Sunday, December 22, 2013

Please sign this petition to preserve Hatteras Lighthouse Keeper Stones

 Letter by Dawn Taylor

We the descendants of those who manned the Historic Cape Hatteras Light Station located on North Carolina's Outer Banks and citizens of the United States,are petitioning NC Congressman Walter Jones and the National Park Service to preserve and protect the original granite foundation stones which bear the names and dates of our forefathers who honorably gave of themselves to provide those at sea a beacon in which to safely navigate the dangerous waters known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved back 1,600 feet to protect it from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.After the move the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society spent almost $12,000 to have the original granite stones which had been cut away from the lighthouse foundation, engraved with the names and dates of all of the keepers of the Hatteras light. The stones were then arranged in a circle to mark the original location of the historic lighthouse.

Over the years, due to coastal storms,this historic site which mean so much to the keeper descendants and lighthouse enthusiast alike,has been covered with sand and the stones scattered around by waves. Just as the lighthouse was moved for preservation's sake, we want these stones to also be maintained and protected from the sea.They represent such a large part of our island's heritage and history.

In May of 2013, in a letter to the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, seashore superintendent Barclay Trimble said, “Because of coastal processes, namely shoreline erosion and dune migration, the stones have routinely become covered with sand requiring substantial effort to keep them uncovered.”

The National Park Service has also responded by stating that it no longer intends to keep maintaining the stones due to it being no longer practical to keep uncovering and rearranging the stones after each storm. To most, this is an unacceptable answer.

Each year,especially through peak tourist season, thousands visit the lighthouse per day and purchase Climbing Tour Tickets at $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens. It is not hard to do the math and to see that indeed, there are funds out there to preserve the site we are petitioning.

These original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Foundation Stones located at the original lighthouse site,with the names of our forefather's etched in their remembrance, should be preserved. We the lighthouse descendants and all who cherish and honor it's existence are hereby joining together by the creation of this petition to make our voices heard and to see  that these cherished stones will still be there for future generations to visit, just as we have.


Dawn Farrow Taylor
President - Cape Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Which First Thanksgiving?

No. 1. In 1586, the first thanksgiving held by Englishmen on the North American continent took place on Roanoke Island, North Carolina. This celebration was by the company of 100 men from Cornwall, England that Sir Walter Raleigh had brought to America to found a colony. After a year when the relief ship arrived, they held a thanksgiving dinner, and fed-up with the hardships and perils, they all went home.

No. 2. In 1609, at Jamestown, Virginia, the starving remnants of the first settlers held a thanksgiving dinner while awaiting the arrival of their relief ship.

No. 3. In 1612, also at Jamestown, Virginia, a dinner was held after the arrival of Governor Dale with a ship-load of girls intended to become the wives of the settlers.

No. 4. In 1619, a dinner of thanks was held at Berkley Plantation on the James River in Virginia.

No. 5. In 1621, at Plymouth Plantation, a great dinner of thanks was held. Pilgrim Edward Winslow in a letter of December 11, 1621, to a friend in England, described their First Thanksgiving (as printed in Mourt's Relation) as follows.

"Our harvest being gotten in our Governor sent four men on fowling, so we might after a more special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They, four, in one day killed as much fowl as with a little beside, served the company almost a week. At which time amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest King Massasoit with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted. And they went out and killed five deer which they brought to the Plantation, and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others."
This latter Thanksgiving dinner is the one that has survived and became the National Holiday.

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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Get a Family Tree DNA Coupon for $10. off any Test Costing $40. or More with a GEDCOM Upload

The coupon can be used toward any test costing $40. or more.

A Family Tree DNA Coupon Promotes GEDCOM Upload

A new Family Tree DNA coupon offer is promoting pedigree file (GEDCOM) uploads. This is a good way to improve your match comparisons. 
Here is what you do:
- See more at:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Congratulations, Cyndi!!!!

15 Years of Cyndi's List

September 13, 2013
by Alan SmithSpokane Genealogy Examiner

Has it really been that long? I can recall in 1999 my attention being drawn to a website known as Cyndi’s List from a newspaper article. By that time Cyndi’s List had been on line for four years. Over the years, several other articles in the paper toted this wondrous site. It was the absolute best place to start your research because it was such a jump off site for countless other places on the web concerning genealogy.
What I did not know then, and just discovered was Cyndi’s List was home grown. On September 12, 1995, a single paged website with 1,025 links was presented to the Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society meeting. That fall it was expanded to six pages and Cyndi’s list was born.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Buy Kathy Mattea ticket and get Lost Colony ticket for FREE!

