Search billions of records on


This project is not part of DNA sales. This project uses   

Web space provided by, sponsored by

Please read notice in the bottom bar.

Advertisements at the top and bottom of the pages are not part of this project, 

visiting the links helps pay for the website space. 


This website has music on subsequent pages.

Please turn your volume down if needed.






Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology





Research Material


Publicity on the project




Why we use them

Surname research

Alpha List 

Hatteras Surnames

Our sister group

Hatteras project Heinegg extractions Hatteras - Family Finder Project
My Interest Lists  LC-MTDNA Project Biographies of volunteer staff
LC- YDNA Project Hatteras - MTDNA Project LC- Family Finder Project
Hatteras-YDNA Project Order LC - DNA Kits Batch Numbers
YDNA Kit numbers MTDNA kit numbers

Order LC - DNA Kits

Home Site map Lost Colony Store


The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


April  2012

This may sound too good to be true and sadly, in many cases, it is not true. While some of the heralds were pioneers in the systematic application of record evidence to genealogy, others were far less skilful and far less scrupulous. Oral information from the family, if unsupported by documentary evidence, can clearly be relied on safely for only one or two generations (or even less than this, to judge from some examples). Even where records were used, their evidence could sometimes be misinterpreted, and in only a few cases do the heralds present the evidence alongside the finished pedigree so that their deductions can be checked. But worse than this, in an age where a distinguished descent was very desirable, the heralds seem often to have been willing to copy - or even to compile - long and impressive pedigrees which bore little relation to the truth. To make matters worse, later copies of visitation pedigrees often contain additions and continuations - these have sometimes found their way into print, because older editions were often based on copies rather than the original visitation books.

Andy points out that the visitations of Cornwall in 1620 are a good example of problematic pedigrees, because they are quite at odds with the same pedigrees created in the visitation of 1573-1575. The peculiar thing is that the earlier ones seem to be more accurate.

This was the original "" where people sometimes made up pedigrees, publish them, and others subsequently unwittingly and gratefully gathered them. Only the speed with which one can gather, and disseminate, has changed.

Equally as interesting, for each area, there is also a list of "disclaimed," meaning those who are not allowed to use arms. These lists are given by county, but generally give the name of the village where the person lives within the county. For example, the visitation of Dorsetshire in 1623 disclaims William Fisher of Sherborne. This provides a very good genealogical tool to create maps of where clusters of particular surnames occurred in the 1500s and 1600s.

In the late 1600s, the farmer was still the central force in the village and other trades existed to serve the farm community. Yeomen, regardless of what they meant earlier, now meant farmers as compared to a laborer who worked, often on the farm, and was paid for their labor. The pattern of farming had changed very little over time with the exception that now farmers could choose what they would grow and how much of it.

Rowland tells us that farms outside villages consisted of hundreds upon hundreds of narrow strips all over the parish, separated by narrow balks about a foot wide that were left to produce a crop of grass and weeds. He wonders how a farmer ever found his own strips of land, which were not necessarily located adjacent to each other. For example, one farmer with 46 acres in total has in Hoffer Field 20 strips of from half acre to 1.5 acres, in Hill field 19 strips, in Ham Field, 2 strips, in Newton Field 1 strip and in Chatwell field 15 strips, for a total of 57 strips. This means that the average size of a strip is .81 acres. This isn't a farm, it's a patchwork quilt.

The use of surnames as Christian names occurs with increasing frequency during this time period. Many genealogists don't realize what a boon this can be, especially if the surname used as a first name still exists within the community where the person lives.

In the late 1600s, wills changed too and listing every single thing one owned went out of vogue. Possibly because people began to have more "things" to distribute and having items became ordinary, not extraordinary. Wills primarily dealt with money by this time. However, inventories of the estate of the deceased had to be presented to court, at this time, by two disinterested parties, implying of course that their value appraisal would be more fair than that of someone who might be trying to, say, avoid paying taxes. In colonial America, who created and submitted the inventory changed somewhat. Instead of two disinterested people, it was typically a disinterested neighbor, the creditor with the highest balance, and someone from the widow's family, representing her interests.

Estates tell us so much about how people lived.

"The bed was still the most important possession inside the house. Fashion had endowed it with curtains on rails to give the more refined people complete privacy and a 'vallence' around the edge of the bed to hide its legs and whatever was underneath the bed. There must have been a utensil there - a stroll down the garden or round the back of the house on a cold winter's night was out of the question - and it must have been made of pewter. And yet I have never seen it mentioned in either wills or inventories - perhaps it was already an unmentionable - or one of the "other things in the room".

