The Dare Stones, 1 Through 48

Dare Stone

The Dare Stones are a series of forty-eight rocks chiseled with messages purporting to be from Eleanor White Dare providing information about the survivors of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony who disappeared from Roanoke Island between 1587 and 1590. The stones, discovered between 1937 and 1940, tell a dramatic tale, much like chapters in a book. Unfortunately, those chapters don’t interweave with credibility.  All of the stones, except the first stone, are believed to be fraudulent.  The first stone may be authentic.  It’s different from the rest.  After reading the story, you be the judge.

The first stone, known as The Dare Stone, was found in the summer of 1937 by a tourist named Louis Hammond under somewhat suspicious circumstances during the time that the Lost Colony play was being introduced on Roanoke Island.  However, the stone might be original, despite the circumstances.  If it is, it’s the find of a lifetime.

The Lost Colony Research Group was fortunate to have The Dare Stone with us a few years ago at a symposium and were able to photograph the stone up close and personal.

Dr. Jim Sutherland of Breneau University provided an excellent lecture along with a translation of the contents of the stone.

This stone is the original Dare Stone, found on the banks of the Chowan River about 6 miles from Edenton, NC.

The translation provided by Dr. Sutherland is provided below.

Dare Stone TranslationIt is generally believed that if indeed this, the original Dare Stone is a legitimate find, this stone was likely not carved in this location, but may have been sent with a Native runner who might have been headed for Roanoke Island, but was captured or killed and never made it to Roanoke.

However, as with everything else having to do with the Lost Colony, the mystery only deepens.

The stone said that the location of the graves was four miles “easte this river” upon a small hill.  If the stone was going to Roanoke, why would it give these directions?

The stone had wound up with Dr. Pearce of Breneau (then College) University and his son Dr. Pearce of Haywood University.  They did some research and discovered that chisels and mallets were among the supplies listed for the Lost Colony voyage, so this stone being authentic was a possibility.

They began an extensive search for “the hill” in the proximity of where the stone was found, but had no luck.  Becoming discouraged, they offered a $500 reward for anyone finding a stone that might be connected.  Then, as they say, is when the trouble began.

In April of 1939, William “Bill” Eberhardt of Fulton County, Georgia was traveling in South Carolina, had a flat time, changed it and used a stone he picked up in the red clay ravine near the road for a jack stand.  When finished, he noticed some writing chiseled on it.  Returning to the ravine, he found 12 more similarly inscribed.  The location was a hillside in Greenville county, 12 miles below Greenville, on the Saluda River.

Bill Eberhardt was not a cultured man.  He was described by a reporter as a single man in his mid-30s who lived alone in “an unpainted two-room cottage whose windows are draped with tar paper and whose floors are covered with soiled clothes, empty tobacco sacks, and remnants of the night before’s meal.  He rolls his own cigarettes, reads back issues of newspapers and roams the woods…”

Elsewhere it was hinted at that he might have been a stonecarver, but with his schooling that lasted “only a short time,” which turned out to be through third grade, where would be get the knowledge to inscribe old Elizabethan English in old Elizabethan letters?

Each of the subsequent stones contained a message, as follows:

1.  Front – Heyr laeth Ananias & Virginia Father salvage mvrther Al save seaven names writen hery mai God bah mercye Eleanor Dare 1591

Back – Sydnor Boane Wigan Birge Polle Carewe Bowman Spague Ruckers Bolitoe Smythe Sakeres Holborn Winget Sloate

Edge – Father wee goe sw

2.  Front – 5 lae hyre mrd bie Inde 1589

Back – cy(r)v ane lae 200 se

3.  Front – 7 lae hyre mrd bye Inde 1589

Back – cy(r)v ane Iyh(r)e 200 e se

4.  Front – hyre lae Jvan Moleye Mulgrave ane childe 1589.

Edge – Mrd Bye Inde loke I myle

5.  Front – Jeyr laeth nolan Ogle & wyfe

Upper edge – 1590

Side – mvrthed bye salvage

6.  Front – Fathe r looke two ba rke of tr ee certan signe am ang tham Eleanor Dare 1591

7.  Front – salvage mvrther John Sampson William Sole Petter little John Farre Taylor Myllet haris 1591

Back – Henry Mylton John Breden Toppon Darige John-son Tydway 1591

8.  Front – Heyr laeth lewes Wotton 1591

Back – salv age Murther Henry Rufoote Rogers

9.  Front – Heyr laeth Richard Kemme Jame Hynde

10.  Front – Heyr laeth Daniel Bagby hee mvrther bye salvage 1591

Back – Fovre lae Heyr They Die of moche miserie

11.  Front – Heyr salvage murther samuel To Thill wyfe& cherl 1591

12.  Front – Heyr laeth Dyonis Harvie wyfe & dowt er

Back Will Dye spendlove 1591

Edge – Mvrthed bye salvage

13.  Front – Father wee goe sw with fo vre goodli e men the yr shew m oche mer cye theyr ar god sovldi ovus theyr s saide theyr br owt vs tow you Eleanor 1591

Edge – with mocha labovr wee pvtt certain names heyr

If this is true, these stones tell of the murder of an additional 15 colonists, including Ananias and Virginia Dare, buried on this hillside near present day Pelzer, SC.  These stones have become known as the Pelzer Stones.

Dr. Elmer Herd, writing in “The South Carolina Upcountry” says that these stones tell of a 350 mile trek begun by 117 settlers to the southwest through NC into SC.  By the time they arrived, their numbers had thinned to only 24 and an additional 17 were killed and buried on the hillside.  The 7 who were left, including Eleanor, then prepared to move further southwest with some Indian guides.

The Drs. Pearce in 1939 purchased the site of the hill, 16 acres, where they believed the graves to be located and intended to do “significant excavation”.  They searched the ravine where the stones were found and concluded that the stones had probably originally been placed on the hillside and thrown into the ravine by men clearing the fields.  They also had Bill Eberhardt thoroughly investigated and as a test, they offered him either the $500 in cash for a stone or $100 and half interest in the hill.  This would be worthless to him unless indeed the stones were genuine, and he chose the $100 plus half interest in the hill.  He later sold his half interest back to the Drs. Pearce for $1400.

In 1939 and 1940, Breneau College began a pageant portraying the Lost Colony and later history as revealed by the stones.  In 1937, the Lost Colony play by Paul Greene had opened on Roanoke Island.

The next call received by the Drs. Pearce was from a Mr. Tuner in Atlanta who had found a stone as well.

During this time, an additional 34 stones turned up, many of them found once again by Bill Eberhardt who the Drs. Pearce had sent to search along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.  Other individuals with no apparent connection to Eberhardt also found stones, although later, some would allege that there were connections to Eberhardt.

These stones however were no place near the Saluda River, but instead were found on or near the eastern bank of the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta in a 40 mile stretch about 75 miles from the Saluda site.  These additional stones told of the trek of Eleanor White Dare from Pelzer, SC to an Indian village on the Chattahoochee, her marriage to an Indian chieftain and her later removal to a cave near Atlanta, and then into Alabama.

These finds were not without controversy.

A 1941 Saturday Evening Post article famously claimed the stones were frauds.

Dr. Pearce wrote, on Breneau stationery, to the Saturday Evening Post who purchased his story and then performed additional investigative reporting.  From the Post Article, we find the descriptions of the next set of stones:

After deciphering, the stones said: “Father looke vp this river to great Salvage lodgement Wee pvtt moche clew bye wage.” On the other side: “Father the salvage shew moche mercye Eleanor Dare 1591.”

The Pearces urged Eberhardt to redouble his searching in Georgia.

Thereafter he brought nine stones from a bend of the river about eighteen miles above Gainesville. One stone said: “Father looke 5 dae tow backe trale bvrie al vppon Hil neere river.” On the back: “Eleanor Dare 1591.”

Another stone said: “Father shew moche mercye tow salvage weste of hilwhere Ananias & Virginia slayne.” On the back: “Eleanor Dare 1591.”

A third said: “Father thee accvrse salvage of the easte they hab slayne Al save seaven Revenge Eleanor Dare 1591.” On the edge was: “Anania & mye dowter,” seemingly the ones to be revenged.

Other stones related this story: “Father day by day some amang vs endeavovr tow Reconnoittre For signe of yov Eleanor Dare 1591.” “Father wee goe tow greate Hontaoase lodgement ther king shew moche mercye Eleanor Dare 1591.” “Father it Has bene 5 yeeres sithence yov hab departe maie God brynge yov hither Eleanor Dare 1592.” “Father wee ben heyr 5 yeeres in primaeval splendovr Eleanor Dare 1592.”

Here the story seemed to end. The seven survivors had reached a peaceful haven among friendly savages; lived, in fact, in “primeval splendor” in this Nacoochee Valley area, a long-time seat of the Cherokees. A year had elapsed without much progress when the Pearces enjoyed a triumph. Up to this point the professor had been troubled by his own skepticism, as much as by that of others. What proof was there the stones had not been strewn over three states by some diabolical hoaxer? Then through the enterprise of Professor Pearce old Georgia farmers were found who had seen some of the stones half a century ago. They had always supposed the inscriptions were “just Indian writing.”

The fresh leads came through the appearance of T. R. Jett, of Henry County, Georgia. This was in a period during August and September, 1940, when twenty-two stones had been found by four different people along the Chattahoochee about forty miles from Gainesville to the south and about ten miles northeast of Atlanta.  Mr. Jett had been reared there.

When he was a small boy two peculiarly carved stones had been found. One, placed on the floor of his father’s mill on Ball’s Creek, which flows into the Chattahoochee, became an object of common remark. People who brought grain to the mill always said the stone bore “Indian writing.” Jett couldn’t remember what became of those two stones, but I. A. Turner, a neighbor in those days, remembered that when the mill had been torn down, the stone had been thrown into a ditch. Turner found it after a month of hard searching. Not only Jett but several old-time residents identified this find as the stone that had lain on the old mill floor.

The Pearces could make out: “anye Englishman Shew John White Eleanor Dare & Salvage kinge ha.” The rest was broken off.

Jett remembered the second stone had been brought from the river by his brother as part of a load of stones. Broken in two by his father, half was placed in an unmortared pillar under a barn about forty years ago. It seemed almost hopeless to search. Nevertheless, the effort was made.

The farm of Mr. Jett’s father had been purchased by a cousin, Henry Campbell. He was enlisted and the half was found in a ditch near where the barn had stood. The other piece was found by Mrs. Jett in an old tool chest left fifteen years with her family near Jonesboro, Georgia. After all these years, the two halves fitted together unmistakably and the Pearces finally were able to decipher: “Father wee dweelde in greate rocke (v)ppon river neere heyr Eleanor Dare 1598.”

On the stones found the previouis August and September, Professor Pearce deciphered: “Father skew moche mercye tow greate salvage lodgement Ther King hab mee tow wyfe sithence 1593” [1595] “Father hab mercye” [1595] “Father I hab dowter heyr al save salvage king angrie” [1595]

Pearce is not sure whether this means the Indians had desired a male infant or whether they resented the relationship.

“Father sithence 1593 wee hab mange salvage looke for you” [1598] “Father I beseeche yov hab mye dowter goe to englande” [1598] “Father some amange vs pvtt manye message fo yov Bye Trale” [1598] “Father I -hab moche svddiane sickenes” [1599, fixing the year Eleanor Dare died] “Father hab salvage shew yov greate rocke bye trale” [1599]

This is probably the last signed by Eleanor Dare, corroborating an earlier find.

The “greate rocke bye trale” seemingly was a cave about a quarter of a mile from the riverside where many stones were found. Search inside on a wall revealed this inscription: “Eleanor Dare Heyr sithence 1593.”

The order of the finding does not correspond to the chronology of the story. This, of course, added to the difficulties of Professor Pearce’s labor.

Meanwhile Eberhardt, searching incessantly, found a few more stones. William Bruce, of Fulton County, a hauler of stones for Atlanta contractors, found a stone. Later he found another.

With these the odyssey was gratifyingly complete. Some recorded the deaths of William Wythers, Robert Ellis, Henry Berry, Thomas Ellis and James Lasie. These, with Eleanor Dare, accounted for six of the seven who survived the South Carolina massacre. Ellis and Wythers were listed by Governor White as “boys.” Apparently they reached manhood among Indians.

A stone found by Bruce was dated 1599. It said: “She (w) (J) oh (n White) eleanor (Dare) dye februa(ry) dowter name Agnes heyr.” There was a poignant change here; it was signed, not by Eleanor Dare, but by Griffen Jones, identified by Pearce as the probable carver of all but the first stone.

