Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Lost Colony

Earlier this year I donated a cast iron wood stove to the Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society. Actually, I was returning the cook stove to Hatteras. It was given to me years ago by Guy Quidley, a Hatteras Island native. When Dawn & Angel came to Ocracoke to pick up the stove they invited me to their April 12 potluck dinner and meeting in Avon. I decided to attend...and am glad I did.

It was a fascinating evening with information about the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, and attempts to trace the ancestry of Hatteras Islanders to the 1587 colonists and the Croatan Indians.

In case you are not familiar with the story of the Lost Colony, when John White returned to Roanoke Island in 1590 the colonists were gone, but White discoverd the word "Croatoan" carved on a tree. Croatoan is the name of the island that, at that time, included a small section of the north end of Ocracoke, and the southern section of Hatteras Island, including the Buxton village area. (The present day Hatteras Inlet did not open until 1846.) Unfortunately, due to a storm, White was unable to search for the colonists, and his ships returned to England.

The first speaker of the evening was Roberta Estes of the Lost Colony Research Group, who presented information about using DNA to trace Hatteras Islanders' roots to the Lost Colony.

Next, Andy Powell, former Mayor of Bideford, England, the home town of Sir Richard Grenville (Grenville led Sir Walter Raleigh's expeditions to North America), spoke on the Lost Colony. Powell is the author of a new book, Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke, which has been described as "a very fresh perspetive on Sir Walter Raleigh's Virginian enterprises," and as "an important new addition to the library of 'Lost Colony' research."

Many thanks to Dawn and Angel for inviting me to join them on Hatteras Island. The Lost Colony is a fascinating story. To learn more about the Hatteras Island Genealogical Society, click here:

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of traditional island remedies. You can read it here:

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