Monday, June 30, 2008

Finding One's Roots

Lesley Stahl reports on the new field of genetic genealogy, which uses DNA to trace ancestry back hundreds of years. (This story was first broadcast on Oct. 7, 2007, rebroadcast June 29, 2008.) You can view it here:

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Genealogy by DNA: Can it Deliver?

by Janet Crain

This article is not intended to criticize the geneticists involved in this new science. Henry Greely, a professor of law who specializes in genetics and ethics at Stanford University in California says;"I know these scientists, and they are honorable people, and the reports they give don't overpromise". Some firms require clients to sign psychological releases absolving companies from responsibility if results don't jibe with client expectations.

However; Bruce Jackson, a molecular geneticist at Boston University, who has launched the African-American DNA Roots Project, along with biologist Bert Ely of the University of South Carolina, cautions that "like anything on the Internet, this is all a case of 'caveat emptor' - let the buyer beware. But the science is valid. There's no doubt about the science." He sees DNA as "the hottest new tool" in genealogy, which is why Web sites on the subject run second only in hits to pornography pages. With those kind of statistics, it is easy to see that this "hot new tool' is going to be marketed and hyped to the hilt.

Unfortunately, sometimes the hype exceeds the actual benefit that can reasonably be expected to accrue. Minorities, in particular, are targeted. Because most black African Americans do not know what part of Africa their ancestors came from, or what tribe, they are immensely interested to find out anything that will give them a connection to their mother country. So is learning that you have a genetic marker that is shared by a widespread group of people in Africa worth $349.? That would, of course, depend on your curiosity and finances. Is the hype promising a greater benefit than can be delivered?

Some bio-ethicists say the sales pitch raises unreasonable expectations. "DNA is going to be very important and it’s on the cutting edge,” said professional genealogist Tony Burroughs, who teaches at Chicago State University. “But it’s not a panacea. You’re not going to discover your entire family tree from a little spit on a cotton swab.”Burroughs, author of “Black Roots: A Beginners Guide to Tracing the African American Family Tree” argues that DNA can’t replace old-fashioned reporting work.But rather, he feels genealogical breakthroughs will come from uncovering previously forgotten written records. He’s after names, addresses and other hard facts.

Another group that is often targeted by testing companies is Native American Indians. There are many people in the Americas who descend from the Native American Indigenous peoples of these continents. Some know it, some suspect it, some have no idea. The suppression of knowledge about Native American bloodlines was a direct effect of government policies since Europeans first set foot on North and South American. It is now believed that, the diseases, unwittingly carried by the Europeans, wiped out about 75-95% of the original population. The remaining population was systematically cheated and dispossessed, until only remnant bands remained and these were herded onto reservations or relocated to distant lands. The so called Trail of Tears separated many families. Other similar sad events had the same consequences. Many Native Americans assimilated and intermarried with whites. Traders and early day hunters were eager to take Indian wives to gain access to rich hunting grounds. The descendants of these dispossessed people often had no way to unravel their true genetic heritage. In the late 19th century, it wasn't a popular thing for parents to pass on to children. Some had a vague idea or heard rumors, but there was nothing substantial to go on.

Now there is. For as little as $99.00, a male in a surname group can learn if his Y chromosome paternal line is Native American. Similarly, a woman or a man could take the mtDNA test (group priced at $129. or as low as $89. for existing Family Tree DNA customers), and learn if their straight-line maternal line is Native American. Several different testing companies offer reductions in price to participants in surname groups of at least six. The problem with both Y and mtDNA testing is that due to racial mixing, a person's paternal line; father's father's father's, etc. may lead back to a European man and the maternal line; mother's mother's mother's may lead back to a European woman. This can hold true in some cases for a person who looks entirely Native American. One Native American man from Canada discovered that not only is he descended from an Englishman on the Y chromosome, but he is eligible for some hereditary position in England. Other than finding out you are really an English Earl with a castle in England (and a substantial inheritance), this type of result would disappoint many.

One of the better known media hyped DNA tests was that of the Melungeons, a dark skinned group of unknown origin living in Tennessee in the early 1800's. These DNA tests were started about 2000, as a volunteer effort; there was no cost to the participants except unfulfilled expectations, frustration and time lost. After many promises of the results being announced, there was finally an announcement, of sorts, on June 23, 2002. Were the expectations met? Without pointing a finger of blame at any one person, I would have to say; "No". For several reasons. The announcement only included preliminary results and comments. No actual DNA raw data was ever presented to participants or anyone else. No known peer review was ever conducted. No questions were answered conclusively. It was called a "Population" test, but only had around 100 participants. Its purported purpose was to capture a view of the Y chromosome and mtDNA haplogroups carried by these few self identified Melungeon descendants that came down to them from their Melungeon foreparents. Even though several generations had passed and their ancestry now had the input of many other ancestors, this was supposed to offer some information. Yet to this day, the "results" of this test are quoted as if they are valid.