The entire post article can be found here:

The article goes on to expose what they believe was an elaborate hoax involving the Drs. Pearce and Eberhardt.  I must admit, the seemingly happenstance finds of so many stones seems more than a happy coincidence.  On the other hand, if those stones are authentic, perhaps it took the $500 reward to make people sit up and take notice, and to make Mr. Eberhardt interested enough to go searching.

Additional information, both pro and con, can be found here:

In 1940, the Drs. Pearce invited a committee of 34, headed by Samuel Eliot Morrison of Harvard and president of the American Antiquarian Society, historians, educators and scientists to meet at Breneau to examine the 48 stones.  The list of names and their credentials is impressive.  The committees reported in the Atlanta Constitution that “the preponderance of evidence points to the authenticity of the stones commonly known as the Dare Stones.”  It’s difficult to believe that any group of scholars would be a party to a fraud, and it’s also difficult to believe that counterfitters would not give themselves away with 48 separate opportunities to do so.

Unfortunately, following that, World War II was upon the country.  The elder Dr. Pearce died in 1943 and the hill, without ever being completely excavated, was once again sold.  The stones themselves began their life in the basement at Breneau, where they still remain, taken on occasional road trips to speaking engagements.

If these stones are frauds, they are indeed a massively coordinated fraud, almost as amazing in scope as if they had been true.  If these stones are genuine, we’re looking in the wrong location for the colonists.  Furthermore, we probably won’t find them.

If there were 7 who left Pelzer, SC, which included Eleanor Dare and 5 males whose deaths were thereafter recorded, that only leaves one colonist, unnamed, presumed alive in 1599, with the Indians on the Chattahoochee River near Atlanta.

Perhaps some of the colonists, particularly the males, settled down with nice Native women near Roanoke Island or on Croatoan where they said they were going, and never left on the trek that, if the stones tell the truth, would take them to Pelzer, SC and beyond.

Posted in Croatoan, Georgia, Lost Colony, North Carolina, South Carolina | 16 Comments

Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect

In the 1880s, Hamilton McMillan claimed that the Lumbee descended from Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony, abandoned on Roanoke Island in 1587.  One of the pieces of evidence to support that allegation is that the language of the Lumbee held very unique Elizabethan words that were also found along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the area where the colonists, if they survived, would have likely assimilated with the Native people.

Seeing lists of words and hearing the Lumbee dialect is two entirely different experiences.  The North Carolina Language and Life project has documented a number of unique dialects, producing documentaries that can be seen at  Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect focused on the Robeson County Lumbee and their unique cultural way of speaking.

Indian By Birth: The Lumbee Dialect excerpt

Lumbee English 1

Lumbee English 2

The documentary film, “Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect” is available at this link:

Information about the film is available here:

Hat tip to John for these video links.

Posted in Lumbee | 1 Comment

Alfred Wilkins, The Old Indian

Alfred Wilkins

One of our subscribers, John, send me some family information about Alfred Wilkins.  As it turns out, this family is quite interesting.  These first few paragraphs were provided in the exchange.

A manuscript entitled “Walking Upright: The Coharie People of Sampson County” (North Carolina), submitted by Dr. David Wilkins (Karonhiawakon) in 1980 to the Division of Archives & History,  Department of Cultural Resources, Raleigh, N.C., details his research into the history of the eastern North Carolinian Native American peoples. According to this manuscript, the Wilkins name has been associated with the Indian people of eastern North Carolina for more than two hundred  years. The areas of their final settlement are in the Robeson and Sampson County sections of our state.

 As late as 1900 there were people in the records of Robeson County by the name of Wilkins who were  continuing to refer to themselves as Indian, some of them using the word Croatan to describe themselves in their legal records. An examination of the early marriage records and the first death certificates in Robeson County reveals that the Wilkins family intermarried almost exclusively with other known Indian families up to that time.

And of course, there are our family traditions. All of the older members of our family have heard  Alfred Wilkins referred to as “the Old Indian.” That nick-name has stuck with Alfred all of these years after his death, and about 1975 our cousin had it inscribed on a stone for the  family graveyard. It also got him a front page article in the History Section of The Smithfield  Herald on July 29, 1977.

The newspaper story quoted Bud Wilkins who “recalled that Alfred Wilkins “acted like an Indian.” He was fleet-footed, and once in the woods could not be located unless he wanted to be. He didn’t think much of roads built by the white settlers, and when he went to Smithfield for supplies he would send a wagon around the road, go through the woods on foot, and beat the wagon there.” This story must have been told to Bud Wilkins  many times when he was a child, since Alfred Wilkins died before he was born, but Bud Wilkins did say that he remembered Alfred’s son, Henry W. Wilkins.

The last record of Alfred is in the 1880 census of Johnston County, when he was a resident of Selma Township. At that time Alfred’s daughter Sally Wilkins and her two children, Georganna and Thomas, were living with Alfred and and his wife, Willie. 

Willie Wilkins lived until 17 March 1917, when her death was recorded in Johnston County. According to her death certificate she is buried in the “family cemetery” near Princeton, so she must have been buried next to Alfred. He is believed to be buried in the Wilkins Family Cemetery, known to the family as the Brown’s Creek Cemetery, also called Brown’s Ridge Cemetery, the burial place of many of his descendants. However, the original grave-markers would have been made of wood, and have long since disappeared. The new stone, which reads “Alfred Wilkins, the Old Indian,” marks his traditional burial site. The cemetery is located just outside of Princeton, N.C., and about 12 miles east of Smithfield, N.C., on State Road 2523, now known as Baker’s Chapel  Road (Route 1), Princeton, N.C.

 You can read more about this family here:–C-Williamson/GENE2-0001.html

And here…

What wasn’t mentioned above is told in the family-published book, “Hemphill Reunion, The Family of Alfred Wilkins of Johnston Co., NC” by Beverly Capps Williamson published in 1992.

In that book, Beverly gives us some additional details.  The old family story tells us the following:

“The first Wilkins to come to America was named John Wilkins.  He came into America near Norfolk, VA when he was about 12 or 14 as an indentured servant.  He made his way to Edenton, NC where he was apprenticed to a master ship-builder and carpenter.  When he was 21, he was a free man.  His master gave him a mule and $100 when he left.  He went on his way, met and married an Indian lady and together they had 22 children.  This John Wilkins was the father of Alfred Wilkins.”

Another story is more specific and says that John Wilkins married a woman in the Robeson County area, then moved to Cheraw, SC, where Alfred was born.  We know from the census that Alfred Wilkins was in Robeson County in 1830 and was married with children.

She goes on to say that there is no direct evidence that John Wilkins wife was an Indian, but there is indirect evidence.  Specifically in the 1840 Robeson County census, Theophilus Wilkins and his family were listed as Free Persons of Color.  In later years, they were listed as white.  Assuming that Theophilus was related to, maybe a brother of Alfred, this would indicate that if the “of color” heritage did not come from John Wilkins, who reportedly immigrated from Scotland, then it had to come from his wife.

From my Native Names Project, I have several Native references to Wilkins, as follows:


Wilkins family numerous in NC after 1721 and found heavily in Granville, NC in 1784.  In Bladen Co.  tax lists in 1768 and 69.  James Wilkins b c 1745 granted 400 ac land in Halifax Co., NC in 1783 which was sold June 11, 1788.  James Wilkins in Sampson Co., NC in 1784 and William in Bladen in 1784.  James of Robeson Co., NC entered 150 ac s of Jacobs swamp and was head of a family with 6 “other free” individuals in 1800 and 4 in 1810.  He sold land to Solomon Locklear in 1808.  Possible children were Matthew b c 1765, Nancy b c 1770, John b c 1776 who moved to Halifax Co. NC, David b before 1776 moved to Halifax, Priscilla in Halifax by 1810. Matthew listed as head of family with 7 “other free” in Robeson in 1800 census. Sold land to Elijah Hammonds in 1801.  In 1850 Robeson Co. census, most Wilkins are white and some are from Johnson Co.   Hardy Wilkins, 30 was the only mulatto Wilkins and was b in Robeson Co..  Self identified Indian in 1900 census and on Indian census schedule.  Death records in 1919 show Indian in several locations.

Implosion, the Secret History of the Origins of the Lumbee Indians by Morris Britt

Listed among the Nansemond in 1907:

Molly Wilkins, husband white

The Powhatan Confederacy, Past and Present James Mooney

American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Jan. – Mar., 1907), pp. 129-152

1869 Cherokee Nation West Census

Dist # Name2 Womn Male Childrn Fem Childrn Notes
Co 380 Green Wilkins 1 4 See Note

Note – White citizens of the US.

WWI Draft Registration Cards – 1917-1918 – registered as Indian

In Robeson Co., NC

Sion Horn Wilkins b 1876

Walter Steel Wilkins b 1878

William Berry Wilkins b 1881

Luther Wilkins b 1884

Martin Wilkins b 1888 NC

Robert F. Wilkins b 1892 NC

William Governor Wilkins b 1899

John Andrew Wilkins b 1900

Posted in Cherokee, Coharie, Croatan (Later Lumbee), Lumbee, Nansemond, Powhatan | 30 Comments

Native American DNA Haplogroups Q and C and the Big Y Test

Sicangu man c 1900I’m writing this to provide an update about Native American paternal research, and to ask for your help and support, but first, let me tell you why.  It’s a very exciting time.

If you don’t want the details, but you know you want to help now….and we have to pay for these tests by the end of the day December 1 to take advantage of the sale price…you can click below to help fund the Big Y testing for Native American haplogroups Q and C.  Both the haplogroup Q and C projects need approximately $990.  Everything contributed goes directly to testing.

To donate to the haplogroup Q-M242 project, in memory of someone, a family member perhaps, or maybe in honor of an ancestor, or anonymously, click this link:

In order to donate to haplogroup C-P39 project, please click this link:

Now for the story…

As many of you know, haplogroup Q and C are the two Native American male haplogroups.  To date, every individual with direct paternal Native American ancestors descends from a subgroup of either haplogroup Q or C, Q being by far the most prevalent.  Both of these haplogroups are also found to some extent in Asia and Europe, but there are distinct and specific lineages found in the Americas that represent only Native Americans.  These subgroups are not found in either Europe or Asia.

In December, 2010, we found the first SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) marker that separated the European and the Native American subclades of haplogroup Q.  Since that time, additional markers have been found through the Walk the Y program and other research.

How did this happen?  A collaborative research approach between individual testers and project administrators.  In this case, Lenny Trujillo was a member of the haplogroup Q project and he agreed to take the WTY (Walk the Y) test, which indeed, discovered a very unique SNP marker that defines Native American haplogroup Q, as opposed to European haplogroup Q.

Much has changed in three years.  The WTY test which was focused solely on research is entirely obsolete, being replaced by a new much more powerful test called the Big Y, and at a reduced cost.  The Big Y sequences a much larger portion of the Y chromosome, which will allow us to discover even more markers.

Why is this important?  Because today, in haplogroups Q and C, we are learning through standard STR (short tandem repeat) surname marker tests who is related to whom, and how distantly, but it’s not enough.  For example, we have a group of haplogroup Q men in Canada who match each other, but then another group with a different SNP marker that is located in the Southwest, Mexico, and then in the North Carolina/Virginia border area.  Oh yes, and one more from Charleston, SC.  Most Native American men who carry haplogroup C are found in Northeastern Canada….but then there is one in the Southwest. What do these people have in common?  Is their relationship “old” or relative new?  Do they perhaps share a common historical language group?  We don’t know, and we’d like to.  In order to do that, we need to further refine their genetic relationship.  Hence, the new tool, the Big Y.

The Big Y sequences almost all of the Y chromosome – over 10 million base pairs and nearly 25,000 known SNPs.  But the good news is that the Big Y, like its predecessor, the WTY, has the ability to find new SNPs.  And they are being found by the buckets – so fast that the haplogroup trees can’t even keep up.  For example, the haplogroup project page still lists most Native people as Q1a3a, but in reality many new SNPs have been discovered.  The official haplogroup tree is still under construction, but you can see an updated version on the front page of the haplogroup Q project.

That’s the good news – that the Big Y represents a huge research opportunity for us to make major discoveries that may well divide the Native groups in the Haplogroup C and Q projects into either language groups, or maybe, if we are lucky, into tribal “confederacies,” for lack of a better word.  I hate to use the word tribes, because the definition of a tribe has changed so much.  What we would like to be able to do it to tell someone from their test results that they are Iroquoian, for example, or Athabascan, or Siouian.  This has been our overarching goal for years, and now we’re actually getting close.  That potential rests with the Big Y.

The bad news is that the test costs $495, and that’s the sale price good only through Dec. 1., and we need funding.  In the haplogroup Q project, we do have a few people who are testing.  Everyone who did the WTY has been sent a $50 coupon to apply towards the Big Y test.  I hope everyone who did do the WTY will indeed order the Big Y as well.  If not, then the coupon can be donated to us, as project administrators, to apply towards the Big Y test of someone else in the group who is testing.  If you’re not going to test, please donate your coupon.

