people contribute to LCRG. The primary focus of research for the
group is to study Hatteras Island through standard genealogical
analysis, including deed records (paired with Dare County GIS data),
logs, diaries, wills, court records, and archaeology in an effort to
understand the families who lived on the island and how they arrived
there. Nancy Frey contributes her expertise on UK genealogy, a
valuable asset for later DNA comparison. Ultimately, the group
employs DNA analysis and genealogical data correlation (LCRG president,
Roberta Estes’ expertise) of Hatteras Islanders to be compared to
members of John White’s final “abandoned” (not exactly “lost”)
colony of 1587 in order to determine whether or not native Hatteras
Islanders today are the result of “blending” between White’s
colonists and Algonquian inhabitants of then-called “Croatoan”
Island, today’s Hatteras Island. Finally, LCRG employs
archaeology (organized by Anne Poole and George Ray) to verify the
physical existence of Croatoan villages and hopefully, to find actual
evidence of the “Lost” Colony.
of this study is backed up by historical records and analysis provided
by ECU Maritime Studies graduate student, Baylus C. Brooks and Andrew
Thomas Powell, former mayor of Bideford, England and author of the
recently-published Grenville and
the Lost Colony of Roanoke. Other contributing members of LCRG
include our web-mistress Nelda Percival, blog administrator and
librarian Janet Crain, blog and DNA project administrator Penny
Ferguson, NC genealogist Jennifer Shepherd, with the contributions of
the preponderance of data from these varied disciplines and analysis of
LCRG’s many more devoted scholars and support staff will finally prove
that White’s colony is still among our state’s citizenry today and
that the colony was, after all, successful and not “lost” as
County Geographic Information Systems Database (GIS) provides valuable
information in the search. For instance, the “Elks Indian” Grant of 1759 is still
visible and fairly intact on similar graphic representations. Photo: Dare County GIS.
Taylor and Clara Scarborough at the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”
Another goal for
the two intrepid adventurers this steamy July involved the study of
local Hatteras Islanders themselves and their families.
That is where Dawn Taylor steps into her role as the president of
Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society (HIGPS).
One of the more significant finds was the John W. Rolinson
“Wreck Log,” which holds a great deal more than information on
simply wrecks which were quite common on Hatteras. There are details about many local people, illnesses,
marriages, deaths, and details of their maritime businesses in the
Trent/Frisco area of the island. Fishing
for porpoise and trade with exotic Caribbean locales for sugar and
molasses seem commonplace features of the book Rolinson kept.
The pair of
researchers stopped at Hatteras’ public library and also at the
Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village for a visit with
Clara Scarborough who guided them through the facility’s conservation
and archives area in search of log books and local history.
The conservation lab contained many artifacts from old wrecks,
including the Corolla wreck, the oldest known to our coast and
originally surveyed by ECU’s Maritime Studies Program before its
transportation to the museum by cooperating agencies where it is to be
conserved and displayed. The
“Graveyard” Museum in Hatteras Village is one of three North
Carolina Maritime Museums that also include Southport and Beaufort.
Two excellent days
of research and study ended with the perfect dinner cooked by Dawn
Taylor’s culinary couplet, her father Kenneth Dickerson and her cousin
Edith Jennette Bradley. Perhaps
the heat and humidity were made more bearable by the constant island
breezes and the tropical atmosphere.
Then again, maybe it was the food!
Either way, a lot of work got done pleasantly despite the heavy
heat of this July’s summer.
Lost Colonist Surnames in London 1666
In 1666 parts of London were totally destroyed by a great fire.
At that time, a list of all inhabitants of five of the Parishes
was compiled in connection with the fire.
Below are the surnames found on the list of Lost Colonists that
appear on this list and the number of people with that surname.
The people are individually named on the list but it is much too
long for the Newsletter. If
anyone wishes a copy of the entire list please contact me at email@example.com.
