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The Lost Colony Research Group

Genealogy ~ DNA ~ Archaeology


February 2001



Native American Haplogroup X

By Roberta Estes

People are just thrilled to get their DNA results back when they discovered they have mitochondrial DNA haplogroup X. They e-mail me right away and tell me they are Native American.

But then, I have to ask the difficult question. I become that relative that no one wants to claim, the one who always is bursting the bubbles with ugly old reality.

So I ask, "What is your subgroup?"  

And they reply, "Huh?"  

So then I explain that haplogroup X isn't just Native American. In fact, it's found in Asia, all of Europe and in the New World Native Americans.

Most of the time, these exchanges are by e-mail, so I can't see their faces. It's probably just as well, all things considered.  

At this point, people are firmly divided into two camps. Those are the "I want to believe" camp and the "I want to know" camp. The "I want to believe" camp is afraid to do further testing because they are concerned that deeper testing will reveal that they are NOT Native. So they never test and continue to claim Native descent. The "I want to know camp" is just the opposite, seeking the truth, and they order the full sequence test.  

You can see the various subgroups on the haplogroup X project page at: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/x   

Haplogroup X is the "mother haplogroup." X2 is found throughout Eurasia and North America. Native American subgroups of haplogroup X2 are X2a, X2a1, X2a1a, X2a1b and X2a2 and they are determined by the following mutations in the various mitochondrial DNA regions.


  Haplogroup   HVR1 Region HVR2 Region   Full Sequence


16213A   200G  

8913G, 12397G, 14502C

X2a1 16093G 143A   3552C
X2a1a     6113G   
X2a1b    8422G   
X2a2 16254C   225C    



This means that if you take the HVR1 region test and you are noted as being haplogroup X, if you don't have the 16213A mutation, then you're likely NOT Native American. Ouch, you say. How can we be sure?


I encourage everyone to take the HVR2 and the full sequence level testing, especially if you think you MIGHT be Native. Why? Because we're still learning and I'd hate for anyone to determine they are NOT Native based on the 16213A mutation alone. There are such things as back mutations, and if you do have the HVR2 and full sequence mutations, then you may have experienced a back mutation or are maybe a haplogroup previously not found. 

So, your determination as haplogroup X is really just the appetizer and an invitation to the entree and dessert....HVR2 and full sequence testing!!! 



"It's All Over Ancestry In So Many Trees"

By Roberta Estes 


That's what the person said to me when they wrote to me to tell me that my records about my ancestor were wrong. This person was warning me that my work was wrong...and they meant this in the best of ways, but the entire episode left me heartsick. Here's why. 

A new researcher got really excited about his genealogy and did what Ancestry said to do, get a trial membership and just look for your ancestor. Well, he did, and then lo and behold, he found fully developed trees and lots of them. In fact, they make my 30 years of painstaking research that only shows 3 children for my ancestor look puny by comparison. So I must surely be wrong because there are so many trees with lots more kids...including his ancestor. Yes indeed, he wanted me to be wrong so he could connect to someone, another generation gathered up and put on his tree. The only difference between him and dozens of other researchers was that he tried to help me in the process. Otherwise, I would have never known and the "bad tree" farm would just have silently grown by one more erroneous tree - like uncontrollable weeds. 

I asked him about his source information - and shared mine with him. His source was that he had copied someone else's tree - the one with the most kids, and the one of course that included his ancestor....which by the way...according to that much coveted tree...had lived for a mere 110 years. Never mind that the website I had sent him to, not on Ancestry, has photos of gravestones with his ancestors death date clearly legible. If he was thinking for himself at all, he would have known that something was clearly wrong with those records....but he either wasn't thinking or hadn't been burned yet by the easy leaf at Ancestry. 

And his final missive to me, as he departed, was that those other trees just had to be right because "it's all over Ancestry in so many trees." Well, buddy, so is kudzu and that's not good either. Beware of the "easy tree" and never, ever blindly trust someone else's work. A source is not the tree that you copied the info from, a source is an original document that backs up or proves your data.

