Sunday, December 28, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
'Twas the night before Christmas & out on the ranch
The pond was froze over & so was the branch.
The snow was piled up belly-deep to a mule.
The kids were all home on vacation from school,
And happier young folks you never did see-
Just all sprawled around a-watchin' TV.
Then suddenly, some time around 8 o'clock,
There came a surprise that gave them a shock!
The power went off, the TV went dead!
When Grandpa came in from out in the shed
With an armload of wood, the house was all dark.
"Just what I expected," they heard him remark.
"Them power line wires must be down from the snow.
Seems sorter like times on the ranch long ago."
"I'll hunt up some candles," said Mom. "With their light,
And the fireplace, I reckon we'll make out all right."
The teen-agers all seemed enveloped in gloom.
Then Grandpa came back from a trip to his room,
Uncased his old fiddle & started to play
That old Christmas song about bells on a sleigh.
Mom started to sing, & 1st thing they knew
Both Pop & the kids were all singing it, too.
They sang Christmas carols, they sang "Holy Night,"
Their eyes all a-shine in the ruddy firelight.
They played some charades Mom recalled from her youth,
And Pop read a passage from God's Book of Truth.
They stayed up till midnight-and, would you believe,
The youngsters agreed 'twas a fine Christmas Eve.
Grandpa rose early, some time before dawn;
And when the kids wakened, the power was on.
"The power company sure got the line repaired quick,"
Said Grandpa - & no one suspected his trick.
Last night, for the sake of some old-fashioned fun,
He had pulled the main switch - the old Son-of-a-Gun!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Roanoke Colonies Research Newsletters online.
These include the years 1993-2003 and open in pdf. Contents of 1996 are: Raleigh Trial Documents • Research Note on Manteo and Wanchese in England • Croatan Archaeological Dig • Thomas Hariot-Related Sites on the Internet • Watersite Theatre Renovation. All are listed when you visit the site
ECU Field Station for Coastal Studies
at Mattamuskeet: History
Algonquian Indians, of the Secotan chiefdom, lived in the Albemarle-Pamlico region and hunted, fished, foraged, and tended gardens. The first Europeans to explore the lake area (1585) were from Sir Walter Raleigh’s second
Deeds pertaining to the reservation lands also refer to the Indians and lake as “Arromuskeet.” Edward Moseley was one of the men who witnessed the land grant document. It is not clear how or when the name of the lake became Mattamuskeet, but a map drawn by Moseley in 1733 identified the lake as Mattamuskeet and showed the general location of the Mattamuskeet Indian reservation. Mattamuskeet is an Indian word thought by linguists to mean “dry dust” or “a moving swamp.” By 1761, the Mattamuskeet Indians had sold their reservation land to the colonists, assimilated into the white and black population of the region, or left the colony to join other Algonquian tribes. In the public records of
In the period between 1835 and 1865, it was common practice in
Friday, December 12, 2008
ONLINE REPORTS & SUMMARIES OF
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES & STUDIES
North Carolina’s First Colonists: 12,000 Years Before Roanoke
Stephen R. Claggett
Office of State Archaeology
North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office
Four hundred years ago the English Roanoke colonists met numerous native inhabitants along the coast of what would become the state of North Carolina. Even earlier, during the 1540s, Spanish explorers under the leadership of Hernando de Soto “discovered” several Indian groups occupying the interior regions of the Carolinas. Today we know that the coastal Indians were part of a larger group occupying the entire mid-Atlantic coastal area, identifiable by a shared language and culture called Algonkian. The Native Americans whom de Soto met included Siouan, Iroquoian and Muskogean speakers, whose descendants are now recognized as the historic tribes of the Catawba, Cherokee and Creek Indians. Within a very short period of time—some 50 years—after those first contacts, the early European explorers of North Carolina had met, interacted with, and begun the process of significant cultural displacement of all the major native groups in the state.
What can we learn about those Indian groups from accounts of the earliest European explorers? Surviving chronicles from de Soto and the Roanoke colonists include many details of the land and its potential or imagined wealth. But with the notable exceptions of the John White paintings and Thomas Hariot’s writings, we possess surprisingly little knowledge about the early historic Indians who lived in our state. Tantalizing bits of information can be gleaned from the early series of exploration accounts, but when the actual diversity and complexities of “Indian” culture are considered, we must conclude that their description by explorers was incidental to those for geography, searches for treasure, or daily hardships of the first European explorers.
Monday, December 8, 2008
The Tuscarora War was the most terrible Indian war that ever took place in North Carolina. The Indians struck in the autumn of 1711, and they could hardly have chosen a more advantageous time. The colonists were divided by political disagreement. Edward Hyde had come over from England the previous year to administer the colony as deputy governor. His right to the post was disputed by Thomas Cary who had previously held the office. In the dispute that followed, known as Cary's Rebellion, Hyde and Cary both attracted supporters who actually took up arms against each other. The colony was in the midst of civil war.