ALLEN (Alen, Aleyn, Allein, Alleyn) – 28
BAILEY (Baille, Bailly, Bally, Bayle, Bayley, Baylie, Bayly, Baylye) – 10
BENNETT (Benet, Benett, Bennet) – 18
BERY (de Beri, Berrye), see also BARRY, BURY – 3
BISHOP (Bishopp, Bisshop, Bisshope, Byshoppe, Bysshop, Bysshope, Bysshopp) –
BRIDGER – 2
BROOKE (le Brok, Broke, (atte) Brook, Rooke) – 6
BROWN (Bron, Brouen, Broun(e), Browne,(le) Brun, Brunne, Brunnus) – 20
BUTLER - 8
CAGE (Caige) - 16
CHAPMAN - 28
CHEVENE - 1
CLEMENT - 2
COLEMAN (Colman) - 3
COOPER (Couper, le Coupere, Cowper) - 9
DUTTON (de Duton) - 2
ELLIS (Elys) - 3
ENGLISH (Inglish) - 2
FARR - 2
GIBBES (Gippes, Gipps) - 3
HINDE (Hind, Hynde) - 8
HARVEY (Harvie, Harvy(e)), see also HERVY - 10
HEWETT (Heuet, Hewet) - 5
JOHNSON - 12
JONES (Joanes, Jounes) - 11
LACY ( de Lacie, Lacye) - 2
LAWRENCE - 10
MARTIN (Marten, Martyn) - 17
NEWTON (Neuton) - 5
NICHOLLS (Nichole, Nicholl, Nicholles, Nicolls, Nicols, Nicholas) - 27
PAYNE (Pain, Paui, Payn) - 18
PIERCE - 1
POWELL - 6
PRATT - 5
SAMSON (Sampson) - 2
SCOTT (Scot, Scotte, Skott) - 8
SMART - 2
SMITH (Smithe, Smyth(e)) - 56
SOLE (Sell, Sool) - 1
STEPHENS (Steevens, Stevens, Stevyns) - 12
SUTTON (de Sutton) - 15
TAVERNER (Le Taverner) - 3
TAYLOR (Tailier, Taillor, le Taillour, Taillur, the tailor) - 21
WARNER - 4
WARREN (Wareyn, Waryn) - 7
WHITE (Whyte, de Wyght, Wight) - 22
WILKINSON (Wilkenson) - 4
WOTTON (Wootton) - 2
WRIGHT (Wryght) - 9
WITHERS (Wythers) - 4
WOOD (atte Wode) - 16
While many of these surnames are common throughout England, I found it
interesting that so many of them appeared in London.
“Cheapside; parishes of All Hallows Honey Lane, St Martin Pomary, St
Mary le Bow, St Mary Colechurch and St Pancras Soper Lane” Keene, D.J.;
Harding, Vanessa. (1987) - Detailed property histories for five parishes
in the central Cheapside area of London, from the 12th to the late 17th
century. It includes accounts of the parish churches, and information
about the people and buildings associated with the properties. London
Record Society, 22 Derek Keene & Vanessa Harding (editors) (1985)
The Barber family
of Hyde County is known to be of Native heritage, specifically
Mattamuskeet. The Hyde
County marriages have been neither transcribed in their entirety nor
published. Some are on the
Hyde County rootsweb site. Only three Barbour marriages were found but one of them is
particularly remarkable and perhaps quite telling.
married Mary Ann Mackey, another Native surname.
Mackey is among the males who signed the Mattamuskeet deeds in
the 1700s. Spencer and Mary
Ann obtained a marriage license on November 15, 1851 and were married on
November 27th by George Carawan.
married Charity Spencer. They
obtained their license on Feb. 23, 1866 and were married on Feb. 25th by
married Anne Coval in March of 1856, obtaining the license on March the
1st and marrying the next day. The
minister was W. B. Tooley.
