Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We're Number Three LOL

On a list of the greatest mysteries of all time, the Lost Colony is named number three!!!

3. The Roanoke Colony [ Wikipedia | Amazon]

Map Virg

In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the East Coast of North America as Queen Elizabeth I had given him permission to colonise Virginia. He returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island (part of present day North Carolina) to establish their settlement.

Following fights with the local native tribes, the first colony were low on food and men to defend the settlement, so when Sir Francis Drake visited after a raid in the Carribean and offered to take them back to England, they accepted and left. In 1857 121 new colonists arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) to be friendly. The first English child born in the Americas was the daughter of one of these colonists. The group tried to befriend some of the other tribes that the previous colonists had fought with which resulted in the killing of George Howe. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader to return to England to get help. The leader (John White) returned to England leaving behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.

When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of a struggle and no remains were found at all. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. The settlement became known as the Lost Colony and no members of it were ever seen again. Some speculation exists today which suggests that the settlers left and merged with some of the nearby tribes. This is supported by the fact that many years later some of the tribes were practising Christianity and understood English.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Remonstrance from the inhabitants of the Pasquotank area concerning their grievances against Thomas Miller

Culpeper, John; Et Al.December 03, 1677
Volume 01, Pages 248-249


3 December 1677.

First the occasion of their secureinge the Records & imprisoning the Presidt is, that thereby the Countrey may have a free parlemt & that from them their aggreivances may be sent home to the Lords, wch are

-------------------- page 249 --------------------
breifely these; In the first place (omitting many hainous matters) hee denied a free election of an Assembly and hath positively cheated the Countrey of one hundred and thirty thousand pounds of Tobacco which hath raised the levie to two hundred and fifty pounds of Tobo per head more then otherwaies it would have beene besides neer twenty thousand pounds of Tobo charge he hath brought upon us by his pipeing guard & now Capt. Gillam is come amongst us with three times the goods hee brought last yeare but had not beene two houers on shore, but for the slip of a word was arrested for one thousand pounds sterling & many affronts and indignities thrown upon him by ye Presidt himselfe, in somuch that had hee not beene earnestly perswaded by some hee had gone directly out of the Countrey and the same night (about midnight) hee went aboard with a brace of pistolls and presenting one of them cockt to Mr Geo. Durants breast & wth his other hand arrested him as a Traytour and many other Injuries, mischiefes and grievances hee hath brought upon us, that thereby an inevitable ruein is comeing (unlesse prevented) which wee are now about to doe and hope & expect that you will joyne with us therein, and subscribe this 3d day of 10ber 1677.

Willm Crafford, Willm Bird, Edwd Wells, Jno Halford And 30 more wch for brevitie I omitt to insert

A true Coppie.


Edward Wade aged 34 yeares or thereabouts, who deposed, saith that the within said writeing is a true Coppy of that which this Deponent (as Marshall Generall at that time of the Country aforesd) com̄anded and seized from Samll Pricklove about the fourth or fifth of Decembr 1677 who was comeing upp therewith (as yor deponent supposeth) to publish itt in the precincts of Pyquomons, after hee had drawne itt wth his own hand writeing from the originall Remonstrance (soe called by and) from the Pasquatanckians, wch they sent out upon their Rebellious riseing in armes, breaking sundry locks, stealing the publicke Records & then seizeing & and imprisoning Mr Tho. Miller then Presidt & Comander in cheife undr the Honble Governr deceased his Majts Collecr & deputie for the Rt Honble the Earle of Shasbury &c. with two more of the Lds Proprs deptyes wch originall Remonstrance was written by one John Culpeper as the sd Samll Pricklove told mee and further saith nott.

Sworn before me this 22 of Agust 1679.



The rebbells first paper called a Remonstrance and Mr Wade's testymonye dated 10ber 3d 1677.

Colonial and State Records of North Carolina

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

First English Christmas in the New World

Since most of our cast of players in the drama that fascinates and drives our research into the Lost Colony, came from London and other parts of England, it is interesting to think about the customs of the world they left behind.

And whereas most of us are finished with Christmas 2009, the Elizabethans were just getting started with their celebrations which culminated on the 12th Day of Christmas. The wealthier people and certainly the Royal Court had huge banquets and entertainments every night during this time. Our major players had probably attended such events the year before they left for the colony.

What a contrast between that year and the year which followed after their virtual abandonment in the New World. No Court entertainments or stuffed peacocks there. Only hunger and dispair unless some Indian tribe took them in and fed them. And would this have happened in the midst of a terrible drought?