The Rebellion ended in the summer of 1711, but there was already evidence of serious unrest among the Indians. At the beginning of the year, the Meherrin had been reported as becoming more and more insolent. By mid-summer this attitude had spread to other tribes. At the same time, it was said that Cary supporters had offered rich rewards to the Tuscarora to attack the followers of Hyde. It was also said that the young men of the tribe had agreed to the offer but had been overruled by the old men. This latter report seems to have lulled the settlers into a false sense of security.
According to one prominent colonist, the increasing hostile attitude of the natives was because the whites "cheated these Indians in trading, and would not allow them to hunt near their plantations, and under that pretense took away from them their game, arms and ammunition." A more immediate cause might have been the founding of the town of New Bern in 1710 by Baron Christoph von Graffenried, the leader of a group of Swiss and Germans settling the area.
New Bern was established on the site of a Neusioc Indian town called Chattooka, or Cartouca. The natives who occupied the land were paid for it and they moved away, but apparently they were not satisfied. As Surveyor-General of the colony, John Lawson surveyed the site. According to von Graffenried, the site had also been chosen for him by Lawson who claimed it to be uninhabited. When it was found to be occupied by Indians, he charged the Surveyor-General with recommending they be driven off without payment. These accusations were not in keeping with Lawson's otherwise sympathetic attitude towards the natives, but, if true, they might explain the terrible fate he met soon thereafter.
In mid-September, 1711, Lawson invited von Graffenried to go with him on a trip up the Neuse. The purpose of the trip was to examine the river and to seek a better route to Virginia. Lawson assured the Baron there would be no danger from the Indians, but the prospect of such a route through, or near, their hunting grounds could have been a matter of great concern to the Indians. In any event, several days after their departure, both men were seized by the natives and taken to Catechna, the Tuscarora town of King Hancock, on Contentea Creek. After questioning the prisoners, the Indians decided to set them free. Before they were to leave the following day, the captives were questioned again. The King of Cartouca, the New Bern site, reproached Lawson who answered in anger. A general quarrel followed in which von Graffenried did not take part, but both he and Lawson were again confined. At another council meeting, the Indians decided to execute Lawson and to free the Baron who had promised presents for his freedom. Von Graffenried did not see it and the natives were very secretive about the manner of Lawson's death. Some said he was hanged and others said his throat was slit with a razor he carried with him. It was generally believed the Indians "stuck him full of fine small splinters of touchwood, like hogs' bristles, and so set him gradually on fire."
Sunday, December 7, 2008
FamilyLink.com, Inc. Announces New Guidebook for Free Online Genealogy - Google Your Family Tree
PROVO, UT, October 10, 2008 --- FamilyLink.com, Inc. announced today the availability of Google Your Family Tree, a new book that teaches family historians how to unlock the hidden power of the Internet's most popular search engine. Written by Daniel M. Lynch, the book received an enthusiastic reception in Philadelphia last month when it was unveiled at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference. Pre-orders for the book have been brisk, and it is expected to ship within two weeks.
"This book is well positioned to become the best-selling genealogy book of all time," said Paul Allen, chief executive officer of FamilyLink.com. "It is the right content, by the right author, at the right time. We couldn't be more pleased to be releasing this book this month as millions of people in the United States celebrate Family History Month." FamilyLink.com, Inc. and Lynch agreed to the deal in March of this year. "Dan has done an exceptional job documenting the hidden power Google offers to family history enthusiasts worldwide," Allen said. "It is the first such book written specifically for genealogists by an accomplished genealogist and technology expert."
Lynch was recently on the KSL NewsRadio Relatively Speaking Radio Genealogy Show with KSL NewsRadio personality and genealogy author Mary Slawson. During the show, Slawson commented about the book, "I just finished reading it today, and it's incredible. It's up there with Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence book. It will be in every major professional researcher's library and hopefully in most of the beginners' libraries. It's a great book!"
Lynch began his career in the technology industry in 1984 and has also been involved in genealogy research for nearly 30 years. A frequent lecturer and writer, he began sharing his Google tips with fellow genealogists at the local and national level shortly after the search engine launched ten years ago. As the capabilities of Google have expanded, so too have its applications for use by family historians. "Google is easily the most important tool available for anyone engaged in family history research," noted Lynch. The book is 352 pages and sells for $34.95 (USD). To learn more about the book, or to reserve a copy, go to www.GoogleYourFamilyTree.com.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
George Edwin Butler, 1868-1941
The Croatan Indians of
The full text of this is online here.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Catawba Native American History!
Extracted from: "A History of the Upper Country of
South Carolina, Vol. II"
By John H. Logan. orig. Pub. 1910, and p14-17:
Joseph Habersham. Historical Collections.
