Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Roanoke Island Historical Association to receive large grant

Waterfront gazebo project receives nod

Dare County may finally get that large meeting space community leaders believe is so badly needed for sizable gatherings.

The Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA), producers of The Lost Colony, was awarded a $95,000 grant from the Dare County Tourism Board on Feb. 17 to use to renovate The Gazebo, a 6,000-square-foot, waterfront building on the grounds of The Lost Colony.

The grant money came from the Natural, Cultural and Historic account of the tourism board's long-term restricted funds, according to Visitors Bureau Director Lee Nettles.

He added that The Gazebo is just about the largest meeting space in the area and with certain improvements such as heating and cooling, it can be used year-round.

"We're all pretty excited about it," Nettles said on Monday.

He said it could enable RIHA to offer productions in the shoulder seasons, which is the goal of the tourism board, which does business as the Outer Banks Visitor Bureau.

Nettles said it would be "kinda neat" to see performances there and perhaps wedding receptions too, which would be a "unique offering" when coupled with the beautiful outdoor wedding venue at the adjacent Elizabethan Gardens.

cont. here: 

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big Sale at Family Tree DNA Ending in 20 Hours

Family Tree DNA currently has an offer via their Facebook page for 40% off a range of DNA tests for 24 hours only in celebration of the company receiving 5000 likes on their fan page. The offer applies to NEW kits only.
Full details are on their Facebook page.
You do not have to join Facebook or "like" the page to qualify for the discount.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke is now shipping

Andrew Thomas Powell will be in the states visiting in April. He will be speaking at the Hatteras Island Genealogy Society Meeting in Avon (on Hatteras Island) on April the 12th, along with yours truly. If you purchase one of his books, bring it with you and he'll gladly sign it for you. So you'll have a signed first edition book!! I've read it and it's wonderful. It was Andy's fault that I stayed a wake way, way too late for a couple of nights in a row. I just could not put it down.

Roberta Estes

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Monday, February 7, 2011

Cumberland Gap Homecoming

Cumberland Gap Homecoming

All events will be held in the Holiday Inn Express in Middlesboro, Kentucky (1252 N. 12th St.), right on the main drag just north of the Cumberland Gap.  These sessions are sponsored by the Cumberland Gap Yahoo internet group who has a shared interest in how DNA can help with genealogy research.  Sessions are free, but seating is limited, so first folks there get to sit down.
A few rooms at a discounted rate are still available at the Holiday Inn for this group by calling the hotel directly at 606-248-6860 and telling them you are with the Cumberland Gap Homecoming.  After the Holiday Inn fills up, the Sleep Inn next door may have rooms available.

Bring your research and genealogy, a pedigree chart and be prepared to share.  Come and sit a spell.

Sessions are only scheduled for the mornings so participants will have time to enjoy the rest of the events being held at the Cumberland Gap Jamboree.
Each evening, companionship time will be offered in the meeting room for visiting and discussing the events of the day.

For updates to this schedule, I recommend subscribing to the Historical Melungeons, Native Americans and Appalachians Blog at or subscribing to our Yahoo group by sending an e-mail to:
If you are interested in the Cumberland Gap DNA project, we have two projects, one for paternal (yline) DNA that follows the male last name, and one for maternal (mitochondrial) DNA which follows the maternal (mother, mother’s mother, etc.) DNA and genealogical lines. 
You can also e-mail me or my co-administrators for the project FAQ - Roberta Estes,, Penny Ferguson or Janet Crain  
This schedule is not cast in concrete and is subject to change.  Hope to see you in June.

Cumberland Gap Homecoming Schedule

Wednesday, June 8th - Welcome Reception - 7 PM - Holiday Inn Meeting Room (all events are in the meeting room)
Welcome to this informal reception.  Please grab a munchie (Walmart is across the street) and bring along to share.  Bring your own nonalcoholic drink.

