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From Roberta Estes on reviewing Dr. William Powell.


Who Came to Roanoke - William Powell's paper - 


part 1

I recently found both of Dr. Powell's last two papers, originally given in 1993 but not published until 2007 or so. 

I'm going to extract the info in the papers about the origins of the colonists. While the papers re interesting to read, my goal here is to provide the information for researchers and for Nelda to put on the website under the various surnames.

Dr. Powell mentions that he spent a year overseas researching the topic of the identities of the colonists, in England. He mentions a second research team of 3 people (and staff) who later spent months in England researching as well who shared their notes with him.

Morris Allen was a lost colonists and with Ralph Lane was a Master Allen. Is this the same person? 

He mentions that handwriting nor spelling are standardized at that time. 

He feels 22 were not English born. 

Three more are not British at all: 
Shaberdge 
Skevelabs 
Smolkin. 

9 nationalities represented: 
German - mining specialists who had worked in the tin mined in Cornwall and elsewhere in England. Two have been carefully studies. Joachim Ganz and Daniel Hochstetter, members of the Lane colony, were sons of distinguished families with scientific and industrial backgrounds. 

Spanish - pilots 
Portuguese 
French 
Irish 
Scottish 
Danish - Martin Laurentson, a member of Grenville's expedition in 1585. A letter from Frederik II of Denmark to Queen Elizabeth says that Laurentson intends to devote his attention to the art of naval warfare and Frederik requested that he be put in the charge of a skilled naval officer for that purpose.

Flemish 
Welsh 

14 passengers made the trip more than once, with John White making the trip the most times, 5. Simon Fernandez made the trip 3 times. Philip Amadaas, twice. Only two of the lost colonists had been there before. 7 men who had been with Ralph Lane returned another time. In 1590 when John White returned to find the colonists, he had 6 men who had been to Roanoke before with him.

One John Anwike was christened Sept 17 1556 at St. Peters, Cornhill, London, a parish from which many other Roanoke colonists appear to have come. This was an area occupied by many merchant-tailors, armorers, upholsterers, bakers, and grocers. Anwike is a rare family name, but one Edmund Anwike was one of the crew on a west Indian voyage in 1582-1583 and the will of Thomas Anwike was submitted for probate in 1591. 

Those of us who have been trying to identify these people are convinced that family relationships are important and may prove to be unexpected sources of information. A Valentine Beale was one of the colonists who stayed with the Ralph Lane colony for the year 1585-1586. Another Valentine Beale, son of Stephen, was christened at St. Matthew's Church, Friday Street, London, Feb 19 1597. He could have been a nephew or other relative of the colonist and perhaps both were both on St. Valentine's Day. Interesting speculation of course but more significant is the fact that a Robert Beale was brother-in-law to the powerful Sir Francis Walsingham. And Walsingham was governor of the mines of Keswick in Cumberland and others in Cornwall. Some German miners from them were among the Roanoke colonists.

Another member of the Lane colony was Thomas Philips, chief agent of Walsingham, and Beale's and Philip's names are included together in the list of colonists. To add further to the interest in association is the fact that pilot Simon Fernandez was described as "Mr. Secretary Walksingham's man". This all remains to be sorted out, but I have a feeling that in time we're going to have a lot of new things to say about the significance of the Roanoke ventures. The question has been raised as to whether some of these people might have been "spies" for Walsingham. In 1587 a Roger Beale married Agnes Powell and Edward and Wenefrid Powell became lost colonists. What kind of network might have been laid? Is the answer to the riddle of the lost colony concealed in family or business relationships?

Marke Bennet and William Berde, both lost colonists are described in contemporary records as a husbandman and a yeoman respectively. Richard Berry was of the same group and someone of his name, described as a gentleman, had been a muster captain in 1572.

Thomas Bookener or Buckner was a Lane colonist whose London home was in Threadneedle Street near the Royal Exchange and his parish church was St. Christophers nearby. It was at Bookener's that Thomas Harriot died and he was mentioned in Harriott's will.

