Thursday, July 28, 2011

State Library of North Carolina Announces Change in Genealogical Research Hours

State Library of N.C. Announces Change in Genealogical Research Services Hours Starting Sept. 12
Beginning Sept. 12the Genealogical Research Services section of the State Library’s Government and Heritage Library will be closed on Mondays. New service hours for Genealogical Research Services will be Tuesday through Friday8:30 a.m. To 5 p.m.and Saturday9 a.m. To 2 p.m.
“Many travelers come from across North Carolina and the nation to find family history information here” said Maryanne Friend Assistant Secretary for Development Marketing and Communication. “Keeping Saturday as part of the schedule recognizes this and offers opportunities to people who are at work on weekdays to have access.”
The reduction in service hours is the result of budget restrictions however the Library remains committed to serving the needs of genealogy researchers.  For more information about Genealogical Research Services in the State Library call (919) 807-7460.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Save the Date: Virginia Dare's Birthday Celebration

 by Roberta Estes

You're Invited  to  Virginia Dare's Birthday Party
August 18th

Once again, we're celebrating the birthday of little Virginia Dare, born on Roanoke Island on August 18th, 1587, the first European child to be born in what is now America.  Virginia is 424 years old this year!

Every year, the National Park Service hosts a birthday party and celebration for Virginia at the Fort Raleigh National Historic site.  This includes the Park area near the Waterside Theater where the plays are held and the Fort area as well as the Elizabethan Gardens, located nearby but separately.  In the past, we've been near the Waterside Theater, but this year, we're in a new location at the Elizabethan Gardens.  

Now for the great news - entrance to the Elizabethan Gardens is free that day in celebration of Virginia's birthday.

Dawn Taylor and Baylus Brooks will be representing our group.  They will have the list of colonists, info about our projects, and some of the archaeological artifacts found in recent digs on Hatteras Island.  

The Faire includes free activities, music, games and fun for all.  Actors from the play mingle with the crown, in costume of course, during the day.  Be sure to stay for the special play in the evening.  Awards are presented to cast members and a real baby Virginia Dare is included in the case, just for this one special evening.  This is truely an event to remember.

Baylus and Dawn are looking forward to meeting and greeting people.  Hopefully you can be one of them.  We welcome any of our members not just as visitors, but as volunteers as well.  If you're coming to visit and can spend an hour or two, plan on joining Dawn and Baylus at the table.  Just let us know so we're expecting you.  

The address for the Elizabethan Gardens is 1411 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC and we'll be there from about 9 to about 3.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Roanoke to Hatteras: A Two-day Hunt for Clues to the Lost Colony

From Roanoke to Hatteras:
A Two-day Hunt for Clues to the Lost Colony
By Baylus C. Brooks 

Baylus C. Brooks & Dawn F. Taylor in Roger & Celia Meekin’s Roanoke Island backyard on the Croatan Sound north of Manteo.

Doug was a terrific host, proudly guiding a tour through the temperature-controlled and oh-so-cool artifact storage area. Yes, the “cool” reference was literal! He showed his small audience the many artifacts found during the various excavations on Roanoke Island in the search for Sir Walter Raleigh’s elusive first colony in what is today, North Carolina.

Doug allowed LCRG researchers access to the maps and photos collections available in their archives collection. After the tour of the artifacts and a brief overview of the collections room, the researchers studied aerial photos from 1945-1958 revealing Hatteras island’s layout prior to the man-made structuring of Brigand’s Bay, purposeful terraforming of lakes and ponds on a significant scale, and even prior to the replacement of the island’s dirt roads with a comfortably-paved Highway 12, which opened the island to large scale development for the first time in 1952.

Many people contribute to LCRG.  The primary focus of research for the group is to study Hatteras Island through standard genealogical analysis, including deed records (paired with Dare County GIS data), logs, diaries, wills, court records, and archaeology in an effort to understand the families who lived on the island and how they arrived there.  Nancy Frey contributes her expertise on UK genealogy, a valuable asset for later DNA comparison.  Ultimately, the group employs DNA analysis and genealogical data correlation (LCRG president, Roberta Estes’ expertise) of Hatteras Islanders to be compared to members of John White’s final “abandoned” (not exactly “lost”) colony of 1587 in order to determine whether or not native Hatteras Islanders today are the result of “blending” between White’s colonists and Algonquian inhabitants of then-called “Croatoan” Island, today’s Hatteras Island.   Finally, LCRG employs archaeology (organized by Anne Poole and George Ray) to verify the physical existence of Croatoan villages and hopefully, to find actual evidence of the “Lost” Colony.

