The British invasion of Hatteras Island…
Whirlwind. That is the word I will use to describe the last two weeks of my life, on and off of Hatteras Island. The story starts with the arrival of two women who for years, have been tracking down the famed Lost Colonist and their descendants. These two ladies are Anne Poole and Roberta “Bobbi” Estes. They are the founders of the Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group. A group which has dedicated themselves to answering one of the oldest mysteries in America. A mystery that just might be answered through archaeology, dna, and genealogy. All of which are taking place right here on Hatteras Island.
Next comes the arrival of the British archaeologist and their students. Mark Horton, world renowned archaeologist, and Louisa Pittman, of the University of Bristol in England, returned for another attempt at rewriting the island’s history. Years of folklore and hand me down stories, have very much been the base of our island’s earliest history. But combine their hard work and the determination of the LCRG, the real story just might be starting to come into focus.
Along with this historical British invasion by Bristol University, came the return of the retired Mayor of Bideford, England…Andy Powell. Andy is also the Author of the recently published book, Grenville and the Lost Colony of Roanoke. A book that from the turn of the first page, one will find it very hard to put down. Unlike numerous other authors of Lost Colony Literature, Andy did his own footwork…so to speak. Instead of sourcing his info through the often used practice of reading the works of David B. Quinn and coming to one’s own interpretation of Sir Walter Raleigh’s efforts to settle Virginia, he had the rare opportunity of transcribing the actual commanded written accounts of the voyage to Roanoke (1584-1590), as written by Richard Hakluyt.
Now, no visit with such a knowledgeable group of researchers and scientist, would be complete without a meeting. And a meeting we did have. On April 12, at the Avon Firehouse on Hatteras Island, HIGS hosted a history/potluck dinner. It was a great success. Seventy Lost Colony and genealogy enthusiasts showed up to hear Roberta Estes, Anne Poole, and Andy Powell, speak. Sadly, I didn’t take any photographs of the night. But, a local writer for the area’s news paper, was there. So just as soon the story is printed…I’ll post it on here and on our HIGS Facebook Group’s page.
Since I’m covering the highlights of the last two weeks, and I can hardly wait to get to one of the most enjoyed parts of the journey, I am going to jump ahead in line, with the telling of the next event. Due to Bideford, England, and Manteo, NC., being twinned sister cities, Andy Powell and the Bideford Youth Pipe Band, were honored by the town of Manteo, yesterday. Bagpipes have always been one of my favorite instruments. Just let me hear Amazing Grace being played on them, and tears will soon follow. Anyways…Andy, myself, and George Ray (George is a member of the Croatoan Archaeological Society), spent a near perfect afternoon, on Roanoke Island. Good friends and good music. Who could ask for more ?
These past two weeks have been wonderful. Many cherished memories have been made. So in no special order, I want to thank the people who helped make them.
Anne and Bobbi…You are family. Love you both. Thank you for sharing this journey with me. The ride has become incredible. “Well behaved woman…rarely make history”.
Andy Powell…I now include you in that family. May the next year fly by until we see each other again.
Louisa Pittman…Your job as caretaker of Mark is almost over. Well done my dear.
Sharon and Alex Davis…We shared many laughs and I know there are many more to come. Hugs.
Cousin George…keep whistling. I like it. Well, that and your new hat.
Nancy Frey…my new Canadian friend. It was so nice to finally meet you. Hugs.
To all the students…Ya’ll come back now…ya here 🙂
Alex…Keep practicing your southern accent and eat plenty of grits.
Baylus Brooks…I’ll see you this summer. Arghhhh ;P
Angel Roller and Jennifer Creech…Our dreams will come true.
To the people of Hatteras Island and our ancestors…May our heritage and their memory, never be forgotten.
Dawn F. Taylor