Nor surprisingly, among Lane's men who stayed a year there was a shoemaker, John Brocke, Francis Brooke, treasurer of the 1585 expedition, seems later to have been a naval captain who commanded several privateer vessels. And John Fever was a basket maker, undoubtedly a useful occupation in the colony, with corn to be carried and fish weirs to be made.

William Brown is a common enough name, but one of that name was a London goldsmith prior to 1587, at which time the name appeared on the roll of the lost colony. Since England hoped to find gold in the New World and artifacts of the goldsmith's trade have been found at the site, this William Brown may have practiced his trade at Roanoke.

Another 1587 colonist was Anthony Cage, and one of that name had been sheriff of Huntington in 1585. The Cage family was large, prominent in a number of endeavors, and wealthy. Anthony was a favored name for many generations. Anthonys  lived and had business in Friday Street and were members of St. Matthew's parish there. They appear to have been related to the Warren family with lost colony connections, and Ananias Warren was Cage's grandson, suggesting a Cage/Dare association. Later there were also Cage connections with Jamestown and New England.

John Clark commanded the Roebuck, one of Raleigh's ships on the 1585 crossing, but, of course, did not remain with the colony. Nevertheless, he and Phlip Amadas did accompany Sir Richard Grenville on an expedition across Pamlico Sound. His father left him a considerable sum of money and the lease of a Thames wharf.

William Dutton was one of the lost colonists. He may well have been the William Dutton, Esq., whose license to marry Anne Nicholas of St. Mildred, Bread Street, was issued October 2 1583. She was the daughter of Sir Ambrose Nicholas, sometime Lord Mayor of London. William Dutton, armiger, of Gloucester, possibly the father of the lost colonist, contributed 25 pounds toward the defense of England on the eve of the expected attack by the Spanish Armada.

Men bearing the same name as two other colonists, James Hynde and William Clement, according to contemporary manuscripts now in the Essex record office, had been in prison together in Colcheser Castle near London for stealing. This should not be unexpected as Ralph Lane referred to his company as "Wylde menn of myne owne nacione". Perhaps to be considered at the other end of the scale was Thomas Ellis. Before leaving home in Exeter he had been a member of the vestry of his parish church, St. Petrock, which still stands on the main business street of Exeter. The boy Robert Ellis is likely his son. The apparently unattached boy, William Wythers was possibly the vestryman's nephew as one Alice Withers had married a Hugh Ellis in 1573. An infant William Withers was christened in St. Michael Cornhill on March 25, 1574, making him 13 at the time of the lost colony. The plot further thickens however. Adjacent to St. Michael Cornhill was St. Peter's, the parish of the prominent Satchfeilde family of bakers and grocers and next of kin to Ananias Dare. More over, John Withers, a merchant-tailor of St. Michael's who died in 1589 was the son-in-law of John Satchfeilde of Guildford, Surry. This there appears to be a viable three or even four family connection between Dare, Ellis, Satchfeilde and Withers.

One Henry Greene, a member of the first expedition, the one headed by Amadas and Barlowe was a graduate of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and it has been suggested that he was of the family as the ancestor of Nathaniel Greene of Revolutionary War and Guilford Courthouse fame.

One of Lane's men, Rowland Griffin, was convicted and sent to prison in 1594 for robbery. On the other hand, John Harris, a member of the same expedition was knighted in 1603 at the coronation of James I.

There may have been at least two college students among the Roanokers. Thomas Luddington, one of Lane's men, was a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, while Thomas Harriot, another Lane colonist, was a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, from 1579 to 1586 and held the master's degree from the same college.

Thomas Hewet may have been the lawyer of the lost colonists. At any rate, he had a law degree from Oxford University. Robert Holecroft of Westminster, one of the Lane colonists, once appeared in court representing several dock and river workers.

It is possible that one of Lane's men recruited a colonist for his college. Both William White and Richard Wildye were graduates of the same Oxford College and it appears that young Thomas Hulme, a member of the same expedition, entered their college the year following his return from Roanoke. Richard Ireland of the same colony entered Christ Church College, Oxford, two years later and eventually was headmaster of Westminster School.

