There are few people out there, who have found their calling. Anne Poole, who hails from our own home state of North Carolina, never really went searching for hers. Instead it was dropped right in her lap at a very tender and early age. And I for one, am so glad it was. She and a team of dedicated volunteer researchers, are one a mission to solve one of America’s oldest mysteries. And the answer, may not be any further than our own back yard.
Anne, has become a dear friend of mine. She reminds me of a strong southern woman, who walked right off the pages of one’s favorite book. Recently, I came up with the idea of she and I sitting down for a blog chat. Least that is what I’m going to call it. Here goes…
Q: Anne…I know you are from North Carolina. But where exactly were you born and raised ?
A: I hail from right here in Durham !
Q: Now I know you have two daughters. And recently, we found out that I have a Hatteras/Ocracoke
family tie to both. Would you mind telling everyone a little about their Outer Banks bloodline ?
A: Sure. Susan and Elizabeth have their OBX connections from their great grandmother, who was a Dailey and was born on Ocracoke Island. She is on their daddy’s side. She also looked very, very, native with dark skin and gray eyes…..I used to say that her eyes looked like steel they were so gray !
Q: So what got you interested in researching the LC and about how old were you when you started ?
A: I became interested in The Lost Colony 54 years ago when I was 10 years old ! My parents told me one summer that we were getting ready to go on vacation to a place on the coast where the first English people in America had mysteriously disappeared and no one knew what had happened to them. So, we came down to Manteo and the Outer Banks, saw the drama, The Lost Colony, and I was hooked for life on the mystery ! Sometimes I think that it was actually meant for me to do the research that I am now doing.
Q: What do you find the most interesting part of your research ?
A: I love all aspects of our research, so it’s really hard for me to say which part is the most interesting. However, there’s nothing like the awe I feel when something comes out of the dirt during the archaeological excavations that may have been from the 16th century. On the other hand, uncovering some previously unknown information about the colony that has been hidden for hundreds of years is pretty exciting also.
Q: Do you have a Lost Colonist connection within your own family ?
A: My maiden name is Nichols, and there is a William Nichols on the roster of the 1587 colonists. I do know my family has been here for several hundred years, so until I can prove that the colonist William Nichols was or wasn’t my ancestor, then I like to think that he was ! I have recently found some paternal genetic dna matches in England, and there are three different colonists’ surnames that have surfaced in my line there, so I may have a connection, which is exciting to think about !
Q: Do you actually believe you will find the colonist descendants and if so, why ?
A: Now, as to whether or not we will find the colonists is open to speculation ! I would say that it is at least a 50-50 chance that we find them. If their settlement site is not under water then it is a fair chance that we might can locate the area. There are days that I think we will find the site and then there are the times that I think nobody will. It’s a tiny little needle in a huge number of haystacks.
Q: Will you tell us about some of the speaking engagements you have had on this topic ?
A: My most recent speaking engagement was at The Eastern NC Family History Conference in New Bern back in June. I am available for speaking to groups who are interested in our research.
Anne also spoke at the Hatteras Island Genealogical and Preservation Society’s Potluck/history dinner this past April. She was joined by Roberta Estes, who is the Co-founder with Anne, of the Lost Colony Genealogy and DNA Research Group. Also speaking that night, was Andrew Thomas Powell, retired Mayor of Bideford, England. And Author of Grenville and The Lost Colony of Roanoke.
You can learn more about the LCRG’s upcoming projects and research, by checking out their website.