Is your family part of the Roanoke Lost Colony? It could be!My name is Roberta Estes and I’m the Director for DNA Research for the Lost Colony Center for Science and Research.(www.lost-colony.com)Our goal is to discover the fate of the Roanoke Lost Colonists.
For those of you who don’t know about the mystery of the Lost Colony, here’s a primer.In 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh financed a venture in which 116 men, women and children were planning to establish the first permanent colony in the New World. Their goal was to raise tobacco and other supplies that colonists were unable to obtain in England, and to search for precious minerals, like gold.
In the fall of 1587, the colonists finally arrived on Roanoke Island in present day North Carolina, after a very difficult journey in which their food supplies were ruined.They sent John White, whom they had elected governor, back to England to obtain food and supplies and expected his return in the spring of 1588.However, the Spanish attacked England and England, having no Navy, impressed all of her fishing vessels and private merchant ships into Naval service.Finally, in 1590, three years after leaving the colonists which included his daughter, son-in-law and infant granddaughter, he returned to Roanoke Island to find it deserted, but not destroyed.It appeared as if the colonists had simply moved.A single word, a clue, Croatan, was carved on a tree.The Croatan were the friendly Indians living nearby.Before John’s departure, he had instructed the colonists to carve crosses if they had to leave in distress.There were no crosses.
John White would spend the rest of his life searching for the Lost Colonists.Many hints and clues indicate that at least some of the Colonists survived and were assimilated into the native tribes.The question is, did they, and if so, who are they today?
In 1993, the original site of the Croatan village was located.Subsequent archaeological and genealogical research suggests that the colonists did survive, and that when the land was granted to settlers, it was granted to some of those survivors who were by that time considered to be Indians.With recent advances in DNA for genealogy, we finally have, today, the ability to solve the mystery.We have created a plan that combines history, genealogy and DNA to solve the mystery.However, we can’t do this alone.We need the help of the families who have been identified as “families of interest”, being either roster members of the Lost Colony of those who obtained land grants on the original Croatan village site.Many of those names are the same.
In order to educate people and work closely with people who are interested, we are sponsoring the Lost Colony Symposium for DNA and Recent Research Sept. 7-9, 2007 at the Lost Colony Center in Williamston, NC.The symposium will be held between the Center and the Holiday Inn, as noted on the flyer at http://www.lost-colony.com/DNAsymflyer.htmlhttp://www.lost-colony.com/DNAsymflyer.html.
Given that your surname is one of those on our “Names of Interest” list, I hope that people on the list will join with us in our research.I am hoping from this mailing, aside from encouraging people to attend the Symposium, to achieve the following:
1.To identify a primary research person or persons for your particular surname who would serve as a contact/coordinator for future postings, requests and research.
2.To identify a family archival website(s) if one exists.
3.To identify if there are any families of that surname that are from NC (or early coastal SC or VA), have oral histories of Indian or "mixed" heritage, are involved with any of the tri-racial isolate groups (Melungeons, Red Bones, etc.) and/or have any oral history of the Lost Colonies.
4.To determine if the family group is involved already with DNA testing, and if so, who coordinates that effort.
5.To determine if there is any research occurring or that has occurred for your surname in Great Britain, and if not, if anyone is interested in pursuing that avenue.
To become involved with the Lost Colony project, or to support the project, please attend our Symposium.Our project plan will be announced at the Symposium, and we have a long list of wonderfully educational speakers.Bring your pedigree charts and your genealogy as the right people will be present to help you with your testing plan.
If you can’t attend the conference, you can still join the project.Information will be posted shortly about how to do that on the Lost Colony website.We are in the process of setting us a private newsgroup for project members only which will also be available after the symposium.Furthermore a blog is being created and blog location info will be posted on the Lost Colony website as well.
If you are interested in this project or can be of help in any way, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.