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WISER NEWSLETTER

Volume 11 Issue 5                                                                                May 2006

 

RESEARCH

 

This newsletter will analyze the results of my DNA test that were given in the last newsletter.  First, I included verbatim the results given from the National Geographic test because I want others to see what results and narrative one would receive if one takes the test.  Also, I wanted one to understand that they are obviously making many assumptions about the migration patterns of the human race.  In addition for those who are males of the Wiser surname, who someday may have their Y-chromosome DNA tested, I wanted to give my results so that he could compare them with his results.  I would be very curious to see if those Wisers descended from Benjamin Wiser Junior, James or Samuel Wiser have identical Y-chromosome DNA (these are the sons of Benjamin Wiser Senior we know have males with the Wiser surname living today).

 

Many of our individual beliefs differ greatly from what the present National Geographic researchers or scientists’ conclusions may be.  And indeed, the National Geographic writers themselves conclude that there is “a world of unanswered questions”.  For instance, consider a National Geographic article about the DNA testing of the Wampanoag Indian Tribe presently residing in Massachusetts (this is taken from the March 2006 National Geographic, page 73; "The Greatest Journey Ever Told, The Trail of Our DNA").  I believe many members of the Wampanoag Tribe are closely related to members of the Nipmuc Tribe.  Many of the Wampanoag Tribe are direct descendants of Metacomet (also known to us as King Philip).  Many descendants today live in Seekonk, Massachusetts (near Providence, Rhode Island).

The article states: “The Tribe's DNA is unlikely to yield any simple truths, at least in the short term. Native American groups like the Seaconke-Wampanoag have European and African as well as Native American ancestry. And as Theodore Schurr explains to those donating blood, "the initial results won't reveal a person's full heritage." They could point back to Metacomet's people-or to ancestors from another continent. ‘A fuller picture will emerge only after the project analyzes each person's full set of chromosomes and compares them with the Genographic Project's growing lode of DNA from other Groups.’  Says Chief Jennings [George Silver Wolf Jennings]: ‘I just hope these guys aren’t gonna tell us we’re all Swedish.”  Wouldn’t it be interesting if there were actually groups of Northern Europeans who came to America prior to the time of Columbus who have descendants living here now?

Also note that the 12 marker results provided to the Genographic Project's participants are just part of the puzzle. As it stated above, “the initial results won't reveal a person's full heritage", and “a fuller picture will emerge only after the project analyzes each person's full set of chromosomes and compares them with the Genographic Project's growing lode of DNA from other Groups."

It is interesting that the article never really quantifies in terms of DNA testing what is really required to compare a person's "full set of chromosomes" to others. Therefore, if you really understand DNA testing one knows that it takes more than just the 12 markers to determine the "fuller picture."  So there is still much to be learned in the arena of DNA testing and making any type of conclusion based upon what we know today would indeed be premature.

 

So if I was to consider John McCormick Wiser’s known or believed Y-chromosome ancestry, it would be as follows: his father, Samuel Wiser, his father, Benjamin Wiser Senior, his father, James Wiser, his father, James Wiser, his father, James Rumneymarsh Quanahpohkit Wiser, and our earliest known ancestor, James’ father, John Awassamog [who was born about 1614].  So is this actually Benjamin Wiser’s ancestry or something completely different?  Many mysteries remain.

 

The following is an article that mentions a little about this John Awassamog.  This information is taken from the following website: http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ma/state/baypath/chap16.html. It is Chapter 16 of “The Bay Path and Along the Way”, by Levi Badger Chase, written in 1919.  I have quoted from parts of it before in the April 2001 Wiser Newsletter.

 

“For a long time this Beaver Dam was a convenience in the long and narrow path of the Indian.

Then the white men followed; and they broadened the dam and made a great road and a bridge. And now for many years the Boston and Albany railroad tracks have been used by the side of the great public highway. The beaver has departed, and the thousands of hurrying humans who pass that way know not of him.