(Pg17)A tragedy deeper than ever described followed. In the
Catawba council the six captives were sentenced to death by
whipping. As all work but hunting and war was assigned to the
women, so he women on this dreadful occasion were appointed the
executioners. One after another the captives were pinioned by
one hand to a stake. The victim was furnished with a small
(-----?) containing pebbles. So soon as the lash was applied, he
commenced rattling his gourd, and chanting his death song. Life
lasted under this flagellation from sun-rise to sun-set. When
were about to commence their infernal operation, a beautiful
Catawba girl named Bettie rushed in to his rescue. She said she
loved him, and claimed him for her husband. The occurrence
struck all present forcibly. A council was immediately called to
determine on what was proper to be done on an occasion so novel -
and interesting. The council said that in an ordinary case the
claim of Betty would have all its effect, but the crime charged
on the prisoner, the killing of the King, was altogether
unpardonable. They decided the sentence of death should be
forthwith executed. The executioners were about addressing
themselves to the work of death. Betty rushed in a second time,
and with a hatchet clove his skull, and he fell dead instantly.
She declared aloud that if she could not have him for her
husband, the nation should not have the satisfaction of seeing
his bleeding body torn by the scourge. Betty afterwards married
an Indian of the name of
when her beloved
feeling that she "loved him too much." Such is the inexhaustible
wealth of the genuine female heart
South Carolina USGENWEB archives
Friday, November 28, 2008
National Heritage Day - For American Indians, For Now
By MARY HUDETZ, Associated Press Writer – Fri Nov 28, 8:10 am ET
PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time, federal legislation has set aside the day after Thanksgiving — for this year only — to honor the contributions American Indians have made to the United States.
Frank Suniga, a descendent of Mescalero Apache Indians who lives in Oregon, said he and others began pushing in 2001 for a national day that recognizes tribal heritage.
Suniga, 79, proposed his idea to a cultural committee that is part of the Portland-based Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians. The organization took on the cause of a commemorative day, as did the National Congress of American Indians and other groups.
Congress passed legislation this year designating the day as Native American Heritage Day, and President George W. Bush signed it last month.
The measure notes that more Americans Indians than any other group, per capita, serve in the U.S. military. It also cites tribes' artistic, musical and agricultural contributions.
"The Indians kept the Pilgrims alive with turkeys and wild game," Suniga said. "That's the reason it was attached to the Thanksgiving weekend."
After the Thanksgiving weekend, Suniga said, he and other advocates plan to lobby to place the Native American Heritage Day on the nation's calendar annually.
It isn't certain, however, that all tribes would agree that the fourth Friday in November is the best day to recognize their contributions and traditions.
"Thanksgiving is controversial to some people," said Joe Garcia, director of the National Congress of American Indians.
The holiday marks a 1621 feast in which English settlers and Wampanoag Indians celebrated and gave thanks in Massachusetts for their harvest, but it was followed by centuries of battles and tense relations between the United States and tribes.
Unfortunately, tribes have had virtually no time to plan events to commemorate Native American Heritage Day because the legislation creating it was signed only last month, noted Cleora Hill-Scott, executive director of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.
"What's difficult is this day is going to come and go without much being done." she said.
I would love a permanent national holiday dedicated to apology, atonement, and forgiveness -- a national, secular version of Yom Kippur. Others have probably proposed this in more detail. Please point me to any links you know of.
Regarding this year's National Heritage Day, I wanted to point you to other coverage and commentary, but there isn't any. Google National Heritage Day and you will see that the AP article is damned close to the only web-findable thing written on the topic. Blogger Rowan Wolf comments on the paucity of press, and more. A copy of the resolution is here at the Melungeon Historical Society.
The Archer Pelican - http://archerpelican.typepad.com/tap
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Dear Family Tree DNA Group Administrator,
In keeping with our end-of-the-year tradition, effective November 26th, 2008 we'll institute special pricing at Family Tree DNA for your new-kit-purchasing participants.
The products that will be offered at the special prices are:
Y-DNA37 $119 Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus $199 Y-DNA67 $218 Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus $308 mtDNAPlus $139 Full Genomic mtDNA $395 SuperDNA $613
This offer is good until December 31st, 2008 for kits ordered and paid for by that time.
"History Unearthed Daily"
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
HON. JOHN D. BELLAMY,
OF NORTH CAROLINA,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1900.
HON. JOHN D. BELLAMY.
The House having under consideration the Indian appropriation bill-
Mr. BELLAMY said:
into this House a bill providing for the education and support of
the children of the Croatan Indians of North Carolina. On yes-
terday the chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs very
courteously accorded to me an opportunity to address the commit-
tee upon the subject. Several of the members requested me, on
account of their interest, to present them to the House.
the wards of the nation, and very justly they should be so regarded
and so dealt with. They were once the proud possessors of our
soil, but to the inexorable decree of fate they have succumbed, and
the Teutonic race, against which in its progress all less civilized
peoples have given away and retired, has pressed them westward,
and the plains and forests of the eastern slope and seaboard of
America, once their happy haunts and hunting grounds, is inhab-
ited no longer by them, except by the remnants of a few scattered
tribes which almost have been, but not entirely, absorbed by con-
tact with the white man and his allies.
aborigines the soil on which they dwelt, which on account of the
nomadic habits of the Indian tribes could hardly be said to be
possessed by them, have been from the earliest period of our his-
tory imbued with a laudable feeling that justice and humanity
required that the Indians should receive Government consideration
and protection, that they might acquire fixed abodes, and by civil-
izing influences they might, in the course of time, become co-
sharers in the blessings of a free Government.