Regrettably this lucrative new field has attracted some so called "experts" whose only talents consist of cutting and pasting together impressive looking reports. In my opinion, their professional background should be investigated thoroughly before investing in their interpretation of your DNA data. Many good people are involved in the new science of Genealogy by DNA. Quite a few are donating their time and expertise. It would certainly be to the DNA test subject's advantage to join a list of persons researching this area and learn all you can before spending your hard earned money on consultations with "Internet" experts. Once you are better informed you can make better decisions as to how the allocate the funds, if any, you decide to budget for this expenditure.

The latest player among DNA tests is the autosomal test. This type of test, tests the DNA inherited from both parents and shuffled during transmission. It was thought that certain genes would be informative to determine ethnic percentages. These tests were highly touted for this ability, but soon found lacking. What the DNAPrint test can do is predict majority ethnicity. And that is very important for forensic purposes. When the FBI profiled a serial killer in Louisiana as a white loner type, the DNAPrint test revealed him to be predominantly black. This new information led to his arrest and possibly saved lives of future victims.

However the hype surrounding this test, claiming to be able to detect as little as 3% of an ethnicity has led many people to believe, erroneously, that they have an ancestor of a previously unsuspected ethnicity when, in actuality, they do not. Experts say the test is only accurate to + or - 15%.

Recently a utility named OmniPop became the cause celebre among some DIY geneticists. But the creator, Brian Burritt, has stated he never intended this utility to be used for this purpose. And it would be very misleading if used in this manner. In addition, Family Tree DNA has issued a statement cautioning against reliance on this utility. An excellent service now available is

So, in conclusion the answer to "Can Genealogy by DNA Deliver?" is a qualified "Yes". Just be sure you have a clearly defined objective; more than one objective is fine. Do your homework and learn the limitations of Genealogy research utilizing DNA testing. And be sure you are using the right test to answer your questions. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions of those more knowledgeable than yourself. Most of us knew little to nothing about this new Genealogy tool when we first became interested. The technology is very new. It is changing at a dizzying speed. It is cutting edge. It can be tedious waiting for results. It can be disappointing when the results are not to your expectations. But the rewards are many and very exiting for those who understand these obstacles. And you will surely have something to talk about at your next Family Reunion.

More here:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

'Lost Colony' has brand-new old clothes

Tony-winning designer made sure each outfit has the aged look it needs.
By Martha Waggoner
Associated Press

RALEIGH --Two days before opening night of “The Lost Colony,” Tony award-winning designer William Ivey Long was still working on costumes. They were all new, but had to look very, very old.

“The Lost Colony” tells the true story of an English settlement founded in 1587 on North Carolina's Outer Banks whose colonists mysteriously disappeared.
And so, Long was at it with cheese graters and rasps, aging the costumes that he and his staff had created. The costumes were made to replace more than 1,000 outfits destroyed in a fire last fall at the Waterside Theatre in Manteo, not far from the site of the original colony on Roanoke Island.

“This has been the greatest challenge and, for me, the greatest assignment of my entire life,” said Long.

It seems implausible that work on a regional outdoor drama could top the five Tonys that Long has won for his costume work in “Hairspray,” “Grey Gardens,” “The Producers,” “Crazy for You,” and “Nine.”

But Long, who donated his time and labor to “The Lost Colony,” has been affiliated with the show his entire life. His father was technical director for “The Lost Colony,” and Long was 8 when he first performed as a colonist boy.
He dyed and mottled the clothes himself before moving on to tear the sleeves, hems and, for the men, the knees, to age the clothes the colonists wear in the final scenes before they disappear.

“The Lost Colony” production, which has been performed each summer at the Waterside since 1937, bills itself as the nation's longest-running symphonic outdoor drama. Producer Carl Curnutte said the show was bound to return despite last year's blaze, which caused more than $2.7 million in damage. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

23andMe to California: We're Not Ceasing or Desisting

The Y-chromosome and mtDNA tests used for genealogy purposes carry no health information. But it will be interesting to see how this plays out as there may be some danger of all DNA testing being affected by California's actions.

Janet Crain


By Alexis Madrigal June 24, 2008 11:39:04 AMCategories: Genetics

After being hit with a cease-and-desist letter by California's Public Health Department, the highest-profile direct-to-consumer genetic testing company, 23andMe, shot back today that they'll be doing neither.

