The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of New York. If the tribe name is in bold, then Alabama is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to New York and then provide a link to the main tribal page.
Delaware Indians. Bands of two of the main divisions of the Delaware Indians, the Munsee and Unami, extended into parts of New York State, including the island of Manhattan. (See New Jersey.)
Erie Indians. The Erie occupied parts of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties.
Iroquois Indians. From Algonkin Irinakhoiw, “real adders,” with the French suffix -ois. Also called:
- Ongwanonsioñni’, their own name, meaning “We are of the extended lodge,” whence comes the popular designation, “People of the longhouse.”
- Canton Indians.
- Confederate Indians.
- Five Nations, from the five constituent tribes.
- Mat-che-naw-to-waig, Ottawa name, meaning “bad snakes.”
- Mingwe, Delaware name.
- Nadowa, name given by the northwestern Algonquians and meaning “adders.”
- Six Nations, name given after the Tuscarora had joined them.
Connections. The Iroquois belonged to the Iroquoian linguistic stock, their nearest relations being the Tuscarora, Neutral Nation, Huron, Erie, and Susquehanna.
Location. In the upper and central part of the Mohawk Valley and the lake region of central New York. After obtaining guns from the Dutch the Iroquois acquired a dominating influence among the Indians from Maine to the Mississippi and between the Ottawa and Cumberland Rivers. (See also Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Canada.)
There were five tribes, as follows: Cayuga, about Cayuga Lake; Mohawk, in the upper valley of Mohawk River; Oneida, about Oneida Lake; Onondaga, in Onondaga County and the neighboring section; Seneca, between Lake Seneca and Genesee River. Later there were added to these, for the most part not on terms of perfect equality, the Tuscarora from North Carolina, some Delaware, Tutelo, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy, New England Indians, and other fragments of tribes, besides entire towns from the Huron. Erie, Andaste, and other conquered peoples.
- Chondote, on the east side of Cayuga Lake a few miles south of Cayuga. Gandasetaigon, near Port Hope, Ont.
- Ganogeh, at Canoga.
- Gayagaanhe, near the east shore of Cayuga Lake 3;z miles south of Union Springs.
- Gewauga, at Union Springs, town of Springport.
- Goiogouen, on the east side of Cayuga Lake on Great Gully Brook, about 4 miles south of the present Union Springs, and 4 leagues from the town of Tiohero.
- Kawauka, (?), Kente, on Quinte Bay, Lake Ontario, Ont.
- Neodakheat, at Ithaca.
- Oneniote, at Oneida on Cayuga Lake.
- Onnontare, probably east of Seneca River and at Bluff Point, near Fox Ridge, Cayuga County.
- Owego, on the right bank of Owego Creek, about 2 miles from the Susquehanna River, in Tioga County.
- Skannayutenate, on the west side of Cayuga Lake, northeast of Canoga, Seneca County.
- Tiohero, 4 leagues from Goiogouen.
- Canajoharie, on the east bank of Otsquago Creek nearly opposite Fort Plain.
- Canastigaone, on the north side of Mohawk River just above Cohoes Falls. Canienga, near the bank of Mohawk River.
- Caughnawaga, on Mohawk River near the site of Auriesville.
- Chuchtononeda, on the south side of Mohawk River-named from a band.
- Kanagaro, on the north side of Mohawk River in Montgomery County or Herkimer County.
- Kowogoconnughariegugharie, (?).
- Nowadaga, at Danube, Herkimer County.
- Onoalagona, at Schenectady.
- Osquake, at Fort Plain and on Osquake Creek, Montgomery County.
- Saratoga, about Saratoga and Stillwater.
- Schaunactada, at and south of Albany.
- Schoharie, near Schoharie.
- Teatontaloga, on the north side of Mohawk River and probably near the mouth of Schoharie Creek in Montgomery County.
- Tewanondadon, in the peninsula formed by the outlet of Otsego Lake and Shenivas Creek.
- Cahunghage, on the south side of Oneida Lake.
- Canowdowsa, near junction of Lackawanna and Susquehanna Rivers.
- Chittenango, on Chittenango Creek, Madison County.
- Cowassalon, on creek of same name in Madison County.
- Ganadoga, near Oneida Castle, Oneida County.
- Hostayuntwa, at Camden.