The well to do slept on feather beds, the less well to do on 'flock', a mixture of wool and shredded cloth, and the poor on straw mattresses. Beneath feathers, flock and straw alike there were plain hard boards, 'a boarded bedstead' - the luxury of metal springs was many generations away yet. The very poor slept on straw on the floor, as they had always done. Bolsters and pillows are much in evidence and 'coverlets' in general use. Trundle beds occurred frequently, a small bed with wheels that could be moved around. When one works out the ratio between the number of people known to have lived in a house at any one time and the number of beds which they appear to have possessed, it is obvious that sleeping 3, 4 or 5 to a bed must have been a common practice. The old joke about 'when father turns we all turn' isn't really a joke at all.

Tables of course were mostly 'joined'. Chairs were quite common. So were stools, but forms were still much in use; 'Singleton's leather Chaires' and 'Great Chaires' were exceptional. Chests and hutches are as frequently met with as they were a century before, though cupboards are on the increase - not yet built-in, but moveable. The first 'dresser' appears in 1728. Kitchen utensils are what they were a hundred years before. Cooking was still done on or before the open fire, with the use of 'hobirons', 'cobirons', 'spitts', etc. The first iron grate is mentioned in 1725 in conjunction with '2 cobirons, a fire shovel and tongs and one spit'. Baking went on in practically every home; 'kneading trof', 'kneading kimnell', 'flower trof' occur everywhere. Ovens do not yet get a mention, but there must have been one or two installed by 1730. Warming-pans - usually called 'bed-pan' are more common than they were, but still rare enough to suggest that they were a luxury without which the countryman could well manage. Spinning wheels only occur three times. There is something odd about this. It may be something regional, such that cottage industries did not exist here, or it may be that the spinning wheel was a symbol of impoverishment. It had been over the preceding 200-300 years, but in Norman times, it was a symbol of gentility and femininity."

Rowland tells us that many homes had their mashing tubs, hogsheads, and other items for the brewing of ale. Many private homes were listed in public records as 'drinkhouses,' and this was the true heyday of home brewing.

And last, but not least, in one case, the 'donge in the yard' was inventoried and given a value. I wonder how it felt to be the inheritor of that, especially if that was all you received! By this time, dung is an important fertilizer, especially for the small farmer who continues to try to wrestle life out of a farm where the life has departed from the soil. By the 1700s and 1800s, these farms have now been cultivated for nearly 1000 years. Yields decrease, farmers need larger farms to support a family and many people leave for literally greener pastures, land in America, free or nearly so for the taking, and has never been farmed. Never mind the problematic Indians and untamed wilderness.

It is here that we will leave Foxton, with its village Brooke, the common stream, still bubbling through the village. The geese and ducks are still trying to escape to the stream where they are forbidden to swim. The populace is concerned about goose poop and washing laundry, but drain their cesspools into the stream nightly. It's only problematic for the people downstream. I can't help but wonder if they ever think about who is upstream from them and what they are doing. Perhaps this is one of those cases where it's just better not to know. The amazing thing is that they did, indeed, survive....goose poop, cesspools, the plague, invaders, the church and their own government.

A number of genealogical resources have been mentioned in the course of reviewing "The Common Stream". They are listed below with links. Hopefully Rowland Parker's book, its invaluable history, combined with these tools will enable you to discover more about your ancestors, who they were, where and how they lived.


Amazon where you can purchase The Common Stream both new and used:


Common Stream Website -

Domesday Book - 1086

Pipe Rolls -

Hundred Rolls of 1280 -

Visitations -

Braunton Great Field -

List of Lost, Abandoned and Deserted Settements in the UK -

Family Tree DNA - To discover you heritage -


 Late Breaking News - New Bideford Video

This great video with our own Andy Powell narrating has just been released. Bideford, where we think a number of Lost Colonists may have been from, is shown here and I don't know about you, but this video makes me want to visit. They are trying to obtain some funding to regenerate their town center and this video is part of that process. Lucky for us, we get to visit their wonderful community in this video. To help them, please click on "like" when you watch the video!


Catch us Online 

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


Our Project on Facebook –!/pages/Lost-Colony-of-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.


Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society webpage - our sister organization –


Hatteras Island Genealogy and Preservation Society Blog -


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 Genealogical and Preservation Society at!/group.php?gid=245433063719&ref=ts








Contact Information: 

Electronic mail

General Information/Project Membership: 


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.


Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2008 Last modified: April 04, 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.
All DNA Content on this site belongs to the individuals who tested and or their representatives . The person who tested does not give up ownership of their DNA or DNA results by posting them here.
Where Copyrighted data has been cited the source has been included........
Some Native American art work is from  Some of their art was used as a bases for different creative graphics.