mains is the Croatans or Hatteras Indians, inhabiting the State
of North Carolina, about 60 miles from the seaboard, in the
counties of Robeson, Scotland, Richmond, and Columbus, and
there they have been for a period so long that the '•memory of
man runneth not to the contrary thereof." That they have not
claimed the attention of the National Government before is a
matter which excites great surprise and is hard to be explained,
unless the smallness of their number and the lack of education
and enlightenment among them, and the w^ant of proper philan-
thropy among their neighbors, has caused them to be entirely
overlooked. And yet the public mind has been directed to them
on more than one occasion when they have shocked the country
by some atrocity which is incident to the Indian character.
chiefly reside, about 3,000 souls, and with the scattered families
in adjoining counties the number may run to 2,000 men, making
the tribe about 5,000 people. . A number of them have migrated
to Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida, where they have become ab-
sorbed in the body politic. They are the most interesting people
in America, and no tribe can appeal stronger to the tender sym-
pathies and the generous beneficence of the American people than
the Croatan Indians of North Carolina. They, beyond cavil or
doubt, are the descendants of the lost colony of Sir Walter Raleigh,
about which there have been for over three hundred years so many
by our English ancestors may recall the efforts of that gallant
knight and learned and ambitious favorite of Queen Elizabeth.
that it might serve a footcloth for the dainty shoe of Elizabeth,
but he sought to extend the domains of her Most Gracious Majesty
that her reign might become memorable in the annals of history
and her Empire strengthened and enriched.
and Barlow and discovered the country that is now known as
North Carolina, but then called Virginia, in honor of the virgin
Queen. Soon thereafter he began to make efforts to colonize the
new Eldorado. Two attempts failed: but undaunted, in 1587, in
three ships under John White, whom* he appointed governor, he
sent over 117 persons, including 17 women, and of the fate of these
people nothing is known or has been discovered with absolute cer-
tainty from that day to this, unless this is shown by the remarks
I shall now make, and which was first attempted by my old friend
and preceptor, Hamilton McMillan. These 117 colonists were left
on Roanoke Island, near the "harbor of Hatorask," and there, on
August 18, 1587, the daughter of Governor White, the wife of
Ananias Dare, gave birth to a daughter, the first white child born
on American soil, and named and baptized, in honor of Her Majesty,
but when they reached England the Kingdom was agitated by a
threatened invasion from Spain. Afterwards the Spanish Armada
was defeated, and when peace was once more restored Raleigh
looked around to provide for the relief of his colony which he had
planted in the New World a few years before. But it was not
until 1590 that Governor White was dispatched to their rescue, and
when he reached Roanoke, in August, he found the island de-
serted; no trace of a human being could be found, but at the site
of the village where the settlers were left nearly three years be-
fore there was found a tree which had been deprived of its bark
and bore, in clear and well-cut characters, the word '• Croatan."
before leaving that if they should remove their location they
should carve on a tree the name of the place to which they had
gone; and if they were in danger or sore distress they should
carve a cross above the name on the tree. White finding the
absence of the cross was buoyed with the hope of their discovery,
but after all efforts to trace them had proved fruitless, he was
forced to abandon the search and reluctantly returned to England.
ter of deep and pathetic interest to the American people. Whether
they went to Croatan voluntarily or whether the men were mas-
sacred and the women taken for wives, or whether both men and
women intermarried with the Hatteras Indians is only a matter
of conjecture. But one fact is known, and that is that Lawson,
in his history of Carolina, written in the year 1714, imparts to us
tell us that several of their ancestors were white people and could talk in a
book, as we do; the truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being found
frequently among those Indians and no others. They value themselves ex-
tremely for their afinity to the English, and are ready to do them all friendly
offices. It is probable that the settlement miscarried for want of timely sup-
plies from England or through the treachery of the natives, for we may rea
sonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them for re
lief and conversation, and that in process of time they confined themselves to
the manners of their Indian relations, and thus we see how apt human na-
ture is to degenerate.
Long prior to the Revolutionary war there was found settled
near Lumber River, in Robeson County, N. C. , a tribe of Indians.
Many of them had blue eyes, and while possessing all other traits
and characteristics of Indians — the copper color, the high cheek
bone, the erect form — yet they lacked the nomadic habit. They
were settled in a neighborhood where they still remain, then, as
now, cultivating maize and potatoes and fruits. Their traditions
then, as now, were that their ancestors, Indian men, married
white women; that they came from Roanoke (in Virginia, they
say) ; that they were driven away by bad Indians, and, as one now
about 90 years of age told your speaker, that they were driven
across the river. Most of them own their own land, which they
either bought from the early settlers — who, on account of the In-
dian being already in possession, quitclaimed it for a nominal con-
sideration — or obtained it by an entry and grant from the Com-
monwealth. The names of the 117 lost colonists are still preserved
inHakluyt, Volume III, wherein is given an account of " The fourth
voyage made to Virginia with three ships in the j^ear 1587, where-
in was transported the second colony."
times borne by men of this tribe, such as John Sampson, Robert
Wilkinson. Henry Berry, Richard Berry, John Burden, Henry
Dorrel (Dial); John Cheven, William Berden, and many others.
