Beothuk not extinct

Steve Bartlett
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Mi'kmaq chief cites DNA results as evidence

The statue Spirit of the Beothuk stands overlooking the site where the Beothuk once made their home in Boyd’s Cove. DNA testing is showing a link between the Beothuk and other peoples.

Science is proving something Mi’sel Joe has always known — European settlers did not drive the Beothuk to extinction.

“Not by a long shot,” says the chief of the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River.  

“They may have gotten to a point where they couldn’t find any more when they were looking, but that’s not to say they were all gone, and DNA will prove that.” In fact, Joe says it already has. “I know of DNA testing that has been done ... that shows there is a link between our people (the Mi’kmaq) and the Beothuk people,” he says, adding that’s happened in the past six months or so.

The Beothuk had lived in Newfoundland for centuries when European settlers and fishermen started arriving in the 16th century.

As the European presence spread, the Beothuk dwindled to the point where the last known Beothuk, Shanawdithit, died in St. John’s in 1829.

Over the years, a consensus has been that Europeans drove the Beothuk to extinction.  

But Joe says such sentiment “pisses me off … because it’s not accurate.”

He says Mi’kmaq oral history recounts that there were marriages between the Beothuk and his people, and also that the Mi’kmaq helped some Beothuk escape European pressure by helping them reach continental North America.

He remembers his grandfather talking about the Beothuk, and says there was always a hushed tone when he did.

“Among all of us, there is Beothuk blood somewhere in our genes, through the intermarriage that took place,” Joe says. “Not only through Conne River, but particularly on the west coast of Newfoundland.”

DNA testing on the remains of Beothuk people has been going on for years.

In 2009, the central Newfoundland-based Beothuk Institute said there were plans to test the remains of two Beothuks and then compare the samples with the DNA of members of modern native groups, including the Mi’kmaq.

And in 2010, a team of geneticists from Iceland and Spain announced they had discovered a strain of DNA in a small group of Icelanders which may represent the genetic survival of the Beothuk.

The theory was that the Vikings captured a female Beothuk — which the Norse called skraelings — and brought her to Iceland.

She is then thought to have had children and her lineage survives in the Icelanders who were tested.

Teresa Greene is the chairwoman of the Beothuk Institute.

“It kind of makes sense, but I don’t know if there is any scientific proof,” she says of the possible Beothuk-Mi’kmaq connection. “It does really make sense because they were around here at the same time, so why wouldn’t they (connect)?”

Greene says the institute has run out of funding to continue the DNA work, but she expects it will apply for more.

“It’s very expensive work,” she says, adding they appreciate the public donations for this work made at the Beothuk Interpretation Centre in Boyd’s Cove.

Joe notes there have been conversations in Conne River about conducting DNA testing themselves.

“We’ve talked a couple of times about doing that, and we’ll get to that,” he says.

Organizations: Miawpukek First Nation, Beothuk Institute, DNA of members Vikings Beothuk Interpretation Centre

Geographic location: Conne River, Newfoundland, Iceland North America Spain

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Recent comments

  • White Hair (Pikeman)
    April 08, 2015 - 21:32

    Herein are my fabsolute final comments to this and future blog posts relating to the topic of the now extinct Beothuk. I would also like to publicly declare here my intention to terminate research and commentary in this area of study, humbly passing the torch on to future, more capable and enthusiastic researchers who can add more to the field. I would also like to encourage future up-and-coming researchers to conduct on-going research in this specialized area of study (which very few researchers currently study), as further test results and findings in aDNA (archaeogenetics) and archaeology become available over time. From the onset of my past research endeavour or programme the intention of such said research was merely to get to the truth of the matter if you will, to answer the many unanswered questions in the research literature, with its many contradictions and biases in research findings, and, accordingly, to engage the public in a positive proactive dialogue or discussion on the topic-nothing more, no malicious or vindictive intent or hidden agenda was ever invoked. As an empiricist grounded and guided by the principles of empiricism and the scientific method, I believe that science and mathematics, with all it disciplines and sub-disciplines thereof, can and will trump fear-based belief, superstition and mysticism. With that said, genetics or aDNA as a methodological research tool studies can provide objective and factual answers to longstanding questions about the obscure or enigmatic origins and fate of the now extinct Beothuk, trumping some previous speculative or unproven family-community oral traditions of alleged distant Beothuk connections or origins. Right now researchers and lay readers can only patiently wait for the publication of the upcoming Beo DNA study of the 20 skeletons. Future archaeological surveys and perhaps follow-up digs of the Pipers Hole-Black River, PB (including the Red Indian Pond & Goose Pond areas), Clode Sound, BB (including the John Pond or Lake St. John & Mollyguajeck watershed areas) may provide more tantalizing clues about the fate of Beo survivors from the core Red Indian Lake, Exploits, NDB kin group and the PB-BB splinter group. It will be interesting to see the published paper when it is finally released to the public. It will also be interesting to see the John Family History to be published in the future by noted researcher William Duggan, a member of the Qalipu Band and a direct lineal descendant of the John family from Conne River, FB-Pipers Hole, PB. At present there is absolutely nothing new to report on this topic or other related topics, other than invoking repetition and redundancy. There is absolutely nothing left to say, other than what has already been said. As a final note I would like to apologize once again to any reader or researcher, whether of First Nations or non-First Nations descent, for any comment(s) that may have been perceived as offensive, one-sided or controversial. While I do not retract or redact and previous research position or argument on the topic I hereby beseech compassion and forgiveness from any reader who may have been piqued or offended by such said comments. I take full responsibility for any and all such said comments which may have been potentially construed as controversial. I wish other researchers the best in their future research endeavours on the topic. I hereby make it clear and known my vested intention to step aside yielding to up-and-coming generations of researchers and fieldworks specializing in this area of study. I look forward to seeing their future published research findings and commentaries (opinions, suggestions and critiques). Namaste

    • Kinderfolk
      April 12, 2015 - 19:58

      I've read with interest your declaration (Feb. 18, 2015) that a family from Charleston, Bonavista Bay can claim descent from John Barrington, the surveyor. But I find it most puzzling that the family name is P……t. I was born in Charleston - both sides of my family have lived there since the early 1900's. Since the mid 1980's, I have done extensive research on many of the families that live there. Neither my father (who just celebrated his 86th birthday), nor I, are familiar with a family having such a name having ever lived within the community. But there are/were similarly named families living in nearby communities. I would be most interested in any additional information that you can provide about the P......t family. You can contact me at

    • White Hair
      April 13, 2015 - 12:08

      I just read your reply. The woman that I worked with 4 years ago insisted that her grandfather was a John Barrington (non-Native) and he was a surveyor. If I recall distinctly she believed that he came from the Charleston BB area. I believe that her family bearing the P......t name came from Jamestown, BB, which is relatively close to Charleston, BB. She believed that there was an Indian connection in her family, whether it came from the P……t side or the Barrington side, she didn't know for sure. Her features seem to add weight to some kind of Amerindian (or perhaps even mixed Inuit) connection, but as to which group I am not certain-no one knows. I have no reason to question or doubt the truthfulness of her testimony or belief. She seemed quite sincere, and I am certain if you were to meet her first hand in person you would be convinced of the veracity of her professed connection as the bone structure or features are undoubtedly there to confirm it. Other than that I don't know much about the Barrington or P……t patrilines from the BB area. My research interest is or was exclusively in the Barrington line from BB which may have some kind of connection to the one from PB. The KCRC records and RC Basilica St Johns seems to suggest that this family of Barringtons, whether Irish or English (the former seems more plausible) is the same family of Barringtons that later settled in the BB area. Other than that I honestly know very little of the history or the family histories of settlers from the area in question. As you can or should tell from the queries posted my focus and area of specialization is in the Piper’s Hole, PB area only, from which my family has a known and proven connection. As you can also tell from the most recent queries or replies posted I no longer conduct research in this area. So as to avoid confusion the statement in question which you reference therein was meant to designate the greater Charleston, BB area and by extension outlying areas, such as Jamestown. Your reply is self evident and legitimately grounded in effectively disambiguating the contradiction in meaning between Charleston proper, as designating the community itself, and the neighbouring communities of Jamestown, so there is no need for a redacted reply on my part. Your questioning in and of itself answers the question. Please feel free to voice your opinions, interpretations and suggestions on the blog, for that is the whole purpose of the blog, to stimulate open dialogue or healthy discussion on the topic in question. Like any research area the area of Beo Ethnohistory, and emerging archaeogenetics, genetic genealogy,... is a young science with emerging research continuing to constantly change the existing paradigm or what we knew or thought we knew about this extinct people. As such it is naturally, logically and expectedly subject to change over time to reflect this new evidence. Furthermore, while I appreciate your input and/or feedbakc I am neither committed to engaging in a sustained, long-winded, back-and-forth dialogue on the subject, as I no longer conduct ongoing research nor have any intentions of furthering the former research aganda in the near future. I have honoured and respected my ancestors through the research submitted over the many years, and in so doing have paid my dues accordingly. I no longer owe any apologies, invocations or beseechments for forgiveness or reconcilation to critics and skeptics, nothing more needs to be said. If you feel that the statement in question deserves editorial redaction or amendment then please feel free to edit the comment. I have no objections whatsoever to other researchers adding their knowledge or wisdom to the area of study, as I no longer have any vested personal or emotional attachment to the topic. I hope this answers your question. I wish you sincere luck and best wishes with your future research endeavours. Namaste

  • White Hair
    April 03, 2015 - 23:58

    This message is for Diamond Jim. First I would like to sincerely thank you for sharing such positive feedback. However, my humility and modesty prevents me from basking in self-glorification. As I am but a sentient earth-bound spirit being having a human experience, a mortal being born of flesh and blood, prone to making mistakes, I am not worthy of such laudatory accalades. I do not see myself as an ambassador of the Beothuk, a spokesperson or intermediary of the dead (ghosts from the past), or a specialist-professional in the area of study. Neither do I see myself as gifted, exceptional, a polymath-polyglot or genius, as some have typed me-I refute and deny all such typological classifications as over-simplistic. As a curious individual with a fiery passion to understand the truth, I seek only to know the answers to questions that are hidden from us-nothing more, nothing less. Neither have I sought nor will I ever seek any public recognition, acknowledgment or credit for any previously published journal article, blog commentary squib, or personal communication-correspondence on the topic. To date, I no longer have in my possession any research material including papers, manuscripts, theses, academic transcripts and certificates-degrees. Nor do I reference my undergraduate and graduate degrees on resumes or curriculum vitae, or cite scholarships-fellowships-awards, publications, volunteer work or conference presentations. The last thing that I want to be remembered for in this world is research conducted on the now extinct Beothuk. I never publicly pronounce my past research agenda or accomplishments for fear of ridicule, ostracism and alienation. My intentions were never to seek or garner public notoriety, repute or fame for such research. My intentions were and will always be only to seek answers to questions that up until this point were not raised in the public domain, to raise public awareness to stimulate further research study on the topic of Beo skeletal repatriation-reburial, aDNA testing of skeletal remains, fostering a positive, proactive academic dialogue on all topics relating to Beo ethnohistory-ethnography in the public domain, and, finally, continued archaeological surveying of the Piper’s Hole-Black River, PB watershed area, which up until that time was largely overlooked or ignored. I have always asserted, like Alphonse Barrington Jr., that Indian Scrape was the last stand for the splinter group of Beothuk survivors then hiding out at Red Indian Pond, Piper’s Hole, PB. I have likewise always maintained that John Barrington (Mc-Beo guide) was but one link in a long chain of unspoken stories from that group of survivors. I have always reiterated that as a double agent or spy if you will for want of better words, John Barrington was also victim of circumstance beyond his control being caught in the middle of what happened at Indian Scrape and being torn between the NL Mc community of Conne River and the extended Beo kin group from Red Indian Pond, Piper’s Hole, PB from which he traced his ancestry. I have always insisted that he was smokescreen for a deeper hidden truth, namely the protection of a small group of Beo survivors to whom he was bound to protect out of allegiance and fealty. Furthermore, due to ethnopolitics here in NL Piper’ Hole and the mixed Mc-Beo families emanating from there failed to receive the recognition they deserved. On the one hand you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don’t. You are damned if you stand forward and take a stand on the issue of proposing a Beo connection, despite the emerging mounting evidence otherwise, lest you be labelled and targeted as promoting a hidden research agenda against the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq, and in so doing regenerating toxic and negative karma. Conversely, if you fail to stand forward and speak against the injustices of what happened at Piper’s Hole you are accused of complicity, apathy-indifference or cowardice for not defending the truth. So either way, you just can’t win here. The way that I see it now, it was a dirty and painful job but someone had to do it. My conscience guided as it is by principles of integrity, morality, ethics and justice prevented me from taking the silent approach. But standing forward also exposes one as a potential target for an affront-so you just can’t win either way. To summarize, my intentions were always altruistic and philanthropic, and never destructive or toxic so as to “grind an axe” or “promote a hidden agenda”. In defence of myself, contrary to what some critics may think, feel, or believe, my research interests extend beyond Newfoundland Mi’kmaw-Pi’tawkewaw ethnohistory-ethnography-ethnolinguistics (anthropological linguistics), including many topics: astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, general relativity, mathematical physics, mechanical engineering, quantum gravity, quantum mechanics,…..-to name but a few. My personal research interests lie outside the domain proper of Newfoundland ethnohistory and are wide-ranging and complex. Neither I am obsessed nor consumed by the topic. The anthropological and archaeological fieldwork of Ktaqmkukewaw Mi’kmaw-Pi’tawkewaw ethnohistory and ethnography has been finalized through the published research findings of Speck 1922, so nothing more can be said on the topic of postulated Beo-Mc intermarriage and/or cultural contact. Likewise, the primary research and fieldwork on the history and ethnography of the Beothuk has already been finalized, through the seminal fieldwork of Dr. Ingeborg Marshall, as published in her tome A History & Ethnography of the Beothuk. Apart from future archaeological fieldwork and published studies of such findings excavated thereof, as well as perhaps (ancient) aDNA or archaeogenetic testing of skeletal remains unearthed at such sites, there will be very few scholarly additions to add to the hitherto existing research paradigm of Beothuk origins, the fate of Beo survivors and/or Beo-Mc interactions. For example, while future DNA studies of the 20 Beo skeletal remains will be published in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, the scope of this specialized and focused research project, combined with the limited volume of information (30-40 pp.), will not warrant the publication of a new book or manuscript on the topic of Beo aDNA or archaeogenetics. Furthermore, I doubt that future DNA studies will ever warrant another textbook or manuscript on the topic of Beo Ethnohistory-Ethnography, as limited content and volume will not justify such printing- maybe perhaps as an addendum or annex to pre-existing printed editions. With regard to the history and ethnography of the Piper’s Hole Indians, the same argument applies, as there just is not information out there to warrant such a publication, perhaps only enough for a 40-50 pp. journal article or manuscript. The primary research in this are has already been conducted through NL Gen Web (Placentia Bay District), FHSNL (Family History Society of Newfoundland) and Newfoundland Grand Banks (Message Boards)-nothing more needs to be said. As for a future publication of a critique of the historical narrative The Indian Scrape to be published in Newfoundland Quarterly, such a manuscript or paper would take up no more than 20-30 pp.. I would be willing to collaborate on such a research paper with a fellow academic or researcher, but I don’t know of anyone interested in the area of study. Likewise, it would have been nice to work with Dr. Hewson on a revised, reconstituted or redacted historical phonology of Beothuk but general interest in academia seems to be lacking at present due primarily to past academic peer-review critiquing, a paucity of published research literature, a small corpus of recorded vocabulary and a lack of research funding to support such research projects. Essentially, the primary research has already been conducted with very little to say on the matter-nothing more needs to be said. Regarding emerging Beo ethnogenesis or a revitalization of interest among NL Mi’kmaq in proudly professing distant Beo ancestry, the emerging mtDNA evidence (as your DNA test results confirm) at least suggests that this movement is already under way and growing in strength and momentum over time. The preliminary published mtDNA test results at least and unpublished autosomal DNA test results, to emerge through future publications and DNA participant testimonies, suggests that there is sufficient evidence, however small the bio-geographic ethnic origin autosomal DNA counts at hand, to warrant classifying or categorizing the descendants of contemporary NL Mc as mixed Mc-Beo, as per the observations of Speck (1922), who alluded to such shared ancestry based solely at that time on material culture traits. While there is insufficient evidence to warrant classifying NL Mi’kmaw language (Ktaqmkukewi’simk) as a mixed Beo-Mc language, as for example in Oji-Cree (a mix of Ojibway and Cree), there is absolutely nothing stopping future generations who have DNA proof or evidence of Beo ancestry in hand from initiating a Beo language revitalization programme-whether such a revitalized language will be a reconstructed language based on extant Beo historical phonology, a Proto-Algonquian lexicon-grammar with Beo lexical borrowings as archaisms or fossilizations, or NL Mc with Beo borrowings incorporated into the lexicon-grammar remains to be proven. For example, lexical terms such as Mc p@tewey “tea” and the corresponding Beo lexical item butterwey “tea” seem to point to a shared borrowing, from one language to the other, perhaps predating to the period of intertribal Beo-Mc occupation at Meski’k Tuitn “Big Gut”, which Mc-Mont elders allude to (Speck 1922). The question remains: did the evolutionary path of borrowing come first from Mi’kmaq and then into Beo, or vice versa? Based on the evidence at hand the former seems to be the most parsimonious path of transmission. As but one example, this lexical term suggests borrowing resulting from sustained contact and by implication intermarriage between both groups-which is what DNA testing is now proving. Either way, the outcome of such a revitalization programme will ultimately depend on if, how and/or when future descendants who have a proven legitimate connection to the Beo tested samples wish to proceed with the procedural protocols of such a research project, and in so doing defining the exact parameters, terms and conditions under which this programme of study will evolve. It is quite possible that although Beo will never be spoken and written as a first language again here in Ktaqmk (Keta’m(i)shi’t), there is nothing from stopping future descendants from initiating a university reading group or hobby focus group. Regarding the question as to whether the Beo culture and ethnic group is extinct, the evidence is self-explanatory and need not be explicated in any further detail herein-to do so will only add repetition and redundancy to what has already been previously stated. Outside of the internal politics and hierarchized bureaucracy of academia-proper there exists a world of simplicity and beauty that I have come to reconnect to and appreciate more. I appreciate the entrapments of talking to elders and hearing the old stories of days gone by and reliving the past through the land (hunting, fishing, guiding), more than the closed inner-circles or environment of academic elites, governed as they are by nepotism, fratranizing, time schedule deadlines. As for my work on the topic it is essentially done, I can now say no more. Looking back I regret going down this path of research focus, realizing now that it would have been more fortuitous and rewarding to project my energies and passions to a more positive research agenda such as completing BEng-MEng degrees. I am hereby closing this chapter in my life and moving forward to turn over a new leaf. In looking back I am reminded of two sayings, the first by my father, “he who listens learns, he who speaks only repeats what he already knows” and the second by my uncle, “the bigger the net the more holes to mend”. In other words, talk is cheap, silence is golden for the former, and the more you say or write the more you have to go back and patch up the holes or mistakes, that can you used against you, for the latter. I realize that any discussion here in NL on the now extinct Beo is potentially dangerous and threatening for anyone self-identifying as part-Beo, especially for those who do not have protection as a registered band member under a legally recognized band council, despite the fact that we live in a modernized, technocratic information age, where altruism and philanthropy are promoted. I also realize that research foci on any matter pertaining to this now extinct group are potentially dictate to career and friendship sabotage. I take full responsibility and accountability for all past blog commentaries submitted, previously published articles and neither have time nor energy to commit to self-defence of any counter-argument otherwise. I wish nothing but the best for the BI, MUN Genetics-McMaster Ancient DNA Centre, NL-Lab Aboriginal Groups, including Ktaqmkukewaq & Miawpukek Mi’kmaq. I extend my sincere blessings and wishes for their language revitalization-maintenance programmes, land claims, health-welfare-education-social programmes to ensure long term viability and prosperity of their enrolled memberships and communities, so that they may continue to thrive and prosper. I harbour no hard feelings or resentment either way to any such group. The same argument can be extended to the living descendants of the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq including the Mitchell family who are not responsible for the actions of John Mitchel 180 years at Indian Scrape, Piper’s Hole, PB or the events that transpired thereafter including loss of culture, language and identity among the Red Indian survivors, and vice versa. The past is the past, and there is nothing we can do to go back and change it. It is what it is period. It’s just a waste of time and energy to even talk about it for it doesn’t change anything. I hereby surrender this research, and wash my hands of any future involvement, walking away and turning my back from it, as I have absolutely nothing more to say on the topic. These are my final words for this and other blog commentaries. Namaste.

