1898, Thu, Page 1
In this letter to the newspaper, we learn more details about Jacob Levy and the Benjamins.
Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 10 Feb 1898, Thu, Page 1

We learn first hand from a letter written by a childhood friend of Judah Benjamin, that Jacob Levy, along with his sister Mrs. Wright (this was actually Phillip Benjamin’s sister Harriet Wright) left Fayetteville around 1826 and relocated to New Orleans so that Jacob Levy could expand his business:

A letter to the newspaper offers information about when Jacob Levy left Fayetteville for New Orleans. Source: The Charlotte Observer, 29 Jan 1898, Sat, Page 5
A letter to the newspaper offers information about when Jacob Levy left Fayetteville for New Orleans.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, 29 Jan 1898, Sat, Page 5

I found additional corroboration in a newspaper ad from 1827 which shows Jacob Levy’s trust selling off his Fayetteville property:

Jacob Levy's property in Fayetteville was sold in 1827 because he relocated to New Orleans. Source: The Charlotte Observer, 29 Jan 1898, Sat, Page 5
Jacob Levy’s property in Fayetteville was sold in 1827 because he relocated to New Orleans.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, 29 Jan 1898, Sat, Page 5

Jacob Levy died on July 19, 1850 in New Orleans and he  is buried at the Dispersed of Judah Cemetery  where his tombstone still stands:

Jacob Levy is buried at the Dispersed Judah Cemetery in New Orleans. His niece Rebecca (de Mendes) Benjaminis buried in the same plot. Source: http://thompsongenealogy.com/2010/12/the-mysterious-hunt-for-the-grave-of-rebecca-de-mendes/
Jacob Levy is buried at the Dispersed of Judah Cemetery in New Orleans. His niece Rebecca (de Mendes) Benjamin and another relative are buried in the same plot.
Source: http://thompsongenealogy.com/2010/12/the-mysterious-hunt-for-the-grave-of-rebecca-de-mendes/

“French Mary”

From the above records we know much about Jacob Levy’s business life but his personal family life is not as well documented. According to one text, Jacob Levy’s wife was “Maria”, daughter of his Sephardic Jewish business partner Aaron Lopez. I did find family trees which indicate that this Maria died in 1812 back when Jacob Levy was still living in Wilmington and it does not appear they had any children that lived to adulthood. And in reviewing all the biographies about Judah Benjamin, there is no mention of Jacob Levy having children of his own living in the household with the Benjamin family.

However there is one woman who is known to have had at least one son with Jacob Levy, and she was commonly known as “French Mary”. Mary’s origins though are not so transparent and I found numerous conflicting stories about her heritage. In consideration of the many documents I looked over, I believe “French Mary” was Native American (Carib Indian) and was enslaved in Guadeloupe and later freed by Jacob Levy in North Carolina. Below I’ll present the source material for “French Mary” and how I came to this conclusion.

On 4 December 1876, Jacob Levy’s son Lewis Levy submitted a claim to the Southern Claim Commission to be compensated for his losses during the Civil War. He provided testimony that he was a free born person, born to an Indian woman from Guadeloupe who came to this country in 1794:

Excerpt from Lewis Levy's Southern Claims Commission in which he describes his mother as an Indian woman from Guadeloupe. Source: Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880
Excerpt from Lewis Levy’s Southern Claims Commission in which he describes his mother as an Indian woman from Guadeloupe.
Source: Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880

We learn from several newspaper articles starting in the 1890s, that “French Mary” was a well known local woman because she had famously served dinner to General Marquis de Lafayette (namesake of Fayetteville) when he visited Fayetteville in 1825. De Lafayette, a Frenchman, was so impressed with the dinner that he was served, that he knew the cook must have been French. We learn from one article that Mary was a small, dark skinned woman with straight hair and usually wore a turban style head handkerchief:

Excerpt from a newspaper article that describing
Excerpt from a newspaper article that describing “French Mary’s” appearance.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, 25 Aug 1897, Wed, Page 2

Mary’s ethnic origins differ with each retelling of the infamous story of her famous meal to General de Lafayette. In the above newspaper article, she is described as being “Moorish” and that she was kidnapped and sold into slavery, where she was first brought to France, then to a West Indian island, and then brought to Charleston, S.C. and finally Fayetteville. I have found that “Moor” when used in the context of the United States does not always mean the historic Moors who were an Arab/Muslim population that inhabited and controlled Spain over many centuries. Instead it usually is meant to signal someone’s non-European physical appearance. I think in the context of “French Mary”, she may have been referred to as a Moor due to her dark physical appearance and her relationship with the Sephardic Jewish Benjamin family. Also, “French Mary” was noted as wearing a “turban” which may have also contributed to the lore that she was a Moor.

In a 1903 newspaper article authored by Mary’s grandson John Sheridan Leary, he described her as a woman named “Mary Ann Willette” who came from France to America and was well regarded as a good cook. Guadeloupe was at that time and still is a French territory, which is why it was referred to as “France”:

“French Mary’s” grandson John Sheridan Leary indicated that her name was “Mary Ann Willett” and that she came from France.
Source: The Charlotte Observer, 6 Sep 1903, Sun, Page 10

And in a 1921 newspaper article, “French Mary” is said to have not been born a slave, but was a free woman who came to Wilmington on a sailing vessel and the captain then sold her into slavery. What’s also interesting about this article is that the author thinks that General de Lafayette visited Phillip Benjamin’s family (including Jacob Levy) and that is why it was “French Mary” who cooked the meal:

Another news article about
Another news article about “French Mary” that describes her origins.
Source: Fayetteville Observer, 9 Mar 1921, Wed, Page 3

What is consistent about “French Mary” is that she had three known documented children: 1. Lewis Levy (who is the subject of the next section); 2. Juliette Memorell who married Matthew Leary and was the mother of Lewis Sheridan Leary (1835-1859) who took part in John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, and 3. John Ochiltree. The fact that her three children all had different surnames suggests that each child had a different father.