Thus it is seen that their blue eyes, the tradition of the white
mothers, the locality from which they came, the lack of the
nomadic habit derived from the infusion of English blood, the
similarity of names, the tradition of being driven by the bad In-
dians across the river, doubtless by the waxlike and hostile Tus-
caroras, who inhabited also the neighboring coast country, prove
conclusively to the student of the question that the lost colony of
Raleigh has been found. They are a remarkable people. It is
said by old residents that some of these Indians were volunteers
in the Revolutionary' war. That they sent two companies to the
war of 1812 is well authenticated.
tants can testify. From the earliest times up to the year 1835
they went to school with the whites, voted and shared in the
privileges of citizenship. But in that year the constitution of
North Carolina was amended, and thereafter for a period of thirty-
three years they were deprived, not only of the right to vote, but
even of the privileges of education, until the constitution of 1868
was passed, whereby they became restored to citizenship and ta
school privileges of the most meager character, but such as other
therei'ore were forced, if they received any education, to attend the
negro schools. They refused to a very great degree, on account
of the intense antipathy they now have for the negro.' the educa-
tion m the negro schools until, through the instrumentality of
Hamilton McMillan, esq., the legislature of North Carolina, in
1887, gave them separate schools of their own.
South in 1861 these people, grown up in ignorance, but quietly
cultivating their little farms, were radely awakened by the Con-
federate authorities conscripting them and using them as laborers
to build the immense sand fortifications at New Inlet, on the Cape
Fear River, known as Fort Fisher; the same fortifications so
celebrated as having been the scene of the greatest naval bom-
bardment of the worlds history, as compared with which an offi-
cer who was at Sebastopol said:
and fl.ed to the swamps of his native heath. The conscripting
officers pursued them. Arresting an old Indian, they asked him
why he deserted. He told them that he did not want to work or
fight for a people who treated him so unjustly; that before 1835
he voted, he went to school, but since then he had been deprived
of both, and that he would neither work nor fight for the Con-
federacy, And thus it was they were arrested and deserted.
When at the close of the war many of them were in hiding, they
committed acts of depredation, for which they were properly out-
lawed, and then arose the band known as the Henry Berry Lowery
gang. For years they became a terror to the country, and in the
early seventies this band of Indians shot down and killed 27 white
men from first to last among the wealthiest, the bravest, and
best men of that county. The leader, Henry Berry Lowery. was
finally killed, peace and quiet was again restored, and under the
benign influence and rule of our people, inaugurated in the year
1887, they are becoming good citizens.
late the internal revenue laws among some few of them, but it is
because they know not the sinfulness of the violation of law. They
from time immemorial have raised fine fruit and grain, and have
always distilled brandy and' whisky, and, like some other citizens,
they feel that it is an unjust interference with their natural rights
to prevent them from converting their waste products into a sala-
ble article. Many of the cases in our United States courts for
manufacturing without license are from among these people.
They are and have always been a distinct people. They are true
friends, but bitter and implacable enemies.
They are intensely religious. They are restless, active, and ener-
getic. Indolence and sloth are not known among them. They are
eager for education. They are capable of intellectual and moral
development, as is attested by some among them. A number
have become successful merchants. One of them filled the posi-
tion of United States Senator from one of our sister Southern
States. The descendant of another has become a member of Con-
of the American Congress. Their school f-acilities are poor. By
extending them aid you are giving expression in substantial form
to that noble sentiment of justice inherent in our people and which
has urged our Government to make large appropriations for the
education and support of Indian tribes which passes each session
of Congress. No tribe is entitled to more at our hands: and if in
the providence of God they be elevated by a sound moral and
mental training inaugurated by the Government, history will yet
say that Sir Walter Raleigh did not plant his colony in vain, and
there will yet arise some gifted American writer who will perpetu-
ate in song and weave in fiction the storj' of the Croatan Indians,
the descendants of the Indian chief, Manteo. created the first Lord
of Roanoke, and of Virginia Dare, the first white child born on
American soil. [Applause.]
Remarks of Hon. John D. Bellamy, of North Carolina,in the House of Representatives, Thursday, February 1, 1900 (1900)
Author: Bellamy, John Dillard, 1853-1942
Subject: Federal aid to Indians -- North Carolina; Lumbee Indians
Publisher: Washington : [s.n.]
Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT
Call number: b3123111
Digitizing sponsor: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Book contributor: University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sunday, November 9, 2008
This database contains a growing collection of records originally recorded in courts or jurisdictions that subsequently suffered record losses. These records are from higher or appeal courts, most of which do not presently exist. Among the jurisdictions included in this database are the General Court, the [Supreme] Court of Appeals, the High Court of Chancery, the various Superior Courts of Chancery, and the various District Courts. These records were found while processing chancery causes and other locality materials. The database contains records from collections housed and processed at the Library of Virginia as well as those processed in localities.
