The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, made first ethno-historic contact with the English in 1607/1608 in what is now Nottoway County. We were referred to as Mangoak, or Mengwe, by the Algonquian Tribes and later in 1650, per the diary entries of Edward Bland, referred to again by the Algonquian Tribes as “Nadawa,” which soon reverted to Nottoway. In our native Iroquoian Tongue (Dar-sun-ke) we call ourselves CHE-RO-EN-HA-KA – People at the Fork of the Stream.
We Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) lodged and hunted in the southeastern part of Virginia along the Nottoway and Blackwater River. Our hunting territory extended into North Carolina along the Chowan River as far as Albemarle Sound. We, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe’s Chief Men were signers of three Treaties with the English / Colonial Government: the Treaty of 1646, 1677 and 1713-14 (w/Successor Clause), wherein Tribal Land was granted, the last of which was the” Circle” and the “Square Tract” (41 K acres) located in what is now Sussex and Southampton County, Virginia.
An 1808 “Special Census” depicted the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Members still living on reservation land in Southampton County, Virginia in the vicinity of Assomoosick Swamp. Due to conditions germane to an influx of English Settlers (encroachment) and other accompanying economic conditions; to include, "Documentary Genocide,” some Tribal Members dispersed to other locations outside of Southampton County and even the state of Virginia; however, the majority of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Members remained, continuing to live in a communal group/tribe in “Artist Town” up to the early 1990s, and their descendants (as of this day) still remain in Southampton County.
We are still here, as the reorganized Historic Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe, Southampton County, Virginia, and we are aggressively telling our story. For our Tribal Status and Recognition with and by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Government has never been negated by any act, policy or law as verified in the Southampton County Court Case of 1851 – Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe VS Jeremiah Cobb and the February 27, 1713 Treaty between our Tribal King, Ouracoorass Teerheer AKA William Edmunds, and Colonial Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood. WE invite you to view these pages to learn more about our tribe's rich history, traditions, and, cultural life. Feel free to contact us and try to attend our tribal events.