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Subject: Re: Seeking Shawnee Tribal descendants(TECUMSEH) relatives
Date: Monday, December 10, 2001
Who was the mother of Tecumseh? Her Shawnee name was Methotasa, meaning "A turtle laying her eggs in the sand. But where did she come from? Most of the books you read will tell you that the Shawnee's capture her while fighting the Cherokee, and the great chief Pucksinwah, married her. She became the mother of Chiksika, Tecumapese, Tecumseh, and the triplets, Sauwaseekau, Kumskaka, Tenskwatawa, who later became known as Lowawluwaysica (The Profit, although most who have studied about this family know that he was not the profit, it was his brother Tecumseh). Later they would adopt two white girls and a white boy who were taken as captives after fights with the white people.
Many people will tell you that Methotasa was first a Mohawk, or from some other tribe before she was taken by, or traded to the Cherokee. But, Methotasa was not Native American at all. Methotasa, mother of Tecumseh, was born, Marguerite Mary Iaac. She was born between 1728 and 1737 in Hampshire Co. WV. Her parents were Frederick Iaac Jr. who was born about 1713 in Holland and died in Monongalia Co. WV. And Mary Galloway, born about 1690.
While Frederick and some men were out one day, many members of his family were attacked and killed by a band of indians. His wife Mary Galloway Iaac was among those found dead.
Some of the children were taken as captives, Marguerite Mary Iaac, who was between the age of 5 and 10, William Iaac, John Iaac, and Christina Iaac. Marguerite Mary Iaac ended up with the Cherokee, she may have been traded to them, or sold, or captured by them. It was told that she had flaming red hair and was very pretty. She spent many years with the Cherokee, but was taken captive by the Shawnee after a battle between the two tribes. Mary soon became a favorite in the eyes of the Shawnee Chief, Pucksinwah, and they were married. That is who Methotasa really was.
In book, Sorrow in my Heart, by Allan W. Eckert, I read a passage about Methotasa going to visit her family after she was very old. I always wondered who they meant. There was reference in the book to it being her Cherokee family, but that didn't make sense to me since her cherokee family had died out. The Iaac (ICE) family tell a story about a woman, Mary Iaac, who had been kidnapped by the Indians when she was a small child, and returned in her olden age to visit with the family. This was around 1825. Mary didn't stay with the family, she only came to visit before going back to her people.
In many books I have read about Tecumseh's family there is reference to him looking like a white man. In fact he looked so much like a white man that he was able to dress in white mans clothing and walk into their camps and towns without being noticed. There were many references to him being a very handsome man. No one ever photographed or painted a picture of Tecumseh while he was living. But later someone painted a portrait of him based on a photo that was taken of his nephew who looked nothing like him.
Tecumapease was married twice, Her first husband died before their son was born, and her second husband divorced her. At one time she took off with a french trader but Tecumseh went after her and forced her to go back to her people. Some have her married much later to a Rupe Collins. If she married Rupe Collins she would have been in her late forties when this happened.
Ice's Ford was founded prior to 1769 by the brothers andrew and Frederick Ice. It was an outpost located at the foot of the beautiful hundred mile long Cheat River Valley. It was a combination of a store, meeting house, drinking place and message center. ..a stopping point for traders, trappers, scouts and adventureres. William A. Galloway, Old Chillocothe (Xenia, 1934)