Waccamaw Indians DNA & Genealogical Project

Waccamaw Research Historical Society (waccamawresearch.org)
  • 576 members

About us

Of particular special interest are surnames that currently reside in or have genetic ties to families that are found in the Capefear River basin of southeastern North Carolina in and around Lake Waccamaw (Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus Counties). By 1730 many of the mentioned surnames begin to emerge in a vast swamp (called the Great Green Swamp or The Great Marsh in the earliest colonial records) surrounding Lake Waccamaw, north of the lake on the Capefear river in North Carolina and south of the lake along the Waccamaw and PeeDee rivers in South Carolina. These Surnames also begin to emerge west of Lake Waccamaw on the northwest end of the Little Peedee river in South Carolina which runs into Drowning Creek (present day Lumber River in Robeson County, North Carolina). The Lumber river today marks the Robeson/Bladen line.

This vast swamp separated North from South Carolina. It is where the state line eventually was drawn. It covered all of Brunswick County (including present day Columbus county and much of southern Bladen county) and much of Horry county, South Carolina. Lake Waccamaw lies in the center of it. Running into and out of Lake Waccamaw from this swamp are several creeks and the Waccamaw river flowing south to the South Carolina coast (near present day Myrtle beach). The Capefear river, a few miles north of Lake Waccamaw, flows east and west from Wilmington on North Carolina coast. Between the Capefear and Lake Waccamaw swamps mark part of this Great Green swamp which stretched all the way south, beyond the Waccamaw river and points west (to Drowning creek) from the coast.

The earliest deed dates back to 1682 with a Lowery settlement on Drowning creek. Freeman, Mitchell, Webb, Jacob, Skipper, Peavy and Chavis began to arrive at Lake Waccamaw and settled north of the lake near the Capefear. These deeds date from 1730 to 1742. Kersey, Bravboy, Lockier, Hunt, Taylor, Blout, King deeds emerge south and west of Lake Waccamaw on Drowning creek and PeeDee and Waccamaw rivers. By 1754, according to local governors report from the newly formed Brunswick county, the "surrounding counties" had a high concentration of "indian and renegade whites" presiding on undeeded lands.

Deeds are recorded both in the Capefear basin (around Lake Waccamaw) and Peedee river basin by same surnames at the same time.

Other geography in the study includes counties along the Capefear, PeeDee, Santee, and Waccamaw rivers.

Of course anyone who share genetic ties with these native peoples and have no family history in these areas are strongly encouraged to join the project.

Of other special interest, the Waccamaw DNA project will be working in association with anthropology studies and burial mound digs along the Capefear. Strong evidence suggest that the Waccamaw (and Lumbee) were nothing more then displaced Tuscarora indians seeking refugee in the swamps around Lake Waccamaw shortly after their defeat in the indians wars from 1711-1713. While many Tuscarora fled north to New York and Canada, small groups migrated to the Capefear as is evidence in deeds and migrations patterns from the surnames found in both the Tuscarora and Waccamaw groups. Migrating, small isolated groups sharing common ancestry will be studied by DNA and actual records, thus supporting any migration and Tuscarora roots. A cultural study of indian artifacts, pottery, arrowheads, bone fragments, etc found along the Capefear where many of these families settled will be studied to further develop an understanding of the Waccamaws.

Genealogies under construction

Young family of the waccamaw community: currently being updated








Skipper: https://sites.google.com/site/skippergenealogy/Home. Research and historic commentary provided by Scott Skipper