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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


March  2012

Edward Moseley Map of 1733

As it turned out, Valentine and William owned property together on Hatteras Island, as evidenced in this 1734 deed that also mentions John Boyd (Boyd again?) as the purchaser of their 570 acres of Hatteras property:


Well, they purchased this 570 acres on Hatteras Island near where Dr, David S, Phelps excavated the “workshop” where natives and Europeans worked side by side since the late 1600s.  Here, Valentine built a house and first entered the Currituck County records as an afterthought.  As a merchant, he probably was interested in the products produced there.  That house would later fall into the hands of Job Carr, who investigated the Thomas Robb Jr.-Elks Indian dispute of 1756 that initiated the unusual 1759 “William Elks and the Rest of the Hatteras Indians” land patent that literally began the hunt that I have been on for the past two years!  Wallis’ house was then sold to Hezekiah Farrow and has since been lost beneath the sands (what I wouldn’t give to dig that house up!).  But at least we know about where to find it now.  And at least we now know about how it got there and, because of the search, we have learned a great deal about the connections that Pasquotank Quakers had to Hatteras and through the thinly veiled records of North Carolina.  We are teasing the facts from these sources and I have no doubt that, one day, we will know the answers.  

The certainty is that the early commerce of Hatteras Island merchants and mariners, its many maritime uses for porpoise oil and, ironically, trees (don’t see many now, do you?), affected its development and especially that of its native inhabitants.  John Gray Blount’s enterprises from 1785-1820 did more to shape Hatteras Island today than any other influence.  He had a hand in building the famed Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.  Yet, the Blounts, Wallises, Davises, and other Quaker families have had a long-time interest in the island and its resources, even since the late 1600s.  Did you know that Valentine Wallis’ mother (the “Ann Grey” from earlier) is reputed to be Ann Blount?   Wow!  There’s more to come…   by the way, Valentine’s wife was Ann Elliot.  

See?  I told you it keeps growing! 







Col. Thomas Boyd, the Hatteras Indians, and more Quakers!

By Baylus Brooks

Pasquotank County deed records (Book A: 40) tell of an “authentick Bill of Sale” by a member of the governor’s council, Thomas Boyd and his wife, Winifred, written on January 20, 1713, for acreage with plantation house “escheated” or lapsed from Thomas Jones and lying between the lands of John Ferme/Hume and Anthony Markham for the price of one “Negro boy” valued at £30.  Boyd issued this bill of sale to Ashby Evans through his attorney, “Eliz. Evans.”  Blank spaces left for the amount of acreage to be filled in were left unmarked, yet the deed was registered as it was.  That’s because Thomas Boyd, by the time of registration for the deed, was presumed dead.  Anglican minister Giles Rainsford wrote to John Chamberlaine from “Chowan in North Carolina” July 25th 1712: 

I presume you are no stranger to the Indian War which has some time since begun and continues in the barbarous Massacres of so Many English Inhabitants Most families of Pamlico hourly feeling the effects of their Cruelty nor truly can the Govr promise himself one hours safety being continually alarmed by the Tuskarora Spies in his own Quarters Col1 Boyde was the other day sent out with a party against the Indians but was unfortunately shot through the head and few of his men came home but what shared in his fate and fell sacrifices to the same common misfortune— (NCCR, 1: 860

Boyd had reputedly been killed by the enemy Indians (most of them Tuscarora), while many of his men were captured.  Some of those men were probably Hatteras Indians.  At least, that’s what Rainsford reported.  Rainsford’s report was premature for Thomas Boyd was alive and well to meet the Hatteras upon their escape and return.

 Whereas report has been made to this board that ye Hatteress Indyans have lately made their Escape from ye Enemy Indyans and are now at Coll Boyds house…

It is ordered By this Board that the afsd Coll Boyd Doe supply the Said Indyans wth Corne for their Subsistance untill they can returne to their owne habitations againe and lay his Accot thereof before ye next Assbly fforasmuch as there is like to be a great Want of Corne in this Governmt for ye Supply of our fforces agt ye Indyan Enemy… (NCCR, 2: 129-30)

Subsequent colonial records confirm Boyd’s “resurrection” and continued presence at council meetings.  Reports to officials in London from a wilderness province like early North Carolina were often plagued with mistakes or misreports.  Obviously a skirmish occurred that resulted in the Hatteras’ capture.  Somehow, Boyd made it safely home and the Hatteras Indians found him there.  After collecting their corn, the Hatteras could make their way back to their home of Hatteras Island, some 80 miles by water.

Settlers in Pasquotank County had long been familiar with the Hatteras Indians.  While no direct references are extant, men of names like Scarboro, Quidley, Whidby, Davis, and about a dozen others who once lived in Pasquotank became permanent residents of Hatteras Island.  Others, like Valentine Wallis and his brother William stayed on Hatteras long enough to make a little money before they headed for Carteret County, not far away. 

Hatteras Island had been used by the earliest North Carolinians, as well as mariners from much of maritime America, since first arriving in the future state.  Many mariners crash-landed upon Hatteras and early Virginians probably knew about the Indians who lived there.  They may even have spoken with them.  No records remain of such an encounter before Capt. Thomas Bilton’s accidental visit in 1707, when he spoke to “Virginians,” not Indians, on shore.  Still, we learned of their European-Indian cooperative business enterprise in 1997-8 when Dr. David S. Phelps, along with student archaeologists from East Carolina University, excavated a “workshop” upon the Buxton end of the island.  Phelps dated his find to a range of 1650-1720.  This date may be a bit early, but not by much.

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