Through July 15th at midnight, when you buy a ticket to see Kathy Mattea on July 21, you'll receive a voucher for a FREE ticket to see The Lost Colony good for any night in the 2013 season! Keep it for yourself, give it as a gift....whatever floats your boat. No promo codes, no secret passwords, no fees, no kidding. It's that simple. We'll have your vouchers waiting for you when you pick your tickets up for the the Kathy Mattea concert. It's like saving $24 on your concert ticket!

Tickets are on sale now by calling 252-473-6000 or online at The Lost Colony is proud to present this iconic singer/songwriter in the second concert in the PNC Presents: Live At The Waterside Concert Series. A crowd of nearly 1000 gathered on July 7th for the inaugural event of the series when Ralph Stanley made his first Outer Banks appearance in his 60 plus year career. Kathy Mattea is presented by The Lost Colony and PNC Bank and sponsored by Ace Hardware of the Outer Banks and Dixie 105.7.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Della Basnight returns to ‘The Lost Colony’ as Dame Coleman.

Della Basnight (right) returns to 'The Lost Colony' as Dame Coleman. (photo:

Della Basnight (right) returns to ‘The Lost Colony’ as Dame Coleman. (photo:

“I first auditioned for The Lost Colony when I was six or seven, and I had to go alone because Mama could not go with me”, said Della Basnight as she talked about her return to the stage of the Waterside Theatre in this season’s production of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony
She entered the old Courthouse, where the auditions were held, with great confidence and was determined to be a part of the show.  When asked by the director if she could behave backstage, she replied, “I’ll be real good.”  Her response generated a big laugh from the crowd.  That was it…her first laugh…her first vote of confidence.  She liked it and wanted to make people laugh; she knew the stage was for her. 

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Kathy Mattea set for Lost Colony show

matteaTwo-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Kathy Mattea will make her Outer Banks debut in July.

The concert is scheduled for Sunday, July 21 at 8 p.m. at The Lost Colony’s Waterside Theatre.
Mattea is one of country music’s most distinctive and critically acclaimed artists.
Over the course of more than 20 years in music, she has sold over 7 million albums, won two Grammy Awards and was twice named Country Music Academy Vocalist of the Year.
Her-top 10 list includes, but is not limited to, “Walking Away a Winner,” “Eighteen Wheels & a Dozen Roses,” “Train of Memories,” “Love at the Five & Dime,” “Comin’ from the Heart and 455 Rocket.”
Mattea has remained grounded as a folk-based roots performer who lets her own instincts be her guide. Her talent is matched by her big heart, which is evident in her support of many charities, including American Foundation for AIDS Research and Second Harvest Food Bank among others.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Roanoke, the Accidental Colony

Roanoke, the Accidental Colony

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 one* 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.

*John White who left a few days later to return to England for supplies.

To be continued:

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NC's 'The Lost Colony' drama receives Tony Award

Congratulations to the Lost Colony Drama

Sunday, June 09, 2013
Tony Awards

A North Carolina institution is taking pride in a Tony Award for major contributions to American theater.

Major acting awards were being presented during Sunday's televised Tony Awards show, but the prize honoring "The Lost Colony" came during a cocktail party Saturday in New York. The country's longest-running symphonic outdoor drama has been in production every summer since 1937 on the Outer Banks.
The Tony Honors for Excellence in Theatre notes that artists including Andy Griffth, Lynn Redgrave and Terrence Mann performed in the play based on the story of the early English colonists who vanished from their Outer Banks settlement.
The show got its start with one of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs funding theatre and other live performances during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

America, Found and Lost

Virginia Indians Fish

America, Found and Lost

Much of what we learned in grade school about the New World encountered by the colonists at Jamestown is wrong. Four hundred years later, historians are piecing together the real story.

