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WISER NEWSLETTER
    Volume 3 Issue 8 August 1998   

Research Findings

This past month, I read the following books about the Indians of Massachusetts; Behind the Frontier, Indians in Eighteenth-Century Eastern Massachusetts, ("Behind the Frontier"), by Daniel R. Mandell, published 1996 by the University of Nebraska Press; and Dispossession by Degrees, Indian Land and Identity in Natick, Massachusetts, 1650-1790, ("Dispossession by Degrees"), by Jean M. Obrien, published 1997 by the Cambridge University Press.

After reading these books, I'm even more convinced that our family is descended from the Wiser Indians of Massachusetts.

On page 32 of Behind the Frontier, it states, "also prominent in postwar [after May 1676] Natick were John Wiser, from Quabaug...". From Nipmuc place names of New England, Quaboag Pond & River, Worcester County-"before the pond" or "pond-before"? More likely an abbreviation of m'squ'boag, "bloody pond" or "red pond". The Quabaugs were a large Nipmuc band in present-day Brookfield; one of their sachems ["Each village was headed by a sachem, a person who symbolically "owned" the land, did not rule as a monarch, but depended upon village consensus. The tribe was ruled by a council of sachems"] was called Qua- cunquasit.

So it would appear that this John Wiser is the ancestor of our Wiser family. Brookfield, is a town west of Worcester, in Worcester County, Massachusetts.

The records for Indians during this time are rather sketchy, as you can imagine There are some references to the Wiser Indian family in land records, probate records and vital records. There are also a number of references to the Wiser family in these two books. A great deal of research is necessary to make any definite connections with the Wiser Indian family. I will publish a compilation in a later newsletter. I have included a history of Nipmuc found on the internet for your review.

OBITUARY

Barbara Alta Postal Lufkin, 74, died Monday, 20 Jul 1998 in Salt Lake City. She was born 25 Apr 1924 in Chicago, IL, a daughter of John Samuel and Clara Angela Retzbach Postal. She married Harold Wiser Lufkin, (Venus Wiser, Samuel Frost, John McCormick, Samuel, Benjamin) 21 Jun 1952 in Chicago, IL. Barbara was active in the Catholic Church and sang in the church choir. She loved spending time with her grandchildren. Survivors include her husband, of Sandy; three sons, David and Stephen Lufkin, Sandy; Philip and Lisa Lufkin, of Salt Lake City; two grandchildren, Paul and Rebecca Lufkin; one sister, Martha (John) Lake, Chicago, IL. Funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, 25 Jul 1998 at 10 a.m. at the St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Interment, Mt. View Memorial Estates.

BIRTHS

William Alexander Schroeder, son of Geof and Susan Elaine Graves (Jessie Downing, Charles, Viola Ford, Sarah Wiser, Benjamin, Benjamin) Schroeder, born 8 May 1998 at Sedalia, Pettis, Missouri.

OTHER NOTES

Please continue to send me any updates to your immediate family; births, marriages and deaths. I try to keep the data base as up to date as possible.

There are now 6,550 individuals (including spouses) and 2,097 marriages in the data base for the Wiser family. -RGW