Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A fascinating look at "Old Hatteras Island"

A fascinating look at "Old Hatteras Island"

My grandfather was Luther Frazier Peele (1905-'67) ~  his mother was Elizabeth Gaskill Peele; Granny Lizzy was the last of our family to keep in contact with relatives back in the old country (Cornwall, UK).  According to our ancestry search, my grandfather's family dates back to the 1700's on the "Carolina Banks". His g-g-g...grandfather Robert Peel, was born in England in 1635 and was "spirited" away to theKing's Virginian colonies soon thereafter. Hatteras has long been a destination for people "on the lamb." During the 17th century, thousands of Irish & Scots were imprisoned in Britain by Oliver Cromwell's ethnic-cleansing tirades. The ones who survived (about half), were "transported" to the colonies. Scottish prisoners were allowed to choose their final destination ~ the grim prospect of working as a plantation slave in Barbados & Virginia drove some to Hatteras. It is unclear whether they came of their own free will (w/ livestock) or came to hide ended up staying. The village elders seemed peculiar to outsiders because of their antiquated vocabulary and thick brogue... and the women, who were sturdy by necessity, often smoked pipes or dipped snuff. 

Cont. here:

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 Top 100 Genealogy Sites Announced

The annual GenealogyInTime Magazine Top 100 is the definitive list in genealogy. It profiles and ranks the best ancestral websites based on estimates of their internet traffic (as measured by Alexa, the internet traffic people). This results in a list that is objective and comprehensive.
This year represents our fourth annual survey on the state of genealogy. Discover some interesting websites to help you find your ancestors and stay up to date with the latest trends in genealogy.

- See more at:

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina.

George Edwin Butler, 1868-1941
The Croatan Indians of Sampson County, North Carolina. Their Origin and Racial Status. A Plea for Separate Schools.
Durham, N.C.: Seeman Printery, 1916.

Herrings Township, Sampson Co., N. C.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Remains of the earliest European fort in the present day US interior discovered

The remains of the earliest European fort in the interior of what is now the United States have been discovered by a team of archaeologists, providing new insight into the start of the U.S. colonial era and the all-too-human reasons spoiling Spanish dreams of gold and glory.

Spanish Captain Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in 1567, nearly 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh’s “lost colony” at Roanoke and 40 years before the Jamestown settlement established England’s presence in the region.
“Fort San Juan and six others that together stretched from coastal South Carolina into eastern Tennessee were occupied for less than 18 months before theNative Americans destroyed them, killing all but one of the Spanish soldiers who manned the garrisons,” said University of Michigan archaeologist Robin Beck.
Beck, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Anthropology and assistant curator at the U-M Museum of Anthropology, is working with archaeologists Christopher Rodning of Tulane University and David Moore of Warren Wilson College to excavate the site near the city of Morganton in western North Carolina, nearly 300 miles from the Atlantic Coast.
The Berry site, named in honor of the stewardship of landowners James and the late Pat Berry, is located along a tributary of the Catawba River and was the location of the Native American town of Joara, part of the mound-building Mississippian culture that flourished in the southeastern U.S. between 800 and about 1500 CE.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jennifer Gabriel Powell

It is with great sadness and very heavy hearts that Anne Poole and Roberta Estes, directors of the Lost Colony Research Group, convey the heartbreaking message that we have lost our own Jennifer Gabriel Powell.  Jenn is the archaeologist for the Lost Colony Research Group, but she was so much more.  Jenn met Andy Powell, now Andy Gabriel Powell, retired mayor of Bideford, England, on our dig in 2012.  Three months later, she went to England to visit Andy, and suffice it to say she never came back, except to get her visa and her cat.  She and Andy married on January 19, 2013. 

Jenn was just 34, completed her BS in archaeology in 2012, was lovely, brilliant and joyful.  She had her whole life in front of her.  We all loved Jenn and remember her laughing in her signature tie dye t-shirts that she made herself.  Jenn and Andy are both members of our Lost Colony family.