In haplogroup Q, we have two additional men who we desperately want to take the Big Y test, and 2 in haplogroup C as well.  We’re asking for two things.  First, for unused $50 coupons and second, for contributions against the $495 price.  We’d certainly welcome large contributions, or a sponsor for an entire test, but we’d also welcome $5, $10, $25 or whatever you’d like to contribute.  Every little bit helps.

To donate to the haplogroup Q-M242 project and to help fund this critical research, click this link:

In order to donate to haplogroup C-P39 project for this research, please click this link:

Thank you everyone, in advance, for your help.  We can’t do this without you.  This is what collaboration is all about.  Of course, we’ll report findings as we receive them and can process the information.

If you’d like to take a DNA test, click here.

Posted in DNA, Education | 4 Comments

Thanksgiving Conundrum

First Thanksgiving

First Thanksgiving at Plymouth Bay (1621) by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914)

Justin Petrone, like me, is a mixed race person with Native American ancestry, although unlike me, initially, he never thought of himself in those terms.  I’ve always known and since I was a child, self-identified myself in that way.  Like me, Justin has spent years searching for his elusive ancestors, more often than not, hidden in the mists of time with only suggestions of who their ancestors are by words on tax lists and census records like “free person of color.”

Most of the time, Native people were transparent, until they became at least “civilized” enough to be counted on the census, or taxed or they did something else to bring them into the white man’s realm.  More recently, Justin and others like us have been able to confirm, or deny, that heritage via DNA testing.  So even if we don’t know exactly who our ancestor is, we are positive THAT our Native heritage is real.  In some cases, through DNA testing we can learn which of our ancestral lines is Native.

Most of us who grew up knowing we were mixed blood Native learned years ago that if our ancestors’ tribe survived at all, meaning it was not annihilated by warfare or disease, they don’t accept us.  We are not one of “them” and there is no welcome home party.  We don’t have the blood quantum necessary to be a tribal member, and therefore, to them, we don’t exist either.  Not at all, we’re persona non grata.  Yep, you’re “Indian” right up until your admixture level crosses over that magic political line, whatever that is in whichever tribe, and then you’re not Indian at all – don’t exist.  All of your Indianness just evaporates that day I guess.  Apparently, it’s only in our blood, in our genes and in our hearts that we remain Native after that, because the European culture originally tried to kill off the Native people and the “official” Native people today don’t want any more “members” than they already have clamoring to divide a limited size pie.  So we don’t exist.

For many, being denied and relegated to “wannabe” status by “our own people” is devastating, especially for those who really don’t want any part of the financial pie.  Many simply want to belong, to understand the culture and their heritage – to have an educational avenue to recover in some small way that which was stripped and taken from their ancestors so violently.  To have this cultural travesty being perpetrated a second time by the very people who mixed blood descendants feel are their cousins, “their own people,” by being rejected, mocked, and turned away as “not good enough, not Indian enough” is an unexpected emotional blow, a very cold slap in the face and the faces of our Native ancestors.

After all, the tribal members today are the ones who survived comparatively intact, while the descendants of non-tribal member Indians were the ones often most tragically victimized….the ones where the systematic de-Indianization worked.  Logic would suggest that those who survived “as Indians” would welcome the descendants of those who did not and in vindication for what was done to their Indian brethren, would want to share the lost culture with their descendants, to resurrect the Indian in the descendant, and to insure that the cultural heritage continues into posterity.  But that’s not how it works, in the real political world.

I think of this as we approach Thanksgiving every year.  I think of what was taken from our people, my ancestors, and ultimately from me and my children.  I think of the sanitized, feel-good stories we were told as we cut and pasted Indians and Pilgrims in grade school as children.  I think of the heritage we don’t have, what we don’t know, what is lost forever.

I think of how the culture of denial today has played into exactly what those original Europeans wanted – to strip the Indians of their life, often in order to obtain their land, and if they couldn’t kill all of them, then to strip them of their religion, their language and their culture.  There is more than one way to kill an Indian.  The government had an official plan for how to do just that….and now the official Tribes are helping them complete the act by denying that heritage to their descendants.  Soon, in another generation or two, there will be fewer and fewer, and then no official Indians, as they continue to marry outside of the tribes and the blood quantum drops.  Ultimately, the government will have won….by the very hands and rules of the Tribes themselves based on their own blood quantum level required for tribal membership, unless, of course, the tribes change their rules.  In that lies the ultimate irony.

It’s terribly unfortunate that a middle ground can’t be found, where descendants can be “affiliated” with ancestral tribes, not full benefit-receiving members.  In that way, they could be educated in the traditional way, regain and celebrate their culture and heritage.  I would think it would be politically beneficial to the tribes too, because in sheer terms of numbers, there are a whole lot more of “us” non-tribal member descendants than official tribal members.  I would think the tribes would see the benefit in having the large contingent of “us” firmly on their “side” of any political argument, not having been flatly rejected and turned away.  There is tremendous power in numbers.  Just saying….

I try not to feel righteously indignant, but as Thanksgiving approaches and I see the storybook pictures of the Pilgrims and the Indians, and knowing what happened, and continues to happen, I can’t help but feel some level of sadness, anger and sometimes, outrage, at the way the systematic annihilation of the Indian people has been whitewashed and the way their descendants are treated today.  This was what motivated me to begin the Native Heritage Project and the Native Names Project to document the names of the Indian people buried in reams and reams of records.  This is in addition to various DNA projects to find and document those elusive Native ancestors.

And then, there’s Justin.  Poor Justin.  Justin has known for some time that he was a Native descendant.  He has been searching for that connection, exactly which one of his ancestors was the Native person – not easy to discern in colonial America.  So often, Indian heritage was very well hidden due to the various insidious forms of discrimination that were inflicted upon these people and their families well into the 1900s.  Justin and I have exchanged e-mails, back and forth, as he has shared finds and I’ve shared information from the Native Names Project.

But then, Justin found it…and “it” wasn’t at all what he expected.  In addition to being descended from Native people, Justin is also descended from one of the most notorious Indian killers in American history.

“In 1637, in the service of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Captain John Underhill led an attack, together with Mohegan Indians, on the Pequot fortified village near modern Mystic, Connecticut. They set fire to the village, killing any who attempted to flee. About 400 Pequots died in what came to be called the Mystic Massacre. But Captain Underhill’s soldier of fortune Indian killing was only just beginning. In the service of New Netherland, he slaughtered between 500 and 700 individuals thought to be of the Siwanoy and Wechquaesgeek groups of the Wappinger Confederacy. And in 1644, he cleared Fort Massapequa right here on Long Island, killing about 120 Indians. According to historical accounts, after the Natives were dead and stacked up, Underhill and his men sat down and ate their breakfast.”

So what does Justin do with this horrible event that occurred just 16 years after that first celebration of Thanksgiving?  I mean, most of us have developed this life-long love affair with our Native ancestors, even if we don’t know who they were, exactly.  They were victims, betrayed by European promises, and we have spent untold hundreds, probably thousands or tens of thousands of hours and dollars trying to resurrect them in some small way from the nameless oblivion of history.  Part of who we are is defined by who they were.  We love our ancestors, all of them.  Many of us feel an obligation to do what we can to right the wrongs done to our ancestors in any way possible, even if the only thing we can do is identify them, maybe recover their name or something about them to give them a voice, a definition, a tangible memory to record for posterity.  It’s something, better than nothing, and it defines them as more than an almost anonymous disappearing footnote in history where the European’s put them and the Native tribes of today condemn them to stay.

But never, never do we expect to find an Indian killer, and not only that, a no-excuses, non-penitent repeat offender….so desensitized to human death that he and his cronies sat by the bodies of those families, including women and children, systematically, genocidally murdered and ate breakfast, probably covered in their blood.

In my family story, I know who the good guys are, and the bad guys.  I know who to love and who to hate, who to root for and who were the oppressors. And I’m not descended from really “bad guys,” at least not Indian Killer type bad guys.  I’ve got a few other colorful people, some slave owners, a couple bigamists, a wife-murderer and a moonshiner…but not people who systematically, unemotionally, slaughtered entire tribes of people.  And in those tribes of people were Justin’s ancestors too.  So now, what does Justin do with this?  Who does he love and who does he hate?  How does he come to terms with this, that he carries the genes and ancestry of both?  Do they fight within him from time to time?  Who is Justin?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted in Massachusetts, Massapequa, Mohegan, Pequot, Siwanoy, Wappinger, Wechquaesgeek | 25 Comments

Cherokee Words from 1888 Primer Spoken

Cherokee primer

In 1821, Sequoyah created the first Cherokee alphabet.  He used 85 characters to represent sounds in the Cherokee language.

Reverend Chamberlin procured a printing press and printed hymnals and other books in Cherokee, beginning before the removal and continuing after.

Part of Reverend Chamberlin’s collection, a Cherokee pictorial book printed in 1888, shown above, is being digitized as part of a larger Cherokee manuscript digitization project at Yale University.

By clicking on the Slate Voice “soundcloud” link above the primer pages on their webpage, you can hear Tom Belt, a Native Cherokee speaker, read the series of vocabulary words in Cherokee from this primer.

Hat tip to Steven for sending this site my way.

Posted in Cherokee | 2 Comments

Charles “Chief” Albert Bender

Chief BenderCharles Albert “Chief” Bender was born on May 5th, 1883 at the White Earth Chippewa Indian Reservation, Brainerd, Minnesota. He was one of 13 children born to Mary Razor (Indian name: Pay shaw de o quay), who was of half Ojibwa (Chippewa) parentage, and Albert Bliss Bender, a homesteader-farmer of German-American descent.

Bender attended the Lincoln Institution, a school for Indians and whites in Philadelphia, from ages 8 to 12, and then returned briefly to Minnesota. From 1898-1901, he was a student at the Carlisle Indian School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania playing baseball for the legendary Glen “Pop” Warner. A natural athlete, Bender also participated in football, basketball and track.

In 1902, Bender attended Dickinson College (also in Carlisle) where he played baseball and football. That summer, Bender pitched for the semi-pro Harrisburg Athletic Club—earning $100.00 a month—and was discovered by Philadelphia Athletics’ scout Jesse Frisinger. Connie Mack then signed Bender to a contract with the Philadelphia Athletics for $1,800 a year, the start of a 12-year relationship with the club.

It appears that Chief was his nickname and not his status within the tribe, although he is listed in the Carlisle Records as “Charles Albert Bender, Chippewa Chief.”  His brother, James Bender also attended Carlisle but was expelled, and his sister, Elizabeth, taught at Carlisle.

Additional information can be found here and here.

Posted in Chippewa, Ojibwa, Schools | 7 Comments

Native Amercan Gene Flow – Europe?, Asia and the Americas

Pre-release information from the paper, “Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans” which included results and analysis of DNA sequencing of 24,000 year old skeletal remains of a 4 year old Siberian boy caused quite a stir.  Unfortunately, it was also misconstrued and incorrectly extrapolated in some articles.  Some people misunderstood, either unintentionally or intentionally, and suggested that people with haplogroups U and R are Native American.  That is not what either the prerelease or the paper itself says.  Not only is that information and interpretation incorrect, the paper itself with the detailed information wasn’t published until November 20th, in Nature.

The paper is currently behind a paywall, so I’m going to discuss parts of it here, along with some additional information from other sources.  To help with geography, the following google map shows the following locations: A=the Altai Republic, in Russia, B=Mal’ta, the location of the 24,000 year old skeletal remains and C=Lake Baikal, the region from where the Native American population originated in Asia.

native flow map

Nature did publish an article preview.  That information is in bold, italics and I will be commenting in nonbold, nonitalics.

The origins of the First Americans remain contentious. Although Native Americans seem to be genetically most closely related to east Asians1, 2, 3, there is no consensus with regard to which specific Old World populations they are closest to4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Here we sequence the draft genome of an approximately 24,000-year-old individual (MA-1), from Mal’ta in south-central Siberia9, to an average depth of 1×. To our knowledge this is the oldest anatomically modern human genome reported to date.

Within the paper, the authors also compare the MA-1 sequence to that of another 40,000 year old individual from Tianyuan Cave, China whose genome has been partially sequenced.  This Chinese individual has been shown to be ancestral to both modern-day Asians and Native Americans.  This comparison was particularly useful, because it showed that MA-1 is not closely related to the Tianyuan Cave individual, and is more closely related to Native Americans.  This means that MA-1’s line and Tianyuan Cave’s line had not yet met and admixed into the population that would become the Native Americans.  That occurred sometime later than 24,000 years ago and probably before crossing Beringia into North America sometime between about 18,000 and 20,000 years ago.

