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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology






The Lost Colony project is 18 months old, and the administrators have taken a look at the project and our goals and have focused somewhat more concisely upon the various areas that need attention in order to solve the mystery.


First, the Lost Colony project is very interesting, and unfortunately, it’s attracting many people who want to compare their DNA against the colonists.  As you folks know, we are looking for the DNA of the colonists, we don’t have it, or if we do, we don’t have the documentation for that yet.  This has become problematic because now our project has people who legitimately may be descended from the colonists, and about as many who have a similar surname or other connection, but can’t get their genealogy back far enough to really fit the criteria for a potential colonist.  While we don’t want to make anyone feel unwelcome, we clearly need to focus on those most likely to have colonist connections.


In order to maintain this project as a group of volunteers, particularly for Nelda who has reorganized the website where each surname and kit have an entry, it’s overwhelming to have so many excited people who really don’t connect to the area via the DNA lines they have tested. 


Therefore we have tightened the criteria a bit for the DNA portion of the project and focused more on those individuals who may be colonists’ descendants.


Here is the slightly revised criteria for membership.


You can join the Lost Colony DNA projects if you fulfill one or more of the following criteria 3 for the Y-line or mtdna lines you have been tested for:

·        Your surnames include those of the Colonists or others on the interest list AND your family is proven to descend from Eastern North Carolina, preferably before 1700, or the areas of interest shown on the maps later in this document.

·        You have a history of Native Ancestry from this area, confirmed or unconfirmed.

·        You have an oral history of Lost Colony ancestry.


The list of colonist names and other surnames of interest can be found here:


We will be changing the join process such that new participants must request to join and they will be required to provide a mini-genealogy of the DNA lines on which they wish to join back to their oldest ancestor and that ancestor must be of some significant interest to the Lost Colony project. 


Having a similar surname but that does not track back to the Lost Colony area is no longer criteria to join. 


However, just because your DNA lines don’t qualify you to join or remain in the DNA project doesn’t mean you can’t participate.  There are many other ways.


You can continue to be a member of the Yahoo Lost Colony DNA and Genealogy Research Group.  You can work on your DNA pedigree chart if your potential Lost Colony ancestor is not in your direct mitochondrial or Y-Line family branch and then find an appropriate cousin to join.   Instructions for this are here:


You can also join a broader project that would be better suited to you such as the Early North Carolina Project here:


You an even continue to compare your results to those in the Lost Colony project by checking here periodically:


You can see the results for the Yline project at:


You can see the results for the mitochondrial project at:


You can continue to research and work on your genealogy and if you do connect to the area and timeframe where our colonists are likely to be found, you can of course join again.


Therefore I need each participant to complete a mini-genealogy form for the DNA line with which you joined the Lost Colony project(s).  If you are a member of the Yahoo group, you will receive the form in a mailing to that group.  Those who are not a member of the Yahoo group will need to go to the following links and download the yline or mtdna files entitled either “Need Y-Line Info” or “Need Mtdna Info”, to complete the form.


I apologize for this inconvenience, but FamilyTreeDNA is temporarily unable to support file attachments in their project mail feature for administrators.


You will also be asked the question, “why did you join the Lost Colony project” so that we and others can see how you might connect.  We will be putting the genealogy and any history you provide on the website, without information about living people.  That will be reflected as “participant” and “parents”, but with no names or other information.  We would also like to put your e-mail address as a contact for your kit number and genealogy. 


I would ask you to complete these mini-genealogy forms promptly and return them complete with your kit number to me.  I will send one follow-up e-mail if necessary, but if I don’t hear from you with your information at that time, you will be removed from the project.  If you no longer qualify for the DNA project, you can unjoin yourself by clicking on the little x in a circle beside the group on your personal page that says Lost Colony.


Secondly, Nelda has updated the website significantly.  We have reorganized.  Take a look at the new site.  The surname list now has “everything we know” about that surname, the participants, genealogy history, links to the coordinator other researchers, and more.  Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the pages where the research and genealogy links for the surname itself are located. If you have more information about any of these names, we’d love to add it.


If you check your surnames to see what we have, and if it looks anemic, please consider writing something for the surname in question and submitting it to Nelda at 


We have encountered some problems with the Y-line project links to Family Tree DNA since their new website rollout so be patient please while those links are fixed.  It required going through the entire data base and we have hundreds of participants.  How many, you ask?  We have 374 Y-line participants and 202 mtdna participants. 