By Charles C. Mann
Courtesy Trustees of the British Museum
It is just possible that John Rolfe was responsible for the worms—specifically the common night crawler and the red marsh worm, creatures that did not exist in the Americas before Columbus. Rolfe was a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in North America. Most people know him today, if they know him at all, as the man who married Pocahontas. A few history buffs understand that Rolfe was one of the primary forces behind Jamestown's eventual success. The worms hint at a third, still more important role: Rolfe inadvertently helped unleash a convulsive and permanent change in the American landscape.
Like many young English blades, Rolfe smoked—or, as the phrase went in those days, "drank"—tobacco, a fad since the Spanish had first carried back samples ofNicotiana tabacum from the Caribbean. Indians in Virginia also drank tobacco, but it was a different species, Nicotiana rustica. Virginia leaf was awful stuff, wrote colonist William Strachey: "poor and weak and of a biting taste." After arriving in Jamestown in 1610, Rolfe talked a shipmaster into bringing him N. tabacum seeds from Trinidad and Venezuela. Six years later Rolfe returned to England with his wife, Pocahontas, and the first major shipment of his tobacco. "Pleasant, sweet, and strong," as Rolfe's friend Ralph Hamor described it, Jamestown's tobacco was a hit. By 1620 the colony exported up to 50,000 pounds (23,000 kilograms) of it—and at least six times more a decade later. Ships bellied up to Jamestown and loaded up with barrels of tobacco leaves. To balance the weight, sailors dumped out ballast, mostly stones and soil. That dirt almost certainly contained English earthworms.
And little worms can trigger big changes. The hardwood forests of New England and the upper Midwest, for instance, have no native earthworms—they were apparently wiped out in the last Ice Age. In such worm-free woodlands, leaf litter piles up in drifts on the forest floor. But when earthworms are introduced, they can do away with the litter in a few months. The problem is that northern trees and shrubs beneath the forest canopy depend on that litter for food. Without it, water leaches away nutrients formerly stored in the litter. The forest becomes more open and dry, losing much of its understory, including tree seedlings.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Backstage at the Lost Colony Production

Backstage tours are recommended for parties with children.

Take a backstage tour for a behind-the-scenes look at how The Lost Colony comes to life. Highly praised by our patrons, this tour is one of very few… if not the only… that allows audience member backstage during final show preparations. You will hear historical and fun facts, see weaponry and stunt demonstrations and actors doing last minute touch ups.
The tour is especially recommended for parties with children, last approximately one hour, and are limited to just 50 people. Tours depart from the box office at 7:30. Tickets are $7.00 per person, or $25.00 for a family four pack.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Getting Creative with Genealogy

Amateur genealogists hoping to uncover a link to Abe Lincoln can easily turn to the web to dig in their ancestor's closet. But taking the commercial route doesn't come cheap.
People curious about family history spent a whopping $2.3 billion on genealogy products and services last year, according to a study by market research firm Global Industry Analysts. They took most of their work to sites like, which charge between $22.95 and $34.59 per month for access to billions of pertinent records. One-on-one consultations set them back $2,000 to $5,000 per session, depending on the length and complexity of the project, a spokesperson told Mashable.
Despite those sites' popularity, “it’s perfectly possible to do everything without spending a dime,” says Terry Koch-Bostic, a Mineola, N.Y.-based director of the National Genealogy Society, a non-profit education, training and records-preservation group.
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Life of Angus Chavers, a Confederate POW

Angus Chavers and his wife Melissa
The Life of Angus Chavers, a Confederate POW

Dr. Dean Chavers
March 12, 2013
Most of the Lumbees who fought in the Civil War were in the Confederate Army. A second smaller group of them enlisted and fought in the Union Army, which meant they could possibly face their own brothers in battle. A third group was shanghaied or hijacked to work on the batteries and breastworks (temporary fortifications) around Fort Fisher near Wilmington; they were largely treated as slaves, and were assigned to do the rough work of construction. Many of them died at Fort Fisher from diseases caused by bad water and mosquitos.
A fourth group were local boys and men who refused to be conscripted to work on the breastworks, doing the work of slaves to build barriers to keep the Union soldiers out. Henry Berry Lowrie and some of his brothers refused to be enlisted; they knew they would be in the mud, dirt, and mosquitoes building breastworks; since they refused to work on the breastworks, they were cast out and labeled as outlaws by the Robeson County, North Carolina authorities.