These records were generally used as exhibits in a court case. In most instances, the indexed records compose only a fraction of a case or proceedings. In most cases, the copy may be the only extant copy of the document. The originals remain with the court materials being processed, but photocopies are made and are indexed in this database. The copies are filed together in an artificial collection - the BURNED RECORDS JURISDICTION COLLECTION - and are readily accessed through the Archives Research Room at the Library of Virginia. Please check this database periodically as this is an ongoing project.
Monday, November 3, 2008
November 2, 2008
I’ve had a couple of people e-mail me and ask if there is any new research or news in the Lost Colony project.
First, I want to remind everyone that regular communications to project participants happens on the Yahoo list. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to be invited in order to join (to prevent spammers) so just drop me an e-mail and I’ll send you an invite.
In spite of the fact that not much has been going on publicly, there is progress, although it is slow.
What Have the Participants Been Doing?
Initially, I had hoped that our participants would research and extract their own surnames from early North Carolina documents. I’m sorry to say that very little of that kind of work has been done, and clearly, the scope and magnitude of this assignment is too large for the administrators to undertake. I’m still hoping that each and every one of you, the participants, will schedule some time to work on your surnames in early NC and send the results to us so we can locate the early possibilities to tie into our timeline. If you review early documents, like extracted deed or court records for example, and you don’t find your surname or derivative spellings, that’s still very important data so please let me know that as well.
Several participants have found relevant data in historical documents and land grants and have forwarded that which I have either posted to the Yahoo group as an e-mail or asked Nelda to put on the web page, or both.
Webpage and the Blog
Speaking of the webpage, that is one of the changes. Nelda has given the page a new look, feel and music. If you haven’t visited recently, please check it out. There is also a new article that explains a lot about the basics of DNA and how the new DNA tests work (as part of a Melungeon article).
Don’t forget our blog either. You can now subscribe by e-mail too. Our blog is where Janet and Penny regularly post relevant articles that pertain to the search for the colonists and other historical documents referencing Eastern NC. If you’re not subscribed or checking this resource regularly, you’re missing out.
What Have the Administrators Been Doing?
Each of the administrators has a specialty that is their passion and each of us is working on what we need to do for our focus. Here’s a quick update.
Rob Noles is the admin of the Lumbee project as well. Because of the possible/probable link to the Lumbee, he continues to focus on obtaining both DNA participants and associated genealogies of the relevant families. Rob has also has a couple of surgeries this past year along with two hurricanes, so he’s been very busy.
Nelda Percival is our webmistress and she is busy all of the time keeping our site current and adding new information. Nelda too had surgery earlier this year but celebrated her recovery by purchasing a motor scooter and customizing it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to ride it to the Lost Colony event in August in North Carolina.
Speaking of the Lost Colony event, Anne Poole has been coordinating the North Carolina research and has she ever been busy. In August, we were honored to be invited to participate for the second year at the Virginia Dare Faire at historic Fort Raleigh in Manteo. That is where the Lost Colony play takes place every summer. It is located at the Fort Raleigh National Park Service historical site.
In 2007, we were located in the lobby of the Park Offices, but this year we were in the newly rebuilt Costume Barn. You may recall that the barn burned after the 2007 season. Fortunately, the barn was rebuilt and the costumes recreated for the 2008 season. The grand finale performance is always the night of the Virginia Dare Faire, the anniversary of her birthday, August 18th, followed by a cast party. Anne, Jennifer Sheppard, our genealogist and other volunteers who were able to join her were able to attend the cast party after the event.
During the day, they were able to talk to many guests about the Lost Colony as a historical event, as well as our project. Nelda designed brochures for us well as new business cards and a banner, so we are prepared for next year and other presentations as well. For anyone who wants a copy, the surname flyer is available here at the bottom of the page.
We are planning to attend next year as well so mark the date of August 18th and maybe you can join us. We can always use more volunteers to work the booth with us, or just come by and say hello. It’s a wonderful event sponsored by the Park Service.
In addition, Anne has been extremely focused on the Berry project, but more about that a little later in this newsletter.
Jennifer Sheppard, our genealogist has been focused on writing articles to get the word out there for us about the project. Several have been published with more in the works. In addition, she is available to help folks who have reached a dead end and want assistance with NC records both in Eastern NC and the archives in Raleigh.
Janet Crain and Penny Ferguson both focus on our blog, keeping it fresh and up-to-date, although both have faced personal or family health issues this year as well. In addition, both are administrators for the Melungeon project which may dovetail with our project and that of the Lumbee project eventually. Additionally, Penny and I co-admin the Cumberland Gap projects (yline and mtdna). All three of us work extensively with historical records and it’s amazing to me how many of the records pertain to both the Gap and the LC project as well as others. How is that possible? Well, for example, this past week I’ve been reading the earliest NC General Assembly Session Notes to find entries relative to the Native Tribes and any slaves or free persons of color. In the session notes, I have found a great deal about the early tribes of Eastern NC, plus eventually the cession notes for the renegade State of Franklin in the last quarter of the 1700s along with many petitions signed by both natives and whites.