  • White Hair
    March 12, 2015 - 18:03

    As a final comment on the previously posted blogs I feel compelled to end the monologue (since few commentators have submitted feedback) with a brief discussion of the following topics, as listed in descending order: 1.) John Barrington; 2.) Red Indian Pond archaeology; 3.) Beothuk language revitalization; 4.) incipient Beothuk ethno-politics and ethno-genesis; 5.) Beothuk Institute; 6.) Beo skeletal repatriation and legislation for future repatriation; and 7.) Beothuk Commemoration. 1.) John Barrington: While a connection with the Bonavista Bay Barrington family line is quite tenable and probable the absence of a baptismal entry for a John Barrington Jr. baptized 1832-5 (7 years of age at the time of being found as an abandoned or orphaned child) in the KCRC-HGRC parish registers is problematic. It is also doubtful that such an event would have gone unnoticed or undetected in a small English community, such as King’s Cove, or Charleston, BB, where 2-3 children of Native American ancestry, found in the woods clothed as they were in traditional ochred skin clothing, then it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to keep such a secret quiet for long. It is also doubtful that such a distinguished and educated public servant (surveyor) as John Barrington Sr. of Bonavista Bay, presumed adoptive father of John Barrington Sr. (Mi`kmaq or Beothuk) of Piper’s Hole, PB, who was aware of the extinction of the Beothuk [Red Indians], and the exotic nature of their culture, language and physiognomy, would not have forwarded the incident over to the designated colonial authorities and researchers for further investigation. Concerning the oral tradition account of how John Barrington acquired or rather adopted the name of the employer who worked with him surveying the telegraph line in 1851 (Seary 1998), as either an engineering surveyor or surveyor helper, there are no employees by such said name, namely John Barrington as either a surveyor or Indian guide, as referenced in the Gisbourne Expedition List of Employees. The employee lists for this survey and following expedition, as published in the JHA reports, are published and complete-but none reference a John Barrington of said name, so the argument is vacuous and somewhat fallacious. Furthermore, if we take the birth of John Barrington counting backwards 103 years from the DOD of 1928, gives an approximate DOB of 1825, plus minus 1.0 years for errors giving app. 1824-6 as an estimated DOB. Taking the published oral tradition accounts (as published through Exploits Native Band Council (1992). Wjipnukewaq-People of the Light. Exploits Native Band Council, Corona Training Institute) at face value where John Barrington was around 7 years of age when found as a foundling or orphaned child gives an approximate date for the adoption event at 1832. Essentially, it is not logical that John Barrington was both born and raised in Conne River, FB as a child and found 7 years later as a foundling by an English surveyor in a non-Native community. The NL Mc community had an extensive kin network at that time that allowed for the adoption of orphans within the community following the premature death of parents from that community. Both arguments are mutually exclusive, where neither event predicates nor substantiates the other. The most plausible scenario is that the personal given and family name John Barrington as we know it in the published archival records and church records, and which exists today among direct patrilineal descendants, did not exist prior to 1864-6. Under this theory John Barrington Sr. as we know him was going under another family name or alias, either Anglo-Irish or Newfoundland Mi’kmaq, perhaps John (Baptiste) or Bernard (Pekitualuet), both Ktaqmkukewaw families with which he was closely associated with. For instance, the historic records seem to suggest a close paternal uncle-nephew relationship with Saqamaw Jospeh Bernard (Pekitualuet) and John Barrington, whether that relationship was a biological or adoptive one, or both, cannot be determined given the limited records. However the relationship between the Bernard and John families to John Barrington is most convincing and corroborative. It is indeed odd that there is no reference to a John Barrington in the existing publishing parish registers KCRC, HGRC, Trinity-Bonavista RC, Burin RC. While the Burin RC parish records start at 1831, references to Mi’kmaq appearing in the Burin RC records start only in 1836-1843, with common NL Mc family names, such as Paul, Bernard, Brazil, John, Michael/Michel, Basque, Joe, Heley, Sylvester, Lewis, Bumbo, Antoine/Toney, Lewis, Francis,…being attested therein. As a counterargument to this proposal, critics or sceptics can counterclaim that John Barrington was born and/or baptized in the Bay St. George’s area, where the parish registers prior to 1850 have not survived. Likewise, researchers may reiterate that John Barrington could have been baptized by a coastal ship lay preacher endowed with the rights to conditionally baptize, where the baptismal record was not submitted for record keeping or was lost. Given the available ethno-historic archival, genealogical and family history information at hand, it is possible to reconstruct a conjectural family history for John Barrington, albeit with the researcher being cognizant of obvious gaps in the preserved historical records: 1.) incident at Shoprock, Indian Scrape, where the mother of John Barrington was taken back as a captive, ca. 1819-1824 (lower limit: 1809-upper limit: 1824). Note that the appearance of a Mi’kmaw family at Trinity in 1822 may be related to this event, where the elder mother of the two women may be the wife of Peter Brazil, buried at Trinity, TB in 1821, listed as “noted Indian with no fixed place of abode”. It may not be a coincidence that Peter Brazil shows up in Trinity ca. 1821 or earlier, and a small group of women with children show up in 1822. The two women noted in the Trinity, TB area, may be the sisters of John Barrington’s mother taken back to Conne River by Jean Michel (John Mitchell) Agathe, after the incident at Shoprock (Huskie Outlook), Indian (Dirty) Scrape, Piper’s Hole, PB. I suspect that the 3 incidents are indeed directly related to the events transpiring at Piper`s Hole, PB (1819-24). Furthermore, it may not be a coincidence that the George (b. 1796, Trinity, TB) and John (b. 1798, Trinity, TB) Pick (Peck) of Geo. Peck and Mary Anderson, show up in the Trinity area 1823-4 having children baptized at St. Paul`s TA church, Trinity, TB, app. 1 year after the recorded encounter of 2 Mi’kmaw women there, shortly leaving the area, migrating southwards into the Upper TB South area, notably New Harbour mission and later Tickle Harbour, TB, before migrating back to Piper’s Hole, PB. Note also the connection of the Mc Brazil family from Trinity with the Mc Brazil family from Indian Cove (Pike Place), Piper’s Hole, PB, with known connections to the John, Bernard, Barrington, and Michel patrilines. The Peter Brazil noted in the TA church records may also be the brother or uncle of the Mc chief Brazil that E. Wix (1835) refers to: “…..My Irish pilot, whom I shall so call, to distinguish him from Maurice Louis, my Indian guide, informed me that, while he was four years with Brazil, an Indian chief……”, It may not be a coincidence that the Pecks, or Picks disappear from the Trinity area ca. 1824-5, presumably migrating southwards to the New Harbour-Tickle Harbour, TB-Piper’s Hole, PB areas at this time. If this is the case, while the two women encountered in Trinity called themselves Mi’kmaq, they may have been in fact Mi’kmaq-Pi’tawkewaq or mixed Pi’tawkewaq (French Indian). The questions remain: why did marriage certificates not survive in the TA records for John & Dorathy Pick (Peck) and George and Susan Pick (Peck) m. ca. 1819-23 (both family names later attested as Pike, but variants of Pick namely Peak and Peek, surviving as late as 1849 in numerous census records and directories? 2.) why were the last names of each bride not attested in the existing records? and 3.) why have no records been found in the neighbouring Hants Harbour Vital Statistics? Personally, I don’t think that it is a coincidence that Mary Harriett Pike, wife of John Martin Sr. a Mi’kmaq of Le Cornu, FB-Piper’s Hole, PB, lived next to John Barrington at Indian Cove, PHR, PB. I also doubt that the close physical relationship mirrors a direct biological relationship between John Barrington and John Martin Sr.. Furthermore, as a trapper-hunter being away from home for extended periods of time, he would have felt safe knowing that his close biological kin, namely a first cousin on his mother’s side (that is, his mother’s sister’s daughter), with whom he had a close trusting friendship, was located nearby to watch over his home and family while he was away. While the place name Pike Place is not recorded on topographic maps for the local Piper’s Hole watershed area, it has been preserved through local community oral traditions, namely while Mark Vaters of Swift Current, PB was hunting with Thos. (Thomas Francis) Barrington, he pointed out Pike Place, Indian Cove, PHR, PB and said: “you see that place over there [pointing to Brown’s Island, Indian Cove], that’s called Pike Place. That’s where all the Pikes lived” (personal communication, Lester Eddy, Swift Current, PB 2003-4, citing correspondence with Mark Vaters). The place name Pike Place was definitely named after the family that it referenced implying that a large group of people of said name once resided there and for which the village is named in honour. The pronunciation Pike seems to coincide with the name change ca. 1824 from Pick (or Peck) to Pike, so reference to an immigration of Pikes from Trinity, TB ca. 1823-4 may not be coincidental. Rights to ownership and usufructury rights would have been inherited on the maternal or mother’s side, namely the mother of Mary Harriett and John Richard Pike, who married Geo. Peck (Pick) Sr. of Trinity, TB (formerly of Xchurch, Hants County, England) following the death of his first wife Mary Pick (nee Anderson) in 1826. Inheritance of title to land would have invariably come from the Newfoundland Mi`kmaw community there, or a Beo survivor adopted into that local Mc community. 2.) assuming that the mother of John Barrington was indeed a Beothuk, as the reconstructed circumstantial evidence suggests, being a part of the group then hiding out at Red Indian Pond, Piper`s Hole watershed area, then this hypothesis raises the fundamental, although controversial question: was the mother of John Barrington having an affair with Saqamaw Jean Michel Agathe (John Mitchell), or was she given away by elders of the Beo kin group as part of a diplomatic exchange between the headmen (chiefs) of the Red Indian Pond Beo kin group and Saqamaw Jean Michel (John Mitchell) to form a treaty of peace or alliance of friendship, so as to ensure that terms and conditions of non-violence were not violated and hunting territory boundaries and usufructury rights were honoured and respected among members of both groups! One way to test the veracity of this hypothesis is to conduct a YDNA STR-SNP test on the reported direct lineal descendants of both the Mitchell (Michel-Agathe) and the Barrington patrilines to determine if there is any degree of interrelatedness, if any. If the living male descendants of the Barrington patriline show a YDNA SNP haplogroup-STR haplotype consistent with the Mitchell one, then shared common descent is a given. If not, the paternal lineage may point to a Beo male, as the male headman-warrior killed at Shoprock (1819-24), presumably in self-defence by Jean Michel, according to the details of the oral tradition narrative, at least. As such was the paternity or fatherhood of John Barrington in question, among members of both groups, particularly with Jean Michel? Given this scenario, it is indeed quite possible that John Barrington was born at Conne (Le Cornu) River (Miawpukek) in 1825 as the 1928 NL Civil Registration Vital Stats Return of Deaths confirms, perhaps being raised initially by the extended kin group of the Michel patriline, and later by a member of either one of the Brazil, Bernard and John patrilines respectively. 3.) while growing up in Conne River from 1825-41, John Barrington assumes a different surname probably Michel, Bernard, John (Baptiste), or Brazil-all with known connections to each other through the Indian village of Nukamkia’ji’jk, Indian Cove, Piper`s Hole, PB.; 4.) from 1841-1851 John Barrington maintains strong formal ties with his adoptive kinsmen throughout the domain of Mi`kma’kik and, in particular, Ktaqmkuk, consolidating relationships with local kin groups or bands at Bay St. George’s, through the Bernard kin group there, and Conne River, FB-Piper`s Hole, PB through the John, Brazil and Mitchell familes there; 5.) sometime between 1851-9, from the initial Gisbourne Survey Expedition (1851) to the completion of the trans-NL laying of the submarine telegraph cable in 1859, the noted Mi’kmaw-Pi’tawkewaw guide John Barrington adopts the name of his employer, or perhaps secondarily from a surveyor or surveyor helper employed under him; 6.) 1863-1875 John Barrington as we know him bearing that name is employed in the role of a licensed or registered guide rendering services to the Smith McKay Orange Lane Northern Mail Route Survey (1863), Halls Bay NL geological survey as a licensed guide in Alexander Murray`s surveying party (1864) (being referred to as “one of …Murray`s Indians”, implying that he done work for him on previous surveys), J.P. Howley`s NL Geological Survey of the Piper`s Hole-Black River watershed areas (1868), Isthmus of Avalon and Bonavista Bay watershed areas (1869), and NL Railroad Survey (1875). With regard to the 1875 NL railroad survey researchers to date have failed to question certain aspects of the survey, notably why did a spirit of discontent erupt in Lynch’s Party C, then surveying the Clode Sound-Black River-Piper`s Hole watershed areas & Isthmus of Avalon or Avalon Peninsula, under the guidance of NL Mc guides Ned (Edward) Poulette (Poulitte), John Barrington and Egbert Warren. Why did one of the guides warn “of the unknown dangers in that part of the country”. According to the published reports, the desertion event occurred somewhere in the Black River Mountains near Black River Pond, being the only desertion event recorded for the entire railroad survey. It is known from the later reports that Ned Poullette was indeed the noted Mc guide who deserted from Company C, leaving John Barrington as the trusted guide to complete the survey mission. What unknown dangers was either Ned Poulette or John Barrington talking about exactly? The Piper’s Hole watershed area was well known to Newfoundland Mi`kmaq guides, and the rugged nature of the landscape would not have posed a dangerous threat or obstacle to completing the survey at hand, particularly for experienced and seasoned Mc guides who were accustomed to packing heavy loads in all types of terrain. Coincidentally, (John) Richard Pike listed as a labourer while serving under Company C, also deserted along with numerous other co-workers. No one ever asked the question to date: did John Barrington along with Richard Pike incite a paranoia of suspicion or doubt in the group to foment dissension among the ranks of co-workers so as to deflect the labourers and guides away from the Black River Mountains, and neighbouring Red Indian Pond, draining into the SW Brook-Clode Sound watershed areas, because they were getting too close to an occupied Beo campsite where some of the elders from the group were then hiding out? It is known that there were several other Beo survivors from the Piper’s Hole splinter group then hiding out in the area as reiterated by John Barrington himself: “Joe fled towards Piper`s Hole, for the Beothuk were still in that part of the country though very few in numbers”. It is quite plausible that some elderly survivors from this splinter group were indeed alive as of 1875, perhaps some of the maternal-paternal aunts and uncles of John Barrington Sr., who would have been born at the turn of the 19th century (ca. 1800), being 75-100 at the time of the event. No one ever asked the question: was the desertion event nothing more than a smokescreen to act as a distraction or diversion to steer the company employees away from a Beo enclave or sanctuary holding out some of the last survivors from the group? The details surrounding this exceptional event have not been elucidated to date by other researchers who may have laughed it off as borderline fringe paranoia, pending lack of concrete evidence of course, but the unusual nature of the circumstances warrant further questioning. As an extension of this event, it is quite probable that John Barrington was indeed acting as a spy or double agent, if you will, for want of a better word, relaying information back to the Beo splinter group of Red Indian Pond, about the exact whereabouts of NL Mc hunters-trappers bordering on the hunting domain of the Beo splinter group, then hiding out in the local area. In defence of my paternal great-great-grandfather John Richard Pike, the argument that company employees complained of the incessant hardships of the work does not hold for Richard Pike, of Tickle Harbour, TB-Piper`s Hole, PB, as he lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle of fishing-hunting-trapping. It is known that he walked across the sea ice from New Harbour to Collier’s Bay Cove (Thornlea), TB, a distance of app. 20 kms, as a young man to settle at Dickie Pike`s Hill, near Middle Pond-McCarthy`s Pond, Thornlea. The place name John Pike’s Mash, near Pike Pond, located in the Black River Mountains, where the Pikes and Martins set their eel pots out in the mash, is named after him. The Pike family from Tickle Harbour was also known and respected for their hard work ethic, an obsessive compulsive desire to be working all the time, scorn for sloth and laziness, and respect for hard physical labour, summarized by their old saying “if you’re not working hard, you’re not working”. So the argument about an unwillingness to work in this case doesn’t hold as a legitimate or valid motivation for desertion. The same can be said for Anne Pike, believed to be a niece or cousin to John Richard Pike, for whom the place name Anne Pike’s Hill, located near Collier’s Arm Turn at the bottom of Washing Board Hill, The Broad, is named. It is known that she lived there as a widow in a tilt app. 2-3 miles away from the local settlement of Tickle Harbour (The Ridge). The area was known to offer birch, a fresh water brook flowing from the neighbouring hills, sea trout and an ample supply of salt water eels and smelt located in Collier’s Arm. 7.) John Barrington moves from Conne River to Belle Chute, Black Duck Brook, PHR, PB ca. 1868-9 shortly after his marriage to Mary Hawco of CBN, later moving ESE across Rattling Brook, to Indian Cove (Pike Place), PHR, PB.. Over the course of his settlement and occupation at Indian Cove, John Barrington slowly severs formal ties with Conne River over the period 1875-1928. As a side note, while it is indeed tempting to posit a putative relationship between John Barrington Sr., noted Newfoundland Mi’kmaw-Pi’tawkewaw guide, and Mary Barrington, widow of Benjamin Basque, wife of John Sylliboy, mother of Kji-Saqmaw (Grand Chief) Gabriel Sylliboy, on the sole basis of shared similarity of family name and ethnicity (Mi’kmaq), irrefutable evidence is currently lacking to substantiate such a proposed connection. The similarities in family name may be nothing more than accidental convergence. A similar argument for deriving the family name Barrington from the place name Barrington, NS may also be conjectural or hypothetical. I personally think that the events at Red Indian Pond in the Piper`s Hole-SW Brook, Clode Sound, BB watershed areas, terminating in the events that transpired at Shoprock, Indian Scrape, PHR, PB are indeed directly related to the circumstances surrounding the birth of John Barrington Sr. of Indian Cove, PHR, PB-Le Cornu (Conne River), FB, and by extension the appearance of a small Indian family at Trinity in 1822. Future aDNA studies of Beo skeletal remains and archaeogenetic studies may indeed prove this connection. For example, the future discovery of the old RC burial ground between Black River and Garden Cove may provide more answers or clues. Any skeletal remains found there would have to be tested to determine their provenience, so more answers to the research questions may reveal themselves in the near future. I have always emphasized that some of the answers that the Barringtons seek as to the origin of their family name can indeed be found at Red Indian Pond. As a final note, to appease or pacify sceptics and critics, the circumstances surrounding the name giving of John Barrington may forever remain a mystery or secret. Without a time machine to observe and interpret the historical events as they transpired in real time, it may be next to impossible to reconstruct the events, human behaviours and interactions in that environment and epoch. The only thing certain is that there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the history and ethnography of the Piper’s Hole Indians, where the story of how John Barrington came to be is but another interesting dimension or thread interwoven in a complex matrix of many untold stories. Regarding the narration of the historical event Indian Scrape, which has been minimized to the status of a story, whether John Barrington heard the narrative from Joseph Bernard, Lewis John Sr., Peter John Sr., Joe Brazil, John Martin Sr. or even some of the elder Pikes from Pike Place, Indian Cove, such as the mother of John Richard Pike & Mary Harriett Martin (nee Pike), it is quite certain that the rift or chasm between John Barrington, the NL Mc community of Miawpukek and the NL Mc in general would have exponentially increased. The questions remain: what else did John Barrington know about the composition of the splinter group of survivors then hiding out at Red Indian Pond, for he obviously knew the estimated population size of the group and the whereabouts of other survivors? I would have to say that John Barrington was always torn, tormented, or tortured knowing what he knew about his ancestry and the conditions surrounding his name giving. He was torn between loyalty and fealty to the Newfoundland Mi’kmaw kin group from Conne River who helped to raise him and assisted him in securing employment as a licensed guide, and his biological kin group emanating from Piper’s Hole with whom he was compelled and obligated to protect. This realization in later life, once secure and free from NL Mc allegiance or indebtedness to them, forced him to stand forward and do the right thing by breaking his silence and telling the story about what happened at Indian Scrape. Up until the time of narrating the historical event I am sure that he felt muzzled, silenced or censured. I am quite sure that telling this