To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before
Shatner - the Starship Enterprise
who among us has not heard this phrase before?
There is just something terribly exciting about an adventure. Who doesn't want to go exploring? Remember as children what fun adventures were - even if they
were only pretend?
wondered what it is about the Lost Colony project, or more specifically,
the search for the Lost Colonists and their survival that intrigues us. The answer is simple. It's
a mystery, an adventure. It
hasn't been solved, and there are new tools and techniques becoming
available to use to use in the search.
And indeed, we can go where none have gone before.
not the first ones to be bitten by this bug - and by the way - I do
believe it's incurable. It's
not fatal, well, not to us - maybe to a few of the colonists - but it
seems to be a lifelong affliction.
David Beers Quinn and his wife, Allison, can attest to that, as
can Dr. William Powell. Dr.
Powell began his flirtation with the colony as a young man, and now in
his 90s, it continues. He
spent many months in England methodically going through the records then
available to him.
has changed since Dr. Powell's visits in the 1950s and 1960s, and lebame
houston's in the 1980s, and today?
are four primary changes, and a fifth ancillary difference.
and foremost, the internet. Internet
and online communications allow collaboration in ways never before
paves the way to the second item, records availability.
As more and more records become available remotely, and this is
happening, albeit way more slowly than any of us would like to see,
distant research become more feasible and available.
In particular, as parish records, wills, probate packets and even
just plain vanilla court records become available, it's akin to giving
genealogists the keys to the kingdom.
is DNA testing. 2010 is the
ten year anniversary of DNA testing for genealogy.
DNA testing requires good genealogy records to go along with the
testing for proof of line. One
without the other is incomplete. The
fact that DNA testing and collaboration is maturing at the same time
carries great promise.
the tools available for archaeologists.
Not only is our research pointing at very specific locations
where we may indeed find the colonists, the tools we have at our
disposal to analyze our finds have increased dramatically within the
past decade. Not only does this relate to DNA, but also to other types
of scientific testing and analysis.
Furthermore, the Lost Colony project has attracted the attention
of world class institutions and is moving forward rapidly with a team of
specialists. No longer is
an archaeology dig considered parochial in nature, but is approached
with a team of specialists.
fifth, we are indeed gathered together with the intention of and
commitment to doing what has not been done before.
We formed the Lost Colony Research Group in 2007 with this
specific goal, with the right people and skill sets to accomplish this
I began this journey, I asked myself why the local and original records
had not been thoroughly combed and analyzed.
Part of the answer was probably that many of the American records
have not been extracted and published, so the research is not
"easy". Part of the answer is likely that it's terribly time
consuming. I'm on year 4
now, and not nearly done. I'm
also not alone. We have
several individuals working on differing portions of the project.
We have embarked to do just this - use the records - all of them.
Of course, having the best team imaginable is most helpful.
So I'm glad that once the bug bites - it's a "forever
bite", kind of like the "forever stamps", because I'm
assured of having top notch assistance for a very long time.
else can you join a group, for free, participate in archaeology digs,
walk along the beaches that the colonists frequented and dig in the
records where their secrets are waiting to be revealed like a giant
jigsaw puzzle? Where else
can you, indeed, go were none have gone before?
Where else can you make such a difference in the search for the
truth about the founding of America?
Who knows, today could be the day you find the nugget of truth
that will lead to the answer.....
Sir Richard Grenville
Note -Sir Richard Grenville played a significant role in the Lost Colony
of Roanoke, but little is known about the man.
Our first historical article this month is by Andy Powell,
retired Mayor of Bideford, England.
Andy held the same position as Mayor of Bideford 437 years after
Sir Richard Grenville, Bideford's founder.
by Andy Powell
the name Sir Richard Grenville to anyone, and chances are that apart
from a vague recollection that he had something to do with Bideford and
died fighting a losing battle in the Azores, few will be able to add
more detail, yet add more detail we must, for Grenville’s life had far
more influence in Elizabethan history than he has ever been given credit
date of birth is a mystery in itself, with various sources quoting
anything from 1540 to 1543. The truth lies in a portrait painting
hanging in the National Gallery, a later copy of which hangs in
Bideford’s Town Hall. Upon this painting is an inscription that tells
us the painting was produced in 1571 “in the year of his life 29”,
meaning Grenville was 29 in 1571 and thus was born in 1542. Where he was
born remains a mystery though, as does much of his early life, but there
is evidence that he was raised at Clifton House near St. Germans in
Cornwall as a Ward of Court. Why a Ward of Court? Few people realize his
father was Captain of the Mary Rose which sank so catastrophically off
Portsmouth when our Grenville was only 3 years of age.
