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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology



August 2011


A further attempt was made under General Hunter that August for three raids, all without effect.


In November, Jamaica was divided into two districts to facilitate the forces.  By December, the Council of Trade and Plantations sent to the Duke of Newcastle a letter stating the following, "which all relate to the ill state of Jamaica with regard to the negroes in rebellion, weak condition of the inhabitants and the apprehensions they are under of a general insurrection of their slaves.”  Governor Hunter sent to them on December 24th, “I can not without breach of duty conceal my opinion that this island is in a very defenceless condition in case of a war. The slaves in rebellion, who give us work enough, in that event are not the most dangerous ; here are men of desperate fortunes and more desperate principles who have too much influence on the majority, are gaping after change, and if  I may judge from their pass'd conduct would readily joyn with any such.”  He was concerned for more than just a Negro rebellion, but for a general rebellion as well.   

A pamphlet titled, “The State of the Island of Jamaica, addressed to a Member of Parliament” was published in which the writer urges the "necessitty there is, that not only a revenue be settled equal to the annual expense of the Government, but also a provision be made by some new laws for the better recovery of just debts, and the better peopling and settling of the island, at the same time that the body of laws are re-enacted or confirmed by the Crown."  The problem became a fiscal one for the British which resulted in a treaty with the Maroons that lasts until this day.   

Two British regiments arrived by 1734.  Thus, Dring may well have returned to Rhode Island and his merchant activities by that time, but with Jamaica firmly on his mind.  Did Azariah Dring get caught up in this state of legislative affairs?  Did he fight against the taxes on slave imports?  Quite possibly, he did. 

New England had a tremendous role in the slave trade – especially Rhode Island.  Quoting from Brown University’s Steering Report, “In all, about sixty percent of slave trading voyages launched from North America – in some years more than ninety percent – issued from tiny Rhode Island.”  Furthermore, his son would later demonstrate zero tolerance against escaped slaves in the colony of South Carolina.  Dring very possibly was a slave trader.  This occupation would have peaked his interest in the 10s duty on importation/exportation of slaves passed in 1732 and so hotly debated through 1734 when the latest rebellion began.  He may have paused in his business to fight this legislation.  It seems he stalled in his activity for more than a year.   

Dring may simply have supplied the Caribbean isles with necessaries.  The Caribbean sugar isles concentrated so heavily on production that they had to import everything else.  From the Steering Report:  “Rhode Island dominated this trade, operating, in essence, as the commissary of the Atlantic plantation complex.  Rhode Island ships cleared for the Caribbean on an almost daily basis, their holds laden with a cornucopia of local products – beef and butter, hay and horses (Narragansett pacers were much prized by Caribbean planters), candles, shoes, iron, barrel hoops and staves, timber, tar, tobacco, and vast quantities of salt cod, the staple protein source of West Indian slaves. (Rhode Islanders sometimes referred to cod as “Jamaica fish,” reflecting a clear understanding of the commodity’s destination.) Between the transatlantic slave trade and the West Indian provisioning trade, it is hard to imagine any eighteenth century Rhode Islander whose livelihood was not entangled, directly or indirectly, with slavery.”  

The New England Weekly in Boston published in May 1732 an address from Joseph Maxwell, clerk of the Jamaican Council, asking for more troops to help them defend against rebellious Negroes.  He stated that, “We are, of late Years, deprived of the most Beneficial branch of our Trade, the carrying of Negroes and Dry Goods to the Spanish coast [Assiento Trade].”   

Whatever his reasons, Dring’s activities demonstrated a change in his routine away from other locales toward Jamaica, perhaps supplying fresh slaves or to support the continual military effort against the Maroons.  The rebellion made keeping slaves on Jamaica a hazard, fearing that new slaves would simply run off and join the Maroons.  This strongly affected slave traders and their business.  Maxwell told the Board of Trade that they “gave Employment to a considerable Number of Shipping & People to cut and carry Logwood from thence,” which was stolen by the Spanish routinely and that the French were undercutting the price of slaves.  The situation seemed desperate.  

By October of 1734, Dring left Newport bound again for Jamaica (Weekly Rehearsal of Boston, Mass.).  The Boston Post-Boy of October 27, 1735 told of his departure from Rhode Island three days earlier bound again for Jamaica.  New-England Weekly Journal of May 18, 1736 shows him arriving in Boston from Jamaica and leaving again on May 24th, bound for Rhode Island (Boston Evening-Post).  Any evidence of what he carried in his hold would be extraordinarily helpful.   

On the 3rd of May, 1737, Azariah Dring was made a freeman for the province of Rhode Island by the Proceedings of the General Assembly for Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations.  He was again outbound for Jamaica in July 1737, according to the Boston Post-Boy and there, undoubtedly discovered a truce had been arranged with the rebels.  In all, there were seven references for Dring going to or coming from exclusively Jamaica for over four years.  He did nothing else.  

The first deviation in Dring’s Jamaica pattern occurred in February 1738, when the American Weekly Mercury recorded him as inbound from Honduras, just after the 1737 treaty was signed with Jamaican Maroon rebels and the military actions ceased, necessitating their withdrawal.  By this time, presumably, the British on Jamaica needed no further supplies from Capt. Dring.  Just as well, Dring’s possible hopes of capturing cheap Maroon slaves to be sold also disappeared.   

