Meherrin Indians

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Meherrin Tribe: Meaning unknown.

Meherrin Connections. The Meherrin belonged to the Iroquoian linguistic family, their closest connections probably being the Nottaway.

Meherrin Location. Along the river of the same name on the Virginia-North Carolina border.

Meherrin History. The tribal name Meherrin first appears in the form “Maharineck” in the account of an expedition by Edward Blande and others to North Carolina in 1650, and next body Indian census taken in 1669. Later they seem to have adopted a body of Conestoga or Susquehanna fleeing from Pennsylvania after account dispersal by the Iroquois about 1675. This is the only way to account for the fact that they are all said to have been refugee Conestoga. They were living on Roanoke River in 1761 with the southern bands of Tuscarora and Saponi, and the Machapunga, and probably went north in the last Tuscarora removal in 1802. (For information regarding another possible band of Meherrin see “Nottaway.”)

Meherrin Population. Mooney (1928) estimates the Meherrin population at 700 in 1600. In 1669 they are said to have had 50 bowmen, or approximately 180 souls. In 1755 they were said to be reduced to 7 or 8 fighting men, but in 1761 they are reported to have had 20.

Connection in which they have become noted. Meherrin River, an affluent of the Chowan, running through southern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, and a Virginia town perpetuate the name of the Meherrin.



MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 28 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/meherrin-indians.htm - Last updated on May 8th, 2012


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