Lost Colony Genealogy
and DNA Research Group Newsletter
Have you noticed that
things just seem to be popping in our project?
We haven’t had a lot of messages lately on the list, but we’ve had a
lot of people researching and making lots of headway.
The big news in the past
few months has been the huge, and I do mean HUGE, strides that Nelda has been
making. She found an original
record pertaining to Ananias Dare’s estate, and I think that whetted her
appetite for more. Take a look here
to see the original. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~molcgdrg/sur/2d/adare1.htm
Imagine how thrilled Nelda
was to receive this in the mail in Missouri.
And imagine her frustration when she realized it was in LATIN, not
English. At that point, Andy came
to our rescue and had some of his acquaintances in England translate the record.
Nelda expected an entire page of translation, and what she received was
more like a paragraph. For the
translation, look here… http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~molcgdrg/sur/2d/dcourt5.htm
The next time I looked at
the Dare surname, I found many new things.
For example, Chancery records beginning in 1386. No, that’s not
a typo….it’s really 1386. This
is unbelievable, truly stunning to me, given that Nelda isn’t in England and
can’t do research in person. This
is now possible today because of the microfilmed and online records that were
never available before.
I’m going to ask Nelda to
put together a “How to Research English Records from America” document and
we’ll be asking Janet and Penny to post it on our blog as well as on the
website. Every one of us who is a
member of this project has an interest in the English surnames (or we wouldn’t
be a member of this project) and each one of us can do the same thing for our
surnames as Nelda has done for Dare, and now others as well.
We are very fortunately to
have Andy’s assistance. He is the
Deputy Mayor of Bideford, although if all goes well, he’ll be the Mayor by
tomorrow evening, and he has had a lifelong interest in the Lost Colonists.
As you know they sailed from Bideford which was the hub of shipping in
that timeframe. Many of the
colonists and their families, as well as the men who financed the trips and some
of the captains, such as Sir Richard Grenville, lived in Bideford.
Andy reviewed what Nelda
found in the Dare records and confirmed that indeed, there are two fairly
distinct Dare groups in England. Hopefully,
as things progress, we’ll be able to narrow our focus more, obtain DNA tests
from both families, and make continued progress.
Speaking of continued progress….Andy is now chasing down a rumored
birth entry for Ananias Dare. If this does in fact exist, it will confirm for us which Dare
family is Ananias’s, and which Dare family we need to bring forward in time to
Stay tuned for more.
Andy was kind enough to
prepare for us a list of the locations where the colonist families are thought
to be from in the British Isles. Take
a look at the chart here… http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~molcgdrg/faqs/asum.htm.
Does this fit with anyone’s genealogy?
Surnames and Research
In addition to working with
Penny on our blog, Janet is one of the admins for the Wales DNA project.
Both David Beers Quinn and Dr. Powell felt that some of the colonists
were Welsh. Janet graciously
prepared a paper about the Welsh, the surnames, how to spot a Welsh name and
Welsh research. I certainly learned
a lot that I didn’t know before. Check it out here…
After much searching, I
finally found all 3 of Dr. William Powell’s papers dealing with the Lost
Colonists and his many year journey to unearth information.
Dr. Powell is quite elderly now, and I’m sure were he to know about the
records we can now retrieve online and through microfilm that he would be quite
envious. He spent several months,
up to a year at one time, in England researching the original records.
Now of course, there is a great deal to be said for on-site research, but
it isn’t always necessary today. However,
I’d love to see the churches and the locations with such colorful names as
Fleet Street and Blackfriar’s Lane.
His last paper seems to
summarize what his earlier work unearthed, but I surely wish we had specific
information. Anne is in the process
of determining whether or not his notes have been donated to the UNC or the
State Library and Archives.
For the relevant portions
of his papers pertaining to the colonists, see the link on our site at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~molcgdrg/faqs/bsum.htm
Berry and Lowry Families
Speaking of Anne, she tells
me she’s going to have to retire to have enough time to work on all the Lost
Colony things coming her way. Her
job is interfering with her project work….and I agreed with her.
Anne of course is
continuing to document oral histories, but in addition, she has been working
very hard on the Berry and Lowry families.
These families have very specific oral histories that deal with being
descended from a very specific Lost Colonist, Henry Berry.
These oral histories have been within these families since long before
the colonists’ surnames were published or on the internet.
She is working with the families to obtain the genealogy, and of course,
hopefully, the DNA samples, to help with the proof of this long held family
If you have Berry or Lowry
in your family tree, please get in touch with Anne and provide her with anything
you might have that will help her connect the dots.
Berry and Payne Families
Recently, we had quite a
surprise to discover that we have not one, but two DNA matches between the Berry
and Payne families. Now of course, nothing can ever be as simple as it seems.
These two matches don’t match each other, so we have two separate sets
We’re working with the
surname project administrators of both the Payne and Berry families in order to
upgrade the participants to see if these matches hold. With
the new Family Tree DNA upgrade prices, this might be the time to get that done.
What we really need though,
is solid research in England to isolate which Berry and Payne (or perhaps Pyne/Pine
per Andy) families are the ones associated with the Lost Colony.
If you have any interest in either of these surnames, please consider
doing an English records extraction for these like Nelda has done for the Dare
Have All The Indians Gone?
One time my mother asked me
“Can’t you just answer the question I asked?”
I guess the answer to that must have been “no”, because I always have
trouble boiling things down to a simple answer.
Andy asked me to prepare a
“status paper” on the Lost Colony Research, and about the same time, the
editor of the Journal of Genetic Genealogy (www.jogg.info/)
asked if I would write something for the journal. Of course, we need all the exposure we can get, so I said yes
to both of them and set about to write a short paper.