Thirdly, we have decided to focus this year on 5 surnames which seem possible to research both here and in England and have a significant number of researchers that are interested.  Those names are:

·        Berry

·        Dare

·        Powell

·        Nichols

·        Chevin (Chavis)


Obviously this includes derivative spellings as well.  If you have information or research on these names, please contact one of the administrators.


This does not mean we’re doing nothing on the rest of the names.  We didn’t choose Smith because the research is daunting, for example.  However, if you’re a Smith and wish to focus on that surname, please do.  These surnames are where our group resources are going to be focused.  For example, Joe Chandler’s 2008 trip was postponed, but when he can reschedule, he will be visiting England and researching these names personally.  In addition, we are fortunate enough to have a very small group in England who is also interested and is currently funding a small amount of professional genealogy research on the Berry surname. 


Fourth, I have opened the Yahoo group for 2 way traffic again, with the caveat that all must play nicely and stay on topic which is Lost Colony and related research.


Fifth, I have been very focused for several weeks now on creating a timeline for anything Lost Colony or indigenous related in NC and lower Virginia.  This includes early maps, early references to Indians, traders, early documents with names of native people, documents that include people as “free people of color” which may indicate mixed ancestry, or those that indicate “mulatto” which means white mixed with any race nonwhite.  I am doing this in order to update our “surnames of interest” in the vicinity of the colonists or where they would have migrated to. 


I have discovered something quite interesting between the DNA results we currently have, the related genealogy and the history, in that there seems to be a trend for Indo-European males to become involved with native women and therefore, for the offspring, who are considered native, to carry Indo-European DNA. 


We also have the phenomenon of Native males adopting “Christian” surnames, so it’s very likely we’ll find some of the same surname with “Native” DNA and other, perhaps in the same family or tribe with Indo-European, both being considered Native.   Therefore it’s very important to test multiple people from multiple lines for each surname that is associated with Native families in any way.


Sixth, I believe we will find much Native history by testing more mitochondrial DNA.  If the theory above is correct, participants who “should” test native, will instead test Indo-European, but if we can find the mtdna line of the couple in question, it will indeed show a Native haplogroup.  In the Native culture, as in early English law relating to nonwhites, the child was considered to be the tribe (Native) or the race (English) of the mother.  I would ask each of you to work on your DNA pedigree chart and see if you can find an appropriate mitochondrial DNA candidate for Native ancestry during 2009.  We have many cases where we know the woman is native, based on legal records, yet the family carries non-native yline DNA.  Let’s find that mtdna and test it!!!


A refresher about how to create a DNA pedigree chart can be found here:


Seventh, we are again planning to participate with the Virginia Dare Faire, an Elizabethan Renaissance Festival, held annually on August 18th, the anniversary of Virginia’s birthday at the National Park where the Lost Colony play is performed.  Mark your calendar now.  If you can join us as a visitor or a volunteer, let us know.  Anne Poole is coordinating the event.


You can see more about the play here:


Thank you for your participation and let’s make 2009 a banner year!!!




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The Lost Colony Research Group is in NO WAY affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research.  The Lost Colony Y-DNA and MT-DNA projects at Family Tree DNA are NOT IN ANY WAY  affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research, regardless of what their links imply.


"Please notify us of any claims to the contrary."


There is no fee to join our group and no donation of monies or objects are needed to participate in "The Lost Colony Research Group".


As with any DNA project, individuals pay for their own DNA testing, but the
group itself  - is strictly volunteer and free to join, upon approval of membership.


Neither, myself, nor the Lost Colony Research Group together or individually are  responsible for the personal content submitted by any individual to this website.


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Copyright © 2008 Last modified: January 04, 2012



The art work on this website is my (Nelda L. Percival) original art work and has not been released to any person or organization other then for the use of Lost Colony Research Group and the store front owned by the same. My art work has never been part of the Lost Colony Center for Science and Research's property. My art used here and at the store front was drawn precisely for the projects run by Roberta Estes and ownership has not been otherwise released. This project also uses the artwork of Dr. Ana Oquendo Pabon, the copyright to which she has retained as well. Other art works are the copyrights of the originators and may not be copied without their permission.
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Some Native American art work is from  Some of their art was used as a bases for different creative graphics.