It may have been thought that there would be a need for a particular official to serve with the Lane colony. At any rate, Lane had with him Christopher Marshall, described as "one of the waiters in the port of London", and a waiter at a port was a customs collector.

Lost Colonist William Nicholes may have been a tailor. A "clothworker" of that name was married in London in 1580 and in 1590 we find the grant of a license to someone else "to occupy the trade of a clothier during the minority of George Nicholes, son of William Nicholes." I wonder if a place was being held for the orphaned son of a lost colonist.

George Raymond, who came over in 1585 was a captain on the Royal Navy at the time of the Spanish Armada threat. In 1591 when he sailed on an expedition to the West Indies, he was described as a "gentleman captain and privateer promoter." 

Anthony Rowse was a member of Lane's expedition. A man of the same name had been a member of Parliament the year before and afterward was sheriff of Cornwall for several years. He was knighted in 1503 and at the death of Drake was executor of his estate. At the other extreme was Richard Sare of the same expedition, described simply as a laborer. Considering the significance of rank and position at that time, I have my own opinion as to which man would have been more valuable in such an expedition.

John Spendlove, later a lost colonist, was described on a 1585 muster list as a "gentleman" and reported present with his horse.

John Stukely came over in 1585. One of this name was Sir Richard Grenville's brother-in-law and the father of Sir Lewis Stukely who had an unfortunate role in the downfall and death of Sir Walter Raleigh. 

John Twyt was one of Lane's men and one John Twyt was a London apothecary in 1580. We do not know whether this represents one man or two, but an apothecary would certainly have filled a potential need with the colony.

Both Benjamin and John Wood were with the Amadas and Barlowe initial trip in 1584. Later a Benjamin Wood had an interesting career at sea and was a noted navigator and captain. He fills a niche in the annals of British naval history for this attempt to reach China. He was known to have arrived at the Malay Peninsula but was later lost at sea. John Wood had already been a muster captain and after returning home, became one of the jurates of the town and port of Sandwich. He as knighted in 1603 at the coronation of James I.

 
While doubt may be cast on the association of some of these people with the Ronaoke ventures, there are others about whom there is no doubt at all. Philip Amadas was born in Devonshire, England and at the age of 19 while a member of Raleigh's household, was chosen by Raleigh to explore the coast of America and select a site for a settlement. He returned to America the following year and remained a year under Ralph Lane. A few years ago there were reports in the press that his family home near Plymouth had been identified, the family coat of arms was carved in stone above a fireplace.

Arthur Barlowe was another young man in Raleigh's personal service who took part in the 1584 search for a site. It was he who kept the journal of the expedition on which we depend for so much valuable information. Ralph Lane was the leader of the 1585-1586 colony of men sent over to lay the foundation of Raleigh's permanent settlement. It was composed only of men, a few of whom may have been of the gentry class, but most must have been skilled craftsmen and specialists. We know from the comments of Thomas Harriot, however, that some of them were reluctant to work and were disappointed in what they found. Lane was a professional soldier and a distant relative of Queen Elizabeth. The queen recalled him from service in Ireland and placed him in Raleigh's service, but she continued to pay him. Unfortunately, Lane returned home with his colony prematurely, and it did not accomplish its objective. He later served as sheriff of Kerry in Ireland, was knighted in 1593, and died in 1603 in Dublin, where he is buried.

Thomas Cavendish who furnished and commanded a ship for Sir Richard Grenville's fleet that brought the Lane colony over in 1585 is one of England's great naval heroes. He sailed around the world in 1586-1587, making discoveries in the south Pacific and while on a second such voyage in 1592, died at sea.