- Oneida, name of several of the main towns of the tribe, in the valleys of Oneida
- Creek and Upper Oriskany Creek.
- Opolopong, on the east branch of Susquehanna, about 30 miles above Shamokin
- and 10 miles below Wyoming, Pa.
- Oriska, near Oriskany in Oneida County.
- Ossewingo, a few miles above Chenango, Broome County.
- Ostogeron, probably above Toskokogie on the Chenango River.
- Schoherage, probably on the west branch of Chenango River (?) below Tuskokogie.
- Sevege, a short distance above Owego on the west side of the east branch of the Susquehanna River.
- Solocka, about 60 miles above Shamokin, on a creek issuing from the Great
- Swamp north of the Cashuetunk Mountains, Pa.
- Tegasoke, on Fish Creek in Oneida County.
- Teseroken, (?).
- Teiosweken, (?).
- Tkanetota, (?).
- Ahaouet, (?).
- Deseroken, traditional.
- Gadoquat, at Brewerton, Onondaga County.
- Gannentaha, a mission on Onondaga Lake about 5 leagues from Onondaga.
- Gistwiahna, at Onondaga Valley.
- Onondaga, the principal town of the tribe, which occupied several distinct sites,
- the earliest known probably 2 miles west of Cazenovia and east of West
- Limestone Creek, Madison County.
- Onondaghara, on Onondaga River 3 miles east of Onondaga Hollow.
- Ononahgegahgeh, west of Lower Ebenezer, Erie County.
- Onontatacet, on Seneca River.
- Otiahanague, at the mouth of Salmon River, Oswego County.
- Teionontatases, (?).
- Tgasunto, (?).
- Touenho, south of Brewerton, at the west end of Lake Oneida.
- Tueadasso, near Jamesville.
- Buckaloon, on the north side of Allegheny River near the present Irvine, Warren County, Pa.
- Canadasaga, near Geneva.
- Canandaigua, near Canandaigua.
- Caneadea, at Caneadea.
- Catherine’s Town, near Catherine.
- Cattaraugus, on a branch of Cattaraugus Creek.
- Chemung, probably near Chemung.
- Cheronderoga, (?).
- Chinklacamoose, probably mainly Delaware but frequented by Seneca, on the site of Clearfield, Pa.
- Chinoshahgeh, near Victor.
- Condawhaw, at North Hector.
- Connewango, 2 villages, one at Warren, Pa., and one on the left bank of Allegheny River above the site of Tionesta, Pa.
- Dayoitgao, on Genesee River near Fort Morris.
- Deonundagae, on Livingston River west of Genesee River.
- Deyodeshot, about 2 miles southeast of East Avon, on the site of Keinthe. Deyohnegano, 2 villages: one near Caledonia; one on Allegheny Reservation, Cattaraugus County.
- Deyonongdadagana, on the west bank of Genesee River near Cuylerville. Dyosyowan, on Buffalo Creek, Erie County, Pa.
- Gaandowanang, on Genesee River near Cuylerville.
- Gadaho, at Castle.
- Gahato, probably Seneca, in Chemung County.
- Gahayanduk, location unknown.
- Ganagweh, near Palmyra.
- Ganawagus, on Genesee River near Avon.
- Ganeasos, (?).
- Ganedontwan, at Moscow.
- Ganos, at Cuba, Allegany County.
- Ganosgagong, at Dansville.
- Gaonsagaon, (?).
- Gaousge, probably Seneca, on Niagara River.
- Gaskosada, on Cayuga Creek west of Lancaster.
- Gathtsegwarohare, (?).
- Geneseo, near Geneseo.
- Gistaquat, (?).
- Goshgoshunk, mainly Munsee and Unami, 3 villages on Allegheny River in the upper part of Venango County, Pa.
- Hickorytown, mainly Munsee and Unami, probably about East Hickory or West Hickory, Forest County, Pa.
- Honeoye, on Honeoye Creek, near Honeoye Lake.
- Joneadih, on Allegheny River nearly opposite Salamanca.
- Kanagaro, 2 villages, one on Boughton Hill, directly south of Victor, N. Y.; one with several different locations from 1½ to 4 miles south from the first, and southeast from Victor, on the east side of Mud Creek.
- Kanaghsaws, about 1 mile northeast of Conesus Center.
- Kannassarago, between Oneida and Onondaga.
