Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chief Tecumseh - Shawnee

Chief Tecumseh


Tecumseh was a Native American Chief of the Shawnee tribe.  Tecumseh was born in March of 1768.  He was also known as Tecumtha and Tekamthi. His brother was Tenskwatawa (aka Teleskwataw and Lowawluwaysica) who was a great religious leader known as the prophet.
The following is a quotation from the wikipedia on the internet about Tecumseh:
Tecumseh (March 1768 – October 5, 1813), also known as Tecumtha or Tekamthi, was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy that opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. He grew up in the Ohio country during the American Revolutionary War and the Northwest Indian War, where he was constantly exposed to warfare.

His brother Tenskwatawa was a religious leader who advocated a return to the ancestral lifestyle of the tribes. A large following and a confederacy grew around his prophetic teachings. The religious doctrine led to strife with settlers on the frontier, causing the group to move farther into the northwest and settle Prophetstown, Indiana in 1808.

There Tecumseh confronted Indiana Governor William Henry Harrison to demand that land purchase treaties be rescinded. He tried to unite Native American tribes in a confederacy to expand into the southern United States.[1] While he was away traveling, Tenskwatawa was defeated in the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe.

During the War of 1812, Tecumseh and his confederacy allied with the British in Canada and helped in the capture of Fort Detroit. The Americans, led by Harrison, launched a counter assault and invaded Canada. They killed Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames, in which they were also victorious over the British.

Tecumseh has subsequently become a legendary folk hero. He is remembered by many Canadians for his defense of the country.
Tecumseh and his brother Tenskwatawa

More in-depth information is given about the relationship between Tenskwatawa and Tecumseh in Volume 12 of a series of books called The Chronicles of Oklahoma.  This book can be found in the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, on the 3rd floor.  The call number is 976.6 b2c. 

The following is a summary of page 272 - 274 in Volume 12:

Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee Native American and a "mystic", claimed to be the voice of the Great Father and was called the Prophet by Native Americans.  He said that the Great Father was displeased with Native Americans because they had given up their simple ways and adopted the ways of the white man.  The Great Father had punished the Native Americans by sutting off their source of food, wild game.  To gain back the favor of the Great Father, they had to renounce the ways of the white man, especially their weapons, their liquor, dress and manners.  He called on Native Americans to return to the old way of life and take up new songs and dances which he, the Prophet, would give them.

Tecumseh, escalated this religious program presented by his brother and made it a political agenda.  He wanted to unite all the Native American nations in one great confederacy.  He wanted to stop the White Man in the western expansion of the United States. 

He traveled far and wide to proclaim the message of his brother and to unite all Native Americans.

Tecumseh was killed in the Battle of the Thames , also known as the Battle of Moraviatown, near present day Chatam, Ontario, Canada, on October 5, 1813.

Burial of Tecumseh

This internet site gives a history of the burial of Tecumseh:

"When Tecumseh was slain at the Battle of Moraviantown, Indians came at night and took his body away. For many years Tecumseh's bones had no permanent resting-place. Although they were moved several times, there was always someone who knew where they were. Rumours repeatly circulated that the bones of Tecumseh had been found. Finally, the men of the Soldiers' and Ex-Serviceman's Club of Walpole Island took action. These men had served in the Great War of 1914 under the same flag as Tecumseh. Their military service with non-Indians had given them confidence. They did not think it right that the bones of the great chief should be treated with disrespect. Accordingly, in 1931, a Grand Council passed a resolution that the bones which had been preserved on Walpole Island were the actual bones of Tecumseh. The Soldiers'Club raised money, buried the bones of the old leader, and erected a simple monument over it. Today this monument overlooks the St. Clair River at the junction of the main road to the Island and River Road."

Family History

In the early seventeen hundreds, a man by the name of Frederick Iaac came from Rotterdam, Netherlands, and settled in America.  Frederick was born in 1713 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  When he came to America, at some point he changed his name to Frederick Ice.  He married a young woman named Mary Galloway and they had 4 children; Mary, William, John and Christina.  While Frederick and John were away on a trip, Native Americans raided the Iaac home and took Mary, William and John captive.

It has not been established which tribe captured the children.  Some say it was a Mohawk tribe and other say it was a Cherokee tribe.  Eventually, Mary ended up in the Choctaw tribe. Mary had red hair and was very pretty.  She caught the attention of the chief of the Shawnee whose name was Pucksinwah.  The chief took Mary for his wife. Mary was given the Native American name of Methotasa.

Mary and Chief Pucksinwah had five children: Tecumseh, Chikiska, Tecumapaese, Sauwaseekaw, Kumskawa and Tenskawatawa (the Prophet).  Sauwaseekaw, Kumskawa and Tenskawata were triplets.

Tecumseh married a Native American woman named Mohnetohse and together they had one son named Mahyawwekawpaese.  Sometime after that, Tecumseh divorced Mohnetohse and married another Native American named Mamate.  Together they had a son named Naythawaynah.  A descendant of Tecumseh's sister, Tecumapaese, states that Mamate died in childbirth.  However, others believe that she was the mother of many more children.


If you are LDS (a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and you have a new FamilySearch account, you can find Tecumseh and his descendants on Once you are in, type in your user name and password. Click on the Search tab. Click on the Search by Number tab. Type in L4T3-H6H in the Person Identifier box. Click on Search

Tecumseh's pedigree with details will appear. The wife that appears on the first screen will be Monetohse. One child is listed for this couple. To see other children of Tecumseh, go to the tab Spouses and Children and click on the other wives. This will show their children. At this point you will be able to move around and see his ancestors and descendants. If you have trouble, contact your ward family history consultant.


Tecumseh was a great Native American Shawnee Chief.  He was revered amoung his people.

Other Chiefs
Crazy Horse - Sioux
Red Cloud - Sioux
Red Fox - Sioux
Sitting Bull - Sioux