Lewis Sheridan Leary (1835-1859) was the son of Juliette Memorell who was the daughter of
Lewis Sheridan Leary (1835-1859) was the son of Juliette Memorell who was the daughter of “French Mary” – an Indian woman from Guadeloupe.
Source: Ancestry

We know that Jacob Levy was a slave owner and we even know the names of some of his slaves from legal transactions. From the Wilmington records we learn that on 28 March 1817 Jacob Levy manumitted his “mulatto” slave named Margaret Allan and her child Jacob. The same year, Jacob Levy purchased a “negro” slave named Isaac. And in the Fayetteville records, we learn that in 1819 Jacob Levy had a “mustee” slave girl name Maria that he deeded to his newborn great nephew Jacob Levy Benjamin (son of Jacob Levy’s niece Rebecca Benjamin). This last record is especially interesting because the slave’s name is “Maria” and she’s described as “mustee” meaning very specifically of mixed Native American/African descent. This slave girl could be related to “French Mary” or could possibly be “French Mary” herself. The newborn baby Jacob Levy Benjamin did not survive childhood, so I’m not sure where the enslaved “Maria” ended up. And when we consider that Jacob Levy was a merchant of West Indian goods, it stands to reason that his slaves also came from the West Indies.

So if Lewis Levy was born to Jacob Levy and his freed slave “French Mary”, then that would explain why neither “French Mary” or Lewis Levy went with Jacob Levy to New Orleans in 1826. We saw that Jacob Levy sold his real estate in Fayetteville in 1827 and I wonder if he left behind any money or property to his son before taking off.

Out of all the evidence presented about “French Mary”, I think the statement made by her son Lewis Levy back in 1876 that she was an Indian woman from Guadeloupe is the most credible. Not only is that the earliest document that speaks directly to “French Mary’s” heritage but it was information given from her own direct son, who would be most familiar with his mother’s heritage. Guadeloupe was during that time period and still today, a French territory and would explain the “French” aspect of Mary’s cultural background and culinary skills. The indigenous people of Guadeloupe are the Carib Indians and there are still recognized Carib people on the island today. So taking all the above information into consideration, I do believe that “French Mary” was a Carib Indian woman from Guadeloupe. She was most likely born a slave and freed at some point by the Levy/Benjamin family where she continued to work and have a child by Jacob Levy.

A Carib Indian woman from Martinique wearing traditional dress, 1902.
A Carib Indian woman of Martinique in Native dress, 1902. “French Mary” was most likely a Carib Indian woman from neighboring Guadeloupe island and was known for wearing a “turban”, perhaps similar to this example.
Source: http://kadaotonkao.blogspot.com/2013/03/ktk29-les-antilles-part2.html

Lewis Levy (1820-1899)

Lewis Levy (1820-1899) was the son of Jewish Jacob Levy and Carib Indian
Lewis Levy (1820-1899) was the son of Jewish Jacob Levy and Carib Indian “French Mary”. He was a lifelong resident of Cumberland Co, NC and married to Sarah Jane Scott.
Source: Ancestry, Username:carolaalen53

This brings us to Lewis Levy, whose Southern Claims Commission record we reviewed above. Lewis Levy identifies himself as the son of Jacob Levy the auctioneer from Fayetteville and an Indian woman (“French Mary”):

Lewis Levy's identifies his father as Jacob Levy and his mother as an Indian woman. Source: Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880
Lewis Levy identifies his father as Jacob Levy and his mother as an Indian woman.
Source: Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880

The first record I have for Lewis Levy is when he married Sarah Jane Scott (1825-1898) on 24 Apr 1843 in Cumberland Co, NC with Abram Scott paying the bond. Abram Scott was Sarah Jane Scott’s father who resided in Cumberland Co by 1830. Sarah Jane Scott was a Native American woman of Saponi/Catawba heritage.

Sarah Jane Scott (1825-1898) was the wife of Lewis Levy. She was the daughter of Abram Scott and Lucinda Walden who moved down from Wake Co to Cumberland Co. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Sarah Jane Scott (1825-1898) was the wife of Lewis Levy. She was the daughter of Abram Scott and Quentina Scott (maiden name not known) who resided in Cumberland Co.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

We first find Lewis Levy with wife Sarah Jane Scott and children living in Fayetteville, Cumberland Co in the 1850 census. The entire family was enumerated as “mulatto”” and Lewis is listed as a saddler and harness maker. In 1844, Lewis Levy opened his shop in Lumberton and advertised it in the newspaper:

Lewis Levy was a saddler and harness maker and advertised his new shop located in Lumberton. Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 18 Dec 1844, Wed, Page 1
Lewis Levy was a saddler and harness maker and advertised his new shop located in Lumberton.
Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 18 Dec 1844, Wed, Page 1

However something serious must have happened to the family because in 1851 Lewis Levy announced via the newspaper that he was trying to leave Fayetteville as soon as possible and so he was hoping to wrap up all outstanding business. I don’t know exactly why Lewis Levy suddenly decided to leave but it could be that the “Free Negro” laws were ruining him financially. After the Nat Turner slave rebellion in Southampton Co, VA, North Carolina in 1835 passed a new constitution that rescinded the rights that “free people of color” had and instead began to strictly enforce “Free Negro” laws. The last couple of decades leading up to the Civil War were incredibly oppressive times for all “free people of color” in North Carolina.

In 1851, Lewis Levy is shown making haste to close his shop and leave Fayetteville. I do not know why. but he ended up staying. Source: The North-Carolinian, 23 Aug 1851, Sat, Page 4
In 1851, Lewis Levy is shown making haste to close his shop and leave Fayetteville. I do not know why. but he ended up staying.
Source: The North-Carolinian, 23 Aug 1851, Sat, Page 4

But, Lewis Levy did not leave Fayetteville and in the 1860 census, his family was enumerated again in Fayetteville. This means Lewis Levy stayed in the South during the Civil War and we learn a little bit about his experiences during the War from his Southern Claims Commission (#16083) record from 1876. The full file is available on fold3.com. Lewis Levy stayed loyal to the Union and aided General Sherman’s troops with food and transportation so he sought to be compensated for his expenses. He filed a claim for $1592.65 and supplied a detailed list of exactly what he provided to the Union soldiers and the associated cost. In return, the commission allowed him to claim $723. Within the 75 pages of this claim, Levy provides testimony that he was assaulted and abused by the Confederate soldiers and because Levy himself was so fair skinned and could “pass” for white, the Confederacy tried to force him to enlist. Friends and family of Lewis Levy provided additional testimony to corroborate his claims.