"We believe we are in compliance with California law and are continuing to operate in California at this time," the company said in a statement released to

23andMe is one of thirteen companies that had until yesterday to respond to identical cease-and-desist letters from the health department. Navigenics, DNATraits, and HairDX also received letters has confirmed. The Health Department plans to release the names of the rest of the companies today on its website.

In the full statement 23andMe released, it's unclear exactly what legal tack the company is going to take in fighting (or working with) the health department. But they make clear that they do not believe that the Health Department is applying the "appropriate regulatory framework" to their business:
The names of thirteen genetic testing companies targeted by the California health department were released today on the agency's website.

CGC Genetics, deCODEme, Gene Essence, Knome, New Hope Medical, Salugen, Smart Genetics, and Suracell were issued cease-and-desist letters two weeks ago along with five companies had previously confirmed, Navigenics, 23andMe, DNATraits, HairDX, and Sciona.
The latest announcement means that all three high-profile genome scanning companies -- deCODEme, Navigenics, and 23andMe -- received notices from the state.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ribbon of Sand cont.

Ribbon of Sand

Customer Reviews:

  • Anyone who has visited the Outer Banks -- and many who have only seen them from the famous 1970-era Apollo space shot -- knows that the islands are unique, fragile, and someday going to be overrun, either by trashy tourism or, eventually, nature. Alexander and Lazell hope, but are hardly convinced, that nature will get the chance to run its long course. Beyond the fascinating subject, the authors' chapter by chapter analysis of the forces that compete on the Banks -- sand, wind, land, forest -- is a clarifying approach to writing about the science of the Banks.
  • Ribbon of Sand captures PERFECTLY the true mystique of North Carolina's Outer Banks -- how a half-mile wide band of barrier islands survive both because of nature . . . and in spite of it. Each segment of the book ties together both human and natural history.
  • It is an amazingly interesting and informative book. Geology, geography, biology, weather, ecology, politics, and more are all discussed as is the importance of each in relation to the others. I found the book engrossing and would recommend it even if you are not going to this unique area of the world. Now when the kids ask me why there is a forest in the dunes I will be able to tell them and I will be much better able to appreciate the beauty of the place.

Ribbon of Sand

Outer Banks
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Outer Banks are a 200-mile (320-km) long string of narrow barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, on the East Coast of the United States. They cover approximately half the northern North Carolina coastline, separating the Albemarle Sound and Pamlico Sound from the Atlantic Ocean.

The Outer Banks are a major tourist destination and are known for their temperate climate and wide expanse of open beachfront.

The Wright Brothers' first flight in a powered, heavier-than-air vehicle took place on the Outer Banks on December 17, 1903, at Kill Devil Hills, near the sea-front town of Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers National Monument commemorates the historic flights, and First Flight Airport is a small, general-aviation airfield located there.

An English colony—where the first person of English descent, Virginia Dare, was born on American soil [1]—vanished without a trace from Roanoke Island in 1587. The treacherous seas off the Outer Banks and the large number of shipwrecks that have occurred there have given these seas the nickname Graveyard of the Atlantic. The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located in Hatteras Village near the United States Coast Guard facility and Hatteras ferry.

Cont. here:

North Carolina's Outer Banks separating the Atlantic Ocean (east) from Albemarle Sound (north) and Pamlico Sound (south). Orbital photo courtesy NASA.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lost Colony was the First of the Tarheel Mysteries

The legends and stories of North Carolina are infinitely fascinating. In 1946 and 1947, John Harden hosted a radio show called Tales of Tarheelia, in which he recounted many of the state's legendary stories and mysteries. Interest in that radio series and Harden's commitment to preserving these stories that could be lost forever if not put down in writing led to the publication of this book, The Devil's Tramping Ground and Other North Carolina Mystery Stories, in 1949. The stories collected here are mysteries as opposed to, say, ghost stories (of which North Carolina can boast of her fair share); these stories won't give you the creeps, but they will fascinate you and sharpen your interest in the history of the state of North Carolina.

When you talk about North Carolina mysteries, you must start at the very beginning - the Lost Colony. The first English settlement in the New World was made in the late 16th century at Roanoke, and it was here that the first non-native American child was born (Virginia Dare); when John White and the long-delayed supply ship returned to these shores, the entire colony had disappeared completely, leaving behind a single clue as to the colonists' fate: the carving of the word Croatoan on a tree. This, North America's first mystery, remains as compelling and unsolved today as it was over four hundred years ago.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Genealogy Blogs Have Much to Offer

A genealogy blog? What's that?
A “blog” is one of those made up words coined by the Internet.

Click here to see the Wikipedia definition.

Click here to visit the GenealogyBank.

Here are some blogs that come highly recommend. They are each must read sites.