- Kashong, on Kashong Creek at its entrance into Lake Seneca.
- Kaskonchiagon, (?).
- Kaygen, on the south bank of Chemung River below Kanestio River.
- Keinthe, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, later transferred to Bay of Quinte.
- Lawunkhannek, mainly Delaware, on Allegheny River above Franklin, Venango County, Pa.
- Mahusquechikoken, with Munsee and other tribes, on Allegheny River about 20 miles above Venango, Pa.
- Middle Town, 3 miles above the site of Chemung.
- New Chemung, at or near the site of Chemung.
- Newtown, on Chemung River near Elmira.
- Oatka, at Scottsville, on the west bank of Genesee River.
- Old Chemung, about 3 miles below New Chemung.
- Onnahee, on the east side of Fall Brook, in the western part of lot 20, town of
- Hopewell, Ontario County.
- Onoghsadago, near Conewango (?).
- Onondarka, north of Karaghyadirha on Guy Johnson’s map of 1771.
- Owaiski, near Wiscoy on the west bank of Genesee River, Allegheny County.
- Sheshequin, about 6 miles below Tioga Point, Bradford County, Pa.
- Skahasegao, at Lima, Livingston County.
- Skoiyase, at Waterloo.
- Sonojowauga, at Mount Morris, Livingston County.
- Tekisedaneyout, in Erie County.
- Tioniongarunte, (?).
- Tonawanda, on Tonawanda Creek, Niagara County.
- Totiakton, on Honeoye outlet not far from Honeoye Falls in Monroe County.
- Venango, at Franklin, at the mouth of French Creek, Venango County, Pa.
- Yorkjough, about 12 miles from Honeoye and 6 from New Genesee, probably in Livingston County.
- Yoroonwago, on upper Allegheny River near the present Corydon, Warren County, Pa.
Iroquoian villages of unspecified tribe:
- Adjouquay, (?).
- Anpuaqun, (?).
- Aratumquat, (?).
- Cahunghage, on the south side of Oneida Lake.
- Caughnawaga, on Sault St. Louis, Quebec Province, Canada.
- Chemegaide, (?).
- Churamuk, on the east side of Susquehanna River, 18 miles above Owego.
- Codocararen, (?).
- Cokanuk, (?).
- Conaquanosshan, (?).
- Conihunta, 14 miles below Unadilla.
- Connosomothdian, (?).
- Conoytown, of mixed Conoy and Iroquois, on Susquehanna River between Bainbridge and Sunbury, Pa.
- Coreorgonel, of mixed Tutelo and Iroquois, on the west side of Cayuga Lake inlet and on the border of the Great Swamp 3 miles from the south end of Cayuga Lake.
- Cowawago, (?).
- Cussewago, principally Seneca, on the site of the present Waterford, Erie County, Pa.
- Ganadoga, near Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Ganagarahhare at Venango, Crawford County, Pa.
- Ganeraske, at the mouth of Trent River, Ontario, Canada.
- Ganneious, at the site of Napanee, Ontario, Canada.
- Glasswanoge, (?).
- Indian Point, at Lisbon, N. Y.
- Janundat, on Sandusky Bay, Erie County, Ohio.
- Jedakne, Iroquois or Delaware, on the west branch of Susquehanna River, probably at Dewart, Northumberland County, Pa.
- Johnstown, location not given.
- Jonondes, location unknown.
- Juaniata, on Duncan Island in Susquehanna River, near the mouth of the Juniata.
- Juraken, 2 villages, one on the right bank of the Susquehanna at Sunbury, Pa., the other on the left bank of the east branch of the Susquehanna.
- Kahendohon, location unknown.
- Kanaghsaws, about 1 mile northwest of Conesus Center, N. Y.
- Kannawalohalla, at Elmira, N. Y.
- Kanesadageh, a town of the Turtle Clan mentioned in the Iroquois Book of Rites.
- Karaken, location unknown.
- Karhationni, location unknown.
- Karhawenradonh, location unknown.
- Kayehkwarageh, location unknown.
- Kickenapawling, mixed Delaware (?) and Iroquois, 5 miles north of the present Stoyestown, Pa., at the fork of Quemahoning and Stony Creeks.
- Kittanning, mixed Iroquois, Delaware, and Caughnawaga, about the present
- Kittanning, Armstrong County, Pa.