Lewis Levy made his mark during the post-Civil War Reconstruction politics of the South. Unlike most “people of color” (both free-born and freedmen) who were members of the Republican Party (the “Radical Republicans”), Lewis Levy was a member of the Democratic Party – specifically the “Colored Democratic Club of Wilmington”.  And this put him at odds with his neighbors and community as seen in this news article:

Lewis Levy was a member of the Democratic Party which put him at odds with his Republican neighbors. Source: The Daily Journal, 22 Apr 1868, Wed, Page 3
Lewis Levy was involved with Reconstruction politics and was a member of the Democratic Party which put him at odds with his Republican neighbors.
Source: The Daily Journal, 22 Apr 1868, Wed, Page 3

Cumberland County continued to be Lewis Levy’s home until his death in 1899. A newspaper article relays the news that Lewis Levy’s died en route while visiting his son Matthew Levy in Virginia:

Lewis Levy's death announcement in the newspaaper. Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 1 Jun 1899, Thu, Page 4
Lewis Levy’s death announcement in the newspaaper.
Source: Fayetteville Weekly Observer, 1 Jun 1899, Thu, Page 4

Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott had the following children (some may have been grandchildren):

1. Eiza Levy (b. 1842) Died in childhood.

2. Robert Levy (b. 1844) married Celia Scott and continued to live in Cumberland Co. Descendants enrolled with the Lumbee Tribe.

3. Lewis Levy Jr. (1846-1945) married Josephine Holliday and later settled in Philadelphia.

Lewis Levy Jr (1847-1945) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He later moved to Philadelphia. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Lewis Levy Jr (1847-1945) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He later moved to Philadelphia.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

4. Matthew Levy (1850-1913) married Elizabeth Merrick and moved to Virginia.

Matthew Levy (b. 1850) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He moved to Virginia where he was a preacher. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Matthew Levy (1850-1913) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He moved to Virginia where he was a preacher.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

5. ***James W. Levy (1852-1936) married Martha Freeman and moved up to Granville Co. He is the subject of the following section.

6. (William) Henry Levy (1854-1938) married Tempie Young and remained in Cumberland Co. Descendants enrolled with the Lumbee tribe.

7. Edward Levy (b. 1858) Died in childhood.

8. Mary Jane “Jennie” Levy (b. 1861) married James Pearce

9. William L. Levy (b. 1863) Died in childhood.

10. Charlotte Levy (b. 1870) Died in childhood, birth date suggests granddaughter not daughter.

11. Anna Levy (b. 1872) Died in childhood, birth date suggests granddaughter not daughter.

12. Aurelia Levy (b. 1876) Died in childhood, birth date suggests granddaughter not daughter.


James W. Levy (1852-1936)

Reverend James Levy (1852-1936) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He moved up to Granville Co and married Martha Freeman. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Reverend James W. Levy (1852-1936) was the son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. He moved up to Granville Co and married Martha Freeman.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

So this brings us to the Granville County part of the Levy history and that begins with James W. Levy, son of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott. James was the only child of Lewis Levy that moved up to Granville Co. I don’t have an exact year for this move but it occurred in the mid 1880s because James is last enumerated in Cumberland Co in the 1880 census. James moved to to the township of Kittrell, which is situated right next to Fishing Creek. Up until 1881 Kittrell was part of Granville Co and due to political maneuvering, Vance Co was created in 1881 from a small section of Ganville Co which included Kittrell.

It is there that James married a woman from the Native community named Martha Freeman (1865-1944). Martha was the daughter of John Freeman and Elizabeth Hayes and is descended from the Native American Freeman, Hayes, Taborn, and Epps families. Though she was raised in Kittrell, most of Martha’s family came from neighboring Person Co in the High Plains community that is today the Sappony Tribe of Person County. I have not located James Levy and Martha Feeman’s marriage record yet but according to census info, they married around 1887.

Martha Freeman (1865-1944) was the wife of James Levy. She was the daughter of John Freeman and Elizabeth Hayes of Kittrell, Granville/Vance Co. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Martha Freeman (1865-1944) was the wife of James Levy. She was the daughter of John Freeman and Elizabeth Hayes of Kittrell, Granville/Vance Co.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

James Levy was a popular minister at A.M.E. Zion Church and was active and well known in the Native community and throughout Granville/Vance Co. James served on the Board of Directors for the Colored Orphanage in Oxford, Granville Co.  The orphanage was situated a very short distance from the Native community, so community members took a strong interest in the institution and did a lot to support its efforts. For example, I’ve found that my 2nd great-grandfather James E Howell and his first cousin James A Howell volunteered their services and often took in children from the orphanage.

Reverend James W. Levy is listed on the annual report of Board of Directors for the Colored Orphanage in Oxford. Source: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/asyl1910/asyl1910.html
Reverend James W. Levy is listed in the annual report of Board of Directors for the Colored Orphanage in Oxford.
Source: http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/asyl1910/asyl1910.html

James Levy remained in Kittrell until his death in 1936. His wife Martha (Freeman) Levy also remained in Kittrell until her death in 1944. And what I think is a bit uncommon for the times, James Levy and Martha Freeman only had two children: a son named Dr. James W. Levy Jr and a daughter named Bessie Levy.


Dr. James W. Levy Jr. (1893-1975) – Medical Doctor, Bureau of Indian Affairs

Dr. James W. Levy was the son of Reverend Lewis Levy and Martha Freeman. He was a physician employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Dr. James W. Levy was the son of Reverend James Levy and Martha Freeman. He was a physician employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

James Levy Jr was the son of James Levy Sr. and Martha Freeman and early in his life, left North Carolina to assist other Native American communities. James was born and raised in Kittrell and enrolled in Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County. He earned his medical license in 1915 as seen in a newspaper article that listed people who passed the North Carolina medical examination:

James Levy Jr received his medical license in 1915. Source: Greensboro Daily News, 17 Jun 1915, Thu, Page 7
James Levy Jr received his medical license in 1915.
Source: Greensboro Daily News, 17 Jun 1915, Thu, Page 7

In Winston-Salem, NC he met and married a woman named Christina Dykes on 21 Jan 1916. They had one son together named Ulysses Levy (1916-2003) but it appears the couple divorced soon after they wed.

We next find Dr. James Levy Jr in 1917 living all the way out in Minnesota. According to his WW1 draft record, James was working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (then called the U.S. Indian Service) as a medical doctor on the Leech Lake reservation. He is described as single, Indian, and that his mother was his dependent:

Dr. James W. Levy's WW1 draft card which shows he was employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (
Dr. James W. Levy’s WW1 draft card which shows he was employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“U.S. Indian Service”).
Source: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls.

