Occom, Sarah

Faith:

Christianity

Nationality:

Groton Pequot

Residence:

Mohegan, CT

Marital status:

Married to Joshua Occom (Tomockham).

Biography:

Sarah Occom was Samson Occom's mother. There is some evidence that she was a member of the Groton Pequots, a remnant of the once powerful Pequot Tribe that was decimated by the war with the Puritans in 1636-37. (The Pequots and Mohegans were once a unified people until the Mohegan chief Uncas and a band of followers split off after a dispute with Sassacus, who became sachem of the Pequots.) One genealogy gives Sarah's birthdate as 1694, her maiden name as Wauby Sampson, her father as Sabientouset II (known as General Samson) and her mother as Hannah Wequot Uncas, of the line of the Mohegan's first sachem. Sarah married Joshua Occom (or Tomockham), a Mohegan, and they may have had up to five children: Joshua Jr., Samson, Jonathan, Lucy, and Sarah. In Samson's "Short Narrative" of his life, he notes that his parents "led a wandering Life up and down in the Wilderness" around Uncas Hill. Sarah was an early convert to Christianity during the revivals that swept the area, and Occom recounts that when he told her he wanted education in order to serve his Tribe, she went to Wheelock in nearby Lebanon, CT, because she heard "he had a Number of English youth under his Tuition," to request he take in her son. By 1743, Sarah was a widow, and Samson continued to visit and stay at his mother's house in Mohegan through the 1760s, though one source gives her death as 1782.

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Sources:

"Pequot Tribe." Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology. Government Printing Office. 1906. http://www.accessgeneaology.com/native/pequot-tribe.htm; Blodgett, Harold. Samson Occom. Hanover: Dartmouth College, 1935; J. Brooks, ed. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006; "A Mohegan Genealogy by Niyayodqj." Rootsweb. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=niyayo53dqj.