story was a liberating and cathartic life event for him, an event that he took very seriously. It took some time for John Barrington to warm up to R.S. Dahl, perhaps resulting over a period of 4 summer visitations (1911-4) at Indian Cove, at which time he was under the watchful, observant and studious eye of Mr. Barrington. It took some time for Mr. Barrington to gain his trust and respect. I would have to say that the case of the Barrington family emanating from Piper`s Hole, PB presents one of the strongest cases for testing the theory of Beo ancestry, as there is little if any evidence for intermarriage with NL Mc after the birth (1825) and adoption event of 1832 for John Barrington. The emerging DNA test results for the Barrington families from Badger would make Alphonsus Barrington Jr. very happy and proud. Alphonse was very vocal and outspoken when it came to publicly professing his ancestry, regardless of what others may have thought, as when I visited him in Jan. 2005 at the HSC while he was receiving chemotherapy treatments at the Bliss Murphy Centre. When my aunt and I walked into the room to visit him unexpectedly he sat up in his bed with a smile on his face. He stated with a creaky voice “see nurse I told you one of my relatives was coming to see me. This is Dominic Pike he’s related to us going way back to Piper’s Hole”. As I approached him near his bed, the nurse was getting ready to take a blood sample to be sent to serology for testing. He told the nurse “now nurse you take that sample downstairs and get that tested, because I’m one of the last of the Beothuk”. The nurse laughed saying in disbelief, “go on Mr. Barrington you’re only pulling my leg”. Alphonse looked around the room as 3 other patients were laughing at him, while he was holding back the emotional pain. As the nurse was drawing a blood sample, he looked at me with a twinkle and tear in his eye and replied “no and that I’m not my love, my grandfather was John Barrington and he was Red Indian from Piper’s Hole”. Meanwhile, as other patients were still laughing at Alphonse, he sat up straight into the bed, stared me in the eye and said: “that’s all right Dominic be patient it will all come out in the wash. In the end we will have the last laugh”. Before we were leaving my aunt shyly and softly spoke, I’m part Indian too, Alphonse replied with compassion and a warm gentle smile: “and that you are my love, you’re one of us too ya know”. The last day that I saw Alphonse before I left town as he was walking down the corridor for his last chemo treatment, he put his hand on my shoulder and said “watch you’re back you remind me of …..n B……..n” We shook hands as we stood in front of each other looking into each other’s eyes. I could see him holding back tears as he turned away not able to look at me. As he walked away from me heading down the corridor, he said “I will see you on the other side of the river”, a reference to the afterlife and the old Indian Village across the river from Swift Current, PB. The chances of detecting NA or Beo ancestry among the Barrington families of Badger,, NDB and Black River-Garden Cove, PB are logically and expectedly higher given that there is one less generation in the reconstructed family tree between living descendants and the attested ancestor. Therefore one would naturally expect bio-geographic origin percentages to be higher among the living Barrington descendants than among Pikes, where the former should show 4 Gens while the latter should show 5-6 Gens. As for testing Gli3 frame shift mutation on chromosome 7, theorized to exist in some descendants of the Pike family emanating from Piper`s Hole, PB the probability of detecting this mutation is very low, app. 15 out of very 100 patients, so only a 15.00 per cent chance, which is very low. 2.) Red Indian Pond Archaeology: In addition to future archaeological surveys and follow-up digs in the Piper`s Hole-Black River watershed areas, as previously outlined in several former blog commentaries, a future dig at Red Indian Pond, namely in the SE corner of the pond, situated on the SW bottom side of the peninsula facing WNW will yield positive results for an early 19th century Beo campsite, occupied by Beo survivors migrating en route from Red Indian Lake, NDB to Piper`s Hole, PB. This provisional or temporary campsite was used as an ancient campsite by the Clode Sound, BB-Piper`s Hole, PB extended kin group. It is hoped that PAO will fund a near-future archaeological dig in the area, to curb or thwart the potential threat of site contamination from trespassers with any ill-intention of defiling or destroying evidence for ancient human occupation. This ancient occupation site was considered a sacred sanctuary by the Beo kin group then hiding out there, and was chosen specifically for protecting the group. Future archaeologists and researchers should reciprocate the same level of mutual respect, not only for this site, but the RC cemetery at Black River referenced above. Future archaeological surveys of the SW Brook, BB, Goose Pond, BB, and Black River Pond, PB watershed areas should also yield positive results. 3.) Beothuk Language Revitalization: As for previous blog suggestions by this commentator pointing to a future Beothuk language revitalization programme or pilot project, the reconstruction of a dead or extinct language such as Beothuk, would have to take one of only two evolutionary paths of research and development to realize the long-term objective at hand, namely: 1.) once the historical diachrony of the language has been worked out in more detail, extending on Dr. Hewson`s prior research regime, one has to rebuild the template of the language as a skeleton from the ground up using the existing published Beo vocabularies, reconstruct the nominal paradigms and verbal conjugations using the existing etyma, and fill in the gaps in the Beo lexicon and grammar by borrowing lexical items from neighbouring Mi`kmaq (Eastern Algonquian) & Innu-aimun (Central Algonquian) lexicons and grammars respectively; or 2.) rebuild the Beo language using the already reconstructed proto-language Proto-Algonquian as the template, where the nominal paradigms and verbal conjugations for this polysynthetic, non-configurational language have already been reconstructed with a high degree of accuracy in the peer-reviewed, published research literature. The first approach requires the researcher(s) to reconstruct the historical phonology using the historical-comparative method, a minimum 3-5 year graduate studies programme feat, with defence and publication of the research findings as a doctoral dissertation. Once the sound change rules of the historical phonology have been determined through the historical-comparative method, the researchers will be required to cross-reference the findings with the reconstructed PA (Proto-Algonquian) morpho-syntax as established in the reconstructed PA lexicon & grammar, to predict the expected Beo reflexes, for each etyma. This time-consuming and expensive approach entails going backwards working from the bottom up with limited existing lexical material, whereas the second approach entails the opposite. Either way one would need app. 4500 lexical items to reconstruct a lexicon, and morphophonology and morphosyntax from a phylogenetically related grammar, so one has to inevitably borrow from neighbouring Eastern & Central Algonquian languages, with whom Beo speech communities were known to had had historical contact in the past, to fill in the plethora of existing gaps. However, the limitations with the first approach are: i.) a very small corpus of lexical items (app. 300) with which to reconstruct a lexicon and grammar; and 2.) one has to seek approval from existing band councils to borrow en masse etyma from the donor languages. The second approach to revitalization, however, skirts the many ethno-political issues by using PA as a template and incorporating any Beo etyma known to exist, as per published vocabularies from informants, as either archaisms or fossilizations in the Beo lexicon, borrowing the Beo prosodic word archaisms as bare roots around which nominal declensions and verbal inflections can be built, according to the expected reconstructed sound changes and phonotactic rules of the language. This approach would approximate a language once spoke by the Algonquian speech community, prior to its divergence into representative daughter languages. This reconstructed language would postdate the Maritime Archaic tradition, and later Red Paint Complex (Moorehead Phase) but predate the Little Passage (Recent) Indian tradition, the latter the ancient ancestors of Newfoundland Red Indian (Beothuk), so it would effectively be like going back in time and looking at the Beothuk language before prolonged isolation in NL Beo Keta’mishi’t (Mc Ktaqmkuk) resulted in the evolution of the many observed unusual innovations and archaisms attested in the language. Either way the Beo language is an extinct language, whether or not some pure blood survivors did speak the language as late as 1890-1910, prior to their death. Irregardless of the reality of language death noted above, future descendants who can prove beyond a reasonable doubt direct ancestry to the now extinct Beo through DNA testing, may someday wish to reconstruct or revitalize this now lost, silent and dormant language, at which point there are only 2 known options for manifesting this vision, as outlined above. This is a research project beyond the capabilities of any one researcher, requiring the collaborative efforts of an interdisciplinary research team. Since I personally realize the intensity of committing to a 2-3 year research project, not alone a 7-10 year project, I know exactly what is involved, so in stating the old adage “its easier said than done”. For these reasons, I opt out of committing any time and energy to such a large-scale research project. I humbly defer the responsibilities to other interested independent and university-sponsored research teams, who are either more capable, or whose reputation has been less tarnished than mine. 4.) while it is indeed possible that more traces of Beo ancestry will be detected in several NL family lines though on-going DNA testing it is doubtful that such testing will reveal any bio-geographic origin percentages at or above 10.0%, thus failing to substantiate any future claims of descendants to attempt to apply for recognition under existing legislation. As such, while it may indeed be possible to resurrect or revitalize an extinct language like Beothuk, any concerted attempt to politicize this emerging ethnic identity or awareness into a bureaucratized ethno-political governing body, under the guise of what some bloggers call Beothuk Nation, may be ill-fortuitous and far-fetched concepts that will never manifest as a realization. Such emerging ethnogenesis raises serious problems and issues for some NL Mc families who have accepted NL Mc status. In my honest opinion, no one today should financially benefit from the rights and privileges of claiming Beothuk ancestry, or calling oneself Beothuk. I see no problems in maybe professing part-Beothuk ancestry or claiming having a small percentage of Beo DNA following DNA testing. But having a maximum upper-limit blood quantum or bio-geographic origins autosomal count of around 10.0% Beo DNA, which means having app.10 out of 100 ancestors who were Beothuk in the distant past, say 240 years, in my personal opinion does not qualify or entitle a person to call himself or herself Beo. The mathematics here does not lie, 10.0% or 1/10 is but a mere fraction of ones entire genome. Similarly, along the same tangent, the average WE has around 1-4% Neanderthal DNA, so does this mean that they have the right to call themselves Neanderthal. The answer is an obvious and definitive no, whence the Neanderthal have been extinct on records since 24,000 years ago, and while most people will admit that a very small percentage of our genome derives from this now-extinct hominid group, no one will ever say I am Neanderthal. The argument is self-explanatory and to defend ascribing oneself to Beo ancestry based solely on a blood quantum estimation in the 5.0-10 per cent range, is a moot and comical point that very few will acknowledge or recognize. As in previous blog postings I strongly encourage First Nations or NA activists with an attested connection to the Beo collection to take up this public relations petitioning for repatriation and reburial-nothing more needs to be said. The sooner that everyone admits that the Beo are indeed extinct as group of people, with only a small percentage of the population having distant uni-parental ancestry going back 5-6 Gens, the happier everyone will be. 5.) Beothuk Institute: Future subscribers and the general public should expect to see a DNA testing service offered through the Beothuk Institute in lieu of a DNA testing company, such as FTDNA and a university-affiliated molecular genetics laboratory, such McMaster University Ancient DNA Centre. This service would present the customer with the option of purchasing an on-line or mail-order DNA testing kit to determine the degree of reported Beo DNA. The results of the deep-clade autosomal SNP and genome wide surveying-mapping for each participant’s test results would then be compared to the aDNA test results for existing Beo specimens on file in the gene map library. One should expect this service in the general public domain shortly after the DNA test results are officially released for scholarly peer review in an academic journal for future publication. Either way the foundation for this emerging DNA pilot project that will become available to the general public in the near future, will already be formalized and officiated behind closed doors before the initial publication of the research paper summarizing the final test results. This raises several intriguing, although controversial ethical research questions: is it right for the Beothuk Institute (BI) to sell a DNA testing kit to the general public to determine any degree of shared ancestry among testees or participants? And 2.) is it right for the BI to profit from the proceeds of such sales, in the name of science and research & development? 6.) Regarding Beo skeletal repatriation, as there are no existing laws or legislation in place here in Canada to date, such as NAGPRA, dealing with the repatriation of NA skeletal remains, the governmental mechanisms for initiating such a movement are not yet in place here, or the inertia for sustaining such a concerted public action have not yet crystallized. Other researchers beyond the present researcher, such as Meghan Ryan (MHE) and Darryl Pullman (PhD), have voiced these concerns through their on-going graduate, post-graduate research and public outreach programmes: beothukposter.pdf). I seriously doubt that a Beothuk repatriation will materialize in the very near future, although future arbitration, scholarly debate, and funding to finish existing ancient DNA studies may expedite the process in the distant future. The BI has defended their position against repatriation and are fighting the issue to the end. As for the issue of repatriation, anyone who has an ounce of compassion and mindfulness will realize and concede that returning the bones or skeletal remains is the right and only thing to do-end of question. 7.) As a concerned public citizen and independent researcher I have long realized that the male side of the Beo story or legacy has been underplayed or underemphasized, partly due to the fact that female researchers have conducted research on this area, and in so doing sympathized with the plight and sacrifices of both Demasduit and Shanawdithit, 2 well known Beo female captives and informants on the language and culture of the group. However, no group can live in isolation exclusive of the other member of the opposite sex. The males acted as providers-protectors (traders, diplomats, and bearers of wisdom and traditions) and were an integral part of Beo society. To date, however, historic commemorations for both Tom June and John August, 2 well known Beo male captives, incorporated into out port Anglo-Irish society, have not been commissioned by the BI, nor has the BI expressed any future interest in undertaking such a programme of commemorations, despite public pleas of enquiry. So, why has their presence and voice been cloaked and silenced? I sincerely hope that the residual negative spiritual energy or karmic feedback loop that lingers in the area of PB and follows some of the descendants of the families in question, emanating from there, can be cast away, summarized by an old saying “only for bad luck there would be no luck”. In addition to the murders of the French deserter ca 1706-1711, the murder of the Beo shaman or medicine man at Red Indian Pond, PB ca 1819 by a small faction of his own kinsmen, who opted for assimilation and acculturation into Mi’kmaw society, the murder of the Beothuk headman-warrior (Lightning) in ca. 1819 at Indian Scrape, PHR, PB, the most recent murder of Duncan Barrington (son of John Barrington and Mary Hawco) in 1972-3 is but one example of how such a negative energy can be recycled over succeeding generations through karmic feedback and perhaps reincarnation-if one were to subscribe to the religious beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism, or even NA shamanism. We have to be compassionately mindful, respectful and cognizant of the fact, despite the technocratic age that we all currently live in, where science-mathematics, information and technology, trump religion-spirituality, that shamanism was alive and well among NL Mi’kmaq and Beothuk kin groups here in NL, and among neighbouring Eastern and Central Algonquian kin groups during this period (1819-28). The fact is that I personally know what led to the group leaving Red Indian Lake, NDB migrating to Red Indian Pond, PB, and the events that transpired thereafter culminating in the incident at Shoprock, Indian Scrape. However, this 2-page document is not available for public disclosure due to the controversial, graphic and sanguinary nature of the events that transpired there, which borders on the surreal fringe of fiction and fantasy. Yet the world that they lived in, their worldview, and ethos were very different than those that we have come to understand, so it is it very difficult for us today to truly comprehend what motivated their action and behaviour. The circumstances surrounding the impending collapse of their world, with an inevitable loss of language, culture and identity, are self-evident. The intensity of the emotional trauma that unfolded among the participants at Red Indian Pond and Indian Scrape that day in 1819 can only be conjectured, among people from outside the group. The same argument can be extended to the splinter group of pure blood Beo survivors with whom Peter John Sr. met at Long Harbour River, FB. In all probability this group would never bow down to admitting defeat by surrendering to local NL Mc kin groups. They opted to die alone in the interior together as a closed group, taking their secrets with them. One can only imagine the intensity of emotional energy that the last survivor of this splinter group expressed, as they went to a sacred place such as a river or mountain top, to pray with the Creator, knowing that s/he was the last of their group to survive, before they took their last breath. The same assumption can be extended for the family of John Barrington who stayed on near Piper’s Hole, shifting camp to the Black River Mountains, PB. To protect the proprietary nature of the privileged information, copies of this document have been entrusted to close family relatives, for safe keeping pending the right time for public release. To summarize, the DNA testing and archaeological fieldwork is now in the hands of experts and specialists in the respective fields. There is absolutely nothing left to say, but to wait and see the final research test results and analysis of the results thereof. As a final note, as I sit here writing this blog, I have come to realize how nauseating the whole topic is. As I mentioned before I personally don’t have a research paper or published book on the topic, nor do I intend to ever purchase one in the near future. My work now on the subject is complete. I have come to realize how much time and energy has been expended or according to others wasted on the topic. I have absolutely nothing more to give to or say on the topic. My research foci are now PIE (Proto-Indo-European)-Proto-Celtic historical phonology and YDNA R1b aDNA (archaeogenetics). Furthermore, to this I am actively seeking consultation from a consulting firm such as MAMKA, an investor or group of investors to start an inland or land-based eel fish farming business called Eel Brook Fisheries in the Upper TB South area, near Johnnie Martin’s Path & John Pike’s Path, McCarthy’s Mash, Eel Brook, Long Point, TH, TB. It was here that Johnnie Martin lived in a tilt or shack next to the homestead of old John Pike and Clara Power. It was here that the old Martin-Pike clan speared eels and set their eel pots in the salt-water estuary and marsh. It is said that when Poor Old Johnnie Martin left Tickle Harbour in 1961 the eels slowly died off. This future business, pending a preliminary feasibility study and environmental impact assessment, will hopefully stimulate the local economy of Tickle Harbour, providing much needed long-term employment for local residents. It is my intention to complete the business plan and once established to hand over management and administration to local business investors and shareholders as owner-operators, with the request that the company maintain the founding title name Eel Brook Fisheries. This business would honour and tribute the life and times of Old Johnnie Martin, Newfoundland Mi’kmaq respect for the eel, and a lifestyle of harvesting and trapping dependent on that species. In terms of recognition for this business, like the not-for-profit business Pike Place Eco-tourism Guiding & Research Consulting Inc,. I expect no formal written acknowledgment as either founder-owner-operator, other than preserving the founding names of the companies, and promoting the long-term objectives as outlined in the business plans, namely charitable donation (NCC, ASF,….) for the former, and profit for the latter to the local communities to stimulate economic growth and well-being. This would also be my way of not only giving back to the local community and economy, but also as a gesture of reconciliation to the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq, and the Barrington families who may have questioned my intentions or right to post in the public domain any queries on their family history and genealogy, or for any feelings of perceived wrong doing, misbehaviour, or ill-intention among NL Mc families and communities, that my previous research position may have inflicted in the past. To anyone offended I sincerely apologize. Thankfully, this will be my final comment on this blog, or other related blogs. Namaste