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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jockey's Ridge; Where Sand Meets Sky

Hat Tip: Dixie Burrus Browning

The Outer Banks’ Jockey’s Ridge, the East Coast’s largest sand dune, is a force of nature that never stops changing and never ceases to envelop those in its path.
Every year, the dunes grew. With each nor’easter, wind carried sand from the beach. The sand swirled around Bodie Island and Nags Head and piled on top of already existing piles.

In 1838, the first hotel was built in the area, right among these dunes. The owner thought the structure would stand against the sand. The trees and shrubs would protect his building.

By 1850, the hotel was leaving shovels in each room, an amenity like soaps and shampoos, so guests could scoop out the sand. The wind blew the sand into small mountains behind the hotel. Like a cake in the oven, the dunes kept rising. The sand crept to the roof. And eventually, with the winds flinging the particles about in surges, the sand billowed over the hotel in a grand wave.

There was nothing visible but a great, living dune.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Pope to Visit Nearby Island of Ocracoke

Pope to Visit Ocracoke


The "Popemobile." It's cooler than your golf cart.
The "Popemobile." It's cooler than your golf cart.
The island is a stop on the Pope's first U.S. tour.
Exciting news from the Vatican this week as papal spokesman Cardinal Jose-Maria Antonio Bruschetta de los Santos announced the itinerary for Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States, scheduled for late summer. The itinerary includes stops in Philadelphia, Washington, Ocracoke, Atlanta, and Miami.
It is unclear whether the Pope plans to brave highway 12, ride one of the long ferries, or simply take the papal hovercraft. An aide sought to assure the public that he will make it one way or the other, “even if he has to walk on water.”
Pope Francis will become just the third pontiff to visit Ocracoke. Boniface V was shipwrecked here in 621, while Blessed John Paul II came to participate in the fishing tournament in 1998, winning third place. Cardinal Santos noted that the Pontiff shares several affinities with the people of Ocracoke – he speaks Latin with an accent that makes it very hard for others to understand him, he has thirty-seven cats that wander the apostolic palace, and he loves to ride around the Vatican in his golf cart. The Cardinal explained that the visit to the island is partly pastoral, but that the Pope is mostly interested in “getting south of the stress line for a bit.” 
In the spirit of ecumenism, the Methodist and Assembly of God churches are planning a potluck in the Pope’s honor. They were hoping to have it at the community center, but that’s already been booked by the quilting circle. The Current will let you know as soon as a new venue is found.  
In anticipation of his visit, Pope Francis has already weighed in on some of the issues facing Ocracoke. Speaking to a delegation of American cardinals yesterday, he declared that restrictions on beach driving are, “An affront against human dignity which cries to heaven for redress.” Later, he used his weekly radio address to denounce the proposed ferry rate increases as “Total b.s.” 

Additional details here: CLICK HERE!!!

Happy April Fool's Day!!!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Ships of the Roanoke Voyages

Ships of the Roanoke Voyages

No plans for vessels used in the Roanoke voyages are known to exist, but reasonably accurate inferences about those vessels can be drawn from contemporary paintings, construction and performance records, woodcuts, and maritime treatises.

  The wooden sailing ships of the period, while much trimmer and sleeker than their tub-like fourteenth-and fifteenth-century ancestors, had considerable strength, durability and maneuverability. Rather than battering and slamming their way through the forces of a North Atlantic gale, the typical sixteenth century English ship was able to slip and bob through the waves with comparative ease.

Disasters at sea were rarely caused by the structural failure of a ship. Typically, the hull or shell of the vessel was either clinker-built, that is, with plank edges overlapped and fastened with nails; or carvel-built, with planks laid flush, edge to edge, over a skeleton frame. Both methods of hull construction had advantages and drawbacks.

The clinker-built ship, while extremely strong and durable, was difficult and expensive to repair, the services of a master shipwright being required. Moreover, gunports, which were cut through the overlapping, weakened the hull significantly. In spite of these drawbacks, the average life of a typical ship was an impressive sixty-five years. Even though this method of construction was being phased out by the mid 1540s, it is likely that some of the vessels that took part in the Roanoke ventures were clinker-built.

The carvel-built of skeleton-frame ship was also strong, durable, and difficult to repair. The skill of a master shipwright was not always required, however; a competent carpenter could handle many repairs and alterations.