The next year, in March 1738, Dring cleared out of Boston harbor again for Rhode Island and then left there for the Leeward Islands in April (Boston Gazette).  Very few reports reveal his activity after this, for no Dring is recorded as mariner until May 1746, leaving from New Providence, the Bahamas.  Only one other notation further, the New-York Mercury records on December 10, 1753, “Novem. 12. (Charlestown, South Carolina) Monday last put into this port a Schooner bound from Winyah for Boston, Dring Master, that had been out three Weeks, and had met with very bad Weather.”   

Azariah Dring must have been worn out by his hapless arrival in Charlestown, for there he stayed, dying three years later in Craven Precinct, in 1756 (SC Colonial Probate 464).  The year before this, his legal dispute with James Baber occurred.   

South Carolina marriage records show a (Mrs.) Margaret “Dringat,” possibly Azariah’s widow marrying on October 30, 1757 to a John Andrews Dehay.  Those records also show a Percival Dring (bachelor of Prince George Parish, born about 1741-1744) marrying on March 18, 1761 to Elizabeth Crook(s) (spinster of Prince George Parish) and an Elizabeth Dring marrying May 19, 1764 to Charles Coulbourn.   

Percival Dring became a constable in charge of hunting down escaped slaves in South Carolina.  In 1765, he earned the most of ten such constables, £56 17 06 for four separate accounts.  No one else had more than a single account.  Two years later, the number of constables increased and Percival Dring only made £14 15.  By January 2, 1771, Percival Dring, a carpenter by trade, had passed away and his personal effects given to his next of kin, Margaret Dring.  This note is fascinating since his wife of ten years should have been Elizabeth.  Margaret should have been his mother.  Indeed, it may have happened this way.  

Elizabeth could have passed away between 1761 and 1771, when her husband died.  This could easily be accounted for by childbirth, deadly for females in the eighteenth century.  It is quite likely that there were two children born to Percival and Elizabeth, Percival Dring Jr. and Azariah.  Both of these men appear in the records of Currituck County, North Carolina and on deed records associated with Hatteras Island, remarkably as “free persons of color.”  This enigma must be explained somehow.  For the children and grandchildren of men who fought fervently against slaves to appear as “colored” individuals in the census records, one or both must have married a black, mulatto, or as the case may be best defined on Hatteras, an Indian… or, Elizabeth was already an Indian.  In that case, she may have found herself unable to inherit her husband’s estate.  She turns up again.

This interesting will appeared in Abstracts of Currituck Co Wills 1760-1800: Josiah Basnet, Oct. 9, 1782, Oct. 10, 1785, Will Bk 1, planter, son Alexander Scarborough, Jr., Letisby Scarborough.  Wit Azariah Dring, William Whidbee.  

Azariah Dring… of witness age in 1782?  He must have been at least sixteen, which puts his birth at no later than 1762.  Following common naming practices of the time, the first male child is usually named for the male’s father… in Percival of SC’s case, Azariah.  He very well could have been the first child born to Percival and Elizabeth Dring.  Josiah Basnett’s will is interesting enough because it seems to reflect matrilineal naming patterns with Basnett’s children all possessing the mother’s name of Scarborough, a possible indication of Indian heritage.  Still, they could be step-children, but Alexander appears to later take the name of Basnett.  

The second Dring Hatteras occurrence is 1783, in which Shibboleth Dring (by his father) sues Joseph Stow for “with force and arms he made an assault upon the said Shibboleth Dring and did beat wound and evilly treat so that his life was despaired of.”  Who was the father?  Percival or Azariah?  Unfortunately, none of the court records, lasting until November 1784 tell his name.  The only Dring later recorded with children was Percival, but since the 1810 and 1820 census recorded no Drings, the appearance of Azariah and his wife in 1830 at age 50-60 (births 1770-1780) indicate no children.  Drings do not seem to last on Hatteras  

The first census for the United States in 1790 recorded a “Price” Dring in Currituck County, on Hatteras Banks.  There were four people in his household, all “free persons of color” or FPC.  In 1797, Cornelius Howard sells to Percival Dring, two pieces of land that fell to his wife, Elizabeth (Smith?) from the will of John Smith Senr.  One parcel is very close to the land the Elizabeth Dring sells to John Clark in 1798, land on the sound bordering Isaac Brooks.  This land is east of Brooks point and west of Wahab’s new grant.  Percival sells 62.5 acres of this same land to Francis Farrow in 1799 while he buys land from Willoughby Basnett (son of another FPC who became “white” in 1800, Robert Basnett) who also obtained property through the John Smith estate the same way as Reuben Burrus.  (Currituck County Deed Records).  

Then, in 1800, a “Prissilor Dring” is enumerated as a white man with a white family of three male children, born between 1774-1784, four female children born between 1784-1790, a wife the same age as “Prissilor” and an older woman, born before 1755.  He himself is born between 1755-1776. 

Elizabeth Crook(s) Dring is still alive in 1800 and living with her son and his family on Hatteras Banks in an area known for its peculiar “free persons of color” who suddenly become white by 1800.  She is probably the “Elizabeth” who sold John Clark the land in 1798.   

Then, in 1809, William Clark sells land bordering Francis Farrow to Percival Dring in about the same area on the sound side of Hatteras Island.  Percival had already made his will by 1807, however, naming his brother Azariah and his executors, wife, Amy and friend Willoughby Basnett.  Witnesses are Daniel Stow and Sarah Brooks.