    • 'Diamond" Jim
      March 30, 2015 - 12:47

      "One can only imagine the intensity of emotional energy that the last survivor . . . expressed, as they went to a sacred place such as a river or mountain top, to pray with the Creator, knowing that s/he was the last of their group to survive, before they took their last breath." White Hair, these are (your) powerful evocative words contributed to the story of the Beothuk. I imagine that the creator heard these words and that part of the answer to this prayer was to "send us one" . . . a "speaker" for the dead. Sound reason, exactitude and clarity are your gifts. Please, do not silence your voice, remember who gave it to you and who you are speaking for . . . the ancient ones. The detailed information - family connections, research outcomes - you have contributed will be highly valued by those who have not yet been born . . . they will follow the trail through the woods to the clearing where Cormack took those skulls. The balance WILL be restored. We WILL hear the song of "returning" sung in our lifetimes . . . thanks to contributions like yours. NFLD mtDNA X2a2 FTDNA kit #367285

  • White Hair
    March 05, 2015 - 13:20

    The story of John Barrington reminds me of the story of how the Labrador Montagnais family by name of Poker came to be. Speck gives some particulars on the origin of the St. Augustin Baud (Pagwa’t’ci‘pu i’nzit‘, bastard, or fatherless boy, river people) 55 “This small band (about 15 families according to informants at Natashkwan) has settled in the most easterly part of the southern barrens of the peninsula. Cabot estimates them between 40 and 50, in 8 or 9 tents. It has not been specifically studied. Nevertheless we know its hunting range to lie between the straits of Belle Isle and Hamilton inlet in the drainage of St. Augustin, Eskimo and Paradise rivers and eastward. The rendezvous of the band is at St. Augustin part of the time and Northwest river post upon occasion. The precise character of its hunting system has not been definitely ascertained, but from statements of and inferences from Cabot5’ and Wallace,58 it would seem that its hunting is largely by companies rather than of the segregated family type. Cabot has had personal contact with its chief (William Ashini before 1917, Sylvestre Marks after 1920) and members, and Wallace met the same families in the Hamilton inlet region`` 55 “So named from a local legend concerning a foundling.” Speck then goes on to highlight the importance of furthering research on possibility of making a connection to this band and the now extinct Beothuk: “An important objective of research in connection with the band will be the determination of relationship with the former Beothuk of Newfoundland, for which assumption there is already at hand historical and ethnological evidence.69 (Incidentally specimens collected through occasional contact with its wandering members show a noteworthy prevalence of red coloration.) And again a certain assimilation of Eskimo blood may be suspected for reasons given in the first section of this paper.” “The basic cultural affinity of the Beothuk with the Algonkian is recognized by Jenne~s ,~th’i s evidence falling in line with a previously expressed opinion of my own from the point of view of culture and language.3R Jenness in the article cited inclines to an opinion that the Beothuk were formerly (prior to 1500) residents in the “Labrador peninsula in contact with Eskimo tribes now extinct or absorbed by later comers.” The same author refers to Beothuk remains found on the Labrador side of the straits of Belle Isle by Lloyd.39 I might add to this theory my observation that the characteristic use of red dye is to be noted for the present Naskapi of the same coast as far as Natasquan where about half of the articles collected show the fondness of these Indians for the use of red coloring (Speck 1931:572)” In citing correspondence with Cabot, Speck notes the opinion of Cabot as a footnote regarding the possibility that the Poker or Puckway family may be of Newfoundland [Beothuk, or Red Indian] origin: “59 Cabot (correspondence, 19.30) thinks that the Poker, or Puckway, family may be of Newfoundland origin Speck (1933: 587-8)”. Speck, F. G. 1931. Montagnais-Naskapi Bands and Early Eskimo Distribution in the Labrador Peninsula, American Anthropologist 33 (4): 557-600. Note that the family name Poker, sometimes transcribed in historical records as Poque, Poke, and Poker fr. Innu-aimun peyakw “one, alone, only”, pronounced in fast-speech pronunciation as [paikw], or [paykw], in reference to being found alone, or a foundling-more appropriate than the translation `bastard` as suggested by Speck. The adverbial particle or numeral peyakw also bears a slight resemblance to Mont-Nas pahkw “arrowhead”. A ¾ side profile photograph of Puck-way in Cabot’s book bears a striking resemblance in physiognomy or cranio-facial profile to the Beothuk doll excavated at Pilley’s Island, NDB. It may not be a mere coincidence that such similarities are shared between both groups, as such a profile may have been a part of a culture-specific intra-group gesture, posture or countenance, shared by both Newfoundland Red Indian (Beothuk) and Que. North Shore Innu (Montgnais) families, or Beo refugees from NL who sought asylum or refuge among related Lab-Que kin-groups, ca. 1823-8. Speck gives another example of a similar story of child abandonment, this time recorded from a Mistassini Cree community. ``Everywhere the Indians speak of the apcilnic “little people” (apcinic), Mistassini and Eastern Naskapi. The dwarfs here have attributes strikingly similar to those believed in over the whole continent. They are generally amicable to many frequently give to human being warning of danger, and are fond of playing innocent pranks. They abduct children and carry them to distant places, leaving them there to be found by those who either have no offspring, or have lost them to death.`` “Among the Mistassini there is now a poor foundling whose name is Meme’o. He was found in the forest, left by the dwarfs. No one knows when he was born and he himself does not know who he is …..” (Speck 1977:681) Speck, F. G. 1977. Naskapi: The Savage Hunters of the Labrador Peninsula. Volume 10 of the Civilization of the American Indian Series. University of Oklahoma Press. While cases of child abandonment are relatively rare, and were not exclusively specific to Newfoundland Beothuk or Labrador Innuat kin groups, an instance of Mi’kmaw abandonment has been documented: Petition of Josiah Doane for assistance in expense in keeping an orphaned Mi'kmaq boy at Barrington. “That during the Winter of 1851 an Indian Boy of Seven or Eight Years of Age came to the Residence of Your Petitioner in a ragged, filthy and suffering condition. …made every inquiry to ascertain who he was, or whence he came, but being unsuccessful…… Your petitioner has heard recently that his parents are dead and as it it is unlikely that anyone will claim the lad, and as a child of such an age is incapable of procuring a livelihood or taking care of himself……..” NSARM (Nova Scotia Archives Records Management), Mi’kmaq Holding Guide ( Date: 1854 Retrieval no.: Commissioner of Indian Affairs NSARM MG 15 vol. 5 no. 23 Note that the date of 1851, with an age of 7-8 for the abandoned child, giving a calculated DOB for 1843-4, excludes John Barrington (b. 1825, Conne River “Le Cornu”, FB, Ktaqkmkuk), as a potential candidate-although the circumstances surrounding the abandonment incident and the place name Barrington are strikingly coincidental. Community oral traditions or family histories as recorded in Conne River (Miawpukek), FB reiterate that starving Beo children searching for food were sometimes dropped off near the community by their parents and taken in by local families to be cared for (Wetzell 1996). Hence, examples of Beo child abandonment and subsequent adoption into local NL Mc families at Conne River (le Cornu), FB and elsewhere were not exceptional or unusual during the peak of Beo cultural collapse and diaspora. The case of John Barrington as a foundling or abandoned child, and the story of how the contemporary Barrington patriline adopted the known patronym, may not be the only case study in Newfoundland where a Beo (or Montagnais) foundling was adopted, as future aDNA testing and studies may prove or disprove.

  • Claude Barrington
    January 28, 2015 - 15:00

    I am the "Great Grandson "of "John Barrington" and have in "Swift Current" most of my life. I am aware of the old home homested in "Piper's Hole" near the sand pit. My father and I explored it many times and dug up clay pipes and dishes. Its been many years since I was there but you could still see the remains of the old rock chimley belonging to the house. Any one wanting my DNA is welcome to it!!!

    • White Hair
      February 18, 2015 - 17:47

      First I would like to say that it is both a privilege and an honour to have firsthand knowledge of this area shared by yourself a direct descendant of the Barrington patriline-your input on the matter is greatly respected and appreciated. Identifying and recording the location of John Barrington’s former residence at this specific location is very important for preserving and protecting this shared community knowledge for future generations, and ha implications and consequences for one day reconstructing a local Ktaqmkukewaw (NL Mi’kmaw)-Pi’tawkewaw (Beothuk) cultural heritage museum. I grew up hearing many stories from older family members about Piper’s Hole and Old John Barrington, many of these stories as related by Old Johnnie Martin (formerly of Indian Cove, Piper’s Hole River, PB) himself. For instance, “he [Johnnie Martin] always talked about an Old Indian [John Barrington] from Swift Current”. From the stories that I have heard as a child and young man I sensed nothing but respect from the Pike and Martin elders for the old Barrington patriline. When I met Howard and Bryan Barrington at the family residence of the former at Garden Cove in 2002, I sensed a mutual respect among the older Barringtons for Johnnie Martin at least, when they asked on several occasions “Poor Old Johnnie Martin, whatever happened to him I wonder”. As you may already know John Martin Sr., of Black River-Piper’s Hole, PB, presumably from Conne River [Le Cornu], FB, and his wife Mary Harriett Pike (Pick/Peck) (sister of John Richard Pike) lived at Brown’s Island (aka Pike Place or Johnnie Martin’s Land) in a family residence next to John Barrington Sr. and Mary Hawco (sometimes transcribed as Also)-so they were definitely very familiar with each other. Johnnie Martin later inherited this family homestead and residence from his parents after the death of his mother ca. 1903-05, and his father migrated back west. Some evidence for a Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw connection for the father of Johnnie Martin, not only comes from the tradition of “The Horn” (Le Cornu), but also community oral traditions preserved among Irish elders from Tickle Harbour which state that “Johnnie’s father came over from Nova Scotia on a boat to work on laying down the telegraph line-presumably a reference to dropping the submarine trans-Atlantic cable on supply vessels. The fact that Johnnie later worked on a supply vessel maintaining and repairing the submarine cable from Rantem, TB to Heart’s Content, TB, lends some indirect proof or credence to this obervation-a position, in addition to the one he inherited as an overland telegraph line repairer, through his father John Martin Sr. who worked earlier in the same capacity. It is known according to oral family history that “Johnnie [Martin] worked the [telegraph] line with Thos. [Thomas Francis Barrington] from Black River [, PB] to Rantem [, TB]”. It is also known that Johnnie would travel from Rantem, TB to Sandy Harbour River, Piper’s Hole watershed area maintaining the telegraph line by dog sled and snowshoe in the winter and by foot in the spring-spring-fall, living in bow whiffens, lean-tos and tar paper shacks. To date a photograph of Old Johnnie Martin has not survived to be published for open public disclosure, although living relatives consistently point out the photograph of John William Paul, F. G. Specks informant and guide, and probable brother of Santu Toney, as bearing a remarkable or striking resemblance in cranio-facial features. So the cranio-facial evidence combined with mounting ethno-historic, archaeological and preliminary DNA testing points to a connection or origin for the Piper’s Hole families, outside the Newfoundland-Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw core group-perhaps Labrador Mountaineer (or ervn Beothuk). This evidence, if proven through future, comparative, deep-clade autosomal DNA testing, however small and seemingly insignificant in terms of yielded bio-geographic origins (app. 3-5%), according to critics and sceptics, would seem to corroborate existing community oral traditions recorded from elders in the community of Swift Current, such as “the old people from here always said that the crowd across the river [that is, residing at Indian Cove, Piper’s Hole] were Red Indians [Beothuks]”, or “they were a different breed altogether [from the NL Mi’kmaq]”, “they were totally different than the Micmacs” . For whatever reasons, Johnnie Martin called himself a Frenchman, but according to people who remember him “he was more of a French Indian or Indian, than anything else”. A similar argument can be applied to older members of the Pike (formerly Pick/Peck) [also attested as Peek, Peecke, Peak, Pake, Pique,…], as if reflecting an ancient French Huguenot or Walloon ancestry, who openly identified with French ancestry. For instance, my paternal great-grandfather John or James Pike told people on numerous occasions while pointing to a plot of land at Fahey’s Garden “there’s three Frenchmen buried there, two of them are Pikes”-so essentially he came out and openly admitted French ancestry. One thing is certain the older Pikes identified as French, and perhaps French Indian secretly among themselves. Irregardless of the Indian connection, whether Mi’kmaq or Pi’tawkewaq, which seems to come from the mother of John Richard Pike and Mary Harriett Martin (nee Pike), sister of the former, it is not known at present if the professed French connection derives from the father of John Richard Pike, or the mother as part of a mixed French Indian ancestry, or both. This burial ground as mentioned above, in addition to another one lost through tidal erosion, formerly located on “The Ridge”, Bellevue Beach, was known according to community oral traditions in Tickle Harbour, TB, to be connected to the Old French-English Wars of the late seventeenth-early eighteenth centuries, notably Father Beaudoin’s War (1696-7, and 1704-6), which Johnnie [Martin] talked a lot about. The emerging YDNA SNP evidence R1b1ba2a2c1i [+L21, +CTS2501, +DF41,….] (ISOGG Haplogroup R1b 2015 Clades), for the extended Pike clan originating from Trinity, TB, (from Christchurch, Hampshire, Eng.) later migrating southwards to New Harbour-Tickle Harbour, TB and Piper’s Hole-Black River, PB points to a Brythonic-Goidelic origin for the Pike patriline, rather than an Anglo-Saxon (West Germanic) origin. According to the FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) R-DF41/R-CTS2501 Project this haplotype represents one with a frequency distribution common in the Western & Northern British Isles (Wales, Cornwall), Ireland, Isle of Man, Orkney, Scotland, with some matches extending to Brittany (Bretagne), France and Galicia, Spain-the latter a residue of the Celiberian and Celtic (Celitici, Gallaeci) tribal occupation before emigration of some clans to Ireland (Eire) under the leadership of Mil Espain, and assimilation of other local kin groups into an emerging ethno-genesis of later Spanish ethnic identity (as per scholarly research of Sir Barry Cunliffe). The evidence suggests that there is never a one-to-one mapping or correlation between family name and ethnic origins or genetics. For instance, emerging YDNA SNP evidence collected throughout SW England suggests that many male descendants of patrilines bearing traditional Anglo-Saxon or English surname, are in fact direct descendants of ancient native or indigenous Bryhtonic (Briton) Celtic tribes formerly inhabiting the local area, such as the Durotriges, formerly of Hengistbury, Hampshire, Eng., or the Dumnonii westwards, who were assimilated and acculturated ca. 300-400 AD, as an extension of their Armorican (Breton) brethren (Osismii, Lexovii, & Venelli), taking anglicized and latinizied or romanized family names, like Pike from: 1.) MF (Middle French) pique “pike, the weapon” < piquer “to prick, pierce” < LL piccare, or pi:cus “woodpecker”; 2.) ON (Old Norse) pik “tall, lanky, mountain peak”; or 3.) OE (Old English) peac. The emerging YDNA SNP test results are in alignment with the many published oral tradition accounts of the Legend of Piper’s Hole, which variously gives the 2 deserters as French, Irish-English, Scottish, or even Jacobite Scots. Regarding the gaps in the parish records the death record for Upper Placentia Bay, notably the Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed areas, the evidence collected to date is replete with a plethora of gaps. For instance, none of the baptismal records for the children of John Barrington and Mary Hawco, namely Mary, Thomas, James, Alphonsus, or Duncan have survived. In addition, none of the children of John Martin Jr. and Ellen Hollett have survived in the records of the Family History Records of Placentia Bay, currently housed at the RC Basilica Archives collection, as recorded by Fathers W.P. Doutney for the Upper PB missions, although the collection is complete for other families from Upper PB including Bar Haven, Barren Island, Woody Island and parts of Sound Island. Likewise, the death record of Mary Harriett Pike has not been found in either the NL Civil Registration Vital Statistics Return of Deaths, or the existing public access parish records (HGRC, Whitbourne,…), or private parish registers held by the church, such as St. Alphonsus RC church in Whitbourne, where they should be expected. It is my intuition and gut feeling that Mary Harriett Pike is buried, along with her 4 children, and possibly her mother (name unknown to date, of French-Indian descent from the Piper’s Hole watershed area), in the unmarked RC cemetery near Black River-Garden Cove, located on a hillside next to right hand side of the road exiting the community of Garden Cove en route NNW to Black River. The same argument can be extended for the 6-7 sons of John Martin Jr. and Ellen Hollett, all of whom are known to have died at a young age due to chronic communicable or contagious cardio-pulmonary illness (TB). It is quite possible that other members of the Barrington and Martin families who resided at Indian Cove, Piper’s Hole River are buried there, along with other members of the John (Baptiste), Bernard (Pekitualuet) and Brazil families who once resided in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, notably the old Indian (intertribal Mi’kmaw-Pi’tawkewawa) village of Indian Cove, Brown’s Island, are also buried there, making the burial ground located near Black River-Garden Cove, an ancient French-French Indian (Mi’kmaq or Pi’tawkewaq) one. Other known places of internment for members of the Barrington-Martin-Pike family include: 1.) the RC cemetery located at Brinston’s Point, Muddy Hole, Bollard’s Town, south side of Sound Island, where John Barrington Sr. is interred in an unmarked grave; 2.) a small burial plot where the fiancé or girlfriend of Duncan Barrington is buried, under an apple wood tree, located in the old family homestead of George Crocker, who married Molly (Polly) Barrington (d/o John Barrington Sr. and Mary Hawco); and 3.) the RC cemetery of Southern Harbour, PB where Duncan Barrington is interred in an unmarked grave. For whatever reasons, the parish records have not survived, complicating further the complete reconstruction of comparative reconstructed genealogy and family history for the known area. Concerning your willingness to donate a sample for study and analysis, I am sure that you are already aware that the direct lineal descendants of Alphonsus Barrington Sr. of Badger, Exploits River, NDB, have already been tested, presumably through a deep-clade autosomal SNP DNA test, the details of the which have been summarized in a blog commentary by a direct Barrington descendant from Badger, noted below as follows: “The cool thing about that map, is it has the tribe that my family is currently being tested for to find out if we may be the last remaining known family of them. The Beothuk of Newfoundland. My great grandfather and his brothers and sisters were found in the woods by a Englishman, no one really knows where they came from. A handful of my cousins recently underwent DNA testing and we have an unknown marker in our DNA. They are currently looking for any known Beothuk DNA samples to test it against to see if it is similar. But we know we don't fall under the same DNA as Miq Mak's”(posted 6/28/2014 @ 5:47 PM by blog member Molsonmuscle360, in response to blog member fangclan) (…….I've tried to find as much out about my great grandfather and his brothers and sisters, but there really isn't alot of available information out there, especially since all of their children are also dead. They were very young when they were brought in by John Barrington, the oldest I believe was 7 at the time, the youngest was only a few months old. The most I can really find out is that most of them were hunting guides,…..” Several notes of observation regarding the authorship of the blogger as a primary source of information are worthy of further comment. The details of the commentary suggest at first hand that the descendant as noted under the blogger name originates from the Badger, Exploit’s River, NDB, and is the grandson of Alphonsus Barrington Sr. (s/o John Barrington Sr. & Mary Hawco), b. ca. 1900 Swift Current (Piper’s Hole), PB, presumably either at Brown’s Island, Indian Cove, PHR, PB, or across the river at Swift Current. I also assume that this blogger is the nephew of Alphonsus Barrington Jr., the latter whom I have met on several occasions, and who has divulged much information on the history of his family originating from the Piper’s Hole watershed area. Alphonse Barrington Jr. s/o Alphonsus Barrington Sr. was insistent on reiterating that the modern day community of Swift Current-Black River, which some written published sources signify as Piper’s Hole, was distinct from the area of Brown’s Island (aka Pike Place or Johnnie Martin’s Land), Indian Cove and outlying adjacent areas, such as Belle Chute, Rattling Brook, Black Duck Brook. “The crowd across the river” on the western bank of Piper’s Hole River, as they were euphemistically or periphrastically referred, being French and French Indian and Roman Catholic in faith, were very distinct from the settlers of English extraction and Church of England faith in the community of Swift Current. I don’t know if you or your family are aware of the P……t family originating from Charleston, BB., who claim descent from John Barrington, a surveyor. The oral family traditions and reconstructed genealogy, combined with future autosomal DNA studies, may provide some clues or shed some light as to the fate of some of the missing family members of the Barrington patriline, namely the sister of John Barrington Sr., as referenced above in the blog excerpt. Many of the living members of this family retain very strong stereotypical Native American features, lending perhaps some indirect circumstantial evidence or proof of shared ancestry. They claim that their grandfather was a John Barrington who was a surveyor. I suspect that this John Barrington as noted refers to the grandson of the John Barrington Sr. listed in the KCRC (Kings Cove Roman Catholic) parish registers or church records. This may be an indirect link between the emerging published reports of families with attested and/or reported NA ancestry in the Bonavista Bay area and, by extension the Barrington family from the Placentia Bay (Piper’s Hole-Black River) watershed areas. A follow-up with some of the descendants of the Bonavista Bay region may help your family to fill in some of the gaps in the archival genealogical, family history and ethno-historic references. The evidence may be a thread or lead worth investigating further with continued research. Regarding the old Barrington habitation site that you reference located near the sand pit, I don’t know if you are making reference to Hayse’s Cove, where Tom Hayse’s Brook flows into the former, or nearby Belle Chute, where Duncan Barrington lived in a tilt, or to Indian Cove across the bay. With regard to the clay pipes that you reference above, I am quite certain that they originate from the French (Basque) settlement of Upper Placentia Bay, notably the Baie Largent (Piper’s Hole) watershed area, and may derive from seasonal habitan or pecheur settlement in the area or transitory French regiments stationed in the area while campaigning overland to TB South, during Father Beaudoin’s War (1696-7). For instance, Johnnie Martin of Indian Cove, PHR, PB and later Rantem, TB-Tickle Harbour, TB according to living descendants of the extended Pick/Peck patriline, smoked a clay pipe with French symbols inscribed or etched o it. It is not known if he pilfered this directly from a known French habitation site in the Upper PB-Upper TB area, found it by accident as many such artefacts (cannon balls, buttons, clay pipes, etc.) were frequently discovered in the Upper TB area (Stock Cove-Bull Arm-McKay/Frenchman’s Island), adjacent to Bellevue Beach, or inherited it as a family heirloom from a distant paternal-maternal ancestor who participated firsthand in the French-English Wars, as the family oral tradition accounts of Old Johnnie Martin suggest. It is also my understanding that a cache of ceramic and clay artefacts were found near the old family residence of John Barrington Sr., west of Frank Gilberts store, and east of the Vernon Smith’s car collection garage. Old Johnnie Martin was also known to reside at this location next to the family residence of John Barrington Sr. Given the layout of the land or topography this location offers access to coastal marine resources via the inter-tidal estuary of Piper’s Hole River, and access to the interior hunting and eel trapping grounds of Pike Pond and John Pike’s Mash, located in the Black River Mountains, as well as a source of fresh clear drinking water which many community residents exploit to this day. This area also provided access to the migratory caribou herds then ranging through the highland barrens north of the Black River Mountains, extending southeast across the North Harbour Barrens to Come-by-Chance. The circumstantial evidence of the French (Indian) connection for the extended Martin-Pike patrilines emanating from Piper’s Hole, and their association to the community oral traditions of Piper’s Hole, namely “The Legend of Piper’s Hole”, need not be expounded or elaborated on any further herein, so as to minimize readership monotony and redundancy. The research brings us to an important juncture or impasse in the history of research on the topic of Beothuk DNA. I have no doubt whatsoever that future applied archaeological fieldwork of attested occupations sites in the Piper’ Hole-Black River watershed areas, namely Indian Pond & Frenchman’s Pond, located in the Black River Mountains, flowing into Black River, and perhaps Pike Pond and John Pike’s Mash draining into Kelly’s Brook, may indeed reveal interesting insights into ancient First Nations (Amerindian) and later Western European occupation and settlement history, highlighting the interaction of both groups in this peripheral contact zone-and perhaps exposing more burial grounds and skeletal remains in the region for future archaeogenetic aDNA study. The same argument can be applied to the ancient early nineteenth century Beothuk (Mc Pi’tawkewaq) campsite of Red Indian Pond used as a seasonal campsite by a small enclave or splinter group of Beo survivors seeking sanctuary, where a future archaeological dig and underwater surveying of the local pond will in fact reveal evidence for a Beo occupation. Assuming that more aDNA samples are unearthed in these settlement areas, archaeogenetic testing may in fact illuminate answers to existing research questions, helping researchers to glue the missing pieces of the puzzle together. As a side note, the reader is led to ask several important ethical and moral questions. For instance, what does it really prove beyond a matter-of-fact point other than to conclusively confirm that one has irrefutable scientific evidence for proven Beothuk ancestry, which should approximate a lower- and upper-limit range of ~3.0-5.0% of one’s genome, among attested or reported living descendants? Was the fight and fuss in the academic and scientific research community, as well as among NL citizens fighting amongst themselves to prove a distant connection or to disprove another family’s claim, just for the sake of making a point, really worth it? Was it all worth it in the end to come to the point of realization and acceptance, when the final DNA test results are revealed to the public domain through peer-reviewed investigation and jounal article publication, to acknowledge the objective but sobering truth and reality of Beothuk extinction as a distinct genetic, cultural and genetic truth, that there is indeed probably more Neanderthal autosomal DNA in our genome than Beothuk autosomal DNA? The questions remain, if and when this Beo connection is proven for some living descendants of certain families, through on-going and future DNA testing, which can be cross-referenced to oral family history, archaeology, and archaeogenetics, where do the descendants go from there? With the printed certificate and calculated bio-geographic origins data in hand, how does one move forward with this evidence and what are the implications for Beo language revitalization and skeletal repatriation, for that is the million dollar question that no one has answered to date yet, and very few who really want to know the answer! Coincidentally, the Pike family from Tickle Harbour are also related to the Hawco family from Chapel’s Cove-Holyrood, CBN, but this connection is not NA or Amerindian but WE-so yeh, going back 5-6 Gens there is a distant connection between both kin groups, apart from the mothers of John Barrington and Mary Harriett Pike respectively, who were believed to be sisters. As an endnote, other than sharing information for the sake of just sharing information, out of subscription to the principle of altruism and philanthropy, I personally don’t withhold or profess any emotional attachment to the research noted above or posted elsewhere in the past through any public domain. Neither I nor anyone from my family expresses any overt or hidden interests in reclaiming any relinquished usufructury or ownership rights to any abandoned land or territory that may have been used or occupied by our distant ancestors 2-3 Gens ago, in the Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed areas. This area is outside of my and our area of focus and jurisdictional purview. If and when an eco-tourism guiding company is established in the near future by family members the geographic domain of influence for this not-for-profit charitable business will be the TB South area only, notably Stock Cove-Frenchman’s Island, TB, with a focus on the French-English Wars and ancient occupation sites (Maritime Archaic, Dorset Inuit, Recent Indian,…)-the area where my ancestors relocated. Personally, there is nothing for me or my family in the Piper’s Hole-Black River watershed area-I neither have any vested interests there nor any intentions of ever returning in the foreseeable future. With that said, I think that it is imperative and important for the Barringtons and relatives of the Barrington patriline currently residing in the community of Swift Current to carry the torch of passing the knowledge of their NA (whether Mi’kmaw or Pi’tawkewaw) ancestry, genealogies and family histories on to future generations for preservation and protection. With regard to holding a viewpoint or opinion either way as to whether I believe or feel that there is a Beothuk connection for the Piper’s Hole River Indians, I hold a neutral standpoint. While the evidence currently seems to be pointing in that direction, albeit with an indisputable Mi’kmaw connection for John Barrington- that is, John Barrington’s connection to Conne River, as per public access parish registers, preservation of the place name in Miawpukek Mary Hawco’s Road, and association of John Barrington with other NL Mi’kmaw guides with whom he worked with on numerous occasions, irrespective of the emerging DNA evidence, that connection cannot be denied or contested. As for the oral tradition accounts of how John Barrington came about acquiring his name, the evidence is not bullet-proof or rock solid, as there are many inconsistencies and contradictions. I have also heard stories related by many elders in my community of how “John Barrington came over from Nova Scotia to work on the telegraph line”. I am not convinced of the veracity or truthfulness of the accounts, subscribing them to half-truths if you, being based partly of known historical fact, but also embellished and distorted over time. Until the descendants of Thomas Barrington’s kin group from Swift Current, PB are tested, as you implore or beseech in your blog response herein, and these results are compared en masse to Alphonse Barrington Sr.’s kin group of Badger, Exploit’s River, NDB, and thereafter to contemporary NL-NS-NB-Que Mc samples, contemporary Lab Innuat (Montagnais-Naskapi) ones and to the 22 Beo skeletons currently being tested behind closed doors, the answers to the questions of putative Beo ancestry in this kin group may remain unanswered-at least among critics and sceptics! The ancestry of John Barrington that currently points to an origin outside the Mi’kmaw population group as a cluster, may be minimized or deferred to Labrador Innuat (Mountaineer) origins, through a process of reductionism, until further testing proves otherwise. The reasoning is that “if he’s not Mi’kmaq then he must be Mountaineer, but not Beothuk”. I personally have nothing but respect for the Barrington family, and I personally would be very happy for them if a DNA connection is to be proven with the Beo collection in the future, even if it may never be proven for the Pike-Martin extended kin group. I personally extend best wishes and blessings for you and your family in your future research endeavours, hoping that you find all the answers to the questions you seek regarding the origins of the Barrington patriline. Namaste

