Colony Research Group
Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology
are just thrilled to get their DNA results back when they discovered they
have mitochondrial DNA haplogroup X. They e-mail me right away and tell me
they are Native American.
then, I have to ask the difficult question. I become that relative that no
one wants to claim, the one who always is bursting the bubbles with ugly
ask, "What is your subgroup?"
they reply, "Huh?"
then I explain that haplogroup X isn't just Native American. In fact, it's
found in Asia, all of Europe and in the New World Native Americans.
of the time, these exchanges are by e-mail, so I can't see their faces.
It's probably just as well, all things considered.
this point, people are firmly divided into two camps. Those are the
"I want to believe" camp and the "I want to know"
camp. The "I want to believe" camp is afraid to do further
testing because they are concerned that deeper testing will reveal that
they are NOT Native. So they never test and continue to claim Native
descent. The "I want to know camp" is just the opposite, seeking
the truth, and they order the full sequence test.
can see the various subgroups on the haplogroup X project page at: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/x
X is the "mother haplogroup." X2 is found throughout
Eurasia and North America. Native American subgroups of haplogroup
X2 are X2a, X2a1, X2a1a, X2a1b and X2a2 and they are determined by
the following mutations in the various mitochondrial DNA regions.
means that if you take the HVR1 region test and you are noted as being
haplogroup X, if you don't have the 16213A mutation, then you're likely
NOT Native American. Ouch, you say. How can we be sure?
encourage everyone to take the HVR2 and the full sequence level testing,
especially if you think you MIGHT be Native. Why? Because we're still
learning and I'd hate for anyone to determine they are NOT Native based on
the 16213A mutation alone. There are such things as back mutations, and if
you do have the HVR2 and full sequence mutations, then you may have
experienced a back mutation or are maybe a haplogroup previously not
your determination as haplogroup X is really just the appetizer and an
invitation to the entree and dessert....HVR2 and full sequence
All Over Ancestry In So Many Trees"
what the person said to me when they wrote to me to tell me that my
records about my ancestor were wrong. This person was warning me that my
work was wrong...and they meant this in the best of ways, but the entire
episode left me heartsick. Here's why.
new researcher got really excited about his genealogy and did what
Ancestry said to do, get a trial membership and just look for your
ancestor. Well, he did, and then lo and behold, he found fully developed
trees and lots of them. In fact, they make my 30 years of painstaking
research that only shows 3 children for my ancestor look puny by
comparison. So I must surely be wrong because there are so many trees with
lots more kids...including his ancestor. Yes indeed, he wanted me to be
wrong so he could connect to someone, another generation gathered up and
put on his tree. The only difference between him and dozens of other
researchers was that he tried to help me in the process. Otherwise, I
would have never known and the "bad tree" farm would just have
silently grown by one more erroneous tree - like uncontrollable
asked him about his source information - and shared mine with him. His
source was that he had copied someone else's tree - the one with the most
kids, and the one of course that included his ancestor....which by the
way...according to that much coveted tree...had lived for a mere 110
years. Never mind that the website I had sent him to, not on Ancestry, has
photos of gravestones with his ancestors death date clearly legible. If he
was thinking for himself at all, he would have known that something was
clearly wrong with those records....but he either wasn't thinking or
hadn't been burned yet by the easy leaf at Ancestry.
his final missive to me, as he departed, was that those other trees just
had to be right because "it's all over Ancestry in so many
trees." Well, buddy, so is kudzu and that's not good either. Beware
of the "easy tree" and never, ever blindly trust someone else's
work. A source is not the tree that you copied the info from, a source is
an original document that backs up or proves your data.
feel sorry for this person, and the other thousands of people just like
him...well intentioned...naive...and a victim of Ancestry's
"easy" approach without any ability to enter notes or sources,
other than those found on Ancestry of course. However, in addition to
being a victim, these people in their zeal then become part of the
problem, just one more leaf on Ancestry's erroneous tree farm, replicating
the same old bad information so many times that by virtue of repetition,
it leads people to believe it must be correct.
you know, he probably feels sorry for me too because I have that tiny
little puny three with only three children for my ancestor, and he has
discovered the genealogists Holy Grail - the tree with all the answers,
and ancestors. In genealogy, as with the rest of life, if it seems too
good to be true....it probably is.
a Wynganditoian, Richard the son of Baptist Tooker and Katheryne the
daughter of William Berry all here Christened the Sunday 26th day of
March” so reads the Bideford
Parish Register of 1588; but just who was “Raleigh”? Andy Powell
the Native Indian was brought back to Bideford from Roanoke by Sir Richard
Grenville following his capture there during a skirmish in 1586.
his origins, we can say that he is unlikely to have been a member of the
friendly Hatteras Indians led by Manteo; much more likely to have been a
member of a tribe allied to Wanchese, who had been involved in several
skirmishes with the English previously on Roanoke.
therefore, may not have started out as the most willing of pupils on his
arrival in Bideford!
took place during the following eighteen months before that Native Indian
was christened upon the Font that still stands in St Mary‟s Parish
Church today is unknown. Nevertheless, christened he was, on that fateful
day in March 1588.