Grenville reached teenage years and finally inherited the Family estates
at Stowe and Bideford, fragments of his life start to come to light. We
know he was evidently an intelligent lad for he was admitted to the
Inner Temple of London, whilst still a minor. We also know that not long
after he was returned as an MP (Member of Parliament) for Dunheved (Launceston);
the position of MP being something he was to spend his lifetime serving
1563 Grenville had married Mary St. Leger, daughter of the St. Legers of
Annery near Weare Giffard. Having married her, there is some evidence
that he promptly left to fight the Turks in Hungary (!) the motive for
his involvement though appears more based on gaining experience of
military operations than for the romance of being there. He was landed
Gentry after all and the historical forte of the Grenville’s was land
based military command.
he learnt in Hungary was to stand him in good stead when, through that
marriage he found himself embroiled in plans to subjugate the province
of Munster (Southern Ireland) with his now in-law, Sir Warham St. Leger
during the 1568 to 1570 campaigns. It was during this time that his wife
narrowly escaped being butchered at the hands of the Desmond uprising
that beset the City of Cork. (Mary was evidently a doughty match for
Grenville and outlived him to die peacefully in 1623, probably aged over
80 at the time. She lies in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Bideford, her
Munster was an expensive campaign for Grenville and by 1570 he had
largely withdrawn from or simply lost interest in his Irish estates; an
interest that was to only briefly resurface twenty years later.
took his interest now though was the town of Bideford, for in 1572 as
Lord of its Manor, he applied for and obtained a Charter to create the
Borough of Bideford. It is interesting to note that the date is exactly
300 years after his ancestors first applied for the right to hold a fair
and market in the town.
intriguing prospect of Grenville’s actions to create the Borough is
that he would have had to obtain the agreement of the owners of the town
to give the Council adequate rights to govern. In effect, those owners
became its first council. We can be quite certain therefore that being
one affected by its creation, Grenville would have been one of
Bideford’s original Councillors (or Burghers) and thus took part in
the vote for John Salterne our first Town Mayor.
created the Borough of Bideford and probably still residing in the house
his ancestors must have built there (and of which traces may have
recently been rediscovered under Bridge Street car park;) Grenville
prepared a petition to the Queen to allow him to search for a route
across the ‘South Sea’ (the Pacific Ocean) He submitted the petition
in 1574, three years before Drake, who, almost certainly having read
Grenville’s petition, was allowed to do precisely that and thus
achieved the fame which should perhaps rightfully have been
seems certain though that Grenville was declined because relations with
Spain in 1574 where leaning towards a truce, and any activity such as
that proposed may well have been viewed with suspicion by the Spanish.
Any doubt as to the authenticity of Grenville’s plans can be dispelled
by the fact that on the reverse of Grenville’s petition are the words
“Grenville’s South Sea Voyage” written in Lord Burghley, the
Queens chief advisor’s own hand.
was Grenville’s increasing dislike of Drake that in 1580 shortly after
Drake returned from his round the world adventure, Grenville abandoned
the estate of Buckland Abbey and sold it via an intermediary to him for
£3,400. It is a sad fact that despite the Grenville’s being
singularly responsible for what you see at Buckland today there is
virtually no mention of their efforts in turning the Abbey into what
Grenville called his “Castle of Comfort”.
1585 Grenville had become involved in Raleigh’s attempts to settle an
English Colony in America, some 33 years before the Mayflower set sail
from Plymouth. Indeed it was Grenville who led the Military Colony to
build the first fort on Roanoke Island, the site on which lies the town
of Manteo (NC) today.
Grenville returned in 1586 with supplies for the Military Colony he had
left the previous year he found it had vanished. It had in fact been
relieved by a certain Francis Drake who had decided to pass by the
colony on his return from the successful ransacking of the Spanish West
Indies. Quite what exchanges must have taken place between Grenville and
Drake when Grenville returned to England is not recorded! It was on this
voyage of 1586 though that Grenville skirmished with some of the Native
American Indians and brought home the one christened ‘Rawley’ and
who now lies buried somewhere in the Churchyard of St Mary’s Bideford;
unquestionably the first American buried on English Soil.
spent 1587 in London organizing what became the so called ‘Lost
Colony’ of Roanoke but was evidently too busy to deliver them himself.