    • White HAir
      April 03, 2015 - 20:38

      As a final note to Mr. Barrington. When the BI and MUN Genetics-McMaster Ancient DNA Centre are prepared I will also give a DNA sample for analysis to determine any degree of shared ancestry through bio-geographic origins (deep-clade RFLP-SNP autosomal DNA) and/or clinical autosomal-dominant morphopathies (hereditary clinical disorders), betweent the Barrington and Pike patrilines. The rationale or reasoning for inferring a distant biological and/or genetic connection, going back 5-6 Gens, between the Pikes and Barringtons emanating from Piper's Hole, PB derives from the following circumstantial evidence, however speculative or controversial, as alluded to in previous blog commentaries: 1.) similarities in craniofacial features, bone sructure or physiognomy between older members of the Pikes and Barringtons, as corroborative evidence from published photographs and first-person encounters of living descendants from both groups. When I first met Alphonse Barrington during the summer of 2003 @ Badger I presented him with a few copies of photographs of older Pikes, in particular, Old John Pike (my paternal great-grandfather). His first reaction was : huh, look at that. No problem to tell that we're related. He looks just like me from there down [pointing to brow-ridge down to the jaw bone] ". My paternal uncle Christopher Pike from THr who I also brought to Badger during the summer of 2004 also reiterated the same impression, after meeting Alphonse Barrington first-hand, stating "he'd put you in mind of Old John Pike, or he looks a lot like Old John Pike (his paternal grandfather)". My uncle Christopher Pike felt the same way when he first saw a photograph of Howard Barrington (son of Thomas Francis or Thos.) in the Evening Telgram in 2004. His first reaction when seeing a clipping of the photograph was "who's that, he looks like the Pikes". I proceeded to tell him that it was Howard Barrington, son of Thos. Barrington, from Black River-Piper's Hole Hole. He went on to say: "I always said there was Indian blood in the Pikes going way back, but no one ever listened to me"..."You take old John Pike,...", then proceeding to talk about Johnnie Martin. 2.) sharing a common residence, place of origin and/or place of residence, namely Indian Cove, Piper's Hole, PB, which was at this time a very small Indian village or encampment, where all settlers (Johns, Bernards, Barringtons, Martins, and perhaps Pikes), with kin ties through the Brazils predominantly, were indeed all somehow related through intermarriage and/or shared common descent. The fact that older Pikes going back 2-3 Gens had retained some steretypical NA or Amerindian features, rules out the argument that such a relationship or kinship came from intermarriage of the Pike patriline (exclusively through Mary Hariett Pike) into the Martin patriline from Conne River, FB-Black River-Piper's Hole, PB. The craniofacial features as attested in phenotypic traits betwen living descendants of both groups, derived from underlying genotypic traits in the gene pool, genome or bloodline, if you will, for want of better words, resulting from sharing a uniparental, paternal MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor), before intermarriage with the Martin patriline; and 3.) a shared traditional lifestyle, or way of living, such as hunting-fishing-trapping, as attested through peculiar material culture traits (eg., eel-skin snowshoes,...), not found among neighbouring Eastern Algonquian groups, such as Mi'kmaq, Abenaki, or Penobscot,...and shared behavioural traits. Skeptics and/or critics will just laugh off any shared autosomal test results saying that it comes from the Hawcos, a common ancestor shared between both patrilines going back 4-5 Gens, but I am confident that there are additional markers shared between both patrilines, deriving from the mothers of both John Richard Pike and John Barrington, that cannot be explained as resulting from a shared common ancestor from the Hawco patriline alone. Underlying the phenotypically-expressed physical features are deeper genotypically encoded DNA RFLP-SNPS in the genome. Time will tell and I do give my consent for participation in such a comparative DNA study.

  • White Hair
    July 26, 2014 - 19:58

    Here is an excerpt of the physical description of the Beothuk as recorded by Albert Gatschet 1885: To Mr. Howley [James Patrick Howley] he [Mr. Lloyd] gave the following picture of their exterior (Lloyd, v., p. 226)" "The Beothuks were a much finer and handsomer race than the Micmacs, having more regular features and aquiline [also called the Hook Nose or Roman Nose], nor were they so dark in the skin. They were of middle stature and a very active build" (Gatschet 1885:412) [Reference: Gatschet, Albert A. 1885. "The Beothuk Indians"in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, January, Vol. XXIL, Part I, No. 117). It is interesting to note, however coincidental, the shared similarities in features noted for the Beothuk Indians noted above, and those recorded for John Barrington, noted Mi'kmaq-Beo guide (b. 1825 Le Cornu "The Horn"-Conne River, FB), resident of Indian Cove (Pike Place-Johnnie Martin's Land) & Black Duck Brook (adjacent to Indian Cove), Belle Chute, Rattling Brook, PHR, PB. References to the physical features or physiognomy of John Barrington as recorded by James Patrick Howley in his geological survey fieldwork notes are as follows: 1.) Geological Survey of Newfoundland Fieldbook (1868) (2.002.001), Howley Family Paper Collection, 262 Archives & Manuscript Collection, MUN QEII (; and 2.) J. P. Howley's Forty-Two Years of Reminiscences In and About Newfoundland, 1868-1880 (Kirwin, O'Flaherty & Hollett eds., English language Research Centre, MUN Department of English, DAI-Digital Archives Initiative: (Howley, J.P., 37). The most notable distinguishing features from the former reference are "...not near so dark featured as Joe [Bernard], has long slightly aquiline nose and on the whole is not bad looking......." (p. 35), while those from the latter are: "...His features were rather handsome with most beautiful dark brown eyes. He was a lithe active fellow with loose limbs and I noticed his hands were as delicate as a lady's....". While critics and/or sceptics may question or chide the shared similarities in features noted for John Barrington above with those recorded for the now exticnt Beothuk there are several overarching points of convergence which clusters John Barrington closer the Beothuk kin group as a whole, notably: 1.) delicate, pronounced or fine features; 2.) long slightly aquiline nose; and 3.) ligher skin complexion significantly lighter in hue to the neighbouring Newfoundland Mi'kmaq (Ktaqmkukewaq) kin group with whom he sometimes identified with or as, depending on the circumstances. I will leave the reader with the freedom of drawing their onw conclusions in light of the available evidence about who they think John Barrington was. But the existing and emerging evidence (e.g., Re Indian Pond, Piper's Hole, PN, the historical narrative "Indian Scrape", 1827 John family encounter with 9 Beothuk surviviors 14 miles upriver on the western side of Long Harbour River, FB , John family history as recorded through oral traditions confirming a Beothuk or Red Indian connection for this family, pointing to a connection to Piper's Hole, emerging archaeological evidence, ....) however controversial or conspiratorial, seems to point a distant Red Indian connection going back 6-7 Gens for the Barrington family of Conne River, FB-Indian Cove, Piper's Hole, PB..

  • White Hair
    July 26, 2014 - 19:08

    For further details on the encounter between Peter John Sr. and Lewis John (s/o former), ca. 1827 and a small band of Beothuk survivors (9), 14 miles upriver on the western side of Long Harbour River (Pijipukwek), FB the reader is directed to Farley Mowat's book The Bay of Spirits,: A Love Story (2006) pp. 171-2 (referenced on-line through Google Books). Note that a similar account is given in Doug Jackson & Gerald Penney's (1993) book "On the Country: The Micmac of Newfoundland" The reader can infer infer his/her own conclusions based on the evidence of the eye-witness account. My own questions with regard to the incident are: 1.) is it a conincidence that the eye-witness report occurred within the traditional family hunting territory of the John family family of Conne River, FB-Piper's Hole, PB, then extending north from Long Harbour River to John Pond (Sambadista(sic.), Mc Sa'npatistek), Terra Nova southeastwards to the Tolt and Piper's Hole, a hunting territory (Eastern Side of the Tolt) that was later taken by Louis John (s/o Peter John Jr, (of Peter John Sr. & Mary Brazil) and Ellen Hall/Hann, and John Barrington (b. 1825 Le Cornu "The Horn"-Conne River, FB-Indian Cove, Belle Chute, Rattling Brook, Piper's Hole River, PB); and 2.) was it a coincidence that the place name or toponym Red Indian Pond denoting an early nineteeth century Beothuk sanctuary or enclave and the incident at Indian (Dirty) Scrape, Shoprock (Huskie Outlook) all occurred within the boundaries and domains of the John (Baptiste) family hunting territory? I defer the answers to these questions, often dismissed as chance coincidence by sceptics and/or critics, to the reader to draw their own conclusions based on interpretation and opinion of the evidence provided therewithin.

  • White Hair
    July 14, 2014 - 05:51

    However controversial and debatable the observational and/or circumstantial evidence alluding to a distant Red Indian connection for the old Indian or French Indian families from Piper's Hole River, PB, may be, depending on the relative perceptions of the reader, it seems to add weight or cluster closer to the mounting evidence from other areas of research, notably: 1.) unpublished and published oral tradition accounts, such as the historical narrative Indian Scrape (Newfoundland Quarterly 1914), which many academics or researchers have diminished to the pejorative status of a story, fable or myth. The role of John Barrington to this splinter group of Beo survivors has been seriously called into question, and the statement “Joe [John] fled toward Piper’s Hole for the Beothuk were still in that part of the country though very few in numbers” raises the hitherto unanswered questions: “How did John Barrington know about the incident at Indian Scrape? How did he know that John Mitchell was the accused or assailant in the crime? Why would he identify John Mitchell as a perpetrator of the crime giving his name and ethnic origin “Old John Mitchell, a Micmac Indian, was on his way from Conne to Piper’s Hole, and as this was nearly a century ago,….”? Did John Barrington have a hidden agenda or “axe-to-grind” against Old John Mitchell? Why did he wait until he was 87 years old to tell the story? Did he wait to distance himself in both space and time, out of respect for the life and spirit of Old John Mitchell, who presumably passed away almost 50 years previous, and to distance himself from the community of Conne River and the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq (Ktaqmkukewaq), as he was an old man now, who lived his life in full, and from his perspective had nothing to lose by stepping forward and telling the truth, nothing but redemption, atonement and catharsis? Did he seek anonymity to protect his identity among NL Mi’kmaq, who may have viewed his actions as traitorous, deceptive and defective, in other words a traitor and deserter among the collective, extended kin-group, going against the welfare and well-being of the group as a whole, if you will? the historical incident or event (ca. 1809-1819) that occurred at Shoprock (Huskie Outlook), Indian (Dirty) Scrape, Piper’s Hole, PB, where the relationship of neither John Mitchell (NL Mc-Mont Saqamaw or Chief) to the Beo kin group then hiding out at Red Indian Pond, PHR, PB, nor the relationship of John Barrington (of same said place), R.S. Dahl’s principal guide and informant who narrated the historical event, have been either disambiguated or referenced with any degree of certainty due to the many unanswered questions surrounding the event and the lack of historical-genealogical records for the groups and/or families in question-nor may they ever be disambiguated given the limits of current scientific investigation. However, the fact remains, however controversial and debatable, as the sequence of events narrated in the historical event implies, that John Barrington (b. ca. 1825, Con [sic.] River) received the information from a firsthand eyewitness, participant or observer to the event, probably through James John or Peter John Sr., who were presumed to be present that day at this location, a Beothuk survivor such as a female captive from the splinter group who was taken back to Conne River by John Mitchell and incorporated or assimilated into the Mc-Mont community there, or the most plausible scenario, a Beothuk survivor from the kin group who followed John Mitchell from Goose Pond (Tqali’j Qospem) to Indian Scrape, as the narrative directly implies. It is obvious from the narrative that a Beothuk scout or guide was sent out from the Red Indian Pond group to follow John Mitchell on his overland journey from Conne River, en route via Goose Pond onwards to Indian Scrape. It is also obvious that the Beothuk warrior-headman who confronted John Mitchell was not the man following him, but was waiting for him at said location. Given his status as a Hereditary Chief of the NL Mc, with a public image and reputation to uphold, it is highly unlikely and doubtful that John Mitchell would have ever divulged the secret of the murder to fellow NL Mc headmen or competing clan factions within the community of Conne River, especially those who were or may have been perceived as potential rivals vying for power to inherit his title. Such a move would have been both deleteriously self-defeating, bordering on career sabotage or suicide, and potentially dangerous as a self-implicating criminal act, given the enactment and publication of Governor Duckworth’s proclamation at the time and the Beothuk Institute’s later proclamations forbidding any act of violence, harassment, injury, or death incurred against the then endangered Red Indians, with resulting criminal punishment under full extent of the law. This probably explains why John Barrington waited until he was around 87 years of age to divulge the secret to Richard S. Dahl, at a point in his life and career where such a move would not endanger his livelihood, years after John Mitchell Sr. had passed away (ca. 1865-1870?), and long after (1868-1914: 46 years) he had severed formal ties with Conne River when he emigrated from there (ca. 1868-9) along with his wife Mary Hawco (Also) to Black Duck Brook, Rattling Brook, Indian Cove (Brown’s Island, or Pike Place), PHR, PB, following his tenure as a licensed guide with the geological survey of the PHR-BR watershed areas (1868); 2.) the elusive and enigmatic origin of the place name or toponym Red Indian Pond in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, which stands out on topographic maps, outside the domain proper or sphere of influence of the known traditional hunting domain of the Red Indian people, namely Red Indian Lake, Exploits River, NDB, which cannot be accurately dated or referenced because there are no official records pointing to its true origin, date of derivation and cataloguing, and source of information, that is an informant; 3) feelings of attachment or affinity among some Barrington descendants who question or rather refute the credibility of the oral tradition of how John Barrington came about getting his name. For example, many elders interviewed categorically denied the validity of the story stating that it was “a crock of lies” or “they made it all up, I don’t believe it for a minute” (Alphonsus Barrington, pers. comm., St. John’s, 2005); and 4.) the existence of rare medical conditions, notably PHS-CHHS, encoded by a Gli3 frameshift mutation, attested in some descendants from the PHR group (Barringtons & Johns excluded), that also encodes polydactyly as attested in contemporary descendants of Santu (Paul) Toney, with a known connection to Kop. As a disclaimer, so as not to redact any previous research position on the role of Gli3 cluster syndromes (e.g., PHS, CHHS) attested in living descendants from this extended kin group, such a mutation in all probability if it ever was introduced into a Beo-Mc kin group from Red Indian Pond, PHR, PB, came from WE captives, kidnapees or shipwreck survivors, and was never attested in pre-contact and early contact Beo or Mc kin groups. If such a mutation were present in the founding Beringian-Siberian population and later Paleo-Indian and Maritime Archaic Indian groups it would have a higher frequency distribution among living Native American descendants throughout North-Central-South American, but the fact is that it is conspicuously absent from these groups, reinforcing the speculation that it was never a part of the founder group, but was perhaps acquired among isolated local kin groups through WE miscegenation. To summarize, I would have to say that after years of conducting extensive ethnographic research in the area that there is indeed a Red Indian connection for some families from the PHR, PB area, notably Pike, Martin, Bernard, John and Barrington, going back 5-7 Gens for different families. I would also have to say that the published oral tradition narrative “The Legend of Piper’s Hole”, as elicited from Mrs. John Barrington of Indian Cove, Pike Place, PHR, PB, is nothing more than a variant of Johnnie Martin’s oral family history account of how the Pikes and Martins became tangled up, and tangentially a corruption of an earlier historical account describing the origin of the Pike patriline of Upper PB-TB South from 2 French (Breton or Basque) deserters during Father Beaudoin’s War (1696-7). Essentially, the Legend of Piper’s Hole or “Piker’s Hole” as older Pikes from there who resettled in TB South called it, is nothing more than a truncated version of a much larger and more complicated family history of the Pike family from the PH watershed area, one of the earliest WE settler families who colonized the area. The fact is that the role of the Pike family in shaping the history of Piper’s Hole has been not only forgotten but is currently being censored in the public domain. My question is why is our family being “erased from history” and why are we excluded from the discussion? As an endnote I will not redact my previous research position on a distant Beo connection for families from this area. If and only when a deep clade, autosomal SNP has been done between the Barrington and Pike families, by an independent international genetics research team and our family has been tested for Gli3 mutation, and a distant relationship can be ruled out beyond a reasonable doubt pointing to any shared ancestry between both groups, that rules out the similarities in features for older members of the Barrington-Pike group from PHR, PB, will I even consider making any revisions. I will concede to yielding to a formal unpublished apology if and/only if certain conditions are met, namely: a delegated representative from the NL Mi'kmaq acknoweldges the role of some of the ancient NL Mi'kmaq in the partial demise or depopulation of the Beothuk and the Newfoundland Wolf through overtrapping; an archaeolgical survey of Red Indian Pond is assured in writing with consulation with family members; memorials for Tom June, John August and Indian Scrape are committed through funding assurance in writing; and a comparative deep-clade SNP DNA medical study is committed through MUN Genetics for future gene mapping and therapy. Only when these conditions are met and a genetic connection between the Pike-Barrington family has been categorically ruled out beyond a reasonable doubt, pointing to a zero per cent chance of sharing a shared most recent common ancestor in 6-7, by an independent international eam of molecular geneticists, will I consider a redaction and revision of existing research proposals and positions.