I feel sorry for this person, and the other thousands of people just like him...well intentioned...naive...and a victim of Ancestry's "easy" approach without any ability to enter notes or sources, other than those found on Ancestry of course. However, in addition to being a victim, these people in their zeal then become part of the problem, just one more leaf on Ancestry's erroneous tree farm, replicating the same old bad information so many times that by virtue of repetition, it leads people to believe it must be correct. 

But you know, he probably feels sorry for me too because I have that tiny little puny three with only three children for my ancestor, and he has discovered the genealogists Holy Grail - the tree with all the answers, and ancestors. In genealogy, as with the rest of life, if it seems too good to be true....it probably is. 



Raleigh, a Wynganditoian

By Andrew Powell 


“Raleigh a Wynganditoian, Richard the son of Baptist Tooker and Katheryne the daughter of William Berry all here Christened the Sunday 26th day of March” so reads the Bideford Parish Register of 1588; but just who was “Raleigh”? Andy Powell reveals… 

Raleigh the Native Indian was brought back to Bideford from Roanoke by Sir Richard Grenville following his capture there during a skirmish in 1586.

Of his origins, we can say that he is unlikely to have been a member of the friendly Hatteras Indians led by Manteo; much more likely to have been a member of a tribe allied to Wanchese, who had been involved in several skirmishes with the English previously on Roanoke. 

“Raleigh” therefore, may not have started out as the most willing of pupils on his arrival in Bideford! 

What took place during the following eighteen months before that Native Indian was christened upon the Font that still stands in St Mary‟s Parish Church today is unknown. Nevertheless, christened he was, on that fateful day in March 1588. 

Whether Grenville was present for the ceremony, we cannot say for certain as we do not know the date of his return to Bideford after leading the town‟s flotilla of ships to Plymouth in readiness for the fight against the Spanish Armada…. the same flotilla that 

was made ready with the original intention to sail to Roanoke as the relief voyage for the colonists early in 1588.

Sadly for “Raleigh”, his new life in England did not last long, for the same Parish register records the burial of “Rawly a man of Wynganditoia following of the day 2nd April 1589”, (meaning he died during the night of the 2nd.) The cause of his death was probably the same epidemic of Influenza that was to strike tragedy at the heart of the Grenville family when Sir Richard‟s 16 year old daughter Rebecca also died from it only a few weeks later.

Perhaps the final question we can answer, on the “man of Winganditoia” enigma is where he lies buried today. According to a record dated 1792 in the Bodleian Library of Oxford, he was not buried as some suggest, in the church crypt, but in the Churchyard. Given that this record pre-dates the Victorian rebuilding of St Mary‟s in the 1860‟s, it seems certain that he still lays there, somewhere, today, his grave unmarked. Thanks however to the work of the Bideford 500 Heritage Group, (of which I am proud to be Chairman,) we hope that after more than 420 years, his last resting place will once again be commemorated in 2012.

At the time of writing this article (December 2011), the question of whether President Obama will accept the town‟s formal invitation to join that commemoration remains to be answered…….  


Tyrrell County, NC - All Other Free - 1790

Last month we published the Tyrrell County, NC records for the Lost Colony Surnames and Families of Interest. We also reported that in 1790 there were no families of color. Well, we were wrong. There were. It seems that the census taker varied from the norm. At the bottom of page 378, the census taker wrote a note that the following group are "free colored person with their families" and then he proceeded to enumerate them in the same columns as the white families. This is a great benefit to genealogists, because normally, the "free colored" are all lumped into one total number. For this group, we can see how their families segment in the normal census columns for white people. Thanks to Cathy Roberts for catching this and bringing it to our attention. Good eye!!

The census taker did one other thing too, which may indicate different properties or family groups. He drew a line between Jacob Simpson and Elizabeth Hill, then after Jack Williams and before William Foster. He also wrote the final 4 entries in first name, last name order instead of last, first as the rest. Finally, he had totaled the group, then added Thomas Pierce after the total. Perhaps his home was very remote and missed initially. Note that I have changed the column headings below to reflect that these are people of color.


