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From the Administrator of the Project:
Is your LATHAN family part of the Roanoke Lost Colony? It could be!
My name is Roberta Estes and I'm the Director for DNA Research for the Lost Colony
Center for Science and Research. (http://www.lost-colony.com/
Our goal is to discover the fate of the Roanoke Lost Colonists.
For those of you who don't know about the mystery of the Lost Colony, here's a
primer. In 1587, Sir Walter Raleigh financed a venture in which 116 men,women and children
were planning to establish the first permanent colony in
the New World. Their goal was to raise tobacco and other supplies that colonists were
unable to obtain in England, and to search for precious minerals, like gold.
In the fall of 1587, the colonists finally arrived on Roanoke Island in present day North
Carolina, after a very difficult journey in which their food supplies were ruined. They
sent John White, whom they had elected governor,
backto England to obtain food and supplies and expected his return in the spring of 1588.
However, the Spanish attached England and England, having no Navy,impressed all of her
fishing vessels and private merchant ships into Naval
service. Finally, in 1590, three years after leaving the colonists which included his
daughter, son-in-law and infant granddaughter, White returned to Roanoke
Island to find it deserted, but not destroyed. It appeared as if the colonists had simply
moved. A single word, a clue, Croatan, was carved on a tree. The Croatan were the friendly
Indians living nearby. Before John's departure, he
had instructed the colonists to carve crosses if they had to leave in distress. There
were no crosses.
John White would spend the rest of his life searching for the Lost Colonists. Many hints
and clues indicate that at least some of the Colonists survived and were assimilated into
the native tribes. The question is, did they, and
if so, who are they today?
In 1993, the original site of the Croatan village was located. Subsequent archaeological
and genealogical research suggests that the colonists didsurvive, and that when the land
was granted to settlers, it was granted to
some of those survivors who were by that time considered to be Indians. With recent
advances in DNA for genealogy, we finally have, today, the ability to solve the mystery.
We have created a plan that combines history, genealogy and DNA to solve the mystery.
However, we can't do this alone. We need the help of the families who have been
identified as "families of interest", being either roster members of the Lost
Colony of those who obtained land grants on the
original Croatan village site. Many of those names are the same.
In order to educate people and work closely with people who are interested, we are
sponsoring the Lost Colony Symposium for DNA and Recent Research Sept.7-9, 2007 at the
Lost Colony Center in Williamston, NC. The symposium will
be held between the Center and the Holiday Inn, as noted on the flyer at
Given that your surname is one of those on our "Names of Interest" list, I hope
that people on the list will join with us in our research. I am hoping from this mailing,
aside from encouraging people to attend the Symposium, to
achieve the following:
1. To identify a primary research person or persons for your particular surname who would
serve as a contact/coordinator for future postings, requests and research.
2. To identify a family archival website(s) if one exists.
3. To identify if there are any families of that surname that are from NC (or early
coastal SC or VA), have oral histories of Indian or "mixed" heritage, are
involved with any of the tri-racial isolate groups (Melungeons, Red
Bones, etc.) and/or have any oral history of the Lost Colonies.
4. To determine if the family group is involved already with DNA testing,and if so, who
coordinates that effort.
5. To determine if there is any research occurring or that has occurred for your surname
in Great Britain, and if not, if anyone is interested in pursuing that avenue.
To become involved with the Lost Colony project, or to support the project, please attend
our Symposium. Our project plan will be announced at theSymposium, and we have a long list
of wonderfully educational speakers.
Bring your pedigree charts and your genealogy as the right people will be present to help
you with your testing plan. If you can't attend the conference, you can still join
the project. Information will be posted shortly about how to do that on the Lost Colony
We are in the process of setting up a private newsgroup for project members only which
will also be available after the symposium. Furthermore a blog is being created and blog
location info will be posted on the Lost Colony
website as well. If you are interested in this project or can be of help in any way,
please contact me at restes(a)comcast.net .
Lost Colony website: http://lost-colony.com/home.html
The surnames are on our blog: http://www.the-lost-colony.blogspot.com/
I will be on vacation from now until July 24th. Please e-mail questions about the
Symposium or the project to either my volunteer assistant, Nelda Percival at
nelda_percival(a)hotmail.com or Anne Pool, the Center's
Educational Director, at croatan(a)peoplepc.com . They will answer any immediate
questions about the Symposium and you will be put on an interest list.
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