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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology




March 2011


Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke

By Andy Powell


News Release by Jennifer Sheppard

Our own Andy Powell has written a book about The Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Roanoke, North Carolina has the distinction of being the first site where Englishmen landed in America, to establish a permanent settlement.  Yes, 20 years before Jamestown, Virginia was settled and 33 years before the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts, Englishmen landed on North Carolina shores (then Virginia) to establish a colony.


In 1587, Raleigh sent a colony of 117 men, women and children to colonize America. Shortly thereafter; Governor White had to set sail for England to obtain additional provisions but was unable to return until three years later. When he returned to America the colonists had disappeared, leaving the word Croatoan carved on a tree.


In Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke, Andrew Powell presents information he's gathered during more than three years  of research. He researched the earliest transcripts and first hand accounts; many that have never been previously connected to the story of the Lost Colony.  This work provides a picture of one of the most extraordinary periods in English history and the most famous unsolved mystery in America.


This book examines the crucial role played by Raleigh's cousin, Sir Richard Grenville. Grenville and The Lost Colony of Roanoke contains new revelations, exposes myths, includes modern re-transcriptions of original accounts, and provides the latest evidence and theories as to what happened to the Colonists.


‘If the theories associated with the story are proven, and the evidence in support of them is emerging rapidly from the use of modern DNA testing and new archeological evidence, then the History of America is about to be re-written,’ explains author, Andrew Thomas Powell.”


“This book provides a very fresh perspective on Sir Walter Raleigh’s Virginian enterprises and highlights the key role that Si. Richard Grenville played in them. By looking at the original accounts, the book offers numerous new insights…It is an important new addition to the library of ‘Lost Colony’ research” – Mark Horton, Professor in Archaeology, University of Bristol, UK.


This book reads like butter. No slogging through the mire. Any Powell not only documents the history of the Roanoke voyages, he solves many mysteries, and weaves it all into a mesmerizing tale. It’s all true, but reads like a mystery book that you can’t put down until the last page is turned.” – Roberta Estes, CEO of and Co-Founder of The Lost Colony Research Group (America’s leading ‘Lost Colony’ authority).


To order Andy's books, follow the appropriate link:


For the UK =



For the USA =



ANDREW THOMAS POWELL was born in Wimbledon in 1959 and settled in North Devon in 1987. He is the former Mayor of Bideford and a Town Councillor. In his private life he spends his time enjoying trekking and attempting to play his Jazz Guitar. 


Publication Date – 1 April 2011, ISBN: 9781848765962. Publisher: (contact Jane Rowland)  Troubador Publishing LTD, 5 Weir Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicester, LE8 OLQ, WW.TROUBADOR.CO.UK


Just in Time Arrival!!!

The first box of Andy's books arrived from the publisher, just in time for his speaking engagement the next day, February 19th, at the North Devon Branch of the Devon Family History Society.


You can meet Andy for yourself at the April 12th meeting of the Hatteras Island Genealogy Society at the firehouse in Avon (on Hatteras Island) from 6 to 9 where Andy is speaking and signing his new book.  For more info as the date draws closer, check the Hatteras Island Genealogy link on facebook at!/group.php?gid=245433063719 or the Lost Colony blog at



Lost Colony Presentations - April 12th

The Hatteras Island Genealogy Society and the Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group, are coming together to bring you some good eats and we will have with us several guests at the Avon Fire Station, in Avon on Hatteras Island.  All of our speakers are specialists in various aspects of Lost Colony Research.

Roberta Estes, Director of the Lost Colony Research Group will give a presentation about the ongoing research into the fate of the Lost Colony, the Lost Colony DNA project, and the Hatteras Island Family DNA projects, co-administered by Dawn Taylor.

Dawn and Roberta will have their Hatteras Island genealogy data base along for easy access this evening, so be sure to see if your ancestor is listed. We'll be talking about what we've found in the Hatteras families, genetically, too - so if it's results you're looking for - you won't want to miss this.