An extremely interesting report exists on an early experience of Abraham Cocke (or Cooke), Captain of the Hopewell during John White's 1590 return search trip to Roanoke. Cocke later achieved notoriety as a privateer captain. The High Court of Admiralty records reveal that he had been a seaman aboard the Minion which was trading to Brazil in 1581. At Bahia he fell out with the captain, Stephen Hare, over the matter of victuals and went ashore and did not return to England with the ship. In 1587 he was captured by one of Cumberland's ships while he was serving as a pilot aboard a small Portuguese vessel. Cocke had married and settled down in Brazil, but following his "capture" returned to England. In 1589 he commanded the May Morning and the Dolphin on voyages to the coast of Brazil.


Marmaduke Constable, a member of Lane's expedition, bears such a famous name that he poses an inviting problem for the researcher. He is likely to have been the one who had just been graduated from Oxford and was 19 or 20 years old. We presume that he was the one of the wild and unruly young men who gave Lane a hard time. Soon after returning to England following the year in Virginia, Marmaduke Constable was summoned to appear at Star Chamber as the leader of an armed gang of 20 rufian-like and vagrant persons accused of tearing down hedged, cutting up the earth; and driving away, hurting and wounding "beasts and cattle". Whether for sure this was the colonist, we don't know, but it certainly fits Ralph's Lane's comments about some of them. We know a great deal about the various Marmaduke Constables, but they cannot all be sorted out yet. In time, we are likely to be able to prepare a rather full biography of him, and perhaps even to have a portrait to illustrate it.

Sir Francis Drake is not problem, as he has been the subject of numerous biographies and appears as a character in novels, motion pictures and television productions. He stopped by Roanoke when the Lane colony was there and picked up the men in 1586 to return them home. Afterwards, he sailed around the world, attacked Spanish shipping, and was a hero at the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

Edward Gorges who came to Roanoke Island with Sir Richard Grenville in 1585 was a cousin of Sir Ferdinando Gorges, later Lord Proprietor of the Colony of Maine. His mother and Sir Walter Raleigh were first cousins. A graduate of Magdalen College, Oxford, Gorges was later employed by Queen Elizabeth as a personal messenger to Henry IV of France, and he was knighted by her successor, James I. He is buried in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster, not far from Sir Walter Raleigh. A portrait of him was sold some years ago but probably could be located.

Thomas Harriott, mathematician and astronomer, spent a year investigating the coastal region between what is now South Carolina and the District of Columbia. He examined the plants and trees, the soil, and the native people and joined with John White in mapping the area. His book, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia published in 1588 gave Europeans their first information about this part of America. It introduced them to the products of the New World and undoubtedly played a role in luring many people to become settlers a few years later. Harriott himself was the subject of many biographies

George Howe was one of the "Gentlemen of London" who was made an assistant in the government of the Cittie of Raleigh in the 1587 Lost Colony. Also present was a boy George Howe, most likely his son and certainly not yet of age. The senior Howe was killed by Indians on July 28 1587 just 6 days after the arrival of the colonists, when he was crabbing and strayed away from the settlement. One George Howe was a member of the painter-stainer company as was Gov. John White, which suggests that had events developed more favorably, there might have been even more watercolors to delight us. An interesting possible family connection is that one of the Lane colonists, Thomas Rattenbury was married to one Elizabeth Howe. 

Abraham Kendall was a veteran navigator and renowned mathematician who was with the Lane colony. He commanded a ship as part of the 1578 Frobisher expedition to Greenland, during which John White executed some watercolors. He undertook a voyage to the Strait of Magellan in 1589 and in 1594-1595 he was in the West Indies. Sir Robert Dudley for whom Kendall once worked considered him one of the most expert mariners produced by England. He may have been related to the "Master Kendall" who also was with the Lane colony, but we can't be sure. 

Edward Kettel, a Lane colonist, bore an excessively rare name in England so he may have been the son of the celebrated Dutch painter Cornelius Kettel. Cornelius's name appears in the Returns of Aliens in London, and he was dwelling in the parish of Saint Andrew Undershaft in 1573. Four others of the name lived in an adjacent parish from which a number of Roanoke colonists are believed to have come. It has been supposed that young Edward Kettel may have been an apprentice of John White's.