Ancestry Insider
This well informed blogger’s daily posts are focused on and Knowledgeable and on target it is a must read blog written by an Ancestry employee – BUT it is not an “official” corporate blog.

DearMYRTLE’s Genealogy Blog
DearMYRTLE has been working in genealogy for decades. Her blog is essential reading and can be counted on for breaking news and insight. Count on her to make new resources easy to use and understand.

Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
Dick Eastman’s blog is essential reading. Dick is up to date and knows the field. His blog comes in two flavors – free and a paid version. You’ll want to pay the nominal fee and subscribe to his blog - it’s worth it.

Everton Publisher’s Genealogy Blog
Leland Meitzler posts 3-4 times a week and puts his decades of experience to work in reporting what is happening in genealogy. Leland has the pulse of the field and hey, he’s a heck of a nice guy too.

The Footnote Blog
This blogger usually posts 2-3 times a month. The articles are usually brief and focus on the latest developments at – you’ll want to read it to keep up with what’s new on that site.

Genealogy Insider
Diane Haddad, Editor of Family Tree Magazine is a great blogger. Well informed and with an upbeat writing style. Haddad is essential reading. Don’t miss this blog – its terrific.

Friday, June 20, 2008

10 Days Only Sizzling Hot Opportunity to Upgrade Y Chromosome Markers

The following letter was sent to all Family Tree DNA project administrators:

Family Tree DNA has been an industry leader in helping families find lost connections. As a result, the size of our database is unmatched and has achieved critical mass, allowing more and more family members and even adoptees or descendants of adoptees to find their biological paternal lines, including the surname of the original family. Are there missing (participants) among these adoptees looking for their connection to this direct paternal line?

In an effort to help answer that question Family Tree DNA is offering, for the first time ever, a discount on all Y DNA upgrades! We will be notifying each participant in the database who qualifies for this offer by email, and will provide them a direct link they may use to take advantage of this upgrade. There will be no need for participants to contact us directly in order to receive the reduced price; our prices will be adjusted in the system accordingly.

The offer will be from June 20th to June 30th. During this time, Family Tree DNA will reduce all of our Y-DNA upgrade prices. On average, the reduced prices will be 25% lower than the original upgrade price.

This is a great opportunity to increase the data in your surname project. Are there members who have been hesitant to upgrade due to price? This rare discount is an opportunity for them to upgrade and help both their group and potential lost relatives at the same time. When encouraging members to upgrade, you may wish to note that genetic matches allow people to find their biological lines rather than a specific individual.

This promotion is for upgrades only and does not apply to new kit orders. It’s our way to thank past customers for their patronage.

As always, we appreciate your continued support.

Family Tree DNA


This is a fantastic opportunity and one not likely to be repeated, so if you have already Y-tested or sponsored someone at some level with Family Tree DNA, go to the personal page and order an upgrade as usual. The new pricing schedule is already in effect and visable.

Notices have been sent to all participants, but some email contact info is no longer current.

~History Chasers

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Confusion Abounds over California's Intent

Will California's Letters to Genetic Testing Companies Affect Genealogists?

Posted by Diane

California's attempt to regulate genetic testing has raised a bit of a stir in the genealogical community, but it's unclear whether genetic genealogy tests will be affected.

Wired reports that the state department of public health sent sternly worded cease-and-desist letters to 13 DNA testing companies warning they’re in violation of California law.

California requires labs that are located in the state or process biological samples originating there to get a state laboratory license, and it also prohibits direct-to-consumer clinical lab tests without a doctor’s order.

One warning letter, linked in Wired’s article, specifically states genetic tests are not exempt. But it doesn’t distinguish between genetic genealogy tests (such as Y-DNA tests) and disease-related genetic tests (such as 23andMe’s genotyping services).

Genetic genealogy company FamilyTreeDNA didn’t receive a letter, spokesperson Bennett Greenspan told me, but the company’s disease-related testing business called DNA Traits got one (now posted on Wired). And from the letter's wording, it looks like the state’s concern is tests that reveal medical information without involving the consumer’s physician.

The California Department of Health hasn’t yet returned my call seeking clarification. Meanwhile, the letter demands recipients cease and desist offering genetics tests to California citizens.

Getting the Most From Online Databases

Here's another great new online resource for Genealogists.

~History Chasers

Search Tips for Online Genealogy Databases

Posted by Diane

The following tips will help you target your ancestor searches in genealogy databases. Try them out on our 2008 list of the 101 Best Web Sites for genealogy—you’ll find these sites in the September 2008 Family Tree Magazine (look for it July 15 on newsstands and on

Read a site's search instructions. They'll reveal tricks such as omitting a given name or including wildcards.