Whether a merchantman or a ship of war, a sixteenth-century vessel contained a vast array of small pieces of wood, nails, iron bolts, washers, wooden pegs, and knees or braces. All seams were made water tight with a caulking of tarred hemp fibers. The result of the shipwright's art was a springy, flexible vessel able to work under the various and variable stresses exerted by the wind; the weight of cargo, the crew, and the ship itself; and the violent impacts of the sea.

The vast majority of sixteenth-century oceangoing vessels were three-masted and square-rigged. On a square-rigged ship, the large main square sails were laced to a yard or bar, which was attached horizontally to a mast. In addition to the square sails carried on the main and foremasts, square-rigged ships of the period also had, on the aftermast, a small lateen, or triangular sail which acted as a stabilizer. The square-rigged ship of the Elizabethan era was able to sail well to windward, that is, approximately in the same direction from which the wind was blowing. The versatility of this particular style of rigging enabled mariners to adjust sails to meet constantly changing wind conditions. Because of the strength and durability of its hull, its maneuverability, and its adaptability, the three-masted, square-rigged ship was the mainstay of the European voyages of discovery and exploration.

In sixteenth-century England, the size of a vessel was estimated in terms of tunnage --the ships capacity to carry 252 gallon tuns of hogshead barrels of wine. A 50-tun ship could carry fifty hogsheads. The tun was a measure of volume, not weight, and it was hardly uniform. The capacity of a Spanish tun, for example, was considerably less than that of an English tun. Thus a Spanish vessel of 50 tuns was not the same size as a 50-tun English ship. During the Elizabeth Era, tonnage, a more accurate and sophisticated measurement system based on a ship's dead weight and its displacement of water was in the early stage of development. As a system for standardizing the measurement of ship size, it was not uniformly applied to English shipping for many years thereafter. Though sometimes used interchangeably by post-Elizabethan writers, tunnage and tonnage are not synonyms.

The majority of ships used in the Roanoke ventures were privately owned, well-armed merchant ships ranging in size from 20 to 400 tuns. Other than names and tunnage, very few details about the vessels survive. The lack of information is complicated by the inexact system for estimating ship size--one ship could be listed with different tunnages. Identification of the vessels is made more difficult--and in some cases rendered impossible--by the Elizabethan practice of renaming ships often. Sir Francis Drake's Pelican (Golden Hind) is famous enough to be traceable, but most of the vessels associated with the Roanoke voyages are not. Contemporary descriptions of these vessels vary. A vessel called one thing in one document might be called something else in another. Further, more-or-less standard modern usage and definitions have little in common with sixteenth-century terminology.

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Spring On The Sound! Spring Fling!!!

Saturday May 4th, 2013

252-473-4223 or

We invite you and all of your friends to join us in our inaugural Spring On The Sound! This evening of entertainment, music, food and drink will begin at 7:00. Go on your own or team up in a scavenger hunt, enjoy the sounds of The Jazzmen and be amazed with magicians, fire breathers and stilt walkers.
This will be a casual evening full of surprises! Dress appropriately as the event will take place on the stages of The Waterside Theater!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

12 Marker Y DNA Test for $39

Normally, I don’t blog about sales.  There are lots of places to get that info, but this one is just too good to miss and it’s only for a short time.  It’s also big news because we’ve never seen a price anyplace close to this low.
One of the things Americans and others whose ancestors migrated from European destinations have wished for is an increase in European DNA testing.  It has been slow to come for many reasons, but today, Family Tree DNA announced a $39 Y-line DNA test.  This, in conjunction with their presence at the Who Do You Think You Are genealogy conference in London this week will, hopefully, give DNA testing in Europe, and the British Isles specifically, a shot in the arm or a push over the cliff or whatever kind of encouragement it is that they need.  In any event, the reason for not testing WON’T be cost, at least not through the end of the month.  This special price is a $60, and a 60% reduction from their normal $99 price.  But take heed, the special price doesn’t last forever (although I wouldn’t be surprised to see a permanent price reduction of some type)….these $39 kits must be bought and paid for by February 28th, 2013.  That means no invoice orders.  Get the trusty credit card out!
So now is a good time to be thinking of that family reunion and all the folks you’ve said all along you would test if you could afford it.  Well, Merry Christmas way early because DNA testing just got a lot more affordable.
You can order the test, of course, at the website at  Here’s the link to the whole story.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Remains of King Richard III Confirmed by DNA.