The Leech Lake reservation is the reservation for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota where the Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for carrying out treaty obligations between the United States government and the tribe. These treaty obligations include access to healthcare and so Dr. James Levy’s patients were all from the reservation.

Dr. James Levy also developed a relationship with a woman from the Leech Lake reservation named “Marie”, her surname is unknown. She accompanied Dr. James Levy on a trip back home to Kittrell, NC to meet his parents:

From left to right: Marie (girlfriend of Dr. James Levy who was Leech Lake Ojibwe), Dr. James Levy, Martha (Freeman) Levy, and Reverend James Levy. Dr Levy brought his girlfriend Marie home to Kittrell to meet his parents. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
From left to right: Marie (girlfriend of Dr. James Levy who was Ojibwe), Dr. James Levy, Martha (Freeman) Levy, and Reverend James Levy. Dr Levy brought his girlfriend Marie home to Kittrell to meet his parents.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

American Indians served in high numbers during World War 1 and a result many returning Indian veterans of the World War came back to the U.S. with little support from the federal government. Thus in 1920 Dr. James Levy along with several other American Indians from other tribes formed the “American Indians of the Wold War” (AIWW) in Minneapolis:

Dr. James Levy along with several others founded the American Indians of World War to assist Indian veterans. Here Levy is called
Dr. James Levy along with several others founded the “American Indians of the World War” to assist Indian veterans. Here Levy is called “Cherokee” which was a term applied to and used by Indians in North Carolina who were not Cherokee.
Source: Bitten, Thomas A. “American Indians in World War I: At Home and at War”. Page 166

Unfortunately I have not found Dr. James Levy in the 1920, 1930, and 1940 censuses. I get the feeling he moved around a bit, likely working on different projects for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. And if he was living on reservations, he may not have been counted in the general U.S. census. If the Bureau still has records of James Levy’s employment, that would be worthwhile to look at.

By 1931, James Levy was living in Miami, OK and married an Arkansas-born woman named Dorothy O’Connor. By the 1950s onward, the couple is consistently listed in the Sioux City, Iowa city directories where James Levy is listed as a medical doctor.

James Levy died in September 1975 and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Sioux City, IA in the same plot as his wife Dorothy who predeceased him in 1969:

Source: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=120045173
Source: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=120045173

Bessie Levy (1888-1980)

image
Bessie Levy (1888-1980) was the daughter of Revered James Levy and Martha Freeman. She is pictured here holding one of her children. Bessie’s headband is a reflection of the family’s Native American identity. Source: Shirley Hines (granddaughter of Bessie Levy)

Bessie Levy was the daughter of James Levy Sr. and Martha Freeman, and sister to Dr. James W Levy. Unlike her brother, Bessie stayed local and married within the community.

On 24 September 1913 in Kittrell, Bessie Levy married George Huley Tyler from Fishing Creek of the Native American Tyler, Guy, Kersey, Day, Anderson, Bass, Evans, Walden, Taborn, Chavis families.

George Huley Tyler (1886-1961) was the husband of Bessie Levy. He was from Fishing Creek, Granville Co and the son of John Thomas Tyler and Mary Etta Guy. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
George Huley Tyler (1886-1961) was the husband of Bessie Levy. He was from Fishing Creek, Granville Co and the son of John Thomas Tyler and Mary Etta Guy.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

In the 1920 census we find Bessie Levy with her husband George Tyler and their children, living with Bessie’s parents in Kittrell. She is listed as a teacher so we know she was an educated woman like her brother Dr. James Levy. Her husband George Tyler was a photographer who had his own studio. They had 8 children who lived into adulthood (including 1 who is still living) and at least 2 children who died in infancy.

image
Robert Guy is pictured here with Bessie Levy at her home in Kittrell, Vance Co (formerly Granville Co). Robert Guy was the son of Miles Guy and Susan Taborn. His nephew George Huley Tyler was the husband of Bessie Levy. Source: Shirley Hines (Bessie Levy’s granddaughter)

In 1948, Bessie Levy and husband George Tyler moved up from Granville/Vance Cos to Boston, MA where some of their children had already settled. They both remained in Boston until their deaths – Bessie died in 1980 and her husband George predeceased her in 1961.

Marie Sarah Elizabeth Tyler (1916-2004) was the daughter of Bessie Levy and George Huley Tyler. She is pictured with her son Charles at the family home in Kittrell. Marie relocated up to Boston. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Marie Sarah Elizabeth Tyler (1916-2004) was the daughter of Bessie Levy and George Huley Tyler. She is pictured with her son Charles at the family home in Kittrell. Marie relocated up to Boston.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
James
James “Jimmy” Joseph Tyler (1918-1998) was the son of Bessie Levy and George Huley Tyler. Jimmy Tyler was a jazz saxophonist who had a successful career in the jazz scene from the 1940s onward. He was in the Boston (legendary “Wally’s club”) and New York jazz clubs and later moved to Florida. You can listen to one of his recordings here.
Source: Ancestry, Username: ShirleyHines73
Goldie Tyler (1922-2011) was the daughter of Bessie Levy and George Huley Tyler. She relocated up to Boston and was a songwriter. Her son Steve Johns is jazz drummer carrying on the family's musical legacy. Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53
Goldie Tyler (1922-2011) was the daughter of Bessie Levy and George Huley Tyler. She relocated up to Boston and was a songwriter. Her son Steve Johns is jazz drummer carrying on the family’s musical legacy.
Source: Ancestry, Username: carolaallen53

Final Thoughts:

By taking a close look at the Levy family, we see that the European heritage of some Native American families did not just include Christians. European Jews were also settlers in the Carolinas where they had many opportunities to intermarry with local Native Americans and blacks. As “minority” populations in Europe, it stands to reason that in the Americas they may have also faced discrimination from their Christian European counterparts, thus at times placing them on a social level that was in close proximity to that of “free people of color”. So as we explore the diverse heritage of these families, we should keep an open mind about the contribution of other “minority” European groups.

23 thoughts on “The Ashkenazi Jewish Origins of the Native American Levy Family

  1. Kianga,

    I have been doing some genealogical research that may shed some light on the ancestry of “French Mary”. What is the best way to discuss this with you?

