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The Accohannock (also known as Accohanoc and Annamessex ) are a Native American tribe. They lived in Virginia, including the counties of Accomack and Northampton in Virginia, in the United States. They may have been members of the Powhatan Confederacy.
They spoke an Algonquian language. They ate wild game and vegetables like corn and squash. Grass-roots colonist racism and loss of the landbase eventually caused Indian people to adopt more up to date agriculture to survive—a process that occurred in the late 17th century for the Accomacs (by then called Gingaskins) and mainly in the 18th century for the Accohannocks (by then living in Maryland, with either the Pocomokes or the Nanticokes). There is no documentary evidence at any time for Accohannocks changing their name (or having it changed by others) to Annamessex. There is no Maryland or Virginia document dated 1659 that mentions the Annamessexes at all. The Accohannocks were still living in Virginia and selling off land, according to the Accomack County records, and they would do so for at least another decade.
Today, a group calling itself the Accohannock Indian Tribe has headquarters located in Marion Station, Maryland. They have fought unsuccessfully for federal recognition, but were recognized by the state of Maryland in 2017. They have created a living history museum devoted to their purported tribal history.[unreliable source?]
The tribe first sought state recognition in 2010, but were rejected. For their accepted 2017 application, Chief Clarence Lone Wolf Tyler stated he had traced his genealogy back to the Occohannock of Virginia using ancestry.com. A member of the committee said "Quite frankly the history, to me, was solid". However, anthropologist Helen Rountree told the Baltimore Sun that she is skeptical of the Accohannock application. In addition, various Maryland tribe members denounced the decision, stating that the Accohannock's claims are not credible, and stating that the even if the modern "Accohannocks" have native blood, they should regardless be denied state recognition, as they hadn't faced the same discrimination that the other tribes had faced.
- Weslager, Clinton Alfred. The Accomac and Accohannock Indians from Early Relations. Cape Charles: Hickory House (2001). ISBN 1886706522.
- Tkacik, Christina (11 February 2018). "Maryland recognition of Accohannock tribe sparks debate within community of Native Americans". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
- Frank E. Grizzard; Daniel Boyd Smith (2007). The Jamestown Colony: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-85109-637-4. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
- Donald B. Ricky (2000). Encyclopedia of Mississippi Indians: Tribes, Natives, Treaties of the Southeastern Woodlands Area. North American Book Dist LLC. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-403-09778-4. Retrieved 14 November 2012.