by Janet Crain
Today's announcement of the historic DNA discoveries concerning Richard III is very important to every DNA project. The body was not at all protected. It lay for some 528 years in a shallow rudely built grave with no protection. And yet usable mtDNA has been recovered and it is hoped that Y chromosome DNA will be also. mtDNA is mitochondrial DNA passed down by the female. Every person has it, but only the mother can pass it on. It is from a non-coding region of the mitochondrial  genetic material. That means it does not get shuffled and mixed up with every transmission. It just remains pristine and stable for hundreds even thousands of years without a mutation. And so it can be compared 17 generations later and produce a perfect match between one seventeenth cousins. It is also plentiful and more robust. By contrast the Y chromosome, which is carried only by males and follows the paternal line is fragile and scare. Yet this team believes they can obtain usable Y chromosome DNA. Let us hope they are correct because the origin of the Plantagenet line is somewhat murky. 


At a specially convened media conference, experts from across the University unanimously identified the remains discovered in Leicester city centre as being those of the last Plantagenet king who died in 1485.
Rigorous scientific investigations confirmed the strong circumstantial evidence that the skeleton found at the site of the Grey Friars church in Leicester was indeed that of King Richard III.
University of Leicester researchers have revealed a wealth of evidence – including DNA analysis, radiocarbon dating and skeletal examination – proving the identity of the skeleton.

The complete skeleton showing the curve of the spine. Copyright – University of Leicester
University of Leicester archaeologists co-director Richard Buckley, the lead archaeologist on the Search for Richard III, said: “It is the academic conclusion of the University of Leicester that the individual exhumed at Grey Friars in August 2012 is indeed King Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.
“It has been an honour and privilege for all of us to be at the centre of an academic project that has had such phenomenal global interest and mass public appeal. Rarely have the conclusions of academic research been so eagerly awaited.”
University of Leicester geneticist Dr Turi King confirmed that DNA from the skeleton matches that of two of Richard III’s family descendants – Canadian-born furniture maker Michael Ibsen and a second person who wishes to remain anonymous.
Dr King, of the University’s Department of Genetics, said: “The DNA sequence obtained from the Grey Friars skeletal remains was compared with the two maternal line relatives of Richard III. We were very excited to find that there is a DNA match between the maternal DNA from the family of Richard the Third and the skeletal remains we found at the Grey Friars dig.”
Skeletal analysis carried out by University of Leicester osteoarchaeologist Dr Jo Appleby showed that the individual was male and in his late 20s to late 30s. Richard III was 32 when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Richard III - Wiki Commons
Richard III – Wiki Commons
The individual had a slender physique and severe scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – possibly with one shoulder visibly higher than the other. This is consistent with descriptions of Richard III’s appearance from the time.
Trauma to the skeleton indicates the individual died after one of two significant wounds to the back of the skull – possibly caused by a sword and a halberd.
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Become a Lost Colony Volunteer

Press Release:

Volunteer Tea Party

(January 10, 2013 Manteo, NC)
Become a Lost Colony Volunteer
The Lost Colony is throwing a Tea Party for anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to support the many activities and programs of the Roanoke Island Historical Association.  While we have an active volunteer membership at the present, we would like to welcome more participants into a program that will feature a variety of activities throughout the year.

While most people consider The Lost Colony a summer production, there are important support jobs to be done throughout the year.  We would like to invite anyone interested in becoming a part of an active volunteer community to join us for an informal Tea Party on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 4:00 PM in the Lost Colony Building located next to the Elizabethan Gardens in the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site in Manteo.  We would also encourage the current members to invite their friends and neighbors to join us at this time.  Come and hear some of the new plans for the upcoming season, and help to make the 76th season of The Lost Colony more successful and fun filled than ever.

For more information please contact Charles H. Massey or Terry Fowler at 763-2127.  Mark January 24th on your new 2013 calendar and make plans to attend The Lost Colony Tea Party.
About The Lost Colony
First staged in 1937, The Lost Colony is the nation’s premier and longest-running outdoor symphonic drama. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony’s 76th anniversary season plays May 31 through August 23, 2013 at Manteo’s Waterside Theatre, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The new Curtain time is 8:00 pm.  For tickets and information, go to or call (252) 473-2127.

This blog is © History Chasers
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