Monday, March 28, 2011

Everything is Relative

Everything is Relative
By Jennifer Sheppard
Certificate in Genealogy
Professional Research Option
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT, USA

and the
Lost Colony of Roanoke
By Andrew Thomas Powell

Mr. Powell is in the distinctive position to have written this book as he not only lives in England but is the retired Mayor of Bideford with access to never before published information regarding the voyages. He also possesses first hand knowledge of “Croatoan” having spent time where the colonists were said to have settled. This gives him a unique perspective on America’s greatest unsolved mystery.

I must confess, household chores and the like suffered greatly while I was reading this book because it was virtually impossible to put down! This work is concisely written, easy to read, brilliantly shared and exciting to say the least.

The introduction of the book sums it up beautifully, from which I quote: “The story of the first attempt to colonise America by the English nation is a story of extraordinary courage, despair, misfortune, joy and simple wonder……..prepare for an adventure no Hollywood producer could hope to conjure in their wild-est dreams, and remember, as you read, that this is a true story.”

Mr. Powell leads us step by step, through the entire sequence of events undertaken to plant a permanent English settlement in what was to become the USA. He begins his book with a short biography of Sir Ri-chard Grenville, the “unsung hero” that is “unsung” no more. Some may not be aware that Grenville made more than one voyage to what was to become America and also served as “onetime Lord of the Manor of Bideford and was almost exclusively known for being the subject of an Alfred, Lord Tennyson poem…..”

Next, Andrew Powell covers “The Voyage of Amadas and Barlowe 1584 and The Voyage of Grenville 1585.” He moves on to include The Military Colony of 1585, Parts One and Two. Then he covers the “Voyages of 1586, The “Planters’ Colony of 1587,” “The Voyages of 1588,” “The deposition of Pedro Diaz 1585-1589,” “Raleigh’s Assignment of 1589,” and ends the transcriptions with “The Voyage of 1590. Subsequently he includes information unknown to have been published on the “ships and captains of Eng-land” involved in these voyages, without whose participation this amazing adventure would not have been possible.

And last but not least, Mr. Powell shares his own thoughts and analysis on “The Colonists,” including the types of expertise the people considered for this exploration, would have had to possess in order to survive and to thrive in their new lives in an unknown wilderness.

In the next chapter “Questions, Answers; Answers, Questions, he summarizes the “If Only’s’” revealing the possible “near misses” and “close encounters” that may have designated Croatoan as the first permanent English settlement in America rather than Jamestown. Mr. Powell ends his work with “The Hunt for The Lost Colony” wherein he provides never before published information uncovered by The Lost Colony Re-search Group, the Croatoan Archaeological Society, Professor Mark Horton of Bristol University and the author himself, Andrew Powell.

The footnotes containing detailed explanations of unfamiliar terms and words, found in the transcription of the original documents, are invaluable and much appreciated by the reader. This enables the reader to understand obsolete terms/words found in the journals he meticulously transcribed. As a genealogist who insists on working with primary sources whenever possible, this is certainly a plus and the fact that it is a true and accurate account of what actually happened make it a terrific read.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the study of the so called “Lost Colony” and to those who truly enjoy reading a good non-fiction story which just happens to be some heretofore unknown history of what would one day become the United States of America!

The book is 302 pages, measures 8 X 5 inches, ISBN-10: 1848765967; ISBN-13: 978-1848765962 (Trou-bador Publishing Ltd © 2011, 5 Weir Road, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicester, LE8 OLQ, WW.TROUBADOR.CO.UK). The book is also available at for $16.78.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sir Walter Raleigh in Life and Legend

New biography of one of the key figures in British history focusing on both his writing and legacy. Sir Walter Raleigh is a figure writ large in popular imagination. Yet how can we understand this man who was soldier, voyager, visionary, courtier, politician, poet, historian, patriot and 'traitor'? We know some facts, and much can be learned from Raleigh's prose and poetry about his ideas, personality, feelings and values. Important new texts of his works have recently been published: we now possess reliable versions of his poems, his letters and his travel narratives. No biography of Raleigh, however, can be complete without an assessment of his posthumous reputation. Myths that accumulated around him tell us something about the man himself, but far more about the perceptions of his own and subsequent generations. Raleigh's talents as a writer ensured his positive legacy, but the appropriation of his legend for so many differing political uses has left us with a complex picture. In this original and important new biography Williams and Nicholls set this right.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Andy Powell author interviewed by Premier News Radio Show

Andy Powell was interviewed today by Ireland’s Premier News Radio Show about his new book, Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke.

If interested this is the link.  It's really a very nice interview and tells a lot about the Lost Colony and our current research.  Andy cautions that bits were edited and also that it was intended for English/Irish digestion

(Click on Tuesday, the 15th, and button “2” the interview starts at about 6 minutes 30 seconds in.)

Great job Andy!!!

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Little Joshua Gray’s gravemarker, finds a temporary home…...

 HIGPS, has found a temporary home for Little Joshua Gray’s, grave marker.
We’ve looked at several options and for now it will be housed
at the Chicamacomico Life Saving Station in Rodanthe, NC.
The station is to open April 18, and will be available for viewing at that time.

What our hopes are for the marker…
HIGPS, believes that the marker belongs at Little Kinnakeet.
We wish that it could be returned to the Gray Family Cemetery, from where it came.
But, there is a big erosion issue and not to mention that with our sometimes
harsh environment, the marker would soon meet the same fate as all the other wood
markers on the island. And that is of total decay.
So…here is what we would like to see happen.
For Little Kinnakeet Life Saving Station’s restoration to finally be completed
and for the marker to be housed there. As soon as we get our non-profit status
and tax id taken care of, we plan on taking donations to help fund for a memorial
stone marker to be made in it’s place. We’d like the marker to look similar
in design to the original.
Little Joshua’s death date is listed as Dec 24th, 1891. So with that said,
we’d like to have a dedication ceremony and memorial marker placement
around that time. This will all depend on funding for the project.
Once again, we’d like to thank all who assisted in the historical journey
of Little Joshua Gray’s marker, back to Hatteras Island.

From the great new blog:
Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society

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