MIDDLETOWN — Gary O'Neil, a descendant of the Wangunk tribe, describes his Native American ancestors as a ghost people, fast fading into history.
"We are the lost tribe of Connecticut," he said. "People didn't even know we existed."
Now, the Wangunks — the indigenous people of Middletown and Portland at the bend in the Connecticut River — are being rediscovered.
Wesleyan University students examined 17th and 18th century Middletown records to piece together the little-known story of these Algonquian peoples of the lower Connecticut River.