Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"The Lost Colony" presentation at CVGS today

Susi Pentico presented "The Lost Colony" today at the monthly program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society. She said that she had enough material for three presentations, and we believe her!

The "Lost Colony" was Sir Walter Raleigh's colony that was established on Roanoke Island in August 1587 in the Outer Banks of what is now the state of North Carolina. 115 men, women and children were left there in late 1587, and the ship sailed back to England for more supplies. The ships didn't return until May 1590, and there was no sign of the colonists, except for the word "Croatoan" carved on a post.

Nobody knows for sure what happened to the English colonists - were they killed, did they assimilate with a local Indian tribe, or did they move on to another site, or all of the above? A serious search for any survivors was not made until 1607 when Jamestown was settled by Englishmen. The Lumbee tribe of Native Americans (that currently resides in this area) has oral traditions about being descendants of the Lost Colony, and some had blue eyes, light hair, and European features.

Susi used overheads to present summary statements about the timeline and the events before, during and after the settlement. She had four pages of handouts from the Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group with the mission of the group, the surnames of the early Roanoke colonists, and information about the Research Group. Several of Susi's ancestral families are from this area of North Carolina and are on the surname list.

The Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group is trying to prove that some of the colonists survived by comparing DNA samples from descendants of early Outer Banks ancestors with those in England or other parts of the USA. You can read more information on the Group web site at

There is more information about the Lost Colony at There is a Lost Colony blog at .

This was an informative and interesting talk about an aspect of early American colonial history that does not get much attention in the history books. Perhaps that is because it is a real history mystery.

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