As indicated previously, 1810-1820 show no Drings enumerated, but 1830 shows only one, Azariah and his wife, both listed as “white” as expected by 1830.  The discrimination against anything other than “white” became unusually strong in North Carolina, finally culminating in the 1835 North Carolina Constitution that made everyone but whites a second-class citizen.  It was much more favorable to be white than Indian or black.  No other clues exist for what became of the Drings of Hatteras except another Azariah Dring appears in Caswell County, North Carolina, born between 1800-1810, a young lad starting a new family with a wife, a young son and two little girls.  At least the name lived on.   

The story of Azariah Dring from Rhode Island made a startling turnaround from a mariner who made a name for himself fighting black/Indian Jamaican Maroons in the Caribbean, then crash landed in Charlestown, South Carolina, and died there three years later.  Then his son, Percival obviously marries an Indian or black woman in 1761 and has two sons who later come to Hatteras.  But, if Elizabeth Crook(s) Dring had been born black or mulatto, her chances of being recognized as “white” in 1798 enough to sell land and in 1800 to be enumerated as “white” are not good.  She must have been Indian.  Combined with the family’s association with other families known to follow the same change from 1790 when they were found as FPCs until their miraculous transformation in 1800 to “white,” these Hatteras Islanders may very well have collected on Hatteras for the sole purpose of enjoying the anonymity.  Hatteras must have become a home for Native Americans that asked no questions.  For many, Hatteras remained a place inured by outside influence, possessing their own unique colloquialisms/language, and preferring a high level of independence.  It still is like that today.

Educational Opportunities

From time to time, opportunities for public speaking arise for members.  Many groups are looking for speakers and are interested in history and genealogy.  We have people speak at colleges and universities, national conferences, local genealogy groups and schools.

If you get the opportunity and you're interested, we have some support items for you.  We have handouts and brochures that can be printed and distributed.  These items tell about the Lost Colony Research Group and also provide a list of the colonist surnames, in case you don't have them all committed to memory.  I also have a Powerpoint that can be used on a laptop, but you'll need the laptop and access to a projector and know how to use them.  

If the opportunity arises and you're not comfortable doing the presentation, but the group is willing to host a visiting speaker (and pay for the trip), we also have a number of speakers who live in various locations.  Susi is located in the west, Anne and Jen in North Carolina, I'm in Michigan and Andy is England.  There may be others as well who are interested in or could give a presentation.  If the opportunity arises, just let us know and we'll do our best to provide a solution.  


Henry Berry Lowery  


Sandy, a descendant of the Lowery family, send three very interesting documents.  Her family member has been DNA tested and their results are viewable in kit 184974 along with the associated genealogy on our Lost Colony website.  Her family is from Roane County, Tennessee, descendants of one Aleck (Berry) Lowery.   

Those familiar with the story of Henry Berry Lowery, Lumbee outlaw or hero, depending on one's perspective, know that it was widely believed that he escaped the men who relentlessly pursued him during the Civil War and escaped to Tennessee.  His wife, Rhoda made several trips.  It was claimed that he changed his name.   

The Lowery family in Roane County, Tennessee has consistently said they descend from Henry Berry Lowery, who changed his name to Aleck, sometimes Alex.  Two letters written in the 1970s from then elderly "Grandma" to Shirley Burris Lowery Cozo in North Carolina document some portion of the story.  I have added punctuation, but left the spelling untouched.

Grandma says (extracted),  

"About them graves of Grandpa and Grandma they are up above Lake City it to be call Coal Creek it up near Cambell (sic) County line.  I been up there myself.  There in the graveyard a slate rock had on it wrote Will Lowery that was uncle Will Lowery papa brother and the other was no marker grandma her name Katie (could be Sadie) grandpa name Elexa and Aunt Bessie was papa sister.  Grandpa work in Fratervill mine after the explosion in May 19, 1902.  He was a Baptis (sic) preacher.  He taught school but I don't no the place where he taught school.  But this the place where he work in Fratervill mine round about 19-1902 so I'll close for now if I find out anymore I let you no."  

Grandma apparently discovered some additional information.  A second letter dated in 1972 was contributed as well.  Both of these letters are in Grandma's own handwriting, which, in some places, is difficult to read.

Grandma says,  

File:Henry Berry Lowrie.jpg"My father name Len (hard to read, maybe Lem) D. Lowery.  His father name was Berry Lowery from North Carolina.  But I don't know what part.  My father was raised in Tennessee.  My mother name Cara Blizzard before she married and her mother name Frankie Ridener from Union County, Tennessee.  I don't know Grandma Ridner's mother name.  Grandma Lowery name was Katie Canight (hard to read - may not be correct spelling).  She was from Scotland.  I don't no much about.  She was a little woman.  My grandpa left north Carolina came over to Tennessee before he married.  My father was raised in Tennessee.  My mother was in Tennessee.  The Blizzard owned a farm Anderson County.  The Rideners own a farm in Union County.  It been 100 years since grandpa Lowery left north Carolina.  He was almost Indian.  His father was chief over there I gess it been 175 years ago right clost.  We would get our claim but never did put in for it."  