The Mackey's and
Barber's lived adjacent from as early as the 1780s when they are found
on tax lists adjacent, so intermarriage within and between the families
is not only not surprising, it is to be expected.
What is unexpected
is the name Croatan. By
1701, the Indians on Hatteras Island were being referred to as the
Hatteras. The Mattamuskeet
were called that or Machapunga. Croatan
was a placename on a map, not a name for an Indian tribe in the 1700s. Was the first name, Croatan, a way to connect or honor the
ancestors in general, or his ancestors specifically, or was this man
named after a location? That
would be highly unusual.
Attempting to find
Croatoan Barber with his parents in 1860 was not successful, nor was a
search in 1850.
we don't find either Croatoan or Charity in the 1870 census, so we may
never know what happened to Croatoan Barber, or why he was named with
such a historically tantalizing name.
Perhaps it was a nickname, but the real question might be why.
The Last Hatteras Indian Deed
the summer of 2010, Baylus Brooks took a road trip to Carteret and
Currituck Counties. He was
researching Nathaniel Pinkham for his article, "Nantucket Whalers
in NC - The PInkhams" that appeared in the September 2010 edition
of our newsletter which is online at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~molcgdrg/nl/nl09-01-10.htm.
Nathaniel Pinkham had died in July of 1821, and Baylus copied his
had heard rumors that the Elizabeth Elks deed below existed, but a copy
had never been produced. Baylus
found the deed registered in Currituck County.
It's contents are quite interesting.
Currituck County, Deed Book16, page 140
Elizabeth Elke, Deed of Gift to Nath Pinkham
To all people to whom these presents shall come
greeting know that Elizabeth Elke Native Indian of the county of
Currituck and State of NC for and in consideration of the natural love
and affection I have towards my well known trusty friend Nath Pinkham
and many other causes sufficient me thereunto moving Me I have given,
granted, conveyed and released and forever quit claim and I do by these
presents put the same into his possession that is to say a certain tract
or parcel of land situate lying and being in the aforesaid county of
Currituck known by the name of the Indian lands beginning at the
westernmost corner or line on the sound side running along that line to
the sea to the extent of said line, then running the length of all the
lines so as to include the whole of the Indian right to the first named
westward bounding to have and to hold the said tract of land to use
occupy and enjoy all the profits of the said lands and timber without
any molestation let or hindrance of any white person whatever during his
natural life provided my son should live to the age of 21 years then and
in that case the land shall be at my sons disposal and for his only use
but in case he should not live to the age then the above granted land
shall belong to my beloved above named friend Nath Pinkham and his heirs
and assigns forward. Witness
whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 27th day of
March in the year 1802, signed, sealed and delivered in the presents of
George Pinkham and William Sharp.
Currituck County, March 3, 1823, Personally appeared
before me Richard Chapell of the county aforesaid, school master, who
being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelist deposeth and sayeth that he was
acquainted with the handwriting of George Pinkham whose signature is
annexed to the within deed as a subscribing witness and the signature
aforenamed is of the proper handwriting of the said George Pinkham to
the best of this deponents knowledge and belief, this deponent further
sayeth that the said George Pinkham and that William Sharp the other
subscribing witness all have died and Elizabeth Elke whose name is ?? as
grantor of the deed one and all dead let the deed aforesaid be
Registered May 27, 1823
This deed provides
us with lots of information but ultimately, it begs more questions than
Here's what we
elsewhere know as Elizabeth Elks, was alive in 1802.
She was not enumerated by that name in the 1790 or 1800 census on
Hatteras Island or elsewhere, so she was apparently living in another
household, or was not enumerated because she was Indian living on Indian
land. Indians "not
taxed" were not to be enumerated, and typically, Indians living on
Indian land were not taxed. The
land was granted to the Hatteras Indians as a whole, and not as
individuals, so they should not have been taxed.
This would also imply that they if they were living on Indian
land in 1790 or 1800, they would not have been enumerated in those
census years. However, any
Indians not living on Indian land would be taxable.
