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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


February 2001


 Richard Hakluyt

By Nancy Frey

Since most of our knowledge of the voyages to Roanoke comes from the writings of Richard Hakluyt, I thought perhaps I should know the man a little better. So I did a little research.

He was born c. 1552 and died 23 Nov 1616. His first book was published in 1582 under the title “Divers Voyages touching the discoverie of America and the Ilands adjacent unto the same, made first of all by Englishmen and afterwards by the Frenchmen and Britons”. This consisted of a collection of documents to support England‟s claim to the prior discovery of America.

The Hakluyts were of Welsh extraction, rather than Dutch as is often suggested. They settled in Herefordshire around the 13th century and established themselves at Yatton. A person named Hugo HAKELUTE who may have been an ancestor or relative of Richard was elected Member of Parliament for the Borough of Yatton in 1304 and between the 14th and 16th centuries five individuals surnamed de HACKLUIT or HACKLUIT were Sheriffs of Herefordshire. A man named Walter HAKELUT was knighted in the 34th year of Edward I (1305). In 1349 Thomas HAKELUYT was chancellor of the diocese of Hereford.



Richard HAKLUYT, the second of four sons, was born in Hereford.. His father was also named Richard and he was a member of the Worshipful Company of Skinners who dealt in skins and furs. He died in 1557 when his son was about five years old. His wife Margery died soon after and Richard HAKLUYT‟s cousin, also named Richard HAKLUYT of the Middle Temple became his guardian. Hence his move to London and the error made by many historians that he was born there.

He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, entering in 1570 taking a Bachelor of Arts degree 19 Feb 1574. His education was financed by the Skinners‟ Company. He completed his Master of Arts on 27 Jun 1577 and began giving public lectures in geography.

He was ordreained in 1578 the same year he received a „pension‟ from the Worshipful Company of Clothworkers to study divinity. The pension lapsed in 1583 but William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley intervened to have it continued until 1586.

His writings brought him to the notice of Lord Howard of Effingham and Sir Edward Stafford, Lord Howard‟s brother-in-law. At the age of 30 HAKLUYT was selected as chaplain and secretary to accompany Stafford, now English ambassador at the French court of Paris, in 1853. In accordance with the instructions of Sir Francis Walsingham he occupied himself chiefly in collecting information of the Spanish and French movements and „making diligent inquirie of such things as might yield any light unto our westerns discoverie in America”.

Sir Francis Walsingham (c.1532 – 6April 1590) was Principal Secretary to Elizabeth I of England from 1573 until 1590, and is popularly remembered as her "spymaster". Walsingham is frequently cited as one of the earliest practitioners of modern intelligence methods both for espionage and for domestic security. He oversaw operations which penetrated the heart of Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, and disrupted a range of plots against the queen, securing the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots.

It would appear that Richard HAKLUYT was one of his spies.

In the late 1590s HAKLUYT became the client and personal chaplain of Sir Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, Lord Burghley‟s son who was to be HAKLUYT‟s most fruitful patron. Cecil, who was the principal Secretary of State of Elizabeth I and James I rewarded him by installing him as prebendary of Westminster Abbey on 4 May 1602. In the following year he was elected archdeacon of the Abbey.

Hakluyt was married twice, once c. 1594 and again c. 1604. The licence of his second marriage is dated 30 Mar 1604 and he is described as one of the chaplains of the Savoy Hospital. His Will refers to chambers occupied by him there up to the time of his death.


HAKLUYT was a Director of The Virginia Company of London in 1589. In 1605 he secured the prospective living of Jamestown, the intended capital of the intended colony of Virginia. In 1606 he signed the petition to James I for Letters Patent to colonize Virginia which were granted on 10 April 1606. When the colony was established he supplied this benefice with its chaplain Robert Hunt.

It has come to my mind that with his vested interests in the colonization of Virginia, his connections to Walshingham & Cecil as well as John White, perhaps everything in HAKLUYT‟s Voyages should be taken „with a grain of salt‟. 16th Century spin doctoring, if you will.


History of the Thirteen Colonies of North America 1497-1763 by Reginald W. Jeffery, M.A. Brasenose College, Oxford published by Methuen & Company, London c. 1908. Wikipedia



Croatan - From the Burlington, Vermont Free Press


Dawn Taylor found an 1843 article from the Burlington, Vermont Free Press about Croatan. This area is not Hatteras Island, but the area of the mainland today represented by Mann's Harbour. 

Here's what the article says:

The Edenton (NC) Sentinel states that there is a small and secluded district, called Croatan on the North Carolina costs, separated from the mainland by the Croatan Sound, which is deemed to be without parallel. 

It contains 150 inhabitants, nearly all are members of the Methodist Church, and assemble for worship every Sabbath; there are but two who drink ardent spirits, and all, to a man, are Whigs. There is not a story or ship, doctor, lawyer, justice of the peace, coroner, constable or any other officer of any kind. If any difficulty occurs among them, the matter is referred to their friends and they settle it. They live like one family and broils as seldom occur as they do in the best regulated families.  


What a blessed community.