Henry Berry Lowery was last seen in Robeson County in 1872, exactly 100 years before "Grandma" wrote this letter about Aleck, Elexa or Alex whose real name was Berry Lowery.  Some say that Henry Berry Lowery accidentally shot himself with one of his many guns that he carried.  Some say that he was seen a number of years later, returning to Robeson County for a funeral.  Some say Rhoda, his wife in North Carolina, left and returned many times.  Surely, if this was true, she would not be terribly tolerant of another wife, nor would the second wife.  On the other hand, perhaps this is why Rhoda did return to North Carolina.  

The DNA of this Lowery line matches the DNA of the Robeson Lowery line.  This is most assuredly the same genetic family.  If Aleck (Berry) Lowery is not Henry Berry Lowery, who is he?

A photo of Henry Berry Lowery taken in Robeson County, not contributed by this family, is shown at right.  

I asked Sandy if she had a photograph of her grandfather, Aleck.  She said that he was very careful never to be in photographs, and there are no photographs of him in the family.  Just before he died, he told the family who he was, but he stressed that they could never tell anyone.  Sandy's father was in his 70s before he told Sandy.  He kept his promise to his father.  The one still living uncle will not discuss this topic at all.  

Sandy and "Grandma's" granddaughter, Shirley, has spent years tracking down tidbits.  So far, everything Grandma said in the letters and the information Sandy's father, Grandma's brother, told her, has turned out to be true.  Grandma is Sandy's "Aunt Nelle."  

Sandy recently took a trip to Tennessee to find the grave of her grandfather Aleck.  The cemetery is horribly overgrown and she spent the day " chopping through thorns and every kind of poison vine known to mankind."  Just like Grandma said she would find, the slate rock for Will Lowery was found, and near it a stone for one Bessie Young, a child.  Nearby were fieldstones, one of which would be Aleck and his wife Katie Lowery.  


The stone says W. H. Lowery - Born March? 25, 1874 - Died September 22, 1893.  This would be the son of Henry Berry, aka Aleck, Lowery.   

The second item contributed by Sandy was a letter to Shirley from one Earl Lowery who lived in Des Moines, Iowa in 1981.  Here, in extracted form, is what Earl's letter contained: 

"Henry Berry Lowry was born in July of 1848 in Robeson County, NC, the son of Allen Lowry and Mary Cumbo.  He was the 10th son and 14th child of this couple.  Mary was Portuguese - born near Charleston, SC - the daughter of Stephen Combo a veteran of the War of 1812.  Allen Lowry was the son of William Lowry, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.  William's father came to NC about 1738 - and his wife was Priscilla Berry, a great-grand-daughter of Henry Berry listed in the roster of White's lost Colony - 1587.  This is how Henry Berry Lowry got his name.  Priscilla was 1/2 Tuscarora Indian.  Her husband James, a plantation owner, died in 1811.  His brother John signed the Cherokee treaty in 1806 - but he was an interpreter, not an Indian.  

When the Civil War started the Allen Lowry family was notified by the draft board that since they were of Indian descent they could not join the Confederate Army - but would be drafted as slave labor.  The Lowrys notified the board that none would go except as soldiers.  This and other factors resulted in the court-martial and shooting of Allen Lowry and his son, William (1865).  Hence, Henry Berry Lowry, then 16, came forth and disposed of all concerned in this killing.  He left North Carolina in Feb. 1872.  At 25 he had accomplished his mission, was married (Rhoda Strong) and had three children.  With a $12,000 reward on his head he and all his family agreed he should take off.  My book, complete but not published, stops here - because I have been trying for 50 years to determine where he went.  

About 1845 the oldest boy in the Allen Berry family, Murdick Lowry - because children having Indian blood had been kicked out of the schools - Murdick ran away with a local Scotch girl, a classmate - and went to Lafayette, Tennessee.  They had a large family.  We know that Henry Berry was not killed, but left Robeson County - we have no information that he took a wife with him.  You could well be a descendant of either of these boys.  

I've always had a feeling Henry Berry may have moved near his brother Murdick. 

I have the Lowery genealogy of the Lowrys since 1666 - when Judge Lowry arrived in Virginia.  Also the will of James Lowry and Priscilla Berry - he died in 1811 at 100 years."  

The third item contributed by Sandy is the following story, which has been transcribed from the original typewritten version provided by the family, with the following commentary:  

"There was a magazine article with a story that detailed a story about Henry Berry Lowery and his tie to the Lost Colony.  This magazine article has been in the family for years.  It has been around since before there were copying machines.  My cousin Rosa typed copies for the family.  There are some type-o's but the article survives.  No one knows the name of the magazine or the date or I would try to find it in the Library of Congress."

Jennifer Sheppard has graciously transcribed this article, "Ghost Warrior of the Lost Colony," for our newsletter.  Our thanks to the family for the generous contribution and to Jennifer for the transcription.  You can contact Sandy for further information at:


Ghost Warrior of the Lost Colony  


Old Allen Lowrie had seen death marching through the door when the men with the guns entered his tavern. Now the aged chief of the Croatans stood under a pine tree, facing a firing squad as camly (sic) as his legendary ancestor, Walter Raleigh, had once bowed his head on the chopping block in far off England.  

The old man took a deep breath of the autumn wind blowing in from Cape Fear. He met eye to eye, the cold, hard stare of Brant Harris, captain of these raiders. If white men, North and South, were killing each other as Allan Lowrie killed pigeons, what could peaceful Indians expect while roving bands of each action burned cabins and trampled down crops?  

