Preserving Brothertown Indian Burial Sites 

What do a Dowser, two historical societies, a fence-builder, and a non-recognized Indian tribe have in common?  They are all working to preserve the ancient burial grounds of the Brothertown Indian tribe.   Our ancestors were Christianized tribes that were remnants of New England--Mohegans, Pequots, Narrangansett,  Niantic,  Montauk, and Tunxis, who  began to form a new nation on the Oneida reservation in 1774.  Our Brothertown ancestors are buried in the Niles-Occom cemetery in present-day hamlet of Deansboro, New York.  Our honored dead were carried to their final resting place in old Brothertown.   A couple of other Brothertown Indians were buried in the Deansboro town cemetery (Prude and Esther POQUENUP), but the ravages of time have claimed these headstones.  Because of incessant land encroachment on Brothertown lands in New York, the tribe removed to Wisconsin in the early 1830s.  Over the past 200 years, the connection to our ancestors in New York has remained.  Their struggles and history resonate with us today as they will for the seven generations to come.  Unfortunately, time and distance have taken their toll on Brothertown resting places, but this Go-Fund-Me site is raising money for four purposes:

1.       Clear accumulated debris from the Niles-Occom cemetery

2.       Utilize the services of a Dowser in combination with previous maps and recorded information to reestablish the boundaries of the Niles-Occom cemetery (Top photo)

3.       Install a fence around the perimeter of the Niles-Occom cemetery to prevent further encroachment on burial grounds

4.       Replace two broken Brothertown Indian headstones in the Deansboro cemetery with flush granite markers (Bottom photo)

The goal of the Protecting Brothertown Indian Burial Sites (PBIBS) project is to raise $2,500 to support this effort.  The Marshall Historical Society and Calumet and Cross Heritage Society will each raise $250 for this project.  The remainder that needs to be raised by spring 2021 is $2,000.

You don't have to be a Brothertown Indian, a history buff, an anthropologist, or even a sexton to support this project.  You can become one of this unique assembly by making a tax-deductible donation to the PBIBS project, a rare opportunity to protect American Indian burial grounds.

Bottom photo headstone inscriptions:

Left-hand Marker

Memory of
Prude Harry
Daughter of Sampson & Eunice
Died December 24, 1884

Broken Right-hand Marker

Memory of
who was a member of the Mohegan
Tribe of Indians
Died January 22, 1822
a practiced and exemplary Christian
Aged 96 years and 3 months

Donations (20)

See top
  • Anonymous
    • $110 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Greg E
    • $20 (Offline)
    • 3 yrs
  • Linda Hake
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $1,000 
    • 3 yrs
  • Connie Ruddy
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
See all


Amy Medford
Oakland, CA
Calumet and Cross Heritage Society, Inc
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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