The MA-1 mitochondrial genome belongs to haplogroup U, which has also been found at high frequency among Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers10, 11, 12, and the Y chromosome of MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and near the root of most Native American lineages5.

The paper goes on to say that MA-1 is a member of mitochondrial (maternal) haplogroup U, very near the base of that haplogroup, but without affiliation to any known subclade, implying either that the subclade is rare or extinct in modern populations.  In other words, this particular line of haplogroup U has NOT been found in any population, anyplace.  According to the landmark paper,  “A ‘‘Copernican’’ Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from its Root,” by Behar et al, 2012, haplogroup U itself was born about 46,500 years ago (plus or minus 3.200 years) and today has 9 major subclades (plus haplogroup K) and about 300 branching clades from those 9 subclades, excluding haplogroup K.

The map below, from the supplemental material included with the paper shows the distribution of haplogroup U, the black dots showing locations of haplogroup U comparison DNA.

Native flow Hap U map

In a recent paper, “Ancient DNA Reveals Key Stages in the Formation of Central European Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity” by Brandt et al (including the National Geographic Consortium) released in October 2013, the authors report that in the 198 ancient DNA samples collected from 25 German sites and compared to almost 68,000 current results, all of the ancient Hunter-Gatherer cultural results were haplogroup U, U4, U5 and U8.  No other haplogroups were represented.  In addition, those haplogroups disappeared from the region entirely with the advent of farming, shown on the chart below.

Native flow Brandt map

So, if someone who carries haplogroup U wants to say that they are distantly related to MA-1 who lived 24,000 years ago who was also related to their common ancestor who lived sometime prior to that, between 24,000 and 50,000 years ago, probably someplace between the Middle East where U was born, Mal’ta, Siberia and Western Europe, they would be correct.  They are also distantly related to every other person in the world who carries haplogroup U, and many much more closely that MA-1 whose mitochondrial DNA line is either rare as chicken’s teeth (i.e. never found) or has gone extinct.

Let me be very clear about this, there is no evidence, none, that mitochondrial haplogroup U is found in the Native American population today that is NOT a result of post-contact admixture.  In other words, in the burials that have been DNA tested, there is not one example in either North or South America of a burial carrying mitochondrial haplogroup U, or for that matter, male Y haplogroup R.  Native American haplogroups found in the Americas remain subsets of mitochondrial haplogroups A, B, C, D and X and Y DNA haplogroups C and Q.  Mitochondrial haplogroup M has potentially been found in one Canadian burial.  No other haplogroups have been found.  Until pre-contact remains are found with base haplogroups other than the ones listed above, no one can ethically claim that other haplogroups are of Native American origin.  Finding any haplogroup in a contemporary Native population does not mean that it was originally Native, or that it should be counted as such.  Admixture and adoption have been commonplace since Europeans first set foot on the soil of the Americas.

Now let’s talk about the Y DNA of MA-1.

The authors state that MA-1’s results are found very near the base of haplogroup R.  They note that the sister lineage of haplogroup R, haplogroup Q, is the most common haplogroup in Native Americans and that the closest Eurasian Q results to Native Americans come from the Altai region.

The testing of the MA-1 Y chromosome was much more extensive than the typical STR genealogy tests taken by consumers today.  MA-1’s Y chromosome was sequenced at 5.8 million base pairs at a coverage of 1.5X.

The resulting haplotree is shown below, again from the supplementary material.

Native flow R tree

 native flow r tree text

The current haplogroup distribution range for haplogroup R is shown below, again with comparison points as black dots.

Native flow R map

The current distribution range for Eurasian haplogroup Q is shown on the map below.  Haplogroup Q is the most common haplogroup in Native Americans.

Native flow Q map

Similarly, we find autosomal evidence that MA-1 is basal to modern-day western Eurasians and genetically closely related to modern-day Native Americans, with no close affinity to east Asians. This suggests that populations related to contemporary western Eurasians had a more north-easterly distribution 24,000 years ago than commonly thought. Furthermore, we estimate that 14 to 38% of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population. This is likely to have occurred after the divergence of Native American ancestors from east Asian ancestors, but before the diversification of Native American populations in the New World. Gene flow from the MA-1 lineage into Native American ancestors could explain why several crania from the First Americans have been reported as bearing morphological characteristics that do not resemble those of east Asians2, 13.

Kennewick Man is probably the most famous of the skeletal remains that don’t neatly fit into their preconceived box.  Kennewick man was discovered on the bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington in 1996 and is believed to be from 7300 to 7600 years old.  His anatomical features were quite different from today’s Native Americans and his relationship to ancient people is unknown.  An initial evaluation and a 2010 reevaluation of Kennewick Man let to the conclusion by Doug Owsley, a forensic anthropologist, that Kennewick Man most closely resembles the Ainu people of Japan who themselves are a bit of an enigma, appearing much more Caucasoid than Asian.  Unfortunately, DNA sequencing of Kennewick Man originally was ussuccessful and now, due to ongoing legal issues, more technologically advanced DNA testing has not been allowed.  Nova sponsored a facial reconstruction of Kennewick Man which you can see here.

Sequencing of another south-central Siberian, Afontova Gora-2 dating to approximately 17,000 years ago14, revealed similar autosomal genetic signatures as MA-1, suggesting that the region was continuously occupied by humans throughout the Last Glacial Maximum. Our findings reveal that western Eurasian genetic signatures in modern-day Native Americans derive not only from post-Columbian admixture, as commonly thought, but also from a mixed ancestry of the First Americans.

In addition to the sequencing they set forth above, the authors compared the phenotype information obtainable from MA-1 to the Tyrolean Iceman, typically called Otzi.  You can see Otzi’s facial reconstruction along with more information here.  This is particularly interesting in light of the pigmentation change from darker skin in Africa to lighter skin in Eurasia, and the question of when this appearance change occurred.  MA-1 shows a genetic affinity with the contemporary people of northern Europe, the population today with the highest frequency of light pigmentation phenotypes.  The authors compared the DNA of MA-1 with a set of 124 SNPs identified in 2001 by Cerquira as informative on skin, hair and eye pigmentation color, although they also caution that this method has limited prediction accuracy.  Given that, they say that MA-1 had dark hair, skin and eyes, but they were not able to sequence the full set of SNPs.  MA-1 also had the SNP value associated with a high risk of male pattern baldness, a trait seldom found in Native American people and was not lactose tolerant, a trait found in western Eurasians.  MA-1 also does not carry the mutation associated with hair thickness and shovel shaped incisors in Asians.

The chart below from the supplemental material shows the comparison with MA-1 and the Tyrolean Iceman.

Native flow Otzi table

The Tarim Mummies, found in the Tarim Basin in present-day Xinjiang, China are another example of remains that seem out of place.  The earliest Tarim mummies, found at Qäwrighul and dated to 1800 BCE, are of a Europoid physical type whose closest affiliation is to the Bronze Age populations of southern Siberia, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and the Lower Volga.

The cemetery at Yanbulaq contained 29 mummies which date from 1100–500 BCE, 21 of which are Mongoloid—the earliest Mongoloid mummies found in the Tarim Basin—and eight of which are of the same Europoid physical type found at Qäwrighul.

Notable mummies are the tall, red-haired “Chärchän man” or the “Ur-David” (1000 BCE); his son (1000 BCE), a small 1-year-old baby with brown hair protruding from under a red and blue felt cap, with two stones positioned over its eyes; the “Hami Mummy” (c. 1400–800 BCE), a “red-headed beauty” found in Qizilchoqa; and the “Witches of Subeshi” (4th or 3rd century BCE), who wore 2-foot-long (0.61 m) black felt conical hats with a flat brim. Also found at Subeshi was a man with traces of a surgical operation on his neck; the incision is sewn up with sutures made of horsehair.

Their costumes, and especially textiles, may indicate a common origin with Indo-European neolithic clothing techniques or a common low-level textile technology. Chärchän man wore a red twill tunic and tartan leggings. Textile expert Elizabeth Wayland Barber, who examined the tartan-style cloth, discusses similarities between it and fragments recovered from salt mines associated with the Hallstatt culture.

DNA testing revealed that the maternal lineages were predominantly East Eurasian haplogroup C with smaller numbers of H and K, while the paternal lines were all R1a1a. The geographic location of where this admixing took place is unknown, although south Siberia is likely.  You can view some photographs of the mummies here.

In closing, the authors of the MA-1 paper state that the study has four important implications.

First, we find evidence that contemporary Native Americans and western Eurasians shareancestry through gene flow from a Siberian Upper  Palaeolithic population into First Americans.

Second, our findings may provide an explanation for the presence of mtDNA haplogroup X in Native Americans, which is related to western Eurasians but not found in east Asian populations.

Third, such an easterly presence in Asia of a population related to contemporary western Eurasians provides a possibility that non-east Asian cranial characteristics of the First Americans derived from the Old World via migration through Beringia, rather than by a trans-Atlantic voyage from Iberia as proposed by the Solutrean hypothesis.

Fourth, the presence of an ancient western Eurasian genomic signature in the Baikal area before and after the LGM suggests that parts of south-central Siberia were occupied by humans throughout the coldest stages of the last ice age.

The times, they are a changin’.

Dr. Michael Hammer’s presentation at the 9th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy may shed some light on all of this seeming confusing and somewhat conflicting information.

The graphic below shows the Y haplogroup base tree as documented by van Oven.

Native flow basic Y

You can see, in the lower right corner, that Y haplogroup K (not to be confused with mtDNA haplogroup K discussed in conjunction with mtDNA haplogroup U) was the parent of haplogroup P which is the parent of both haplogroups Q and R.

It has always been believed that haplogroup R made its way into Europe before the arrival of Neolithic farmers about 10,000 years ago.  However, that conclusion has been called into question, also by the use of Ancient DNA results.  You can view additional information about Hammer’s presentation here, but in a nutshell, he said that there is no early evidence in burials, at all, for haplogroup R being in Europe at an early age.  In about 40 burials from several location, haplogroup R has never been found.  If it were present, especially in the numbers expected given that it represents more than half of the haplogroups of the men of Europe today, it should be represented in these burials, but it is not.  Hammer concludes that evidence supports a recent spread of haplogroup R into Europe about 5000 years ago.  Where was haplogroup R before spreading into Europe?  In Asia.

Native flow hammer dist

It appears that haplogroup K diversified in Southeast Asian, giving birth to haplogroups P, Q and R. Dr. Hammer said that this new information, combined with new cluster information and newly discovered SNP information over the past two years requires that haplogroup K be significantly revised.  Between the revision of haplogroup K, the parent of both haplogroup R, previously believed to be European, and haplogroup Q, known to be Asian, European and Native, we may be in for a paradigm shift in terms of what we know about ancient migrations and who is whom.  This path for haplogroup R into Europe really shouldn’t be surprising.  It’s the exact same distribution as haplogroup Q, except haplogroup Q is much less frequently found in Europe than haplogroup R.

What Can We Say About MA-1?

In essence, we can’t label MA-1 as paternally European because of Y haplogroup R which now looks to have had an Asian genesis and was not known to have been in Europe 24,000 years ago, only arriving about 5,000 years ago.  We can’t label haplogroup R as Native American, because it has never been found in a pre-Columbian New World burial.

We can say that mitochondrial haplogroup U is found in Europe in Hunter-Gatherer groups six thousand years ago (R  was not) but we really don’t know if haplogroup U was in Europe 24,000 years ago.  We cannot label haplogroup U as Native because it has never been found in a pre-Columbian New World burial.

We can determine that MA-1 did have ancestors who eventually became European due to autosomal analysis, but we don’t know that those people lived in what is now Europe 24,000 years ago.  So the migration might have been into Europe, not out of Europe.  MA-1, his ancestors and descendants, may have lived in Asia and subsequently settled in Europe or lived someplace inbetween.  We can determine that MA-1’s line of people eventually admixed with people from East Asia, probably in Siberia, and became today’s First People of North and South America.

We can say that MA-1 appears to have been about 30% what is today Western Eurasian and that he is closely related to modern day Native Americans, but not eastern Asians.  The authors estimate that between 14% and 38% of Native American ancestry comes from MA-1’s ancient population.

Whoever thought we could learn so much from a 4 year old?

For anyone seriously interested in Native American population genetics, “Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans” is a must read.

It’s been a great month for ancient DNA.  Additional recent articles which pertain to this topic include:

If you would like to take a DNA test, click here.