His eyes turned in a last farewell toward the boy who lay gagged and bound a few feet away. The raiders had found it unnecessary to bind the sick old chief of the Croatans, still suffering from that stroke of apoplexy which had come when he learned that his favorite nephews, Harve and Charlie Lowrie, had been shot by this slave trader and guerrilla captain.  

“He’s a cooked turkey already,” Harris laughed mockingly. “But tie up the kid and gag him. Guess the folks in North Carolina are plumb tired of hearing that cock-and-bull story about their springing from Walter Raleigh and the Lost Colony over on Roanoke Island. That’s as likely as their tale of not knowing anything about the money and jewelry we just dug up in their corn field.”  

Then Harris addressed the old chief: “You and that kid have one chance. We’ve come to arrest your son Henry Berry Lowrie, for thief and concealment of stolen property, for persuading the Croatans to run off into the swamp after they had been conscripted to work on the fortifications at Fort Fisher. If you tell us where Henry and the runaways are hiding out, we won’t harm you or the boy. If you don’t there will be two less thieves to make trouble for the good citizens of Robeson County.”  

Allan Lowrie, the patriarch, answered firmly: “The Croatans do not steal. The Croatans will work if they are paid wages like other men. But we will not shovel sand for a piece of cornbread. We will not march like slaves for a man who killed two of our sons when he was taking them to the fort – after getting them drunk and having them to sign away their land to him.”  

“If the goods of our white brothers are found in our fields, them evil white men have put them there. If you seek Henry Berry Lowrie, go to the swamps and ask the owls.”

Harris’s face turned purple. “Come on, boys! Bring ‘em out,” he snarled.  

The old man and the lad watched calmly while Harris’s sullen slave dug a wide, shallow grave. Both shook their heads when Harris offered them one last chance to save their lives by revealing the hiding place of the runaways. The rifiles (sic) barked out a volley as Harris counted three, and Allen Lowrie spun around from the blast and dropped to the ground like a partridge. The boy struggled to free himself from the binding ropes and was still floundering when one of the men discharged a pistel (sic) into his head. William Lowrie lay as still as his father.  

“Dump ‘em in the hole,” Harris ordered curtly. The bodys (sic) were dragged to the grave and quickly spaded over with sand by the grimfaced Negro.   

The earth had been packed down firm and hard when a fusillade of shots rand (sic) out from the pine forest. A guerrilla howled with pain as a heavy slug tore through his shoulder. A bullet whizzed by Harris’s (sic) head landing in the trunk of a tree.  

“On your horses, men!”  Harris yelled. “Don’t try to fight the redbellies here!”

Leaping to his mount Harris bent low and spurred the animal to a gallop, his satellites close behind him.  

Little rivulets of blood were drying on the ground when six dark skinned, muscular youths, wearing rough jeans and carring (sic) shotguns on their shoulders, stepped from the thicket. They were followed by a swathy, middle-aged woman and a slim girl of 16 with delicate brown features. When the woman saw the grave, she bent over it whimpering and moaning. But the tallest of the young men moved in a quick, catlike spring and caught the girl by the hand when she started forward:

“Crying’s (sic) no use, Rhoda,” he said harshly. “Only killing’s going to help us now. Ma slipped out the back door and started running to the swamp when these butchers turned in from the road to our place. Horses are no good back there, and we got here too late on foot. But we’ll get every damn’ last one of ‘em.”  

Then he turned and spoke to the men: “You fellows scatter. Go to the house of every Croatan; tell them that we hold the funeral for Father and William in the swamp tonight. Tell them that Henry Berry Lowrie said to be there.’  

That night, the corpes (sic)  of the two Indians had been dug up and carried in canoes to the secret burial place of the Croatans on a remote island in the Back Swamp. Croatan tradition has it that  here Virginia Dare, the first white child born in America was buried as an old woman – while the pioneer settlers still wondered what had become of her and [the] rest of the English colony which Walter Raleigh had planted on Roanoke Island in that first century after the discovery of America.

As giant alligators looked on from the murky waters, the Indians assembled by the light of flaming pine torches to honor their dead. Dead rabbits and quails were placed in the muddy grave before it was filled with the damp loam (sic). For the souls of Allen and William Lowrie must have the food of warriors on their long journey.  

An old medicine man said a prayer in a strange, weird tongue remembered by only a few venerable Croatans. Then the elders of the tribe stepped in the middle of the circle, and beckoned to Henry Berry Lowrie.  

“It is the law of our people that our chief  must always be one with the blood of the great chief, Raleigh,” the old medicine man said in English. “You will lead us against the white men who shed our blood when we were always the friends of the white men. The son of Walter Raleigh and Allen Lowrie will not fail in this – for the law of our people spare not even the chief.  

“I sware (sic) that will not fail my people,” the youth answered.

As Lowrie spoke, a drum began throbbing out the ancient war song of the Croatan.  other (sic) tribes had retreated before that song when, time after time, the Croatan had allied themselfes (sic)  with the whites in the fierce Indian wars of the Atlantic Coast. But its pent-up blood lust had never been unloose (sic) against the whites – not once in those long generations since the first Scotch settlers of eastern North Carolina had thankfully discovered this strange tribe living in comfortable houses along the banks of the Lumber River speaking a strange old Englishdialect, (sic) and bearing many surnames of people in the Lost Colony.  