Joe Chandler has been busily working on the English records trying to find evidence of relatives of the colonists through court records. The eventual success of the DNA project relies on being able to find descendants of the families of the colonists to test to be able to prove, hopefully, that the colonists did survive. While this facet of the project is not imminent, the research must occur to identify the appropriate families. Joe has also had his share of health issues this year, unfortunately delaying a planned trip to London to work in the archives directly.
Dr. Ana Oquendo Pabon continues with her research work with mitochondrial DNA in both the Native and African Diaspora populations. Mitochondrial DNA may in fact be the defining factor in identifying Native populations and migrations as it appears from DNA testing that few Native males survived the various wars, epidemics and alcohol, a deadly curse of which they were so fond, as revealed by oral history and various court records.
Roberta Estes (that’s me) has been focused on the DNA aspect, but aside from that, has been reading and indexing early records in NC pertaining to Indians, slaves who have last names and Free Persons of Color. Testing has led us to believe that many of the Indian populations were joined by those with African ancestry, along with males of European ancestry. We are attempting to find the sources of that African ancestry through early records along with individuals proven to be Indians through court, marriage or deed records. Another good indicator of either Indian or African ancestry is to be counted on the tax lists as a “free person of color”, sometimes noted as “fpc” or “free negro”, “mulatto”, “mixed blood” or other indicator of some ancestry other than “European”. I am creating a research data base of every reference. So far, I have almost 1900 entries of individuals along with the supporting text and references. This sortable data base promises to make our research over the years much much easier. If you have any documents that fall into this category, please, please send them to me.
I have been fortunate enough to have a volunteer to help with part of this, Larry Ratliff. Thank you Larry. If you can help transcribe, let me know. So far, here are the documents that have been have transcribed:
• 1711 Tuscarora Treaty
• 1766 Tuscarora Land Lease
• Annals of the Ashpole Community 1750 – 1814
• Articles of Agreement with the Bay (Bear) River Indians – 1699
• Beaufort Co Free People of Color 1790
• Bertie County Deed Book M – (a few select entries only – this entire deed book need to be reviewed for relevant information)
• Carteret County Free Persons of Color 1790
• Chowan County Free Persons of Color 1790
• Craven Co., NC, It's Origin and Beginning, by Dr. Charles Holloman
• Excavating Occaneechi Town
• History of the Tuscarora
• Hyde Co., NC Apprentice Papers Free Persons of Color
• Implosion, the Secret History of the Origins of the Lumbee Indians by Morris Britt (index only, book itself has not yet been published)
• Mattamuskeet Land Records 1727-1792
• Peace Treaty with Tuscarora – 1712
• The American Indian in North Carolina by Rev Douglas L. Rights
• The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, N.C - Their Origin & Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools
• The Mattamuskeet Documents, A Study in Social History by Patrick H. Garrow
• Some privately contributed documents
I have a few more in process, but if you have suggestions for publications that should be added, please let me know.
We have two projects that seem to have taken on a life of their own and have sustained some very promising breakthroughs. Needless to say, if you are related to either of these families or have any information regarding these families, we need your help.
The Berry Project
A few months ago, a participant from England visited Fort Raleigh and during his visit, tested his DNA. The search for the Lost Colonists has always intrigued him, and now upon his return to England, he has collaborated with a few other local history buffs to undertake a search in England for some of our colonist surnames. In particular, many of the colonist families appear to be from the Devon area.
This small group has retained a professional genealogist and based on the information we have, plus the expertise of the genealogist there, is attempting to find and sort out the various Berry families. We have selected the Berry surname because of the recent breakthroughs with the genealogy and history surrounding that surname.
As luck would have it, a professional genealogist in NC was working with a Berry gentleman about this same time, and traces his roots to very early NC. This gentleman tested his DNA and eventually proved to match a Berry gentleman from the area we are searching in England.
Fate, smiling on us, brought us no less than 3 other individuals whose family oral history tells them they are direct descendants of Richard and Henry Berrye, the colonists. Anne Poole, being the person working in North Carolina with oral history has been attempting to tie together the loose ends of these various genealogies, but the sheer amount of data has come so fast and been so overwhelming in magnitude that we are still working to sort out what is fact, what is oral history, what has been checked and what still needs attention.
The Berry surname is one where we desperately need all of the early county records in NC to be checked, so if you own any of the books relative to these county records, and you’re willing to extract everything Berry, Barry or similarly spelled, please let us know. We could really use your help on this.
Of all of the surnames, so far, this one holds the most promise because of the English connection and the very early appearance in NC.
The Beasley Project
Sometimes as a genealogist, fate smiles on you. From my experience, those days are rare, but when fate does smile, it’s a HUGE breakthrough, and often, the result of a combination of things that can only be chalked up to chance, or synchronicity.
The Beasley surname is of Native origin, a proven Chowan Indian chief whose tribe was mentioned by John Lawson in 1701 and was located at the mouth of the Neuse River. One of our participants, Mark Beasley, has of course had his DNA tested, and as such has eliminated the known European Beasley lines known to be in early VA and NC. Furthermore, he “loses” his John Beasley in exactly the same area where Chief Beasley’s village was known to be.