    Thanks,

    Jack Wyatt

    Like

    1. Jack, I’m the last member of the G.H. Tyler-Bessie Levy family. I would appreciate any info you may have discovered on my ancestress, “French Mary” My e-mail address is: francestyler@hotmail.com
      The reason I’m writing this so late is I didn’t see your answer at the end of this blog when I first saw it back in October.
      Bob (Robert) Tyler

      Like

      1. Hi Bob, I never did get back to Kianga about French Mary so I apologize about that. KIanga, I’ll try to get something off to you real soon, Bob I also will contact you. I have found evidence of some astounding things going on around Granville County in the 1700s.

        Jack

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      2. This website is very difficult to post on. My Green/Sizemore family came from the Northern Neck of Virginia. Possibly Nottoway Indian. The Sizemore’s are Creek/Cherokee Indian with a direct male ancestor NA. Living in Lunenburg VA. I’m also very interested in John Stuart Lunenburg VA because he married an Embree which became the Bushyheads.

        My Green Sizemore family claimed relations to the Bushyheads on their NA application. All 2200 applications denied.

        See Thomas Green (Inidan) and Nicholas Majors below:
        And John Stuart and the Embree’s Lunenburg VA:

        For 1749

        Lunenburg VA.

        Tithes

        “John Stuart’s Indian Harry’s List” …………………… 1
        At Col. Henry Embrys Qur.
        Thomas Embry …………………………. 5
        William Embry ………………………….. 4
        John Green …………………………….. 1 6
        Henry Green ……………………………. 1 6
        James Sizemore …………………………. 1 6
        Harry Simon, Indian …………………………………. 1

        For 1750

        List taken by William Howard, Lunenburg VA

        {page 141}

        Nicholas Major
        Abraham Coleson AKA Rainwater ……………………………….. 2

        1751 Lunenburg Co, VA tithe list Abraham COLSTON, Jacob COLSTON, Nicholas Major, Sam Carter 4 tithes

        Section 16, Various Persons, Affidavits concerning the Boundary between Virginia and North Carolina, 1710-1711
        This section consists of ten items, affidavits, 1710-1711, concerning the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina. Included are affidavits (copies witnessed by Edward Moseley) of William Bonner, George Bullock, William Duckenfield, James Farlee, Lawrence Mague, Richard Sanderson, Edward Smithwick, and Francis Toms; affidavits (copies) of Robert Lawrence and Henry Plumpton; and affidavits (witnessed by Nathaniel Harrison and Philip Ludwell II) of Betty (Indian), Henry Briggs, Great Peter (Indian), Thomas Green (Indian), Nicholas Major (Indian), Mary (Indian), Jenny Pearce (Indian), and the Meherrin and Nottoway Indians.

        Alexander Kerr having petitioned for a Grant of a Tract of land
        surveyed for Thomas Green lying in the County of James City, for
        default of the said Green’s suing out a patent for the same in due time ;
        It appearing upon hearing the parties that the said land is surplus lands
        found within the bounds of a patent granted to one Sorrell, and by
        mean conveyances come to the said Green, who hath paid Quitt Rents
        for the same for divers years past, and hath also purchased Rights in
        order to include the same with his other lands thereto adjoining, of
        which he is lawfully seized : It is therefore ordered that a patent be
        granted to the said Green for the lands in dispute as survey ‘d by Wil-
        liam Comrie Surveyor of James City County the 21st of March 1727/28.

        At a Council held the 5 th Day of September 1734

        Present

        The Governor

        M r Comissary Blair John Grymes
        William Byrd John Custis
        Cole Digges William Randolph
        John Robinson Philip Lightfoot
        John Carter Thomas Lee &
        George Phenny Esq”
        Thomas Green having been appointed during the indisposition of
        Hancock Lee to be Inspector at Fredericksburg.
        Ordered
        That he be paid Ten Pounds for his Service

        28. Barringer, Michael 10-25-1754; 9-8-1774; W.B. 2/406
        Mentions: Sisters: Sofyer Barringer, Catherine Crooke
        Executors: Thomas Hawkins, Pinkethman Hawkins, James Coleman
        Witnesses: William Twitty, Nicholas Major, Mary Chamberlain,
        Priscilla (her X mark) Citchen.

        236. Hankins, John 6-8-1802; 10-13-1803; W.B. 6/67-8
        Mentions: Wife: Keren Happuck Hankins
        Sons: Claiborne Hankins, Moses Hankins, Thomas Hankins,
        James Hankins, Nathaniel Hankins, Stephen Hankins
        Daughter: Ann Hankins
        Executors: None named
        Witnesses: George Clark, Drury Major.

        224. Green, John 4-28-1768; 11-10-1768; W.B. 2/339
        Mentions: Wife: Jane Green
        Sons: James Green, Thomas Green, William Green
        Daughters: Jane Green, Anne Green, Peggy Green, Sarah Green,
        Alse Green, Mary Callaham, Elizabeth Gee
        John Richey (relationship not stated)
        Executrix: Jane Green (wife)
        Witnesses: William Johnson, John Chambles, Joseph J. (his X mark) Dunman.

        The Southside Virginian is a genealogical quarterly devoted to
        to research in the counties of Southside Virginia, including the counties
        of Princess Anne, Norfolk, Nansemond, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry,
        Sussex, Prince George, Chesterfield, Dinwiddle, Powhatan, Greensville,
        Amelia, Nottoway, Brunswick, Cumberland, Prince Edward, Mecklenburg,
        Charlotte, Halifax, Henry, Pittsylvania.

        P. 154 Will of Harwood Wills. Brothers: John, Filmer. Sister: Martha
        Green. Ex.: Brother John Wills and Thomas Green. Dated: Sept.
        17, 1762. Wit.: Francis Jones, W. Hancock, Wilmith Ellis.
        Recorded: Dec. 16, 1762.
        P. 60 Inv. by court order dated March 15, 1759 of Joseph Hunt deed.

        divided into thirds for use of orphans of Joseph Hunt deed. Wit.:
        Thomas Spragon, Thomas Green, Rob. Wooding.

        P. 61 Dated Ap. 26, 1759, by court order dated is March 15, 1759. Layed
        off to Rachel Ashby (late widow of Joseph Hunt deed). Right of
        Dower. Wit. : Thomas Spragon, Thomas Green, Rob. Wooding. Recorded:
        May 19, 1759.