Well, 79 pages and several
weeks later, it is finally done, or at least I think it’s done.
I don’t know how many of you folks have ever published anything in an
academic journal, but let me assure you that by the time the review process is
complete, and all of the peer reviewers have given feedback and you attempt to
make them all happy….you never want to see your paper again.
At first it was enjoyable and at the end, you’re referring to it as
“that #@*!# paper”. My family
refers to it as “the thesis” and I think my thesis was easier, in fact, I
know it was. The editor asked me to please modify my citations to
“contemporary styles” and I had to admit to him that the last time I wrote
an academic paper…..it was on a typewriter with correctype and White-Out.
Suffice it to say, it’s
been an adventure but an old dog can indeed learn new tricks…and the paper
will be published in 2009. As soon
as it is, Janet and Penny will be blogging it and Nelda will put it on the site
as well. It’s actually a very
informative paper and holds some new information for us….but that will have to
wait until publication. The full
title is “Where Have All the Indians Gone?
What We Know and What We Don’t about Native American Eastern Seaboard
Dispersal, Genealogy and DNA.”
Dare’s Birthday Faire in Manteo
Once you do something
twice, isn’t it considered a tradition? In
that case, we’ll be visiting Fort Raleigh in Manteo as we traditionally do on
Virginia Dare’s Birthday on August 18th, 2009.
Virginia will be celebrating her 422nd birthday and this year
will be our 3rd year to help her celebrate.
Anne is spearheading this
event again this year. I believe
Jennifer will be joining us as well, again, as well as at least two other
project members. You don’t have
to come and work the table with us all day, but if you can visit, it’s a
wonderful event. It’s not highly
publicized, which makes it quaint and not swamped.
The local people know about it, but most others don’t.
The cast of the play is in
costume all day and various “events” are taking place on the grounds.
The cast intermingles with the visitors and it’s just a wonderful,
relaxing, fun day for all. And yes, Virginia Dare always has a birthday cake.
I believe the Queen cuts it for her as well.
Our role in the event is
just to talk about our project. Nelda
arranged for a banner to be made last year and thanks to several people’s
efforts, we have brochures and handouts that Nelda created as well.
I’ll have DNA kits there for anyone who is interested too.
After the fun events of the
day, the cast gives one last presentation of “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama
and ends their production season.
Anne and I always attend. It’s a tradition, of course. If you can make
it, we’d love to have you. If you need hotel info, please contact Anne and she
can give you some suggestions.
There is just nothing like
standing where the colonist stood….words just can’t describe it.
Do you want to follow the
colonists trail? If so, Buxton is
the next stop on the journey. Buxton
is where the colonists are believed to have gone after they left Roanoke Island.
Many artifacts have been found after storms that lead archaeologists to
believe that the colonists may well have settled here, at least for some time.
Whether it was colonists themselves or the men in Ralph Lane’s 1585-86
expedition, the English were indeed here with Manteo’s people.
This is the location where the Kendall crest ring was found.
The local people descend
from the Hatteras Indians and have maintained the tradition that they descend
from the colonists as well.
Virginia’s birthday party, Anne and I will be researching in Buxton.
Want to stay where the
colonists lived? An avid
genealogist, researcher and author, Scott Dawson recently bought a hotel on the
land where the colony is thought to have resided.
He has even created a museum room showing many of the finds on his
property, which you can see if you play the video at his website.
Scott’s book, Croatoan:
Birthplace of America, is available
from Buxton Village Books. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
and in the body of the message, request this book by title. Cost is $16.00 +
Here’s an interesting
article by Scott as well…. http://www.coastalcarolinaindians.com/special/100507_Dawson.htm
Most of you have provided
genealogy data to go with your DNA kit. I’m
still waiting on a few. In the last
newsletter I mentioned we were going to focus more specifically on the families
who are from the eastern seaboard, in particular eastern NC or who are of Native
American heritage or Lost Colony oral history.
We have, for the most part, achieved this goal.
Our project is somewhat smaller now, but in the project we have people
who are somehow connected to this area of this project and it’s a much more
The behind the scenes work
to maintain this project is not trivial at all and takes several hours a day if
you add the volunteer work done by all of the various volunteers together.
I just want to take a
minute to remind those who might not know about our blog at http://www.the-lost-colony.blogspot.com/.
It’s a wonderful resource and Penny and Janet do such a good job.
Thanks to both of you talented ladies.
In addition, Penny
maintains our website at Family Tree DNA. www.familytreedna.com/public/lostcolonyydna.
Hopefully this task will become easier once Family Tree DNA introduces
their new tools for administrators.
At the Family Tree DNA
public site, individuals can visit and manually compare their results.
Since people now have to request to join and show a genealogical or
geographical link of some sort with the area, we have more people visiting this
site to see if they match anyone in our project.
Most people seem to think we’ve found the colonists and don’t realize
we’re still looking.
And of course our website
that Nelda maintains for us is here…http://www.rootsweb.com/~molcgdrg/index.htm.
Nelda does a wonderful
job with our site. There are
several thousand pages now…not bad for 2 years.
Please check out your surname and see if there is anything you can add.
Besides, you never know what has been submitted by others unless you
Upgrade Sale – Hot Off the Presses
I just received word
tonight that DNA upgrades are on sale at Family Tree DNA May 14-23rd.
This isn’t for new orders, but for those who have already tested and
have been considering upgrading. If
this is you, this is their once-a-year sale….so the perfect time to order
those upgrades. The sale prices are listed on the Upgrades tab on your
We hope to see you this
summer in Manteo, but if not, I hope you have a wonderful summer wherever life
takes you….and wishing you some genealogical miracles too!
the music playing is awakening,
composer and artist unknown
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