Mark and his wife have spent two years and multiple trips back to NC and have just recently found the actual land where his family lived, in addition to the land where Chief Beasley probably lived as well. This story is amazing in and of itself as he has combined all of the requisite genealogical and historical research with title and deed work to locate the land today, then visited the locations finding more information than could ever be found in a book. I hope he will write about his amazing adventure in a future newsletter for us.
If in fact the colonists did survive, they would have had to assimilate with the Native Tribes. If they assimilated with the Native Tribes, the Hatteras would be one of the most likely, and the Hatteras eventually died off and they too assimilated into other tribes, including the Chowan, Coree and others.
Due to the recent breakthroughs, Mark is attempting to organize and assemble all of his information. If you have any information about the Chowan, Coree, Hatteras and related records, or the surname Beasley is in your lines, please contact Mark at email@example.com.
If you have any documents that show any surnames associated with the Hatteras Indians, please
email me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Paying It Forward
A long time ago, when I was a young genealogist, someone did me a huge favor that had to have taken them hours. I was young, but I wasn’t stupid, and I could hardly believe they had done that for me. The family I was researching wasn’t in any way related to them, but they had access to records that I didn’t have, and as a young mother, couldn’t afford.
This was before the days of online access, although most of the records we need for the Lost Colony project still fall into this category as they are transcriptions of early records (marriage, deed, court) and those aren’t online either, as someone privately has published them.
When I thanked my benefactor in disbelief, she said to me “pay it forward”. I didn’t understand the phrase, having never heard it before, and she told me to do favors for others with no expectation of receiving anything in return. She told me that by “paying it forward”, it would eventually pay me back in far more ways than I would ever imagine and it would be multiplied.
I’m here to tell you how right she was. I get a lot of joy out of helping others although it does take a lot of time and I sometimes neglect my own genealogy (Ok, I often neglect it) in favor of DNA projects and such. DNA projects of course involve genealogy and history and I find myself reading these obtuse documents and I just feel compelled to document things like old petitions and such, posting them to forums where people can find them if their ancestors might have signed.
I’ve been very blessed to find my own family through these chance encounters when someone writes to thank me for some long ago posting I’ve forgotten about, but then we find our common ancestor. In some cases, they’ve held the key for me about something I could never have found otherwise.
However, my biggest and best example of “pay it forward” is actually this Lost Colony project. You may not know that I have no reason to think that my own ancestors were Colonists. My interest is not that of a participant, and yes, I often wonder at my own sanity. However, this search and this project is “meant to be” on many different levels, and for me, here’s the proof.
In some back and forth conversation with one of our project participants, he made a comment about Vermont and that he was much more familiar with records in the NorthEast. I told him I was stuck there and gave him the name of my problem couple. He found a similar name and pointed me to a Canadian resource I had never previously found.
Although this initial find was not my ancestor, as the dates did not line up, the names within the family matched and it was a rare surname and other circumstances such as the fact that my ancestor spoke French were confirmed. I suspected I had found the right family, but I just didn’t have the right branch although research was very difficult and documents seemed nonexistent. Furthermore, no one else was researching this family. I posted my information on some new boards, as this family was of Acadian decent.
Ironically, my posting sat idle for about a year, when a man of the same surname answered me from Canada, in French. He told me he had the info I was seeking as he had written a book about the family, in French, of course. We struggled back and forth with our language barrier, but eventually, we exchanged information and indeed, he did have the birth record of my ancestor.
I was right, it was the correct family, but the records I found were after the entire family converted from the Catholic religion to a Protestant church in 1821. My ancestor’s nieces and nephews all carried the same names as his own children, with some even being named after him, which is one of the initial hints that I had the right family, but the wrong generation.
My ancestor was born in 1805 and was baptized in the Catholic church. I only had found the transcribed Protestant Church records and never thought to check Catholic records, even if I could have gained access to (and read) unindexed, unpublished records written in French and Latin by a Canadian priest. That scenario was pretty unlikely.
Given that this family is of Acadian heritage and that the Acadians have been heavily studied, I worked with several Acadian cousins (all Acadians are cousins to each other) to finish the research on my family lines that had not yet been documented. In the past few months, I have added……..are you ready for this…….over 45 new and previously unknown, documented, surnames to my family tree and about 150 new direct ancestors. I have also found original signatures for many of them through the early Catholic church records (that have recently come online) and yes, also old petitions. Signatures, absent pictures, are often the only personal thing left on this earth belonging to our ancestors.
So David, I can’t thank you enough for your help. I hope you benefit as much from someone’s gift to you someday as I did from yours. And for everyone else…..”pay it forward”.
Bye For Now
I hope this newsletter has inspired you to pick up some genealogy you’ve set aside or to read a historical document.
The holidays are coming. Maybe this is a good time to document your genealogy as a gift book for your family. Pass it on and make sure your hard work isn’t lost to future generations.
If you find something relevant to our search for the colonists, please send it to us and we’ll post it on the Yahoo list for others as well. It only takes a minute and you never know what will happen!
Happy Ancestor Hunting,