  • White Hair
    July 14, 2014 - 05:11

    When one compares the physical characteristics or physiognomy of John Barrington (1825-1928) as recorded by James Patrick Howley at Piper’s Hole-Black River, PB (1868) to the physical description of the Beothuk recorded by J.P. Howley during his ethnological fieldwork interview of John Peyton Sr. at the end of the nineteenth century, one can see several overarching or converging points which cluster John Barrington Sr. towards the Pi’tawkewaq (Beothuk). JP Howley’s (description of John Barrington follows: “The two Indians who were encamped about a mile out in the woods came as soon as they heard we were come. Joe Bernard the eldest of them is a man about 35 years old. Broad shouldered, thickset and very dark, about 5 ft. 8 in. high. Has thick Black hair, large beard and moustache, also black, broad features, swarthy & brown is a thoroughbred Indian in every respect. John Barrington the other is a thin wiry fellow about 24 years old black hair but no hair whatever about his face, is not near so dark featured as Joe, has long slightly aquiline nose, and on the whole is not bad looking….” (Howley Fieldnotes 1968, 34-5). Compare this to a similar but slightly variant account of John Barrington recorded by Howley in his reminiscences diary notes: “…Joe Bernard, the older man, was about 35 years of age, a thick-set swarthy individual possessing a heavy beard and moustache, which is unusual with Indians. John Barrington the other was a much younger man about 24 years of age, nearly 6 ft., clean face with no hair whatever about it except a great crop on his head which like Joes was jet black. John being but a half-breed was not nearly so dark as Joe. His features were rather handsome with most beautiful dark brown eyes. He was a lithe active fellow with loose limbs and I noticed his hands were as delicate as a lady’s…. (Howley, Reminiscences of forty-two years of exploration in and about Newfoundland 1868-1880, p. 37). When we compare both physical descriptions of John Barrington to the Beothuk we can identify numerous typological similarities in cranio-facial features. The following extract recorded and published by Gatschet (1885:412) citing Lloyd (v, 226), as elicited presumably from John Peyton Sr. of Exploits, NDB: “To Mr. Howley he [Lloyd] gives the following picture of the exterior [physiognomy] The Beothucks were a much finer and handsomer race than the Micmacs, having more regular features and aquiline noses; nor were dark in the skin. They were of middle stature and, and a very lithe active build” (Gatschet 1885, 412) [The Beothuk Indians, in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 22 (120): 408-424]. As the eyewitness account physical descriptions above confirm, the convergent points of similarity in physiognomy which cluster John Barrington closer to the Beothuk and away from the Newfoundland Mi’kmaq as an ethnic group are as follows: 1.) delicate, regular, or handsome features; 2.) lighter complexion; 3.) long slightly aquiline nose; and 4.) lithe active build or bone structure. As mentioned in an earlier post I would have to give the biological mother of John Barrington as sister of Kop (mkw@pan “red root”), a Red Indian man born at Red Indian Lake (although Santu says Red (Indian) Pond), the biological father of Santu (Paul) Toney, one of Frank G. Speck’s principal Mc-Beo informants, along with John William Paul of Badger Brook. This cranio-facial evidence at least listed above, combined with other ethnohistoric and emerging archaeological evidence to follow, seems to place or cluster John Barrington closer to the Beo extended kin group, and not to the NL Mc one. While this tidbit of circumstantial evidence in and of itself does not conclusively prove beyond a reasonable doubt that John Barrington was of Beothuk or even mixed Mc-Beo heritage, it conversely does not disprove a connection to this now extinct group, beyond a reasonable doubt, until further evidence, such as future DNA testing, comes to light to categorically disprove that putative conjectural connection, however controversial and debatable. When and/if future DNA studies (SNP autosomal) of living Barrington descendants has or will disprove a direct connection to the Beothuk DNA study of app. 22 samples to be tested, then that supposition, speculation or conjecture can be narrowed down to a statistical probability of not sharing a remote MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) to this group. Critics who question any distant Beothuk connection for the Barrington family, or laugh off the accuracy and/or credibility of the historical narrative Indian Scrape (sic.) may chide at such shared resemblances in soft tissue physical features between John Barrington and the now extinct Beothuk, insisting that they are nothing more than a chance coincidence or the natural product of mixing between NA (Mi’kmaq) & WE (Western European), a “mixed blood” or metis if you will.

  • White Hair
    July 14, 2014 - 05:05

    The following are 2 excerpts extracted from F. Mowat’s book Bay of Spirits: A True Love Story, the first detailing a first-hand, eye-witness account of an encounter between 2 NL Mi’kmaq from the John family of Conne River, FB-Piper’s Hole, PB (also noted in D. Jackson & G. Penney’s book “On the Country” (1993), and the other Peter Benoit’s discovery of a remote Beo campsite, where some of the last Beo survivors may have died in the interior. The eyewitness account as elicited from Michael John, through Farley Mowat is as follows: Michael himself had never seen a Beothuk but gave a vivid description of a meeting between these now-vanished people and his father and grandfather. His father [Lewis John] had been around ten [1827] when the two Mi’kmaq had encountered a party of Beothuks on the west branch of the Long Harbour River. The Beothuk group included an old man, two or three younger ones (one of them very fat), two or three women and several children [7-9 members]. The two groups were only about a hundred yards apart when they first saw each other, and Michael’s grandfather [Peter John] immediately cocked his muzzle-loader and ordered his son to take cover. The Beothuk seemed equally apprehensive. They had been roasting deer meat on a stick over an open fire but now they hurriedly began breaking camp. Michael remembered minute details of what his father had told him. “They had two bark canoes much high in the middle, not like ours. Bows and arrows, but no guns. Had piles of deer hides, and many bark baskets. They left all them things and even the wigwams and canoes, and hurried off into the woods, only taking what they could grab quick and looking back a lot. I believe they was two were as scared as Grandad as and may dad as they was two of them. After they were gone Grandad looked at all their things, but never took nothing. Said them people would come back for them. After that it was quite some time before nay of our people went near Long Harbour. This seems to be the last occasion where Conne River Mi’kmaq encountered living Beothuk” (Mowat 2009 Bay of Spirits: A True Love Story, 172). Points of note that can be deduced and/or inferred from the John family sighting are obvious and self-explanatory: 1.) the core group of Beothuk survivors up until this time continued to avoid contact with NL Mi’kmaq groups; 2.) Beo material culture and language survived uninfluenced from contact with neighbouring groups, despite external pressures of coerced or voluntary assimilation; 3.) a spirit of mistrust, mutual avoidance and apprehension existed between both groups; and 4.) the eyewitness account calls into question the relationship and/or association of Peter John Sr. to the Beo splinter group of survivors. The latter point is noteworthy despite the fact that Peter John Sr. who guided for the Beothuk Institute (1828) and may have had a Red Indian connection through James John of Piper’s Hole, PB, this splinter group of survivors with whom he encountered still refused to initiate contact with him and his son [Lewis John], although in all probability they indeed recognize Peter John Sr. as a Mountaineer-Mi’kmaq of mixed Red Indian ancestry on the paternal side. This spirit of mistrust may have also come from the group’s knowing or awareness of Peter John Sr.’s marriage to a NL Mc woman Mary Brazil and the marriage of James John before him to a NL Mi’kmaw woman (probably a Joe/Sylvester?), thus adding weight to the observation or deduction that violation of endogamy rules, which forbade marriage to non-Red Indian outsiders, resulted in consequent banishment or exile from the group. This eye-witness account above seems to add further evidence that this splinter group encountered by Peter and Lewis John may have in fact originated from the Red Indian Lake group, as compared to an in situ eastern extended kin group autochthonous to the Piper’s Hole, PB-Clode Sound, BB watershed area with whom the John family and John August would have been more closely allied and/or affiliated with through kinship and friendship. The former splinter group of Beo survivors would have migrated east-southeast into the NL Mc hunting domains of Mi’kma’kik (formerly Beothuk territory ceded to encroaching NL Mc through abandonment), prior to merging with the in situ eastern Beo splinter group, then hiding at Red Indian Pond in the Piper’s Hole watershed area, before splitting off again and back-migrating into the interior after the incident at Shoprock (Huskie Outlook), Indian (Dirty) Scrape (1809-19), PHR, PB. It is also instructive that the encounter noted above at Long Harbour River, FB, like the incident at Shoprock, Indian Scrape previously noted, both occurred within the traditional family hunting domain or territory of the John family of Conne River, FB-Piper’s Hole, PB, the former within the domain of Lewis John Sr. [as per Speck 1922] (presumably inheriting usufructury rights or proprietary ownership from his ancestral predecessors or progenitors, Peter John Sr. and James John, as this area was ceded much later after emigration of Beo kin groups from the area, leaving a vacuum for incoming mixed NL Mc-Mont kin groups with a Beo connection to the older Beo kin group to seize control), and the latter incident [Indian Scrape] on the hunting territory [eastern side of the Tolt, PHR, PB watershed area] of Louis John (of Peter John Jr., of Peter John Sr. & Mary Brazil) & John Barrington [as per Millais (1907) (through a kin relationship with the John family of same said place, notably Piper’s Hole, PB). The same argument can be extended to the place name or toponym Red Indian Pond, PHR, PB, taking its name from a Beo sanctuary or enclave, which also lies within the domain of the John (Battista) family hunting territory noted above. It is obvious that the Beo splinter groups gravitated towards this area for they felt safe within the boundaries of the John family hunting territory with whom they recognized a shared, distant paternal ancestry-lineage and association through friendship. Peter Benoit’s encounter from the same source is as follows: [John Foote]…, “but had heard Peter Benoit, one of the Mi’kmaq elders, tell of finding remnants of the Beothuk birchbark wigwams around the turn of the century near Long Pond, thirty miles northwest of the Head of the Bay. The crumbling tent had contained the skeletons of three adults and a child. The bones of the young one was covered all over with the red ochre they used for to colour most everything they valued. It looked to Peter Benoit like the young one died first, and they done what they could for he afore they died theirselves” (Mowat 2009:143). Both testimonies confirm that not all Beo survivors merged with NL Mc-Mont kin groups at Conne River, FB-Bay St. George’s, or emigrated to Labrador-Greenland?, merging there with local Montagnais and perhaps Inuit-Kablunanngajuit kin groups. Some Beo survivors sought to do it on their own without help of other groups.

  • White Hair
    June 17, 2014 - 17:55

    This will be my final note on the topic of Stock Cove, as there is but little left to say on the topic. I am sure that the research team will have many more discoveries to unearth there in the coming years as well as years of research collating and analyzing the fieldwork test results. It would be interesting to see if the research team will be successful in locating the small burial ground located in the area. Perhaps someday archaeogenetic aDNA analysis of skeletal remains found at this site and other sites, such as the ancient burial ground known to exist at Piper's Hole River, near the sand quarry and bridge, may shed some light on the fate of the Beothuk (and/or other ancient groups), and their relations to prior and.or later immigrant groups. Furthermore, archaeological surveying of sites in the Piper's Hole-Black River watershed areas, outside of Red Indian Pond noted elsewhere throughout various correspondence, may yield interesting results on the migration and subsistence-settlement patterns of other kin groups. Some of these high potential sites which promise to yield positive results include: 1.) Indian Pond and Frenchman's Pond, located in the Black River Mountains, located N of Swift Current, next to Pike Pond and John Pike's Mash; 2.) Mi'kmaw campsites used by both John Barrington and Joe Bernard, as recorded in Howley's (1868) diary fieldnotes; 3.) an undiscovered campsite located near Mile Hill of suspected Beo origin; and, perhaps 4.) Goose Pond (Tqali'j Qospem), located near Southwest Brook, Port Blandford, BB, where Jean Michel camped on his journey from Conne River to Piper's Hole (ca. 1809-1819). In addition, archaeological surveying by remote drone surveillance and/or ground survey by GPR and test pit digs of alleged sites where NL Mc were reported to have encountered Beothuk splinter group survivors immediately prior to their official recorded date of extinction or shortly thereafter, may shed some light on the migration and settlement-subsistence patterns of this group during their hiding in the interior at remote enclaves or sanctuaries. Some of these sites include: 1.) Long Harbour River, FB (14 miles upriver from the mouth on the western branch) where Peter John Sr. & Lewis John Sr. (s/o former?), reportedly met a small band of 9 survivors [I would have this group as a western or core group, who migrated from Red Indian Lake joining the in situ eastern group of survivors then hiding out at Red Indian Pond, migrating out to Nukamkia'ji'jk. In all probability this group of "pure bloods" split off from the Red Indian Pond group of "mixed bloods" after rejecting Jean Michel's terms and conditions of surrender and peace presented at Red Indian Pond and later pleaded at Indian Scrape, opting for freedom, preservation of culture-language-identity, rather than assimilation w/ NL Mc-Mont kin groups, subsquently fleeing or back-grating into the interior. I would have the latter group, that is the Red Indian Pond group that came out at Piper's Hole as opting for assimilation, accepting the conditional terms and conditions of surrender of Saqamaw Jean Michel, as well as safe passage to Labrador via aid and intercession from James John of same said place. Coincidentally, Long Pond noted above emanates from Meta Pond, Eastern Maelpaeg (Mi'lpe'k), also located near the source of the Gisbourne Lake-Dunne's Brook-Sandy Harbour River watershed areas, the known hunting ground or family hunting territory of the Martin family of Indian Cove(Nukamkia'ji'jk), Pike Place, Piper's Hole, PB]; 2.) Burnt Hill (late 1800s) where Setven Joe reportedly met a small group of survivors; and 3.) Long Pond where Peter Benoit reportedly found skeleta of 3 Beothuk who perished in a skin tent or wigwam at a remote campsite there at the turn of the 19 th century. I would have John Barrington of PHR, PB as a child resulting from the capture (whether voluntary or coerced) of a Red Indian woman captured from the incident at Shoprock, Indian Scrape, PHR, PB and taken back to Conne River with Jean Michel (John Mitchell). Although church records are currently lacking my research findings as reconstructed from years of fieldwork suggest that both John Barrington, John William Paul and by extension Santu Toney (nee Paul) are in fact first cousins, with the mother of John Barrington being the sister of Kop. I would also have the mother of John Barrington as the sister of John Richard Pike (Pick/Peck) of Indian Cove, Pike Place, PHR, PB-Eel Brook, Tickle Harbour, TB. I have no comment on the YDNA SNP-STR haplogroup-haplotype assignment of the Barrington patriline of same said place, but would predict it to be of WE origin. I am confident that a future comparative 500,000+ SNP autosomal DNA study of the Barrington-Pike descendants will reveal a chunk of DNA pointing to a common shared ancestry of app. 3-5% biogeographic origins dating back 5 Gens for older testees. If the oral testimony of Kop as related to Santu Toney is indeed correct-which I have no reason to doubt-stating that his grandmother was a white woman rescued from a shipwreck, this would give an estimated blood quantum of app. 75.00% or 3/4 NA for Kop, and by extension the mother of John B., making them so called "mixed bloods" in the eyes of the core RI Lake extended kin-group. This may explain the later split in the group, where the "mixed bloods" were perceived as violating intragroup endogamy taboos by marrying out of the group, being forced to marry NL Mc and later WE Anglo-Irish settlers. Perhaps someday in the future the various families (Barrington, Mitchell, Bernard, John) with a known connection to PHR, PB will be tested in a comparative DNA study (YDNA, autosomal, GLi3 SNP) to determine any degree of relatedness from a MRCA ancestor. As a sidenote, I somehow regret not having the opportunity to work with Dr. Ingeborg Marshall on a critique of the published narrative Indian Scrape, with Dr. John Hewson on an an amended historical-comparative analysis of Beothuk reflexes, with Laurie Maclean on a field survey of Pike Place, Indian Cove & future Red Indian Pond site study, and, finally, a meeting with Saqamaw Mi'sel Joe at a common or neutral ground, such as a conference. I would like to reiterate here with emphasis that the present researcher does not harbour any hard feelings or resentment towards the NL Mc, or by extension the Conne River (Aosamia'jij Miawpukek Mc) and Michel Agathe patriline, despite any misconceptions or misrepresentations perceived otherwise. Such misconceptions stem merely from lack of awareness, understanding and distance, and are grossly exaggerated, being predicated on either fear or miscommunication. Perhaps someday when I am wiser, older and grayer I will have the opportunity to go into the sweat lodge with Saqamaw Mijjl Jo', smoke the pipe, take a smudge, and shake hands, having a laugh in looking back on the drama of it all, so that there would be no lies between us, only laughter, mutual understanding and compassion. Perhaps Saqamaw Joe knows of a medicince man, healer or shaman, who can preside over a small ceremony to bless the land and site where a commemorative plaque will be placed at Stock Cove where his cabin once stood, to honour the life of Gerard James Pike. If and when I do decide to publish a research paper or manuscript on the topic my conscience and ethics prevent me from taking one red cent from the sales or profits from such publications. I would donate all the proceedings or profits from the sale of the publication to the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Nature Conservancy of Canada, a trust fund to finance medical research for gene mapping and therapy, to assist future generations in dealing with and/or overcoming symptoms of GLi3 related conditions, and a trust fund for the protection of Pike Place, Indian Cove (Nukamkia'ji'jk) as a protected site to be preserved for future generations. To sign off I would appreciate it very much if PAO would contact our family in the immediate or distant future with regard to their intentions in conducting future surveys and/or follow-up digs in the area. A simple and short phone call or mailed or e-mailed letter of intention would suffice to honour and respect mutual understanding and inclusiveness between both parties. The family has vowed a commitment to take a non-interference approach of not becoming involved in the process giving adequate distance for the interdisciplinary research teams to conduct and finalize their research, unimpeded and unbothered. Out of respect we would just like to be apprised of developments in the area. I hope that someday the Beothuk Institute would place a commemorative plaque at or near Indian Scrape honouring the life of the Beothuk (Lightning) man killed there, as well as one each for Tom June and John August. You never know maybe someday a shared NL MC-Beo interpretation centre will stand where the house of John Barrington once stood at Indian Cove (L'nuey Wanney/Walney), housing interpretative signs, genealogical charts, photographs, artifacts from the site, and reconstructed Beo-LP-MAI tool kit assemblages (as knapped and crafted byTim Rast). As a final note on the topic, I would like to thank Tim Rast for allowing me to post these commentaries, and to commend him for his outstanding work in reconstructing Beo, Dor Esk & MAI tools-weapons. I am blown away, every day that I visit the site I say "wow, this guy is so cool, where did he come from, this stuff is awesome man"? We need more people like this around, it would be a more interesting and exciting world. Keep up the great work. Namaste.