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

8:30 - 9:30 DNA and Genealogy Introduction - Roberta Estes
Come and learn about how DNA can be used for genealogical research.  You’ll learn about how DNA testing works for both males and females.  We’ll make science understandable, and by the end of this lecture, you’ll be putting together your own genealogical DNA test plan.  Bring your pedigree chart along for quick reference.
9:30-9:45 - Break

9:45 - 10:45 Pennsylvania Connection to the Cumberland Gap - Arnold McClure

How Pennsylvania ties into the migrations through the Cumberland Gap, down the Shenandoah Valley and down the Ohio Valley to Kentucky.  Mr. McClure will offer a timeline for the migrations and answer questions you may have about your own ancestry that may help with your research.

10:45 - 11:00 - Break

11:00 - 12:00 - Twists and Turns in the Rocky Road - Roberta Estes

This fun filled lecture uses case studies of both Y-line (paternal) and mitochondrial (maternal) DNA testing to show how DNA can be used to both prove and disprove relationships between people.  Be prepared for surprises.  This is our most entertaining and most requested presentation and makes a few family skeletons dance.

7:00 - Sit a Spell
Just come and visit, exchange info, share stories....and well....just sit a spell.  

Friday, June 10th, 2011

8:30 - 9:30 Yikes, My Results are Back!  Now What??? - Roberta Estes
Have DNA results but aren’t sure what to do with them?  This session walks you through how to interpret your results and how to get the most out them.  This presentation is for both Y-line and mitochondrial DNA.

9:30-9:45 - Break

9:45 - 10:15 Women Who Spied for the Confederacy - Connie Lawson
Eleven women of various social and economic backgrounds who spied for the Confederacy during the Civil War

10:15 - 10:30 Break

10:30 - 12:00 Where Have all the Indians Gone? - Roberta Estes
This presentation uses the information presented in Robertas most recent academic publication titled “Where Have All the Indians Gone?"  This unique approach combines long buried historical data about the Native American tribes that inhabited the area between the Atlantic seaboard and the Appalachian Mountains with DNA information to provide both answers and new questions.  Where are the descendants of the Indians today?  Who are they?  Where are they?  What happened? 

7:00 Sit a Spell

Saturday, June 11, 2011

8:30 - 9:30 The Melungeons - Jack Goins
Who were the Melungeons?  Where did they come from?  Who were their ancestors?  Are you descended from a Melungeon family?  Learn about these fascinating people from the premier Melungeon researcher and Hawkins County Archivist.

9:30 - 9:45 Break

9:45 - 10:45 Melungeons and DNA, the Untold Story - Roberta Estes

This presentation combines history, genealogy and DNA to address the mystery and myth of the Melungeons of Hancock and Hawkins County, Tennessee, their ancestors and descendants.

10:45 - 11:00 Break

11:00 - 12:00 Cumberland Gap Migrations - Roberta Estes

Who were the pioneers who settled in the Cumberland Gap area?  Where did they come from?  Who stayed and who used the Gap as a gateway to the west?  What does the DNA of the members of the Cumberland Gap group tell us about those hearty pioneers, where they came from, and who they really were???  Join us on our journey along the Wilderness Road to discover their history.

7:00 - Sit A Spell

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

You could win $20,000 and a journey to your family's homeland. is partnering with NBC to help celebrities discover their family stories in Season 2 of Who Do You Think You Are? And giving you a chance to win an amazing experience of your own.

NBC's acclaimed alternative series "Who Do You Think You Are?" follows some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees. From the trenches of the Civil War to the shores of the Caribbean, and from the valleys of Virginia to the island nations of Australia and Ireland, each episode will reveal surprising, inspiring and sometimes tragic stories that are often linked to events in American and international history.

The celebrities featured in the second season are Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Rosie O’Donnell, Steve Buscemi, Kim Cattrall, Lionel Richie, Vanessa Williams and Ashley Judd.

Each week, a different celebrity is taken on a quest into his or her family history. The search is one of surprising and deeply emotional encounters, resulting in one of the most compelling reality formats of recent years. During each episode, viewers will be taken on a personal and often mysterious quest following some of America's best-known celebrities into their ancestral pasts, as they uncover stories of heroism and tragedy, love and betrayal, secrets and intrigue, that lie at the heart of their family history.

Cont. here:

 Be sure and watch tomorrow night at 7:00 CST.
Check your local listings.

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