Doug demonstrates to Celia how the wooden artifact was used as a well by Roanoke’s 16th-century Elizabethan visitors. Photos: Dawn Taylor

All of this study is backed up by historical records and analysis provided by ECU Maritime Studies graduate student, Baylus C. Brooks and Andrew Thomas Powell, former mayor of Bideford, England and author of the recently-published Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  Other members of LCRG include our web-mistress Nelda Percival, blog administrator and librarian Janet Crain, blog and DNA project administrator Penny Ferguson, early English records researcher Joe Chandler, NC genealogist Jennifer Shepherd, Spanish researcher Dr. Ana Oquendo Pabon, specialty genealogist, Robert Noles, with the contributions of myriad others. Hopefully, the preponderance of data from these varied disciplines and analysis of LCRG’s many more devoted scholars and support staff will finally prove that White’s colony is still among our state’s citizenry today and that the colony was, after all, successful and not “lost” as previously supposed.

 Another goal for the two intrepid adventurers this steamy July involved the study of local Hatteras Islanders themselves and their families. That is where Dawn Taylor steps into her role as the president of Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society (HIGPS). One of the more significant finds was the John W. Rolinson “Wreck Log,” which holds a great deal more than information on simply wrecks which were quite common on Hatteras. There are details about many local people, illnesses, marriages, deaths, and details of their maritime businesses in the Trent/Frisco area of the island. Fishing for porpoise and trade with exotic Caribbean locales for sugar and molasses seem commonplace features of the book Rolinson kept.

The pair of researchers stopped at Hatteras’ public library and also at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras Village for a visit with Clara Scarborough who guided them through the facility’s conservation and archives area in search of log books and local history. The conservation lab contained many artifacts from old wrecks, including the Corolla wreck, the oldest known to our coast and originally surveyed by ECU’s Maritime Studies Program before its transportation to the museum by cooperating agencies where it is to be conserved and displayed. The “Graveyard” Museum in Hatteras Village is one of three North Carolina Maritime Museums that also include Southport and Beaufort.

Two excellent days of research and study ended with the perfect dinner cooked by Dawn Taylor’s culinary couplet, her father Kenneth Dickerson and her cousin Edith Jennette Bradley. Perhaps the heat and humidity were made more bearable by the constant island breezes and the tropical atmosphere. Then again, maybe it was the food! Either way, a lot of work got done pleasantly despite the heat of this July’s summer swelter.

Dawn Taylor and Clara Scarborough at the “Graveyard of the Atlantic” Museum. Photo: Baylus Brooks

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Anne Poole ~ Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group

Anne Poole ~ Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group
There are few people out there, who have found their calling. Anne Poole, who hails from our own home state of North Carolina, never really went searching for hers. Instead it was dropped right in her lap at a very tender and early age. And I for one, am so glad it was. She and a team of dedicated volunteer researchers, are one a mission to solve one of America’s oldest mysteries. And the answer, may not be any further than your own back yard.
Anne, has become a dear friend of mine. She reminds me of a strong southern woman, who walked right off the pages of one’s favorite book. Recently, I came up with the idea of she and I sitting down for a blog chat. Least that is what I’m going to call it. Here goes…
Q: Anne…I know you are from North Carolina. But where exactly were you born and raised ?
A: I hail from right here in Durham !
Q: Now I know you have two daughters. And recently, we found out that I have a Hatteras/Ocracoke
family tie to both. Would you mind telling everyone a little about their Outer Banks bloodline ?
A: Sure. Susan and Elizabeth have their OBX connections from their great grandmother, who was a Dailey and was born on Ocracoke Island. She is on their daddy’s side. She also looked very, very, native with dark skin and gray eyes…..I used to say that her eyes looked like steel they were so gray !
 Cont. here:
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011