View Full Version : Tuckahoe Folklore

10-23-2002, 11:24 PM
Hello everyone! I figured that its about time I posted something-- as I've been browsing for a couple of weeks. My name is Caryn Flowers, and I'm a 22-year-old college senior from Indiana. I'm a Fighting Tree, to be specific... hahaha...

For those of you who have Tuckahoe ancestors-- or a history of being Tuckahoe Indian... Or Cohee for that matter *Lady Cohee, I'm curious about you-- because you're probably my cousin!* I am compiling a family history for my Independent Study Folklore class, and have become more interested in family stories about being Tuckahoe. Does anyone have any stories or experiences that could help me put things into perspective? I'm well-aware of:

a.) Tuckahoe is a mushroom; b.) Tuckahoe is potentially a slur for poor white people; c.) There is a Tuckahoe Plantation in Virginia and a Tuckahoe Island off the coast of Virginia; and the other umpteen-thousand theories.... I'm just curious about your own family histories... your own experiences, how you got here, and Dennis-- of course you're welcome to respond! Everyone, Dennis is magnificent! http://winwinworld.net/SaponiForum/UBB/smile.gif

Thanks so much in advance,
Caryn (TuckahoePrincess)

10-24-2002, 08:52 PM
Personally, I've come to the belief that the words Tuckahoe and Tutelo are corruptions of the same Indian word. In other words, I think Tuckahoe's are probably Tutelos.

What names do you all have in your family?

11-20-2002, 11:13 AM
First I would like to say that this post is only directed to tuckahoeprincess. If you are still looking for information regarding the word Tuckahoe or our people here's just a little, that I can share. First, the word tuckahoe is the name of a certain root that has been eaten for many years by the Pamunkey Indians of Virginia. On the Pamunkey Reservation they have a video that visitors watch, which shows the tuckahoe root & explains it's importance to this tribe. The word is pronounced exactly the way it is written, Tuck-A-Hoe. One reason why this word may have been used to describe "poor europeans", was only do to the fact that they were farmers. Hence, they worked the soil with there hands. I have no proof that it was even used as a slur against poor europeans, I only have heard it a few times. Once was from a lady that worked at the Tuckahoe Plantation! Boy was she rude, that's one place I think I'll stay clear of.

Now regarding my family, I found a book at our state library that is titled, "Tuckahoes & Cohees". The book list two of my families surnames. One it says was Tuckahoe, the other Cohees. Then it calls them white, so I'm not sure what to make of this, except that the author may have been trying to "keep the peace", by adding the white settlers amoung Indians statement. If they were "white", then they married Indians, as they were living amongst the Indians. The two family names listed in this book are CASH & TURNER. Hope this will help you in some way.

11-29-2002, 01:16 AM
"tuckahoe" is an english corruption of "tockawhoughe" (from John Smith) or as written by Strachey as "taccaho". its ID' as Peltandra virginica - arrow arum or flag root - a coastal tuber used as wild pototatoes.
references appear in later (18th century and beyond) to "tuckahoes" or "tuckahoe indians" as people. one wonders where this term comes from as it is not an original tribe, town, hamlet, or river name for the eastern va / nc region.
it is a common loan / blend word into english as is "chinquapin" and "pone" and "hickory" from Powhatan Algonquian.
It may be an indication of a cultural marker of indian descent, however i have also seen it used to refer to poor irish immigrants - potatoe famine exiles to virginia.

12-04-2002, 01:17 AM
hi dennis,
i see where you are going.
Tockwoughs are outside the powhatan realm up in maryland. while im always available for speculation, i hadnt seen any documentation on the Tockwoghs being referred to as "tuckahoes", its easy to see that they could have been later.
maybe youve stated some of this before, what material do you have on dispersment of the Tockwoughs to conestoga or other localities? i wonder if there are more towns like named tockwough farther north? how so many came to be in virginia is the question im wondering. especially if youre theory leads from Maryland to PA and beyond in that direction. do you have a date when they arrive in conestoga? maybe we could compare that to the earliest known tuckahoe references in VA? see you soon

12-06-2002, 05:29 PM
Hello All,
This post is in regards to Tuckahoe's & my family. First I would recommend that anyone interested in reading the Treaty Between Virginia And The Indians dated 1677, go to http://www.baylink.org/Pamunkey/. This site is the home page of the Pamunkey Indians, of Virginia. In section VII of the Treaty it states the following. Note: All mispelled words are as written, per the original document of 1677.
VII. That the said Indians have and enjoy theire wonted convenieces of Osytering, fishing, and gathering Tuccahoe, Curtenemmons,wild oats, rushes, Puckoone, or any thing else for their natural Support not usefull to the English, upon the English Devidends, Alwayes provided they first repaire to some publique Magistrate of good Repute & informe him of their number and business, whoe shall not refuse them a certificate upon this, or any other Lawfull occasion, soe that they make due returne therof when they come back and goe directly home about their business without wearing or carrying any manner of weapon, or lodging under any Englishman's dwelling house on night.

As you can see the spelling of Tuccahoe, only varies by one letter, as we know it today as Tuckahoe. I assume that the k represents the way the word is correctly pronounced. Since the Pamunkey Indians have been here since the Ice Age, they are the key to the correct way to pronounce & spell Tuckahoe. The Pamunkey Indians do say the word as if it has a k in it.

Now regarding my ancestors that were called Tuckahoes. The Treaty was written in 1677, this is the same year that my Cash ancestors appear out of nowhere. They were living in Westmoreland Co., Va., & then to Stafford. In Westmoreland they lived on land that was called IndianTown. The Treaty says that no English are allowed to live within 3 miles of an IndianTown. The two surnames of my ancestor's that lived in Westmoreland & then to Aquia, in Stafford Co., Va., are Cash & Skinner.
Coheeslady http://winwinworld.net/SaponiForum/UBB/smile.gif

12-06-2002, 07:14 PM
I wouldn't be concerned about the spelling of any word out of this period, since basically there was no regular standard on spelling till a good deal later.

Native languages generally contain a number of sounds that don't reproduce in English. Personally, I assume that any Indian word written down by the English is pretty well butchered. In other words, I wouldn't be worried about matching up perfectly to any historical spelling, but on the other hand, I wouldn't trust that the spelled word necessarily reflects the way the word was truly pronounced.

For example, I've been seeing the Tutelo words "Bila huc," which means "thank you," used by a few people. I've assumed it was pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, something like 'BILL a hook.'

Then I heard the Lakota words for thank you, 'pilamaya yelo' (if the person being thanked is a man, if a woman the words are pilamaya ye). It's pronounced pi-LA-ma-YA ye-LO. Much different, with a nice melodius flow to it. Now when you pronounce ' bila huc,' 'pi-LA whook' it starts to sound like something.

[This message has been edited by Linda (edited 12-06-2002).]

vance hawkins
12-09-2002, 04:43 PM
hi Dennis.

Can you provide documentation for your message about these Maryland Indians? I think it might help solve a few riddles.


vance hawkins

[This message has been edited by vance hawkins (edited 12-09-2002).]

12-25-2002, 04:26 PM
Hello all! Thanks for your replies... CoheeLady, I'm going to order that book-- I've been thinking about it for a bit... just haven't acted on it. You all have many valid points, and I have to say we are blessed to have such a wealth of opinions! Our ancestors would be proud. :)

I am, and will always be, looking for information on Tuckahoe and the "Indian" heritage surrounding it. It is my opinion that it is a generalized term... kind of like Hoosier is. hehehe... AND I'm a Hoosier and a tree (GO SYCAMORES!!!) as well as a Tuckahoe. I hope you all have had a lovely holiday season!