Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.
view all


  • Cpl. Daniel Landon (c.1650 - 1689)
    He settled in Farmington, Conn. and married Ann Lobdell. Records show he was a Corporal in King Phillips war in 1675. King Phillip was an Indian chief, and Daniel was under the, command of Capt. Josh...
  • George Pierre Drouillard (1775 - c.1810)
    George Pierre Drouillard was a famous explorer and mountain man. Head Scout and second in command of the Louis and Clark Expedition. Killed by the Blackfeet Indians while trapping furs. Click here to...
  • Samuel Hinsdell (c.1642 - 1675)
    PLEASE NOTE THAT HIS SON GRAVESTONE CLEARLY READ "HINSDELL" Deacon Robert Hinsdall and three of his sons, Samuel, Barnabas, and John, were of Deerfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Colony (De...
  • Elizabeth Henderson (1760 - 1850)
    Elizabeth Calloway (dau. of Richard Calloway) while in Boonsboro,KY was kidnapped by Indians along with her sister Francis (Fanny) and Jemima Boon.(Dau. of Daniel Boon) Samuel Henderson was among the r...
  • Samuel Baker (British Army) (1763 - 1842)
    Samuel Baker was born April 24, 1763, in Branford, Conn., and in March 1787 he left Hudson in search of a home in the western wilderness. He made his way over the Catskills and struck the head waters...

During the westward expansion of pioneers in the 17th through 19th centuries, thousands of European and African settlers were captured by American Indians.

Indians waging war against settlers and other tribes often killed adult men and took women and children captive. These captives were adopted and integrated into tribal society. Their presence helped strengthen the tribe.

Settlers in pioneer areas lived with periodic threats of Indian attack and the fear that they or their families might be killed or captured. Whites perceived Indians as savages, so in their worldview a woman who was captured would be degraded by being forced to enter into relationships with Indian men, and children would be barbarized.

Settlers went to great lengths to rescue or ransom these captives, but the efforts often dragged on for years because of the difficulty of locating them and the reluctance of the Indians to return them.

Whites had a horrified fascination with "capture stories". Lurid accounts of "White Indians" were bestsellers among whites living at a distance from the frontier. These highly sensationalized accounts of returned captives told about the horrors of captivity and the indomitable spirit that kept the captives alive through years of despair.

Such stories reinforced white views that the Indians were savages. The stories were often used to justify further encroachment on Indian lands. However, the reality was often disappointingly different. The captives who survived were those who assimilated successfully, so the captives themselves were often reluctant to return when offered the opportunity years later.