Who - What - Where - Why

Who were the Siwanoy people?

The Siwanoy people were an Native American Indian tribe. They lived in what is now called Southern Westchester County and the North Bronx. This is not the whole area where The Bronx meets Southern Westchester County; this is only in the eastern part. There is a road that goes along the water that is called Pelham Road when you are in New Rochelle (Southern Westchester) and it turns into Shore Road when you enter The Bronx. It is this area and mostly on the border and Bronx side that is where the Siwanoy Indians lived. There are a few areas in Pelham Manor (Westchester County) and the Bronx that are called Split Rock, this is a name given by the Siwanoy Indians. So their area of life basically existed on what we would call both sides of the border (between New York CIty - The Bronx - and Pelham Manor - Westchester Country). Back then the Siwanoy Indians didn't have these borders obviously.

The Siwanoy Indian Tribe was part of The Algonquian people who were also called the Wappinger. These people were not as organized as many of the Native American people who lived in the Midwest and the West. They were actually not organized at all but part of a bigger number of tribes on the East Coast. They most closely resemble and were probably most similar to the Lenape people.

These Siwanoy people lived in this area (the N.Y. Metro area) in the 1400's to the 1700's. There is the possibility that some of the Siwanoy Indians lived in the 1900th century (the 1800's), but not as they were. They would have had to assimilate or they would have left the land they were on due to what is now called "White encroachment." The Siwanoy had to leave the area due to war and conflict with the white settlers in the 1700's. Most of the Siwanoy tribe merged into other tribes such as the Mahican who then moved either north to Massachusetts and/or then moving further west. It is very difficult to try to attempt to find a person of Siwanoy ancestry. If you know of someone who is, let us know. We'd like to know if any Siwanoy people still exist today or if they cease to exist today.


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