Elizabethan Christmas

An Elizabethan Christmas is something that we today would recognise on the whole, of course some of the traditions varied from ours but they are very similar on balance.

Turkey is a popular meat at Christmas and despite it being introduced to England earlier in the centuary, during an Elizabethan Christmas you would have eaten Duck or Goose for your Christmas meal, both common birds to England, fortunately for Turkeys, it was to be sometime before they had a reason to panic at the onset of winter!

For the Elizabethan Christmas dinner of 1588 everyone was ordered to eat Goose for the Christmas meal by Queen Elizabeth, as a celebration of the recent victory over the Spaniards and their armada.

As we stated in an earlier article on this site,(Elizabethan diet) Peacocks were considered food too and they would often be skinned and roasted then the cooked bird would have its skin, feathers and all, placed back over it. Obviously Peacocks were expensive so this limited the practice.

Another firm favourite for the Elizabethan Christmas meal was wild boar, im sure you have seen films where the boars head is cooked and put on a platter in the middle of a table, this is historically accurate and actually happened, the meat from the head was consumed during the Christmas meal but not yet.

Elizabethan Christmas’s wouldn’t be complete, like today’s, without a Christmas pudding whereas ours are of a sweet confection with raisins and plums within the Elizabethans wasn’t.

A Christmas pudding then was made of meat and spices with a filling ingredient of Oatmeal, to keep it all together the mixture was cooked within the gut of the poor unfortunate Boar we met earlier.

This would then be served with pieces of meat from the Boars head which was on display.

The Elizabethans introduced Brussels Sprouts into the Christmas in the late 1580’s and they have been dreaded ever since.

An Elizabethan Christmas Feast: Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice

by Marta PatiƱo

Elizabethan Christmas FeastChristmas in 16th century England is best illustrated by the old adage: 'eat, drink and be merry'. England didn't have much cause for celebration during the dark years of Mary Tudor's reign, which saw 300 people burnt at the stake for heresy, so the young Elizabeth's rise to the throne was a welcome change. The enigmatic queen swept away the stale solemnity of Mary's court, replacing it with an appreciation for luxury, extravagance and popular culture.

The Christmas feast was the highlight of the year for those households that could afford it and no expense was spared. A popular main dish was Brawn and mustard, made from force-fed boar meat. Other traditional meats served included roast beef, goose and turkey.

Turkey was first introduced to Europe from the Americas during Henry VIII's reign and gradually rose in popularity as a Christmas dish, given that it was cheap and quick to fatten. For the well-to-do, the most traditional meat eaten on Christmas Day was goose. It is said that in 1588 Elizabeth I ordered the entire country to serve goose at their Christmas feast, since it was the first meal she had eaten following England's victory over the Spanish Armada and would thus provide a fitting tribute to the Navy Royal. Christmas was a singular occasion and each household would have spent as much as possible on their Christmas feast. That said, many households wouldn't have been able to comply with the Queen's demand, since goose was at that time an expensive luxury.

The main meat dishes were accompanied by plum porridge, minced pies and a beer brewed specially for the occasion. During the Elizabethan age water could carry disease and was not considered fit to drink. Instead, beer was the staple drink for the majority of people at all levels of society and it was common for country homes to house their own brewery. Beer was also sold at tap houses and taverns, which did a rollicking trade during the 12 days of Christmas.

Banqueting tables at grand homes were decked with spectacular fare for the Christmas feast, affording the nobility an ideal opportunity to flaunt their wealth and creativity. Roasted swans and peacocks provided a dramatic centrepiece for affluent tables. These elegant birds were placed at the centre of the table, their feathers still in place despite the birds having been thoroughly cooked. The trick was to skin them for the roasting process before slipping them back in their skins. Wealthy households also liked to serve wild boar, the animal's head providing yet another spectacular table decoration.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Dare Stones; Hoax or Genuine

December 19th, 2009 11:00am

Sticks and stones and the Lost Colony revisited

by Ben Steelman

David La Vere of Wilmington has received the 2009 R.D.W. Connor Award from the Historical Society of North Carolina. Named for the North Carolinian who became the first archivist of the United States, the award has been presented annually since 1953, honoring the author of the article judged to be the best in the preceding year appearing in the North Carolina Historical Review.

La Vere was honored for his paper “The 1937 Chowan River ‘Dare Stone’: A Re-Evaluation,” which appeared in the July 2009 issue of the Review.