He planned to return though in 1588, when, having prepared a fleet of
five ships at Bideford he was commanded to take these ships, along with
two volunteer ships from Barnstaple and a fleet from Bristol, to fight
the Spanish Armada at Plymouth. Grenville was not disposed to serving
under Drake and returned to Bideford, where he organized a further
attempt to supply Roanoke barely a few weeks later.
as the Spanish Armada moved around the British Isles and the West coast
of Ireland in an attempt to get home, the Privy counsel considering the
possibility of an attack on the Bristol Channel gave Grenville the
command to secure the Western Approaches. Sadly, the chance of fame yet
again passed him by as the Spanish Armada destroyed itself against the
was to be Grenville’s year of fame, one until recently, wrapped in the
inaccuracies of Raleigh’s reports and the poetry of Tennyson. Details
of that famous battle of the Revenge are the preserve of the forthcoming
book but what can be said is that Grenville was not tardy leaving Flores
as is widely thought, but remained there refusing to abandon the English
sailors who were still ashore; (whilst of course the Admiral Howard fled
with the remainder of the English Fleet).
was trapped in a pincer movement and despite the most extraordinary
resistance; a resistance that caused the Spanish Commander to answer a
great many embarrassing questions in the Spanish Court about how one
ship could destroy so much of the Spanish fleet; the Spanish took
Grenville on board their flagship, patched him up as best they could and
served him a meal; a meal at which many of the Spanish Captains paid
homage to him.
died en route to Terceira and was buried at sea, fittingly being joined
by the Revenge at about the same time.
was left to none other than Francis Bacon to comment in his book “Considerations
touching a war with Spain” to say of Grenville “that memorable fight
of an English ship called the Revenge, memorable I say even beyond
credit, and to the height of some heroic fable.”
On the Lighter Side
genealogy and historical research is certainly a serious endeavor, it
isn't meant to be dry or boring. And
sometimes, you stumble across something just too funny not to be
enjoyed. That happened to Jennifer Sheppard while researching in
Martin County. She shared
the story in her Everything is Relative column, which she has graciously
allowed us to reprint here.
Newspaper Research Reveals Case of Mistaken Identity for Martin County
I was asked to do research regarding trials that took place in the Old
Martin County Courthouse, in Williamston, NC, I had no idea what
interesting and sometimes amusing articles I would find in microfilmed
copies of The Enterprise. I haven’t spent much time doing newspaper research but
it a very useful tool for the genealogist and historian. A friend of mine has done extensive newspaper research and
when she’s asked about it she replies “newspapers contain genealogy
only will you find obituaries, birth announcements and weddings in those
wonderful old issues of the newspaper but they also contain some very
interesting and surprising information that shows us just how
“human” our ancestors were.
old Tom Boston’s last journey was a long and unnecessary one and it
was a trip over which he had no control.
Poor Tom was sent to prison in Atlanta, Georgia from federal
court in Washington, NC in October of 1926.
He had pled guilty to a charge of “manufacturing liquor.”
Since that was his second offense, Judge Meekins sent him to
Atlanta for two years. But
that was not to be, for Tom developed pneumonia and died on 20 January
that same day Samuel Isaacs of Ticonderoga, New York received a telegram
from the Federal penitentiary in Atlanta, GA where his son, Joseph
Isaacs, was serving a sentence for “rum running.”
The telegram read “Your son, Joseph died last night of
pneumonia. Do you wish the
body given a Christian burial here or shipped home at government
expense.” Mr. Isaacs wired back, “return it home.”
grave had been dug and relatives and friends gathered from far and wide.
The home was filled with flowers and a preacher engaged for the
service. In the morning, on
24 January, the casket arrived. John F. Gunning, the funeral director, removed the casket lid
and what a surprise! “That’s
not my son,” exclaimed Mr. Isaac and low and behold it wasn’t, the
casket contained the body of a Negro man.
Mr. Isaacs hurried to the phone and demanded an explanation from
John W. Snook, warden of the Atlanta penitentiary.
that point, Mr. Isaacs was advised “that the body was that of one Tom
Boston who was from North Carolina.
Not long after that Mr. Isaacs received a telegram from the
warden which read “Your son is alive and well.
Clerical error on our part.
Sorry. Hold body of
Boston for further instructions (Signed) John W. Snook.”
“So the body of the Negro man was sent to the Ticonderoga
Station, the flowers relegated to the sidelines, and relatives and
friends rejoiced.” (Source: The
Enterprise, Tuesday, April 5, 1927).
for the rest of the story – The headline in The
Enterprise, Tuesday, February 1, 1927 reads: “Special Car for
Negro’s Body, Body Billed to Jamesville Goes to New York Town
First.” Tom Boston’s
body was shipped directly to Ticonderoga, NY where it evidently remained
while federal authorities checked and discovered their mistake. The
casket was rebilled and the 40-year-old Negro’s body began to roll
south. “When it reached Rocky Mount the second time the body’s condition was almost unbelievable. So
from that point on to Jamesville Tom’s body occupied a special car to
The body was removed from the car late Sunday afternoon, in
Jamesville, after having been on the road for approximately 10 days.
Although in terrible condition, the body lay in state at the old
home Sunday night and into Monday afternoon when it was finally interred
in its final resting-place. The
paper also stated “While it is not definitely known, it is understood
the body was shipped unprepared for the long ride.” I should think so!
