JAMES QUANNAPOHIT, RUMNEYMARSH, WISER
This newsletter will continue to summarize the references found to our ancestor, James Quannapohit, Rumneymarsh, Wiser in The Indians of the Nipmuck Country in Southern New England, 1630-1750, An Historical Georgraphy, by Dennis A. Connole, McFarland & Company, Inc., 2001.
Pages 175 to 178, 179-180, 183-184, 200, 206, and 208 reference James’ participation in King Philip’s War. His role as a spy for the British during the War has been well documented in previous newsletters.
After King Philip’s War, in May of 1676, the praying Indians were allowed to return to the mainland. On page 227, it states, “When spring arrived, many of the Nipmucks returned to the villages of Magunkaquog and Hassanamesit. They planted their old fields but later withdrew to the praying town of Natick for fear of the Mohawks, leaving the crops unattended. At Natick, a great palisaded fort was built for their protection…An official report concerning the number and whereabouts of the surviving Indians in Massachusetts was submitted by Daniel Gookin to the Massachusetts Council on November 10, 1676. Gookin informed the assistants that there was a total of approximately two hundred ten “Natick Indians”…These Indians were divided into four main companies. The first, twenty-five in number (five men, the rest women and children), lived at Medfield under the direction of James Quannapohit and his kindred.”
“Notes on the
Nipmuc Indian Reservation at Hassanamesit or Hassanamisco and the Nipmuc People
later Grafton, Massachusetts”, by Thomas Lewis Doughton mentions somewhat the same thing; “on November 10, 1676, the insurrection over, Bay State Indians, "our friends (pro tempore)"—some 177 men and 450 women & children,— were placed under the following supervision according to Gookin: The Natick Indians were broken into four groups. One, consisting of James Rumneymarsh and "his kindred" of five men and twenty women and children were allowed to live at Medfield.”
About 1681, there was a general interest in land originally claimed by the Indians, James Wiser was one such claimant. On page 235 it mentions; “All rights to the land “about Nashaway River” were held by James Wiser (alias James Quannapohit) of the Black James group, Piambow of the Waban group, and Lawrence Nossawanno, son of Sholan, the Nashaway sachem.” This land is between Lancaster on the East and Wachusett Mountain on the West in present-day Massachusetts. The Black James group is explained on page 233; “The Indian claimants divided themselves into two major groups, one headed by Black James (alias “Willymachin”) and the other by Waban, the civil leaders of the praying towns of Chabanakongkomun and Natick respectively. Both groups were billed as “naturall descendants of the auncient proprietors and inhabitants of the Nipmuck country, (commonly so called), and lands adjacent, within the colony of Mattachusetts, in New England.” Black James and company claimed the “southern part” of the Nipmuck country, from the Quinebaug-French River watershed divide on the west, to the western divide of the Blackstone River valley on the east.”
James continued to be named in various deeds, on page 242, it states “On December 22, 1686, the Indians deeded a large expanse of land located to the north and west of the present town of Holden (included in the Worcester grant). This tract, “containing twelve miles square,” was conveyed by “Joseph Trask alias Puagastion of Pennicook, Job alias Pompomamay of Natick, and Simon Pitacum [Betoghom] alias Wananacompan of Wamesick, Sosowonow of Natick, and James Wiser alias Qualapunit [Quannapohit] of Natick.” The deed was made over to Henry and Benjamin Willard, the sons of Major Simon Willard, Cyprian Stevens, Willard’s son-in-law (married to his daughter Mary), Rev. Joseph Rowlandson of Lancaster, and Joseph Foster of Billerica. Twenty-three pounds was the agreed-upon sale price.” One name to whom this land was conveyed is very familiar as explained in earlier newsletters, Cyprian Stevens.
And once again on page 247; “The next major transfer of land within the Nipmuck country took place on June 26, 1701…Included within the body of the instrument was a confirmation of two previous titles that had been made over to the English by members of the Nashaway tribe…the second confirmation was for a deed from James Wiser (Quannapohit) to Houghton and Moore, two of the current purchasers, for forty-six shillings. The land area cited on the deed, with the two above-mentioned transactions, covered all the territory that was originally the domain of the Nashaway tribe.”
On one of my research trips to New York a couple of years ago, Joyce and her family were my gracious hosts. I appreciate all of the help her family has given us in our research efforts.
Norwich, NY, The Evening Sun, 3 Nov 2001; SMYRNA - Joyce A. McGregor (Erma Winifred Dennison, Jennie I. Morse, Simeon DeWitt Morse, Joseph C. Morse, Alithea Wiser, Benjamin Wiser), 82, of East Main Street, Hamilton, passed away Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001 at Community Memorial Hospital, Hamilton. Born May 3, 1919 in Oneida, she was a daughter of R. Hartley and Erma Dennison Spaulding. She was a graduate of Lake Placid High School and attended Syracuse University. On May 30, 1942, Joyce was united in marriage to Donald C. “Red” McGregor in Sherrill. She was a teacher’s aide in the Smyrna Elementary School for several years, and also was a child care provider for many of the local children. She was well known as “Grandma” to many in the area. Mrs. McGregor was one of the first women members of the Smyrna Fire Department and was currently an honorary member. She also was a member of the Smyrna Emergency Squad and had been a Girl Scout leader for many years. Surviving are her husband, Donald C. “Red” McGregor; eight children and their spouses: Donna Jean and Wayne Harrington of Smyrna, Mary A. Austin of Phoenix, Ariz., Roberta (Birdie) and Nelson S. Fox of Sherburne, Audrey and Terry Bennett of Smyrna, Gail and Kevin Gillette of Cortland, Janie McGregor and Gary Musser of Phoenix, Ariz., Howard (Buzz) McGregor of Savannah, Ga., and Ralph McGregor of Palm City, Fla.; a sister and brother-in-law, W. Jean and Fran Carroll of Wallingford, Conn.; two brothers and sisters-in-law: Calvin and Gina Spaulding of Amherst, Mass., and Otto and Myra Spaulding of Beacon; 25 grandchildren; 25 great-grand children and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by two brothers: Ralph E. and Merton (Bud) Spaulding. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5 from the Burgess Funeral Home, 10 South Main St., Sherburne followed by burial in the Poolville Cemetery. Friends are invited and may call at the funeral home from 4-7 p.m. Sunday. Contributions may be made in her memory to the Smyrna Fire Department or the Smyrna Emergency Squad.
Please let me know if you find any new information in your research. I appreciate any thing you can add to our research efforts.
Once again, thanks for your contributions to our family newsletter. You may contact me at or 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM 88201, or (505) 623-2534.
Previous newsletters can be found at the website, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~raymondfamily/wiser/.
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