Posted in Anthropology, Archaeology, Archaic Indians, Asia, Canada, DNA, Europe, History, Lake Baikal, Maps, Migration, News, Origins, Paleoindians, Research, Teeth | 4 Comments

Hamilton McMillan Revisited

Hamilton  McMillan (1837-1916)

Hamilton McMillan, a man with a vision, founded UNC Pembroke, originally a school for Indian children and is viewed as the institution’s founding father. original hamilton mcmillan

In 1885, Representative Hamilton McMillan of Robeson County, NC, introduced legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly giving the American Indians of Robeson County a legal identity and schools of their own. On March 7, 1887, the General Assembly enacted legislation, sponsored by McMillan, creating the Croatan Normal School (now The University of North Carolina at Pembroke).

Hamilton mcmillan statueWhile serving in the General Assembly, McMillan became convinced that people now called the Lumbee were descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony and he used that information to enact legislation that would serve to provide education to the Indian children of Robeson County.

As one might expect, the University has erected a statue in his honor.

His 1888 book titled “The Lost Colony” can be seen at this link:

I transcribed and extracted from this book, and applied more recent research techniques to the task at hand resulting in the following article,  “McMillan Revisited.”

McMillan Revisited

This original document was written by Hamilton McMillan in 1888.  I have transcribed the original and added research notes where the data was adequate to either refute or verify what Mr. McMillan wrote or to add more information.

“Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony, an Historical Sketch of the Attempts of Sir Walter Raleigh to Establish a Colony in Virginia with the Traditions of an Indian Tribe in North Carolina indicating the Fate of the Colony of Englishmen Left on Roanoke Island in 1587” by Hamilton McMillan (1888).

P 1 – In 1583, “Elizabeth by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, Queen, defender of the faith” granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, his heirs and assigns forever, letters patent “to discover, search, find and view such remote heathen and barbarous lands, countries and territories, not actually possessed of any Christian Prince, nor inhabited by Christian people as to him, his heirs and assigns, to every or any of them shall seem good, and the same to have hold and occupy and enjoy, to him his heirs and assigns forever.”

It was provided further that a settlement should be made in the territory granted within 6 years next succeeding  the date of the letters patent.

This grant was made during one of the most critical periods of British history.  The Protestant Elizabeth has espoused the cause of the Netherlands and had given high offense to Spain by rejecting the proposed matrimonial alliance with Philip, the reigning monarch of that country.  The Armada, consisting of 140 ships of war and carrying fully 30,000 men threatened at attack upon England.  Powerful allies stood ready to assist King Philip.  The length of time necessary to complete this powerful armament had afforded to Elizabeth opportunity to prepare for the impending danger. Sir Walter Raleigh then enjoyed high favor at court.  The Queen early discovered his soldierly qualities and intellectual ability and in addition to high rank which she bestowed upon him, readily granted him and his heirs extensive territory in North America. Raleigh was one of the most skillful generals of his time and while actively engage in preparation for the threatened invasion of England found opportunity to fit out an expedition to the coast of America to make discoveries and to locate a colony in compliance with the terms of his grant.  The commanders of the expedition were Philip Armadas and Arthur Barlowe who sailed with 2 barques from the coast of England on the 15th day of April 1584 (old style) and reached the cost of America in July of the same year.  They sailed along the coast for 120 miles before they found any river or entrance issuing into the sea.  These navigators probably entered Hatteras Inlet on the coast of what is now NC and having anchored “within the haven’s mouth of the left hand of the same”, they went in boats “to view the land adjoining and to take possession of the same in right of the Queen’s most excellent majesty as rightful Queen and Princess of the same.”  The land thus taken into possession was Roanoke Island about 7 leagues distant from the anchorage.

After a stay of nearly 2 months, the expedition returned to England, carrying two of the natives, Manteo and Wanchese.  The disposition of the natives towards the Englishmen was friendly and though no reason is given for carrying two Indians to England, it was probably understood that a second expedition would soon follow and that they could return to their own country  at an early day.  There was good policy in impressing them, as prominent men of their own land, with the greatness of England.  Manteo and Wanchese returned in another expedition to Roanoke, the former to become Lord of Roanoke, the later to become the determined enemy of the English.

A second expedition under Sir Richard Grenville, the cousin of Sir Walter Raleigh, sailed from England on the 9th of April 1585.  This expedition consisted of 7 vessels, and arrived at Roanoke during the following July.  In August following, Sir Richard Grenville returned to England after leaving a colony on Roanoke Island under Master Ralf Lane.

Lane explored the surrounding country making many valuable discoveries, and finally despairing of aid expected, embarked with his entire colony on the fleet of Sir Francis Drake, which stopped at Roanoke and sailed for England.

This departure of Lane’s colony left no Englishman on the shores of North America.

Page 3 – Chapter 2 – In less than one month from the departure of Lane, Sir Richard Grenville arrived at Roanoke with supplies an after a fruitless search for the colonists, he left 15 men on the island to hold possession of the country.  After the departure by Grenville, these men were seen no more by Englishmen.

Not discouraged by repeated failures, Sir Walter Raleigh fitted out another expedition under John White as Governor, who with others of the colonists, were incorporated as “the Governor and Assistants of the Cittie of Raleigh in Virginia”.  The city of Raleigh was designated to be built on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

Governor White was instructed to call at Roanoke to ascertain the fate of the 15 men left there by Sir Richard Grenville.  The commanders of the ships seemed to have been independent of the authority of Governor White, and fully aware that a voyage to the Chesapeake Bay would delay their expected cruise in the West Indies, refused to transport the colony to its destination, thus compelling White to stop at Roanoke Island.  The vessels soon departed in search of Spanish prizes.

After reciting many incidents, Governor White relates that “on the 13th of August, our savage, Manteo, by the commandment of Sir Walter Raleigh, was christened in Roanoke and called Lord thereof, and of Dasmonquepeuk, in reward of this faithful service.”  “the 18th, Eleanor, daughter of Governor White and wife to Ananias Dare, one of the colonists, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoke, and the same was christened there the Sunday following, and because this child was the first Christian born in Virginia, she was named Virginia.”

Governor White relates that a violent tempest arose on the 21st of August which lasted for 6 days and threatened the destruction of one of the vessels then ready to sail for England.  Governor White was sent back to England by the planters to act there as factor for the colony.

The Croatan Indians who visited Roanoke Island invited the colonists to reside with them, and the latter, prior to the departure of the Governor, expressed to him their intention to accept the invitation and to remove 50 miles “up into the main”.  It was understood that if they went to Croatoan, they were to carve the word Croatoan on the bark of a tree in some conspicuous place, that he Governor might know where to find them on his return.  It was further understood that if they left the Island in distress they were to carve the Christian cross above the word Croatoan.

On the 27th of August, White sailed for England and the colonists were seen no more by white men.

Page 4 – chapter 3 – On his arrival in England, Governor White found all things in commotion.  The long threatened storm of war had burst upon England and the services of Sir Walter Raleigh and others who were interested in the distant colony, were enlisted in the national defense.  It was a critical period of British history.  Queen Elizabeth relied upon the skill of Raleigh, under whose guidance the Armada was defeated, and “liberty of person and liberty of conscience were once more free”.

On the 22nd of August 1588, Governor White by aid of Sir Walter Raleigh sailed from England with 2 barques to visit the colony at Roanoke.   These vessels, disabled in fighting ships encountered during the voyage, were compelled to return to England.  No further attempt to reach the colony was made till the 20th of March 1590, when White again sailed for Virginia with three vessels.  Nearly 6  months passed before the vessel reached Roanoke in the following August.

In his account of this voyage as published by Hakluyt, Governor White said that “on the 15th of August, towards evening, we came to anchor at Hattorask in 36 1/3 degrees, in 5 fathoms of water, three leagues from the shore.  At our first coming to anchor on this shore, we saw a great smoke rise in the isle Roanoke, near the place where I had left our colony in the year 1587 which smoke put us in good hope that some of the colony were there expecting our return out of England.  The 16th and next morning, our two boats went ashore and Captain Cooke and Captain Spicer and their company with me with intent to pas to the place at Roanoke where our countrymen were left.  At our putting from the ship, we commanded our master-gunner to make ready 2 minnions and a falcon, well loaded, and to shoot them off with reasonable space between every shot, to the end that their reports might be heard to the place where we hoped to find some of our people.”

Omitting some unimportant details we extract from White’s narrative the following:  “Our boats and all things filled again, we put off from Hattorask, being the number of 19 persons in both boats, but before we could get to the place where our planters were left, it was so exceedingly dark that we overshot the place a quarter of a mile, when we espied towards the north end of the island (Roanoke) the light of a great fire through the woods to which we presently rowed: When we came right over against it, we let fall our grapnel near the shore and sounded with a trumpet a call, and afterwards many familiar tunes and sons and called to them friendly; but we had no answer, we therefore landed at day break and coming to the fire we found the grass and sundry rotten trees burning about the place.  From hence we went through the woods to that part of the island directly over against Dasamonguepeuk, and from thence we returned by the water side round about the north point of the island until we came to the place where I left our colony in the year 1587.  In all the way we saw in the sand the print of the savage’s feet of two or three sorts trodden in the night, and as well entered up the sandy bank, upon a tree in the very brow thereof, were curiously carved these fair Roman letters, C.R.O., which letters presently we knew to signify the place where I should find the planters, seated, according to a secret token agreed up on between them and me at my last departure from them, which was that in any way they should not fail to write or carve  on the trees or posts of the door the name of the place where they should be seated, for at my coming away they were prepared to remove from Roanoke 50 miles into the main.  Therefore at my departure from them in August 1587, I willed them that if they should happen to be distressed in any of those places that they should carve over the letters of a name a cross (cross shape) in this form, but we found no such sign of distress.  And having well considered of this we passed through the place where they were left in sundry houses, but we found the houses taken down and the place very strongly enclosed with a high palisade of great trees with curtains and flankers, very fortlike, and one of the chief trees or posts at the right side of the entrance had the bark taken off, and 5 feet from the ground, in fair capital letters, was graven “Croatoan”, without any cross or sign of distress.  This done, we entered into the palisado, where we found many bars of iron and two pigs of lead, 4 iron fowlers, iron locker, shot and such like heavy things thrown here and there almost over grown with grass and weeds.”  “But although it grieved me much to see such spoil of my goods, yet on the other side, I greatly joyed that I had safely found a certain token of their being at Crotoan, which is the place where Manteo was born, and the savages of the island our friends.”

Foul weather compelled Governor White to return to the fleet, and on the following day, with a favorable wind they prepared to sail to Croatan, but owing to the loss of all their anchors, save one, and the approaching foul weather, it was determined to sail to St. John or some other island southward for fresh water and after obtaining victuals and necessaries in the West indies and spending the winter there, to return in the spring to seek the colonist at Croatoan. One of the vessels being in a leaky condition was compelled to sail for England.  The other vessel after cruising for awhile in search of Spanish prizes, finally sailed for England and arrived at Plymouth on the 14th of October, 1590.

P 7 – From the story of Governor White, it is evident that Croatoan was situated southward from Roanoke Island, and up on the coast, for the voyages attempted to sail to it upon the open sea.  It is probably that the island mentioned was one of the long islands curtaining the coast and embracing within the present county of Carteret.  It is so located on one of the olde maps, bearing date of 1666[1].

Carolina 1666 Robert Horne

On a map published by order of the Lords Proprietors in 1671, the peninsula embracing the present county of Dare is called Croatan.[2]

Lawson 1709 map 2

Lawson’s map of the year 1709 also locates Croatan in the same region[3].

Indian townmap

The sound immediately west of Roanoke Island still bears the name of Croatan.  The name of the island belonging to the tribe was Croatoan, while the name of the tribe inhabiting it, may have been Croatan.  The name Croatan was given to the tribe by the English from the name of a locality within their territory.  That part of their territory lying west of Roanoke Island was called Dasamonguepeuk by some of the natives.  Manteo, by order of Sir Walter Raleigh, was made of “Lord of Roanoke and Dasamonguepeuk”, the first instance of a title of nobility being conferred on an American.  There can be little doubt that the territory now embraced within the counties of Hyde, Tyrrell and Dare was claimed and occupied by the friendly tribe of Manteo at one time, and was designated as Croatan, and at another time occupied by a different tribe of hostile Indians who called it Dasamonquepeuk.  Croatoan, the principal seat of Manteo and his tribe lay to the southward.  The name carved upon the tree according to a secret understanding between Governor White and the planters prior to the departure of the former, was Croatoan, and was understood by him to mean an island southward from Roanoke, “for there” he related, “Manteo was born and the savages of the island, our friends.”

P 8 – For nearly three hundred years after the departure of White no trace of the lost colony had been discovered, with the exception of the following related by Lawson, an early historian, who wrote in 1714: “the Hatteras Indians who lived on Roanoke Island, or much frequented it, tell us that several of their ancestors were white people and could talk in a book, as we do; the truth of which is confirmed by gray eyes being frequently found amongst these Indians, and no others.  They value themselves extremely for their affinity to the English, and are ready to do them all friendly offices.”