• On Web sites with multiple databases, search individual databases one at a time. Those customized search engines often include fields you won’t get with the site’s global search.

Make sure the collection covers the right time and place. Go to the page for the individual database and look for background information. You might learn the collection doesn't contain records for all years, or that your ancestor's county didn't keep those particular records—then you can move on to a more-promising resource.

• Database searches call up your ancestor’s record only if an indexer entered the same information you’re searching on—so try different approaches. Start by entering all you know about the person. If you don’t get results, search on fewer terms and combinations of terms (such as the person’s name and residence, or his name and birthplace, or even just his birthplace and year of immigration).

Seek alternate name spellings. Check the search tips to see whether a search automatically looks for similar names. Even if it does, try odd spellings: A census taker or an indexer might’ve interpreted the name so outlandishly that a “sounds like” search wouldn’t pick up on the misspelling.

Use One-Step Search Tools, which offer more-flexible searching of several databases in, Footnote, and other sites (to view results from a fee-based site, you need a subscription to the site). For example, the One-Step tools might let you search on a name fragment, more year ranges, or more combinations of terms.

• When all else fails, try browsing (on some sites, such as, you'll need to go to the page for the individual database). Start with the records for the most-probable date or place. Keep written track of which records you've already examined in case you have to stop and come back later.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Great New Internet Resources are Out There!

by Janet Crain

With gasoline prices competing with the heat index to see which can rise faster, now is an excellent time to set up a corner of your home or office as a Virtual Research Library.

Some of you genealogists have, no doubt, already done this. We are fortunate to have the entire World Wide Web at our fingertips. Just equip your research station with your desktop or laptop pc, a scanner and printer and you are ready to discover and record new facts at any hour of the day you are free.

Next you need some great new URL's to join the old favorites. And this new site looks like a wonderful free-content resource just getting started. Best of all you can contribute some of your own research to add to the body of information on the Internet.

Check out the Encyclyclopedia of Genealogy and see what you think. Send us new URL's also if you run across something good!

Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, a free-content encyclopedia created by its readers, people like you. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is available to everyone, free of charge. Everyone can also contribute information, again free of charge.

You can search this encyclopedia at any time by clicking on Search in the menus. You can also click on Index to view a list of all the entries.

The Encyclopedia of Genealogy serves as a compendium of genealogical tools and techniques. It provides reference information about everything in genealogy except people. Look to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy to provide explanations of how to look up your family tree, explanations of terms found in genealogy research,

including obsolete medical and legal terms. It will describe locations where records may be found. It also will describe how to research Italian, German, Polish, French-Canadian, Jewish, Black, Indian and other ancestors. In short, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will serve as your standard genealogy reference manual.

The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is created by genealogists like yourself. In fact, YOU can help by adding content: your own knowledge and expertise can help others. If you see anything in this encyclopedia that is incorrect, YOU can change it! If you see anything that is incomplete, YOU can add to it! If you note anything that is missing, YOU can add it! This encyclopedia will succeed because people like you contribute nuggets of information. When enough "nuggets" are added, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will become a gold mine.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Roanoke, the Accidental Colony

Roanoke, the Accidental Colony
by Janet Crain

The Lost Colony, an accident of fate with a tragic outcome that reverberates to this day, should never have happened. The group of colonists sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587 to establish the Cittee of Raleigh, had never intended to locate on the Island of Roanoke. But after a four month long trip marked by delays, mishaps, evasive tactics and possibly outright sabotage, these some 117 men, women and children were unceremoniously dumped on the island by Captain Fernandez. All but but two of them would vanish without a trace.

They had intended only to stop by the island where fifteen men had been left behind by Sir Richard Grenville the year before, after the failure of first settlement attempt. Governor John White and forty of his "best men" would make a short visit to check on the men, then they would continue on to their destination about 50 miles up the coast of the Chesapeake Bay. Exploration parties sent there previously had made favorable reports on the suitability of the area for settlement. But as soon as the pinnace carrying the men was in the water, Captain Fernandez ordered them to stay there on the island, forbidding them to re-board his ship, claiming he needed to return to the Caribbean as the season was growing short for privateering. Inexplicitly, he then sat at anchor for several weeks in a cruel taunting gesture to the colonists stranded on an island where something very sinister and unexplainable had obviously occurred. Among the first sights to greet the landing party were the bleaching bones of one of the fifteen Englishmen left behind the previous year. The other 14 had vanished without a trace, the fort had been destroyed and the houses had fallen into disrepair. Deer were grazing on melons which had grown up in the floors of the abandoned houses. Something was terribly wrong.

