Jeffrey M. Coney

Our family has long known of a Susquehannock Indian connection. According to family tradition: A relative named Richie Condon (my gggreat-grandfather) traded with the Susquehannock, in what would now be the Williamsport, PA, and Western Susquehanna River branch, on a regular basis. They dealt with him for what sounds like it may have been a number of years and he got along well with them. On one such trip he met a Susquehannock squaw who was either the daughter of the tribe/community’s chief or medicine man (not exactly sure which). After several trips Richie and the squaw fell in love, however it was kept secret because her father would not approve. Well as you might expect he found out anyways. There was a big scandal in the Indian community and Richie was told to leave and never return. He said he wouldn’t without her. The father told him if you don’t we’ll kill you. I’m not sure of the exact words Richie used but he basically told the father you’ll have to kill me then because I won’t leave without her. The presumption is that whatever was said impressed the father; he let Richie live and they married.

The family only knows the squaw, his wife, as “Susqua”. They had a daughter named Hannah Condon (born June 6, 1832, died 1906) not sure if they did it on purpose or out of a sense of humor but when placed together… Susqua-Hannah (like the river – get it!). I have Photos of Hannah and David Coney which were taken in the 1890s.

Hannah married David Coney (My Great Great Grandfather – Born 1828 Juniata, PA, Died: 1900)
His son: Robert Coney (My Great Grandfather)
His son: Rev. Daniel Richie Coney Sr. (My Grand Father)
His son: Elmer C. Coney Sr. (My Father)
His son: Jeffrey M. Coney (Me)

So, if my math is correct that would make me 1/32nd Susquehannock Indian. While tracing my family lines I found that the newest family line’s arrival was in the 1830s – most branches of my family have been here since the early 1600s to mid 1700s. The earliest Coney held office in the Virginia house of Burgesses in 1628 so it won’t surprise me if I find more Indian connections.
Thanks, Jeff

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11 Responses

  1. 1 Abbie
    2011 Dec 02

    Broken Claw,

    Though I understand your upset over a word, it would be more helpful if you did not criticize, but inform. This is the term my family has always used. I would love to know more, and you could be instrumental in that endeavor. What were they called? What was the “tradition” for women to marry? There is no information out there regarding Susquehannock or Andastes Indians. I am looking for information to my family heritage. I get asked all the time by strangers, “What are you?”. Talk about insulting. I would love to tell them if I knew. Teach, educate those who ask questions. It is far more productive than scolding on a term used. Thanks so much..

    BrokenClaw’s reply: Really?? You consider my comment to be “scolding”? Exactly what phrase in my comment has any tenor of criticism or scolding? Contrary to what you said, my comment is, in fact, educational and instructive. I believe the original writer understood.

  2. 2 Abbie
    2011 Dec 02

    How did you find all of this out!? I can trace my Susquehannock ancestry as far as Harper Myers. He was the son of a German immigrant born roughly 1877 and an un-named Indian squaw. I am desperate to find the link to the un-named but full Susquehannock Indian woman to the German immigrant. I look different than my family and I would love to find out what the story is and where my tribe came from. Did they fall in love? Was she sold? Did she run away? How did she survive when the tribe was destroyed forever with no survivors? It would appear that I am only one generation away from finding out, but have hit a dead end.

    Can you help??

  3. 3 Carolyn Coney
    2011 Jan 31

    I’m a Coney from Tampa, FL- my branch of the family originated in Texas on a plantation… do you know how your branch corresponds to mine? I love the story of the Susquehannock Indian connection and would love to bring it up at our next big holiday!

  4. 4 connie scott
    2010 Oct 03

    This is all so truly amazing. I cannot wait to show my own mother who is still living and is 1/8 or 1/16 Native American. Her father was Native American but not sure how much. But I remember my Great Grandmother when she would let me brush her very long beautiful and surely Native American hair when she wanted her long pigtails taken out. Of my mother’s 8 siblings, 5 of them were told they could not attend regular school. They were pulled out of regular classes on one day and shipped to Indian borading schools, that is until my grandmother showed up at the school with her other 3 children who did not look Native American and demanded that since they could not produce evidence, her children would all be going to regular school. They released all 4 boys and 1 girl back home to my grandmother. I used to have contact with a far removed cousin who went to live/work on a reservation but we never completed the genealogy before I lost touch and my mother has always wanted to know!!!!!!!!Thank You and any help, pic’s would be greatly appreciated. I was born at Connellsville PA Hospital 1958 and my grandparents settled in Uniontown PA. My grandfathers name is “John Long”

  5. 5 Laurel Bertini
    2010 Jul 25

    Amazing! All of the comments were like listening to my grandmother again! My great, great, great grandfather was Susquehannah and married a German girl. They had 3 children. There was a name or word she called him-something like wampol. Also Wilkes-Barre was where they were from. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I was also told in my search that Gramma’s story was dubious and they were all gone, but it’s so wonderful to know that they’re still alive through all of you.

  6. 6 Sarah Markel
    2010 Jun 07

    My maternal great-grandmother was either a full-blooded or half-blooded Susquehannock. That would make me either 1/8th or 1/16th Susquehannock. I would like to find out more information about my ancestors and/or possibly join my appropriate tribe (I’m not sure what that would be since the Susquehannock are considered to be “extinct”, perhaps Iriquois?)…

    Anyone with any info, feel free to email me –

    I’d love to know more about my ancestry to be able to tell my children when they are old enough! :)

  7. 7 Jeffrey M. Coney
    2010 May 15

    I did send a couple of photos to Broken Claw for posting. In the mean time you can contact me at, and I would be happy to share a photos and any additional information I come across with you.

  8. 8 Hank Smeltzer
    2010 May 10

    Hi Bev;
    Sorry for any confusion. I had merely stumbled on this site after seeing a historical marker that was rather offensive and looking on line for some information about Susquehannock Indians. I have no info. You might check out Indian Steps Museum on the York side of the river near Otter Creek Campground.

  9. 9 Beverly
    2010 May 07

    Years ago I was told I have Susquehannock ancesters, and I always wondered what they might have looked like. I have searched a few sites never really finding what I amn looking for, but then I found your site.
    It there any way you could post the picture of Hannah for me?
    Is there any other info you might have.
    Tis is all on my fathers side. Thanks Bev

  10. 10 Jeffrey M. Coney
    2010 Mar 15

    Thank you, I’ll take that advice to heart. I assure you that no offence or slur was ever intended. We actually thought it was a word simply meaning “woman”. I really had not given it a thought and it never occurred to me that it was a point of contention or used as an insult. After all, in reality I’d be offending myself and my heritage. I’m quite proud of my family, all branches. I have a lot to learn about my American Indian connections and heritage.

  11. 11 BrokenClaw
    2010 Mar 14

    The use of the term squaw has been discussed at length over the last few decades, based on the notion that it is an insulting term for native American women. In other words, it is considered politically incorrect, in much the same way as various terms for African Americans have been abandoned from proper lexicon. In the case of squaw, it’s origin is generally accepted to be an Algonkian root which does, in fact, refer to females. In this context, the word may be perfectly reasonable in Mr. Coney’s narration. However, I would caution others against using the word in contemporary practice.

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