Nauset Tribe

Search Fold3 for your
Native American Records

Nauset Indians. An Algonquian tribe formerly living in Massachusetts, on that part of Cape Cod east of Bass river, forming a part of or being under control of the Wampanoag. A writer1 says: “The Indians in the county of Barnstable were a distinct people, but they were subject in some respects to the chief sachem of the Wampanoags.” They probably came in contact with the whites at an early date, as the cape was frequently visited by navigators. From this tribe Hunt in 1614 carried off 7 natives and sold them into slavery with 20 Indians of Patuxet. Champlain had an encounter with the Nauset immediately before returning to Europe. They seem to have escaped the great pestilence which prevailed along the New England coast in 1617. Although disposed to attack the colonists at their first meeting, they because their fast friends, and with few exceptions remained faithful to them through King Philip’s War, even in some instances lending assistance. Most of them had been Christianized before this war broke out.
Their estimated population in 1621 was 500, but this is probably below their real strength at that time, as they seem to have numbered as many 80 nears afterward. About 1710, by which time they were all organized into churches, they lost a great many by fever. In 1764 they had decreased to 106, living mainly at Potanumaquut, but in 1802 only 4 were said to remain. Their principal village, Nauset, was near the present Eastham. Although their location indicates that fish furnished their chief sustenance, the Nauset were evidently cultivators of the soil, as supplies of corn and beans were obtained from them by the famishing Plymouth colonists in 1622.

The following villages were probably Nauset:

  • Aquetnet
  • Ashimuit
  • Cataumut
  • Coatuit
  • Cummaquid
  • Manamoyik
  • Manomet
  • Mashpee
  • Mattakeset
  • Meeshawn
  • Namskaket
  • Nauset
  • Nobscusset
  • Pamet
  • Pawpoesit
  • Pispogutt
  • Poponesset
  • Potanumagnut
  • Punonakanit
  • Satucket
  • Satuit
  • Skauton
  • Succonesset
  • Waquoit
  • Weesquobs


  1. Coll. Mass. Hist. Soc., 1st s., VIII, 159, 1802 

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 29 January 2015. - Last updated on Jul 22nd, 2014

Categories: ,
Topics: ,
Locations: ,

Contribute to the Conversation!

Our "rules" are simple. Keep the conversation on subject and mind your manners! If this is your first time posting, we do moderate comments before we let them appear... so give us a while to get to them. Once we get to know you here, we'll remove that requirement.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Newsletter Signup

We currently provide two newsletters. Why not take both for a run?

Genealogy Update: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new, or significantly updated, collection or database on our website.

Circle of Nations: We send out this newsletter whenever we feature a new (or significantly updated) Native American collection or database on our website.

Once you've clicked on the Subscribe button above you'll receive an email from us requesting confirmation. You must confirm the email before you will be able to receive any newsletter.

Connect With Us!

Pin It on Pinterest


Share This

Share this post with your friends!