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Home: Surnames: Donnell Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Chief ORONO of the Penobscot nation in Maine/// UPDATE...
Posted by: melissa1 (ID *****3873) Date: May 10, 2004 at 05:49:30
In Reply to: Chief ORONO of the Penobscot nation in Maine was actually William DONNELL??? by melissa1 of 687

I just received requested info (the actual article from 1992), from the Univ. of Maine in Orono, and the article is very interesting. It is NOT conclusive in any way, but it does lend good support for this theory.

The Sources cited are Great and credible, and the author cites and quotes 2 well known Reverand's from Chief Joseph Orono's time who knew him well.

All of the info about his physical descriptions however continue to state as I mentioned in my original post...this man WAS white NOT Indian. He had reddish hair and blue eyes and the color of his skin was Not at all coppery colored. Later in his aging years, he was noted as having a "ghostly" appearance and snow white hair.

The claim that he was related to the Baron de Castine's family was refuted in this article in that his family had No son's or grandson's etc. of the age of Chief Orono.

One of the two Rev.'s said that when Chief Orono was sickly and very aging, claimed his name was Peter DONALD and that he ~thought~ he was from the Kennebec area.

On my own 5th grt. grandmother's marriage record from 1774 Maine, her last name was also spelled DONALD but a note said that it was more commonly spelled DONNELL / DUNNELL.

There were DONNELL's in the Georgetown, Lincoln Co., ME area and I believe there were some in Kennebec Co., ME as well. However, the article says that Chief Orono was from YORK, Co., Maine lending creedence to the possibility of him being the captive William Donnell of 1692. Perhaps William's full name was William Peter Donnell or something like that.

From the man who is supposed to be his birth father, Samuel Donnell (and wife Alice Chadbourne) of York Co., Maine, in Samuel's will in 1718, he makes mention of his son William and says "if he ever returns".... It was known in York Co., that Samuel's son William was captured by the Penobscot Indians in 1692. Whether or not William was actually Chief Joseph Orono still remains a mystery.

Fannie Hardy Eckstorm's books mention him as well as even she noted he was Not Indian. She makes mention of his signature too and notes how it has been called a "seal" through the ages, but she says emphatically that his signature was a BEAVER!

Anyway, this is all for now.

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