Anne Poole, Research Director of the Lost Colony Research Group will be with us as well.

Andy Powell, recently retired Mayor of Bideford England, and expert on the English aspect of Lost Colony research will bring his recently released book, Grenville and The Lost Colony of Roanoke, and will be sharing with us the role of Sir Richard Grenville in the Lost Colony adventure. Andy has spent years translating original English documents and will be sharing his knowledge with us. Andy will be signing his new books as well for anyone wishing to purchase one.  What an opportunity, a signed first edition book that is sure to be a collector's item.

Prior to our special guest speakers, there will be a pot luck dinner.

HIGS and the LCRG, will be supplying the main course and drinks. We do ask that those attending bring a side dish or dessert. The pot luck portion of the night will be from 6-7 p.m. Our special guest speakers will start promptly at 7 PM.

For more information closer to the date, check either the Hatteras Island Genealogy Society on Facebook at!/group.php?gid=245433063719 or the Lost Colony blog at


Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff

In our quest for the Lost Colonists and an understanding of the events surrounding their story, occasional stories and tantalizing fragments of history are often uncovered that require closer examination. Here, in these next stories, Andy Powell takes a look at three recent examples.


The Harveys and the Greenwich Connection  


In researching her DAVIDGE connections Nancy Frey, our English Genealogist, was referred to a book about the Church of St. Alphage in Greenwich, Kent.  On the last page it mentions that a HARVEY was a captain of a ship that fought the Spanish Armada and who subsequently took the title Baron Kidbrooke on account of his property there.  (Kidbrooke is a parish in the same Hundred as Greenwich.)


According to Nancy, the book goes on to make the rather fascinating statement that "A fact that is very little known is that when the first English settlements were planted on the North American Continent the whole of that vast territory was included in the Manor of East Greenwich." 


Further research on this Harvey uncovered the following entry in Burke’s Peerage (the authoritative guide to the English Peerage):


Henry Hervey, 1st and last Baron Hervey of Kidbrooke died July 1642.


Henry Hervey, 1st and last Baron Hervey of Kidbrooke|d. Jul 1642|p15281.htm#i152803|Henry Hervey||p15281.htm#i152804|Jane Thomas||p15281.htm#i152805|Sir Nicholas Hervey||p15281.htm#i152802||||James Thomas||p15281.htm#i152806||||

Henry Hervey, 1st and last Baron Hervey of Kidbrooke was the son of Henry Hervey and Jane Thomas He married, firstly, Hon. Mary Browne, daughter of Anthony Browne, 1st Viscount Montagu and Lady Jane Radcliffe, in May 1597 He married, secondly, Cordell Annesley, daughter of Brian Annesley and Audrey Tirrell, on 5 February 1607/8 He died in July 1642, without surviving male issue2 He was buried on 8 July 1642 at Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England.3 His will (dated 16 December 1637) was probated on 1 November 1648.


Henry Hervey, 1st and last Baron Hervey of Kidbrooke fought in the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, where he distinguished himself. He was invested as a Knight on 27 June 1596 at Cadiz, Spain, by the Earl of Essex. He fought in the wars in Ireland. He fought in the expedition against Cadiz in 1597. He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Horsham in 16012 He held the office of Member of Parliament (M.P.) for Petersfield between 1604 and 1611. He was created 1st Baronet Hervey, of St. Martin's in the Fields, co. Middlesex [England] on 31 May 1619. He was created 1st Baron Hervey of Rosse, co. Wexford [Ireland] on 5 August 1620. He was created 1st Baron Hervey of Kidbrooke, co. Kent [England] on 27 February 1627/28.


Given his date of marriage it seems unlikely that he is connected to the Lost Colonists, but we do know from the copy of the roll for the English ships which fought against the Spanish Armada Henry Hervey’s ship was probably the ‘Bark Lamb’ (150 tonnes / 60 men) and that he fought under the flag of Lord Seymour.