Purchas tells us that several subsequent voyages were made at the expense of Sir Walter Raleigh, to discover his lost countrymen, but without success.  Commanders of ships in those days were more anxious to capture Spanish vessels than to find lost Englishmen and it is doubtful if a single ship touched at Croatan or Roanoke to make enquiries, after the departure of White in 1590.

Chapter 4 – Who were the Croatons?  The term Croatan or Croatoan was applied by the English to the friendly tribe of Manteo whose chief abode was on an island on the coast southward from Roanoke.  The name Croatan seems to indicate a locality in the territory claimed by Manteo and his tribe as Hatteras Indians, and from an incident to be related hereafter, this title seems to have been recognized by these Indians.  From the first appearance of Amadas and Barlowe to the departure of Governor White in 1587 relations of the most friendly character are known to have existed between this tribe and the English colonists.  Their chief, Manteo, in reward of his faithful services to the English, was, by command of Sir Walter Raleigh, baptized as a member of the Church of England and was made Lord of Roanoke and of Dasamonguepeuk.

For reasons given in the succeeding pages, we believe the term Roanoke, then applied to the island, was afterwards given to a large extent of territory contiguous to Pamlico Sound, in fact to all the territory claimed by Manteo.  The tribes at that early day, seemed to have had no settled boundaries to the territories claimed by them and occupied the land adjacent to their principal seats, alternately with other tribes, as hunting grounds.

The history of this tribe, as connected with the early attempts to colonize our eastern coast, is of peculiar interest and is worthy of extended notice.

Harriott, who accompanied Lane’s expedition to Virginia, in describing the Indians on our coast, says “they are a people clothes with loose mantles made of deer skins and aprons of the same around their middles, else naked, of such a difference of stature as we of England, having no edge tools or weapons or iron or steel to offend us withal, neither know they how to make any.”  “The language of every government is different from any other, and the further they are distant, the greater is the difference.”  “They believe that they are many gods, which they call Mantoac but of different sorts and degrees, one only chief and great God which has been from all eternity.”  “They also believe the immortality of the soul, that after this life as soon as the soul is departed from the body according to the works it has done, it is either carried to heaven, the habitable of the gods, there to enjoy perpetual bliss and happiness, or else to a great pit or hole, which they think to be in the furthest part of the world towards the sunset, there to burn continuously[4], the place they call Popogusso.”

In reading this account of the religion of the natives, we conclude that at some period they had communication with more civilized races from the East who impressed upon them some idea of faith more exalted than the common among savages.  Some may be ready to accept the absurdities of monkish fancy and readily believe them to be descendants of the “lost tribes” who had retained something of ancient Jewish faith.  The difference in color, language and other characteristics renders it difficult to accept such a theory.  The knowledge of this western land is as old as the time of Plato and Solon, who mention an island in the west called Atlantis “and a great continent which lay beyond it”.  The Persians established a colony in the West Indies a thousand years ago, which, by “abstaining by all admixture with the black aborigines, differs but little from their progenitors in the parent country.”  The Welsh colonized the Carolina coast in the 12th century.  In 1660 Rev. Morgan Jones in travelling in the Tuscarora country was captured by the Doegs, a branch of that tribe who spoke Welsh.  He describes them as settled upon Pontigo river near Cape Atross.  This statement seems to confirm the Welsh chronicle which describes Madoc’s colony.  Long before the discovery of Columbus the Basques sent fishing vessels to the northern part of America.  The Norse records describe voyages to the American coast, reciting facts and dates which are confirmed by Irish and Arabic chronicles, and also by the inscription on Woman’s Islands on our northern coast bearing date of April 25, 1135[5].  If we discredit the accounts of these early voyages we may discredit anything of ancient date recorded in history.  The Sanscrit root syllable ap and the Latin root ak, both meaning water, are detected in the names of scores of rivers and bays on our Atlantic coast facing Europe, where vessels driven by the northeast trade winds, would probably reach our shores.

We cite these facts in support of the theory that colonies were in past times, located on our coast, and in course of time were neglected and forgotten by the parent countries and became absorbed by native tribes.  If this theory is accepted in will account for traditions of wrecked vessels prevalent among the Indians described by Harriot, as well as for their religious notions so far above those commonly found among savages.  Prescott, as quoted by Dr. Hawks in speaking of Indians found on the Atlantic coast of North America, says, “they had attained to the sublime conception of one Great Spirit, the creator of the universe, who immaterial in his own nature, was not to be dishonored by an attempt at visible representation and who pervaded all space was not to circumscribed within the walls of a temple.”

What may have been the origin on the tribe, known to us through the English colonists as Croatan, can only be a matter of conjecture.  They had traditions of vessels wrecked in past times, and the affirmed that iron implements found among them were obtained from such wrecks.  Children with auburn hair and blue eyes were noticed among them, which impressed the belief that they had had communication with the white people.  From the appearance of Amidas and Barlowe in 1584 to the departure of Governor White in 1587, their demeanor towards the whites was friendly.  The treatment received by Manteo during his visit to England may have enhanced the good feeling towards the English.  What became of them?

Page11 – Chapter 5 – After the departure of Governor White from the coast of Virginia in 1590, 5 expeditions were fitted out at the expense of Sir Walter Raleigh for the relief of his distressed countrymen at Roanoke.

After the settlement of Jamestown in 1607, Captain John Smith sent a hardy woodsman to the Chowanoke Indians, who lived near the head of Albemarle Sound, under the pretense of sending presents to their king, but his object was to make inquiries concerning the Roanoke colony.  Captain Smith sent two other men to the Mangoaks, on the river Nottoway, but they returned as the other had done, without any information except that the white people were all dead.  (Vide Williamson’s His. Of NC Vol 1 p73)

It is evident from the story of Governor White, as given on a preceding page, that the colonists went southward along the coast to Croatoan Island, now a part of Carteret county, in North Carolina, and distant about one hundred miles in a direct line from Albemarle Sound.  The Mangoacks were seated northwest from Albemarle and it is not surprising that the messenger returned without definite information.  The statement of Lawson, as to the tradition of the Hatteras Indians, may throw some light on the fate of the English colonists, but it is a matter of surprise to us at this time that a historian would not pursue the investigation of that tradition far enough to ascertain who those ancestors were who could “talk in a book”.  Europeans had been upon the coast even before the arrival of Amidas and Barlowe in 1584.  Persons were noticed among the native with auburn and chestnut colored hair and traditions existed concerning wrecked vessels.  Iron implements were found among the Croatoan Indians made of spikes and nails obtained from a wreck on their coast, which occurred about 20 years before the arrival of the English colony.  A previous wreck in 1558 was mentioned, some of the crew were saved and were supposed to have been lost in their attempt to leave in the frail boats of the natives.  Lawson wrote in 1714, 127 years after the colonists were last seen on Roanoke Island.  Sixty nine years after the settlement on that island and 60 years before the event related by Lawson, Roanoke was visited by an Englishman, Francis Yeardly, who, in a letter to John Farrar, Esquire, dated May 8, 1654, relates a visit made to Roanoke Island by himself and others, “where or thereabouts they found the great commander of these parts with his Indians ahunting, who received them civilly, and showed the ruins of Sir Walter Raleigh’s fort, from which I received a sure token of their being there.  After some days spent to and fro, in the country, the young man, the interpreter, prevailed with the great man and his war captains to come in and make peace with the English, which they willingly condescended unto.” – (Vide Hawks His NV Vol 2 p 17)[6].  So that at that early day the island was occupied by Indians who knew nothing of the lost Englishmen[7], and who pointed out Raleigh’s fort as an object of curiosity, without any tradition as to the fate of those who built it.

Reverend Mr. Blain, who as a missionary to the settlement son Pamlico Sound, after describing the difficulties of his situation, writes to his patrol Lord Weymouth, as follows:  “I think it likewise reasonable to give you an account of a great nation of Indians who live in that government, computed to be no less than 100,000 many of which live among the English, and all as far as I can understand, a very civilized people.”  This letter was written in 1703.  Mr. Blair speak of a desert of 50 miles in extent to be crossed in reaching the place.  At the time in which he writes, the descendants of the missing colonists must have held only a tradition respecting the events attending the attempt at colonization on Roanoke Island.  The number mentioned by Mr. Blair is evidently an exaggeration and the location of the tribe is indefinite.  There is reason to believe that descendants of the colonists were living in a region of the country southwest of Pamlico at the time in which he writes and that they emigrated Westward towards the interior where a large body of Croatan Indians and descendants of the lost colonists had previously located.  It is probably that the civilized Indians mentioned were a portion of the Croatan tribe, as there was no other tribe in which the reference could apply.  At that early day very little was known of the region to the Southwest of Pamlico Sound and the missionary may have traveled 100 miles in reaching the place of his labor which seemed to be at a great distance from other precincts visited by him.

At the time he writes, 1703, there were no settlements of white men known to exist beyond the region around Pamlico Sound.  Subsequent to that date white emigrants penetrated the wilderness and in 1729 there was a settlement made on Heart’s Creek[8], a tributary of the Cape Fear, and near the site of the present town of Fayetteville.  Scotchmen arrived in what is now Richmond County in North Carolina as early as 1730.  French Huguenots in large numbers emigrated to South Carolina after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and some of them had penetrated as far North as the present Northern boundary of that State, in the early part of the 18th century.

At the coming of white settlers there as found located on the waters of Lumber River, a large tribe of Indians, speaking English, tilling the soil, owning slaves and practicing many of the arts of civilized life.  They occupied the country as far west as the Pee Dee but their principal seat was on the Lumber, extending along that river for 20 miles.  They held their lands in common and land titles only became known on the approach of white men.  The first land grant of land to any of this tribe, of which there is written evidence in existence, was made by King George the 2nd in 1732 to Henry Berry and James Lowrie, two leaders of this tribe, and was located on the Lowrie Swamp east of Lumber River in present county of Robeson in NC.  A subsequent grant was made to James Lowrie in 1738.  According to tradition there were deeds of land of older date, described as “White” deeds and “Smith” deeds, but no trace of their existence can be found at this date[9].

Many of these people at a later period purchased their lands from persons who obtained large patents from the King.

Occasional bands of immigrants arrived on the Lumber River from ancient settlements towards the east, while other moved west towards the Pee Dee, Catawba, and French Broad rivers.  These people were hospitable, and friendly relations were established between them and their white neighbors.  Subsequent to the coming of white settlers a portion of the tribe went north towards the Great lakes and some of their descendants can be found at this time in Canada, West of Lake Ontario.  Another emigration occurred at a later date and the emigrants became incorporated with a tribe then located near Lake Michigan.  Many families, described as white people, emigrated towards the Allegheny mountains and there are many families in Western NC at this time who are claimed by the tribe in Robeson County, as descendants of the lost English colonists, who had preserved their purity of blood to that degree that they could not be distinguished from the white people.  These Indians build great roads connecting distant settlement with their principal seat on the Lumbee, as the Lumber river was then called.  One of the great roads constructed by them can be traced from a point on Lumber River for 20 miles to an old settlement near the mouth of Heart’s Creek, now Cross Creek[10].  Another great highway still bearing the name of the “Lowrie Road” and used at this day as a public road extends from the town of Fayetteville through Cumberland and Robeson Counties, in a SW direction towards an ancient Croatan settlement on the Pee Dee.

James Lowrie, previously mentioned as one of the grantees in the deeds made by George the 2nd, and recognized as a chief man of his tribe, is described as an Indian who married Priscilla Berry, a sister of Henry Berry, the other grantee mentioned.  James Lowrie was a descendant of James Lowrie of Chesapeake, who married a Croatan woman in Virginia, as Eastern NC is still designated by the tribe, and became the progenitor of all the Lowries belonging to this tribe.  According to the prevalent tradition respecting this family, the men were intellectual and ambitious and as a chronicler of the tribe described them, became “leaders among men”.  Many persons distinguished in the annals of NC are claimed as descended from the original James Lowrie of Chesapeake.  “You will find the name of James Lowrie”, remarked the chronicler, “wherever you find a Lowrie family.”

Henry Berry, the grantee previously mentioned, was a lineal descendant of the English colonist, Henry Berry, who was left on Roanoke Island in 1587.

Many of this tribe served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and enjoyed pensions within the memory of persons yet living.  A considerable number served during the War of 1812, some of whom received pensions within the recollection of the writer.  From the close of the Revolution to the year of 1835, they exercised the elective franchise equally with white men, performed militia duties, encouraged schools and built churches, owned slaves and lived in comfortable circumstances.  By an ordinance of the NC State convention of 1835, the elective franchise was denied to all “free persons of color”.  To effect a political purpose, it was contended that these citizens were “free persons of color” and afterwards they were debarred from voting till the year 1868, when a new constitution was adopted.  After the adoption of the new State constitution, they were allowed the benefit of public schools, but having been classed for a long period as “free persons of color”, they were compelled to patronize schools provided for the negro race.  Owing to a bitter prejudice against negroes, but few availed themselves of the privilege, the greater part preferring that their children should grow up in ignorance rather than they should be forced to associate with a race which they hold in utter contempt.  Separate schools have since been provide for their race, by the legislature of NC which, by special act, recognized them as Croatan Indians.