A Lowrie chief, claiming descent from the son of Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth Throckmorton, lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth of England, had sent his young men to help the settlers clear land for homesteads. He welcomb (sic) the Scotchmen to his table with: “Did not our white fathers leave Roanoke to dwell with our red fathers in Croatan when there was no food for their mouths?

“When the children of our white fathers and our red fathers moved west from Croatan, they build (sic) this Lowrie Road so that white men might find us. You will stay with us and we will learn from you. For our white fathers also talked in books.”  

Another Lowrie had armed his men and sent them to serve as scouts for the Revolutionary partisans of the SwampFox, (sic) General Marion, in that long campaign which finally drove the British out of the strategic Carolinas. And the present Lowrie chief – an 18 year-old boy named for the Henry Berry who had brought Raleigh’s son secretly to Roanoke – was leading the tribe against white men in a bitter conflict that was to rock North Carolina for the ensuing ten years. This Indian war was even more remarkable because those who waged it claimed proudly to be the lineal descendants of the very first white settlers in the country.  

The wise old olders (sic) had picked Henry Berry Lowrie to be the next chief, when at the age of 15, he had gone to the swamp and killed a black bear with a bowe (sic) knife, Out for bigger gamenow, (sic) he was as merciless toward his first victim, James P. Barnes, on that morning of December 21, 1864, as he was toward any rabbit which he had ever caught in a deadfall.

Barnes had entered the forest to cut down a pine tree for a Christmas party to be held in his home cummunity (sic) of Clay Valley. A tiny hamlet, off the main road.

Clay Valley only lay a few miles from the Croatan district of wood and swamp known as Scuffletown (sic).  

“Barnes”, Lowrie said, “I’ll (sic) done a lot of squirrel hunting with you, and never harmed you.  But you let Brant Harris talk you into going before the grand jury and accusing the Croatans of taking your cattle. That was the excuse the grand jury wanted for turing (sic) loose those who shot mu (sic) father and brother. I’m sending you to hell for it.”  

The Indians aimed their weapons. Barnes charged desperately with his ax and went down in a blinding crash. Rhoda Strong squealed with delight as the white man dropped to the ground.

Late that night, word came to Brant Harris in Lumberton that Barnes had been found dead in the woods by his wife. The guerrillas, quickly mobilized, saddled their horses, and rode towards Scuffletown (sic) eight miles away.  

ON (sic) the same night, Jarman and Pete Lowrie left their cabins for a coon hunt. They had not returned to their homes at noon of the next day.  

For a whole week, searching parties of the Croatans combed the district for their missing kin. Then Henry Berry Lowrie, acting on a hunch, paddled his canoe into moccasin-infested Bear Swamp. As he rounded a bend, he found his way blocked by the bloated corpses of his cusins (sic).

Lowrie tied his canoe to a cypress tree. Then he swam into the water to recover the bodies of the two Indians, depositing them in succession on a little piece of solid ground surrounding the trees. His clothing dripping with slime and mud, Lowrie examined the corpses minutely. Deep gashes and bruises on the swollen bodys (sic) told the story to the keen eyes of the young chief. The pair had been attacked, over-powered after a fierce fight, and then thrown to the catfish.  

During the next two weeks, Brant Harris swaggered around Lumberton boasting: “I’ve lopped off two more rotted apples and these won’t be the last.” He failed to take account the quick, burning wrath of Henry Berry Lowrie.  

Harris gaily whistled a popular tune on that afternoon of January 16, 1865, when he rode down the Lowrie Road through Scuffletown (sic) at the head of his band. In his mind, the guerrilla figured out the profit that he would make on the barrels of turpentine that would be waiting for him in Florence, S. C., just over the state line from Robeson County. Harris turned around to look at the Confederate deserter whom they had captured that morning. He would bring a bounty of $300.00 after he had been delivered to the authorities in Florence. The deserter sat on a horse with his hands cuffed, and by his side rode the sullen Negro on the mule.  

Some of the men muttered fearfully when a low piercing cry was heard from the woods adjoining the road. “Nothing to get uneasy about, men” Harris called. “Just a bobcat looking for a rabbit. Them redbellies ain’t __” The words froze on the guerrilla’s lips as that low, mournful cry mounted into a chorus of savage yells. Indians on hourseback (sic) swarmed from all sides of the thicket, shooting at Harris’s (sic) detachment. Four men dropped bleeding from their saddles in the first two minutes of that surprise attack. Standing on a stump a few feet from the battle, Rhoda Strong yelled encouragement to her tribesmen. The girl whooped with joy when another guerrilla was knocked off his horse by Calvin Oxendine to be tramped to death under hooves below. Harris saw Henry Berry Lowrie changing toward him and turned his hourse (sic) in the opposit (sic) direction.  

During the fighting, the deserter had managed to keep his balance in spite of the handcuffs and the bullets whizzing (sic) around him. As Harris passed, the prisoner rose in his stirrups and brought the iron bracelets squarely down on the head of the guerrilla chief. Harris swayed drunkenly in his saddle, but was caught by his Negro who jumped nimbly from his mule to his masters (sic) horse.

“You don’t die dat easy, Harris, he hissed. Then he called to Lowrie: “Here he is, Injun. I guess he’s yo’ man.”  