Last First Free colored males 16+   Free colored <16   Free colored females   All other free   Slaves
Simpson Reddin 1 0 3    
Simpson Jacob 1 1   1    


Elizabeth 0 1 2    
Williams   Jack 1        
Foster William  1 4 2    
Dempsey   John   1          
Bibbons Philip 1        
Vollovay   Jane   0 0 1    
Bryan Bridgett   0 0 1    
Pierce   Israel   1 2 3    
Pierce Thomas   1 3 4    


Native Heritage Project

By Roberta Estes

If we are to find the colonists descendants, today, it will likely be through the Native people and their descendants. The search for the Lost Colonists is part of a larger quest, the Native Heritage Project. I've been working on this project for some time now, and I'll be talking more about it in future newsletters, as it ultimately may be part of the key to finding the colonists.

In essence, I'm doing three things. 

1. I'm collecting every instance of documents where Native people have surnames in some record that states they are Native, of Native descent, or have Native heritage. I have intentionally omitted the 5 Civilized tribes who were removed to the west, because their information is online and otherwise available. I'm focused on the primary areas of Virginia, NC and SC, but certainly would welcome any records from east of the Mississippi. These, for the most parts, are tribes that were annihilated. 

2. I'm matching this list (above) against people who are haplogroups Q and C, Native, to see if I can find a match between the two lists and 

3. I'd like to combine that information, above, with historical research that maps oldest ancestor of those who are genetically Native and village/tribe locations and perhaps, in time, we can find a correlation and a way to tell which tribe someone is descended from. 

4. Lastly, when we find people who are documented as Native, but have European Y-line DNA, we will be checking the surnames of the families they match closely against the Lost Colonist roster. This project an unbelievably large undertaking. I've been at it almost five years now. Much of my early work was in documenting mixed race migrations and historical reading for references documenting early tribal locations. I have amassed thousands of pages of documented reference notes in timeline fashion, plus a data base of several thousand entries by surnames.

The reason I'm sharing this information is that I would like to ask you to contribute any references you have or find that document any individual as Native. I know that genealogists have books, and what I've done with my VA, NC and SC books is to begin by looking in the Index to see if there is an index entry for Indian, to begin with.

If you find something that might be relevant, please send me the link. If you have an extracted record or records, please send me those complete with the source. Nothing gets added without a source:)

I have done the obvious, such as the Mattamuskeet Papers and Paul Heinegg's work. 

Thank you for advance for anything you find and submit, and for your time looking. 

You are helping to recreate the heritage that has disappeared with time, to literally reconstruct these people from musty records and their DNA carried by their descendants. 

We are giving a voice to those who cannot speak.


Tyrrell County Genealogical & Historical Society Meeting  

Jennifer Sheppard

Jennifer Sheppard was the guest speaker at the Tyrrell County Genealogical and Historical Society meeting on 22 Jan 2012 at the Senior Citizens Center in Columbia, Tyrrell County, NC. Her topic was the Lost Colony and the Lost Colony Research Group's research endeavors



She talked about the Group‟s ongoing search for descendants of the Lost Colony sharing information on their genealogy research, DNA testing and the archaeology digs


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The Lost Colony Research Group is in NO WAY affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research.  The Lost Colony Y-DNA and MT-DNA projects at Family Tree DNA are NOT IN ANY WAY  affiliated with The Lost Colony Center for Science and Research, regardless of what their links imply.


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Copyright © 2008 Last modified: January 31, 2012



The art work on this website is my (Nelda L. Percival) original art work and has not been released to any person or organization other then for the use of Lost Colony Research Group and the store front owned by the same. My art work has never been part of the Lost Colony Center for Science and Research's property. My art used here and at the store front was drawn precisely for the projects run by Roberta Estes and ownership has not been otherwise released. This project also uses the artwork of Dr. Ana Oquendo Pabon, the copyright to which she has retained as well. Other art works are the copyrights of the originators and may not be copied without their permission.
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Some Native American art work is from http://www.firstpeople.us  Some of their art was used as a bases for different creative graphics.