Who was Captain Toney?

+4 votes
Looking for information about the man for whom the Toney River was named on the Nova Scotia shore of the Northumberland Strait.  He reputedly negotiated peace with the English about 1761 for a Pictou County band of Mi'kmaq following the 7 years war.  His family name still appears on Mi'kmaq tribal rolls.  Captain was a title often given to Acadian Métis whose fluency with French, Mi'kmaq, and English enabled them to interrogate enemy prisoners and coordinate military actions of allied French and Mi'kmaq forces.  My 3G-grandmother Elizabeth may have been his grand-daughter (or daughter.)  She was born about 1782 near River John, Nova Scotia, and moved to Prince Edward Island Lot 32 about 1806 as the wife of Thomas Walsh.
in Genealogy Help by AL Wellman G2G6 (10.0k points)
Several DNA cousins with fairly comprehensive family trees in colonial Virginia seem unconnected to my own family tree in colonial New England; but most of them are descended from William Toney (1634-1675), who emigrated from Bristol.  If Captain Toney was English he may be the source of a family story about an ancestor who abandoned his military assignment to live with the Indians. He may have been one of the six men captured by Mi'kmaqs from the crew of the Massachusetts 10-gun sloop "Resolution" following the 1745 naval battle off Tatamagouche: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_battle_off_Tatamagouche  Does anyone know of a descendant of William Toney born about 1725 who went to sea and disappeared?

A fleet of New England slave traders supported the siege of Louisburg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Louisbourg_(1745) in the hope of privateering profits from captured French ships attempting to relieve the siege.  It was the era of impressment of seamen, so a Virginia boy unwillingly added to the crew during the triangle trade may have taken the opportunity to jump ship.
Great information. William Toney traveled to Virginia with a brother. His family de Toni came from Normandy France. He is a decent of William the Great. Also there has been Viking link to him. I hope you find your answers, lets us know if you do!

1 Answer

+3 votes
Best answer

Tony Tarracino (August 10, 1916 – November 1, 2008), commonly called Captain Tony, He was a bootlegger and saloon keeper https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u13ta7SxSMM

ok seriously

 the old chief name was booktowagan meaning "spark of fire"  "flint", literally the place where flint stone is found.https://archive.org/stream/historyofcountyo00pattuoft/historyofcountyo00pattuoft_djvu.txt 


Teceived from various parties in his undertaking. Of tne 
public officials, who were always ready to facilitate iiis 
enquiries, he desires to mention, in Halifax, Messrs. AY. 
A. Hendry, late of the Crown Land Department, Thomas 
Robertson, Provincial Secretary's office, VenableSj of the 
Legislative Library ; and in Pictou, Messrs. David Mathe- 
son, Clerk of the Peace and Prothonotary, and John Fer- 
guson, Registrar of Deeds. He must also record his obli- 
gations to Rev. S. T. Rand, for much of the information 
in the second chapter regarding the Micmacs, to T. B. 
Akins, Esq., of Halifax, for access to works of the early 
French voyagers, to Dr. J. W. Dawson, and Ed. G-ilpin, 
jr., Esq., for information as to the geology and mineralogy 
of the county, to Thomas Millar, Esq., of Truro, for aid 
in enquiries in Colchester, to the officers of the different 
coal companies, especially Thomas Blenkinsop, Jesse 
Hoyt, Roderick McDougall, G-eorge Hattie and J. P. Law- 
son, Esqs., for information regarding the different collie- 
ries ; and, for various personal reminiscences, to Messrs. 
Robert Patterson, George Glennie, W. H. Harris and Jas. 
Hepburn of Pictou, John McKay, Esq., of New Glasgow, 
and among the departed, Mr. John Douglass of Middle 
River, James McGregor, Esq., of New Glasgow, and his 
late father. To the following he is specially indebted, for 
the information regarding the settlements under-men- 
tioned: to Rev. H. B. McKay, for River John, Toney 
River and Cape John Shore ; Rev. William Grant for 
Earltown and "West Branch River John ; Rev. J. Watson, 
for New Annan; Rev. D. B. Blair, for Blue Mountain, 
Barneys River and Garden of Eden ; Rev. Robert Cum- 
ming, for St. Marys ; and Mr. William Fraser, for Pictou 
Island. He has largely adopted their words and inter- 
woven them with his own narrative. Many others have 
rendered him aid, of which he is fully sensible, who, he 
.trusts, will accept this general acknowledgment. 

Glasgow^ N. /S,, Feby., 1877. 

it is either a misprint or that the Micmacs have corrupted 
the French name. At all events, we believe that the 
party was the same person afterward known as Capt. 
Toney. He is said to have been a Frenchman, who had 
adopted the mode of life of the Aborigines, and had 
acquired such influence over them that he was regarded 
as a high chief, thai he spoke French well and English 
tolerably, besides Micmac, that he has dined at the 
G-overnor's table and was able to conduct himself with 
the politeness of a Parisian. He was the ancestor of the 
present Toney family among the Micmacs, and they 
assert that the treaty was made by him in the name of 
the tribe that on the part of the English, gun and bay- 
onet, and on the-part of the Micmacs, tomahawk, bow and 
arrow, were solemnly buried in one grave on the Citadel 
Hill, at Halifax, the latter weapons underneath. Perhaps 
the name as given by Murdoch may have been a mis- 
reading for Toneyville. We may add, that from him 
Toney River derives its name, but how it came to be 
connected with him we have not been able to ascertain. 

Place-names of the Province of Nova Scotia


I hope this helps ,but you have probably already been to these sources. Fearn-75

by Linda Stewart G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)
selected by AL Wellman
Thank you, Linda.  I found several histories by protestant clergymen with similar information, but cling to the genealogist's irrational optimism that someone, somewhere recorded information about the Acadian French name the Mi'kmaq interpreted as Toney.  My rational side recognizes yours is likely the best response this query will receive, but please forgive me if I avoid facing reality for a few days before awarding the best answer.

PS: Your first reply probably holds an element of truth, as Captain Toney likely made hard cider from a few apple trees.

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