Hello Gretel-ga, and thanks for a very intriguing question.
The word "Tamwock" -- to put it mildly -- is somewhat obscure.
Yes...it's the name of a boat, but as your comments made clear, you
already know this. But there's at least one site on the internet that
refers to "Tamwock" in another context:
Meaning of Place Name: Cape Cod, Massachussets
Cape Cod, Massachussets: From the fish its name implies, discovered
and named by Bartholomew Gosnold, May 15, 1602. This was the first
land in the United States trod by an Englishman. Tamwock, its Indian
name, means "codfish."
So now we're on to something, but the www.sacklunch.net site is a bit
frustrating in it's lack of reference material. Where does this fact
I contacted the owner of www.sacklunch.net, and he offered this
information: the factoid about Tamwock comes from an old, and
venerable reference book that is sometimes thought of as the prototype
of the modern encyclopedia. The book is:
"The Standard Dictionary of Facts"
by Henry Woldmar Ruoff, and published by Frontier Press in Buffalo,
NY. The edition used by the sacklunch site is dated 1923, although
the book was published in many different years, in slightly different
At www.amazon.com there are three copies of this book for sale, in
case you are interested. The least expensive copy is at the
how-can-you-pass-it-up price of $6.00:
The book is dated 1912, however, so may or may not contain the
"Tamwock" reference. More likely is the 1922 edition, available for
There are quite a number of other copies available through other
retailers on the internet. Let me know through a Request for
Clarification, if you are interested in having me try to track down a
I wish I could tell you more about the actual context of the word and
the language itself. There seems to be very little information that
has survived the centuries about the actual language (or, I suspect,
multiple languages) used by native Americans of Cape Cod and
surrounding areas. The Indians belonged to the Algonquin's, but there
were many tribes and many different languages and dialects spoken.
An interesting history of the Cape Cod Indians (of which I've
excerpted a bit) can be found here:
HISTORY AND LEGENDS OF THE CAPE COD INDIANS
The territory now Canada, Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut was all occupied by the
Algonquin tribes. The New England Algonquins were in two divisions,
namely the Tarratines and Mohicaneuks. The Tarratines, or Etetchemins,
were ancestors of the present day Passamoquoddy tribe, near Eastport,
Maine, as well as the Penobscot tribe, near Old Town, Maine.
The Mohicaneuks were traditional ancestors of the Penacook,
Massachusetts Nipmuc, Mohican, Pequot, Narrangansett and Wampanoag
Almost every person native of the Cape knows some Indians resident
here, but they know little of the history surrounding them. There are
Indians scattered throughout Cape Cod from Herring Pond to
Provincetown. Those at Herring Pond call themselves Pondville Indians.
What do they know of their tribal history? Those at Mashpee call
themselves Mashpee Indians, while some call themselves Nausets, some
Gretel-ga, I hope I have provided you the information that you are
looking for. You have offered a handsome fee for this answer, and it
would certainly be within reason for me to carry out some additional
research for you on this, should you desire.
If so, let me know through a Request for Clarification, and if you do,
perhaps you can provide some additional context -- where did you hear
the term, and how did you come to associate it with an Indian tribe in
New England. Any additional insight would be most helpful.
search strategy: searches on multiple sources for "tamwock"