The book reviews the history of a stone with peculiar carvings, discovered in 1937 in northeastern North Carolina, in a swamp about 60 miles from Roanoke Island. The inscription, in Elizabethan English, purports to have been by Eleanor Dare, the daughter of John White, governor of the famed “Lost Colony” of Roanoke Island, in 1591 — long after the colony had been “lost.” The inscription claims to report the deaths of Dare’s husband, Ananias Dare, and of her infant daughter, Virginia, at the hands of “savages” and claims that the surviving colonists headed inland.

In all, 47 other “Dare stones” were discovered across the Carolinas and Georgia, supposedly tracing the colonists’ path. The reports met with skepticism — reporters noted that the discovery conveniently fell on the 350th anniversary of the colony, just a short time before the premiere of Paul Green’s outdoor drama “The Lost Colony” at Manteo. Eventually, the later stones were exposed as a hoax. La Vere, however, argues that the original stone is substantially different from the later, fraudulent ones and that it could possibly be genuine.


Related articles:

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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Lost Colony DNA Blog Nominates Melungeon Historical Society Blog for the Kreative Blogger Award

Since we've won the Kreative Blogger award, we also receive the honor of nominating other blogs. The Melungeon Historical Society has a creative and active blog run by MHS member, Dennis Maggard. This blog, professionally run by Dennis, has a large following, and is extremely useful for researchers. We are proud to announce we nominate the Melungeon Historical Society blog for the Kreative Blogger award.

In keeping with the spirit of the Kreative award, instead of telling seven things about the History Chaser bloggers, Janet Crain and Penny Ferguson, with Roberta Estes helping with this blog, we've chosen to tell you seven things about the Lost Colony.

1. In total there were 117 colonists. Of those, 18 were females.

2. Only 115 colonists sailed from England. Two babies were born here on
what would become American soil after they landed and before John White
left. He recorded them in his journal. One of course is the famous Virginia
Dare. The other is a child of unknown gender born after Virginia Dare's
birth to the Harvye (Harvie) family.

3. Of those 117 colonists, one is not lost. George Howe was murdered while
searching alone for crabs by unfriendly Indians in retribution for acts
committed by the military colonists on their previous expedition. Given
this, only 116 colonists were actually unaccounted for.

4. Of the colonists, 11 were children, including the two born after the
colonists' arrival. The children were Virginia Dare, the Harvie child,
Thomas Archard, Robert Ellis, George Howe, Thomas Humfrey, John Prat, John
Sampson, Thomas Smart, Ambrose Viccars, and William Wythers. Other than
Virginia Dare and perhaps the Harvye child, all of the children were males.
Of these children, Humfrey, Smart and Wythers seemed to be alone, or at
least there were no adults of the same surname along. These children may
have been with other family members, their mother may have been widowed or
remarried, or they may have been brought along as young servants. Of the
rest, 4 had surnames that matched those of other colonist males (Ellis,
Howe, Prat and Sampson) and 4 were with their parents (Archard, Dare,
Viccars, Harvye). No family had more than 1 child, probably indicating they
were young couples.

5. After subtracting George Howe, the women and children, there were 88
male colonists.

6. There were 8 couples, or at least we assume they were couples because
there were women whose surnames matched those of males colonists. In two
cases, we know they were couples because the births of their children were
recorded. In two other cases, we presume they were couples because there is
also a child of the same surname with them. This means where were 80
unattached males no mates.

7. Of the women, 8 appear on the colonist list with no males of the same
surname. None of the women have children, which would imply they are young,
or old, and of those two cases, young is much more likely. Assuming they
were all young, they would have been the most popular women on the
continent, as they were the only English women available for marriage.
Assuming each of them selected a husband, this leaves 72 adult male
colonists with no mates and at least 9 male children who could well have
been in their teens at the time of the sailing. The only available partners
would have been the Native women.

With the departure of John White and the unsuccessful rescue and resupply
expeditions in 1588 and 1590, at some point, the colonists would have given
up hope. Some probably took wives sooner than others, but eventually,
everyone who wanted any semblance of family life would have taken a Native
wife. The next English woman to reach maturity would have been Virginia
Dare, some 15 years later, assuming she lived.