        HALIFAX COUNTY WILL BOOK
        by J.C. Kolbe
        (continued from Vol. I, page 60)

        P. 191 Inventory of James Mackendree . Dated 13 August 1764. Appr. :

        Thos. Green, Richd. Echols, William Powell. Ex: Robert Wooding,
        William Haskins. Recorded: 16 August 1764.

        p. 206 Will of John Justice Sen. Dated 11 March I765. Wife: Mary.
        Sons: Ezra, William, Simeon. Daughters: Mary wife of George
        Green; Alice wife of Thomas VJatson. Wit.: William Adkinson,
        John Wilcher, William Wilcher. Recorded: 1? July I766.

        P. 3^8 Will of Thomas Stewart. Sons: Charles, John Stewart.

        Daughters: (torn)ner Weabley, Mary Midd, Margaret Green, Jean
        Boyd. Ex.: James Stewart, Robert (torn), Charles Stewart.
        Dated: 17 July 1772. Wit.: (torn) Whitten, John Logan.

        BASS. Tacie B. Smith (P.O. Box 8988, Anchorage, Alaska
        99508) seeks information on James Bass who died in Brunswick Co.,
        VA in 1768. Need maiden name of his wife, Mary (Lanier?) and his
        parents. Was he the son of Edward Bass who died in Northampton
        Co., NC in 1751? Benjamin Bass (son of James) married Sarah Hicks
        and they lived in Brunswick Co. John Hicks Bass (son of Benjamin)
        married Rebecca Pattillo in 1791 in Brunswick Co. and moved to
        Georgia circa I8O6.

        WYNNE. Mrs. John R. Barnett(106 McTighe Dr., Bellaire,
        TX 77401) seeks name of Agnes, 1st wife of John Wynne, who d. 1796
        Sussex Co., Va. His will names children: Green, Thomas, Nathaniel,
        Robert, VJilliam, Peterson, Mary Wynne m Wra. Sturdivant, Milly Wynne
        m. John Sturdivant, Frances Wynne m. ( ) Niblett. John Wynne, Jr.
        m. Mary Ingram, but died before his father.
        P. 99 Thomas Green of Mk . Co. Va. sells to Abraham Green of Amelia
        land in Mk . Co . Va .
        d. 8 Aug. 1768. R. 18 Aug. 1768.

        P. 158 18 Sept. 1839 Benjamin B. Dyson married Mary G. Gresham

        Anthony Rives married Mary B. (Rives) dau.
        of Mary Rives, heir of Abraham Green
        John Early married Elizabeth B. Rives do.
        John W. Childs married Martha S.B. Rives do.
        William M. Rives married Sarah A. (Rives) do.

        P. 99. Mar. 6,1693
        John Greene married Rebecca, executrix
        of Roger Delk

        103 Nicholas Major 25 Jul 1741 VPB 19:1069 200a Brunswick/ on Butchers Creek
        318 Nicholas Major 15 Dec 1749 VPB 29:25 304a Lunenburg/ on both sides of Allen’s Cr.

        773 Henry Green 20 Aug 1748 VPB 26:635 381a Lunenburg/ both sides Buffalo Cr. adj upper line
        774 Henry Green 20 Aug 1748 VPB 26:637 404a Lunenburg/ both sides Buffilo Cr
        621 John Green 16 Feb 1771 VPB 39:324 380a Mecklenburg/ both sides of Buffalo Creek
        209 John Gwin 15 Dec 1749 VPB 27:522 400a Lunenburg/

        772 William Vaughan 16 Aug 1756 VPB 33:55 400a Lunenburg/ adj Henry Green on Buffalo
        59 John Bolling 20 Mar 1745/46 VPB 22:608 818a Brunswick/ N side of Roanoke River
        57 John Bolling Junr Gent. 4 May 1732 VPB 14:445 473a Brunswick/
        60 Colo. John Bolling, Gent. 20 May 1749 VPB 27:174 988a Lunenburg/ N side of Roanoak River joyning the Mouth of
        58 Majr. John Bolling, Gent. 1 Dec 1740 VPB 19:907 473a Brunswick/ N side of Roanoke River

        Land Deed Book 4, Page 405, Lunenburg County, October 1, 1754,
        Thomas Hankings to Robert Coleman “of Amelia County” 368 acres on
        both sides of Allen’s Creek.
        Book 4, Page 275, November 8, 1755, Nicholas Major, Jr., sold
        Robert Coleson 142 acres on the South side of Allen’s Creek.
        Land Deed Book 5, Page 120, December 31, 1757. James Tucker sold
        Robert Coleman 100 acres on the lower side of Allen’s Creek.
        Land Deed Book 6, Page 538 Lunenburg County, Virginia, December
        1, 1761. Robert Coleman and Ann, his wife, to John Alloway, 142
        acres on Allen’s Creek and Mountain Branch.
        Deed Book 10, Page 90, Lunenburg County, Virginia, November 9,
        1764, Robert Coleman, Lunenburg County, with Christopher Coleman
        for a witness sold Thomas Farrar 140 acres on Allen’s Creek.

        • Abraham COLSON
        • Sex: M
        • Note:
        Robert Ellis Colson says he was of second wife, possibly and Indian
        “Alias Rainwater” Lunenberg Co, VA

        **********************

        On 5 May 1743 John Duke purchased from John Taylor Duke 504 acres on Moore’s Swamp (Brunswick Co VA Deed Bk 1: 277). On 6 Nov 1747 John Duke sold this land to Major Pryor (Brunswick Co VA Deed Bk 3: 425-426).
        On 8 Oct 1750 John Duke received 500 acres in Lunenburg (now Mecklenburg) Co VA adjoining John Taylor Duke on Flatt Creek (VLP Bk 30: 229). In 1748 John Duke and his son, also John Duke, were on the list of tithables for that part of Lunenburg Co. that became Mecklenburg Co, on the North Carolina border. William Taylor, Thomas Lanier, John Freeman, John Davis, Thomas Jarrett, William Tucker, Owen Myrick, and Nicholas Major were neighbors there.