Trying to make the best of their situation, the Colonists began repairing the houses and building new more substantial ones of tile and brick. Their situation was truly precarious. Arriving too late to plant crops, they had not been allowed to take on salt, cattle, plants or fresh water at Hispaniola to replenish their dwindling supplies. They did not have sufficient food to exist for more than a few weeks. They were horrified when one of the assistants, George Howe, out crabbing alone, was killed and mutilated by Indians. Someone would have to return to England and get word to Sir Walter Raleigh that they were in peril. But who would even be able to see Raleigh and who would be believed? These men were, for the most part, middle class craftsmen and the like, unschooled in statecraft. There was only one answer after Christopher Cooper agreed to go, then withdrew his offer. The only man sure to get through to Raleigh and be believed was John White, the Colony Governor. He had been picked by Raleigh to lead this colony and was respected by him. John White did not want to leave his daughter, her husband and his granddaughter, nine day old Virginia Dare. The Colonists begged him to do so though and knowing it was their last chance, John White agreed to set sail with Edward Spicer, who had miraculously found the settlers after his flyboat became separated from them early in the voyage. White refused to sail with Captain Fernandez. He hurriedly prepared and left instructions for certain symbols to be carved if the colonists leave this location. They are to carve the name of the location to which they are relocating on door posts or trees; if they are in distress they are to carve a cross over the name.

Unfortunately, John White and Edward Spicer are blown far off course by terrible storms and barely make it to Ireland. By the time they reach England, Fernandez has been back for weeks, establishing himself as a hero of the expedition. White does see Raleigh, but it is unknown what he tells him.

John White will spend the next three years desperately trying to return to his Colony. He makes two abortive attempts to reach the Colonists from which he is lucky to survive the second one. He is injured and shot by enemy mariners attacking his ship. During this time, Sir Walter Raleigh's attentions are diverted in an attempt to save his Queen and save his country from the menacing threat of defeat by the mightiest Navy in the world; the Spanish Armada. Many believe he will fail. Queen Elizabeth I forbids the sailing of any ships to the area where the colonists are stranded. Due to Raleigh's efforts and history's most providential storm, the Spanish Armada is totally destroyed. England is saved.

To be continued:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lost Colony: the Legend of Roanoke: Movie Review

by Dillon age 8

I thought that the Lost Colony movie had too much special effects and the ghosts can not be real either . The ghost could fly over the gate so why can't they fly over the one foot moat and nobody listened to the leader .

Other than that it was good . The people weren`t smart to have a fight with manteo because he's there friend.

P.S.The dead people are nasty looking. I did not like that.

Lost Colony: The Legend of Roanoke

by Austin age 12

It was a scary movie. I knew about most of the historical happenings at Roanoke. The ghost looked fake and unrealistic. I think they should have built a raft and sailed away. The fort and indian village looked very realistic. I didn't get why they built a moat full of holy water because the ghost could fly over it. The costumes were cool and looked real, but I don't think men wore their hair that short because everybody's hair was long back then and in the movie there were men with short hair. I liked the indian village. I thought it was cool because you would find a lot of arrowheads there.

See also:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Artifacts Uncovered In Archeological Excavation In Ft. Raleigh Park

Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
National Park News

Wednesday, Jun 4, 2008

An archeological excavation being conducted this year in an effort to answer some of the many questions regarding the mystery of the Lost Colony has turned up a number of important discoveries, including copper plates and 16th century English artifacts.

In 2006, the Southeast Archaeological Center conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of three areas of Fort Raleigh National Historic Site as part of a regionwide archaeological survey.

Although the survey identified many anomalies, NPS archaeologists determined that only two of them warranted additional field exploration. The two anomalies of interest appeared to be rectangular-shaped. Since rectangular-shaped objects do not normally occur in nature, it was presumed that the anomalies were cultural in origin and might possibly be structures or features associated with the original colony.

A team of archaeologists and geophysicists began work at the sites earlier this year. Archeologists used radar tomography technology to provide an accurate picture of what was buried beneath the surface.

The most important discoveries were 14 copper plates and some 16th century English artifacts. The copper squares was pierced at opposite corners and were lying edge-to-edge in the ground, indicating that they had been strung together like a necklace. The other artifacts included an English tobacco pipe bowl, a gray flint (probable gunspall), a 1.25 inch diameter lead ball, Spanish olive jar sherds, one crucible sherd, and three delftware glazed ceramic chips.

The second small rectangular-cut pit contained 17 white and one blue glass Venetian glass beads that English colonists brought to America to trade with Indians. Other finds included 16th-century type Indian and European potsherds, nails, part of an iron knife, and an Indian red clay tobacco pipe. The rectangular pit could actually have been a posthole for a structure.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Crotian - Croatan Indian Connection?