The colonists told us where they went, to Croatoan, the home of the friendly
Indians, the birthplace of their friend Manteo. The colonists didn't leave
in distress as is evidenced by the lack of the maltese cross, a sign agreed
upon with John White. It's unlikely that they all perished and left no
descendants. Of course, eventually the original group would all pass, but
most likely, they left descendants who were part of the Croatoan tribe, who
would become the Hatteras Indians referenced by John Lawson in 1701, whose
ancestors were white people and talked in books, who wore European clothes,
who had grey eyes and English mannerisms. Perhaps the Lost Colonists were
only a matter of perspective, and were only lost to the English, and
therefore, of course, to history. We get closer with our research to
finding those colonists every day. Join the quest!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Turkey Lurkey Doesn’t Lose Her Head over Thanksgiving

Anne Poole has been on Roanoke Island these past few weeks again, researching and literally, digging around. You remember Turkey Lurkey, the turkey who lives outside her house in Wanchese from our blog entries this summer….well….we thought you’d want to know that she didn’t lose her head over Thanksgiving…..and she is very thankful that Thanksgiving is once again, behind her. Turkey Lurkey spent several days in hiding, but she has once again emerged.

Now it could be that Turkey Lurkey was hiding from hurricane Ida instead of Thanksgiving, and that would be with good reason. Anne was visiting down on Hatteras Island when Ida blew in, and suffice it to say that Anne got to spend an extra couple of weeks on Hatteras Island that she really did not intent to spend there. For those of you who don’t know, Hatteras Island is only connected to the mainland by a tiny ribbon called Highway 12. If Highway 12 is flooded, or……..gone….Hatteras Island is literally cut off from the rest of the US. There is a ferry, but it doesn’t run when the weather is rough or the wind is above 30MPH….and any hurricane worth its salt is way above that. Why, a 30 mile an hour wind down there is just a breezy day!

Highway 12 has a bad habit of flooding and also becoming the recipient of sand dunes with a mind of their own that tend to migrate onto the road, forming new dunes, literally overnight….that is until the road guys can get the bulldozers in there to convince those unruly dunes to behave. High tide and a northeast wind alone causes flooding.

Here’s a photo of what the road looks like when the dunes aren’t behaving, and this is what it looked like the day the road was destroyed. By the way, that big dark spot is supposed to be a road.

Here’s what it looks like as the bulldozers try to push the sand back onto the dunes, and off the road.

This road through this section is literally sea on one side all the way to Europe and sound on the other side 30 miles to the mainland with the sea trying to get to the sound with one dune and a 2 lane road the only thing preventing that from happening.

You can see the curve for yourself here on the webcam, assuming it’s daylight.

The locals use this webcam to decide whether to try to go to the mainland or stay home. Suffice it to say Anne was on the wrong side of this section, which was literally destroyed. Turkey Lurkey was the smart one….she went into hiding and didn’t come out until after Thanksgiving.

After Anne finally escaped the clutches of Hatteras Island, she was once again blessed by being in the right place at the right time. Those Lost Colonists are calling to her…they are trying to be found. We just can’t search fast enough! (By the way, this is a shameless plug for volunteers to do records extractions.)

Anne was visiting the court house in Manteo to work on some land records for our project. The lady assisting her turned out to be descended from both Payne and Berry families and she says her family has lived in that area since the 1600s. It’s amazing isn’t it what you can find when you’re really looking….and what was it that Louis Pasteur said…..chance favors the prepared mind! What that really mean of course is that elbow grease literally does grease the skids and if anyone’s skids deserve to be greased, it’s Anne’s.

For those of you who don’t know Anne, she doesn’t know a stranger. As a nurse, she meets a lot of people. One night she called me and told me that she met a Locklear giving flu shots, talked to them about their heritage and got their card and phone number for genealogy follow-up. I had a good laugh, but how many of us overlook the obvious or lose opportunities simply because we don’t ask? Remember that 6 degrees of separation thing…and I’ve come to believe it’s more like 3… always ask people about their family and heritage. You’ll be amazed at what you might discover.

And since we’re talking about our collective ancestral “home location”, Roanoke Island, I want to be sure to invite everyone to the Virginia Dare Faire next August. We have folks already making commitments to visit and planning vacations during that timeframe to include spending a day with us at the Faire. Be sure to plan on purchasing tickets to the wonderful Lost Colony play in the evening. The performance on that night is always special for several reasons, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I won’t say more.

And what has Anne been up to when not working, trapped on Hatteras Island by a hurricane or in the courthouse in Manteo looking up land documents? Well she volunteers at Fort Raleigh. Today she was stuffing envelopes about next year’s schedule and events…which is why she asked me to remind everyone that Virginia Dare’s birthday is August 18th and we hope you’ll join us at the Faire. We can use your help throughout the day and you’ll have a wonderful time. Hope to see you there!!!

Roberta and Anne

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