Based on this deed,
it appears that perhaps Nathaniel Pinkham was concerned with and wanted
the timber. He probably
didn't care one way or another if Mary Elks lived there or not, so the
conveyance may have been in exchange for allowing her to live on the
land the rest of her life. Or
perhaps the relationship was closer than a mere land transfer.
In 1802, Elizabeth
was young enough to have a son under the age of 21.
Of course that means he could have been anyplace from newborn to
age 20, but more likely a younger man.
Had he been age 20, she likely would have simply not conveyed the
land, expecting him to live. He
may have been sickly, and she may have expected that her son would not
live to maturity. She may
have assured that with the conveyance of this land in this fashion.
Devastating hurricanes in the early 1800s took many lives and the
Elks may have been among those who died.
based on this deed, in 1802, was an adult, over the age of 21 and under
the age of 60, so born sometime between 1741 and 1781.
If this is the same Elizabeth Elks who sold land in 1788, along
with Mary Elks, that would put her birth at 1767 or earlier, so her
birth year would be bracketed between 1741 and 1767.
Given that, in 1802 she would have been between 35 and 61, still
a pretty broad range. However,
the descendants of Nathan Midgett, the man who bought the Indian land in
the 1788 conveyance, always said that he bought the Indian village from
an old Indian woman. Of
course, the "old woman" could have been Mary, not Elizabeth. Mary is apparently dead by 1802 leaving Elizabeth and her
minor son the only Hatteras Indians remaining.
This deed is
written in a form too familiar for a traditional conveyance. My suspicion initially was that perhaps Nathan Pinkham might
have been Elizabeth's son. Baylus
proved that theory wrong, but there is still an untold story waiting to
be uncovered, if we can just figure out what it is.
We don't know the name of the father of Elizabeth's child.
Was it Nathaniel? Was the child of Nathaniel Pinkham and Elizabeth Elks the
George Pinkham that witnessed the transaction?
This tells is that George would have been age 16 or older to
witness a deed.
However, we also
know that they had "forms" or standard language for
conveyances of deeds, and the "form" for a gift was written
for a conveyance normally from parents to children or from one family
member to another. It looks
like perhaps they just substituted "friend Nath Pinkham" after
the words "my beloved above named".
Normally words like son or daughter along with their name would
be inserted into those "blanks".
Perhaps I was reading too much into the wording of the
conveyance. Perhaps not.
Why would she simply give this land to Nathaniel with nothing in
We know that in
1823 this deed was registered in Currituck County where it was conveyed
initially, not in Carteret where Nathaniel Pinkham's estate was probated
in 1822. Why was this deed
not included in this assets in 1822?
Baylus made copies of his estate records and this land does not
appear. Of course, if it was not registered into his name, was it
legally an asset? Did
anyone know about it?
Or perhaps the
young Elks male was not yet dead in June of 1821 when Pinkham died or in
1822 when the estate was probated.
If Elizabeth's son reached the age of 21 before death, then this
deed should have been in the young Elks man's estate (assuming his
surname was Elks), not registered to Nathaniel Pinkham.
The time difference between when this deed was registered in May
of 1823 and when it was signed in March of 1802 is 21 years and 2+
months. So for the son to
have lived long enough to prevent the deed from being registered with
Nathaniel's estate, but before he arrived at the age of 21, he would
have been a newborn child in 1802 and died at the age of 19 or 20 after
June of 1821 and before March of 1823.
If Elizabeth Elks
child was indeed George Pinkham, he would have had to at least been the
age of 16 to sign, which put his birth in 1786 or earlier, but after
1781. And if George Pinkham
were indeed Mary Elks son, then it would also explain why the testimony
about George Pinkham's death was so important.
Not only was he a witness, but potentially the land owner.
Proving his signature and his death may have been important in
two capacities, and explains why nothing more was said in the
transactions about the death of Elizabeth's son.
