Was the Lost Colony really lost?

The Enterprise, Williamston, NC, January 24, 2006
Written by Jennifer Sheppard, "Everything is Relative" Column

    I am pleased to announce that I have joined with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research organization to help document that there were survivors of the Lost Colony, who intermarried with the Indians, and that there are descendants of the Lost Colony, living in Eastern North Carolina today. I have an appointment with Janice Stillman of Plymouth (whose deceased husband did extensive research on my Stillman line), to view and copy the documents in her possession. He believed, as do I, that our Stillman line goes back to the John Stilman who was listed on the ship’s manifest of 1587.

    Eastern North Carolina, the area now known by the name of Roanoke and Bodie Island, has the distinction of being the site of the first colonists in America. Yes, 23 years before the ships landed in Jamestown, Virginia and 36 years before the Mayflower landed in Massachusetts, Englishmen landed on our shores to establish a settlement.

    According to Fred Willard, Director of The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research, the 418 year old mystery may be solved using today’s science and technology. These methods have become a part of his research. Using deeds found in local court-houses, (Beaufort, Currituck and Tyrrell Counties), maps and oral history, Fred developed his hypothesis that area families are related to the Croatan Indians.

    “Several hypotheses have been advanced by scholars about the fate of the ‘Lost Colony.’ Some scholars such as David Quinn, suggest that the colony only went to Virginia. There is limited evidence to support the theory. Other scholars such as Fred Willard and Lee Miller claim that people of English decent settled in the northeastern part of North Carolina. The hypothesis of this research project is that the ‘Lost Colony’ moved 50 miles up the Alligator River and settled in northeast North Carolina, near what is today Chocowinity…..”

    “This hypothesis is supported by a range of primary documents from the fields of history, geography, archaeology, and remote sensing. Important artifacts such as Native/English pottery and a signet ring have been found at the Croatan site.” (Quoted material – Source: Paper published by Elizabeth City State University, entitled: Science, Settlement and Remote Sensing: Locating the Remains of the Lost Colony of Northeast North Carolina).

    The ship’s manifest entitled, “The names of all the men, women and children, which safely arrived in Virginia (North Carolina was considered Virginia at the time) and remained to inhabite (sic) there. 1587 Anno Regni Reginae Elizabethae.29” contained 117 names of men, women and children. Surnames among them include: White, Bailie, Dare, Cooper, Sampson, Harvie, Prat, Howe Fernando, Warner, Berrye, Gibbes, Stilman (one of my lines), Little, Bridger, Payne, Archard, Pierce and others. Good Luck and happy hunting.

Return to Articles