  • White Hair
    June 06, 2014 - 17:05

    Below is an extract from Deniekes Anthropology Blog referencing the recent aDNA autosomal genome sequencing of 2 Upper Palaelolithic skeleta from Siberia. The interesting finding from a research study is that "14 to 38% of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population". With reference to the upcoming Beothuk aDNA study this research finding may have interesting, yet controversial, implications. For example it may explain why some Beothuk skeleta and/or reported early-contact eye-witness accounts document "mixed Caucasian-Amerindian/Native American" craniometric and craniofacial features for this now-extinct group, in accord to similar features observed for earlier Palaeoamerican/Palaeoindian skeletal samples (e.g., Kennewick Man, Spirit Cave Man, ...) Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12736 Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans Maanasa Raghavan, Pontus Skoglund et al. The origins of the First Americans remain contentious. Although Native Americans seem to be genetically most closely related to east Asians1, 2, 3, there is no consensus with regard to which specific Old World populations they are closest to4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Here we sequence the draft genome of an approximately 24,000-year-old individual (MA-1), from Mal’ta in south-central Siberia9, to an average depth of 1×. To our knowledge this is the oldest anatomically modern human genome reported to date. The MA-1 mitochondrial genome belongs to haplogroup U, which has also been found at high frequency among Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers10, 11, 12, and the Y chromosome of MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and near the root of most Native American lineages5. Similarly, we find autosomal evidence that MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and genetically closely related to modern-day Native Americans, with no close affinity to east Asians. This suggests that populations related to contemporary western Eurasians had a more north-easterly distribution 24,000 years ago than commonly thought. Furthermore, we estimate that 14 to 38% of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population. This is likely to have occurred after the divergence of Native American ancestors from east Asian ancestors, but before the diversification of Native American populations in the New World. Gene flow from the MA-1 lineage into Native American ancestors could explain why several crania from the First Americans have been reported as bearing morphological characteristics that do not resemble those of east Asians2, 13. Sequencing of another south-central Siberian, Afontova Gora-2 dating to approximately 17,000 years ago14, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as MA-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum. Our findings reveal that western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans. The question for molecular geneticists and/or archeogeneticists conducting the future Beothuk comparative aDNA study: how does one differentiate or filter out recent post-contact Western European 1497-1828 gene flow in the Beo skeleta collection from the NA (Native American-Paleindian) gene flow observed in the Mal'ta-Afontova Gora Siberian samples?

  • White Hair
    May 21, 2014 - 19:14

    This question is for Erwin, Holly and Wolff who have and will conduct ongoing collaborative research at the Stock Cove, TB site. Did any of the research team members to date compare some of the tool kits and/or lithic assemblages excavated at Stock Cove, TB to those recently excavated from the CLAn-03 Piper's Hole, PB site, by MacLean and Hutchings (PAO 2013 Field Report)? Maclean & Hutchings (2013) both argue for a conjectural Beo affinity for some of the lithic assemblages unearthed at this site. Could it be possible that the Stock Cove, TB group and the Piper's Hole, PB group are but one of the same group, with both settlement or occupation sites falling within the seasonal migratory range of their hunting-fishing domain? As the "crow flies" so to speak both areas are nowhere from each other, navigating by coastline at least. It is virtually nowhere from Come-by-Chance River to Piper's Hole, via North Harbour-Baker's Cove-Garden Cove-Black River. The exploratory survey of Guy (1612) seems to point to a connection between both areas, as there existed a path or trail linking both the Truce Sound, TB Beo habitation site and the Passage Harbour, PB one, implying a connection for both groups. Wetzell (2000) alludes to this possibility, although he suggests "a combined Mi'kmaq-Beothuk extended family", based on the existence of some material culture features and what he calls French trade goods. My interpretation of the evidence suggests that the trade goods were more likely to have been of French Basque or Biscayan origin-whether they were acquired through either pilfering or trade may never be known, only speculated on. This would be a more parsimonious explanation or interpretation given that the French Basques had a stronghold (1540-1690) at Plaisance, prior to the Basque Revolt (1690). Evidence for this comes from the high-frequency of Basque pecheurs (listed as "....Pecheurs Que Chaque Habitant Hiverne" & "...Fait Revenir a France" in numerous recensements) hired out under the command of Rochelais and Bordelais Habitans boatowners. Whatever the relationship, if any, between the Beothuk kin group from Stock Cove, TB and the Piper's Hole, PB one, evidence seems to suggest that both Beo groups vacated the area ca. 1630-1640, as the presence of noted Mi'kmaw families, such as Turbis (1695) (Martijn, C. 2003) in outlying island domains of Upper PB, suggest that regional Mi'kmaw kin groups either cohabited the Upper PB area with Beo ones or displaced them following a voluntary or coerced diaspora of the latter. It is possible that some outlier Beothuk kin groups emanating from the TB South-Upper PB groups may have intermarried with incoming Mc migrants, who were attached to the French fort at Plaisance, and the Beo-Mc village of Nukamkia'ji'jk, such as the Turbis family above. It is believed that this Beo extended kin group migrated into the interior merging with in situ groups from the Clode Sound-Gander River groups, extending west. Assuming that James John (b. ca 1760), and by extension the John or Baptiste family of Piper's Hole, PB-Conne Rive, FB, was connected with this eastern kin group as evidence suggests, 3-4 Gens (90-120 Yrs) had already passed from the time that the Stock Cove, TB-Piper's Hole, PB group vacated the area. So no inferences can be made without further genealogical evidence and/or DNA testing among reported descendants given the gaps in data. Further YDNA testing however of French and Spanish Basques may help to demystify or elucidate the high-frequency of haplogroup R1b and its clades among mainland Mi'kmaw testees(and perhaps by extension NL ones). The existence of a Basque cemetary in the Plaisance area dated to ca. 1540, as mentioned in the will of a Basque fisherman, may push back Fench Basque occupation beyond this reported date. It is quite possible that Basque seasonal fishermen, traders and explorers may have made survey forays into Upper PB, such as the Piper's Hole-Black River watershed areas, as early as 1570-90, trading and/or interacting with local Beo kin groups there. Indirect archival evidence suggests that Basque fishermen may have frequented NL as early as 1372, according to taxes paid from Basque whalers in Spain ( index.php/history/basque-at-placentia). Future calibrated radiocarbon dating of both the Stock Cove, TB and PHR, PB sites may help to "bridge the gap" or "narrow the window" of ancient human occupation, giving the researcher and layman reader a more refined appreciation for the value of both occupation sites, and a better understanding of when both sites were occupied and/or abandoned.

  • White Hair
    April 21, 2014 - 12:40

    This final message (3/3) is for Ardy Born With Three Thumbs. While I empathize with your frustrations regarding feedback and/or interest from officials on actualizing a Beothuk repatriation-reburial campaign, "my hands are tied" on this end. As my name, educational-research background and reputation do not carry weight and authority in effecting any positive change, outside that already initiated in the public domain by NL Mi'kmaw Saqamaw Mijjl Jo', I am renedered helpless. I am confident that other people like yourself do in fact share in in the ideal principles of your vision, and would love to see the bone come home to Keta'amishi't for reburial. I am also confident that with due time and patience the process will unfold as it should, and the vision will manifest as a reality. As for me I neither have the time, energy, resources or commitment to give to such a heavy, weighed-down, controversial and emotionally-charged ethnopolitical cause. I have learned a hard-lesson, the difficult and round-about away by getting my ass kicked and being dumb-treated, through the course of my experiences with government authorities, buraeucracies and agencies; that is, politics and ethnoplitics, especially those entailing any discussion of the "now extinct Beothuk" do not make good bed-fellows, and are a topic best left unsaid. As I am a labourer, guide, and unpaid arm-chair researcher with no official ties to any research institute, university, college, or publishing company, my voice will only "fall on deaf ears". However, I strongly encourage you to keep up the fight and to encourage fellow researchers, activists and lobbysists who have or will have a proven connection to the existing and up-coming aDNA test results of Beothuk skeletal collection to lobby and/or petition goverrment officials for this cause. I would also strongly suggest or reccommend that you and/or an entrusted delegate, in lieu of a trusted leader-public relations spokesperson, mentor, or liaison, such as Saqamaw Mijjl Jo' to draft a petition and circulate it to the various NL-NS-NB-PEI-Que. Mc communities, and perhaps thereafter (if the result is not effected) throughout Canadian First Nations communities. With the tens-of-thousands of signatures in hand present this to government departments and elected government representatives, and if action is delayed or thwarted, proceed with a walk-in, demonstration or lobbying through protest-the old-fashioned way that it was done here in NL in the early 80s, as the NL Mi'kmaq know. Like I said in a previous e-mail I am a supporter in spirit, albeit an impartial silent one, observing the progress of events from the outside in. I would sign your petition in a heartbeat and I know many others who would sign the peitition, both First Nations and non-First Nations. There is more support here than you think and can imagine-it will blow your mind. As you already know, all great things start small and grow big, just as a seed when planted will grow into a tree, it must be nurtured, protected and nourished. Trust me, the strength of a wise elder Clan Mother is required to start this process, not the foolish prognostications of a middle-aged man with no connection. As for me I am merely a "wape'k waqey", while I have 2 First Nations ancestors, one paternal (6-7 Gens, of alleged Lab. Mountaineer, or even Pi'tawkewaq ancestry) and the other maternal (3-4 Gens, of the same reported ancestry) my lineage is Western Euopean, primarily Bryhtonic-Goldelic Celtic, Anglo-Saxon- French Gaulish, going back deep in time to Celtiberian, Bell Beaker, adn Anatolian-Sumerian. While I have not taken a deep clade 500,000+ SNP autosomal DNA test through FTDNA or, my Western European genomic contribution is confidently estimated through detailed calculation at approximately 90.0% (the remainder being East-Central Asian, with little to no matches from Siberian-Native American groups). It is time to bring empowerment back to your group through the voice of a mother, that is why I think that you are the right person for the job. As for me I have "washed my hands" of all fringe matters controversial and conspiratorial if you will. After learning my lessons, I now shy away from the gray, murky waters of First Nations ethnopolitics, it is a fight which I am not willing to fight, and it is a fight that many First Nations will feel and think that I am not obliged and entitiled to fight. So who am I to speak of such matters when I have no rightful place or voice to do so, with the blessing of your people. I have learned to be more cautious, patient and accepting, learning to surrender things beyond my control which I cannot change-and this is one topic that I have learned to surrender. With that I have opted for a quiet life of peace and "going with the flow". I no longer have any books, manuscripts, or theses/disertations on the topic of Beothuk ethnography, ethnohistory, linguistics. My copy of J.P. Howley's "The Beothuck or Red Indians" (1915) has given way to books by Thich Nhat Hanh & His Holiness The Dalai Lama, such as the "Art of Living", ". All this knowledge I now carry with me, I carry in my thoughts and memories, sharing them only on rare occasion with a privileged few. Such material attachments merely weight the soul down, for he who travels lightest travels farthest. Someday when I am out in the country at my remote coastal log cabin working on my naomhog (currach) I wish to hear the news that the job has been done, that the Beothuk skeletons have been brought home for reburial. This will bring a smile to my face, and a silent prayer with an offering to the ancestors, to the Sky Father, Mother Earth and to all those earth-bound spirit beings who made this vision a reality. With this final note on the topic I impart to you my blessing of good will, protection and compassion to guide you on your journey to make this happen. I also pray that you will find a way to work with Saqamaw Mijjl Jo' to help this goal become a reality, a man of great vision, strength and wisdom, like yourself. You never know, the Joe family of Conne River (Le Cornu "The Horn") may be more Red Indian (Pi'tawkewaq) than we all think, for that is my prediction that future autosomal DNA tests will confirm! With this note, as a gesture of our shared humanity and a blessign extended, I blow you a breath of life-force your way to give energy and inertia to the spark in the fire that has been lit.

  • White Hair
    April 19, 2014 - 20:01

    This is 2/3 of the last messages on the topic. Here is a novel idea for someone who has the courage to spearhead such an event: why not sponsor a 1-2 day Beothuk Studies research forum or conference to discuss the latest in extant and upcoming research, inviting not only the academic community but the public to attend to share in their knowledge, participate in lectures, seminars, colloquia and poster sessions on various topics? Why not invite private sector and corporate investors to such research studies to raise awareness and perhaps formalize funding opportunities through networking? Why not hold this at MUN Archaeology, Anthropology, or Linguistics, departments which have a proven reputation of research in the field? Why not encourage geneticists and representatives from other international research laboraties to attend so they can gauge the development of the research study and contribute any knowldge to the field. In addition to a specialized scholarly academic forum, it would serve a public relations outreach campaign to stimulate further research in the field that could help archaeologists to secure more funding to protect endangered sites. Its worth a try, isn't it, just think about it? In addition to scholars, honourary distinguished First Nations, Inuit & Metis elders, leaders and guest speakers could attend presiding over the ceremonies. If it brings people together, sharing knowledge and information while promoting a good cause, why not, its all good right? I strongly encourage someome to step forward and initiate the process to get the ball rolling. John Hewson for one would be an excellent spokesperson for this. Not only is he a renown and distinguished scholar and research professor, with a proven reputation in comparative Eastern Algonquian historical linguistics, but an awesome speaker with great people person skills. Then there's Laurie Maclean, Mi'sel Joe, Ingeborg Marshall, Tim Rast, Holly, Wolff, Erwin,....and the list goes on ad nauseum. I personally think there is enough for a 1 day venue.

  • White Hair
    April 19, 2014 - 19:38

    This group of messages (1 of 3) are addressed to saqama'skw Ardy Born With Three Thumbs". I have read in detail your 2 messages below. As such I have given serious thought and consideration to what you have spoken in truth from your heart and spirit. I honour, acknowledge and respect all of your past, present and future decisions and actions on the matter knowing deep from within that they come from a sacred and genuine space of nurturing maternal care and compassion as a rightful descendant for the cause. I sense in your writing a "fiery passion" which I have not heard or felt in many years, as there are but few today who can articulate with such brevity and forcefulness. Your educational background as reflected in your writing style fails to do honour and service to ther reality of your true scholarly intelligence, wisdom and compassion, which are equal to if not surpassing many scholars in the field at the post-graduate and tenured professorial positions of many research institutes-universities, who merely pay lip service to funding agencies and bureaucrats, afraid to "rock the boat" if you will, or go "against the norm", all of this in an effort to secure research funding and promotions from within the established pecking order of the hierachy. As you already know there is no lack of corruption, neoptism, and fratrinization in academic circles. As you also know the truth is far from obvious, it is all not written in history books, it is not all known to our prsent knowldge, it is more complex than we can imagine and it is never what we think it is, despite the presuppositions which our previous knowledge base and experiences impose upon it. It is a truth which reflects new and evolving knowledge which comes to lightover time and through sacrifice. The truth can only be extracted by taking an "outside of the box looking in" approach, an approach which the "scientific method" strives to emulate in the real world" through principle at least, but which fails to replicate or reproduce holistically in reality. Arriving at that truth, however fluidic, dynamic and relative, should be not only interdisciplinary but muli-dimensional, collating knowledge and evidence from many different fields, including, of course, other less-recongnized fringe disiplines such as medical genetics, folklore (oral tradition acounts), spirituality-shamanism, and paranormal phenomena. I also deeply sympathize with your past and on-going efforts to initiate a Beothuk skeletal repatriation and reburial process, via the Beothuk Institute, Government of NL and Ktaqkukewaw Saqamaw Mijjl Jo'. I myself have tried to "spark such a fire" from the outside as a silent supporter, but to no effect. My interpretation of this lack of response is motivated from several observational points derived from my own personal exeperience in catalyzing such a process. Some of these are as follows: i.) lack of interest, or rather apathy and indifference, among certain representatives or spokespeople who can come forward and take a stand on the issue (but for obvious personal reasons cannot or will not); ii.) no-one wants to put their credibility, reputation or job on the line by putting themselves out in the public domain (with the exception of Saqamaw Mijjl Jo's April 2013 standpoint) to take a stand on the issue, despite the emerging and mounting archaeological and genetic eveidence, which seems to give weight and credence to the pre-existing circumstantial evidence, such as ethno-historic, NL Mi'kmaq oral tradition accounts of Beothuk survivors incorporated into NL-NS Mi'kmaw regional extended kin groups; & iii.) funding from private sector sponsors, oil-gas corporated business and provincial government affiliates-subsidiaries is limited or rather not being channelled from the top through the proper funding agencies to help sponsor or subsidize these research projects-both government and corporate business, predicated by "Social Darwinistic" capitalism-free market economy operational-foundational ideals and philosophies which question the viability of financing such "high-risk" research endeavours interpreted as high-risk liabilities with questionable long-term profitability with no "high-return" rewards or profit for the investor. They question "how practical is it", "who does it benefit" and "why should we fiance such a project" for a people known on record to be extinct.Both levels of bureaucracy continue to circulate funding internally, behind closed doors if you will, via a reciprocal feedback loop of "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours". Its the oldest story in the book: politicians pander and pay lip service to big business which finance the megaprojects (Hibernia, Muskrat Falls, ...) and keep the money flowing in the economy. Anyone who questions or chllenges that "feedback loop" is perceived as a threat and is thrown outside the loop, through the "silent treatment" and starve them out through isolation and deprivation. So it is neither wise nor practical to question the norm here paraphrased periphrastically and euphemistically as "don't bite the hand that feeds you". Any act at questioing the master will be perceived as treason, treachery, or desertion-all acts of rebellion or insurrection from within the ranks and files of the party faithful. Here we are in 2014 and the Beothuk Institute is still fighting to secure funding to complete the comparative DNA study-wow, that is mind blowing. We live in a time now when supercomputers can microprocessor array libraries can perform full-genome wide sequencing of an individuals nuclear DNA in 2-3 hours. What once took 2-3 months, to 2-3 weeks with microprocessors and gen-chips, can now be performed in a mere hours. Yet it has taken a lengthy 10 years or more to go from 2 DNA samples from skeleta sampled in Scotland to the 20 being studied (on hold) through McMaster, MUN Genetics and the Beothuk Institute. The question for the unexpected delays and holds on the research are obvious to any outsider who is neither naive or oblivious. Funding delays are a mere public relations smokescreen or sideshow distraction to interpersonal differences among researchers about sharing of the information in the public domain, licensing and propietary ownership of the test, and implications for ackowedging the existence of a reportedly extinct group of people. So it comes down to "how do we deal with these people", "how do we define them under existing legislation" and "what are the long-term consequences of this recognition". So ultimately, researchers are asking the question "how do we maintain peace and order, while not "upsetting the apple cart" and "destabilizing the status quo". On the one hand we have Northern and Western Europe which is more open to comparative genomics, both genetic genealogy and ancient DNA, openly funding such projects for the altrusitic sharing of knowledge for the philanthropic advancement of mankind, while here in Canada, particularly NL-Lab. there is still a strong "stubbornly persisent illusion" or a strong underground movement against asking any such questions-a movement that has been inherited unconditionally by descendants of Anglo-Irish settlers who bear some of the inherited blame, guilt or shame in somehow being responsible for the actions of their distant ancestors who were deemed as being partly responsible for the extermination or genocide of a distinct and unqiue group of people. It is also founded by a prevailing attitude of provincial NLTA currculum (and textbook)designers and facilitators who pay lip service to provincial bureaucrats and financiers, who continue to allude briefly in lesson-unit plans to the former existence of a people deemed extinct only as a footnote/endnote or suggest for further recommended reading secondary references/resources which are rarely followed through with scholarly debate. For instance, why are resources such as Jackson's "On the Country" and Wetzels "Decolonizing Ktaqmkuk History" not recommended readings in high school curricula-such resources reinforce the credibility of NL Mc oral tradition accounts that some of these people did in fact survive, and tangentially the reasons for extinction or rather diaspora were not only complex, but multitudinous and multifacted being motivated by many factors, such as intragroup-intergroup competition for resources, manifesting as wifestealing & fratricide, hereditary illness, and, finally, Ultimatley, the Beothuk (Pi'tawkewaq) made the final decision to go into hiding, some opting for emigration to Labrador, some opting for integration into Conne River-Bay St. George's communities, with another group of traditionalists stubbornly holding on into the interior vowing never to come out or mix with other groups. That decision was predicated on their own volitional free will and mutually consensual from within. Finally, another factor that is rarely if ever discussed in the research literature is the role that shamanism played in influencing or driving a collective decision to abandon their traditional territories. The fact is that goverment officials who endorse and censor such curriculum content don't want people to ask the essential questions contrary to poplular belief or prevailing stereotypical norms. The reaction to these efforts at effecting a reponse is one directed to and perceived by the activist as giving them the "dumb treatment" or "cold shoulder". They operate under the "modus operandi" lets just pretend that we never read and heard that (with reference to Beothuk survivors) and hopefully with some time they will get the message, shut up and go away. Essentially, it is a sweep it under the rug policy, but all dirty laundry must sometime be put out to wash. So if you take a stand either way here in NL, or heaven forbid even mention their name, you are still regarded in closed circles as a "shit disturber", a "trouble maker", a "pain in the ass" or a "thorn in the side"-as harsh as it sounds, it is true, and truth hurts. I personally think that it was not only a crime committed among the early NL governing authorities and settlers to turn a blind eye to this so called "problem", which doesn't seem to want to go away, but by ignoring the mounting evidence vis a vis the mtDNA and future SNP autosomal DNA evidence among certain NL-NS Mi'kmaq descendants (and perhaps NL Anglo-Irish-French) with a known or attested connection to the Beothuk skeletal collection, we are merely perpetuating that crime in perpetuity and without awareness, through blind ignorance, apathy and indifference the wrong ways of think and doing that goes with that ignorance. This "Social Darwinistic" reasoning was the same mantra or driving force that resulted in the "apparent extinction" of a "nuisance species" such as the Beothuk Wolf (canis lupus beothucus) and the "apparent extinction" of the Beothuk. Old people who spent time "on the country" have known for many years that some NL wolves did in fact survive deep in the interior beyond their official date of extinction-the same argument or reasoning can be said for the Pi'tawkewaq. To date, none of the parties in question who have been implicated in such atrocities against the NL Wolf or the NL Beothuk have stood forward to take some level of responsiblity or to offer condolences in "wiping away the tears" having said sans selfish egotistical pride "On behalf of our ancestors who acted out of ignorance of fear, for any crimes against humanity, beyond our control or cuplability, we are sorry for any hardship, suffering or losses incurred by you or your descendants" To end the above noted preamble, I will contact Ardy Born With Three Thumbs in the near future via e-mail correspondence, but I will need 3-4 weeks to reflect on my thoughts. As an endnote, I include a website address for Oxford RGC-UK Genetics Laboratories (Oxford University Hospitals) as a link providing you with information regarding SNP testing for GLi3 ( find-a-test/search-bylaboratory/laboratory/ oxford-rgc-42/p/). I also include a website address for Svaante Paabos research facility housed at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology: ( Perhaps you can contact him and encourage him to participate in the upcoming DNA studies, as his prodigal expertise in ancient DNA studies would be a valuable asset to the interdisciplinary research team. To sign off, I want you Ardy Born With Three Thumbs to know that you have gained a trusted brother in fealty and spirit in perpetuity to help you and your family to realize its goal, and perhaps the silent and though not unheard goals of other supporters, of initiating the Beothuk skeletal repatriation and reburial process. The chain has now been forged and the bond unbroken until the long-term goals have been relaized. I encourage other descendants with a proven mtDNA connection via HVR I-II + Full mtDNA test results to existing and future samples studies, to initiate a near future petition, demonstration and lobbying movement to expedite the repatriation and reburial process, to bring the skeletal remains back to their resting place where they belong with their loved ones. I encourage you and other Clan Mothers to stand up and do the right thing, in acting out of maternal right and reason. With this I give you my blessing.