Yesterday, Jenn suffered a brain hemorrhage and today, after her mother arrived from the US, life support was discontinued and Jenn slipped away.  Our hearts grieve for two of our own, Jenn’s passing and Andy’s terrible loss.  Please light a candle and say a prayer for Jenn, Andy, Jenn’s parents and family.  We will have a memorial article for Jenn in the upcoming Lost Colony Research Group newsletter.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Jamestown Mysteries Solved By Archeological Finds

Published on Jan 28, 2014 The Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists over the years have come across several instances of disarticulated human skeletal remains in trash pits. This short film documents one such find. A skull fragment found in the fort's west bulwark ditch demonstrated clear evidence of an attempt at trephination (a surgical procedure performed in response to head injuries, whereby surgeons remove a plug of bone form the skull to prevent a buildup of fluid that could cause pressure on the brain). The research that is presented in this film was the result of a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. Senior Staff Archaeologist, Jamie May of the Rediscovery Project narrates the film. This blog is © History Chasers
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Today's Nature Publication Refutes Possibility of a Solutrean Migration to the Americas

A very exciting and definite paper has just been published by Naturetoday, titled “The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana,” by Rasmussen et al. The authors conclude that the DNA of a Clovis child is ancestral to Native Americans.  Said another way, this Clovis child was a descendant, along with Native people today, of the original migrants from Asia who crossed the Bering Strait.

All four types of DNA were tested; Y chromosome, mtDNA, autosomal and X. Everything tested as having come through the Bering Strait from Asia. There was no European admixture.  

This information is very important to a number of academic disciplines. I am sure much more remains to be explored and explained, but we can rest assured in this fact: 

"The researchers concluded that the Clovis infant belonged to a meta-population from which many contemporary Native Americans are descended and is closely related to all indigenous American populations.  In essence, contemporary Native Americans are “effectively direct descendants of the people who made and used Clovis tools and buried this child,” covering it with red ochre.
Furthermore, the data refutes the possibility that Clovis originated via a European, Solutrean, migration to the Americas."

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Please sign this petition to preserve Hatteras Lighthouse Keeper Stones

 Letter by Dawn Taylor

We the descendants of those who manned the Historic Cape Hatteras Light Station located on North Carolina's Outer Banks and citizens of the United States,are petitioning NC Congressman Walter Jones and the National Park Service to preserve and protect the original granite foundation stones which bear the names and dates of our forefathers who honorably gave of themselves to provide those at sea a beacon in which to safely navigate the dangerous waters known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse was moved back 1,600 feet to protect it from the encroaching Atlantic Ocean.After the move the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society spent almost $12,000 to have the original granite stones which had been cut away from the lighthouse foundation, engraved with the names and dates of all of the keepers of the Hatteras light. The stones were then arranged in a circle to mark the original location of the historic lighthouse.

Over the years, due to coastal storms,this historic site which mean so much to the keeper descendants and lighthouse enthusiast alike,has been covered with sand and the stones scattered around by waves. Just as the lighthouse was moved for preservation's sake, we want these stones to also be maintained and protected from the sea.They represent such a large part of our island's heritage and history.

In May of 2013, in a letter to the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, seashore superintendent Barclay Trimble said, “Because of coastal processes, namely shoreline erosion and dune migration, the stones have routinely become covered with sand requiring substantial effort to keep them uncovered.”

The National Park Service has also responded by stating that it no longer intends to keep maintaining the stones due to it being no longer practical to keep uncovering and rearranging the stones after each storm. To most, this is an unacceptable answer.

Each year,especially through peak tourist season, thousands visit the lighthouse per day and purchase Climbing Tour Tickets at $8 for adults and $4 for senior citizens. It is not hard to do the math and to see that indeed, there are funds out there to preserve the site we are petitioning.

These original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Foundation Stones located at the original lighthouse site,with the names of our forefather's etched in their remembrance, should be preserved. We the lighthouse descendants and all who cherish and honor it's existence are hereby joining together by the creation of this petition to make our voices heard and to see  that these cherished stones will still be there for future generations to visit, just as we have.


Dawn Farrow Taylor
President - Cape Hatteras Genealogical and Preservation Society

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