By that time the surviving guerrillas were racing desperately toward Lumberton. The Indians gathered around the unconscious Harris, who was slumped over his hourse (sic) and held firmly by the slave. “Not yet, men.” Henry Berry Lowrie said when several of them drew long knives from their belts. “He’s got to know that he’s going to die.”  

Then he turned to the deserter ditting (sic) silently on his horse. “Thanks,” he said. “We’ve got a blacksmith who’ll file those things off of  you. You can stay with us as long as you please.”  

“Nothing like helping a man catch a snake,” the deserter laughed, “If you Croatans will take me, I’ll be glad to throw in with you. Name’s Zack McLaughlin. Skipped out of the Confederate Army a while back, and got caught by this nan-herder (sic) while I was taking a nap in the woods. Looks like to me that the colored fellow deserves some thanks, too.”  

The Negro opened his mouth to speak abruptly: “Don’t want no thanks, Injun,”  he said doggedly. “Jest wants [to] be free. My old master cobbled shoes in Charleston and I wurk’ (sic) round de shop wid (sic) him. When he go off to the war, they sell me to Harris. He beat me, and made me bury de chest in yo’ pa’s field. Do white folks call me Shoemaker John.”  

Lowrie looked at the Negro and replied: “The Croatans have no slaves. But you’d be caught by sundown if you struck out now. You’ll stay and make shoes for us. When the war is over, you can do as you please.”  

The young chief turned to his band, We’re wasting time here, men.” he said. “I’m leaving George Applewhite and Boss Strong to clear the road of these dead polecats. Throw’em (sic) in a hole and cover ‘em with dirt.”  

“For mercy don’t shoot me Henry Berry,” he had begged,. I’ll give you every dime I’ve got and leave Robeson County I didn’t want to shoot your Dad and brother my men made me do it.” Lawrie spat deliberately in the gurrillas (sic) face “Shutup (sic) Harris,” he ordered, “You’re leaving Robeson County all right but your next stops going to be hell.  

The winter sun was setting over the pine thicket when the captain faced the assembled Croatans in that last moment Harris could no longer beg for his life Henry Berry bound his mouth with a blue bandana then said to the Indians “This is a job for Lawrie Tom you and Steve step up here with me.” Henry Berrys’s (sic) two remaining brothers came forward with guns cocked the gurrillas (sic) eyes were sick with terror as the Lawrie brothers aimed their Pistols and fired his big frame quivered for a moment when the bullets tore through his chest his corpse was then cut down and dragged to the pit where Allen and William Lawrie had arigionally (sic)  been buried, “I’ve kept it open for him Lawrie said, “Fill it up boys.”  

Croatan tribe of Indians with whom some of the “Lost Colony” left on the shore of Virginia by Raleigh in 1687, are supposed to have intermarried a group of Indians in Robeson  County North Carolina, claim descent from these and are called Croatan.  

Virginia Dare born 1587, the first white child of English parents to be born in America. She was the Daughter of Ananias and Ellinor Dare, members of Sir Walter Raleigh’s ill-Fated Colony  which settled on  Roanoke Island on the North Carolina Coast. Since no trace remained of the colony when the relief expedition reached Roanoke in 1591 the child [‘s] fate is unknown.    


Lost Colony Presentation in Tyrrell County   


The Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society will hold its August meeting on  August 28, 2011 at 2:30 the Senior Citizens Center located in the Columbia Medical Center. The address is 406 Bridge Street, Columbia, NC 27925. (Directions are included at the end of this article.)  The Society meets at 2:30 pm, the 4th Sunday of the month, except for November and December.  

Jennifer Sheppard, a Professional Genealogist with the Lost Colony Research Group, 

Genealogy~DNA~Archealogy will be the guest speaker.  Ms Sheppard will talk about the Lost Colony Research Group’s ongoing search for descendants of the so called “Lost Colony”. She will share information about the group’s research, DNA testing and the archaeology digs taking place on Hatteras Island. A DVD of the April 2010 dig in Buxton  will also be shown. In addition she will have conch shells (found in one of the middens) on display at the meeting.    

The DVD includes interviews with Roberta Estes, Administrator for the Lost Colony Research Group showing the types of artifacts found during that particular dig. Also included is a spot with Anne Poole, Principal Researcher for the Group, explaining native middens, their content; and information on how the Indians would have used these items in their daily lives.   

The public is cordially invited to attend this meeting and all “drop-ins” are welcome.   

Directions to the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society’s meeting -  

Take Route 64 to Columbia.  At the stoplight, turn left onto Broad Street (if coming from the Outer Banks, you would turn right). Continue on past Main Street, to Bridge Street and turn right onto Bridge Street. (406 Bridge St., Columbia, NC 27925). Then turn left into the parking lot - this is the Columbia Medical Center Complex.  Please Note: the parking lot is one-way.  

Nancy's Snippets  

The Lost Colony Research Group is unique in a number of ways, but as a newsletter editor, it's particularly challenging for me to include a wide variety of historical items, general interest items, research work, and make the entire melange interesting for everyone.  Don't misunderstand, I love writing and assembling the newsletter, but with such a wide scope, sometimes it's hard to include everything proportionally.  

Recently, I had noticed that Nancy Frey's work has been under-represented.  Nancy and I discussed this, and came to the conclusion that it's because she doesn't work as part of a tag team as many of us do over on this side of the pond, working in North Carolina records.  Many of us, me included, just aren't aware of the work she is doing on our behalf.  She does collaborate to some extent with Andy Powell who of course is our historian in Bideford, but then again, history and genealogy, while connected, aren't exactly the same thing.  So sometimes they overlap and sometimes they don't. 

