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Connecticut Native American Tribes

The Encyclopedia of Connecticut: A Volume of Encyclopedia of the United States lists the following Native American groups (Indians) found in Connecticut:

  1. Nipmunks
  2. Sequin or "River Indians"
    Which included the following tribes:
  3. Matabesec or Wappinger Confederacy
    Which included the following tribes:
  4. Pequot-Mohegan

Further information about these tribes and their location in Connecticut at the turn of the sixteenth century is listed below. Information in italics is from The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Volume I. Otherwise the information is from History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850, by John W. De Forest.

Eastern Nehantics, located along the border of Connecticut and Rhode Island, (Gale, p. 157; (also mentioned in De Forest, p. 61 but not identified as Eastern Nehantic).

Hammononassetts, located in the Clinton and Killingworth area (De Forest, p. 52).

Matabesecs (or Wappingger) Confederacy, located in the Western part of Connecticut/Eastern New York (De Forest, p. 31).

Mohegans, found in the Thames River valley between Norwich and Uncasville. This tribe was associated with the Pequot tribe before the two tribes split in the 1630's (Gale, p. 153).

Narragansetts, A Rhode Island tribe which clashed with the Pequots (De Forest, p. 62).

Nipmunks, found in Tolland and Windham counties, they were subject, sometimes to one, sometimes to another, of the more powerful communities around them (De Forest, p. 57).

Paugussetts, (Golden Hill) of Stratford (De Forest, p. 47) and Huntington, and surrounding townships (De Forest, p. 49) lived in villages on both sides of the Housatonic River in New Haven and Fairfield counties (Gale, p. 229), Language Algonquian.

Pequots, (Mashantucket) the most numerous, the most warlike, the fiercest and the bravest of all the aboriginal clans of Connecticut. Found from the Niantic River, west ... along the hills of New London County to a point ten miles east of the Paucatuc River, and North ten to twelve miles from Long Island Sound (De Forest, p. 58).

Podunks, "river tribe" (De Forest, p. 46) found on the East side of the Connecticut river, in East Windsor, South Windsor and East Hartford (De Forest, p. 55).

Quinnipiacs, extended along the shore from Milford to Madison (De Forest, p. 48).

Schaghticoke, located in West-Central, Litchfield County, near present day Kent (Gale, p. 276).

Sepous, see Tunxis Indians.

Tunxis, located on the Farmington river 8-10 miles west of the Connecticut (De Forest, p. 52).

Wangunks, "river tribe" (De Forest, p. 46) found in Wethersfield and Middletown (De Forest, p. 54).

Wappinger Confederacy, see Matabesec Confederacy.

Wepawaugs, Indian tribe that lived on the East bank of the Housatonic river, probably part of the Paugussett tribe (De Forest, p. 49).

Western Nehantics, located from the Connecticut River, eastward along the seashore, to a small steam which retains their name (De Forest, p. 57).

Note: The spelling of Native American tribal names varies. The spellings above are as given in the publications cited.

Sources:
DeForest, John W. History of the Indians of Connecticut from the Earliest Known Period to 1850 [CSL call number: HistRef E 78 .C7 D4 1991].

The Encyclopedia of Connecticut: A Volume of Encyclopedia of the United States [CSL call number: HistRef F 92 .E53 1994].

Malinowski, Sharon and Anna Sheets, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Volume I [CSL call number: E 77 .G15 1998 v.1].

For additional resources, see the Research Guide to Materials Relating to Native Americans at the Connecticut State Library and Guide to Native American Legal Resources at the Connecticut State Library.

Prepared by the History and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library. Revised 2-04.