In cases where a man and woman bore the same surname it has been assumed that they are husband and wife. Edward and Wenefrid Powell are examples. The baptism of one Edward Powell is recorded in the register of St. Margaret's, Westminster, Jan. 2, 1563 and another baptism of an Edward Powell occurred at St. Martin-in-the-Field, Westminster, on March 13, 1569. The marriage of Edward Powell and Wenefred Gray is recorded in St. Nicholas Church, Deptford, Kent, just outside London on Jan. 10, 1584. While Edward is a common 16th century name, Wenefrid is not and the combination of Edward and Wenefrid Powell makes it rather likely that they are indeed the Lost Colonists. An Edward Powell was with Sir Francis Drake on the West Indian voyage of 1585-1586 that stoped at Roanoke Island to relieve the Lane colony. Edward Powell was the scribe and recorder of the Tiger journal and was probably in the personal service of its captain, Christopher Carleill, who just happened to be Sir Francis Walsingham's stepson. Perhaps Edward decided in 1586 that he liked America and returned in 1587.

Jacob Whiddon who was with Grenville in 1585 when he brought over Ralph Lane and his colony was a trusted servant and follower of Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh spoke of him as a "man most valiant and honest". Raleigh dispatched Whiddon to explore the Orinoco River and Whiddon was with Raleigh on the latter's voyage to South America in 1595. He died and was buried on the island of Trinidad in the West Indies.


David Williams, if I have correctly identified the one who was a Lane colonist, was a young Welsh lawyer recently called to the bar and later an outstanding London lawyer and judge. He served in Parliament for 1 year immediately prior to coming over and for 3 years after he returned. In 1603 he was knighted. When I last inquired, a portrait of him was in storage while some repairs were being made at the home of a descendant.

All of us who have attempted to identify the Roanoke colonists have been struck by the fact that both explorers and colonists, leaders and followers were related by blood or by marriage. Some were surely friends or acquaintances because they were neighbors who lived in the same parish or adjoining parishes. Edward Kelly and Thomas Wise, for example, both members of Lane's colony, lived about 2 and a half miles from each other in Devon. Some were employed by the same person - Atkinson, Fernandez and Russell are all spoken of as being in the service of Sir Francis Walsingham. Four others were apparently member of the same military unit - and 2 may have served time together in prison. Professor Quinn concluded that several of the men he investigated worked together on the Thames River.

Two of the single women among the Lost Colonists are interesting as they have surnames very much like those of two of the men. Because of the absence of uniformity in handwriting and spelling it may be that Audrey Tappan and Thomas Topan were husband and wife as were Joan Warren and Thomas Warner. Further support for the latter case exists in the 1584 marriage record of a mariner named Thomas Warner and Johanna Barnes.

I can make some reasonable guesses about several others of the single women - Agnes Wood for instance. In 1549 one Robert Woode of St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London married Johanna Toppan. Might this Agnes wood have been their daughter and related to the Tappan/Topans? Or perhaps she was the Agnes Traver who married John Wood in London in 1577. John Wood had come to Roanoke in 1584: now there may have been some reason for his wife to come.