What the Vermont paper couldn't possible know is that it's likely that the 150 inhabitants, in 1840, were probably indeed one large family!




The Old Indian Mound

On August 22, 1941, a very interesting article appeared in the Dare County Journal Sentinel, a newspaper now defunct. After Hurricane Irene struck Hatteras Island, one of the Hatteras Island Historical Society members gave Dawn Taylor a lovely gift - a big box of old newspaper clippings. Dawn has been kind enough to share with us. The article was a letter written by J.H. Fulcher of Norfolk, Virginia.

It may be interesting to note that it is through the carelessness of some of the people of Cape Hatteras Banks that we are unable to preserve in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, at least one visible trace of the first English colony that was planted on this continent. It has been handed down by tradition from the most reliable people of Cape Hatteras that at the place called Indiantown, which lies west of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Pamlico Sound many years ago an Indian was uncovered in this sandhill by the wash of the sound tides and with this Indian was found an old flint lock musket, a crown and a number of heads. It was supposed by the people that this Indian was the chief of some Indian tribe, and very evident that the old gun was a direct trace of the Lost Colony. Of course, at that time, when people would only regard things for their real useful value, the gun was considered so insignificant it was cast aside as being unworthy of anyone's notice. Indian Town was supposed to be the headquarters of this Indian Tribe that lived in true aboriginal manner. This section is the widest part of Cape Hatteras Banks, being approximately 3 miles from ocean and sound.


In the Beginning

I've been asked how our group of primary researchers was assembled. It is an interesting story, but it's not at all what you would think.

In the year 2000, the first genetic genealogy testing was done. Shortly thereafter, the first surname project was established, and this very infant industry was being hatched before our eyes. The genealogy grapevine was vibrating with tales of this new technology for genealogists. And what do genealogists do, they form newsgroups. Within a year or so, a newsgroup on Rootsweb was established for DNA testing focused on genealogy. There weren't many subscribers in the beginning. As it turns out, both Nelda Percival, our webmaster, and I were both subscribers, but we didn't yet know each other.

One day, I saw a very off-topic message come through the list. I couldn't believe my eyes. I had to read it a second time....but it said what I thought it said. It was a request, on a DNA list, for help with how to feed an orphan kitten. Yes, you read correctly - an orphan kitten. Nelda lives in a very remote area of Missouri - and I do mean very remote. She gets her mail once a week, at best, because she has to go to town, 20 miles distant, to get it, so she had no access to either a vet, a farm supply store, or even a grocery.

I had done rescue work in Michigan for decades, so I worked with Nelda to save the kitten, which Nelda did manage to do. Nelda and I became fast friends, and when I had been nudged 2 or 3 separate times to start the Lost Colony DNA project, Nelda said she would help me. Although I was an experienced DNA surname project administrator, as was she, the Lost Colony project was several magnitudes different - with over 100 surnames - and research needed both in the US and in Great Britain for each one. It was overwhelming, to say the least.

Nelda created a web page for us, began the Lost Colony Yahoo group, and did a great number of the original postings on the Rootsweb surname lists and boards as well as Genforum. That alone was over 400 postings, without the county lists. This has been a daunting project. But I'm not done. Nelda also has performed a significant amount of research - finding - from her remote location in Missouri - a previously undiscovered document in London about John Dare, the son of Ananias Dare, who did not travel to the new world with his father. Not only that, but she obtained a copy of the original document and sent it to me.

And all of this, all 8000 pages of the website she created for us and maintains almost daily - on a dial up modem - not even a highspeed link - from a house that she built with her own two hands - while helping me with the Lost Colony project. And by the way, I mean that literally, she physically built her own house while she more or less camped on the site. So in her camper, on her dial up line - after she pounded nails all day - she would come inside to work on the Lost Colony project.

This indeed is a profile of dedication. And this is how it all began. From there, Nelda and I met Anne Poole and Jennifer Sheppard, and then, in time, the rest of our researchers. But it all began with me and Nelda and a kitten, through the magic of the internet - nearly a decade ago.


LOL....My comments, most of what Bobbi has written is correct but, I live 40 miles from town, 15 miles from the Post Office, 100 miles from my doctor/A VA Medical Hospital. I bought a rent to own storage building that I wired, and plumbed. I put in insulation and ceiling and walls. I built my kitchen cabinets.  I built my porch from scratch.  My house is much smaller then what most of you live in, but then I spent 13+ years in the Army, so have lived in small places. My house 30ft x 12ft. Last month I got Hughes net, so my internet speed is much faster.  The mail is changed to delivery to  a mail box down on the paved road, half a mile away.. I go down there twice a week.  My sister lives here too she has her house, I have mine. Our land will be paid off this summer. But, we still do not have indoor plumbing... have to get a well dug...  I ride a motor scooter when ever the weather is good... And believe me I'm no where near the "SAINT" Bobbi just painted...... But that is how we met! I am a non-kill animals advocate, but not a vegetarian. I'm also a 67 year old single female, I have 10 cats that live outside and a female pit bull, she is in the picture . All the Pets were drop offs, abandoned.  See my blog on pets: 


my house

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Copyright © 2008 Last modified: January 31, 2012



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