The following quotation is from Temple's History of Framingham; "It is called in our earlier records the 'Beaver Dam,' and sometimes the 'Indian Bridge,' showing that it was in use by the natives when the country was first visited by the whites. It is mentioned as a bound-mark of land-grants as early as 1658; and is perpetuated in the name of the stream on which it stood. It must have been built at a very remote date by those sagacious animals."

About here in our progress eastward, it appears desirable, for the purpose of making a suggestion of identity, to again recall the item in Governor Winthrop's Journal, and quote a brief extract as follows:

"Apr. 4, 1631, Wahginnacut, a sagamore upon the river Quonehtacut, which lies west of Naraganset, came to the governor at Boston, with John Sagamore & Jack Straw (an Indian, who had lived in England and had served Sir Walter Raleigh, and was now turned Indian again) and divers of their sannops and brought a letter to the governor from Mr. Endicott....An historian says they secured the services of Jack Straw and Sagamore John, as the former Indian spoke English, and the latter lived between the Charles and Mystic Rivers."

Jack Straw has been identified and located in Westboro (see ante). In regard to Sagamore John, there are known facts in the life of John Awassamog, Sr., that "fit on" and the identity will be assumed here that the facts may be presented.

He was a Nipnet, having chieftain's blood in his veins. In 1635 or earlier he married Yawata, daughter of Nanepashemet, chief of the Pawtucket tribe, chief of the Pawtucket tribe, whose possessions extended from Chelsea and Lynn on the coast, thru Middlesex County to the Pawtucket Falls (Lowell) on the Merrimac River.

They resided at Winnisimet (Chelsea) where the oldest son, Muminquash, was born. (He was afterward known as James Rumney Marsh.) Their other sons were John Jr., Samuel, Joshua, Thomas and Amos Awassamog. He was living at Mistic (Medford) when the apostle Eliot began his labor with the Indians, in 1646, and sometimes attended his meetings.

"In a paper duly executed, appointing his son, his successor, and dated Dec. 1, 1684, he recites: 'John Aswassamog, of Naticke, not now likely to continue long before his decease and notable to looke after the Indian title that yet do remain unpaid for by English proprietors, do hereby acknowledge Thomas Awassamog, my natural son, my natural heir, and betrust and bepower him in my stead to sell, bargaine, and alienate any of that land the Indian title of which do yet belong to me, according to the sagamore title.

In a deed dated Jan. 21, 1684-5, in which his sons and other blood-relations joined, conveying the title of his Framingham and other lands to the said heir and successor, John Awassamoag, Samuel Awassamoag, John Mooqua, Peter Ephraim, Eleazer Pegan and Joshua Awassamoag, Indians of Natick, in the county of Middlesex, in New England, for reasons us thereunto moving, have given and granted, and do by these presents grant, aliene, enfeoffe, assigne, make over and confirm unto Thomas Awassamog, Indian of the same town and county aforesaid, all that our whole native title right and interest in that tract of land lying, situate and being betweene the bounds of Natick Charles river, Mar;borough, and a point of Blackstone's river beyond Mendon,--all which said right, title and interest in the said land (that is not already legally disposed of) we, the said John Awassamoag, Samuel Awassamoag, Joshua Awassamoag, John Mooqua, Peter Ephraim and Eleazer Pegan do hereby avouch and declare to be, at the delivery of these presents, our own proper estate, and lawfully in our power to alienate and dispose of,--it being our natural right, descending to us from the chiefe sachem Wuttawushan, uncle to the said John Awassamoag Sen., who was the chiefe sachem of said land, and nearly related to us all, as may be made to appeare."-His marke-John Awasomug

John Awassamog was, in point of time, in the same generation with Wascomos, son of Wetoleshan alias Wattalloowekin, and, if alias, Wuttawushan. It is known that Wetoleshen died between the years 1655 and 1659. It was in 1662 that John Awassamog signed the first deed conveying a tract of land lying within the limits of his inheritance from his uncle Wuttawushan.”

 

POSTSCRIPT

 

Thanks for any suggestions in regards to our family newsletter. Please contact me at or at 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM  88201, or at (505) 623-2534.