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 14:16

    Here is an extract excerpted from the 2013 PAO Annual Field Report regarding the preliminary results of a survey in the Piper's Hole watershed area: ...Ten new sites were recorded. They consist of five unknown aboriginal, three historical/aboriginal and two historic localities. Piper's Hole-1 (CLAn-03), one of the historic/aboriginal sites, is a possible Beothuk occupation, based on the recovery of a headless wrought iron nail and 33 non-diagnostic lithic artifacts. The four other historic components include the alleged homestead of John Barrington, a prominent late-nineteenth century Mi'kmaq resident.... Nine of the 10 new sites yielded surface finds, four of the localities produced artifacts from test pits. Thirty one of ClAn-03s 33 stone artifacts were found on the surface of a blowout and eroding banks. In total, 49 of 53 lithics found in the survey were collected from the surface of eight sites.... (L. Maclean 2013: 99). With regard to the enigma or question as to why archaeologists have not been successful in finding more Beothuk skeletal remains to date, other than the 22 currently being tested for aDNA, one should ask the question: did the 2 primary Beothuk splinter groups that left the Red Indian Lake area ca. 1823-28, one migrating north to Labrador and the other east-southeast to the Piper's Hole-Black River watersheds, shift their mode of burial practices in response to increasing encroachment in their traditional territory to ensure that their remains would not be appropriated by intruders? It is known that the Newfoundland Mi'kmaq and Quebec Mi'kmaq sank their birch-bark canoes during late fall-early winter for preservation. It is quite possible that other Eastern Algonquian groups as well as NL beothuk practiced this tradition. No one ever asked the question, at least in a public medium anyways: did the splinter groups bury their dead with their sunken canoes in lakes and ponds in the interior of Keta'mshi't (Ktaqmkuk) as an alteration or adaptation to an already pre-existing practice, to evade detection by grave robbers? Perhaps that would be a question best answered in the future by the discipline of underwater archaeology! Another area which has not been explored in more detail but warrants further research is the satellite imaging and topographic mapping, and coastal surveying of caves. It is known that the Beothuk and Dorset Inuit (Tuniit) buried their dead in coastal caves and rock outcrops. For example, it is known that some members of the Martin family from Indian Cove, Piper's Hole-Le Cornu (The Horn) were born in a cave located in the side of a mountain. Source:(

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 13:18

    I have been following up on some of the comment of "Ardy Born With Three Thumbs". While not questioing the veracity or truthfulness of her genealogical claims to tracing direct descent from Santu, or her reported connections to Demasduit via genetic genealogy testing (mtDNA C1), I must address 2 question of relevance indirectly relating to the topic. First, I am sure that you are aware that there exists reconstructed circumstantial evidence collated from NL Mi'kmaw oral tradition accounts and other ethnographic evidence that both Santu and John William Paul, Speck's informant and guide, were believed to be brother and sister. I am sure that you are also aware that both John William Paul and John Barrington, of Conne River (Breton "Le Cornu" The Horn")-Indian Cove, Piper's Hole-Black River, PB, are known to be related, at least through family oral traditions and reconstructed circumstantial evidence. For example, Alphonse Barrington Jr. of Badger s/o Alphonsus Barrington Sr (b. Black River, PB, b. ca. 1880) reiterated on numerous occasions after citing stories told to him by NL Mi'kmaw elders from the community of Badger, where he grew up that both the Barringtons and Pauls were indeed related. In relating what an elder member of the Paul family told him as a young man, Alphonse stated: "you guys [Barringtons] are related to us [Pauls]. You guys are Mountaineers from Labrador". The question remains was the ethnonym "Mountaineer" noting more than a taboo-deformed term for Beothuk Indian, given the proven close ethnographic, linguistic and, perhaps, genetic affinities of both groups? This Labrador Montagnais-Naskapi connection was attested through not only oral tradition accounts of Beothuk informants that confirmed friendly relations with the Shaudamunk (Innu-aimun Tshiuatin-innuat/k) "Northen People" (cf. Mc Oqwatnukewaq), an origin myth or legend of the Beothuk tracing ancestry and migration from Labrador, as well as the destination of a small surviving splinter group that migrated there ca. 1826-28. A similar argument of such alleged Mountaineer ancestry may also be extended to the John/Baptiste/Sekaquet patriline of Miawpukek-Nukamkia'ji'jk. As an extension to this reasoning, albeit hitherto unproven pending future comparative genetic genealogy testing of the Beothuk skeletal remains and their full genome sequencing & comparison to extant (Mi'kmaq, Innuat, Labridorimiut, Kablunanngajuit) and extinct (Maritime Archaic Indian-Red Paint People, Beothuk, and Tuniit/Dorset Inuit), I am sure that Ms. Landry (Ardy Born With Three Thumbs) is also aware that the phenotypic trait of having multiple thumbs or radial preaxial polydactyly, is a congenital, autosomal-dominant, hereditary condition encoded by a zinc-finger GLi3 frameshift mutation on locus 7p13 (short p arm of chromosome 7 @ position 13, located from base pair 41,960,948-42,237,869). So as to air on the side of caution and not to presuppose, I am also sure that you are aware that this GLi3 mutation also encodes both Greig Cephalopolysyndactyly and Pallister-Hall Syndrome, with their associated embedded clusters of syndromic and non-syndromic symptoms. My question for "Ardy Born With Three Thumbs": has your family been tested for GLi3 frameshift mutation on 7p13, and, if not, will you and/or your family members be willing and able to participate in a future full genome SNP comparative autosomal DNA study to help in identifying this gene and other related gene clusters associated with this and other related medical conditions?

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 02:31

      White Hair, My email is: I would like to further discuss your DNA request in the best interest of medical science for future generations. Do not hesitate to contact me at the above address so I can learn more about your role in this topic. Also, I assume you have seen a copy of my mtDNA certificate to be aware that I was born to a Landry father. Today, my legal name is: Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs as recorded on my property deed, driver's license, utility bills and other documents. Also, I have made application to Misel Joe, Newfoundland Government & Beothuk Institute in the past as to having Demasduit and her husband's skulls repatriated from Scotland to Red Indian Lake for reburial, however, none of the said parties were interested in supporting my request. Furthermore, Chris Aylward from Nfld whom teaches at Ryerson in Ontario visited me in 2012 at my dwelling in Nova Scotia to assist in a dissertation he is preparing on the Beothuk. Professor Aylward was accompanied by a cameraman from Ontario as he is also preparing a film on this matter. Each & every person involved is like a Link, but, when we join hands, we have Forged a Chain === Together we shall make a difference. Hope my Smoke Signal reaches your Camp in Good Spirit! Ardy

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 13:30

      White Hair, Although I am familiar with Amerindian mtDNA ... I am not schooled in science as you appear to be able to quote genetic information at random; similarly, I consider myself well-versed in legislation, statutes & caselaw pertaining to Treaty & Aboriginal Rights of American Indians. It is very important to me as it is the only life I know - my life. I was born 1951, at a time that it was not so easy for Indians. Actually, today it is still not an easy life. I was born in a shack without electricity & water. I was forced to Catholic school as a child. I have a grade 6 education. I still live in a 2x4 shack without a foundation, furnace or septic system. I ate out of dumps as a child. I continue to see more mealtimes than meals. I weigh about 85 lbs. Just think, Canadian Taxpayers share in excess of $20 Billion Dollars a year with the Aboriginal People of Canada. Today, our people should not want for anything. Where are the monies going? I rely on our Treaty Rights for Survival - Hunting & Fishing for bounty provided by the Creator to be used as sustenance for food, personal consumption & ceremonial purpose. Like my Mother from whose Womb I stem and her Mother - my Grandmother - I refuse to live in captivity of a governmental Indian Reservation. I am a Status Indian registered with Indian Affairs Canada on the General List - Atlantic - therefore, I have no affiliation or membership with an INAC First Nations Band. I am MicMac Nation. I never received a Red Cent for being an Indian - I was born Indian. The Land does not belong to the Indian - The Indian belongs to the Land. It is of utmost importance to me that my Beothuk Ancestors remains be returned to Newfoundland to there original burial location and where their son is buried. Then and only then shall my Ancestors have Spiritual Peace. It seems today that others claiming to be "Indian" are only consumed by monies, moreso than a traditional value system of respect for those whom we have a duty owing as they gave their lives for us to be here today. It greatly disturbs me in regards to the Beothuk Institute's failure to support me on this sacred matter. The Institute continue to spend monies un-necessarily when they are aware that I have Beothuk mtDNA, as does my 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters. One would of thought that the Newfoundland Government would have taken my request of re-patriation more seriously as this matter also has great cultural relevance to the history of the province which may have financially boosted & positively affected the tourism industry. Furthermore, without balance there shall be no harmony ... Misel Joe failed me too. Many others fail not only to see the burden on the MicMac Woman's shoulder ... they also Fail to see the Motherlode - the Great Burden in the MicMac Woman's Heart. I am slowing up on the trail. I do not have many seasons walking the land of my Ancestors hunting, fishing & singing our songs in the fading sunset of my Indian Summer years. I remain a Free Indian. This is not talk I choose to speak, but talk that must be spoke. I honor my traditional unpaid role as Clanmother of the Tribe of MicMac. These talks are good medicine for us and healing for me, a MicMac Woman. Thank you for allowing me to share. Submitted in the Spirit & Intent of Treaty - Peace & Friendship. All my respect. Chief Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs - Sagama'sgw TTT (my mark)

    • Ardy Born With 3 Thumbs
      April 18, 2014 - 15:05

      White Hair, I forgot to mention that since I had my DNA tested in 2008 at Family Tree DNA, Houston Texas I agreed to further extensive testing paid by others through laboratories at MeAnd23 & DecodeMe; plus the University of Illinois whom studied my test results said my Amerindian mtDNA was "Special". I even received health reports from my testing. It is amazing the things DNA can tell us about ourselves. Scientific DNA evidence trumps British documents and Oral theories daily in Canadian Courts convicting, exonerating & determinig paternity. I was never a threat to Misel Joe, the "Chief" whom calls himself "Mi'kmaq", but, where is his Pride? I was not an enemy of the Newfoundland government, I even voluteerily issued a Permit to Premier Dunderdale for the dam development at Muskrat Falls. I could be their Strongest Ally - the original Spirit & Intent of the Sacred Covenant Chain of Peace & Friendship Treaties forged Nation to Nation between the Royal Imperial Crown of Great Britain and Her Majesty's Ally, the Tribe of MicMac in the 18th century. The Beothuk Institute which has been in existence for many moons continues to campaign for donations in their longtime search of locating living Beothuk DNA, yet they are aware that I have Beothuk mtDNA. They all forget that MicMac Woman has feelings too. Then I ponder ... if I was a "Man" would my re-patriation request been taken more seriously ... rather than be faced with systemic racism of a bygone colonial paternalistic era ... makes one wonder, doesn't it? Let us hope they all soon see the light. Historically speaking, the MicMac are very forgiving people. Let the healing begin. In closing, I would feel Great Honor to support you in your lifework in regards to the Ancient Ones of the MicMac - The Beothuk. Today is a Good Day! - Smile! - Ardy TTT

  • White Hair
    April 07, 2014 - 12:21

    Will the Beothuk Institute and the PAO (Provincial Archaeology Office) commit to undertaking an arcaeological survey and follow-up dig of the Red Indian Pond site in the Piper's Hole watershed area, where are a small group of Beothuk survivors were hiding out at a remote mountain camp ca. 1809-1819, prior to migrating to the old Mi'kmaw-Pi'tawkewaw campsite of Nukamkia'ji'jk (Indian Cove, Brown's Island), Piper's Hole, PB.? See the 2013 PAO Annual Field Report (Laurie Maclean 2013, Burnside Heritage Foundation) ( for preliminary results of a field survey and follow-up dig in the Nukamkia'ji'jk area.

  • Tony Stuckless
    April 02, 2014 - 14:28

    The Stucklesses of Twillingate always had it passed down from generation to generation that there is a Beothuck connection in our family. The most unique thing about us is our teeth.

  • Jessica Gallant-Hatt
    February 11, 2014 - 01:04

    I'm a status Mi'kmaq and had my mtDNA done last year I belong to hg X2a1 and a dna match to Chief Nonosabusut .

  • Grant Tucker
    November 13, 2013 - 14:52

    There is compelling historical, anecdotal and anatomical evidence that the Beothucks are not extinct. They may be alive and well and living all around us. Those of us who have roots in Hants Harbour consider it very likely that there was a Beothuck female in our ancestry. There is enough evidence to warrant genetic testing.

  • Carmel Whittle
    July 02, 2013 - 23:18

    The Beothuk did survive with great efforts made by the Mi'kmaq People who protected the Beothuk. The government of NL & Lab. needs to support the science community in investing funds to find the truth through DNA testing to uncover that the Beothuk (Pi,taw) People remain with us to this day despite all the efforts made by previous history to deny their existence. Wela'lin (Thank you) to the Mi'kmaq People who also must be cleared of being the blame for the Beothuk's demise. The truth is in the DNA. Many scientist who have researched the genetics of the Beothuk cannot say for certain that the Beothuk exist because they do not have enough genetic comparisons to go by unless the Mi'kmaq of NL & Lab have DNA testing. The government should do the right thing and make sure that those who wish to be tested can be out of respect for the First Nations Peoples of NL & Lab. To restore the Mi'kmaq pride in all Mi'kmaq People that they helped their Beothuk brothers and sisters survive. Scientist need the evidence and they need the cooperation and funds from the government to successfully claim the existence of the Beothuk.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2013 - 21:50

    I remember hearing about 15-20 yrs ago that there was a family in Central NL that had similar dental features/jaw structure of the Beothuck. But nothing ever came of it so I don't know if it is true or not. I would be so pleased to hear the Beothuck aren't all gone. But I'm not sure those with Beothuck ancestry would enjoy the amount of attention they would get. Talk about media frenzy.

  • Joe
    July 02, 2013 - 13:54

    It makes a lot o sense given the events surrounding our Mi'kmaq ancestry. It's understandable. It goes without say, "Out of sight; out of mind" There are probably many other ancestry groups that are alive and well! Wouldn't it be interesting to find out that we all have Indian blood flowing through our veins, except for Stephen Harper of course. I would be ashamed to know that he has Indian blood! How ironic would that be?

  • Cindy Murray
    April 29, 2013 - 16:45

    I hope the Beothuk Institute is soon successful in raising the remaining financial resources necessary to continue with their important DNA testing to find a genetic link between our beloved Beothuk and Mi'kmaq people. DNA testing should also be done to find a genetic link between the Beothuk and Europeon and French settlers as well because if the genetic link survived with just one known female brought to Iceland by the Vikings, it stands to reason that there could very well be much more to be discovered right here in Newfoundland!! Contact with Europeon or French settlers meant almost certain death for the Beothuk, so they would have likely gone to great lengths to keep their native origin secret. As far as I understand it, their skin was lighter than most native groups, so removing the red ocher from their bodies would have perhaps made it easier for them to blend in with Europeon and French settlers. I read at least one comment on-line from a Newfoundlander who claimed that his ancestor was of Beothuk origin.

  • Gerry Samms
    April 19, 2013 - 10:27

    I am excited to think that the Beothuck were not driven to extinction.. my family has great evidence of native blood, I would be pleased to undergo DNA testing if it meant proving a point.