Their focus and goals are somewhat different as well.  

Nancy sent me a CD of the work she's been doing and I was fairly stunned.  Almost nothing has been published, because she isn't "finished" yet, but the CD was chocked full of interesting information.  I understand Nancy's hesitation to publish information about the colonists or their families before she's sure they ARE the colonists families, and I surely do appreciate that attention to accuracy and detail....but there is much that can be published that would be vastly interesting to our readers.  

I'm hoping that you'll find something of interest and relevant perhaps to your family surnames. 

Maybe you'll discover a new source.  Maybe you'll get an idea that will bloom into an answer, for you or for us.  The possibilities are endless.  So I hope you'll welcome a new feature that we'll be offering regularly....Nancy's Snippets.  


The Parish of St. Clement Danes in the City of Westminster

By Nancy Frey  

When Annanias Dare married Elinor Whyte 24 Jun 1583 at the parish Church of St. Clement Danes, Westminster, the City of Westminster was in the County of Middlesex and outside the Walls of the City of London.  Westminster is on the north-west side of the Thames River adjacent to the City of London and across the river from Lambeth.  Note the North orientation on the map below.  

Full Title: 	
Plan of the City of Westminster in the Time of Queen Elizabeth
Year: 	1593
Publisher: 	J. Coxhead Holywell Street, Strand, Jany 1st 1813.
Source: 	Engraved for "The History And Antiquities Of London" Vol.1, by Thomas Pennant, Esq. London 1813.
Notes: 	Copied from John Norden's plan of 1593 (see Smith's Antiquities 1807).

Westminster 1593 from Norden’s Survey


The St. Clement to whom the Church was dedicated is supposed to have been that St. Clement, a disciple of St. Peter, who was the Christian Bishop of Rome about AD 73 and who suffered martyrdom AD 100.  The word “Danes” is said to have been added because in the days of Canute and his immediate successors, it belonged to the Danes who formed a colony in this neighbourhood.  Many of their nobles were buried within its vaults, one of whom was Harold, the eldest son and successor of Canute.  

The original church was built c. 1002 AD and was repaired in 1608 and 1633.  The marriage of Ananias DARE & Eleanor WHITE would have taken place in the original church.  The present building housing the church of St. Clement Danes was built in 1680 when the old church was knocked down.  

The Protestant Parish Records begin in 1558.


1.                  International Genealogical Index of the Latter Day Saints

2.                  “Some Account of the Parish of Saint Clement Danes (Westminster) Past & Present” by John Diprose published 1868  



You're Invited  to  Virginia Dare's Birthday Party

August 18th  


Once again, we're celebrating the birthday of little Virginia Dare, born on Roanoke Island on August 18th, 1587, the first European child to be born in what is now America.  Virginia is 424 years old this year!  

Every year, the National Park Service hosts a birthday party and celebration for Virginia at the Fort Raleigh National Historic site.  This includes the Park area near the Waterside Theater where the plays are held and the Fort area as well as the Elizabethan Gardens, located nearby but separately.  In the past, we've been near the Waterside Theater, but this year, we're in a new location at the Elizabethan Gardens.   

Now for the great news - entrance to the Elizabethan Gardens is free that day in celebration of Virginia's birthday.  

Dawn Taylor and Baylus Brooks will be representing our group.  They will have the list of colonists, info about our projects, and some of the archaeological artifacts found in recent digs on Hatteras Island.   

The Faire includes free activities, music, games and fun for all.  Actors from the play mingle with the crown, in costume of course, during the day.  Be sure to stay for the special play in the evening.  Awards are presented to cast members and a real baby Virginia Dare is included in the case, just for this one special evening.  This is truly an event to remember.  

Baylus and Dawn are looking forward to meeting and greeting people.  Hopefully you can be one of them.  We welcome any of our members not just as visitors, but as volunteers as well.  If you're coming to visit and can spend an hour or two, plan on joining Dawn and Baylus at the table.  Just let us know so we're expecting you.   

The address for the Elizabethan Gardens is 1411 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC and we'll be there from about 9 to about 3.  

Catch us Online  

Our  Lost Colony website includes more than 8000 pages of research, all free, at and  

Our Project on Facebook -


Roanoke-DNA-Project/126053773239?v=wall - thanks to Janet Crain for this  

Our Blog - - If you don't subscribe to our's a great time to do that...just click on over and sign up so you don't miss anything!!  Thanks to Janet Crain and Penny Ferguson for our wonderful blog.  

Our Website - - Nelda adds to information to our website almost daily.  Have you checked your surnames lately to see what is new?  Please contribute something for your surnames, or a county of interest.  Thanks to Nelda Percival for her untiring work on our website.  

GenealogyWise - -  Thanks to Andy Powell for setting this up.   

Our DNA projects at Family Tree DNA: Lost Colony Yline - (paternal surname) -


Lost Colony Mitochondrial - (maternal line) -


Lost Colony Family Finder - (autosomal)


Hatteras Island Fathers DNA project at


Hatteras Island Mothers DNA project at


Hatteras Island Family Finder project at  

Hatteras Island Genealogy Society at!/group.php?gid=245433063719&ref=ts



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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 05, 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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