        1751 Lunenburg Co, VA tithe list Abraham COLSTON, Jacob COLSTON, Nicholas Major, Sam Carter 4 tithes

        1752 Tithe List for Lunenburg County, VA includes Abraham COLESON

        05 Feb 1753 Recorded 01 May 1753
        Mecklenburg County, VA Deed Book 3, page 237
        Nicholas Major to Abraham COLESON, alias Rainwater … 5 pounds … 100 acres on north side of Allens Creek … Adjoining Tucker.
        Witnesses: Pink Hawkins, William Beville, Winney COLESON, Jacob COLESON, John King
        /S/ Nicholas Major

        08 Nov 1755 Recorded 01 Jun 1756
        Mecklenburg County, VA Deed Book 4, page 273
        Abraham COLESON alias Rainwater to James Tucker … cons 35 pounds … 100 acres on north side of Allens Creek … adjoining James Tucker, Abraham COLESON, Jacob COLESON and Pinkethman Hawkins … being part of 304 acres patented by Nicholas Major.
        Witnesses: Pink Hawkins, Feild Farrer, Robert Coleman, Martha Farrar
        /S/ Abraham COLESON

        SOURCE: Early Settlers, Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Vol. 1
        Submitted by Becky Bartlett

        MAJOR/TRICE. Mrs. Holly Hilden ( 2934 Forest Gale Dr.,
        Forest Grove, OR 97116) seeks Bernard Major whose dtr., Mary
        md. Thomas Trice in 1763 Dinwiddie Co., Va. Thos. Trice made
        his will in 1801 Orange Co., NC. In 1787 Wake Co., NC, William
        Major’s will names dtrs. Hannah Brasfield, Betsey Brasfield,
        and son John Major. Extrs. were Francis Moreland, Geo. Brasfield,
        Barnet (sic) Major. Nicholas Major was a witness. At the
        time Wm . Major made his will, his mother was living. Was
        she Christiana ? Are the Wake Co., NC., Major families
        related to Bernard Major of Dinwiddie Co., VA?

        Major, William
        From the book “Brasfield-Brassfield Genealogies” by Annabelle C. McAllister and Edward N. McAllister, 1959, page 92:
        “. . . WILLIAM MAJOR, of Wake Co., N.C., whose will was made Nov. 1, 1787, proved Dec. Term, 1787, DAVID BRASFIELD, CHARLES BRUMFIELD and NICHOLAS MAJOR were witnesses.”
        MAJOR: Seek info/family/wife/children of John Major d cl788, son of George Major & Elizabeth Iremonger. George’s ch: Richard, Francis, Iremonger, Samuel, John, Jane. Samuel to Culpeper; fought Rev War with sons John & Josian; then to KY. Richard d unmarried 1751. Iremonger had son Iremonger who fought Rev War.
        Herbert D. Hendricks, 7 W. River R<L, Poquoson, VA 23662.

        MAJOR* Seek info on the family of Nicholas Major and wife Mary. He and
        wife appear in land deeds of Lunenburg Co cl740-1761. Suspect he was the son
        of Nicholas Major of Charles City Co. Herbert D. Hendricks, 7 W. River Rd.,
        Poquoson, VA 23662.