(Source: The Enterprise, Tuesday,
February 1, 1927).
is the beginning of what I see as a lucrative source for some very
interesting stores. Until
next time happy hunting!
enlightening note was sent by our member, Van Harris.
live about 4 miles south of Hamilton, NC., on the Roanoke river.
One of the early settlements, called Hogtown is on a farm owned
by a friend of mine. He
found a mug that was dated back to between 1580 and 1590.
In a paragraph in the book, The
First Colonists by Quinn, there is a quote that says that “after 4
days of hard rowing up the Roanoke, we came on the high bluffs”.
That would be Hogtown in my opinion.
Windslow found the cup when he was diving in the Roanoke River about 15
years ago. The cup is
distinguished by having pebbles in the molding clay. Another person
named Harry Thompson, who is curator of the artifacts collection in
Plymouth, N.C., went with Henry to Williamsburg, Va., to a very
reputable potter, who after examining the mug, said to them, "Yes
it's real easy to date this mug...between 1580 and 1590, English potters
added pebbles to their work to see if it would add strength to their
pottery. They decided after that 10 year period that it didn't, so they
discontinued the process."
cup in now on display at the Museum of The Albemarle, in Elizabeth
City ,N.C. The Port of Plymouth Roanoke River Museum is
the official title and the phone no. is 252-793-137.
the way, I did get to go to the Hogtown site last year... it's only a
washed out road down to the river itself.
The distinguishing factor as x-army person is that it has a
spring coming out of the hill.
You can go a long time hungry, but you can't go for long without
clean drinking water. So
that's where I would chose to bed down...plenty of deer and fish to cook
if you have clean water
Henry O'Berry Land Grant
following information comes primarily from Linda Dial and Stephen Berry. A big thank you to both of these contributors.
of the long standing legends in the Lumbee Tribe is the story of the
earliest Lowery/Berry family members.
Lowry Jr. settled in Southern VA and was in the fur trade. He learned
Indian dialects including Cherokee and Tuscarora. His son, James III
helped the Cherokee with the Treaty of 1705 as an interpreter. He
married Priscilla Berry who was supposedly a direct descendant of Henry
Berry of White's lost colony. She was supposedly 1/8th Tuscarora.
ancestor, Henry O. Berry, was granted land next to James Lowery, in
1730/2, which is now the Lumbee Indian land. There are some research
documents that list Henry O. Berry as being part Tuscarora but the
Lumbee tribal office thinks that he was probably Croatan since the
Tuscarora would probably have killed his family not cohabited with them.
of the Berry family moved about 10 miles south into South Carolina.
Henry Berry had a relative, Priscilla, who married the son of James
Lowery. They had a grandson, Henry Berry Lowry, who is known in the
Lumbee tribe as “Robin Hood”. He is idolized in the tribe and has
many buildings etc. dedicated to him. His actual house has been moved to
the site of a park named “Strike the Wind” where there is an
amphitheater showing the history and actions of Henry Berry Lowery. His
family and “gang” were all killed but he escaped through the swamps
in 1872 and was never seen again. Reports are that his wife, Rhoda, made
trips to Tennessee and Alabama several times after 1872.
fact, we now have confirmed descendants of the Lowery "clan"
family as well as a Middleton family who matches the Lowery line DNA,
complete with an oral history of descent from Henry Berry Lowery. And yes, you guessed it, they are from Tennessee.
Berry and Lowery family prior to this land grant have proven impossible
to track. Were they Indians
living in the swamps? Traders?
Virginians? Perhaps future
DNA connections will tell us more than we know today.
Priscilla Berry Lowery is not known to have had any daughters,
although it's certainly possible that she did have some and they are
simply not yet documented. Testing
the mitochondrial DNA of Priscilla's descendants, were there to be any
descended entirely through a female line, might be very interesting.
would also be very interested in comparing DNA with an O'Berry who might
be from the same area in southern Virginia or North Carolina.
the following page, the original land grant of Henry OBerry for 100
acres in 1750 is shown in Anson County.
There was obviously an earlier grant as well, as it says it
borders "his own land", but the earlier grant has been
reported as existing in the 1730s, but has never been produced.
Is he really Henry O'Berry, Henry O. Berry or simply Henry Berry
with a flourish. Was he
consistently called one or the other, or was this a
"transient" type of name?
Has he recently adopted a surname and was perhaps illiterate,
relying on the spelling of the various clerks.
In many early documents, names were misspelled multiple ways
within the same document. Although our perception of
"misspelled" and the colonial perception are dramatically
different. Regardless of
the surname, this land was most assuredly in current Robeson County,
Lumbee land, on Drowning Creek.