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Lost Colony
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  & New York

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  US GenWeb,Nevada Co. CA
   Oregon-California Trails Assn

Westerly Journeys

Legends, Theories and DNA: Survivors?

--Raleigh's "Lost Colony"

The Official Story

Speculation about the disappearance or demise of the Roanoke Island settlers began as soon as John White set foot on the deserted ground and saw the word "CROATOAN" carved in a tree. White himself found credible evidence that the colonists had merely moved on to safer ground. At the time he was unable to explore inland to look for them. The fact that the colonists had buried items too heavy to carry told White that the move was deliberate.

The prevailing theory carried back to England stated that the colonists had been attacked, if not while on Roanoke Island, shortly after they relocated--perhaps on Croatoan Island or further inland. No survivors were found. Ever.

But in the next decade explorers found little evidence of the colonists. However legends and theories about their fate began to form within these first decades. The attached bibliography contains writings from some of the earliest historians including John White, himself.

For those who like to keep an open mind regarding unresolved mysteries, the fate of the Lost Colony is worthy of further inquiry.

Ghost Ancestors?

Ghost Descendants?If the Lost Colonists died without further issue, who could claim to be a descendant?

The Legend: Centuries of writings claim that some of the colonists survived and moved inland in the Carolinas. They intermarried with native people and gradually they absorbed into that population leaving behind "Indian" descendants with light hair and gray eyes. Reports claimed they spoke archaic English and built two-story houses.

Surviving Names: These are some of the names mentioned by historians writing about survivors:


Research: Authors continued to investigate the legend into the 21st century--most recently for The History Channel.

The Lumbee: The work of Dial (shown in the bibliography) proposes that the descendants of the Lost Colony are found among the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County, North Carolina. Studies show that 43% of the surnames on the list of Lost Colonists were found among the Lumbee in the 19th century.

DNA:Use of DNA testing for genealogical research opens new horizons for proving or disproving the legend. Use your favorite search engine ("Lumbee + DNA") to find a Lumbee DNA project or to learn more about the history of the Lumbee people.

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Family Histories
  Granville Beardsley & Malana Stone (NY)
  Andrew Cady & Sarah Hibbard (NY)
  Charles Cameron & Caroline Beardsley (MI)
  Varnum Card & Rosetta E. Hatch (IN)
  Elisha Bryan & Margaret Garrison(NY)
  Isaac Bryan & Sally_____(NY)
  Jacob B Bryan & Maria Clark(NY)
  William W. Bryan & Jane Viehl (NY)
   Andrew Cady & Sarah Hibbard
  Samuel V. Calhoun & Verlinda Dawson (PA)
  Hezekiah Coleman & Elizabeth Belew (SC)
  Jarret Coleman & Mary___ (SC)
  Isaac Conn & Docia Coleman (GA)
  George Dawson & Narcissa Dawson (PA)
  David Frank & Louisa Hornette (PA)
  James Griffith & Mary Elizabeth Hall(MD)
  Joseph Griffith & Catherine [Burson] (OH)
  Charles Hagaman & Harriet Stone (NY)
  Charles Hagaman & Harriet Stone (NY)
  William B. Harris & Elizabeth Hibbard
  Bronson Hatch & Elizabeth Stone (NY)
  Uriah Clayton Herr & Lillian Painter(PA)
  James Henderson & Nancy Dean (MS)
  Alexander Boardman Hibbard (NY-CA)
  Charles H.Hibbard & Marie J.Osborn (NY)
  Enoch Hibbard & Sally Stone (NY)
  Lewis M. Hunt & Caroline Hagaman (NY)
  George Hudson & Frances J Hagaman(NY)
  Henry Knickerbocker & Caroline West
  John Jarvis Lowell & Elizabeth Beardsley (NY)
  Joseph Morton & Jemima Harrel (VA)
  George Newkirk and Margaret Johnson (PA)
  Samuel Painter & Katherine Frank (VA)
  David Reed and Elizabeth Pletcher (PA)
  Rueben Reid and Mary Anne Raye (OH)
  Enos Stone & Sallyl Bronaugh (Mrs.)
  Oringh Stone & Elizabeth Mabee (NY)
      see also Stone descendants
  Robert Van Rensselaer & Emily Hibbard
  John Van Rensselaer(NY-CA)
  Addison West (NY-CA)
  Charles West and Ella Calhoun (MO)
  George West & Mary A.Stone (NY-MI)
   Frederick A.West & Lydia H.Corliss (NY-MI)
  John West & Clarissa ___ (NY,IA)
      see also John West, Solon IA
  Orson West & Catherine Griffith (NY-MO)
  Orson West & Olive Stone (NY-MI)