It would seem that proving the death of Elizabeth's son would be
the first step to registering the deed, and proving the witnesses and
Of course, many
deeds were never registered. Registration
wasn't free, and deeds often were passed for generations from hand to
hand, especially within families. So
it's possible that the deed was only discovered during the estate
process, and registered at that time, or afterwards, as a result of the
It would be helpful
if we could discover what happened to that land.
Unfortunately, we have been unable to track it any further
forward in time. There
seems to be no conveyance from any Pinkham in Currituck County.
Of course, if an administrator conveyed the land, or the husband
of a married daughter, we would lose the name Pinkham, and the result is
that we can't track the conveyance.
Perhaps in time,
during our Hatteras Island Neighborhood reconstruction project, we will
be able to rediscover find this land, going backwards in time, until we
once again meet up with Nathaniel Pinkham.
"Common Land" and "Commoners"
Sometimes it's just
amazing how an innocent conversation will yield a historical gem.
Late one night, I was musing about the Mattamuskeet Indians and
their land to some of our researchers.
Andy sometimes isn't copied on this stuff, as his area of
expertise is in English history and all things British, not American
early land records. However,
this was just one of those hot, steamy August nights, ones that we call
the "dog days of August", and my musings were just that to a
small group of friends. However,
Andy's reply was so interesting that I thought I'd share it with you.
I've been working
on a Mattamuskeet Paper now for several months.
Writing complete and accurate historical papers take an
unbelievably long time and many resources.
One of the quandaries of the Mattamuskeet land grant for their
reservation is the phrase in the grant that says they must pay, yearly,
the "fee rent of one shilling" for every hundred acres.
This rather unusual in and of itself, but I'll save that
discussion for the paper itself. However, it does beg the question of
how this compares to what others must pay.
Was it high, low, the same?
This is what I was musing about, out loud, so to speak.
I really didn't expect a reply from Andy, but his comments were
both surprising and enlightening - and it never occurred to me to think
about our quitrent system here in relation to the English.
However, that is clearly where it came from, as Andy points out
in the following exchange.
Land at one
shilling per acre per year, equates to 1d per month, which is one penny
in old English. For a
primer on old English money, refer to the December issue in which we
will have a special article titled "Early Coinage of England."
This was a very
typical rate for the time and was usually applied to what is still
termed ‘Common Land’.
was usually land that was mediocre in quality but would sustain a
living. Often it would include woods, lakes etc as well as fields for
because the land would be shared by those who physically lived on it….
i.e. sitting tenants if you wish.
In England today,
there are still large tracts of ‘Common Land’ (e.g. The ‘New
Forest’ in Hampshire) where those who live on it can graze their
animals for free. The only difference over the centuries has been the
introduction of limits on number of animals per family and that charges
have risen modestly.
Land’ in England is owned by the Crown and/or enshrined in an Ancient
Deed or Grant and administered by a Court made up of the tenants or
‘Commoners’ as those who live on the common land are correctly
For example, the
New Forest, England’s largest area of ‘Common Land’, has a Court
called ‘The Court of Verderers’ but the land is still largely owned
by the Queen. It has been ‘Common Land’ since 1698 after the Crown
relaxed its control over what had been a Royal Hunting Ground since
William the First created it in 1079.
It occurred to me
that this is probably where the phrase "commoner" came from.
Andy said that was almost right, but not exactly.
He goes on to say that in
British law, there are two definitions:
1. A commoner is someone who is
neither the sovereign nor a peer. Essentially under this law, Kate
Middleton was a ‘Commoner’ before her marriage to Prince William.
2. The ancient term of
‘Commoner’ referred to someone who, “by right of landholding or
residence, holds a common right in a given manor (or estate)”. The
‘New Forest’ for example was a Royal Hunting Estate and therefore
it’s residents, ‘Commoners’.
And now, you know the rest of the story.