P 16 – Chapter VI – During the late way between the states, an incident occurred which caused the writer to investigate the traditions of this tribe.  Three young men of the Lowrie family were drafted, according to military law, to work on the fortifications at Fort Fisher in Eastern NC, and while on the road to the nearest depot in Robeson County, they were killed, it is supposed, by a white man who had them in custody.  An inquest was held, and at its conclusion, an old Indian named George Lowrie[11], addressed the people assembled, in substance as follows: “we have always been friends of white men.  We were a free people long before the white men came to our land.  Our tribe as always free.  They lived in Roanoke, Virginia.  When the English came to Roanoke, our tribe treated them kindly.  One of our tribe went to England in an English ship and saw that great country.  When English people landed in Roanoke we were friendly, for our tribe was always friendly to white men.  We took the English to live with us.  There is the white man’s blood in these veins as well as that of the Indian.  In order to be great like the English, we took the white man’s language and religion for our people were told they would prosper if they would take white man’s laws.  In the wars between white men and Indians, we always found on the side of the white men.  We moved to this land and fought for liberty for white men, yet white men has treated us as negroes.  Here are our young men shot down by a white man and we get no justice, and that in a land where our people were always free.”

The incident above occurred in the latter part of 1864 and owing to the troubled state of the country at that time, and for several years afterwards, no investigation could be made till the year 1875, when the writer became a citizen and had opportunity of interviewing the leading persons of the tribe.

After the year 1835 these Indians who murmured greatly at the injustice done them in being classed as “mulattoes” or “free persons of color” became suspicious of white men and at first we found difficulty in eliciting any facts relating to their past history.  After years of patient investigations, gathering here and there, we present the following summary of traditions prevalent among them.

The tribe once lived in Roanoke in Virginia, as they persist in calling Eastern NC.  The name Roanoke is applied to the country around Pamlico Sound, embracing Hyde, Tyrrell and Dare counties on the North, with the series of island as far South as Carteret county and embracing that county with Craven and Jones.  Croatoan or Croatan was a locality far to the south, off the coast of Carteret, and was the principal seat of the tribe.  Their leading man was made Lord of Roanoke.  The name Manteo they do not recognize, but are familiar with a Mayno, a name very common among them and representing a very quite law abiding people.

At an early date after the colony became incorporated with the tribe, they began to emigrate westward.  The first settlement made was probably in what is now Sampson county on several small rivers tributary to Black River.  A portion located on the Cape Fear, near a place now bearing the name of “Indian Wells” and at Heart’s Creek in Cumberland county, now Fayetteville. It is impossible to ascertain at what date the tribe located in Robeson, but it is probable that they have resided there for 200 years.  According to their universal tradition, they were located there long before the troubles with the Tuscaroras began in 1711.  Some of the tribe fought under “bonnul” as they term Colonel Barnwell, and we have reliable evidence that they brought home a few Mattamuskeet Indians as prisoners and slaves.  The descendants of these Mattamuskeet had their traditions also.  The name Dare was not recognized by them in our first investigations, but we afterwards discovered that they pronounce the name variously as Darr, Durr and Dorr.  This discovery was made when we related to an old chronicler of the tribe the story of Virginia Dare, the first white child born on American soil  This name Dorr or Durr has disappeared on the Lumber river since the War of 1812[12].  The name Dorr appears on the muster roll of a company composed in part of Indians from Robeson county which served in the war, in the US Army.

Several chroniclers or old persons who keep the tradition of the tribe have informed us that there are families bearing the name of Dorr or Durr to be found in western NC who are claimed by the tribe as descended from the English colonists of Roanoke.  These chroniclers affirm that the Dares, Coopers, Harvie and others retained their purity of blood and were generally pioneers in emigration.  Many names are corrupted so that it is difficult to trace their history.  The name Goins was originally O’guin, as appears from ancient court records.  The name Lumber as applies to the river was originally Lumbee or Lombee.  The name Manteo is nor familiar to them.  While they have a tradition of their leader or chief who went to England, yet they have preserved no name for him.  The nearest approach to the name of Manteo is Maino or Mainor.  An old women whom we interviewed spoke of their great man as Wonoke.  This name may be a corruption of Roanoke for we must remember Manteo was made Lord of Roanoke.  Mattamuskeet Lake, according to the tradition preserved by these Indians was a burnt lake or lake caused by water filling a hole burnt in the ground.  We are indebted for this tradition to an aged gentleman of Roberson county who was familiar with the traditions of the tribe from about 1820-1824.  He mentioned several persons who represented that they were descended from Mattamusket Indians who were taken prisoners, in the war between the whites and the Tuscaroras, by the tribe n the Lumber River.  These Mattamuskeets could locate the dwelling places of their ancestor who lived in what is now Hyde county in the vicinity of Mattamuskeet Lake.  In our investigations we could find no traditions respecting these persons.  The names given by our informants have all disappeared.  Large numbers have immigrated since the beginning of the present century.  Within half a century about 40 families have left the county of Roberson from about Plainview and went into the northwest.  “Traditions are fading fast”, our informant remarked “as far back as 1820 their traditions were more vivid than now and were familiar to old and young.  Now you will find their ancient traditions confined to comparatively a few old persons.”

Pungo Lake is known among them as Mattapungo.  They have no tradition as to any river named Roanoke.  This name is invariably applied by them to the territory previously described as occupied by their tribe on the Eastern coast.  Hawks, as previously mentioned, speak of the tribe in 1587 as Hatteras Indians,

When the Act of the North Carolina General Assembly was read to them, recognizing them as Croatans, an intelligent Indian remarked that he had always heard that they were called Hatteras Indians.  The line of emigration extended westward from what is now Carteret County and can be traced according to tradition as far west as the French Broad in Buncombe county.  Tradition respecting localities occupied by the tribe at the time of the absorption of the English colony is vague, but definite enough to establish the belief that their territory once embraced portions, at least, of the present counties of Carteret, Jones and Craven.  It is not at all probably that any of the English colonists left by Governor White ever lived  west of the county of Jones.  The settlement on the Lumber river in Robeson county was made during the 17th century, possibly as early as 1650.  The revocation of the Edict of Nantes occurred in 1685 and thousands of French Huguenots, driven to exile, found refuge in South Carolina.  As early as 1709, a colony of these exiles located in the Eastern part of NC.  Some of these Huguenots penetrated the interior as far as the Lumber river in the early part of the last century, and found the country north and east of them thickly populated by Indians who had farms and road and other evidences of civilized life, and had evidently resided there for a considerable time before the approach of white men.

Settlements were made towards the Pee Dee and at points beyond that river after their location on the Lumber.

The language spoken is almost pure Anglo Saxon, a fact which we think affords corroborative evidence of their relation to the lost colony of White.  Mon (Saxon) is used for man, father is pronounced fayther, and a tradition is usually begun as follows: “Man, my fayther told me that his fayther told him” &c.  Mension is used for measurement, ask for ask, hit for it, hosen for hose, lovend for loving, housen for houses.  They seem to have but two sounds for the letter a, one like short o.  Many of the words in common use among them have long been obsolete in English speaking countries.

They are a proud race, boasting alike of their English and Indian blood, hospitable to strangers and ever ready to do friendly offices for white people.  They are peaceable in disposition, but when aroused by repeated injury, they will fight desperately.  The great mass shun notoriety and carefully avoid places where crowds of other races assemble.  They generally live retired from public highways, and seem to show Indian characteristics more strongly than in former times.  There are 16 churches owned by them in Robeson county, divided among Baptist and Methodist denominations[13].  Their schoolhouses, built entirely by private means, are all framed buildings and provided far better than those of the colored race.

They are great roadmakers, like their ancestors.  The best public roads in NC are found among this tribe.

There has been no census taken separately from the other races, but the number in Robeson county is fully 2500 and considering the settlements in other counties, the total is not less than 5000.  The enrollment of Croatan children in Robeson county between the ages of 6 and 21 years, in accordance with an act of General Assembly passed in 1885 shows about 1100 entitled to the benefit of public instruction, provided separately for the race.

By an act of General Assembly passed in 1887, a Normal School for teachers of the Croatan race was established and the sum of $500 is annually appropriated for 2 years by the State for its support.

According to the law of NC, all marriages between a white person and a negro or Indian, or between a white person and a person of negro or Indian decent to the third generation inclusive, are null and void, but there was no inhibition of marriage between an Indian and a negro till the General Assembly of 1887 amended the law, by declaring all marriages between Croatan Indians and negroes or persons of negro descent to the third generation inclusive, null and void.

P 22 – Chapter 7 – In investigating the traditions prevalent among this singular people, we found many family names identical with those of the lost colony of 1587.  For the information of the reader, we give a list of the names of all the men, women and children of Raleigh’s colony, which arrived in Virginia and remained to inhabit there.  This list is found in the first volume of Hawk’s History of NC and copied from Hakluyt, Volume III, page 280.

Annoe regni reginae Elizabethae 29.

John White

Roger Baily

Ananias Dare

Christopher Cooper

Thomas Stevens

John Sampson

Dionys Harvie

Roger Prat

George Howe

Simon Fernando

Nicholas Johnson

Thomas Warner

Anthyony Cage

William Willes

William Brown

Michael Myllet

Thomas Smith

Richard Kemme

Thomas Harris

Richard Taverner

William Clement[14]

Robert Little

Hugh Tayler

John Jones

John Brooks

Cutbert White

John Bright

Clement Taylor

William Sole

John Cotsmuir

Humphrey Newton

Thomas Colman

Thomas Gramme or Graham, Graeme

Mark Bennet

John Gibbes



Henry Johnson

John Starte

Richard Darige

William Lucas

Arnold Archard

William Nichols

Thomas Phevens

John Borden

Robert Wilkinson

John Tydway

Ambrose Viccars

Edmund English

Thomas Topan

Henry Berry

Richard Berry

John Spendlove

John Hemmington

Thomas Butler

Edward Powell

John Burdon

James Junde

Thomas Ellis

John Wright

William Dutton

Maurice Allen

William Waters

Richard Arthur

John Chapman

James Lasie

John Cheven

Thomas Hewett

William Berde

Richard Wildye

Lewes Wotton

Michael Bishop

Henry Browne

Henry Rufotte

Richard Tomkins

Henry Dorrell

Charles Florrie

Henry Mylton

Henry Paine

Thomas Harris

Thomas Scot

Peter Little

John Wyles

Bryan Wyles

George Martin

Hugh Pattenson

Martin Sutton


John Bridger

Griffin Jones

Richrd Shabedge


Eleanor Dare

Margery Harvie

Agnes Wood

Winnifred Powell

Joyce Archard

Jane Jones

Elizabeth Glane

Jane Pierce

Andry Tappen

Alice Charman

Emma Merimoth

? Colman

Margaret Lawrence

Joan Warren

Jane Mannering

Rose Payne

Elizabeth Viccars

Boys and Children

John Sampson

Robert Ellis

Ambrose Viccas (sic)

Thomas Archard

Thomas Humphrey

Thomas Smart

George Howe

John Prat

William Wythers

Children born in Virginia

Virginia Dare

? Harvie

Manteo and Towaye, or Wanchese, that were in England returned to Virginia with the colony.

Governor John White, at the solicitation of the colonists, returned to England.  Simon Fernando, the Spanish pilot of the expedition, also returned.  George Howe, one of the “assistants” of Governor White was killed by the Indians on Roanoke Island soon after the arrival.  Omitting the name of the perfidious Fernando, we have 120 persons in all, including men, women and children, and about 90 family names, represented in the colony.  The names in the foregoing list in italics [RJE – and bold] are those which are found at this time among the Indians residing in Robeson county and in other counties of NC.  The traditions of every family bearing the name of one of the lost colonists point to Roanoke as the country of their ancestors.

If we accept their traditions they held communication with the Eastern coast long after their exodus, and it is not improbable that it was a party of this tribe which Lawson describes in1714, as visiting their old hunting grounds and who described in their ancestors as people who “could talk in a book”.

As to the intellectual character of this singular people but little can be written as public schools were unknown prior to 1835 and such education as they obtained up to that date was limited to a knowledge of reading and writing and the fundamental rules of arithmetic.  Hundreds have grown up to manhood and woman hood in perfect ignorance of books.  By nature they are quick-witted, and judging by the few examples of educated ones, they are equal to the whites in mental capacity.  Ex United States Senator Revels of Mississippi belongs to this tribe.  He was born in Robeson county and emigrated to the northwest where he was educated and subsequently resided in Mississippi.