        the land in the south, and a growing colonial population would soon need a new frontier to settle. This could not be done easily, however, if a hostile Indian group blocked the way of progress, and so—in the effort of removing this obstacle and staking a claim on the land—the Virgin- ians planned their next assault on the Weyanokes. As in an assault car- ried out against the Pamunkeys the previous summer, an amphibious assault was favored, which could make for a clean entry and exit if skill- fully handled. It also afforded an opportunity for further exploration. Accordingly, eight riverboats were hired and fitted for the transport of troops. The voyage was provisioned with plenty of powder and shot, cheese, and other necessities. The supply requisitions mention no sta- ples such as corn; it could be that the soldiers were expected to provide their own. Finally, a force of eighty soldiers—a larger number of troops than in the previous summer’s assault against the Chickahominy, mak- ing this the second largest expedition of the entire war—were “hired” (probably conscripted) into service, and launched their assault “by Wa- ter under [the command of] Coll Dew.”39 So it was that the voyage departed the James River in early to mid- summer 1645.40 The eight riverboats would have carried about ten sol- diers each, along with provisions. The sheer distance to carry out the attack was quite probably the longest range assault ever carried out against any Indian group, including the Powhatans. About two hun- dred miles were rowed battling the Atlantic waves and often the cur- rent in this extraordinary action. Master boatmanship was required to navigate into the Chesapeake Bay and out to the sea, hugging the coast until “they had entered Corrotuck [inlet],” the entrance to what would become North Carolina. They proceeded into the rear of the Outer Banks until entering the Albemarle Sound, then called the Roanoke or just “the Sound.” This was the first known time since the Roanoke col- ony that English watercraft navigated the area. The entire voyage would have taken some time; ten to fourteen days were needed to complete their journey. As such they would have stopped to make camp at night along the northern bank of the sound—probably in contact with the Po- teskeet, Pasquotank, and Yeopim Indians who lived there. Not all went well; it is noted that at one point a boat was cast away and the goods lost with an unknown number of casualties, reducing the fleet to sev- en boats. This may have happened during the tricky entrance to Cur- rituck Inlet, or perhaps later during the battle. At another point a man 180 native south volume 6 2013 locust6024@gmail.com – March 4, 2014 – Read articles at http://www.DeepDyve.com
        was bitten by a venomous snake, although surgeon Christopher Ackely was able to treat him successfully.41 Finally the boats “proceeded up the Sound to [the] Chowan [River],” where the last twenty miles of the jour- ney were made.42 Historian Samuel Ashe suggested that these expeditions were against the Carolina Algonquians, the defeat of whom allowed for future settle- ment. This view, sometimes still cited, is taken without the context of the Third Anglo-Powhatan War. When put in the proper context, the true target of the Weyanokes is much more obvious, as Helen Rountree noted. Looking at Henry Plumpton’s narrative, he specifically names their target and the place of their battle as Weyanoke Creek (known today as the Wiccacon), stating that they went “as far as the mouth of Weyanook Creek where they had a fight with the Indians and had a man killed by them.”43 Rivers of this time are well known to be named after whichever Indian group lived there. This is approximately the site of the Choanoacs’ previous principal town, so the Weyanokes were in all likelihood occupying the Choanoacs’ former town site. This is also confirmed by the testimony of some Meherrin Indians interviewed dur- ing the later border dispute, when they drew a detailed diagram of the Weyanoke town and cornfields at Wiccacon in the dirt.44 The Virginians went up the Wiccacon Creek to “the Fork of the Creek where the Weyanoake Town stood.”45 There was no official bat- tle report, except for the few comments that Henry Plumpton made about it. In truth it seems to have been a sharp skirmish, from which the Virginians sustained several casualties. At least one man was killed on the spot, and another critically wounded. There may have been others wounded as well, but none that required enough prolonged medical at- tention to accrue significant cost. The Weyanokes were at least partially armed with English weapons, but they were outnumbered.46 They were noted as having one hundred warriors at the first arrival of the English in 1607, but in the face of much war and disease since then, they were far reduced and no match for the eighty well-armed soldiers.47 Plumpton indicates that they buried the man who was killed at the site of the battle, so it is probable that the English were victorious, tak- ing the field. In keeping to English tactics, they probably burned the Weyanoke houses and destroyed any crops, but nothing is specifically noted about this. Because they had critically wounded men, they could not tarry at the site, and returned with haste to James River in the same Adams: Anglo-Powhatan War in Early Carolina 181 locust6024@gmail.com – March 4, 2014 – Read articles at http://www.DeepDyve.com way that they entered, where the wounded soldier and snakebitten man made a recovery. Thus concluded military operations in the region of Carolina during the Third Anglo-Powhatan War (fig. 2). One more year of warfare passed before victory was claimed by the English, although it was apparent nearly from the start that the Eng- lish had the upper hand. Throughout the rest of 1645 and 1646 Virginia raids continued on the various groups of Powhatans, who were broken apart in their organization from the hostilities. The English offensive was very effective and the Powhatans were described as being “so routed and dispersed that they are no longer a nation, and we now suffer only from robbery by a few starved outlaws.”48 Opechancanough lost his grip on the various chiefdoms and his town was eventually stormed by Sir William Berkeley; he was captured and imprisoned in Jamestown, and shortly thereafter killed in prison by a soldier. He died, it is said, aged over a hundred years and crippled. With him died the Powhatan par- amount chiefdom.49 The lesser chiefdoms were briefly under the lead- ership of Necatowance, Opechancanough’s successor, but within a few years the various groups acted predominately as individually small poli- ties as the English purposely set them “at Liberty from that obedience they paid to the house of Pamunkey.”50 A treaty made with Necotow- ance at the end of the war shows English interest in Carolina, in which they staked a claim: Art. 5. And it is further enacted that neither for the said Necatow- ance nor any of his people, do frequent, come in to hunt, or make any abode nearer the English plantations that the limits of Yapin [Yeopim, italics added], the Blackwater, and from the head of the Blackwater upon a straight line to the old Monacan town, upon such pain and penalty as aforesaid [death].51 The English, as stated, appear to have carried the day against the Weyanokes, after which the Weyanokes retreated farther south to the Tuscaroras. An interview with an old Nottoway Indian named Thomas Green decades later recalled that the Weyanokes retreated afterward be- cause “the English [were] following them [so] they Removed to Roa- noke River to a place called . . . Towaywink,” where they lived for three years.52 The underclass settlers of southern Virginia did not forget their expe- riences there. Henry Plumpton, along “with Thomas Tuke of the Isle of 182 native south volume 6 2013 locust6024@gmail.com – March 4, 2014 – Read articles at http://www.DeepDyve.com Fig. 2. Virginia expeditions against the Weyanokes in 1645. Native towns along the Chowan River are taken from the 1657 Comberford Map (reprinted in “The Earliest Settlement in Carolina: Nathaniel Batts and the Comberford Map,” American Historical Review 45 [October 1939]: 82–89). Other town locations are approximations from later records. Wight County and severall others” who had been a part of the expedi- tions, (or were inspired by those who were), returned to Weyanoke, this time coming in peace: About two years after a peace being concluded with the Indi- ans . . . [they] made a purchase from the Indians of all the Land from the mouth of the Morratuck River [Roanoke] to the mouth of Weyanook Creek [Wiccacon] aforesaid which the Indians then Adams: Anglo-Powhatan War in Early Carolina 183 locust6024@gmail.com – March 4, 2014 – Read articles at http://www.DeepDyve.com shewed them, Which the deponent knew to be the same place where the man above mentioned was Killed and lyes.53 The Weyanokes, who originally lived there by permission of the Tus- caroras, sold the land, the purchase price being unknown. They seem to have honored the transaction, for in 1649—about the same time as the abovementioned purchase—they moved north. Their weroance, Asco- mowet, was among other Powhatan weroances to be granted land tracts for their people; the Weyanokes being on the south side of the James River in Virginia. They seem to have abandoned or sold this land short- ly thereafter, however, and removed away from English settlements into Carolina yet again.54 Weyanoke and Carolina Algonquian Postwar Behavior It might be said that the lack of description of Natives involved in the two expeditions still leaves open the possibility that Virginia troops attacked the Carolina Algonquians, and that any information garnered from them about the Weyanokes may have been given under duress. However, not- withstanding the statement from the Nottoway Thomas Green confirm- ing English harassment, behavior of both the Weyanokes and the Caro- lina Algonquians after the war belies this argument. As it stands there is nothing in the long- or short-term behavior of both Indian groups in the following decade that would indicate that the Carolina Algonquians had recently received bad treatment from Virginia and every reason to believe that the Weyanokes had a rocky relationship with them. In 1650, just five years following the expeditions, Edward Bland de- parted Virginia on an exploratory expedition into the wilderness of Carolina. His mission was to establish contact with the Tuscaroras for trade purposes and to contact several English rumored to be living among them.

        Like

  2. Wonderful post. After reading it, I realized that the family is that of the flute player that sits next to me in a band! What a small world. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent post! Thank you for sharing! My husband is the great-great-great grandson of Lewis Levy and Sarah Jane Scott.

    Like

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Area you and your husband interested in connecting with Levy relatives? There is a Levy Reunion this year.

      Like

  4. I just read this interesting info and found out when I went on Ancestry.com that this is my family on my mother’s side. My great-great-grandfather was Henry W. Levy, which makes Sarah Scott another relative. Iam so excited to learn about the Native American ancestry of my family. I would love to reconnect with other relatives.

    Like

      1. Hey there. I’m actually not on Facebook. Are you on ancestry? I noticed that I have a match from a Melanie Roberts on there. Is that you? I would be interested in the reunion.

        Like

      2. Hi Candace! I am on Ancestry.com I tried to look you up but couldn’t find you. Do you have an email address or another name under Ancestry.com?
        Melanie

        Like

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