Many of the early European expeditions to the western shore of the Atlantic finished with shipwrecks. So was the case with some ships from Dubrovnik in the 16th century. It is interesting to mention that the Croatan Indians in the USA could possibly be the descendants of the saved Croatian crew, as authenticated by their name, brown hair, blue eyes and some of the words in their language. Two large islands appear on the Molineaux map of Virginia, USA (1599), with the names Croatoan and Croatamonge (see [Eterovic], p. 30).

An American writer John Lawson in his 1714 chronicle wrote that among Croatan Indians of that time there was a legend of a 16th century shipwreck with mariners who saved themselves and stayed with Indians.

In attempts to find Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony inhabited by the British Empire in 1587 on the island of Roanoke (near the Croatoan island, North Carolina, USA), the searchers found a CRO carved in Roman letters on a tree in 1590. Another big tree had a bark peeled off, and carved on it in capital letters was the word CROATOAN.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Lost Colony's Croatan Connection

The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina:

Their Origin and Racial Status

A Plea for Separate Schools


There is a tradition among these Indians that their ancestors were white people, a part of Gov. White's Lost Colony, who amalgamated with the coast Indians and afterwards removed

to the interior, where they now reside. It is a matter of common knowledge that the Indians are a people of "traditions," being entirely destitute of written records. These traditions would be of little value were they not supported by authentic historical data.

Governor White left a colony of 120 men and women from England on Roanoke Island in 1587, and when he returned in 1590, he found no trace of the colony save the word "Croatan" carved upon a tree. According to a secret understanding which White had with the colonists before he returned to England, if they departed from Roanoke Island before his return they were to carve upon the trees or posts of doors "the name of the place where they should be seated." When White and his men returned in 1590 where they had left the colony three years before, they saw upon a tree carved in Roman letters the word "CROATAN" without any cross or sign of distress about the word, for he had the understanding that if any misfortune came to them they should put a cross over the word.

One of the early maps of the Carolina coast, which appears in Lederer's Travels, prepared in 1666, represents Croatoan as an island south of Cape Hatteras. Croatan is made as a part of the mainland directly west of Roanoke Island. Governor White indicates that the colony originally removed to Croatoan, and not Croatan.

The term Croatan, or Croatoan was applied by the English to the friendly tribe of Manteo, whose chief abode was on the island on the coast southward from Roanoke. The name Croatan seems to indicate a locality in the territory claimed by Manteo and his tribe. Manteo was one of two friendly Indians who had been carried to England by Sir Richard Grenville, and returned with Governor White, on the occasion of his first voyage in 1587. By direction of Sir Walter Raleigh, Manteo was baptized and in reward for his services to the English he was designated "Lord of Roanoke."

McMillan in his pamphlet says:

"It is evident from the story of Governor White, that the colonists went southward along the coast to Croatoan Island, now a part of

Carteret County, in North Carolina, and distant about 100 miles in a direct line from Albemarle Sound."

Dr. Hawks, in his history, speaks of this tribe as the "Hatteras Indians." From the first appearance of the English, relations of the most friendly character were known to exist between this tribe and the colony. Manteo was their chief.

The Hatteras Indians are described in the Hand Book of American Indians as follows:

"HATTERAS;--An Algonquian tribe living in 1701 on the sand banks about C. Hatteras, N. C., E. of Pamlico Sound, and frequenting Roanoke Id. Their single village, Sandbanks, had then only about 80 inhabitants. They showed traces of white blood and claimed that some of their ancestors were white. They may have been identical with the Croatan Indians (q. c.), with whom Raleigh's colonists at Roanoke Island are supposed to have taken refuge."

Full Text of John Lawson's Journal

John Lawson was an early English explorer who left a permanent record of his travels among the tribes of the Carolinas. He commenced his journey on December 28th, 1700. Lawson's History of North Carolina is regarded as the standard authority for the period it covers, and he says that there was a band of Indians in the eastern part of North Carolina known as Hatteras Indians, that had lived on Roanoke Island and that these told him that many of their ancestors were white people and could "talk in a book." That many of these Indians had grey eyes that were found among no other Indians, that they were friendly to the English and were ready to do all friendly services.

He says it is probable that White's Colony miscarried for want of timely supplies from England, or through the treachery of the natives, for we may reasonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them and that in process of time, they conformed themselves to the manners of their Indian relations.

John Lawson travelled among the Indians of North Carolina before they had come in contact with any of the white settlers, and found the same tribe of Indians residing on the south side of the Neuse River known as the Coree Tribe. One

of the head men of this tribe was an Indian of the name of Enoe-Will, who travelled several days with Lawson as his guide. Speaking of this Indian Lawson says: "Our guide and land-lord, Enoe-Will, was the best and most agreeable temper that ever I saw within an Indian. Being always ready to serve not out of gain but real affection."