- Kuskuski, mixed Delaware and Iroquois, on Beaver Creek, near Newcastle, Pa.
- La Montagne, on a hill on Montreal Island, Quebec Province, Canada. La Prairie, at La Prairie, Quebec, Canada.
- Logstown, Shawnee, Delaware, and Iroquois, on the right bank of the Ohio River, 14 miles below Pittsburgh.
- Loyalhannon, on Loyalhanna Creek, Pa.
- Manckatawangum, near Barton, Bradford County, Pa.
- Matchasaung, on the left bank of the east branch of the Susquehanna River, about 13 miles above Wyoming, Pa.
- Mingo Town, near Steubenville, Ohio.
- Mohanet, probably Iroquois, on the east branch of the Susquehanna River, Pa.
- Nescopeck, mixed Iroquois, Shawnee, and Delaware, formerly at the mouth of Nescopeck River, Luzerne County, Pa.
- Newtown, 4 towns: one, probably of the Seneca, on Chemung River near Elmira, N. Y.; one, probably of Iroquois and Delaware, on the north bank of Licking River, near Zanesville, Ohio; one, probably of Iroquois and Delaware, on Muskingum River near Newtown, Ohio; and one, probably of Iroquois and Delaware, on the west side of Wills Creek, near Cambridge, Ohio.
- Newtychanning, on the west bank of the Susquehanna River and the north side of Sugar Creek, near North Towanda, Pa.
- Ohrekionni, (?).
- Oka, mixed Iroquois, Nipissing and Algonkin, on Lake of the Two Mountains, near Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- Onaweron, location unknown.
- Onkwe Iyede, location unknown.
- Opolopong, on the east branch of the Susquehanna River about 30 miles above Shamokin and 10 miles below Wyoming, Pa.
- Oskawaserenhon, location unknown.
- Ostonwackin, Delaware and Iroquois, at the mouth of Loyalstock Creek on the west branch of the Susquehanna River, at Montoursville, Pa.
- Oswegatchie, at Ogdensburg, N. Y.
- Otsiningo, on Chenango River, Broome County, N. Y.
- Otskwirakeron, location unknown.
- Ousagwentera, “beyond Fort Frontenac.”
- Pluggy’s Town, a band of marauding Indians, chiefly Mingo, at Delaware, Ohio.
- Runonvea, near Big Flats, Chemung County, N. Y.
- Saint Regis, on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River at the international boundary and on both sides.
- Sault au Recollet, near the mouth of the Ottawa River, Two Mountains County, Quebec, Canada.
- Sawcunk, mixed Delaware, Shawnee, and Mingo, on the north bank of the Ohio
- River near the mouth of Beaver Creek and the present town of Beaver, Pa.
- Schohorage, on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, a short distance above the Indian town of Oquaga, Pa.
- Sconassi, on the west side of the Susquehanna River below the west branch, probably in Union County, Pa.
- Scoutash’s Town, Mingo or Shawnee, near Lewistown, Logan County, Ohio. Seneca Town, Mingo, on the east side of Sandusky River in Seneca County, Ohio.
- Sevege, a short distance above Owego on the west side of the east branch of Susquehanna River, N. Y.
- Sewickley, a Shawnee town occupied in later years by a few Mingo and Delaware, on the north side of Allegheny River about 12 miles above Pittsburgh, near Springdale, Pa.
- Shamokin, Delaware, Shawnee, and Iroquois, a short distance from the forks of the Susquehanna and on the northeast branch.
- Shenango, 3 towns: one, on the north bank of the Ohio River a short distance below the present Economy, Pa.; one, at the junction of the Conewango and Allegheny Rivers; and one, some distance up the Big Beaver near Kuskuski (see above).
- Sheshequin, Iroquois and Delaware, about 8 miles below Tioga Point, Pa.
- Sittawingo, in Armstrong County, Pa.
- Skenandowa, at Vernon Center, Oneida County, Pa.
- Solocka, about 60 miles above Shamokin on a creek issuing from the Great Swamp north of the Cashuetunk Mountains, Pa.
- Swahadowri, (?).
- Taiaiagon, near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tioga, at Athens, Pa.
- Tohoguses Town, at junction of Plum and Crooked Creeks, Armstrong County, Pa.
- Tonihata, on an island in the St. Lawrence River supposed to be Grenadier Island, Leeds County, Ontario, Canada.
