Penn signs treaty

Indians of Pennsylvania
and the Delaware Valley

The extensive drainage basin of the Delaware River is popularly called the "Delaware Valley." In different parts of my life I've lived in each of the three states surrounding it -- Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. As a boy, I was always curious about the mysterious Indians who were nowhere to be seen, but whose language surrounded us in place names like Conestoga, Susquehanna, Passaic, and Hoboken, just to name a few. Even the name Manhattan comes from the language of the "Delaware" Indians.

I am glad to have finally learned, much later in life, about the people who really "settled" this land and blazed its trails. Here in Pennsylvania, many early contacts were honorable, and Indians were well-treated. Unfortunately, much of that honor died with William Penn. The links below will shed light on the history and culture of this region's first inhabitants, and the activities of Indians who live here now. (*See below for photo information)

Tribal websites

Introduction: Numerous native populations occupied what is now Pennsylvania before the first Europeans arrived here. Perhaps the best known were the "Delaware" Indians, a somewhat broad term used by colonists, that included the Lenni Lenape and related groups which spoke similar languages. Through a long history of land purchases, wars, emigration, and forced relocation by state and federal governments, many or most surviving descendants of the Delawares ended up in Oklahoma. Because they arrived there by different routes at different times, two separate groups formed, and remain there today, one in the eastern part of the state and one in the western part. The eastern group claims to be the larger of the two, with 10,500 members. As you'll see below, those are not the only groups claiming to be descended from the indigenous population of this region.
Webmaster's Comment: The information on this page changes faster than virtually any other page on the entire Online Communicator website. In the version you're reading now, over half the sites linked here had disappeared, or the links required some type of updating, since the previous page revision. Tracking down the new information is difficult from a research standpoint, not to mention politically sensitive! So please help out and let me know if you find anything missing. Thanks.

Research and History



Ever since I launched this page, people have written to me asking me if I could help them identify their long-lost Indian ancestors, and similar questions. Folks, I am not a psychic, nor am I a free research service. I just run a free website on my own time, and I provide links that you could find yourself, except that I make it easier to find things all in one place. In that spirit, here are some links that are just meant to get you started if you have a question about Native American family links. If they don't meet your needs, just learn to use the search tools that are available on the web. I simply can't answer personal questions about your family tree. Thanks.

| Return to Previous Page || Return to Main Topic Page || Return to Home page || Go to Website Index || Comments/questions to |