Grenville was present for the ceremony, we cannot say for certain as we do
not know the date of his return to Bideford after leading the town‟s
flotilla of ships to Plymouth in readiness for the fight against the
Spanish Armada…. the same flotilla that
was made ready with the
original intention to sail to Roanoke as the relief voyage for the
colonists early in 1588.
Sadly for “Raleigh”,
his new life in England did not last long, for the same Parish register
records the burial of “Rawly a man of Wynganditoia following of the
day 2nd April 1589”, (meaning he died during the night of the 2nd.)
The cause of his death was probably the same epidemic of Influenza that
was to strike tragedy at the heart of the Grenville family when Sir
Richard‟s 16 year old daughter Rebecca also died from it only a few
Perhaps the final
question we can answer, on the “man of Winganditoia” enigma is where
he lies buried today. According to a record dated 1792 in the Bodleian
Library of Oxford, he was not buried as some suggest, in the church crypt,
but in the Churchyard. Given that this record pre-dates the Victorian
rebuilding of St Mary‟s in the 1860‟s, it seems certain that
he still lays there, somewhere, today, his grave unmarked. Thanks however
to the work of the Bideford 500 Heritage Group, (of which I am proud to be
Chairman,) we hope that after more than 420 years, his last resting place
will once again be commemorated in 2012.
At the time of writing
this article (December 2011), the question of whether President Obama will
accept the town‟s formal invitation to join that commemoration
remains to be answered…….
Tyrrell County, NC - All
Other Free - 1790
Last month we published
the Tyrrell County, NC records for the Lost Colony Surnames and Families
of Interest. We also reported that in 1790 there were no families of
color. Well, we were wrong. There were. It seems that the census taker
varied from the norm. At the bottom of page 378, the census taker wrote a
note that the following group are "free colored person with their
families" and then he proceeded to enumerate them in the same columns
as the white families. This is a great benefit to genealogists, because
normally, the "free colored" are all lumped into one total
number. For this group, we can see how their families segment in the
normal census columns for white people. Thanks to Cathy Roberts for
catching this and bringing it to our attention. Good eye!!
The census taker did
one other thing too, which may indicate different properties or family
groups. He drew a line between Jacob Simpson and Elizabeth Hill, then
after Jack Williams and before William Foster. He also wrote the final 4
entries in first name, last name order instead of last, first as the rest.
Finally, he had totaled the group, then added Thomas Pierce after the
total. Perhaps his home was very remote and missed initially. Note that I
have changed the column headings below to reflect that these are people of
|All other free
we are to find the colonists descendants, today, it will likely be through
the Native people and their descendants. The search for the Lost Colonists
is part of a larger quest, the Native Heritage Project. I've been working
on this project for some time now, and I'll be talking more about it in
future newsletters, as it ultimately may be part of the key to finding the
essence, I'm doing three things.
I'm collecting every instance of documents where Native people have
surnames in some record that states they are Native, of Native descent, or
have Native heritage. I have intentionally omitted the 5 Civilized tribes
who were removed to the west, because their information is online and
otherwise available. I'm focused on the primary areas of Virginia, NC and
SC, but certainly would welcome any records from east of the Mississippi.
These, for the most parts, are tribes that were annihilated.
I'm matching this list (above) against people who are haplogroups Q and C,
Native, to see if I can find a match between the two lists and
I'd like to combine that information, above, with historical research that
maps oldest ancestor of those who are genetically Native and village/tribe
locations and perhaps, in time, we can find a correlation and a way to
tell which tribe someone is descended from.
Lastly, when we find people who are documented as Native, but have
European Y-line DNA, we will be checking the surnames of the families they
match closely against the Lost Colonist roster.
This project an unbelievably large undertaking. I've been at it almost
five years now. Much of my early work was in documenting mixed race
migrations and historical reading for references documenting early tribal
locations. I have amassed thousands of pages of documented reference notes
in timeline fashion, plus a data base of several thousand entries by
reason I'm sharing this information is that I would like to ask you to
contribute any references you have or find that document any individual as
Native. I know that genealogists have books, and what I've done with my
VA, NC and SC books is to begin by looking in the Index to see if there is
an index entry for Indian, to begin with.
you find something that might be relevant, please send me the link. If you
have an extracted record or records, please send me those complete with
the source. Nothing gets added without a source:)
have done the obvious, such as the Mattamuskeet Papers and Paul Heinegg's
you for advance for anything you find and submit, and for your time
are helping to recreate the heritage that has disappeared with time, to
literally reconstruct these people from musty records and their DNA
carried by their descendants.
are giving a voice to those who cannot speak.
Genealogical & Historical Society Meeting
Sheppard was the guest speaker at the Tyrrell County Genealogical and
Historical Society meeting on 22 Jan 2012 at the Senior Citizens Center in
Columbia, Tyrrell County, NC. Her topic was the Lost Colony and the Lost
Colony Research Group's research endeavors
talked about the Group‟s ongoing search for descendants of the Lost
Colony sharing information on their genealogy research, DNA testing and
the archaeology digs