Our Lumbee Indian Family

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The Lumbee are the present-day descendants of the Cheraw Tribe and have continuously existed in and around Robeson County, North Carolina since the early part of the eighteenth century.

In 1885, the tribe was recognized as Indian by the State of North Carolina. The tribe has sought full federal recognition from the United States Government since 1888. In 1956, Congress passed the Lumbee Act, which recognized the tribe as Indian. However, the Act withheld the full benefits of federal recognition from the tribe.

Efforts are currently underway to pass federal legislation that grants full recognition to the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. This information was taken from the Lumbee Tribe web site. Be sure and check out the pictures posted on this web site. .

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John Reed Swanton, a noted anthropologist-historian, was called upon in the 1930's to provide his opinion of the origins of the Lumbee tribe. His opinion was as follows:

The evidence available thus seems to indicate that the Indians of Robeson County who have been called Croatan and Cherokee are descended mainly from certain Siouan tribes of which the most prominent were the Cheraw and Keyauwee, but they probably included as well remnants of the Eno, and Shakori, and very likely some of the coastal groups such as the Waccamaw and Cape Fears.

It is not improbable that a few families or small groups of Algonquian or Iroquoian may have cast their lot with this body of people, but contributions from such sources are relatively insignificant. Although there is some reason to think that the Keyauwee tribe actually contributed more blood to the Robeson County Indians than any other, the name is not widely known, whereas that of the Cheraw has been familiar to historians, geographers and ethnologists in one form or another since the time of De Soto and has a firm position in the cartography of the region.

The Cheraws, too, seem to have taken a leading part in opposing the colonists during and immediately after the Yamasee uprising. Therefore, if the name of any tribe is to be used in connection with this body of six or eight thousand people, that of the Cheraw would, in my opinion, be most appropriate.

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