Devon, England, Laying Claim to Americas Lost Colony

I found this article by Andrew Hough of London’s Daily Telegraph quite interesting since it touches on the Lost Colony which is sometimes called the Roanoke Colony in present day North Carolina.

The Lost Colony is the first English attempt of setting up a settlement in the new world, ie, present day America.

The following is the article on the residents of Devon, England, laying claim that they were the original colonists of this Lost Colony:

Andy Powell, mayor of Bideford, north Devon, wants to use DNA testing to prove residents from the port town settled in the US three decades before the Pilgrim Fathers sailed there.

Mr Powell is trying to raise money for the research, which he hopes will prove his town’s “pivotal” role in the history of modern America.

He hopes advances in the science will enable scientists to link people from Bideford with descendants of a lost colonist.

His attempts centre on the story of the “lost colony”, where in 1587 Sir Walter Raleigh organised a colonial expedition of settlers including John White, a governor.

Mr Powell believes the fleet sailed from Bideford on 8 May before reaching Roanoke Island, just off the coast of what is now know as the south-eastern state of North Carolina, in July.

After relations were established with the Croatoan Native Americans the fleet returned to Britain.

Years later Mr White returned and discovered no sign of any settlement. Sightings over the next few years indicated that “blue-eyed native Americans” had settled in the area.

Mr Powell said one clue that indicated this was when the word “Croatoan” was found carved into a post in the area, suggesting the settlers had joined the native Americans.

Archaeologists in America have already tried to discover whether people from the lost colony survived.

Mark Horton, from the University of Bristol, has discovered early pottery in the area that appeared to be from north Devon.

“What we now need is to establish if there are any living family descendants of those lost colonists living here in the UK and from them produce a reference library of DNA to match the American results against,” Mr Powell told the Guardian.

“The significance of this project is simple.”

“If we are right and there are descendants of those lost colonists alive in America today, then Bideford will become known for having played a pivotal role in the founding of America 33 years before the Mayflower set sail.”

3 Responses to Devon, England, Laying Claim to Americas Lost Colony

  • Danette Hunt-Seymour says:

    My Lumbee ancestors have said for hundreds of years (oral history even today) that we are descendants of Manteos Tribe and the colonists. It would be so amazing if the DNA backs up our oral histories. If so, we will finally have the ‘written proof and scientific proof’ to validate the oral histories of our forefathers. :-)

  • zygote1 says:

    I’m living half the time in Edenton, NC, and have visited Roanoke Island several times, read a dozen good recent histories on this subject, and would like anyone who has a similar interest to contact me..My own belief, shared by several recent studies/books, is that the 126 Lost Colonists did not head northward to the Chesapeake Bay area; but westward, on the Albemarle Sound and could have settled in what is the Dare County Peninsula (Beechtown and Sandy Ridge areas in what is not the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge) immediately to the west of Roanoke Island; also, some may have gone to what is today, Buxton, on the Outer Banks; others may have easily made their way further west about 65+ miles, to the western (inland) end of the Albemarle Sound, near Cashie, Chowan, and Roanoke rivers–all which empty into the Sound in that location. Very likely too that some of them became part of the Lumbee Indian tribe–as well as other tribes existing at that time, near the coastal plains near the Sound.

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