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Total population
Scattered, no formal recognition
Regions with significant populations
 Maryland,  Virginia
Algonquian (historical)
Related ethnic groups

The Accohannock (also known as Accohanoc and Annamessex ) are a Native American tribe. They lived in Virginia,[1] including the counties of Accomack and Northampton in Virginia, in the United States.[2] They may have been members of the Powhatan Confederacy.[2] however they do not seem to have ever referred to themselves as "Annemessick". There is no documentary evidence that "Occohannock" territory extended as far north and west as the Annamessex River in what is present-day Maryland in pre-Contact or Contact times. Instead, the limited documents indicate that the "Annamessex Indians"—which is how the residents are called—were allied with the Pocomokes.

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, and have not been recognized by the state of Maryland. They have created a living history museum devoted to their purported tribal history.[1] Much of this tribal history is claimed to be based on oral tradition, and is therefore undocumented. The information in the referenced source - Frank E. Grizzard; Daniel Boyd Smith (2007). The Jamestown Colony: An Encyclopedia - seems to have been taken directly from a history supplied by the Accohannocks themselves and does not seem to reference any historical documents or proofs.

See also[edit]

  • Weslager, Clinton Alfred. The Accomac and Accohannock Indians from Early Relations. Cape Charles: Hickory House (2001). ISBN 1886706522.


  1. ^ a b 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. 
  2. ^ a b 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. 

External links[edit]