What can we say about the single woman Jane Pierce? In Ireland, Henry Piers who died in 1623 was the husband of one Jane Jones. Could this Jane Pierce have been their daughter and therefore related to Griffin, Jane and John Pierse who were also along the same body of colonists? Yet another possibility exists. In 1568 one Jone Pierse a Portuguese was registered as an alien in London. She was identified as the sister of men named Simon and Fornando and the tenant of one Frauncis White. When we see the names Simon, Fornando and White in connection with the Roanoke colonists, they immediately suggest a relationship. This Pierce woman lived within sight of the Tower of London in the parish of All Saints Barking. In the parish register regularly for between 30 and 70 years will be found the following names represented among the Roanoke Colonists:
Archard 
Backhouse 
Bailey 
Borden 
Chapman 
Constable 
Cooper 
Deane 
Dymoke 
Evans 
Fullwood 
George 
Platt 
Pratt 
Hardin 
Harvye 
Harriott 
Ireland 
Nichols 
Powell 
Sampson 
Sares 
Snelling 
Stone 
Stevens 
Wade 
Wright 
And John White 
Jane Pierce might have felt quite at home among such people. 
Jane Mannering was a very common name in a distinguished family, so it will be difficult to sort her out. Yet the grandmother of Humfrey Newton, another of the Lost Colonists, was Kathering Mainwaring. The question then occurs to me…were Jane Mannering and Humfrey Newton perhaps first cousins, grandchildren of Katherine.
But what about the other single women? Maybe they were looking for husbands among their fellow colonists or perhaps they already had husbands among the 15 to 18 men left at Roanoke by Grenville the previous year. The colony had departed suddenly under unfortunate circumstances and these men, out on reconnaissance, had been abandoned. Did their wives take this opportunity to join them in America?

Why were there 3 boys with no apparent connection to any of the adults? Perhaps their fathers were among those abandoned the year before - or, of course, they could have been nephews or grandsons of colonists, and we have just not yet discovered the relationship. Young Thomas Humfrey may well have been the son or brother of Richard Humphrey of the Lane colony. Young Thomas Smart, who came alone with the 1587 colony may well have been the son of the Thomas Smart who was with the Lane colony. The boy William Wythers may have been associated with the Tayler (Taylor) family - John and Thomas Taylor had been with the Lane colony. Clement and Hugh were with the Lost Colony and John returned in 1590 with John White to search for the Lost Colony. And the implied family association continued in 1592 when one Robert Taylor married Elizabeth Wythers.

Now having mentioned a selection of typical Roanoke colonists, let me add that in recent years three "new" colonists have turned up. These are three whose names do not appear in the standard records of Hakluyt, Harriot or Quinn. Richard Butler is discussed in James A. St. John's Life of Sir Walter Raleigh, published in 1868 in London. His record was found in the general archives of Simanca in a report he made on May 1 1593 about his servie to Sir Walter Raleigh with the Amadas voyage. The second source is the inscription on the tomb of Robert Masters, Gentleman, who traveled to Virginia and afterward about the globe with Thomas Cavendish. His tomb is in the little church of Burghill in Herefordshire where he died in 1619. The third man is anonymous but he was a young clergyman of the Anglican Church who, when he learned of the Amadas and Barlowe expedition, sold everything he had and joined the company to take the Christian religion to the natives of America.

If we had relatives at a lonely outpost, perhaps a space station on Mars and the sending of supplies to them depended first upon the speedy defeat of an enemy who threatened to invade our shores, I expect we would support all possible means of defense. In England there survives a list of persons who subscribed toward the defense of the country at the time of the threatened attack by the Spanish Armada in 1588. A comparison of this list with the names of the Roanoke colonists reveals that 38 men and 1 woman with the same family names contributed form 25 pounds to 100 pounds each to England's defense. This represents an enormous sum of money. Of those names, only 9 were represented among the colonists and explorers before 1587. But 29 contributors had the same family names as the Lost Colonists and 15 even had the same first name as well, making me feel that in these 15 cases, at least, it was the father of a colonist who contributed so generously. While it is difficult to put a monetary value on love, this generosity suggests to me that there must have been some colonists who were from families of more than average means.

The identities of many colonists remain uncertain. While these hardy pioneers were undoubtedly cut from uncommon fabric, the majority carry relatively common English names. Thus for every Devon smuggler or Yorkshire cattle thief who bears a colonist's name, a learned Oxford clergyman or respectable London merchant may be found who bears exactly the same name at or close to the same time. We anticipate that further research will reveal more of these willing pioneers to have been worthy predecessors of the kind of people who now occupy the land in which they had such faith.

This ends Dr. Powell's paper. In a few days, we'll begin with his third paper, The Search for Ananias Dare. 

 

 

 

 

(Note: The search for Ananais Dare paper is located in the research section of the Dare surname..nlp - Link)


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