We also know a little about the reference to another Lost Colonist surname (Browne) in the citation as Andy Powell had visited the Browne’s former estate at Cowdray Park near Midhurst in the county of West Sussex during the Summer of 2010!  Sadly this too drew a blank.


As a footnote, the reference to the Manor of Greenwich and claims over English Settlements in the USA actually refers to the early days of Jamestown and not to Roanoke as might be thought. The existence of this claim was really to do with the provision of legal jurisdiction rather than anything to do with land rights.


Such quirks still exist in England today. For example ~ following a recent crime on the Pacific south sea paradise of Pitcairn Island (still part of the old British Empire) it was discovered that the British Police force in the County of Kent was actually responsible for investigating crime on the Island…. Needless to say there was no shortage of volunteers for the task!



 Survivors from the  Ship John Evangelist alive and well on Hatteras Island…?


Dawn Taylor of the Hatteras Genealogy Society received an enquiry which told of a persistent story that there had been survivors left behind from the ‘John Evangelist’, one of the ships involved in John White’s desperate attempts to find his colonists in 1590.


This story may have come about from an incident which actually involved some eleven men of the crew of the ‘Moonelight’ from the same voyage. This is the actual passage which relates to that incident (transcribed from the original texts included in Andy Powell’s forthcoming book ‘Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke’):


“Captain Spicer came to the entrance of the breach with his mast standing up, and was half passed over, but by the rash and indifferent steerage of Ralph Skinner his Masters mate, a very dangerous Sea broke into their boat and overset them quite, the men kept the boat some in it, and some hanging on it, but the next sea set the boat on ground, where it beat so, that some of them were forced to let go their hold, hoping to wade ashore, but the Sea still beat them down, so that they could neither stand nor swim, and the boat twice or thrice was turned the keel upward, whereon Captain Spicer and Skinner, hung until they sunk, and were seen no more.


But four that could swim a little kept themselves in deeper water and were saved by Captain Cooke’s means, who so soon as he saw their oversetting, stripped himself, and four other that could swim very well, and with all haste possible rowed unto them, and saved four.


They were 11 in all, and 7 of their chiefest were drowned, whose names were Captain Edward Spicer, Ralph Skinner, Edward Kelley, Thomas Bevis, Hance the Surgeon, Edward Kelborne, Robert Coleman.”


As can be seen from this, none of the seven survived. Andy Powell adds that in the entire transcript from John White’s voyage of 1590 there is not the slightest indication of any men being left alive, inadvertently or otherwise on Hatteras or anywhere else in the OBX. In the absence of any further authoritative evidence, one therefore has to draw the conclusion that the story relating to the John Evangelist is just another one for the chaff.


Mixing one’s ‘F"s with ones ‘S’s.…


One of the popular stories relating to Ralph Lane’s tenure of Roanoke is that of the apparent theft by the native Indians of a Silver Cup.


Close examination of Elizabethan texts reveals that in the late 16th century when the story of Roanoke was first put into print; the letters ‘s’ and ‘f’ were very similar typographically. Thus, in the passage from Ralph Lane’s account, which reads:


The 16th we returned thence, and one of our boats with the Admiral was sent to Aquascococke to demand a silver cup which one of the savages had stolen from us, and not receiving it according to his promise, we burnt, and spoiled their corn, and Town, all the people being fled.”


… the ‘f’ in the final word ‘fled’ is often interpreted as an ‘s’ as in sled (meaning slayed.)


Of course if one thinks about it, it seems highly unlikely that the native Indians on seeing the English rampage through their village, would hang around to be slaughtered; especially given that we already know from Ralph Lane’s and Captain Barlowe’s accounts that warfare was almost a way of life for many of them (so the routine of running for cover in the woods would have been a familiar one).


The English military may have been rather overzealous in 1585 and it is likely some injuries were sustained by the native Indians but wholesale slaughter? Perhaps not. As to what happened to the probably lost Silver Cup maybe one day someone will answer that by dredging it from the Pamlico Sound …..who knows!

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