Jane “Sandusky”, “Indian princess” - Native American DNA

Started by B. Flanders on Saturday, March 17, 2018


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3/17/2018 at 6:38 AM

The Indian Legend
Family lore has it that Jane “Sandusky” Flanders was of Native American descent. Tradition from more than one branch of the family holds that she was any or all of (1) a converted Indian maiden, (2) a native of the Sandusky Indian tribe, and/or (3) had the Indian name of “Sandusky”. But no documentation exists to back up this belief. And I’m afraid my detailed examination of the origin of these legends will have to wait for a different post, as it would take up too much space here.
What we do know is that without a paper trail, the only hope for providing proof of Native American descent is in DNA. And the oldest remaining generation in my family is 10 generations down from Jane, making them (at the most) 1/1024th Native American. In DNA terms, that means the maximum Native American DNA any of them could carry would be .0975%. DNA is a tricky item, it’s not very likely that Jane’s Native American DNA would pass down in its entirety, yet one of my uncles does show up with Native American DNA in his results. So it is possible that Jane was Native American.
Regardless of her Native American ancestry or not, Jane “Sandusky” Flanders is a fascinating person to me. You rarely find documentation of your female ancestors, much less have a chance to read their words and hear their voice. I admire the fact that Jane spoke her mind and I’m thrilled that her words bring her back to life for me.
• The Flanders Family from Europe to America
• The Old families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton
• Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts - Volumes I, III, & VII, Edited by George Francis Dow. Transcribed and Abstracted from the Original Court Manuscript by Harriet S. Tapley
• Descendants of Stephen Flanders of Salisbury, Mass., 1646 : being a genealogy of the Flanders family by Ellery Kirke Taylor

3/17/2018 at 9:50 AM

There is one possibilty of proof for this with DNA. The mt-DNA, or mitochondrial DNA, if 1 or more documented living descendants (male or female) who have via their mother an all-maternal line back to Jane, we may get our proof. The mt-DNA haplotype or haplogroup would have to be identifiable as being of NA origin.

Private User
3/17/2018 at 10:25 AM

Maybe in the future we and others can find information to prove the theory.

3/17/2018 at 12:12 PM

I have often wondered why, as Jane's verbal exploits sometimes got her in trouble and a paper record survives, no one referred to her as Indian or native. I would think that would have been a point of interest at that time. I am very interested in her and hope something more can be unearthed.

3/17/2018 at 1:10 PM

I had looked into her contemperaneous Records, and she was fluent in the language of scolding others :)

If struck me as odd that she wasn’t referred to as Indian, others at that time were.

MtDNA could also be used as a rule out.

Private User
4/8/2018 at 4:22 PM

may I help a bit with some info to help form a better idea about Jane Sanduskys origin? I am a cousin to William Flanders from the Jamestown NY area and I live just 6 mile from York Maine. There was no English settlements until that of the Hilton party that landed across the river in what is now Dover, NH in 1623, There was however an indian village where the town of York is today, it was called Acominta, one of several villages of the Pennecook Indians Tribe, of which I am a decendant, After following along with the story of Jane it occurred to me how transcipts of old English writing bastardized native words and where written as close to the sound of the word phonetically, I have been helping people for decades in understanding the meaning of old places here that still have the indian words for them. So if Jane was born like it says about 1622 in York, she would have been a Pennecook Indian. I have yet to find any English settlers with the last name of Sandusky and that word appeared in American history as being in Ohio as a river name and the location of what was a loosely organized place of Seneca and Wyandot people along with others, that timeline is way off. But what does ring the bell back in Salisbury Mass. was when the woman called Jane a "Pennyconquick" hence an old English version of the modern name for a Pennecook woman, IT FITS...I hope I was able to help Janes story a bit. Bear Spirit Walking is my native name, I am Pennecook and Micmac and have found quite a few related names from my cousins the Flanders in my own genealogy. You may write me anytime to discuss our wonderful family history. I can help because I have so much of the northern New England history in my own family trees. Brian Michaud 227 Knights Pond Rd., South Berwick, Maine 03908 email: tazdevil1956@juno.com

4/8/2018 at 4:34 PM

Re: Pennyconquick" hence an old English version of the modern name for a Pennecook woman, IT FITS

And didn’t the tribe later settle in Ohio? I seem to recall that.

4/10/2018 at 9:49 AM

Jane Sandusky appears in my husband’s genealogy as his 8th great grandmother on his father’s side. Laura May Flanders was his grandmother. We recently had our dna done through National Geographic and no native dna showed up on either side of his sequencing. Have other relatives had dna testing?

His family also had a story about having native blood. But they thought it was on his mother’s side.

4/10/2018 at 10:18 AM

At 10 generations out the DNA test of use is mtDNA (daughter > daughter > ... Jane). Otherwise it is unlikely it would show up in a Flanders descendant due to "wash out."

4/17/2018 at 8:04 AM

The explanation of "washout" would explain the lack of native American dna showing up in Ancestry.com. My ancestor is Stephen Flanders. Periodically we have a darker skinned relative show up. My great great aunt was one of these people. This may be the only sign of Jane's possible relationship.

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