Lost Colony of Roanoke

Roanoke Island is found off the coast of North Carolina. It's only 10 miles from shore, and is part of the Outer Banks chain of islands. The English discovered the island in the late 1500s, and in 1584 Queen Elizabeth issued a charter to her pal Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh didn't actually go on the "Three hour tours" - he just sent the boats out to stake his claim.

Boats went out to Roanoke Island twice between 1584 and 1586. These were scouting missions to explore the island and surrounding area. The sailors met up with the friendly Indian tribe of the Croatoan who were quite helpful. When the second ship is preparing to head back home, they left about 100 men behind to hold down the island and get the settlement going. Unfortunately things went poorly. A passing ship is flagged down, and most of the men hop on to go back to England. Fifteen brave souls remain behind to keep the island protected.

A third ship is sent out with about 120 people, led by John White. This group is full of colonists including women and children. They land on the island in 1587. The 15 men who were left behind before are now gone and the place is abandoned. They set up shop anyway. The Croatoan indians come along and warn the new colonists that enemy Indians had attacked the other men and killed them. Somehow a misunderstanding happens and John White think they're going to attack the enemy tribe but instead attack the Croatoans. Understandably upset, the Croatoans decide to stop playing nice-nice with these barbarians and withdraw. The settlers promptly start to starve. After being on land for only 37 days, they send John White the troublemaker off to England to get them some more food. About 116 people remain behind.

War breaks out between England and Spain, so John White can't return for a while. When he gets around to sailing back to the island in 1590, the colony is deserted again. The word "Croatoan" is carved in various spots, and no "distress signals" were left. It seems the colonists, having gotten rid of their trouble-making ruler, promptly made friends again with the Croatoans and went to the mainland where it was much nicer. John's shipmates don't even want to look for the colonists and drag him back to England.

To his credit John does indeed try to get people to go figure out what happened to the colonists, but nobody cares very much. Twenty years later when Jamestown is founded, they do try to do some inquiries, but it is of course far too late by then.

Many Lumbee indians believe that the Roanoke colonists did indeed simply join up with the Croatoans and live with them forever after. Subsequent discussions of the indians say that they often had an English look to them, that they spoke English fluently, and lived in English style houses. By the time they were "found" again, they were far more English than Native in their ways. Also, the family names of the Lumbee indians often are the same as the "lost" colonists!

List of the Lost Colonists:

Archard, Arnold
Archard, Joyce
Archard, Thomas
Arthur, Richard
Baily, Roger
Bennett, Mark
Berde, William
Berry, Henry
Berry, Richard
Bishop, Michael
Borden, John
Bridger, John
Bright, John
Brooke, John
Browne, Henry
Browne, William
Burdon, John
Butler, Thomas
Cage, Anthony
Chapman, Alice
Chapman, John
Cheven, John
Clement, William
Colman, ----
Colman, Thomas
Cooper, Christopher
Cotsmur, John
Dare, Ananias
Dare, Eleanor
Dare, Virginia (First English child born in America)
Darige, Richard
Dorrell, Henry
Dutton, William
Earnest, John
Ellis, Robert
Ellis, Thomas
English, Edmund
Farre, John
Fernando, Simon
Florrie, Charles
Gibbes, John
Glane, Elizabeth
Gramme, Thomas
Harris, Thomas 	(Two entries)
Harvie, ---- (Born in Virginia)
Harvie, Dionys
Harvie, Margery
Hemmington, John
Hewet, Thomas
Howe, George
Howe, George
Humfrey, Thomas
Hyde, James
Johnson, Henry
Johnson, Nicholas
Jones, Griffin
Jones, Jane
Jones, John
Kemme, Richard
Lasie, James
Lawrence, Margaret
Little, Peter
Little, Robert
Lucas, William
Mannering, Jane
Martyn, George
Merimoth, Emma
Myllet, Michael
Mylton, Henry
Newton, Humphrey
Nichols, William
Paine, Henry
Pattenson, Hugh
Payne, Rose
Phevens, Thomas
Pierce, Jane
Powell, Edward
Powell, Winnifred
Prat, John
Prat, Roger
Rufoote, Henry
Sampson, John (Two entries)
Scot, Thomas
Shabedge, Richard
Smart, Thomas
Smith, Thomas
Sole, William
Spendlove, John (Two entries)
Starte, John
Stevens, Thomas
Stilman, John
Tappan, Audry
Taverner, Richard
Tayler, Hugh
Taylor, Clement
Tomkins, Richard
Topan, Thomas
Tydway, John
Viccars, Ambrose (Two entries)
Viccars, Elizabeth
Warner, Thomas
Warren, Joan
Waters, William
White, Cutbert (Two entries)
White, John
Wildye, Richard
Wilkinson, Robert
Willes, William
Wood, Agnes
Wotton, Lewes
Wright, John
Wyles, Bryan
Wyles, John
Wythers, William

Natives of Virginia on voyage:

Manteo - Returning home from England
Towaye - Returning home from England

Oxendine Genealogy Research - Main Page

Cood Oxendine ~1750
David Oxendine ~1775
Wilson Oxendine ~1818
Elizabeth Oxendine ~1839

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