Lawson had with him his Bible, and Enoe-Will, his guide, was accompanied by his son Jack, 14 years old, and Enoe-Will requested Lawson to teach his son "to talk in his book" and "to make paper speak, which was called our way of writing."

From McPherson's Report, commenting on the above, we copy as follows:

"The presence of grey eyes and fair skin among these people in Lawson's time can not be explained on any other hypothesis than that of amalgamation with the white race; and when Lawson wrote (1709) there was a tradition among the Hatteras Indians that their ancestors were white people 'and could talk in a book;' and that 'they valued themselves extremely for their affinity to the English and were ready to do them all friendly offices.' I have already referred to the fact that Enoe-Will, a Coree Indian, who had been raised on the coast and who was probably nearly 70 years of age when he acted as Lawson's guide, knew that the English could 'talk in a book' and as he further expressed it, 'could make paper talk,' indication that he was familiar with the customs of the English.

"Couple this with the fact that the guide had an English name, 'Will,' which he probably assumed at the age of 20 or 21, and the information previously given by him that he lived on Enoe Bay when he was a boy leads quite certainly to the conclusion that the Corees had come in contact with at least some portion of the lost colony. It must be remembered that when Will was a boy there were no English settlements on the east coast of North Carolina other than White's Lost Colony.

"Their religion and idea of faith was more exalted than was common among the savages, and leads to the belief that they had had communication with the more civilized race from the East.
"There is an abiding tradition among these people at the present time that their ancestors were the Lost Colony, amalgamated with some tribe of Indians. This tradition is supported by their looks, their complexion, color of skin, hair and eyes, by their manners, customs and habits, and by the fact that while they are, in part, of undoubted Indian origin, they have no Indian names and no Indian language--not

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even a single word--and know nothing of Indian customs and habits.

'Speaking of the language of this people, Mr. McMillan says: 'The language spoken is almost pure Anglo-Saxon,' a fact which we think affords corroborative evidence of their relation to the Lost Colony of White. Mon (Saxon) is used for man, father is pronounced 'fayther,' and a tradition is usually begun as follows: 'Mon, my fayther told me that his fayther told him,' etc. 'Mension' is used for measurement, 'aks' for ask, 'hit' for it, 'hosen' for hose, 'lovend' for loving, 'housen' for houses. They seem to have but two sounds for the letter 'a,' one like a short 'o.' Many of the words in common use among them have long been obsolete in English-speaking countries."

© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Continued here:

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Roanoke Island Festival Park Celebrates First English Settlement in America

June 1 - 30

Roanoke Island Festival Park Events

Roanoke Island Festival Park is an interactive family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America. The centerpiece of the 25-acre island park adjacent to Manteo, North Carolina, is Elizabeth II, a representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. Costumed Elizabethan sailors greet visitors and help them experience sixteenth century seafaring life. Also visit the Settlement site, Roanoke Adventure Museum and see the Legend of Two-Path film. Events are scheduled throughout the year in our indoor Film Theatre and our Outdoor Pavilion. Admission is charged. The on-site Art Gallery, fossil pit, Museum Store, Outer Banks History Center and marsh-side boardwalks are free and open to all. Hours vary seasonally. For additional information, call (252) 475-1506, (252) 475-1500 or visit

Lost Colony Drama is Back Thanks to the Generosity of Many

'The Lost Colony' returns, with new costumes
Posted: May. 31 10:37 p.m. Updated: 28 minutes ago

Manteo, N.C. — The longest running outdoor drama in the country – "The Lost Colony" – opened its 71st season this weekend with more than 1,000 new costumes, less than a year after a devastating fire.

Only a few costumes that were on exhibit elsewhere survived the September 2007 fire that destroyed the group's costume shop, maintenance building and storage shed. Damage at the Waterside Theatre totally nearly $3 million.

“The whole area ... is deeply rooted in history, and you just hate to see anything with historical value destroyed,” said Tony Duvall, of the Roanoke Island Fire Department.

However, Randi Winter, an actress from Apex, described the opening night as a “new beginning” for the summer show about the disastrous first attempt at a permanent English settlement in the New World in 1587.

Tony-award-winning designer William Ivey Long and his New York-based staff of 60 spent the past month in Manteo attempting to re-creating the costumes. They surrounded themselves with enlarged photos of costumes from previous years for inspiration.

"This has been the greatest challenge and, for me, the greatest assignment of my entire life," Long said.

Cont. here:

View Queen Elizabeth's New Costume here: