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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


October, 2010

 Confessions of an Outer Banks Filly

Book Review by Roberta Estes


Sybil Austin Skakle penned this wonderful book.  I began reading the book to extract the family information for the Hatteras Families DNA project, but I quickly forgot about that and was drawn into life in the 1930s on Hatteras Island.

Hatteras Island is still a very unique place, mesmerizing, some would say addictive in its quaintness.  But the Outer Banks of the 1930s was even moreso.  Isolated by the lack of roads and bridges, it was only accessible by boat, 30 miles from the mainland at its closest point.  Your neighbors were your cousins, or second cousins, and your world consisted of the sea, the island and its people.  Some people never left, their entire lives.  Others, especially those who worked in the maritime industry regularly visited other locations.


The Depression of the 1930s which is when Sybil was growing up on Hatteras Island was the beginning of exposure to the outside world.  The Civilian Conservations Corps sent workers, as did the Health Department and the WPA.  For Hatteras Island, the Depression brought money and funds not previously available.  But to a little girl, the Depression meant not much of anything, except a promised vacation delayed.


Childhood was different then too.  Kids played outside.  There was no electronic age, no computers, no television, no electricity and not even inside bathrooms.  But no one felt deprived, because these things had not yet been invented.  Instead, kids read, played outside, built treehouses and forts and created adventures and businesses like selling lemonade - or in Sybil's case - creating a store under the front porch.


Memories are made up of activities like picking wild grapes, borrowing the neighbors boat, getting stranded and of dances at the Beacon. 


Life was peaceful and lawful - no police existed on Hatteras Island so they had no capacity to arrest anyone - and no need to. 


Entertainment was through the school and the church and local "plays" and later, old time movie projectors. 


This lovely books isn't so much about who they were or what they did, it's the recreation of an earlier, simpler and much more innocent time and place.  Although this book is uniquely Hatteras, it is certainly an interesting read on its own, without the Hatteras connection.  This is the book that we all wish our grandmother had written for us about the time and place where she grew up. It allows us to peek back in time through a magical keyhole.


As for me, I now have to read this book a second time.  It was so interesting that it drew me in completely and I totally forgot about the genealogy and family history that I was originally interested in.   Thanks to Sybil for this mental vacation to Hatteras Island nearly a century ago.


You can purchase this lovely book at Manteo Booksellers in Manteo, NC or online at



Website Surpasses 8000 Pages

Our Lost Colony website has surpasses 8000 pages.  We've added a great deal since the first of the year, and lots more is in preparation now.  If you haven't checked your surnames lately, it might be a good time to do this.

Also, please contribute anything you might have as others will be looking.  Be sure to ask Nelda to list your surnames of interest as well.  We added this for your benefit so researchers can connect.  Take a look!


More Unusual Names

Just when I thought I was done, I found just one more I had to share with you....

Capt. Zorababel Gaskins

Emma Lala, a female in the Rollinson family


Novel Cause of Death

Dawn Taylor has been extracting the Dare County death certificates for the Hatteras project.  This is probably the most unusual one we've found.

Mary Susan (Rollinson) Quidley died on June 17, 1942 when she "became excited over a electric wire igniting and died suddenly".




Martin County Historical Society Presentation by Jennifer Sheppard

Jennifer Sheppard, Genealogist for the Lost Colony Research Group, presented a program to the Martin County Historical Society at their meeting on September 23rd in Williamston, NC.  

Jennifer described how the Lost Colony Research Group is using Genealogy and DNA testing to attempt to prove the oral histories that there are living descendants of the Lost Colony living in north eastern North Carolina today.  DNA kits were on hand for testing and Jennifer assisted one person, Chris Smith, shown in the photo at left, with collecting his DNA following the presentation.  Brenda Monty, another attendee and a reporter for the local newspaper, the Enterprise, photographed Chris taking the DNA test.

Another program on the archaeology portion of the Research Group, will be presented at a later date to be announced.




Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County in 1745- 1800, by Lyman Chalkley - Extracted surnames of the Lost Colony and Families of Interest, by Judith Hough. 


A note from Roberta - First, a really big thank you to Judy for compiling this information from Volume 1, with Volumes 2 and 3 to follow. 


For those who aren't familiar with Chalkley's works - he compiled a prodigious amount of information from the court records of Augusta County, Virginia from 1745-1800.  In 1745, Augusta County was indeed the frontier.  Many, but not all, of the families who settled there were from Pennsylvania, the Scotch-Irish.  Some were Germans, some English from Virginia, and some folks from the colony of North Carolina.  The colonists direct descendants may not have settled here, but if you find their surnames, others from their families may indeed have followed.  If you have family from this area and have been able to track your family "across the pond" and know your families location in the British Isles, please do let us know.  Chalkley's work is being transcribed by volunteers and you can peruse at this link:





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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.
All DNA Content on this site belongs to the individuals who tested and or their representatives . The person who tested does not give up ownership of their DNA or DNA results by posting them here.
Where Copyrighted data has been cited the source has been included........
Some Native American art work is from  Some of their art was used as a bases for different creative graphics.