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Dr. Frank Waabu O'Brien


Specialize in the extinct languages of Massachusett and Narragansett. Can answer general questions in most other areas, except genealogy-specific, pertaining to Indians of Southern New England (RI, MA, CT).

Experience in the area

Past President, Aquidneck Indian Council. Have been researching & writing on subject since 1994. Two most recent books, A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England (2007) & Understanding Indian Place Names in Southern New England (2010); See my current website


Abenaki Tribe, RI Indian Council, National Mus of the American Indian, The American Name Society, John Carter Brown Library (Brown University), Rhode Island Historical Society, Sigma Xi, International Order of Merit, Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE)


"A Cultural History of the Native Peoples of Southern New England" (on Amazon); Recent book is "Understanding Indian Place Names in Southern New England"(on Amazon); see my website for free books at:


BA, RI College; MA, MPhil,PhD, Columbia

Awards and Honors

Who's Who in Sci & Engineering, International Order of Merit, Dictionary of International Biography, Asian/American Who's Who; 2010 DoD Meritorious Service Award (Society of American Indian Government Employees, SAIGE)

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Helen03/08/16101010Thanks anyways, I think I am going .....
Paula12/09/13101010Dear Dr. O'Brien, Many, many thanks for .....
Katherine10/31/13101010Yes, thank you so much. You did .....
Amber05/21/12101010I want to thank*you and have a .....

Recent Answers from Dr. Frank Waabu O'Brien

2016-04-20 Native American Info:

Dear  Dyllon Pattillo     Thank you for your questions.  Your project is a very big one.  Entire books have been published on the topics you are researching. Let me try to help you as much I can.     There

2013-12-07 Tisquantum translation:

Dear Paula    Thank you for your question on translating "Tisquantum". And thank you for your kind words.      As with so many old Indian words written down by Colonists we struggle with the spellings

2013-09-13 Question:

Dear Hans    Thank you for your question.    Not sure if it can be translated.  Translatability between 2 vastly different languages is a deep philo-linguistic problem.  Why?  Your description of "Carpe

2013-08-31 Algonquian people:

Dear Dan    Thank you for your question.  No, Algonquian people (which includes many different tribes) have not vanished.  They have changed dramatically over the centuries.   In my own region of southern

2012-11-11 forced Western religion on American Natives:

Mike    Not my area of interest.  No known data exists in my files WRT this item. But this topic was of great interest to missionaries for whom a great quantity of conversions was of paramount importance


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