Topic: Pascagoula

The Biloxi and Pascagoulas

The French in making their voyages of discovery along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in 1712, under the command of Iberville, anchored one evening near an island (now known as Ship Island) which they discovered to be intersected with lagoons and inhabited by a strange and peculiar animal seemingly to hold the medium between the fox and cat, and they give it the name Cat Island, by which it is still known; thence they passed over the main land, where they discovered a tribe of Indians called Biloxi, among whom they afterwards located a town and gave it the name Biloxi now the oldest town in the State of Mississippi. This tribe of Indians proved to be a clan of the Choctaws, and the name Biloxi, a corruption of the Choctaw word Ba-luh-chi, signifying hickory bark. Thence going eastward they discovered another tribe which they called the Pascagoula’s, which also proved to be a clan of the Choctaws, and the name Pascagoula, a corruption of the two Choctaw words Puska (bread) and Okla (people), i. e: Bread People, or people having bread; but which has been erroneously interpreted to mean “Bread Eaters.” A remnant of the Ba-luh-chis still exist among the Choctaws, while the Puskaoklas have been long lost by uniting with other Choctaw clans. There was an ancient tradition among the Puskaoklas, which stated that, in the years long past, a small tribe of Indians of a lighter complexion than...

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The French In Alabama And Mississippi

After the Spanish invasion of De Soto, to which allusion has so often been made, our soil remained untrodden by European feet for nearly a century and a half. At the end of that long and dark period it became connected with the history of the distant dark period it became connected with the history of the distant French possessions of Canada, which were contemporaneous with the oldest English colonies in America. For more than fifty years the French fur traders of Canada, associated with the enterprising Jesuit Fathers, had continued to advance southwestward upon the great lakes, discovering new regions, different races of Indians, more abundant game, and wider and brighter waters. At length, from the tribes upon the southern shores of Lake Superior, Father Allouez heard some vague reports of a great western river. Subsequently, Father Marquette was dispatched from Quebec with Joliet, a trader of that place, five other Frenchmen, and a large number of Indian guides, to seek the Mississippi, and thus add new regions to the dominion of France, and new missions of the empire of the Jesuits. Ascending Fox River to the head of navigation, and crossing the portage to the banks of the Wisconsin, with birch bark canoes, the adventurers again launched their tiny boats and floated down to the Mississippi river. Descending it to the mouth of the Arkansas, and encountering...

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Biloxi and Pascagoula Burial Customs

The “Siouan Tribes of the East,” whose burial customs so far as known are detailed on the preceding pages, were carefully studied some years ago, at which time all available notes were gathered and presented in a single volume. A few years before the preparation of this most interesting bulletin a discovery of the greatest importance was made by another member of the bureau staff, Mr. Gatschet, who, while engaged in Louisiana in 1886, discovered a small band of Biloxi, some of whom spoke their old language, which Gatschet soon found was Siouan. The Biloxi therefore belonged to the great Siouan family, and the neighboring Pascagoula were probably of the same stock. These were among the first of the native tribes encountered by the French in 1699, and, fortunately, a sketch of their burial customs has been preserved. The account was written by a French officer about the year 1730, and, as quoted by Swanton, reads: ” The Paskagoulas and the Billoxis never inter their chief when he is dead, but they have his body dried in the fire and smoke so that they make of it a veritable skeleton. After having reduced it to this condition they carry it to the temple (for they have one as well as the Natchez) and put it in the place occupied by its predecessor, which they take from the place which...

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Pascagoula Indians

Pascagoula Tribe: “Bread people.” Also called: Mfskigula, Biloxi name. Pascagoula Connections. They were probably Muskhogeans although closely associated with the Siouan Biloxi. Pascagoula Location. Their earliest known location was on the river which still bears their name, about 16 French leagues from its mouth. (See also Louisiana and Texas.) Pascagoula Villages. Unknown, but see Biloxi. Pascagoula History. Iberville heard of the Pascagoula in 1699 when he made the first permanent settlement in Louisiana. That summer his brother Bienville visited them, and the following winter another brother, Sauvolle, who had been left in charge of the post, received several Pascagoula visitors. Some Frenchmen visited the Pascagoula town the next spring and Pénicaut (in Margry, 1875-86, vol. 5) has left an interesting account of them. In Le Page du Pratz’s time (early eighteenth century) they were on the coast, but they did not move far from this region as long as France retained possession of the country. When French rule ended the Pascagoula passed over to Louisiana and settled first on the Mississippi River and later on Red River at its junction with the Rigolet du Bon Dieu. In 1795 they moved to Bayou Boeuf and established themselves between a band of Choctaw and the Biloxi tribe. Early in the nineteenth century all three tribes sold these lands. A part of the Pascagoula remained in Louisiana for a considerable period, Morse...

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The Paskagula, Moctobi, and Chozetta Indians

The Paskagula (Pascagoula) and Moctobi tribes are mentioned by Iberville 1Margry, Pierre. Découvertes et établissements des Français dans l’ouest et dans le sud de l’Amérique septentrionale (1614-1754). Mémoires et documents originaux; D’Iberville (1699), vol. iv, 1880, p. 195. Recueillis et publiés par Pierre Margry. 6 vols. Paris, 1875-’86. in 1699 as living on Pascagoula river near the coast of Mississippi, associated with the Biloxi, each of the three tribes, although but few in numbers, having its own village. As the French settlement on Biloxi bay was made in that year, this date probably marks the beginning of their displacement and removal westward. We know nothing of their language, but from their intimate connection then and afterward with the Biloxi, it is very possible that they were cognate. The name of the Moctobi seems to have disappeared from the earth, as repeated personal inquiry among the Choctaw and Caddo has failed to elicit any knowledge of such a tribe. It is quite probable that the form given in Margry is a misprint or other corruption, as we find the misprint form, Pascoboula, in the same reference. The Paskagula are better remembered. The name is not their own, but was given to them by the Choctaw, and signifies “bread people,” from parka “bread” and okla “people.” It has been retained as the name of the river in Mississippi on which they formerly...

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