- Tullihas, mixed Delaware, Mahican, and Caughnawaga, on the west branch of the Muskingum River, Ohio, above the forks.
- Tuskokogie, just above Schoherage (q. v.) on Chenango River (?).
- Unadilla, near Unadilla, Otsego County.
- Wakerhon, (?),
- Wauteghe, on upper Susquehanna River between Teatontaloga and Oquaga. Youcham, (p)
History. In Cartier’s time the five Iroquois tribes seem to have been independent and in a state of constant mutual warfare. At a later period, not before 1570 according to Hewitt (1907), they were induced by two remarkable men, Dekanawida and Hiawatha, to form a federal union. While the immediate object of the league was to bring about peace between these and other neighboring tribes, the strength which the federal body acquired and the fact that they were soon equipped with guns by the Dutch at Albany incited them to undertake extensive wars and to build up a rude sort of empire.
The related Tuscarora of North Carolina joined them in successive migrations, the greater part between 1712 and 1722, and the remainder in 1802. In the French-English wars they took the part of the English and were a very considerable factor in their final victory. Later all but the Oneida and part of the Tuscarora sided against the American colonists and as a result their principal towns were laid waste by Sullivan in 1779. The Mohawk and Cayuga, with other Iroquoian tribes in the British interest, were given a reservation on Grand River, Ontario. The remainder received reservations in New York except the Oneida, who were settled near Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The so-called Seneca of Oklahoma consist of remnants from all of the Iroquois tribes, the Conestoga, Hurons, and perhaps others, which Hewitt (in Hodge, 1910) thinks were gathered around the Erie and perhaps the Conestoga as a nucleus.
Population. In 1600 the Iroquois are estimated by Mooney (1928) to have numbered 5,500; in 1677 and 1685 their numbers were placed at about 16,000; in 1689 they were estimated at about 12,850; in 1774, 10,000 to 12,500; in 1904 they numbered about 16,100, of whom 10,418 were in Canada; in 1923 there were 8,696 in the United States and 11,355 in Canada; total, 20,051. By the census of 1910 there were reported in the United States 2,907 Seneca, 2,436 Oneida, 365 Onondaga, 368 Mohawk, 81 Cayuga, 1,219 St. Regis, and 61 unspecified, a total of 7,437, besides 400 Tuscarora. In 1930 the figure, including Tuscarora, was 6,866. In 1937, 3,241 Oneida were living in Wisconsin and 732 “Seneca” in Oklahoma.
Connection in which they have become noted. The group of tribes known as the Iroquois is famous from the fact that it had attained the highest form of governmental organization reached by any people north of the valley of Mexico. It is also noted, largely in consequence of the above fact, for the dominating position to which it attained among the Indian tribes of northeastern North America, and for its long continued alliance with the English in their wars with the French. Hiawatha, the name of one of the founders of the confederation, was adopted by Longfellow as that of his hero in the poem of the name, though the story centers about another people, the Chippewa. Lewis H. Morgan (1851) based his theories regarding the nature of primitive society, which have played a very important part in ethnology and sociology, on studies of Iroquois organization. The name Iroquois has been given to a branch of the Kankakee River, Ill., to an Illinois County and a village in the same, and to villages in South Dakota and Ontario. The names of each of the five constituent tribes have also been widely used.
Wenrohronon Indians. Probably meaning “The people or tribe of the place of floating scum,” from the famous oil spring of the town of Cuba, Allegany County.
Connections. The Wenrohronon belonged to the Iroquoian linguistic stock. Their closest affiliations were probably with the Neutral Nation, which part of them finally joined, and with the Erie, who bounded them on the west.
Location. Probably originally, as indicated in the explanation of their name, about the oil spring at Cuba, N. Y. (See also Pennsylvania.)
History. The Wenrohronon maintained themselves for a long time in the above territory, thanks to an alliance with the Neutral Nation, but when the protection of the latter was withdrawn, they left their country in 1639 and took refuge among the Hurons and the main body of the Neutrals, whose fate they shared.
Population. Before their decline Hewitt (in Hodge, 1910) estimates the Wenrohronon at between 1,200 and 2,000. Those who sought refuge with the Hurons in 1639 numbered more than 600.
Connection in which they have become noted. The Wenrohronon are noted merely on account of their association with the oil spring above mentioned.