The action of the NC legislature in establishing separate schools for this race and in recognizing them  as the descendants of the friendly Croatans known to the early colonists, is one great step towards their moral and intellectual elevation.  They are almost universally land holders and occupy a territory in the county of Robeson of about 60 thousand acres, adapted to the growth of corn, cotton and tobacco.

P 24, chapter 8 – It has long been a settled conviction that the lost colonists perished from starvation or savage cruelty.  This conviction has arisen from the fact that they were seen no more by white men.

The particulars given by Governor White of the understanding which existed between him and the colonists prior to his departure for England in 1587 and his finding the word Croatan on a tree, in a conspicuous place, on his return in 1590, seem to prove conclusively that the English had accepted the invitation of Manteo’s tribe, and had gone to Croatan Island.  The fact that they were seen no more by white men does not prove that they perished.  The same fact exists in regard to the Croatans and the same arguments would prove their destruction also.

We must remember that the region embracing Croatan Island and the adjacent mainland was unexplored for a long period after the attempt at settlement on Roanoke Island.  The history of those times shows that in 1609 the northeast corner of North Carolina was settled by a colony from Virginia.

In 1654, 67 years after the English colonists were last seen on Roanoke, Virginia adventurers had explored as far south as the Pamlico and Neuse rivers.  In 1656 a settlement was made on Albemarle Sound.  A colony from Massachusetts was located on the Cape Fear in 1660 and was soon abandoned.  Sir John Yeaman’s colony landed on the same river in 1664.  In 1690, a French colony from Virginia settled on Pamlico Sound and in 1698 emigrants from Albemarle also located in that region.

We have cited the facts to show how little was known, from 1587 to 1690, of the region where tradition says the Croatans were settled.

In 1690, the date of the settlement of the French on Pamlico, all the English colonists must have been dead, and the sad story was held only in tradition, and it may be that he Croatans who were then remaining in that region, on the approach of the new colony, removed farther into the interior, where portions of that tribe had previously located.

As previously intimated, the traditions of the Indians now living in Robeson are sufficiently clear to prove that at an early period they located south of Pamlico Sound on the mainland.  Tradition in regard to their ancient dwelling places on the tributaries of Black river in the present county of Sampson are more definite.  The fact that the French, English, Irish and perhaps German names are found among them is accounted for by the tradition that marriages frequently occurred between them and the early immigrants.  The name Chavis which is common among this people is probably a corruption of the French name Cheves.  Goins was O’Guin, as court records prove.  Leary was O’Leary, Blanc or Blonx is French.  Braboy is of recent origin and was originally “Brave Boy” and dates back to the war with the Tuscaroras in 1711 and was conferred on an Indian by the commander of the English for some meritous act.

From the earliest settlement of the country along the Lumber river these Indians have been an English speaking people.  Their language has many peculiarities and reminds one of the English spoken in the days of Chaucer.  The number of old English words in common use among them which have long been obsolete in English speaking countries is corroborative of the truth of their tradition that they are the descendants of the lost Englishmen of Roanoke.

In traveling on foot they march in “Indian file”  and exhibit a fondness for bright red colors.  They unconsciously betray many other traits characteristic of Indians.  The custom of raising patches of tobacco for their own use has been handed down from time immemorial.

In building they exhibit no little architectural skill. In road making they excel.  Some of the best roads in North Carolina can be found within their territory.  They are universally hospitable and polite to strangers.  They are proud of their race and boast of their English ancestry.  Like their ancestors, they are friendly to white men.

Their traditions are generally preserved by the old members of the tribe, but the tradition is universal among them from infancy to old age, that their ancestors came from “Roanoke in Virginia”.  By Virginia, they mean territory occupied by the tribe in the vicinity of Pamlico Sound.  In religious matters they are Baptists and Methodists.  The latter belong to what is called the Indian Mission, which is of recent origin.

“They never forget a kindness, an injury, nor a debt”, said an old citizen.  “They may not pay you when the debt is due, but they seldom forget an obligation and are sure to pay you after a time.”  In common with all Indians they have great respect for the Quakers and look upon them as all true friends of the Indian.  In the olden times, they had houses of entertainment for travelers.

The number of family names to be found among them, identical with those of the colonists of Roanoke Island is further corroborative of their traditional descent.

The line of emigration from their original seat on the coast was westward and can be traced as far west as the French Broad in Buncombe county.  Though many families of this tribe emigrated from the Lumber river a long while ago, yet the locations of many of them have been found in western NC with unerring certainty.

The writer has been much interested in investigating the traditions prevalent among the Croatans and expresses his firm conviction that they are descended from the friendly tribe found on our eastern coast in 1587 and also descended from the lost colonists of Roanoke who were amalgamated with this tribe.

Through many centuries of time there comes down to us the sad story of the lost legions of Varus.  They mystery that so long hung over the fate of those legions was solved by Drusus who found the bleaching bones of his countrymen in a German forest near the Baltic sea.

The fate of the lost colonists of Roanoke, we submit, is revealed in the forgoing pages.

To the charitable who are interested in the moral elevation of humanity we heartily comment the Croatans.


Carolina Described 1666 by Robert Horne

The image above is from a 1944 reprint [© University of Virginia] of the original map which was published in A Brief Description of the Province of Carolina on the Coasts of Floreda… Together with a most accurate Map of the whole Province, a pamphlet printed for Robert Horne in 1666. “It is now very rare and the map itself still rarer, as it is usually not found in the extant copies” (Cumming 60). The map shows Charles Town, “… a colony from Charlestowne, Massachusetts, est. in 1662 under the leadership of William Hilton, on Town Creek… Abandoned in 1663. In 1664 a colony from Barbados under the leadership of Sir John Yeamans occupied the site, but they abandonedd it in 1665.” (from The North   Carolina Gazetteer by William S. Powell © 1968 UNC Press). The map shows the “Hilton Riv.” (now Cape Fear R.) and the “Charles Riv.” (now N.E.Cape Fear R.) as well as many place names that appear on a printed map for the first time.

[2] Found at the map shows the peninsula west of Roanoke Island as Croatoan.

[3] Lawson map of 1709 – relevant portion extracted

[4] RJE – This is very reminiscent of the Christian idealogy of Heaven and Hell.

[5] In the document “In the Heart of the Arctics” by Nicholas Senn, MD, PhD, in 1907 we find the following text relating to this date:  The final fate of the second discoverer of Greenland is wrapped in obscurity. In 999 A. D., Leif, his son, visited the court of Norway, where, under the influence of the then reigning king, he was Christianized and returned to Greenland with monks and established a number of colonies near Cape Farewell. These colonies prospered for a long time, but were extinguished by the hostile natives and “black death,” an epidemic which raged in Europe from 1402 to 1404, and at last reached Greenland. The colonies became extinct about the beginning of the sixteenth century. Except the scanty ruins of a church, the only vestiges of these early settlements now remaining consist of low, naked walls, which must have served as pens for sheltering cattle, and an inscription, in the Runic language, on a stone slab, found in 1824, planted erect in the ground, on the island of Kingitorsoak, latitude 73 north, bearing the date April 25, 1135. The inscription has never been completely deciphered. Dr. T. Stewart Traill, of Liverpool, has interpreted this much of it: “Oelligr Sigwathson, and Baaos Tortarson and Oenrithi Osson, on the Saturday before Gagndag erected Thorward’s monument, and wrote this.” (And then what remained is unintelligible.) [Gagndag was a holiday of the Catholic church in Iceland.]

[6] Colonial and State Records of NC

Letter from Francis Yardley to John Farrar [Extract]

Yardley, Francis

May 08, 1654

Volume 01, Pages 18-19

[Thurloe’s State Papers, Vol. II, P. 273. Reprinted from Hawks’s History of N. C.]


Virginia, Linnehaven, 8th May, 1654.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In September last, a young man, a trader for beavers, being bound out to the adjacent parts to trade, by accident his sloop left him; and he, supposing she had been gone to Roanoke, hired a small boat, and, with one of his company left with him, came to crave my license to go to look after his sloop, and sought some relief of provisions of me; the which granting, he set forth with three more in company, one being of my family, the others were my neighbors. They entered in at Caratoke, ten leagues to the southward of Cape Henry, and so went to Rhoanoke Island; where, or near thereabouts they found the great Commander of those parts with his Indians a-hunting, who received them civilly, and showed them the ruins of Sir Walter Raleigh’s fort, from whence I received a sure token of their being there.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Immediately I dispatched away a boat with six hands, one being a carpenter, to build the King an English house, my promise, at his coming first, being to comply in that matter. I sent £200 sterling in trust to purchase and pay for what land they should like, the which in little time they effected and purchased, and paid for three great rivers, and also all such others as they should like of, southerly; and in solemn manner took possession of the country, in the name, and on the behalf of the Commonwealth of England; and actual possession was solemnly given to them by the great Commander, and all the great men of the rest of the provinces, in delivering them a turf of the earth with an arrow shot into it; and so the Indians totally left the lands and rivers to us, retiring to a new habitation, where our people built the great Commander a fair house, the which I am to furnish with English utensils and chattels.

* * * * * *

Sir, if you think good to acquaint the States with what is done by two Virginians born, you will honor our country. I have at this instant no present worthy your acceptance, but an arrow that came from the Indians

——————– page 19 ——————–

inhabiting on the SouthSea, the which we purpose, God willing, to see this summer, non obstante periculo.

I humbly take leave, and ever remain, Sir,
Your true honorer and affectionate
Servant to be commanded,


For the worshipful John Farrar, Esq.,
at his Manor of Little Gidding, in

[7] This document doesn’t say they ever asked them.  Also, this is Roanoke Island, the mainland Indians might not have known what happened to people on Hatteras Island.

[9] Have not been found as of 2010.

[10] In downtown Fayetteville, NC.

[11] Interestingly enough, in the 1860 census, this George Lowrie, age 62, born in 1798 is also married to a Prissette (Priscilla), age 58.  They have 3 children remaining at home, all of whom are only listed by initials.  George Lowrie and his family are listed as mulatto and are living among other Lumbee, next door to a Blunt and about 3 houses away from a Locklear family (who is also listed as mulatto) in the North District of Robeson Co.  He and his wife were both born in NC.  He owns $150 in personal effects and $300 in land and is a farmer.  There are 3 George Lowrie’s listed, age 62, 40 and 22.  In 1850, we find George Lowry, age 52 and his wife Priscilla, age 50, listed as mulatto in Marlboro County, SC, a laborer, owning no land.  This area is also known as a settlement area for Lumbee.  Their children are Andrew, 20, Wesley, 15, Allen, 14, German 12, Allison 6, Haly Griffin age 45 and Purline Griffin age 1.  The Cope family next door is white, but living with them is found Shepherd Locklear, also a mulatto.  Locklear is not found outside of the Lumbee tribe.  Neither George nor Priscilla can read and write in 1850, but their children can.  In 1860 this column is blank.  In 1880, George died of Cholera, listed as a black married male farmer, age 82, died on cholera on the 1880 census mortality schedule.  According to the NC Marriage Collection 1741-2004 on Ancestry, George married Presscella Swett on May 8, 1818 in Cumberland County, NC.  George’s parents are shown (unconfirmed) to be William Lowry and Elizabeth Locklear.  His father is shown to be James Lowry born in 1738 in Virginia, d 1811 in Robeson County, NC.

[12] Checking the 1810 census at, we find no similar names except a William Dara indexed to Sampson County.  However, reading he entire census, we find no Dare (or anything similar in that county).  Checking hte 1790 and 1800 census, there are also no individuals with a similar surname.

[13] Both the Methodist and Baptist religions were introduced in the mid 1700s. I would have expected them to be Anglican if they carried the religion of the colonists.

[14]William Clement is omitted on other colonist lists.  This needs to be researched in the original document.

Posted in Chowan, Croatan (Later Lumbee), Croatoan, Hatteras, Lumbee, Mattamuskeet, Nottoway, Tuscarora | 2 Comments

Tecumseh – “Die Like a Hero Going Home”

death of tecumseh

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide. Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision. When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

This beautiful passage is attributed to Tecumseh, although it is disputed and also attributed to some of the Wapasha Chiefs, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Wovoka.

Tecumseh did indeed die as a hero.  Mortally wounded, as shown in the carving above, Tecumseh gave the orders, “One of my legs is shot off! But leave me one or two guns loaded — I am going to have a last shot. Be quick and go!”

To see some of Tecumseh’s other prophetic quotes, visit this link.

Hat tip to Fix for this quote.

Posted in Shawnee | 2 Comments